The Holy Trinity

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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#211

Post by Fortigurn » Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:44 pm

B. W. wrote:You stated:

"He was and is the son of God, and since his teachings were given to him by God, I ascribe the same importance to his teachings as I ascribe to any of the teachings of God - the highest importance possible."

Question: how do you define the phrase - Son of God?
Jesus was born not of the natural process between man and woman, rather his birth was miraculous, the result of God acting throgh His Holy Spirit, on a virgin woman. Christ's conception was a miracle, not the natural biological process. Christ was also the son of God in the sense that he developed the Father's character.
You again stated:

Christ gave this same authority to his apostles (mortal men):

John 20:
22 And after he said this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone's sins, they are retained."

Question: Jesus - a man breahted on them what? How was this possible?


I believe he had lungs, so breathing on them wasn't a problem for him. He also transferred to them the Holy Spirit, just as the apostles later would transfer to people the Holy Spirit.

Next Question: What is your definition of sin?


Sin is the transgression of God's commandments (law), and the falling short of His glory.

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#212

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:58 pm

Fortigurn wrote:
It is clear to me that Jesus is still the Word which is God, even when Christ takes upon himself fleshly form. As Hebrews 13:8 says: "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever."
I think you're reading a lot more into that passage of Hebrews than is there. If Jesus Christ is 'the same yesterday, today, and forever' in the ontological sense, then he couldn't have added flesh to himself (that would have resulted in a change), he couldn't have grown up, couldn't have learned, couldn't have developed, couldn't have changed in any way.
Not if "flesh" was an addition like a vessel he took upon himself. Christ still remains who he personally is—the Word who is God. I don't see how it can be seen any other way unless you wish to take the path that Scripture contradictory.

Additionally there is something suggestive in your words here that "who" Christ is would have remained the same. For if "Christ" could not have added flesh to himself, this suggests that if Christ did take upon flesh, then "who" Christ is (not "what" Christ is) would not have changed.

Kurieuo
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#213

Post by Fortigurn » Wed Nov 09, 2005 8:28 am

B. W. wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:Thank you BW. The problem with your analogy is that it does not represent the trinity. In the trinity, God is not three parts making up a whole. Each of the three persons are God, yet there is one God
You seemed to have missed the point I was making which was: a finger print from God within creation is a mark, or a sign, pointing out a self evident truth that Tri-nature does indeed exist in our world to see. From this observation a person must draw his or her own conclusions.
First of all, I saw no examples of 'Tri-nature' in our world. I saw examples of things made up from different parts (arbitrarily and selectively grouped in three). THe trintiy is not one thing made up of different parts - that is expressly denied in trinitarian theoloy. Nor is it one being made up of three natures.
For example, cell fractionation, cell fractionation is the manner used to dissect a single cell, separating the major organelles so that their individual parts of a single cell organism can be studied. In other words, separate into separate parts to understand the nature of the cell better.

To do this involves the process centrifuge, whereby spinning a single cell at various speeds produces cell fractionation by the process of homogenization which disrupts the cells into parts that can be studied without breaking or damaging a cell's organelles.

Cell fractionation enables a researcher to study components of a cell in bulk quantity in order to learn a cells composition, metabolism, and nature. Basically a single cell, through the process of cell fractionation centrifuge produces three parts — cell membrane, cytoplasm, and cytosol. Each has different attributes and natures.
I've highlighted the reason why this is not analogous of the trinity.
Let's use the logic of One to mean only One with the inability to divide in order to produce a whole: Zygote.
I haven't done maths in a long time, but I do remember that if you divide, you don't end up with a whole.
At conception when the human sperm and human egg meet they form a Zygote. If one remains only one, then how can the Zygote divide and form a human body/person from one cell if one only means one? Should we not all be born and look like a zygote?
A zygote forms a human being by the process of cellular division. Each cell divides to form two new cells. The whole is made up of the sum of the parts. One zygote, many parts, but you cannot call each cell a 'zygote'.

That is not the trinity.
I am surprised that you do not understand the doctrine of the Trinity in this manner as evidenced by God's own creation.
I haven't seen any evidence for it in God's own creation yet.
The Cappadocians in Church History explained the mystery of the trinity similar to this: God in One and incomprehensible to human nature.
Wise words. That is exactly where you should stay - acknowledge that the doctrine of the trinity is incomprehensible.
To be understood by humanity the One allows himself to be glimpsed by his creation as three — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I understand this statement by Gregory of Nazianzus, Orations, 40: 41 —“No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the splendor of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish Three than I am carried back to the One. When I think of Him as the Whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking escapes me.”
I don't understand that at all. It sounds like gibberish.
The Creed of Nicaene, “We believe in One God, Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the son of God, begotten of His Father, only begotten, that is the ousia of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made. He is of one substance with the Father, by who all things were made, both things in heaven and in earth, who for us men (humanity) and for our salvation, came down from heaven and became flesh and became man, suffered and rose again on the third day, ascended into the heavens and comes to judge the living and the dead... And we believe in the Holy Spirit…
I challenge anyone to understand that.
Now I postulate to you that if the One eternal God wants to revel Himself as three personal attributes so that we can know the unknowable One God through the agency of three person's, then let God be God!
If God reveals Himself as three perosnal attributes, then you have Modalism. You do not have the trinity. If God actually revealed Himself in the Bible as three persons, then I'm sure you would have shown me the verses by now.
If He can centrifuge Himself to make His Glory known — so be it. He is God and can do whatever He wants! Who are we to stop and stay God's hand?

Who are we to say to God that He cannot do this because it defies human logic? Are we to think God does not know us and thus cannot reveal Himself to humanity in a relatable manner unless he has our permission?
Indeed! I'm not saying what God can or cannot do. I do believe that God cannot deny Himself, and I do believe that He communicates with us through comprehensible teachings (rather than incomprehensible teachings).

But the trinity is a concept inferred from Scripture, not taught explicitly by Scripture. This being the case, the fact that it is a logical contradiction is merely illustrative of its human origin.
You state that Christians worship Three Separate Individual Gods but we truly do not.
No I did not state that.
Are you placing limits on 'Elohim' which is a plural noun used in ancient Hebrew to describe God as used in Genesis chapters 1, 2, and 3?
No I am not placing limits on the word 'Elohim', but I do believe you're not completely familiar with its meaning.

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#214

Post by Byblos » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:29 am

Fortigurn wrote:
The Creed of Nicaene, “We believe in One God, Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the son of God, begotten of His Father, only begotten, that is the ousia of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made. He is of one substance with the Father, by who all things were made, both things in heaven and in earth, who for us men (humanity) and for our salvation, came down from heaven and became flesh and became man, suffered and rose again on the third day, ascended into the heavens and comes to judge the living and the dead... And we believe in the Holy Spirit…


I challenge anyone to understand that.


The fact that you do not understand is a measure of your own shortcomings rather than it being incomprehensible. It is rather obvious there are many who do understand it.
Fortigurn wrote:
If He can centrifuge Himself to make His Glory known — so be it. He is God and can do whatever He wants! Who are we to stop and stay God's hand?

Who are we to say to God that He cannot do this because it defies human logic? Are we to think God does not know us and thus cannot reveal Himself to humanity in a relatable manner unless he has our permission?


Indeed! I'm not saying what God can or cannot do. I do believe that God cannot deny Himself, and I do believe that He communicates with us through comprehensible teachings (rather than incomprehensible teachings).


Asked and answered.
Fortigurn wrote:But the trinity is a concept inferred from Scripture, not taught explicitly by Scripture. This being the case, the fact that it is a logical contradiction is merely illustrative of its human origin.


We've gone down both the inference road (implicit vs. explicit) and the so-called logical contradiction road and in both cases we've clearly shown the exact opposite of your position. Unless you want to rehash those topics again I suggest that you not go there.

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#215

Post by B. W. » Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:14 am

Fortigurn wrote:
B. W. wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:
Let's use the logic of One to mean only One with the inability to divide in order to produce a whole: Zygote.
I haven't done maths in a long time, but I do remember that if you divide, you don't end up with a whole.
At conception when the human sperm and human egg meet they form a Zygote. If one remains only one, then how can the Zygote divide and form a human body/person from one cell if one only means one? Should we not all be born and look like a zygote?
A zygote forms a human being by the process of cellular division. Each cell divides to form two new cells. The whole is made up of the sum of the parts. One zygote, many parts, but you cannot call each cell a 'zygote'.

That is not the trinity.
I am surprised that you do not understand the doctrine of the Trinity in this manner as evidenced by God's own creation.
I haven't seen any evidence for it in God's own creation yet.

Indeed! I'm not saying what God can or cannot do. I do believe that God cannot deny Himself, and I do believe that He communicates with us through comprehensible teachings (rather than incomprehensible teachings).

But the trinity is a concept inferred from Scripture, not taught explicitly by Scripture. This being the case, the fact that it is a logical contradiction is merely illustrative of its human origin.
Are you placing limits on 'Elohim' which is a plural noun used in ancient Hebrew to describe God as used in Genesis chapters 1, 2, and 3?
No I am not placing limits on the word 'Elohim', but I do believe you're not completely familiar with its meaning.
Yes — Zygote divides from one cell and makes many. It is amazing that it can make a Human being in the image (reflection) of God. If God consisted of just One then why are Human Beings described as have a Body, Soul - Matthew 10:28, and Spirit - Ecc. 12:7?

1 Thessalonians 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Yes Elohim did make men and women in his image and likeness but alas what Paul wrote in Romans 1: 19-25 is true:

“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse...” (NKJV)

Or as the Contemporary English Version translates --

19They know everything that can be known about God, because God has shown it all to them. 20God's eternal power and character cannot be seen. But from the beginning of creation, God has shown what these are like by all he has made. That's why those people don't have any excuse. 21They know about God, but they don't honor him or even thank him. Their thoughts are useless, and their stupid minds are in the dark. 22They claim to be wise, but they are fools. 23They don't worship the glorious and eternal God. Instead, they worship idols that are made to look like humans who cannot live forever, and like birds, animals, and reptiles. 24So God let these people go their own way. They did what they wanted to do, and their filthy thoughts made them do shameful things with their bodies. 25They gave up the truth about God for a lie, and they worshiped God's creation instead of God, who will be praised forever. Amen. (Contemporary English Version)
Last edited by B. W. on Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#216

Post by B. W. » Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:35 am

Fortigurn You stated:

"He was and is the son of God, and since his teachings were given to him by God, I ascribe the same importance to his teachings as I ascribe to any of the teachings of God - the highest importance possible."

And Fortigurn you further stated — concerning the phrase — Son of God:

Jesus was born not of the natural process between man and woman, rather his birth was miraculous, the result of God acting through His Holy Spirit, on a virgin woman. Christ's conception was a miracle, not the natural biological process. Christ was also the son of God in the sense that he developed the Father's character.

Now, I'll respond:

Jesus was born not of a natural process, then how so? How can the miraculous not be of divine origin? Are you suggesting that Jesus was both Divine and Human?

Fortigurn You again stated concerning Jesus imparting the Holy Spirit by breathing on His disciples.

“I believe he had lungs, so breathing on them wasn't a problem for him. He also transferred to them the Holy Spirit, just as the apostles later would transfer to people the Holy Spirit.”

My response: Where did the Holy Spirit reside? His lungs? Later as recorded the Holy Spirit fell upon believers converting them, etc, even the laying by on of hands — the Spirit fell on recipients. Jesus must have one heck of a set of lungs then for a mere mortal.

Fortigurn You wrote:

Sin is the transgression of God's commandments (law), and the falling short of His glory.

My Question: How can sin be atoned for when all have transgressed?

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#217

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:51 am

Byblos wrote:The fact that you do not understand is a measure of your own shortcomings rather than it being incomprehensible. It is rather obvious there are many who do understand it.
It's strange that you should say that, because the Athanasian Creed actually defines the trinity as incomprehensible, and theologians down through the ages have argued consistently that it is incomprehensible.
Fortigurn wrote:But the trinity is a concept inferred from Scripture, not taught explicitly by Scripture. This being the case, the fact that it is a logical contradiction is merely illustrative of its human origin.


We've gone down both the inference road (implicit vs. explicit) and the so-called logical contradiction road and in both cases we've clearly shown the exact opposite of your position. Unless you want to rehash those topics again I suggest that you not go there.
Well no, in actual fact it has been agreed that the trinity is a doctrine derived by the process of inference. This has been agreed here in this thread.

In addition to that, it is also agreed among many standard trinitarian theologians that the trinity contains a logical contradiction. This is something we are just supposed to overlook, apparently.

Prominent trinitarians have confessed the difficulty in reconciling this doctrine with both reason and the Scriptures:
'It may startle those who are but acquainted with the popular writing of this day, yet, I believe, the most accurate consideration of the subject will lead us to acquiesce in the statement as a general truth, that the doctrines in question (viz., the Trinity and the Incarnation) have never been learned merely from Scripture.

Surely the sacred volume was never intended, and is not adapted to teach us our creed; however certain it is that we can prove our creed from it, when it has once been taught us.

[...]

From the very first, the rule has been, as a matter of fact, for the Church to teach the truth, and then appeal to Scripture in vindication of its own teaching.'

Cardinal Newman, 'Arians of the Fourth Century', pages. 55-56
'It must be allowed that there is no such proposition as this, That one and the same God is three different persons, formally and in terms, to be found in the Sacred Writings, either of the Old or New Testaments; neither is it pretended that there is any word of the same signification or importance with the word Trinity, used in Scripture with relation to God.

Dr South, 'Consideration on the Trinity', page 38
'Our belief in the Trinity, the co-eternity of the Son of God with His Father, the proceeding of the Spirit from the Father and the Son, these with such other principal points are in Scripture nowhere to be found by express literal mention; only deduced they are out of Scripture by collection.'

Richard Hooker, 'Ecclesiastical Polity', Book i, section xiv
'I ask with all humbleness where the idea of Threeness is expressed in the New Testament with a doctrinal sense and force? Where is the Triune God held up to be worshipped, loved, and obeyed? Where is He preached and proclaimed in that threefold character?

We read 'God is one,' as too, 'I and the Father are one;' but nowhere do we read that Three are one, unless it be in a text long since known to be interpolated.

[...]

To me the whole matter is most painful and perplexing, and I should not even speak as I now do, did I not feel on the threshold of the grave, soon to appear before the Throne of all truth.

[...]

Certainly not in Scripture do we find the expression 'God the Son,' or 'God the Holy Ghost.'


Whenever I pronounce the name of God, simply, and first, I mean God the Father, and I cannot help meaning that, if I am meaning anything.'

Reverend T Mozeley, as quoted in 'Origin of Doctrine of Trinity, page 21
You can see this poor fellow vastly perplexed by an issue which he knew to be important to his salvation, and tortured on his deathbed by the incomprehensible teaching the church required him to accept, against the evidence of reason and the Bible.
'My belief in the Trinity is based on the authority of the Church: no other authority is sufficient.

I will now show from reason, that the Athanasian Creed and the Scripture are opposed to one another.

The doctrine of the Trinity is this: --There is one God in three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Father is God, the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God.

Mind, the Father is one person, the Son is another person, and the Holy Ghost is another person.

Now, according to every principle of mathematics, arithmetic, human wisdom, and policy, there must be three Gods; for no one could say that there are three persons and three Gods, and yet only one God.

[..]

The Athanasian Creed gives the universal opinion of the Church, that the Father is uncreated, the Son uncreated: and the Holy Ghost uncreated -- that they existed from all eternity.

Now, the Son was born of the Father; and, if born, must have been created. The Holy Ghost must also have been created, as he came from the Father and the Son. And, if so, there must have been a time when they did not exist. If they did not exist, they must have been created; and therefore to assert that they are eternal is absurd, and bangs nonsense.

Each has his distinct personality: each has his own essence. How, then, can they be one Eternal? How can they all be God? Absurd. The Athanasian Creed says, that they are three persons, and still only one God. Absurd; extravagant! This is rejected by Arians, Socinians, Presbyterians, and every man following human reason.

The Creed further says, that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God and of man, 'not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God.' Now, I ask you, Did the Divinity absorb the manhood? He could not be at the same time one person and two persons.

I have now proved the Trinity opposed to human reason.'

Reverend James Hughes, 'Bible Christian'
It should be pointed out that this 'Reverend' was a Roman Catholic priest who was not arguing against the trinity, but was arguing that it proved that the Roman Catholic Church had the authority to teach doctrines which were against human reason, but which must be believed.
'We ought to believe, that there are three persons and one essence in the Deity; God the Father unbegotten, God the Son consubstantial with the Father; and God the Holy Spirit proceeding from both.

But, though you attentively peruse the whole of Scripture, you will never find these sublime and remarkable words, 'three persons,' 'one essence,' 'unbegotten,' 'consubstantial,' 'proceeding from both.''

Johannes Cochlaeus, 'According To Sandius', pages 4, 5
'It must be owned, that the doctrine of the Trinity as it is proposed in our Articles, our Liturgy, our Creeds, is not in so many words taught us in the Holy Scriptures.

What we profess in our prayers we nowhere read in Scripture
, that the one God, the one Lord, is not one only person, but three persons in one substance.

There is no such text in Scripture as this, 'That the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.'

No one of the inspired writers hath expressly affirmed, that in the Trinity none is afore or after other, none is greater or less than another.'

Bishop Smalridge, 'Sermons', Number 33, page 348
'What shall we say when we consider, that a case of doctrine -- necessary doctrine, the very highest and most sacred -- may be produced where the argument lies as little on the surface of Scripture -- where the proof, though most conclusive is as indirect and circuitous as that for episcopacy, viz., the doctrine of the Trinity?

Where is this solemn and comfortable mystery formally stated in Scripture, as we find it in the Creeds? Why is it not? Let a man consider whether all the objections which he urges against Scripture argument for episcopacy may not be turned against his own belief in the Trinity.

A person who denies the apostolical succession of the ministry because it is not clearly taught in Scripture, ought, I conceive, if consistent, to deny the Godhead of the Holy Ghost, which is nowhere literally, taught , in Scripture.'

Tracts for the Times, volume i, Number 45; volume v, Number 85
Source, 'The Doctrine Of The Trinity', Percy White.

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#218

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:58 am

B. W. wrote:Fortigurn You stated:

"He was and is the son of God, and since his teachings were given to him by God, I ascribe the same importance to his teachings as I ascribe to any of the teachings of God - the highest importance possible."

And Fortigurn you further stated — concerning the phrase — Son of God:

Jesus was born not of the natural process between man and woman, rather his birth was miraculous, the result of God acting through His Holy Spirit, on a virgin woman. Christ's conception was a miracle, not the natural biological process. Christ was also the son of God in the sense that he developed the Father's character.

Now, I'll respond:

Jesus was born not of a natural process, then how so?
Mary had exactly the same question. Tthe Bible tells us the answer plainly:
Luke 1:
34 Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?

35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy;he will be called the Son of God.
What's the issue?
How can the miraculous not be of divine origin?
I am not denying that Jesus was not of Divine origin. I am denying that he was and is God. Adam was of Divine origin, and he wasn't God last time I looked.
Are you suggesting that Jesus was both Divine and Human?
No.
Fortigurn You again stated concerning Jesus imparting the Holy Spirit by breathing on His disciples.

“I believe he had lungs, so breathing on them wasn't a problem for him. He also transferred to them the Holy Spirit, just as the apostles later would transfer to people the Holy Spirit.”

My response: Where did the Holy Spirit reside? His lungs? Later as recorded the Holy Spirit fell upon believers converting them, etc, even the laying by on of hands — the Spirit fell on recipients. Jesus must have one heck of a set of lungs then for a mere mortal.
I didn't say that the Holy Spirit resided in his lungs. You asked me how he breathed on the disciples, and I pointed out that he had lungs, so breathing on them wasn't a problem.

The Holy Spirit was given to Christ at his baptism, by God. He bestowed it later on the apostles. They bestowed it later again on others.
Fortigurn You wrote:

Sin is the transgression of God's commandments (law), and the falling short of His glory.

My Question: How can sin be atoned for when all have transgressed?
Can we work on this word 'atonement' first? Which Greek and Hebrew words are you translating with the word 'atonement'?

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#219

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:00 am

B. W. wrote:Yes — Zygote divides from one cell and makes many. It is amazing that it can make a Human being in the image (reflection) of God.
I agree. But it's not analogous to the trinity.
If God consisted of just One then why are Human Beings described as have a Body, Soul - Matthew 10:28, and Spirit - Ecc. 12:7?
How does this actually have anything to do with the fact that God is one? What do you understand these three to mean?
Yes Elohim did make men and women in his image and likeness but alas what Paul wrote in Romans 1: 19-25 is true:

“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse...” (NKJV)

Or as the Contemporary English Version translates --

19They know everything that can be known about God, because God has shown it all to them. 20God's eternal power and character cannot be seen. But from the beginning of creation, God has shown what these are like by all he has made. That's why those people don't have any excuse. 21They know about God, but they don't honor him or even thank him. Their thoughts are useless, and their stupid minds are in the dark. 22They claim to be wise, but they are fools. 23They don't worship the glorious and eternal God. Instead, they worship idols that are made to look like humans who cannot live forever, and like birds, animals, and reptiles. 24So God let these people go their own way. They did what they wanted to do, and their filthy thoughts made them do shameful things with their bodies. 25They gave up the truth about God for a lie, and they worshiped God's creation instead of God, who will be praised forever. Amen. (Contemporary English Version)
Yes, I certainly agree with this.

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#220

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:03 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:
It is clear to me that Jesus is still the Word which is God, even when Christ takes upon himself fleshly form. As Hebrews 13:8 says: "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever."
I think you're reading a lot more into that passage of Hebrews than is there. If Jesus Christ is 'the same yesterday, today, and forever' in the ontological sense, then he couldn't have added flesh to himself (that would have resulted in a change), he couldn't have grown up, couldn't have learned, couldn't have developed, couldn't have changed in any way.
Not if "flesh" was an addition like a vessel he took upon himself. Christ still remains who he personally is—the Word who is God.
Can you explain what you mean here? When you say 'a vessel', are you saying that the body Christ inhabited wasn't actually him, it was just a sort of 'man suit' he wore in order to look like a man?
I don't see how it can be seen any other way unless you wish to take the path that Scripture contradictory.
I don't take the path that Scripture is contradictory. That is why I believe that when it says the Word became flesh (X became Y), I believe it means that the Word became flesh (X became Y), I don't believe that it means 'X added Y to itself and became XY, whilst remaining X'.
Additionally there is something suggestive in your words here that "who" Christ is would have remained the same. For if "Christ" could not have added flesh to himself, this suggests that if Christ did take upon flesh, then "who" Christ is (not "what" Christ is) would not have changed.
If Christ did take upon flesh, then both the who and the what of Christ must have changed. If, on the other hand, Christ was simply putting on a 'man suit' and pretending to be a man without undergoing any change to his person, then we have Docetism.

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#221

Post by Byblos » Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:07 am

Fortigurn wrote:
Byblos wrote:The fact that you do not understand is a measure of your own shortcomings rather than it being incomprehensible. It is rather obvious there are many who do understand it.


It's strange that you should say that, because the Athanasian Creed actually defines the trinity as incomprehensible, and theologians down through the ages have argued consistently that it is incomprehensible.


Not strange at all. Case in point is this thread; you are the only one arguing that you do not comprehend and I agree.
Fortigurn wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:But the trinity is a concept inferred from Scripture, not taught explicitly by Scripture. This being the case, the fact that it is a logical contradiction is merely illustrative of its human origin.


We've gone down both the inference road (implicit vs. explicit) and the so-called logical contradiction road and in both cases we've clearly shown the exact opposite of your position. Unless you want to rehash those topics again I suggest that you not go there.


Well no, in actual fact it has been agreed that the trinity is a doctrine derived by the process of inference. This has been agreed here in this thread.


Wrong. If it has been agreed that it was inferred, it was only on the condition that you accept the implicit reference that the 'Father is God'. As long as you still argue the explicitness of the 'Father is God' then we sill maintain the trinity is explicit in scripture.
Fortigurn wrote:In addition to that, it is also agreed among many standard trinitarian theologians that the trinity contains a logical contradiction. This is something we are just supposed to overlook, apparently.


Perhaps many as you put it, but I am quite certain not all and definitely not the majority. You will always find naysayers and dissenters and even genuinely confused trinitarians but they do not constitute the prevailing opinion.
Fortigurn wrote:Prominent trinitarians have confessed the difficulty in reconciling this doctrine with both reason and the Scriptures:
'It may startle those who are but acquainted with the popular writing of this day, yet, I believe, the most accurate consideration of the subject will lead us to acquiesce in the statement as a general truth, that the doctrines in question (viz., the Trinity and the Incarnation) have never been learned merely from Scripture.

Surely the sacred volume was never intended, and is not adapted to teach us our creed; however certain it is that we can prove our creed from it, when it has once been taught us.

[...]

From the very first, the rule has been, as a matter of fact, for the Church to teach the truth, and then appeal to Scripture in vindication of its own teaching.'

Cardinal Newman, 'Arians of the Fourth Century', pages. 55-56

'It must be allowed that there is no such proposition as this, That one and the same God is three different persons, formally and in terms, to be found in the Sacred Writings, either of the Old or New Testaments; neither is it pretended that there is any word of the same signification or importance with the word Trinity, used in Scripture with relation to God.

Dr South, 'Consideration on the Trinity', page 38

'Our belief in the Trinity, the co-eternity of the Son of God with His Father, the proceeding of the Spirit from the Father and the Son, these with such other principal points are in Scripture nowhere to be found by express literal mention; only deduced they are out of Scripture by collection.'

Richard Hooker, 'Ecclesiastical Polity', Book i, section xiv

'I ask with all humbleness where the idea of Threeness is expressed in the New Testament with a doctrinal sense and force? Where is the Triune God held up to be worshipped, loved, and obeyed? Where is He preached and proclaimed in that threefold character?

We read 'God is one,' as too, 'I and the Father are one;' but nowhere do we read that Three are one, unless it be in a text long since known to be interpolated.

[...]

To me the whole matter is most painful and perplexing, and I should not even speak as I now do, did I not feel on the threshold of the grave, soon to appear before the Throne of all truth.

[...]

Certainly not in Scripture do we find the expression 'God the Son,' or 'God the Holy Ghost.'


Whenever I pronounce the name of God, simply, and first, I mean God the Father, and I cannot help meaning that, if I am meaning anything.'

Reverend T Mozeley, as quoted in 'Origin of Doctrine of Trinity, page 21


You can see this poor fellow vastly perplexed by an issue which he knew to be important to his salvation, and tortured on his deathbed by the incomprehensible teaching the church required him to accept, against the evidence of reason and the Bible.
'My belief in the Trinity is based on the authority of the Church: no other authority is sufficient.

I will now show from reason, that the Athanasian Creed and the Scripture are opposed to one another.

The doctrine of the Trinity is this: --There is one God in three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Father is God, the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God.

Mind, the Father is one person, the Son is another person, and the Holy Ghost is another person.

Now, according to every principle of mathematics, arithmetic, human wisdom, and policy, there must be three Gods; for no one could say that there are three persons and three Gods, and yet only one God.

[..]

The Athanasian Creed gives the universal opinion of the Church, that the Father is uncreated, the Son uncreated: and the Holy Ghost uncreated -- that they existed from all eternity.

Now, the Son was born of the Father; and, if born, must have been created. The Holy Ghost must also have been created, as he came from the Father and the Son. And, if so, there must have been a time when they did not exist. If they did not exist, they must have been created; and therefore to assert that they are eternal is absurd, and bangs nonsense.

Each has his distinct personality: each has his own essence. How, then, can they be one Eternal? How can they all be God? Absurd. The Athanasian Creed says, that they are three persons, and still only one God. Absurd; extravagant! This is rejected by Arians, Socinians, Presbyterians, and every man following human reason.

The Creed further says, that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God and of man, 'not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God.' Now, I ask you, Did the Divinity absorb the manhood? He could not be at the same time one person and two persons.

I have now proved the Trinity opposed to human reason.'

Reverend James Hughes, 'Bible Christian'


It should be pointed out that this 'Reverend' was a Roman Catholic priest who was not arguing against the trinity, but was arguing that it proved that the Roman Catholic Church had the authority to teach doctrines which were against human reason, but which must be believed.
'We ought to believe, that there are three persons and one essence in the Deity; God the Father unbegotten, God the Son consubstantial with the Father; and God the Holy Spirit proceeding from both.

But, though you attentively peruse the whole of Scripture, you will never find these sublime and remarkable words, 'three persons,' 'one essence,' 'unbegotten,' 'consubstantial,' 'proceeding from both.''

Johannes Cochlaeus, 'According To Sandius', pages 4, 5

'It must be owned, that the doctrine of the Trinity as it is proposed in our Articles, our Liturgy, our Creeds, is not in so many words taught us in the Holy Scriptures.

What we profess in our prayers we nowhere read in Scripture
, that the one God, the one Lord, is not one only person, but three persons in one substance.

There is no such text in Scripture as this, 'That the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.'

No one of the inspired writers hath expressly affirmed, that in the Trinity none is afore or after other, none is greater or less than another.'

Bishop Smalridge, 'Sermons', Number 33, page 348

'What shall we say when we consider, that a case of doctrine -- necessary doctrine, the very highest and most sacred -- may be produced where the argument lies as little on the surface of Scripture -- where the proof, though most conclusive is as indirect and circuitous as that for episcopacy, viz., the doctrine of the Trinity?

Where is this solemn and comfortable mystery formally stated in Scripture, as we find it in the Creeds? Why is it not? Let a man consider whether all the objections which he urges against Scripture argument for episcopacy may not be turned against his own belief in the Trinity.

A person who denies the apostolical succession of the ministry because it is not clearly taught in Scripture, ought, I conceive, if consistent, to deny the Godhead of the Holy Ghost, which is nowhere literally, taught , in Scripture.'

Tracts for the Times, volume i, Number 45; volume v, Number 85


Source, 'The Doctrine Of The Trinity', Percy White.
[/quote]

My point exactly. You would expect to find a few who do not fully understand, given the complex nature of the doctrine. But that in no way supports your position.

I have repeatedly shown you that the trinity is far from being a logical contradiction as eternal becomes eternal and I have also repeatedly shown you that your position is the one that undeniably results in a logical contradiction as eternal becomes mortal.

That is an inescapable fact.

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#222

Post by Fortigurn » Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:17 am

Byblos wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:
Byblos wrote:The fact that you do not understand is a measure of your own shortcomings rather than it being incomprehensible. It is rather obvious there are many who do understand it.


It's strange that you should say that, because the Athanasian Creed actually defines the trinity as incomprehensible, and theologians down through the ages have argued consistently that it is incomprehensible.


Not strange at all. Case in point is this thread; you are the only one arguing that you do not comprehend and I agree.
Are you telling me that you comprehend what the Creed says is incomprehensible? If you do, I'd love you to explain it, honestly.
Wrong. If it has been agreed that it was inferred, it was only on the condition that you accept the implicit reference that the 'Father is God'.
No, I don't believe that was the argument at all.
As long as you still argue the explicitness of the 'Father is God' then we sill maintain the trinity is explicit in scripture.
I'm sorry, but how is 'the Father is God' an explicit reference to the trinity?
Fortigurn wrote:In addition to that, it is also agreed among many standard trinitarian theologians that the trinity contains a logical contradiction. This is something we are just supposed to overlook, apparently.


Perhaps many as you put it, but I am quite certain not all and definitely not the majority. You will always find naysayers and dissenters and even genuinely confused trinitarians but they do not constitute the prevailing opinion.
I suggest you do a bit of reading. These men were not naysayers or dissenters, and only one of them was a 'genuinely confused trinitarian'. I can find you plenty more where these came from.

If you don't believe that the trinity contains a logical contradiction, then I suggest you tell me how the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, but there is only one God.

The Athanasian Creed doesn't call this 'incomprehensible' for nothing.
My point exactly. You would expect to find a few who do not fully understand, given the complex nature of the doctrine. But that in no way supports your position.
These are not all men who 'did not fully understand' (only one of them fits that description). We're talking about men of the stature of Cardinal John Newman, for goodness' sake. Have you ever read him? Have you even heard of him? Do you honestly mean to tell me that your knowledge of Catholic dogma is superior to his?

You also missed the fact that it was repeatedly acknowledged that the trinity is not taught explicitly in Scripture. This is not a matter of misunderstanding the trinity, it's a matter of candidly weighing the evidence and finding it leading to that conclusion.
I have repeatedly shown you that the trinity is far from being a logical contradiction as eternal becomes eternal and I have also repeatedly shown you that your position is the one that undeniably results in a logical contradiction as eternal becomes mortal.

That is an inescapable fact.
Firstly, the logical contradiction I identified has not yet been addressed by you, and secondly you and I are using the term 'eternal' in different ways, so you haven't actually addressed my argument.

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#223

Post by Byblos » Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:57 am

Fortigurn wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:
Byblos wrote:The fact that you do not understand is a measure of your own shortcomings rather than it being incomprehensible. It is rather obvious there are many who do understand it.


It's strange that you should say that, because the Athanasian Creed actually defines the trinity as incomprehensible, and theologians down through the ages have argued consistently that it is incomprehensible.


Not strange at all. Case in point is this thread; you are the only one arguing that you do not comprehend and I agree.


Are you telling me that you comprehend what the Creed says is incomprehensible? If you do, I'd love you to explain it, honestly.
Wrong. If it has been agreed that it was inferred, it was only on the condition that you accept the implicit reference that the 'Father is God'.


No, I don't believe that was the argument at all.


That's because you pick and choose, as always.
Fortigurn wrote:
As long as you still argue the explicitness of the 'Father is God' then we sill maintain the trinity is explicit in scripture.


I'm sorry, but how is 'the Father is God' an explicit reference to the trinity?


That's not what I said. I said if you insist that the 'Father is God' is explicitly stated when it's not, then we will insist that the trinity is explicitly stated even when nowhere it said God is 3 in 1.
Fortigurn wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:In addition to that, it is also agreed among many standard trinitarian theologians that the trinity contains a logical contradiction. This is something we are just supposed to overlook, apparently.


Perhaps many as you put it, but I am quite certain not all and definitely not the majority. You will always find naysayers and dissenters and even genuinely confused trinitarians but they do not constitute the prevailing opinion.


I suggest you do a bit of reading. These men were not naysayers or dissenters, and only one of them was a 'genuinely confused trinitarian'. I can find you plenty more where these came from.

If you don't believe that the trinity contains a logical contradiction, then I suggest you tell me how the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, but there is only one God.

The Athanasian Creed doesn't call this 'incomprehensible' for nothing.


Quite often we try so hard to understand something that we literally make it much more complex than it really is. There's an odd-looking tree in my backyard that doesn't really look like one tree but 3. From the ground, you see 3 distinct trunks, each is about a foot to 2 feet from the other. Anyone looking at those trees they have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that they are 3 separate trees. Each one has its own branches, leaves, and its own character so-to-speak. I do know those trees have a common, fused root in the center underneath, though. Each one has its own roots on the periphery, but the roots are joined at the center so as to make all 3 one tree. Now of course, you will say well, since they have a common root then they can't be 3 separate trees but only one. And of course you would be right, but that's the whole point, even though they are 3 separate trees, they do converge and are in essence one tree. It's a simplistic analogy but I think it works quite effectively. I used it to explain the trinity to my 2 boys when they were five and they understood it perfectly. To this day they use the same analogy to explain it to others when asked.
Fortigurn wrote:
My point exactly. You would expect to find a few who do not fully understand, given the complex nature of the doctrine. But that in no way supports your position.


These are not all men who 'did not fully understand' (only one of them fits that description). We're talking about men of the stature of Cardinal John Newman, for goodness' sake. Have you ever read him? Have you even heard of him? Do you honestly mean to tell me that your knowledge of Catholic dogma is superior to his?


I've answered this already.
Fortigurn wrote:You also missed the fact that it was repeatedly acknowledged that the trinity is not taught explicitly in Scripture. This is not a matter of misunderstanding the trinity, it's a matter of candidly weighing the evidence and finding it leading to that conclusion.


We've clearly shown what is explicit to one reader is emplicit to another.
Fortigurn wrote:
I have repeatedly shown you that the trinity is far from being a logical contradiction as eternal becomes eternal and I have also repeatedly shown you that your position is the one that undeniably results in a logical contradiction as eternal becomes mortal.

That is an inescapable fact.


Firstly, the logical contradiction I identified has not yet been addressed by you, and secondly you and I are using the term 'eternal' in different ways, so you haven't actually addressed my argument.


I've already answered the logical contradiction you refer to.

The only way you can answer the logical contradiction I referred to regarding your position is to say we have a different understanding of the meaning of the word 'eternal'. Back to the Bill Clinton era of defining what the word 'is' is.

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#224

Post by Felgar » Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:00 am

Byblos wrote:There's an odd-looking tree in my backyard that doesn't really look like one tree but 3. From the ground, you see 3 distinct trunks, each is about a foot to 2 feet from the other. Anyone looking at those trees they have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that they are 3 separate trees. Each one has its own branches, leaves, and its own character so-to-speak. I do know those trees have a common, fused root in the center underneath, though. Each one has its own roots on the periphery, but the roots are joined at the center so as to make all 3 one tree. Now of course, you will say well, since they have a common root then they can't be 3 separate trees but only one. And of course you would be right, but that's the whole point, even though they are 3 separate trees, they do converge and are in essence one tree. It's a simplistic analogy but I think it works quite effectively. I used it to explain the trinity to my 2 boys when they were five and they understood it perfectly. To this day they use the same analogy to explain it to others when asked.
A tree in your back yard... That's remarkably profound, esspecially in light of Romans 1:20.

I'm reminded of the many analogies from early authours relating God's nature to that of a fountain or the sun; the same essence proceeding forth as a distinctly recognizable part. I think Kurieuo has posted some of them before...

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#225

Post by B. W. » Thu Nov 10, 2005 3:48 pm

I Wrote -

Yes — Zygote divides from one cell and makes many. It is amazing that it can make a Human being in the image (reflection) of God.[/quote]

You, Fortigun, said:

I agree. But it's not analogous to the trinity.

And I said in reply:

If God consisted of just One then why are Human Beings described as have a Body, Soul - Matthew 10:28, and Spirit - Ecc. 12:7?

Fortigun, You said in answer:

How does this actually have anything to do with the fact that God is one? What do you understand these three to mean?

------------------------------------------
Now I'll explain using philosophic reasoning and I pray you can catch on:

New Zealand cannot exist because I have never seen it. I have never touched it, or tasted it, or seen it. Any pictures of it, travel brochures about it, maps, and anyone saying they've seen it, are therefore false.

Why, only mere humans drew the maps and wrote about it, there are way too many descriptions to be true - humans concocted a mythical place. It has to be a myth because logically I have never touched it, or tasted it, or seen it. It must be empirically proven and approved by my logic for verification, since I never seen it, it cannot be true.

Likewise, the Grand Canyon, one thousands miles from me, does it exist because I cannot see it? Pictures cannot show its grandeur nor provide experience; therefore, the Grand Canyon is a false place of without wonder and without grandeur because I cannot see it. Its place cannot be true because I cannot understand how it could be so granduerous and wonderful to behold, therefore it cannot be. Waaw!!
------------------
Fortigun, the real issue is this, understanding, or not understanding, comprehending or not comprehending, believing in, or not believing, accepting, or not accepting the Trinity does not determine one's eternal future.

This has no bearing on the most important fact we all must face: we will die. If one understands, or not understands the doctrine of Trinity has no bearing on this fate, and death's true eternal consequences.

What does have eternal consequences is found in Jesus Christ. If Jesus is not the reconciler between man and God — then we are all most pitiful.

Only hope now is in Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross. It is there; you may see and find your answer, if not??

You asked for definition of Atonement - here it is:

The word atonement used in Romans 5:11 is the Greek word pronounced 'katalage' which means reconciliation.

In Exodus 30:10 the Hebrew word translated atonement is pronounced 'Kaphar' and means expiate, placate, make reconciliation through an act of cleansing. It is also used to denote covering or hiding of sin by use of blood - Lev 4:13-21. Or covering the ark with pitch to protect it from sinking — Gen 6:14.

It is also used in Isaiah 6:7 to denote purging sin when the hot coals were touched to Isaiah's lips thus his sin was purged so he could speak.

Jesus was humanities reconciler and to be so He had to be something you cannot grasp, just like the New Zealand argument denotes. Since you do not grasp it, does not mean it does not exist.

Genesis 9:4-5 speaks about blood and so does Hebrews chapter 9. I ask, who's blood can truly atone?

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