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Re: Triune God or are there more dimensions?

Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:54 pm
by Danieltwotwenty
Thanks Jac

I am definitely going to have to spend some time processing what you have written, I am glad you only wrote the simplified version.


Re: Triune God or are there more dimensions?

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:00 pm
by CeT-To
Danieltwotwenty wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Danieltwotwenty wrote:Ok I have a better understanding of the trinity now compared to modalism.
I can see where my thinking got faulty, i have always believed in the trinity as seperate entity's within the same God but was thinking maybe there are more entity's that are unknown but I see how I was making the jump to modalism.

I guess for myself I will never really understand the nature of God until I meet him face to face, my intellect just can wrap around this subject. y#-o

We can demarcate borders, but I don't think anyone's intellect really can comprehend. ;)

Logically, we can make Trinitarian doctrine sound and plausible, but being so tied to the "material" it is hard to visualise what an individual "immaterial substance" might consist of, let alone a triune one. Human as we are, we very much need to visualise, but such already implies there is something material to visualise.

What is important, is that we have Scripture revealing Christ to be God, The Father to be God and Holy Spirit also God. And yet, there is but one God. Each person in the Godhead appears to be their own person with their own role and consciousness, and yet they all stand united as one in their nature. Nutting out how this could logically be is where people begin to get boggled and errors start creeping in.

Well I guess it's like predestination vs freewill, both are true even though they are contradictory.
I can accept that I might not understand it all. y:-/
I don't think they are contradictory both can be true at the same time in a non incoherent way, try to search up Molinism. Also i think B.W. made a discussion topic on Molinism though i have yet to read the 12 pages hahah i think it will be a good read.

Re: Triune God or are there more dimensions?

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:14 pm
by CeT-To
Jac3510 wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:Nothing wrong with trying to understand though. Helps apologetically to defend Christianity.
100% agreed, K.

And Daniel, don't be quick to appeal to mystery when you come to something you are having trouble with. What makes the Trinity difficult is not merely the fact that we don't have any experience with it, but more than that, the fact that the philosophical tradition in which it was developed is largely ignored by evangelicals. So we state the conclusions on the matter without taking the time to understanding how those conclusions were developed. To use a more biblical example, it would be like trying to explain why Jesus' death atoned for sins without referencing the Old Testament. Maybe you could do it, but you will have made your task very difficult!

Classical theism teaches that God is a Trinity in that, first, God is pure being itself (so, strictly, God is not a being. He is Being--subsistent existence in jargon). This is the principle, which is called the Father. In knowing Himself, the Father knows all things, since everything that either is or could be is being in some sense (being this way rather than that); thus, to know pure being (which only God is) would be to know everything, since it would be to know every way that being could be. Yet this knowledge of the self requires an internal procession; that procession is really related to the principle. That procession is called the Word or the Son. Morever, the will always wills the Good. Being is identical with Good, and thus pure being is pure good. Pure being wills Good purely, which is to say, wills itself. This, again, is an internal procession, really related to the principle. This willing is called in Scripture the Spirit of God.

The principle and the two processions, all being the Pure Act of Existence itself, all contain all perfections, and are thus all Persons. But they are not three entities, because they are all the same instance of Pure Being. Thus, the Trinity.

(Note: I've left out a lot, obviously, and for what it is worth, as a technical aside, the procession of the Holy Spirit in my explanation above follows the Orthodox view rather than the Catholic view specifically. But that gets into the filoque debate . . . just full disclosure!)
I would absolutely LOVE to learn more on the trinity!! Nothing interests me more than thinking about this & the nature of God! Can you recommend me any books ?

Also considering what you said - can you give me a further explanation on these statements -

The Father is subsistent existence

The Word is the internal procession ( i think this is what you said about the word)

The Holy Spirit is God's will

And a question of my own - considering all you said is it still tenable to believe that each member of the trinity is a distinctive Person?

God bless!

Re: Triune God or are there more dimensions?

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:55 am
by Jac3510
Start with the thread on divine simplicity on the Christian Theology forums. Beyond that, I'd recommend learning some basic Aristotelian/Thomistic philosophy so that you have the necessarily vocabulary to get into some of the other questions you asked me. A good book that I always, always, always recommend on that subject is Edward Feser's Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide. It's REALLY GOOD. I promise it's worth your time. If you like that, then go on to Feser's The Last Superstition, which is a bit tougher, but more fun to read and has the added benefit of giving you a powerful argument against Dawkins et al. Lastly, I'd recommend Jacques Maritain's Introduction to Philosophy. It's a broad textbook on philosophy, but the cool thing is that it is written from a Thomistic perspective, which means you get to see how a modern Thomist looks at modern arguments. All that will give you a great foundation for getting into Trinity-specific questions. Then, you can go right to the sources: Aquinas' Summa Theologica the first that comes to mind, of course.

In general, I'd just strongly recommend Catholic sources on this matter. They tend to be much, much, much better on this subject than evangelicals (and I am saying that as a dyed in the wool evangelical!).