Trinity – What is it?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#61

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:44 am

Jac3510 wrote:Your whole sentence was:
You wrote: It doesn't really matter what you say, because you can't contradict Psalm 33:6, you can't contradict Genesis 1, and you can't contradict the explicit teaching of the apostles, who consistently taught only that Jesus is a man.
That's no different from what you said above.
It is completely different. It places my statement in context.
You have YOUR interpretation of Ps 33:6 and Gen 1, and other verses. Therefore, it doesn't matter what I, or anyone else, has to say. Even if we proved EVERY one of your other arguments wrong, it is a waste of time to have the discussion because of YOUR interpretation of those other verses.
I said no such thing. I didn't even mention my interpretation of those other verses.
So, I did NOT take what you said out of context. I saw exactly your meaning, and responded. You may not have liked my response, but I don't like having discussions that are a waste of time.
If I really meant such a thing, I would have absolutely no reason for denying it. I certainly wouldn't have kept inviting you to continue the discussion. Instead of trying to tell me what I meant, look at what I'm saying.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#62

Post by Byblos » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:56 am

Fortigurn wrote:If I really meant such a thing, I would have absolutely no reason for denying it. I certainly wouldn't have kept inviting you to continue the discussion. Instead of trying to tell me what I meant, look at what I'm saying.
And what Jac sees in what you are saying is that it doesn't matter what he says as he cannot contradict the verses you posted. First, you did say it didn't matter what he said and second, you assumed what he was about to say will contradict the verses you referenced. Instead of having him (and us) 'understand' what you meant by reading what you 'said', why don't you clarify for us what you really meant by 'it doesn't matter what you say'. I know you've been trying to do that but frankly I don't get it either.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#63

Post by YLTYLT » Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:31 am

Fortigurn wrote:
YLTYLT wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:I have never appealed to Deuteronomy 6:4 in order to define the word 'elohim'. You were the one who raised this verse. You made a false claim about the word echad, just as BW has repeatedly made false claims about the word elohim. I have presented the evidence which demonstrates your errors. Please address it. And please, do yourself a favour and take your arguments to B-Hebrew if you really believe they are true.
Firstly, Fortigurn I did not bring up this verse.
I didn't say you were the first to raise it, I said you were the one who appealed to it, not me.
No you said I raised it. I bolded it up above.
Fortigurn wrote:
Periac was the one that brought it up, to prove that Elohim was one person. I only showed that that same word was used elsewhere and did not mean one person.


Periac raised Deuteronomy 6:4 in order to prove that YHWH is one person. In this, he was correct (the passage identifies YHWH as one person). He never claimed that 'elohim' only meant 'one person'. Indeed, if you read his post you will see he said nothing about 'elohim' in Deuteronomy 6:4. Nor did he say anything about the word 'echad'.


I realize that he did not make the point of 'echad' or Elohim, but he did refer to that verse and both words are in that verse and he was using to prove one person. So the meaning of the word echad has to be taken into consideration. And if it cannot be determined definitively by the context, then we would look to other scriptures.
Fortigurn wrote: But in your post you made this claim about 'echad':
This word (one) comes from the Hebrew word “'echad” and can mean, “compound unity.”
That claim simply isn't true, as I demonstrated.

No you have not. You have just stated that it is not and quoted from a lexicon. And it can mean compound unity if it is pointing to multiple attributes through which 2 or more persons can be one. If 2 persons are one in flesh and one in agreement and one in thought and one in power, one in focus. This would describe a compound unity. They are ONE. But they are one in multiple attributes, yet they are 2 or more persons. I say that the word 'echad' can mean "compound unity" only because in english the word one can also mean "compound unity" or "composite unity".
Secondly you did state that the use of 'echad' in Gen 2:24 did not mean a numeric one person. YOU need to read your own posts.
No, what I said was that it didn't mean a compound unity, and I said that it means one (specifically, 'one flesh'):
My reply to this:
Fortigurn wrote:You are misunderstanding the use of echad here. It is saying they become 'one'. Certainly, one in 'unity', not in 'number'. But echad here still means one.
And as I have repeatedly said I was not Trying to prove the evidence for the Trinity in this verse at all. I was proving that it cannot be used as evidence to prove or deny it either way, which you seem to agree with. I did say that if it does mean "compound unity" here then this would be evidence to support a Trinity doctrine. Can the word one represent a compound unity in English? I think I described above how it is done in English.

Oh, here's and example in English: The Trinity is One. (Just kidding, Of course. I shouldn't use the Trinity to prove the trinity, right?) :D

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#64

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:37 pm

Byblos wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:If I really meant such a thing, I would have absolutely no reason for denying it. I certainly wouldn't have kept inviting you to continue the discussion. Instead of trying to tell me what I meant, look at what I'm saying.
And what Jac sees in what you are saying is that it doesn't matter what he says as he cannot contradict the verses you posted.
Yes, the verses which I kept asking him to harmonize with his other statements. That was the whole point. He was giving me his argument based on inference, whilst failing to demonstrate how it could be harmonized with explicit teaching. I have made this point over and over again. The trinitarian position is that an inferred argument takes precedence over an explicit statement, so that when the apostles teach 3,000 people that Jesus is a man appointed by God, and then baptize them as Christians, the trinitarian will argue 'Well of course they didn't really mean that, what they meant was that Jesus is the second person of the trinity, which we find out when we realize that this passage says the Father is God, this other passage says the son is God, and this third passage says the Holy Spirit is God'.
First, you did say it didn't matter what he said...
That is not all I said, and the rest of what I said made it clear that 'I don't care what you have to say' was not the meaning of my sentence.
...and second, you assumed what he was about to say will contradict the verses you referenced.
I didn't assume it. I was saying that whatever he came up with, it couldn't contradict explicit Biblical teaching. You and I know he wasn't going to say anything new. He wasn't going to come up with a completely different belief which he had never presented before. He wasn't going to say 'Ok, I'll drop the 'Jesus is God' thing, and take up another idea'.
YLTYLT wrote:No you said I raised it. I bolded it up above.
You are not reading what I write. I didn't deny that I said you raised it. I have pointed out that contrary to your claim, I never said you raised it first.
I realize that he did not make the point of 'echad' or Elohim...
Then why did you say that he brought it up 'to prove that Elohim was one person', when he didn't?
...but he did refer to that verse and both words are in that verse and he was using to prove one person.
That's a completely different issue to what you said. He didn't make any specific claim regarding elohim or echad.
So the meaning of the word echad has to be taken into consideration. And if it cannot be determined definitively by the context, then we would look to other scriptures.
The meaning of 'echad', as I keep telling you, doesn't change according to context. It always means 'one'.
And as I have repeatedly said I was not Trying to prove the evidence for the Trinity in this verse at all. I was proving that it cannot be used as evidence to prove or deny it either way, which you seem to agree with.
No I do not agree. It seems you are not reading my posts. This verse says very clearly that YHWH is one, and not merely 'one', but one person (note the noun/verb agreement).
I did say that if it does mean "compound unity" here then this would be evidence to support a Trinity doctrine.
But as it happens, it does not mean 'compound unity', so that argument fails.
Can the word one represent a compound unity in English? I think I described above how it is done in English.
No, the word 'one' does not represent 'a compound unity' in English. But even if it could, the fact is that we're talking about Hebrew, the language in which the Old Testament was written.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#65

Post by Byblos » Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:37 pm

Fortigurn wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:If I really meant such a thing, I would have absolutely no reason for denying it. I certainly wouldn't have kept inviting you to continue the discussion. Instead of trying to tell me what I meant, look at what I'm saying.
And what Jac sees in what you are saying is that it doesn't matter what he says as he cannot contradict the verses you posted.
Yes, the verses which I kept asking him to harmonize with his other statements. That was the whole point. He was giving me his argument based on inference, whilst failing to demonstrate how it could be harmonized with explicit teaching. I have made this point over and over again. The trinitarian position is that an inferred argument takes precedence over an explicit statement, so that when the apostles teach 3,000 people that Jesus is a man appointed by God, and then baptize them as Christians, the trinitarian will argue 'Well of course they didn't really mean that, what they meant was that Jesus is the second person of the trinity, which we find out when we realize that this passage says the Father is God, this other passage says the son is God, and this third passage says the Holy Spirit is God'.
No, that is not the trinitarian argument at all, but rather your erroneous assumption of it. I told you privately and I will say it again, trinitarians have absolutely no issue whatsoever with the point you are making, i.e. that Jesus is a man and that he was taught in Acts that he is indeed a man. And no, trinitarians will never argue that the apostles didn't really mean that he is a man as, again as I've explained to you privately, that is a most fundamental tenet of trinitarianism, that Jesus is fully man. So please, I ask you again not to bring this up as a point of contention, it is not.

The point of contention is whether or not the gospel pronounces Jesus as not just a man, which we fully acknowledge, but also fully God, which you fully deny. That is the point of this thread (and of the doctrine of the trinity in general). So what about those passages that do say the Father is God, the Son is God, and HS is God? Are we to discount them as irrelevant because they are not mentioned in Acts? Again like i said to you privately, the Gospel must be taken in its totality, not just a piece of it .These very verses are the ones that created many confusions and multiple heresies in the early days of Christianity and precisely why the doctrine of the Trinity had to be formalized, not invented as you claim, in the 3rd century. As you know, heresies haven't stopped creeping up to this day. And please, please stop mentioning a handful of verses as if the number of times something is mentioned in scripture is indicative of its priority on the importance scale. Again like I said to you privately, it is enough for me that something is mentioned once in scripture to make it true. And John 1:14 really does it for me. It is the direct, explicit, and incontrovertible evidence of the deity of Christ trinitarians will ever need, no matter what spin you put on it (we've hashed this out before and we can go at it again if you wish).
Fortigurn wrote:
First, you did say it didn't matter what he said...
That is not all I said, and the rest of what I said made it clear that 'I don't care what you have to say' was not the meaning of my sentence.
...and second, you assumed what he was about to say will contradict the verses you referenced.
I didn't assume it. I was saying that whatever he came up with, it couldn't contradict explicit Biblical teaching. You and I know he wasn't going to say anything new. He wasn't going to come up with a completely different belief which he had never presented before. He wasn't going to say 'Ok, I'll drop the 'Jesus is God' thing, and take up another idea'.
It couldn't contradict it because it is not meant to contradict it. It is not meant to contradict because we fully agree with it. We fully agree with it because we readily acknowledge that Jesus is a bona fide, 100%, genuine, man. But it does matter what we say simply because you are missing the other side we contend Jesus has, which is amply demonstrated once in Acts (which I know you believe is corrupt) and many times over throughout the gospel; the evidence is overwhelming and available for all who wish to comprehend it.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#66

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:22 pm

Byblos wrote:No, that is not the trinitarian argument at all, but rather your erroneous assumption of it.
Oh, so the trinitarian argument isn't that Jesus is the second person of the trinity?
I told you privately and I will say it again, trinitarians have absolutely no issue whatsoever with the point you are making, i.e. that Jesus is a man and that he was taught in Acts that he is indeed a man.
And as I told you privately and I will say it again that is not my point. My point is not just that the apostles taught Jesus is a man, but that unlike trinitarians they only taught that Jesus is a man before baptizing people as Christians. There is not a single passage in the entire Bible which shows the apostles baptizing people with any other knowledge than that Jesus is a man.
And no, trinitarians will never argue that the apostles didn't really mean that he is a man as...
I'm sorry to disagree, but I've had trinitarians tell me exactly that. I've been told that they didn't really preach that Jesus was a man, but that Jesus was 'the God-man'.
...again as I've explained to you privately, that is a most fundamental tenet of trinitarianism, that Jesus is fully man.
I have never denied this. That is not under contention.
The point of contention is whether or not the gospel pronounces Jesus as not just a man, which we fully acknowledge, but also fully God, which you fully deny. That is the point of this thread (and of the doctrine of the trinity in general).
It is indeed. So your task is to show me every passage in which the apostles baptized people as Christians after teaching them that Jesus is 'fully man and fully God'.
So what about those passages that do say the Father is God, the Son is God, and HS is God? Are we to discount them as irrelevant because they are not mentioned in Acts?
No, what we are to do is to reassess our understanding of those passages. If our inferences regarding certain passages actually says something other than what the apostles explicitly taught, then our interpretation is at fault. Paul said that the benchmark of orthodoxy was what the apostles preached. Any gospel, any 'Jesus' other than what the apostles preached is (according to Paul), 'another gospel' and 'another Jesus'.
Again like i said to you privately, the Gospel must be taken in its totality, not just a piece of it .
And as I have said to you, I agree with that. So the question is whether or not you believe that the apostles preached the gospel in Acts 2. I believe they did. If you believe they missed something out, please tell me why. You cannot tell me that Acts 2 has to be interpreted according to 2 Peter 1:1, Acts 20:28, 1 John 5:7, or any of the other trinitarian favourties, because none of those texts were available to the listeners. They were expected to listen to what they were taught on that day, and be baptized as Christians.

So either you believe that the apostles taught the gospel on that day, or you don't. Which is it?
These very verses are the ones that created many confusions and multiple heresies in the early days of Christianity and precisely why the doctrine of the Trinity had to be formalized, not invented as you claim, in the 3rd century.
Isn't it interesting that there's no confusion mentioned in the New Testament? People were taught that Jesus is a man, and they were baptized with that belief. No confusion at all. I have never said that the trinity was invented in the 3rd century. I really need to know what you mean by the trinity being 'formalized'. Do you mean that previously it was believed but not understood? How can you teach a doctrine which hasn't even been formalized?
And please, please stop mentioning a handful of verses as if the number of times something is mentioned in scripture is indicative of its priority on the importance scale.
As I told you privately, I'll mention it every time the claim is made that there are 'many' verses which teach the trinity, as if the number of times something is mentioned in Scripture is indicative of its priority on the importance scale.
And John 1:14 really does it for me. It is the direct, explicit, and incontrovertible evidence of the deity of Christ trinitarians will ever need, no matter what spin you put on it (we've hashed this out before and we can go at it again if you wish).
I have no idea why you think that 'and the word was made flesh' means '
It couldn't contradict it because it is not meant to contradict it. It is not meant to contradict because we fully agree with it.
Then show me how (I actually listed several passages, including Genesis 1:26 and Psalm 33:6, but since you've elected to confine yourself to Acts 2 we'll deal just with that). Show me how baptizing people with the knowledge that Jesus is a man doesn't contradict baptizing people with the knowledge that Jesus is God. If you don't believe there's a contradiction here, then why are Unitarians viewed as holding beliefs in contradiction with trinitarians?
We fully agree with it because we readily acknowledge that Jesus is a bona fide, 100%, genuine, man.
That isn't the issue under contention.
But it does matter what we say simply because you are missing the other side we contend Jesus has, which is amply demonstrated once in Acts (which I know you believe is corrupt) and many times over throughout the gospel; the evidence is overwhelming and available for all who wish to comprehend it.
It is not 'amply demonstrated once in Acts', I am not the person who identified the textual variations in Acts 20:28, trinitarian scholars acknowledge the textual variations, and professionals such as Wallace agree that it is no evidence of Christ being God. Don't you think that if the 'deity' of Christ was an essential part of the gospel message, you might find at least one occasion on which the apostles preached it in Acts before baptizing people? But you can't. Not even Acts 20:28 counts (since it's not an example of the gospel being taught to non-believers before baptism).

The issue is simple. Do you believe that the gospel was preached in Acts 2? If so, do you believe that those baptized with that knowledge are true Christians? If I were to teach someone what I find in Acts 2 and baptize them, do you believe they would be a true Christian? Yes or no? Or something else?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#67

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:23 pm

If I teach people that Jesus is a man, and you teach people that Jesus is 'the God-man', then are we teaching the same thing?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#68

Post by Jac3510 » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:13 pm

Again, Fortigurn, you are far beyond arrogant if you honestly believe that I've not considered Ps. 33:6 or Gen. 1 in my broader theology. What? As if I am going to read those passages and think to myself, "Oh my God . . . why have I never seen that???" It is absolutely preposterous and absurd for you to say that nothing I say matters because I can't contradict those two verses. Obviously I can't contradict those, just as I can't contradict ANY passage of Scripture. I don't. You do.

You want to make this distinction between what is supposedly explicitly taught verses what is an inference. The good news is that the Bible explicitly attributes divinity to Jesus. In fact, it is you who are making the inference. You infer (wrongly) that the proclamation of the humanity of Jesus = the denial of His divinity. So, I tell you what. You show me a SINGLE verse in the apostolic preaching that says, "Jesus Christ is not God!" My position is no more of an inference than your own.

Perhaps, then, I should simply say to you that it doesn't matter what YOU say, because you can't contradict John 1. What then? Oh, I know. You would try to explain how that passage doesn't attribute divinity to Jesus Christ. I could then simply reject your interpretation, tell you what you REALLY believe (as you like to do with me), and then tell you it doesn't matter what else you say about any other passage because you've contradicted Scripture. And don't you dare try and tell me that I'm not cutting off debate and that I am not willing to listen to your arguments. That would be taking me out of context!

As far as the rest of this thread goes, your entire objection so far has boiled down to, "Well why don't we see the divinity of Christ proclaimed in the apostolic preaching???" Add to that your chief argument from the other thread: "The Bible says Jesus is a man; therefore, He cannot be God." And those two arguments are the basis of your entire position? Please. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I have my sincere doubts that anyone here is impressed by those two assertions. The first is an argument from silence. The second argument is simply based on an improper definition of God. But hey, whatever. It doesn't matter what I say, because I can't contradict YOUR understanding (or should I say your inference) of what Psalm 33:6 and Genesis 1 teaches.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#69

Post by Byblos » Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:20 am

Fortigurn wrote:If I teach people that Jesus is a man, and you teach people that Jesus is 'the God-man', then are we teaching the same thing?
Since we teach that Jesus is a man that would make you only partly correct. What makes you wrong is the fact that you can declare Jesus your Lord, pray to him, not believe he is God, and yet not see how that is idolatry.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#70

Post by FFC » Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:07 am

Fortigurn wrote:If I teach people that Jesus is a man, and you teach people that Jesus is 'the God-man', then are we teaching the same thing?
Only if we are teaching that Jesus is 100% man and 100% God.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#71

Post by Byblos » Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:05 am

Fortigurn wrote:
Byblos wrote:No, that is not the trinitarian argument at all, but rather your erroneous assumption of it.
Oh, so the trinitarian argument isn't that Jesus is the second person of the trinity?
Yes, but the second person of the Trinity has two natures, something you are not grasping perhaps in part because your foundational theology does not allow for a being to have two natures, let alone God. It is something worth noting for the readers as it is equally worth noting that it is only an assumption on my part.
Fortigurn wrote:
I told you privately and I will say it again, trinitarians have absolutely no issue whatsoever with the point you are making, i.e. that Jesus is a man and that he was taught in Acts that he is indeed a man.
And as I told you privately and I will say it again that is not my point. My point is not just that the apostles taught Jesus is a man, but that unlike trinitarians they only taught that Jesus is a man before baptizing people as Christians. There is not a single passage in the entire Bible which shows the apostles baptizing people with any other knowledge than that Jesus is a man.
And as I answered you, no, they did not teach that Jesus was only a man, as if an ordinary man born of the seed of man. No, they taught something entirely different; they taught that Jesus was the Son of God, and those early converts perfectly understood Jesus to be something other than just a man and most definitely something other than God's child since they all considered themselves God's children. What set him apart from them? His divinity and no other. They understood Jesus to be a whole lot more than a mere man. Granted they may not have fully comprehended it but there's no question in my mind that they attributed divinity to Him, and that's just by looking at Acts and nothing else.
Fortigurn wrote:
And no, trinitarians will never argue that the apostles didn't really mean that he is a man as...
I'm sorry to disagree, but I've had trinitarians tell me exactly that. I've been told that they didn't really preach that Jesus was a man, but that Jesus was 'the God-man'.
Disagree all you want. We are trinitarians and we are telling you what we believe.
Fortigurn wrote:
...again as I've explained to you privately, that is a most fundamental tenet of trinitarianism, that Jesus is fully man.
I have never denied this. That is not under contention.
But you keep asserting that we do not agree with it and you keep injecting that we teach Jesus is the 'God-man'. That is not what we teach. We teach that Jesus has two, separate and distinct natures, not one nature that combines both. Please stop mis-representing it.
Fortigurn wrote:
The point of contention is whether or not the gospel pronounces Jesus as not just a man, which we fully acknowledge, but also fully God, which you fully deny. That is the point of this thread (and of the doctrine of the trinity in general).
It is indeed. So your task is to show me every passage in which the apostles baptized people as Christians after teaching them that Jesus is 'fully man and fully God'.
I've already covered this above.
Fortigurn wrote:
So what about those passages that do say the Father is God, the Son is God, and HS is God? Are we to discount them as irrelevant because they are not mentioned in Acts?
No, what we are to do is to reassess our understanding of those passages. If our inferences regarding certain passages actually says something other than what the apostles explicitly taught, then our interpretation is at fault. Paul said that the benchmark of orthodoxy was what the apostles preached. Any gospel, any 'Jesus' other than what the apostles preached is (according to Paul), 'another gospel' and 'another Jesus'.
In other words, interpret scripture with scripture (even though I'm Catholic, please do note that I am not appealing to tradition here :lol: ). And that is precisely how Jesus' two natures are revealed, without discounting one part of the Gospel in favor of another. Otherwise let's just toss out the entire Gospel as a heresy and only consider Acts as inspired scripture. Trouble with that is Acts will no longer have its foundational premise and will become utterly meaningless.
Fortigurn wrote:
Again like i said to you privately, the Gospel must be taken in its totality, not just a piece of it .
And as I have said to you, I agree with that. So the question is whether or not you believe that the apostles preached the gospel in Acts 2. I believe they did. If you believe they missed something out, please tell me why. You cannot tell me that Acts 2 has to be interpreted according to 2 Peter 1:1, Acts 20:28, 1 John 5:7, or any of the other trinitarian favourties, because none of those texts were available to the listeners. They were expected to listen to what they were taught on that day, and be baptized as Christians.

So either you believe that the apostles taught the gospel on that day, or you don't. Which is it?
Of course they preached the Gospel but of course I will tell you Acts MUST be interpreted with other scripture, lest we come to the wrong conclusions as we believe is clear in your case.
Fortigurn wrote:
These very verses are the ones that created many confusions and multiple heresies in the early days of Christianity and precisely why the doctrine of the Trinity had to be formalized, not invented as you claim, in the 3rd century.
Isn't it interesting that there's no confusion mentioned in the New Testament? People were taught that Jesus is a man, and they were baptized with that belief. No confusion at all. I have never said that the trinity was invented in the 3rd century. I really need to know what you mean by the trinity being 'formalized'. Do you mean that previously it was believed but not understood? How can you teach a doctrine which hasn't even been formalized?
And isn't it interesting that all this confusion arose nonetheless? I mean exactly what the word means. The trinity was understood and taught from the early years of Christianity but due to the multiple heresies that were creeping up (Modalism, Arianism, Gnosticism, etc.) the trinity had to be formalized and pronounced doctrinally as an Orthodox Christian belief.
Fortigurn wrote:
And please, please stop mentioning a handful of verses as if the number of times something is mentioned in scripture is indicative of its priority on the importance scale.
As I told you privately, I'll mention it every time the claim is made that there are 'many' verses which teach the trinity, as if the number of times something is mentioned in Scripture is indicative of its priority on the importance scale.
Good, then we're in agreement.
Fortigurn wrote:
And John 1:14 really does it for me. It is the direct, explicit, and incontrovertible evidence of the deity of Christ trinitarians will ever need, no matter what spin you put on it (we've hashed this out before and we can go at it again if you wish).
I have no idea why you think that 'and the word was made flesh' means '
Because otherwise it would contradict the law of noncontradiction to which you introduced me privately. And again, because I believe it would contradict your most basic belief that a man cannot have two natures. To you, if the Word became flesh, it is then inconceivable that it remained as it was. It had to become something else, i.e. just flesh.
Fortigurn wrote:
It couldn't contradict it because it is not meant to contradict it. It is not meant to contradict because we fully agree with it.
Then show me how (I actually listed several passages, including Genesis 1:26 and Psalm 33:6, but since you've elected to confine yourself to Acts 2 we'll deal just with that). Show me how baptizing people with the knowledge that Jesus is a man doesn't contradict baptizing people with the knowledge that Jesus is God. If you don't believe there's a contradiction here, then why are Unitarians viewed as holding beliefs in contradiction with trinitarians?
We're not discussing Unitarian viewpoints here but it is interesting to note that virtually ALL of the heresies that were declared as such by the formalization of the Trinity, all had something to do with deity of Christ of some sort. Most (if not all) did not deny it the way you do.
Fortigurn wrote:
We fully agree with it because we readily acknowledge that Jesus is a bona fide, 100%, genuine, man.
That isn't the issue under contention.
Again, it is an issue if you keep mis-representing our viewpoint as the 'God-man' rather than Jesus fully man and fully God.
Fortigurn wrote:
But it does matter what we say simply because you are missing the other side we contend Jesus has, which is amply demonstrated once in Acts (which I know you believe is corrupt) and many times over throughout the gospel; the evidence is overwhelming and available for all who wish to comprehend it.
It is not 'amply demonstrated once in Acts', I am not the person who identified the textual variations in Acts 20:28, trinitarian scholars acknowledge the textual variations, and professionals such as Wallace agree that it is no evidence of Christ being God. Don't you think that if the 'deity' of Christ was an essential part of the gospel message, you might find at least one occasion on which the apostles preached it in Acts before baptizing people? But you can't. Not even Acts 20:28 counts (since it's not an example of the gospel being taught to non-believers before baptism).

The issue is simple. Do you believe that the gospel was preached in Acts 2? If so, do you believe that those baptized with that knowledge are true Christians? If I were to teach someone what I find in Acts 2 and baptize them, do you believe they would be a true Christian? Yes or no? Or something else?
One more time, they most certainly taught Jesus to be a whole lot more than just a man and he was understood as such. It is really that simple.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#72

Post by Fortigurn » Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:38 pm

Jac3510 wrote:Again, Fortigurn, you are far beyond arrogant if you honestly believe that I've not considered Ps. 33:6 or Gen. 1 in my broader theology. What? As if I am going to read those passages and think to myself, "Oh my God . . . why have I never seen that???"
I never said or implied you had never considered those passages in your broader theology. What you hadn't done in our discussion was demonstrate how you reconciled your inferences with such explicit statements as these.
You want to make this distinction between what is supposedly explicitly taught verses what is an inference.
Of course I do. When the apostles baptize people as Christians with the knowledge that Jesus is a man, and no more, then I have to ask why trinitarians think that's not good enough, and why they insist that you have to believe in the trinity in order to be a Christian. I'm aware that there are trinitarians who don't believe that the trinity is necessary knowledge to be a Christian, but even almost all of them will insist that you have to at least believe that Jesus is God. But I don't find the apostles teaching that before they baptized people. So why should I believe it?
The good news is that the Bible explicitly attributes divinity to Jesus.
Where?
In fact, it is you who are making the inference. You infer (wrongly) that the proclamation of the humanity of Jesus = the denial of His divinity.
I haven't made any such argument (even though it would be valid, unless you believe that 'God' and 'man' are synonyms). I have said that since the apostles baptized people as Christians with the knowledge that Jesus is a man, and no more, I see no reason not to do the same. Why shouldn't I teach the Jesus they taught? Paul says that any gospel, and any Jesus other than the one they preached is 'another gospel' and 'another Jesus'. That means if I can't find the 'God-man Jesus' preached by the apostles, there's no reason for me to preach it. Why preach something they never did?
So, I tell you what. You show me a SINGLE verse in the apostolic preaching that says, "Jesus Christ is not God!"
Well of course that's the logical fallacy of proving a negative. But I can show you were Jesus said that the Father (one person), is the only true God, and I can show you where the apostles distinguish God from Christ (they don't say 'God the Father and God the son', they say 'God and Jesus'), and I can show you where Paul says that there is one God, who is the Father, and I can show you where Paul says that there is one God, and one mediator between God (not 'God the Father'), and men, the man Christ Jesus (not the 'God-man' or 'the God', or 'God the son'). Then there's Acts 2 of course.
My position is no more of an inference than your own.
Of course it's an inference. Your entire position is derived by inference ('Jesus performed miracles, forgave sins, can judge men, hey Jesus must be God', and syllogistic reasoning ('The Father is God, the son is God, the Holy Spirit is God, but there is only one God - must be a trinity'), whereas mine isn't. I can read Acts 2 as it stands, and point to what I believe without changing a word. I can say that's the gospel and that's the Jesus I preach.
Perhaps, then, I should simply say to you that it doesn't matter what YOU say, because you can't contradict John 1. What then? Oh, I know. You would try to explain how that passage doesn't attribute divinity to Jesus Christ. I could then simply reject your interpretation, tell you what you REALLY believe (as you like to do with me), and then tell you it doesn't matter what else you say about any other passage because you've contradicted Scripture.
I didn't say you had contradicted Scripture. And it's precisely to avoid that fiasco that I raised the preaching of the apostles. It's right there in Acts. We don't have to guess about what they taught people before baptizing them as Christians. The Acts settles all the arguments. You and I can argue over our different interpretations of other passages, but the fact is that Acts stands alone. We can settle the argument over what the apostles preached simply by reading Acts. It's all there. If it's not preached in Acts as the gospel, then it's not the gospel. If it's not the Jesus preached in Acts, it's 'another Jesus'. Simple.
As far as the rest of this thread goes, your entire objection so far has boiled down to, "Well why don't we see the divinity of Christ proclaimed in the apostolic preaching???"
That hasn't been my entire argument (I've presented a lot more than that). But that is a significant argument which has to be addressed. And claiming 'Well they did preach it, it's just not in the record' is begging the question.
Add to that your chief argument from the other thread: "The Bible says Jesus is a man; therefore, He cannot be God."
Actually that wasn't my chief argument (though that is a valid argument unless like the Mormons you believe 'God' and 'man' are basically synonyms).
The first is an argument from silence. The second argument is simply based on an improper definition of God.
It is not an argument from silence to appeal to what the apostles taught. That is not an argument from silence. It is not an argument from silence to say 'I preach the Jesus preached by the apostles'. It is not an argument from silence to say 'The apostles taught that Jesus is a man, and so do I'. The second is not based on an improper definition of God, unless you believe that 'God' and 'man' are equivalents.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#73

Post by Fortigurn » Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:41 pm

Byblos wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:If I teach people that Jesus is a man, and you teach people that Jesus is 'the God-man', then are we teaching the same thing?
Since we teach that Jesus is a man that would make you only partly correct.
Thank you. Someone finally said it. You do not believe that just teaching Jesus is a man, is wholly correct. You believe it is only 'partly correct'.
What makes you wrong is the fact that you can declare Jesus your Lord, pray to him, not believe he is God, and yet not see how that is idolatry.
Just the Scriptures please. I can call on Jesus without that being idolatry.
FFC wrote:Only if we are teaching that Jesus is 100% man and 100% God.
Well clearly teaching people that Jesus is a man is not teaching them that Jesus is '100% man and 100% God', so we're not teaching the same thing, are we?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#74

Post by Fortigurn » Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:15 pm

Byblos wrote:Yes, but the second person of the Trinity has two natures, something you are not grasping perhaps in part because your foundational theology does not allow for a being to have two natures, let alone God.
The problem is that every time you say this you're begging the question.
And as I answered you, no, they did not teach that Jesus was only a man, as if an ordinary man born of the seed of man. No, they taught something entirely different; they taught that Jesus was the Son of God, and those early converts perfectly understood Jesus to be something other than just a man and most definitely something other than God's child since they all considered themselves God's children.
First you need to check Acts 2. There is no mention of Jesus as son of God (Jesus as son of God only appears twice in Acts). Secondly, you need to prove to me that 'those early converts' thought 'son of God' really meant 'God'. Bear in mind that Adam is also called the 'son of God' (or 'God', as you might say).

Thirdly, Acts 2 identifies Christ as a man, and distinguishes him from God:

* Verse 22: 'Jesus the Nazarene, a man clearly attested to you by God'

* Verse 22: 'that God performed among you through him'

* Verse 23: 'this man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God'

* Verse 24: 'But God raised him up'

* Verse 32: 'This Jesus, God raised up'

* Verse 36: 'God has made this Jesus'
What set him apart from them? His divinity and no other.
Er, the fact that he never sinned? The fact that he rose from the grave? The fact that he ascended to the Father? The fact that he was given all authority in heaven and earth? The fact that he sits at the right hand of the Father and awaiting the time that he will reign as king on the earth? That didn't set him apart from them? And where do they mention his 'divinity'?
They understood Jesus to be a whole lot more than a mere man. Granted they may not have fully comprehended it but there's no question in my mind that they attributed divinity to Him, and that's just by looking at Acts and nothing else.
Ok, so show me how you determine that they 'attributed divinity to him', especially given that the apostles only preached Jesus is a man, and distinguished him from God.

Let me try something:

* 'Byblos the Nazarene, a man clearly attested to you by God'

* 'that God performed among you through Byblos'

* 'this man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God'

* 'But God raised Byblos up'

* 'This Byblos, God raised up'

* 'God has made this Byblos'

Now you're telling me that someone reading that would be convinced that 'Byblos' is God, correct? Shall we try it? We can post this on a few forums and have a survey.
Disagree all you want. We are trinitarians and we are telling you what we believe.
So you disagree with other trinitarians, and you deny that Jesus is 'the God-man'? I don't think so. You've told me yourself you believe Jesus is '100% God and 100% man'.
But you keep asserting that we do not agree with it and you keep injecting that we teach Jesus is the 'God-man'.
Wrong. I have never asserted you do not believe Jesus is fully man. I have asserted you do not believe he is only. You believe he is the 'God-man'.
We teach that Jesus has two, separate and distinct natures, not one nature that combines both.
I know you do. That's why you believe he's 100% God and 100% man, the 'God-man'.
I've already covered this above.
You didn't show me every passage in which the apostles baptized people as Christians after teaching them that Jesus is 'fully man and fully God'. You simply claimed that people hearing Acts 2 would believe that Jesus is God. You gave no evidence to support this.
In other words, interpret scripture with scripture (even though I'm Catholic, please do note that I am not appealing to tradition here :lol: ). And that is precisely how Jesus' two natures are revealed, without discounting one part of the Gospel in favor of another. Otherwise let's just toss out the entire Gospel as a heresy and only consider Acts as inspired scripture. Trouble with that is Acts will no longer have its foundational premise and will become utterly meaningless.
You are not actually comparing Scripture with Scripture, because you aren't taking explicit apostolic teaching seriously. You are re-interpreting it according to your inferences. You are dragging in your interpretation of passages which were not available to the listeners.

Paul said that the benchmark of orthodoxy was what the apostles preached. Any gospel, any 'Jesus' other than what the apostles preached is (according to Paul), 'another gospel' and 'another Jesus'. It's that simple. The correct method of interpreting Scripture with Scripture is to start with the explicit teaching of the apostles, and then interpret other passages according to that. Move from the explicit to the implicit, not the other way around.
Of course they preached the Gospel but of course I will tell you Acts MUST be interpreted with other scripture, lest we come to the wrong conclusions as we believe is clear in your case.
So the crowd who were listening, who had no access to the 'other Scriptures' with which they were supposed to 'interpret' what the apostles were teaching them, were going to 'come to the wrong conclusions'? This makes no sense at all. The apostles taught plainly, clearly, and explicitly. People didn't wait around for the gospels and epistles to be written so that they could 'interpret' what was explicitly taught, they were baptized immediately, with only the knowledge of what they had been taught.
And isn't it interesting that all this confusion arose nonetheless?
Not at all. Greeks of the 2nd century, without a background in the Old Testament, attempted to interpret the New Testament according to Greek philosophy. Logos Christology was the first development, then binitarianism, and finally the trinity in the 4th century.
I mean exactly what the word means. The trinity was understood and taught from the early years of Christianity but due to the multiple heresies that were creeping up (Modalism, Arianism, Gnosticism, etc.) the trinity had to be formalized and pronounced doctrinally as an Orthodox Christian belief.
What evidence is there that 'The trinity was understood and taught from the early years of Christianity', and why were Logos Christology and Binitarianism permitted to be taught for two centuries before the trinity was 'formalized'? Why wait so long? When Marcion active in the early 2nd century, why wasn't the trinity 'formalized' immediately? Given that the Gnostic were running around the place in the 2nd century, why wasn't the trinity 'formalized' then? And why was Arianism the dominant theology of the church until the late 4th century? How could that happen? Why wasn't the trinity 'formalized' by the apostles?

Try reading 'When Jesus Became God', or even a standard academic level church history.
Because otherwise it would contradict the law of noncontradiction to which you introduced me privately.
How?
And again, because I believe it would contradict your most basic belief that a man cannot have two natures.
No, the very idea of something having two nature (p and not-p), violates the law of contradiction.
To you, if the Word became flesh, it is then inconceivable that it remained as it was. It had to become something else, i.e. just flesh.
In Greek, when X GINOMAI Y, it is no longer X.

* In Luke 13:19, when the mustard seed GINOMAI a great tree, did it really add a great tree to itself, or did it become something it wasn't before and ceased to be what it was?

* In Matthew 4:3, did the tempter, when the tempter told Jesus to cause the stones to GINOMAI bread, did he mean 'add bread nature to the stone nature', or to make the stone become something it wasn't before and ceased to be what it was?

* In Matthew 21:42, when Christ says that the stone which the builders rejected had GINOMAI the head of the corner, did he mean it remained the stone which the builders rejected, or did he mean it became something it wasn't before, and ceased to be what it was?
We're not discussing Unitarian viewpoints here but it is interesting to note that virtually ALL of the heresies that were declared as such by the formalization of the Trinity, all had something to do with deity of Christ of some sort.
Well that's hardly surprising, since the deity of Christ was critical to the trinity.
Most (if not all) did not deny it the way you do.
And?
Again, it is an issue if you keep mis-representing our viewpoint as the 'God-man' rather than Jesus fully man and fully God.
I don't see the difference, since almost every trinitarian I speak with uses the term 'God-man' to describe Jesus as '100% man and 100% God'. You can say 'The God-man', you can say 'fully God and fully man', you can say '100% God and 100% man', you can say 'all God and all man', as far as I'm concerned you're saying the same thing every time.
One more time, they most certainly taught Jesus to be a whole lot more than just a man and he was understood as such. It is really that simple.
If it's really that simple, then please demonstrate that in Acts 2 'they most certainly taught Jesus to be a whole lot more than just a man and he was understood as such'.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#75

Post by Gman » Tue Sep 25, 2007 9:21 pm

Fortigurn wrote:I don't believe that God can die. I don't find any Scriptural passages saying that God died. I find many passages saying things to the effect that 'God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten son' to die (God sent His son, God did not send Himself), and that it was the son of God who died on the cross (not God).
Fortigurn I don't believe that God can die either.. That isn't my point. My point is that our sins have an effect on God, and some of our sins actually hurt God as personified by Jesus. It's a much more personal view of God.. In other words, God doesn't go running away hiding behind a cloud retreating from his accusers. No... Instead he faces them straight on and takes the hit for us (for our sins)...
Fortigurn wrote:I don't believe that God would be so unjust as to refuse to forgive people who repented, and insist on a payment before He forgave people. If our forgiveness was bought, then we are not saved by grace. Nor do I believe that God would be so unjust as to punish the innocent instead of the guilty, then forgive the guilty - even if they didn't repent. I don't find that loving at all, I find that shocking.
No that isn't the point. My belief is that man turned away from God (original sin), not that God turned away from man. The sacrificial system of atonement in the OT was actually for MAN not God to get himself back in alignment with God. It was a legal way for man to believe that he was truly "right" or be cleansed again with God. It was later amplified by the death of Christ because animal sacrifice could never achieve the ultimate payment. It had to be a man..
Fortigurn wrote:The Scriptures teach that the willingly offered life and death of Christ (commonly termed 'the atonement'), is not merely 'representative' in the sense of Christ doing what we could not, but 'participatory' in the sense of showing what Christ inspires us, and God strengthens us, to do - not merely following his good example, but being prepared to fellowship with his sufferings.
To me, this (your response) is taking more the role of a martyr where you believe that everything you do is or should be in the attitude of complete suffering. Christ is our example, yes, but it is a very dangerous line... Remember we don't keep the scorecard of the wrongs done to us. Only God does.. You think you maybe suffering but in actuality you maybe hurting others..
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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