Trinity – What is it?

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#91

Post by FFC » Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:14 am

Byblos wrote:You would think if this were not what he claimed, then he would have tried again to correct them on this
Yes, because if he wasn't that would make Him a liar as well as a deciever.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#92

Post by Byblos » Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:18 am

FFC wrote:
Byblos wrote:You would think if this were not what he claimed, then he would have tried again to correct them on this
Yes, because if he wasn't that would make Him a liar as well as a deciever.
FFC, I believe it was YLTYLT who said that (not that I disagree with it but just to set the record straight).
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#93

Post by Jac3510 » Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:38 am

Jac, this is for you. I really wish you could be as moderate and clam as Gman. I really don't see the need for all the aggression and personal attacks.
Personal attacks? I don't seem to recall any "Fortigurn, you are . . ." statements. Calling your arguments absurd and your tactics simple parroting is hardly a personal attack. This is all scripted, Fortigurn. If you want to talk about personal respect for an individual, let me remind you that you are the one who insisted that "it doesn't matter what" I "say." You can try to justify that all you want. This is your deal. Not mine.

Rather than walk through your post point by point, I'll answer the man objections, as a good bit of this has become overlapping.

1. Jesus / God / Son of God / Law of Non-Contradiction / Definition Fallacy

The centerpiece of your entire argument is this notion of yours that the terms "God" and "Man" are mutually exclusive. This is what got our entire argument going. While you have made the claim that belief in the divinity of Christ is not necessary based on its absense in the apostolic preaching (I'll deal with that next), you claim "it doesn't matter" what I say because I can't contradict the passages that teach the humanity of Jesus.

The problem is I've not seen you try to defend that assertion. You've again appealed to the same fallacy you did in your previous post to me when you said that I must believe that "God" and "Man" are equivelant terms. I hold to no such thing. You seem to be failing to grasp the distinction is a person and a class. "Jac" is a person. "Human" is a class. "God" is a person. "God" is NOT a class. Jac, then, can be a member of the class human. I could just as well be a member of the class tree, or apple, or dog. As it happens, I am a human. Further, the class human is part of a subset of classes including Animal, and then Living Being, and then Material Existence. Therefore, we see that an individual can be a member of multiple classes. In fact, I can be a member of as many classes as my individuality demands, so long as those classes are not mutually exclusive. So, by definition, the class Dog and Human are mutually exclusive. A person cannot be both a dog and a human. They must be one OR the other.

Now, you would make "God" and "Human" mutually exclusive classes, and that is where I disagree."God" is not a class at all. God is an individual. He Himself is a member of several classes. He is a Living Being. His ultimate classification is that of Necessary Existance.

When I define God, then, I define Him by his most unique classification, which is that of the Necessary Existance. We can then look at His other classifications and apply those definitions as well. I do the same for Man. Here's the point, Fortigurn:

There is nothing in the laws of logic that say a Being who is a member of the class of Necessary Existance cannot also be a member of the class Human. Why? Because there is nothing in the definition of either that excludes one from being a member of the other. This does NOT mean the terms are equivelant. "Football players are atheletes; therefore, all atheletes are football players." That is a clearly false statement. We have two relatable and yet distinct classes.

As it stands, there can only be ONE "Necessary Existance." Logically, the, no human can ever attain that classification. There is no reason, however, that the member of NE cannot attain the class of Human. The terms are not mutually exclusive, nor nontradictory.

A final word on this. Remember the importance of distinguishing between individual members of a class and the class itself. When I say "Jesus is God," that is shorthand for saying, "Jesus is a member of the class NE." There may be multiple persons in that class (even as there is only one BEING in the class, which is standard Trinitarianism). Therefore, when I say "Jesus is God" I am NOT saying "Jesus (the person) is God (the person)." With all this in mind, look at the statement we Trinitarins have been making for nearly two thousands years:

Jesus is fully Man and fully God. Given the above, that is really not so hard to see. He is a full member of the class called Man. He is a full member of the class called "God" (not the person "God" - that is, He is a member of the class I have termed NE). John himself uses the same idea in John 1:1, saying, as you know, theos en ho logos. We both know that theos there is qualification, refer to classification.

It is up to you, now, to show that the class "God" (as I have defined it, "Necessary Existance") is mutually exclusive from the class "Man." You need to give your definition and classification of both God's person and classification, as well as that of man's person and classification.


2. Arguments from Silence

You claim that you appeal to what the apostles explicitly taught concerning Jesus. By definition, appealing to what they taught and using that as the basis to exclude what they did not teach is an argument from silence. Your argument about Jesus not being said to not be a turnip doesn't hold. "Turnip" and "Man" are mutually exclusive classes. In order, then, to make your argument work, you have to (again) fall back on your centerpiece, which is that Man and God or exclusive classifications.

I'll say it again: even if I conceded that the apostolic tradition does not include the divinity of Jesus (and I don't), you cannot use that as a basis for denying the divinity of Christ. To do so is to argue from silence. In order to avoid the this charge, you have to make an incorrect assumption regarding the nature of the apostolic preaching, namely, that it contains the whole apostolic tradition. That is an assumption, and a bad one at that. I've already proven that beyond any doubt. Let's appeal to your all important Acts 2. How many times is Jesus declared to be the Son of God? NOT ONCE!!! Must a person believe that Jesus is the Son of God (whatever that means) to be saved? John 20:31 says yes. Therefore, this speech does not stand alone. If this one does not stand alone, what about the rest of them? Paul's speech to the Athenians is another good example.

The reason for all this is very basic. Any time a person stands up to communicate, he must consider his audience. I am going to address the tribal person differently than I will the American concerning salvation. The American most likely already knows who Jesus is. He has heard about the cross. The same is true for all of the speeches in Acts.

As for your purpose statement of Acts, the idea that it is to record the whole of the Apostolic tradition, that's simply laughable (another personal attack?!?!?!?). And to our other readers, let me just point out that THIS is why hermeneutics begins with a study of the purpose of a book rather than diving right into the text.

Acts is the second part of a two volume work. It does not stand alone. It traces the spread of Chrsitianity from Jerusalem to Rome. The first half focuses on Peter and trasitions to the second half's focus on Paul. Why? So that it can show how Christianity became a universal religion out of a Jewish sect. There is absolutely no indicators anywhere in the book of any kind that it is designed to record the apostolic doctrine. It is painfully obvious that the speeches are subserviant to the broader narrative and function to move the story forward.

Concluding this matter: your appeal to the preaching of Acts is fallacious on TWO levels. It is on one level an argument from silence. You cannot appeal to their silence on any subject as a means of excluding that subject from the tradition. On the second level, it is fallacious in that it makes an incorrect assumption regarding the purpose of Acts. The purpose of the book is NOT to preserve ALL of the tradition (which would be necessary in your argument). There is absolutely no reason to believe this to be the case.


3. Regarding the historical evidence of the widespread belief in the divinity of Christ.

That you would reject Pliny's letter as evidence shows the desperation of your position. The specific fallacy you would have to accuse me of making is to draw a hasy generalization, defined as "A fallacy in which the sample is too small to support an inductive generalization about a population."

That simply does not work, though, for several reasons that I'll explain here. First, there is no reason to think that Pliny interviewed two or three Christians and made his statement. The historical context of the letter was Pliny's irritation of the Christians' refusal to participate in the Ruler Cult (see the IVP Dictionary of New Testament Background, sv. "Ruler Cult", p. 1030). That "many" recanted of their profession of Jesus Christ implies a widespread policy; further, the context of the statement is VERY informative. Let me quote Pliny himself:
Pliny wrote:Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.

They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food. Even this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations.
Fortigurn, this put the belief in the divinity of Christ into the mid to late 70's at best. Yet further, Paul did not even get to Rome until the mid to late 60's. This means that the idea was fairly widespread in that city, and no doubt Paul's preaching only emphasized it.

Far from being inadmissible, it presents you with a severe problem. Every effect has a cause. The argument here is similar to the historical argument for the resurrection of Jesus. The most likely, indeed the most obvious, source of the belief in Jesus' resurrection was that He was, in fact, resurrected. The historical fact that we have here is that people were preaching and teaching that Jesus was God as early as the 70's. If it was taught then, then the origin of the idea must be somewhat further back, and depending on how you date the NT, we are already in the apostolic age or immediately following it. If, then, you go any further back, we find ourselves firmly in the middle of the apostolic tradition.

You pointed out that many heresies had arisen early in church history. You are exactly right, and that is a very damning point for you. Some had been preaching that Jesus had not truly come in the flesh. They were so convinced that Jesus actually was GOD HIMSELF (see the underlying presumption there???) that they felt the need to deny His humanity. Others argued that Jesus had not really raised from the dead. But nowhere do we have any hint of the idea that Jesus' deity was denied. The fact that it is so deeply assumed gives very strong support to the idea that it was widely taught at the core of the apostolic tradition. The earliest of the heresies concerning Jesus' divinity, actually, came from Theodotus of Byzantium about 210 AD!

Still further, we have Ignatius. You say he is too late to be admissible, but that again simply shows the desperation of your position. He didn't die until around 107 AD, and was most likely a direct disciple of John. He was the bishop of Antioch and clearly believed in the divinity of Christ. Further, he doesn't take pains to make the point. It is an assumed part of his theology. This tells us even more of how deeply grounded the idea was, and this in the life of a direct disicple of the apostles!

I could go on and on. The historical argument is very real. You must turn a blind eye not to recognize the fact that in the middle to late first century, at least during the latter part of the apostolic days, Christians believed that Jesus was God. That this issue is not addressed by the apostles nor by their direct disciples (especially in light of the fact that their disciples affirmed the view!) is evidence that it was part of their own theology.

This is long enough. The points are the same as they have been. So:

Summary

1. Your entire position is based on a misdefinition of "God";
2. Your entire argument from Acts is either an argument from silence or based on a misunderstanding of the book's purpose;
3. Your position regarding the apostolic tradition of Acts is thoroughly contradicted by history, not to mention the rest of Scripture.

We can debate what the term "Son of God" means. That's a valid, Scriptural debate. I believe it includes His divinity, which explains both the apostolic tradition and the widespread belief in Jesus' divinity in the first century.

Oh, and on a personal note, I've never asserted that you have to believe in the Trinity to be saved. However, I do believe that you have to believe in the Deity of Christ to be saved. Thus, the discussion.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#94

Post by FFC » Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:46 am

Byblos wrote:
FFC wrote:
Byblos wrote:You would think if this were not what he claimed, then he would have tried again to correct them on this
Yes, because if he wasn't that would make Him a liar as well as a deciever.
FFC, I believe it was YLTYLT who said that (not that I disagree with it but just to set the record straight).
Sorry. My head is spinning reading all the wonderful posts in this tennis match. :lol:
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Act 9:6
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#95

Post by Pierac » Fri Sep 28, 2007 4:36 pm

Jac, I was working on this response when the last topic was locked. I believe it fits in here with our discussion.

Christ the Image of God

Speaking of "His beloved Son" who has brought us "redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Col. 1:13-14), the apostle tells us that "he is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation" (v.15). An image, as we know, is a visual representation or copy of an original. This word "image" intimates that there is a difference in identity between the copy and the original. When we look in the mirror, we understand that we do not see our "real" selves, only an image of ourselves. I know that I am not the person behind a glass, but really the person in front of the glass. This word "image" is a very strong pointer to the fact that Christ the Son is not God. For the image can not be the original, who in this case is God the Father. The first phrase, "he [the Son] is the image of the invisible God" reminds us of Jesus' own word that "he who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). Jesus is the face and the voice of God, so to speak (1 Cor. 4:6). As Kuschel in his book Born Before All Time?, (p.333). rightly points out, "the expression 'image' does not relate to 'the essence of a thing' but to 'Christ revelatory function'… talk of the 'image' is a statement about revelation."

As the image of God, Christ reveals the Father to us. But what exactly is revealed? Kuschel explains it well here.

In the light of the eschatological resurrection of the Son, God and his image Christ must be thought of as belonging inseparably together. From now on: one can now (after the eschatological shift) no longer speak of God without having to speak of Jesus Christ and vice versa. Anyone who speaks of Christ at the same time speaks of God himself. In relation to creation, this means that one can not really know the new creation as a work of the Creator except in Christ. So there are two sides: God makes himself known in the image of Christ, and the creation cannot be known as the work of this creator without Christ.


Can we agree on the last paragraph? Is this what you mean when you say Jesus is divine? If so then I would agree, However, this does not make Jesus God. Why? Because there is only one God the Father!



1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

How many God's? One, the Father! How many mediator's? One, the Son!

Yet, you can not know one with out the other!

Peace,
Paul

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#96

Post by Jac3510 » Fri Sep 28, 2007 7:10 pm

Speaking of "His beloved Son" who has brought us "redemption, the forgiveness of sins" (Col. 1:13-14), the apostle tells us that "he is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation" (v.15). An image, as we know, is a visual representation or copy of an original. This word "image" intimates that there is a difference in identity between the copy and the original. When we look in the mirror, we understand that we do not see our "real" selves, only an image of ourselves. I know that I am not the person behind a glass, but really the person in front of the glass. This word "image" is a very strong pointer to the fact that Christ the Son is not God. For the image can not be the original, who in this case is God the Father. The first phrase, "he [the Son] is the image of the invisible God" reminds us of Jesus' own word that "he who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). Jesus is the face and the voice of God, so to speak (1 Cor. 4:6). As Kuschel in his book Born Before All Time?, (p.333). rightly points out, "the expression 'image' does not relate to 'the essence of a thing' but to 'Christ revelatory function'… talk of the 'image' is a statement about revelation."
I already covered this is my response to Fortigurn. You are arguing against Modalism, not Trinitarianism. I have never declared that Jesus is the Father. I have said that Jesus is God. That is, He is divine. Jesus belongs to the class popular called "God" (just as I belong to the class popularly called "Human.") But again, NO ONE is saying that the Person who is Jesus = the Person who is the Father. Now, the Person who is Jesus is the IMAGE OF the Person who is the Father. This runs in direct contrast to your appeal to Rom 1:20. If, then, you are dropping that line of argument, then we can move on.
In the light of the eschatological resurrection of the Son, God and his image Christ must be thought of as belonging inseparably together. From now on: one can now (after the eschatological shift) no longer speak of God without having to speak of Jesus Christ and vice versa. Anyone who speaks of Christ at the same time speaks of God himself. In relation to creation, this means that one can not really know the new creation as a work of the Creator except in Christ. So there are two sides: God makes himself known in the image of Christ, and the creation cannot be known as the work of this creator without Christ.

Can we agree on the last paragraph? Is this what you mean when you say Jesus is divine? If so then I would agree, However, this does not make Jesus God. Why? Because there is only one God the Father!
Do I agree with the statement that we cannot know the Father without knowing the Son? Of course I do. But is that what I mean when I say that Jesus is God? No, it is not, and if that is what Kuschel is getting at, then we cannot agree on that paragraph.

Jesus is not merely the basis of the new creation. He is the one through whom this present creation was brought into existence, and it is by His sustaining power that we exist today. You were born in the fallen image of Adam. If you have believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you have life in His name, then you are born again in the image of Christ. You will be raised with a body to match that image, and thus, Jesus is at the center of both this creation and the New Creation.

Finally, the reason that this is all true, the reason that Jesus is the image of God, is that Jesus and God have the same nature. The Logos is God. That is, the Logos has the same nature as God; He then "became flesh and dwelt among us." As we know, the name of that body of flesh is Jesus, who is called the Christ, and who is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Godhead. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that when God took on flesh, His essential nature changed.

Now, let me ask you the same question I've asked everyone I meet who denies the divinity of Jesus Christ. John 1:18 declare that NO ONE has EVER seen the Father except the Son. To take only one of dozens and dozens of OT references, Gen 18:1 says that the LORD appeared to Abraham. It does not say an angel appeared. It says God Himself appeared (again, we could point to many, many times where God Himself appears to men). Let's be VERY clear here and put the texts side by side:
  • No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only (John 1:18)

    The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. (Gen 18:1)
How do you explain this? Trinitarians have the only answer I have ever found acceptable. No one has ever seen the Father except the Son. The Bible does not say that no one has ever seen the Son. Therefore, the God who appeared to Abraham, and to every other OT saint, was not the Father. It was the Son. Jesus Christ is Yahweh. You can't get much more divine than that.
How many God's? One, the Father! How many mediator's? One, the Son!
Have you ever heard any Trinitarian argue that there are more than one God, or more than one Mediator? No, of course not. There is one God. There is one Mediator. That certainly presents me with no problem. But it presents you a problem. If there is only one person who is God, then how is it that the NT says that no one has seen Him, and yet the OT repeatedly records men who saw Him? How is it that God is said to have created the universe, and yet the NT ascribes that work to Jesus? Why does John 1:18 call Jesus "the One and Only God"? Too many holes in your theology, my friend.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#97

Post by Pierac » Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:55 pm

Jac, I was trying to find a common ground where we could agree. I think it would be best if you could state just what the Trinity is. Do you follow the Westminster Confession or would some other creed work better?

The Westminster Confession of Faith
Chapter II
Of God, and of the Holy Trinity

I. There is but one only,[1] living, and true God,[2] who is infinite in being and perfection,[3] a most pure spirit,[4] invisible,[5] without body, parts,[6] or passions;[7] immutable,[8] immense,[9] eternal,[10] incomprehensible,[11] almighty,[12] most wise,[13] most holy,[14] most free,[15] most absolute;[16] working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will,[17] for His own glory;[18] most loving,[19] gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin;[20] the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him;[21] and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgments,[22] hating all sin,[23] and who will by no means clear the guilty.[24]
II. God has all life,[25] glory,[26] goodness,[27] blessedness,[28] in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He has made,[29] nor deriving any glory from them,[30] but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things;[31] and has most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever Himself pleases.[32] In His sight all things are open and manifest,[33] His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature,[34] so as nothing is to Him contingent, or uncertain.[35] He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands.[36] To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience He is pleased to require of them.[37]
III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.[38] The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; [39] the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. [40]

So are 'the' Father, 'the' Son and 'the' Holy Spirit co-equal? Are they of the same substance?
Could you pick a creed so we can have a starting point? I believe this would better help us all come to a understanding when posting comments.

I really thought you would have agreed with my last post. My mistake indeed! I guess I need to get a better understand of your belief on the topic. Picking a creed would help or perhaps write one of your own. Just what do you believe about the Trinity???

Please allow me two simple questions?

1. Are the Father, Son and Holy spirit coequal?

2. Did Jesus the 'man' have free will?

Thank you for being patient.

Peace,
Paul
Last edited by Pierac on Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#98

Post by Fortigurn » Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:55 pm

Jac3510 wrote:"Human" is a class. "God" is a person. "God" is NOT a class.
Versus:
Jac3510 wrote:Jesus belongs to the class popular called "God" (just as I belong to the class popularly called "Human.")

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#99

Post by Fortigurn » Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:05 pm

Byblos wrote:Not just calling on him, but also proclaiming him your Lord.
Sure, I proclaim him my Lord. That doesn't mean he's God. Jesus said that the person who is my God is the same person who is his God.
Say what you will about us trinitarians, bottom line is we believe in one Lord, one Saviour, and one God, and they are one and the same. Monotheism in its simplest forms.
If you really believed in one Lord, one Saviour, and one God, you wouldn't believe in the trinity. You believe in one God, who is three persons, two of whom are Lord and saviour, so you don't believe in one Lord or one saviour. Monotheism in its simplest form is one God who is one person, just as the Bible says (note the repeated use of singular pronouns with reference to God).
YLTYLT wrote:And yet even though (as you contend) Jesus tried to explain that they misunderstood him, they still crucified him because they thought he claimed to be God.
No they didn't crucify him because they thought he claimed to be God. That accusation wasn't even raised at the trial. It isn't even recorded as having been raised by the false witnesses.
It seems more likely to me that the Jews were correct in their understanding of his claim. They just did not believe it.
Let's walk through it again:

* The Jews say 'We are stoning you for claiming to be God'

* Jesus says 'God Himself referred to the judges in Israel as 'gods', and you stone me for claiming to be the son of God?'

So Jesus not only points out that THEOS can be applied to men without them being God, he points out that he hadn't even called himself God, he had said he was the son of God. Which part of this makes you think that Jesus is saying 'Oh yes, you're right - I'm calling myself God'?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#100

Post by Fortigurn » Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:11 am

Byblos, this is for you.

* Adam: You say that Adam 'was called the son of God in the same way the listeners thought of themselves as the children of God'. There is no evidence for this. On the contrary, Luke goes back right to the very creation of Adam in a genealogy of 'X was the son of Y'. It's clear from this that he is speaking of Adam as being the personally created son of God, just as he calls Seth the personally created son of Adam. None of us are the personally created son of God. But even if you think that he's speaking of Adam as the son of God in the generic 'we're all the children of God' sense, it's clear that the term 'son of God' was not understood by the Jews to mean 'God'. There is no evidence that the Jews believed the term 'son of God' meant 'God'.

In the Old Testament the term 'sons of God' is used for the angels and for the covenant community, and the term 'son of God' is used for the Davidic king and Messiah. In the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha the term 'sons of God' is used for the faithful of the covenant community, and the phrase 'son of God' is used of the Messiah and also of individual members of the covenant community. I am not aware of any evidence that they used the term 'son of God' to mean 'God'. The closest we can probably find is Nebuchadnezzar's use of the term 'son of the gods', which is clearly a Babylonian term from his own pagan point of view.

* Saviours: I disagree that 'Every prophet or agent that was ever sent failed'. Moses and Aaron didn't fail, they led Israel out of Egypt. Joshua didn't fail, he led Israel into the promised land. David didn't fail, he estabilshed the kingdom of peace over which Solomon reigned. Numerous judges of Israel didn't fail, they saved Israel from the Moabites (Ehud), Midianites (Gideon), Philistines (Samson), etc. Of course, none of these men was sent to save the world, so the fact that they didn't save the world isn't a failure on their part.

But you're not actually addressing my point. My point is that God's established pattern is to save His people through His agents. He has done this repeatedly in the past, and He did it again through Christ who declared himself the agent of God, and whom the apostles consistently describe as the agent of God (notably in Acts 2:22, 'a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed among you through him').

* Christ as God's agent: You say that the apostles didn't see Christ as the agent of God, and yet that's exactly how they describe him. Yes, they understood him to be the saviour. But more than that, they understood him to be the man appointed by God as the saviour through whom God would save.

He is described as sent by God, and God is described as doing things in, by, or through Christ. This is the language of agency. If X does something in, by, or through Y, then X is not Y and Y is not X:
* Acts 2:22, 'a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed among you through him'

* Acts 10:42, 'he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead'

* Acts 17:32, 'he [God] has set a day on which he is going to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom he designated'

* Romans 6:23 'the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus'

* Titus 3:5-6 'renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He [God] poured out on us in full measure in Jesus Christ our Savior'

* Galatians 3:15 'in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles'

* Hebrews 13:20-21 'God... working in us what is pleasing before him through Jesus Christ')

* Hebrews 10:10 'we have been made holy ['sanctified'] through the offering of the body of Jesus'
An agent is subordinate to the one for whom he acts, and by whom he is sent. We find this subordination described clearly by Scripture (note again the manner in which Christ is distiguished from God):
* John 14:28 'My Father is greater than I'

* Acts 3:13, 'his [God's] servant Jesus'

* Acts 3:26, 'God raised up his servant'

* Acts 4:27, 30 'your [God's] holy servant Jesus'

* Acts 4:30 'your [God's] holy servant Jesus'
An agent receives power and authority from one who is greater than he:
* Matthew 9:6, 'When the crowd saw this, [Jesus healing] they were afraid and honored God who had given such authority to men'

* Matthew 28:18, 'Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me"'

* John 5:19, 'the Son can do nothing from himself'

* John 5:22, '[God] has assigned all judgment to the Son'

* John 5:26, 'For just as the Father has life in himself, thus he has granted the Son to have life in himself'

* John 5:27, 'he [God] has granted the Son authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man'

* John 5:30, 'I can do nothing of myself'

* John 17:2, 'you [God] have given him authority over all humanity'

* Acts 10:42, 'he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead'

* Acts 17:32, 'he [God] has set a day on which he is going to judge the world in righteousness, by a man whom he designated'
* God giving His glory to another: I really don't know what you understand by this phrase, but you seem to think it means that God cannot use an agent or something. Here's the relevant verse:
Isaiah 42:
8 I am the Lord! That is my name! I will not share my glory with anyone else, or the praise due me with idols.
This doesn't in the least rule out God working through an agent. God told Moses that he would be 'As God to Pharoah', and that Aaron would be his prophet. Is that God giving His glory to another? David himself was not only addressed as God's son, he is even called 'elohim'. Is that God sharing His glory with another? Solomon was said to sit on the throne of YHWH. Is that God sharing His glory with another? A child born in Isaiah 7 is called 'Immanuel', or 'God with us'. Is that God sharing His glory with another? An angel sent by God to lead the children of Israel during the Exodus was given the name YHWH by God Himself, and also given the authority to judge and punish Israel without mercy. Is that God giving His glory to another?

* The bible.ca list: Of my post, you say 'It amounts to 'no this one was an Arian, no that one was a Logos Christologist', and no that one was not a trinitarian''. Well that's perfectly valid, since the declared aim of that page was to present a list of Christians who believed in the trinity from the 1st century onwards. I proved that it didn't do this at all.

You claim 'The simple fact is they all spoke to the divinity of Christ in one fashion or another', but in fact they didn't all do that. First we saw Christ as a created being, the product of the Father. Sometimes he was an angel, sometimes the Holy Spirit, sometimes just 'a power' or emanation. Later we saw Christ as a created being wielding divine power, but still separate from the Father, and not described as having 'divinity'. Only later did we find Christ's 'divinity' being spoken of, and even then he was still being described as a being separate from the Father. By this time we were well into the 3rd century, so it's not true to say the list is 'a clear indication that his divinity dates back to the apostolic age'. It didn't even quote a single source from the apostlic age. Not one.

Don't you wonder why it doesn't quote the 'Apostles' Creed', acknowledged to be one of the oldest (if not the oldest), Christian creedal statement? It is agreed that this goes back to the 1st century. Let's look at it, shall we?
I believe in God the Father Almighty. And in Jesus Christ His only (begotten) Son our Lord, who was born of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary; crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried; the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost; the holy Church; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; (the life everlasting).
This doesn't exactly help the trinitarian, does it? It says there is one God, who is the Father Almighty (one God, one person, just as the apostles taught). Jesus is His son. No mention of Jesus as God. No mention of any 'divinity' of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is all the way down the end there, and it isn't remotely personalized or spoken of as a diving being or as God. No surprise that the Website didn't quote this one, despite it being far older than anything else quoted on that list.

How about the Didache? This is another early Christian faith statement, and recognized as having been written at the end of the 1st century. An excellent witness for the immediate post-apostolic age, but it just wasn't quoted at all by that Website. Why not? Well what does it say about God and Christ?

* God is always described as one person, who is 'the Father', 'Father', and 'the Father almighty', and is described as the creator of all things ('Thou, Master almighty, didst create all things for Thy name's sake')

* All prayers are addressed to the Father, through Jesus, in accordance with apostolic teaching and practice

* Jesus is never described as God, or divine, and is said to be the son and servant of God

In addition, Jesus is explicitly described as the agent of God:

* 'We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant'

* 'We thank Thee, holy Father, for Thy holy name which You didst cause to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which You modest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant'

* 'You didst freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Thy Servant'

It's not surprising that the Website didn't quote this, despite the fact that this is the most detailed and explicit of the immediate post-apostolic Christian faith statements, earlier than any of the other documents from which the Website quoted (within the 1st century, no less).

* Heresy: You disagree with me that heresy doesn't exist until doctrine is formalized, but quote Webster saying it is that which is contrary to a 'dominant theory, opinion, or practice' or a 'generally accepted beliefs or standard'. That's not actually different to what I said. The key words here are 'theory, opinion or practice', and 'beliefs or standard'. Unless you can actually define a theory, opinion, practice, belief or standard, then you can't say that X is contrary to it.

You say that the heresies which reigned were declared heresies 'because they opposed the trinity', but there's no evidence for this, since they pre-dated the trinity. You can't say that they were rejected because the opposed a doctrine which didn't yet exist, and unless you can show that doctrine did exist, you're begging the question. You certainly have to explain why Arianism was the dominant theology of the church for so long, and why 200 years of heresies reigned before the trinity was defined. If what you're saying is true, then where's the condemnation of Justin Martyr, Athenogoras, Theophilus, Tertullian, and others who believed Jesus was a created being, an angel, the Holy Spirit, a 'power' or an emanation?

* John 1:1: I don't think that 'the word was God' is a mistranslation. But as the NET footnote clearly identifies, it doesn't convey the precise 'nuances' of the Greek, which identifies the word as qualitatively divine (not as a divine being). Yes, throughout the Old Testament God's word accomplishes real, physical things. I agree! And why? Because the word of God is the expression of His will and purpose (Isaiah 55:11), it is the 'breath of His mouth' (Psalm 33:6), it His creative utterance (Genesis 1:3, 'And God said 'Let there be light!', and there was light'). Just look at the Greek word LOGOS. You don't have to take my word for it when I say that LOGOS does not mean 'God' or 'divine being'. It's the ordinary Greek word for 'word', the equivalent of the Hebrew 'davar'.

Of course, you say 'it's not just another word as defined by any standard lexicon', which immediately suggests you're going to throw out the lexical definition of LOGOS anyway. But you can't change the language God chose to write the Bible. It means what it means. Certainly it is a unique word, since it is the Word of God. It is not 'just another word'. But it is still a word. It's described in the Bible itself as 'the breath of His mouth'. It couldn't be clearer.

* GINOMAI: As I pointed out, I have demonstrated that X GINOMAI Y means X became something it wasn't, and ceased to be X. To date you haven't actuall answered any of the questions I posed when I provided my examples. You claim to be using my logic to contradict my case, but in fact you haven't done that. Your objection is that the word of God is eternal, and thus cannot turn into something which is not eternal. But in doing so you're misdefining the word of God. The word of God doesn't have an objective existence. It's not a tangible, physical, or actual entity. It doesn't have properties such as size, shape, colour, taste, smell, immortality, mortality, and thus cannot be described as eternal or not eternal in the physical terms your argument requires.

To say that the word became flesh is no more than to say that 'God said... and it was so'. God said 'Let there be flesh', and there was flesh - the body of Christ in the womb of Mary. That is how the word was made flesh. It's just so simple. But you use special pleading to claim that X GINOMAI Y in this place does not mean what X GINOMAI Y means in other places where it is used. The burden of evidence is therefore on you, and special pleading doesn't cut it.

* Law of non-contradiction: You say 'Christ is fully p (God) and fully q (man), no violation of the law of contradiction', but that is a classic case of violating the law of non-contradiction. You see 'p' is not 'q'. So you are claiming that Christ is both p and not-p. Your claim that 'not p' means the opposite of p is not true. In the law of non-contradiction, 'not-p' does not mean 'the opposite of p', it means exactly what it says - not-p.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#101

Post by FFC » Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:57 am

Fortigurn wrote:Let's walk through it again:

* The Jews say 'We are stoning you for claiming to be God'

* Jesus says 'God Himself referred to the judges in Israel as 'gods', and you stone me for claiming to be the son of God?'

So Jesus not only points out that THEOS can be applied to men without them being God, he points out that he hadn't even called himself God, he had said he was the son of God. Which part of this makes you think that Jesus is saying 'Oh yes, you're right - I'm calling myself God'?
Fortigurn, Jesus was obviously being facetious when He compared himself to the wicked Judges called gods in Psalm 82, who were completely inadequate to the task of exercising divine judgment. Jesus point is that even though these wicked Judges were called gods in irony because they were anything but godlike...however on the flip side here am I being and displaying everything that a god should be. Which goes along with his statement in verse 37 of John 10: If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. So in essence Jesus, in a sarcastic way, establishes what a false god looks like in contrast to what he looks like, which is the one and only true God of creation...because there really are no "other" gods besides God, only false gods.



Psalm 82:

1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.
Last edited by FFC on Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#102

Post by B. W. » Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:45 am

Hi Fortigrun and Pierac,

Here is another example that demonstrates the inconsistency of Hebrew Grammar:

Just think that if the ancient Israelites were a lost civilization and we knew nothing about them. Suddenly there was discovered a pillar with the first chapter of Genesis along with few lines of other ancient text inscribed in this ancient Hebrew pillar. Imagine a breakthrough was made in cracking this unknown language and the excitement upon reading such text! Then near the bottom they run across this last line engraved:

Whosoever curses his gods shall bear his sin”

How would they interpret this? There would be record of who these people were or what they believed — no one to even say there was such thing as a majestic plural when reading the word Elohim! What would be the interpretation then?

Would the last line read in ancient Hebrew, “Whosoever curses his gods shall bear his sin,” or “Whosoever curses his God shall bear his sin.” Without context how would you read this phrase where Elohim is accompanied by plural verbs, not singular verbs which would make it a majestic plural noun?

This line is from Leviticus 24:15 :Whosoever curses his God shall bear his sin.

Would Elohim [Plural for God] or EL [singular for God] be best used in this verse to convey God or gods? Compound this with the more than 2000 uses of Elohim [Plural] used in reference to true God as opposed to the approx 260 uses of EL [singular] and you have a problem. What is this problem? Mixed cases where the rules are bent — Elohim used with various plural verbs, adverbs, adjectives. When describing the true God as opposed to the rules! Yet, we are told the rules are changed when referring to True God — this is inconsistent.

The point is simple: Hebrew is not a perfect language and has become corrupted like all other human language because accordingly human beings all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This corruption comes in the form of bias. To test bias, one needs the context of scripture, and most importantly - the Holy Spirit.

Grammar alone, at the expense of context, is a poor excuse to construct biblical doctrine from. Context is vital. One thing is certain, is that the opposition to the Trinity uses grammar alone, thus neglecting the context such as: There is none like God. Instead they use grammar to define context. Grammar is only a tool. It is not the sole manner to derive doctrine as the oppositions cites as the only way because only they know the use of perfect grammar!

The bible is not a doctorial neutral book. God inspired it to be written in such a manner so that we may come to know him thus return to him. God tells it like it is despite our human short comings as well as the shortcomings of those human agents that wrote the inspired words down. This is where Fortigrun's, Pierac's, and the opposition's case break down. I am not afraid of including the opposition's point of view on this thread as it proves inconsistencies as well clearly reveals human biases hubris.

There is a reason that the writers were inspired to use the Elohim [Plural for God] over 2000 times n reference to true God instead of using EL [singular for God approx 260 times]. It is not grammar alone that defines doctrine. If it were so then bias becomes the cement to blindness preventing seeing and hearing the true Glory of God! Who in the bible was guilty of not seeing and hearing? Was it not those claiming a particular form of universalism of the Pharisee's, Scribes, and Sadducees?

Quote from NET website Article- [url=http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=1531;] Quote from John Gill [/quote] should put them to rest:

“Now Moses might have made use of other names of God, in his account of the creation; as his name Jehovah, by which he made himself known to him, and to the people of Israel; or Eloah, the singular of Elohim, which is used by him (Deut. 32:15-16) and in the book of Job so frequently; so that it was not want of singular names of God, nor the barrenness of the Hebrew language which obliged him to use a plural word; it was no doubt of choice, and with design . . .” (John Gill, Body of Divinity, vol. 1, pp. 187-88).

Fortigrun, stop trying to be the martyr for the Christdephian cause- you are not. Please Stop whining. Bible continuity, grammar only as a tool, and God's Spirit refutes your position through the context of scripture.

Through the use of Elohim when the OT refers to true God is revealing something about God. Yes, God is One but he is the Plural One! There is a pluralness to God's Oneness: truly then - there is None Like God!

To say other wise reduces God to the common false gods humanity creates.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#103

Post by Jac3510 » Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:03 am

Fortigurn wrote:
Jac3510 wrote:"Human" is a class. "God" is a person. "God" is NOT a class.
Versus:
Jac3510 wrote:Jesus belongs to the class popular called "God" (just as I belong to the class popularly called "Human.")
LOL!

Is that really the best you can do? Look at the word there: "popular[ly] called." Do you really think . . . I mean, seriously, Fortigurn, this is not rhetorical . . . do you truly and honestly think you've shown some sort of contradiction in my thinking? Are you that incapable of following a simple argument, or are you just looking for something to argue about? Tell me, why should I take you seriously? Why should any of us take you seriously? First you tell me it doesn't matter what I say, and then you find this alleged contradiction to dismiss an entire argument? Please.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FOR EVERYONE:

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter to Fortigurn what you say or don't say: you can't contradict his false notion that God cannot be a man. The Trinity is ruled out a priori. Thus, there is no need to have the conversation with him at all. Second, he clearly is not reading arguments looking to understand what we say, but rather for silly debate points. The God-man comment has been one example. His finding some alleged contradiction in my own words is another. Fortigurn does not take this seriously. If you guys want to take him seriously, that's your business. I don't. Not anymore. Not about this, and not about anything.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pierac, I'll respond to your question a little later. Short answer is that I don't really like Westminster on this, so I'll provide my own explanation later.

edit: edited post because my original statement went too far.
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#104

Post by Jac3510 » Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:18 am

Pierac wrote:Jac, I was trying to find a common ground where we could agree. I think it would be best if you could state just what the Trinity is. Do you follow the Westminster Confession or would some other creed work better?
Ok, let me just walk through this. I'll comment on Westminster, and then I'll provide a simple definition I agree with, again with comments.
  • I. There is but one only,[1] living, and true God,[2] who is infinite in being and perfection,[3] a most pure spirit,[4] invisible,[5] without body, parts,[6] or passions;[7] immutable,[8] immense,[9] eternal,[10] incomprehensible,[11] almighty,[12] most wise,[13] most holy,[14] most free,[15] most absolute;[16] working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will,[17] for His own glory;[18] most loving,[19] gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin;[20] the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him;[21] and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgments,[22] hating all sin,[23] and who will by no means clear the guilty.[24]
    II. God has all life,[25] glory,[26] goodness,[27] blessedness,[28] in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He has made,[29] nor deriving any glory from them,[30] but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things;[31] and has most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever Himself pleases.[32] In His sight all things are open and manifest,[33] His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature,[34] so as nothing is to Him contingent, or uncertain.[35] He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands.[36] To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience He is pleased to require of them.[37]
This is all fine and good. I don't like some of the terminology, and I think other parts are unclear, but none of this is relevant to our discussion, nor to the Trinity in general. This is simply trying to attribute certain characteristics to God. "Who" they are talking about (considering they are Trinitarians), they don't make clear. Anyway, as for their statement regarding the Trinity proper:
  • III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.[38] The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; [39] the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. [40]
This is an ontological definition of the Trinity (as opposed to an economical definition). I don't really know how much I like this approach. I think it takes a very simple, exegetically based definition, and then trying to explain things that aren't explained by Scripture. Now, as it stands, I don't think this is too far from the Truth, but to incorporate it into a formal definition might go too far. Please note that I'm not condemning the definition. I'm just putting a huge asterisk by it. My complaint is with the doctrine of eternal generation (which is strongly tied to the Scriptural doctrine of Sonship) and the doctrine of eternal procession (which seems to be more directly biblical: see John 15:26).

So, if we ignore the first two paragraphs and the last part of the last paragraph, on the grounds that the first two parts have nothing to do with the Trinity proper and the last part of the last paragraph is too speculative for a formal definition, we are left with: "In the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost."

This is a pretty good statement. I think B. B. Warfield (who was very fond of Westminster) has a little clearer definition:
  • There is one only and true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three coeternal and coequal Persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence." (B. B. Warfield, "Trinity," The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1930), 5:3012.)
Commenting on this definition, Ryrie says:
Ryrie wrote:The word "Persons" might be misleading as if there were three individuals in the Godhead, but what other word would suffice? The word "substance" might be too materialistic; some would prefer to use the word "essence." Many will not know the meaning of subsistence, but a dictionary can remedy that ("necessary existence").
Positively, the definition clearly asserts both oneness and threeness and is careful to maintain the equality and eternality of the Three. Even if the word "person" is not the best, it does guard against modalism, and, of course, the phrase "the same in substance" (or perhaps better, essence) protects against tritheism. The whole undivided essence of God belongs equally to each of the three persons. (Charles Ryrier, Basic Theology (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 61.)
My own personal definition has always been even simpler: "The Trinity is a term that refers to God's nature as consisting of three Persons in one eternal Being."

With that in mind, the questions you posed are easily answered:
1. Are the Father, Son and Holy spirit coequal?
Yes. Coequal and coeternal.
2. Did Jesus the 'man' have free will?
Yes. I'd say that Jesus is the only man since Adam who had free will in the truest sense of the word. Not having a sin nature to which He was a slave, He could genuinely choose between doing His Father's will or doing His own. I would also insist on taking "man" out of quotation marks.

God bless
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#105

Post by B. W. » Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:37 pm

Jac3510 wrote:
Pierac wrote:Jac, I was trying to find a common ground where we could agree. I think it would be best if you could state just what the Trinity is. Do you follow the Westminster Confession or would some other creed work better?
This is a pretty good statement. I think B. B. Warfield (who was very fond of Westminster) has a little clearer definition:
  • There is one only and true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three coeternal and coequal Persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence." (B. B. Warfield, "Trinity," The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1930), 5:3012.)
Commenting on this definition, Ryrie says:
Ryrie wrote:The word "Persons" might be misleading as if there were three individuals in the Godhead, but what other word would suffice? The word "substance" might be too materialistic; some would prefer to use the word "essence." Many will not know the meaning of subsistence, but a dictionary can remedy that ("necessary existence").

Positively, the definition clearly asserts both oneness and threeness and is careful to maintain the equality and eternality of the Three. Even if the word "person" is not the best, it does guard against modalism, and, of course, the phrase "the same in substance" (or perhaps better, essence) protects against tritheism. The whole undivided essence of God belongs equally to each of the three persons. (Charles Ryrier, Basic Theology (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 61.)
My own personal definition has always been even simpler: "The Trinity is a term that refers to God's nature as consisting of three Persons in one eternal Being."

With that in mind, the questions you posed are easily answered:
1. Are the Father, Son and Holy spirit coequal?
Yes. Coequal and coeternal.
2. Did Jesus the 'man' have free will?
Yes. I'd say that Jesus is the only man since Adam who had free will in the truest sense of the word. Not having a sin nature to which He was a slave, He could genuinely choose between doing His Father's will or doing His own. I would also insist on taking "man" out of quotation marks.

God bless
Very good post Jac!

One of the problems that the opposition has is interpreting biblical doctrine on the basis of grammar alone. Warfield's and Ryrier statement you quoted comes from the continuity and context of the bible as well as usage of grammar only as a tool [note: grammar is not the final 'definer' of doctrine]. The statement lines up with the many scriptures that declare that there is "None like the Lord."

Pierac — Question: Were the Pharisee's, Scribes, and Sadducees oneness people? Did Jesus embrace them or rebuke them? To whom was Jesus referring to as guilty of not seeing and hearing? Was it not those claiming a particular form of universalism 'the Pharisee's, Scribes, and Sadducees' whom Jesus rebukes? Why side with them? Do you understand what you are doing?
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Science is man's invention - creation is God's
(by B. W. Melvin)

Old Polish Proverb:
Not my Circus....not my monkeys

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