Trinity – What is it?

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#106

Post by Byblos » Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:02 pm

Fortigurn wrote:Byblos, this is for you.
Just a few comments/follow-ups about a couple of things as this is really getting tiring (again) and getting us nowhere (as usual). You have your interpretation (and nothing more) and so do we.
Fortigurn wrote: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'
Fortigurn wrote:* 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.
Clearly you misunderstood what I seem to think. I did not say 'God cannot use agents or something' as evidently he did. What I did say is that God did not use an agent for the purpose of affecting salvation because He promised that He, personally, will be our savior. As for God not giving His glory to another, look at the verses you quoted just above. God seems to have given Jesus (the man, as per you) every authority imaginable, from forgiveness of sins, to authority over humanity, to raising the dead, etc. etc. God's glory is manifested in such. So, is God a liar and he did give his Glory to the man Jesus or is Jesus God? Simple.

Fortigurn wrote: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?
God assigning functions only attributable to Him to a mere man is most certainly giving his glory to another. Again, either Jesus is God or God is a liar.
Fortigurn wrote:* 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.
You proved nothing. Please see Jac's posts on the subject.
Fortigurn wrote: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.
A quote from the following link describing the purpose of the Apostles' creed, i.e. to counter Gnosticism ideas about the humanity of Jesus which they (the Gnostics) denied. Note that the divinity of Jesus wasn't addressed as an issue because the Gnostics didn't deny it. Amazing what happens when one considers the purpose for which something was written. And look, you discounted the fact that they mentioned the Holy Spirit all the way down, remember? Why do you think they felt the need to mention the Holy Spirit separately?
The Apostles' Creed vs. Gnosticism
A Creed generally emphasizes the beliefs opposing those errors that the compilers of the creed think most dangerous at the time. The Creed of the Council of Trent, which was drawn up by the Roman Catholics in the 1500's, emphasized those beliefs that Roman Catholics and Protestants were arguing about most furiously at the time. The Nicene Creed, drawn up in the fourth century, is emphatic in affirming the Deity of Christ, since it is directed against the Arians, who denied that Christ was fully God. The Apostles' Creed, drawn up in the first or second century, emphasizes the true Humanity, including the material body, of Jesus, since that is the point that the heretics of the time (Gnostics, Marcionites, and later Manicheans) denied. (See 1 John 4:1-3)

Thus the Apostles' Creed is as follows:

* I believe in God the Father Almighty,
* Maker of Heaven and Earth,

The Gnostics held that the physical universe is evil and that God did not make it.

* And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord,
* Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
* Born of the Virgin Mary,

The Gnostics were agreed that the orthodox Christians were wrong in supposing that God had taken human nature or a human body. Some of them distinguished between Christ, whom they acknowledged to be in some sense divine, and the man Jesus, who was at most an instrument through whom the Christ spoke. They held that the man Jesus did not become the bearer or instrument of the Christ until the Spirit descended upon him at his baptism, and that the Spirit left him before the crucifixion, so that the Spirit had only a brief and tenuous association with matter and humanity. Others affirmed that there was never a man Jesus at all, but only the appearance of a man, through which appearance wise teachings were given to the first disciples. Against this the orthodox Christians affirmed that Jesus was conceived through the action of the Holy Spirit (thus denying the Gnostic position that the Spirit had nothing to do with Jesus until his Baptism), that he was born (which meant that he had a real physical body, and not just an appearance) of a virgin (which implied that he had been special from the first moment of his life, and not just from the baptism on.

* Suffered under Pontius Pilate,

There were many stories then current about gods who died and were resurrected, but they were offered quite frankly as myths, as non-historical stories symbolic of the renewal of the vegetation every spring after the seeming death of winter. If you asked, "When did Adonis die, you would be told either, "Long ago and far away," or else, "His death is not an event in earthly time." Jesus, on the other hand, died at a particular time and place in history, under the jurisdiction of Pontius Pilate, Procurator of Judea from 26 to 36 CE, or during the last ten years of the reign of the Emperor Tiberius.

* was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into Hades.

Here the creed hammers home the point that he was really dead. He was not an illusion. He was nailed to a post. He died. He had a real body, a corpse, that was placed in a tomb. He was not merely unconscious — his spirit left his body and went to the realm of the dead. It is a common belief among Christians that on this occasion he took the souls of those who had died trusting in the promises made under the Old Covenant — Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Isaiah, and many others — and brought them out of the realm of the dead and into heavenly glory. But the creed is not concerned with this point. The reference to the descent into Hades (or Hell, or Sheol) is here to make it clear that the death of Jesus was not just a swoon or a coma, but death in every sense of the word.

* The third day he rose from the dead, he ascended into heaven,
* and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
* From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.

* I believe in the Holy Ghost,
* the holy catholic church,

The Gnostics believed that the most important Christian doctrines were reserved for a select few. The orthodox belief was that the fullness of the Gospel was to be preached to the entire human race. Hence the term "catholic," or universal, which distinguished them from the Gnostics.

* the communion of saints,
* the forgiveness of sins,

The Gnostics considered that what men needed was not forgiveness, but enlightenment. Ignorance, not sin, was the problem. Some of them, believing the body to be a snare and delusion, led lives of great asceticism. Others, believing the body to be quite separate from the soul, held that it did not matter what the body did, since it was completely foul anyway, and its actions had no effect on the soul. They accordingly led lives that were not ascetic at all. Either way, the notion of forgiveness was alien to them.

* the resurrection of the body,

The chief goal of the Gnostics was to become free forever from the taint of matter and the shackles of the body, and to return to the heavenly realm as Pure Spirit. They totally rejected any idea of the resurrection of the body.

* and the life everlasting. AMEN
See that Fortigurn? They denied the resurrection. The apostles creed was written to counter that.

Fortigurn wrote:* 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'.
Then by all means let's just go with the NET's footnote on that one (note the sarcasm). And even if we do consider that the Word is qualitatively divine, the fact that it is considered divine at all and the fact that it was with God from the beginning and the fact that it accomplishes the will of the Father without fail should tell you that it is not just an utterance but a living, continuous utterance, which validates my point even more.
Fortigurn wrote: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.
Baseless accusations but what else can we expect. I did not throw out or mis-define anything. Scripture says The Word was with God and the Word IS God and you want to re-define what the word 'is' is Clinton-esque style. No, it is not 'still a word' as John defines it as God. Besides, let's see how the Bible defines it:
Isaiah 40:8 wrote:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."
stands for ever,
Psalm 119:50 wrote: "This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life."
gives life,

[quote="1 Peter 1:23] "...having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever...."[/quote] lives and abides forever,
1 Kings 13:9 wrote:(NIV) 9 For I was commanded by the word of the LORD : 'You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.' "
commands,
1 Kings 13:17 wrote:(NIV) 17 I have been told by the word of the LORD : 'You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.' "
speaks,
Isaiah 55:11 wrote:(NIV) 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish]/b] what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
does not return empty, accomplishes, and achieves.

And on and on. Pretty clear to me.

Fortigurn wrote:* 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.


If only the text had supported your version and actually had said 'God said let there be flesh'. As much as you would love nothing more than for it to say that, alas, it did not now did it? No, the text actually said 'The Word IS God'. It is you who are mis-defining the living Word of God into something it is not as I've shown.

Fortigurn wrote: 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.


Please, who is doing the pleading (notice the italization)? I simply showed you are mistaken about the Word as it is eternal, which then validates my use of the law of contradiction to discredit your case. It's so simple.

Fortigurn wrote:* 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.


You are simply mistaken about the law of contradiction. It is not against the law of contradiction to say something is both p and q. If we define p as an apple and q as a fruit then we can certainly say an apple is both p and q at the same time (remember Jac's advice to consider the class?). No contradiction there. What the law of contradiction states is that p and not-p are contradictory. An apple and not-an-apple cannot be one and the same, that's contradictory. Do you see the logic now? It's brilliant. Jesus can be both p (man) and q (God). But eternal (p) most certainly cannot be mortal (not-p). Case closed.
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?

#107

Post by Jac3510 » Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:39 pm

I just wanted to emphasize two quick things from your post, Byblos:
Then by all means let's just go with the NET's footnote on that one (note the sarcasm). And even if we do consider that the Word is qualitatively divine, the fact that it is considered divine at all and the fact that it was with God from the beginning and the fact that it accomplishes the will of the Father without fail should tell you that it is not just an utterance but a living, continuous utterance, which validates my point even more.
Before today, I would have been surprised at Fortigurn's attempt to use the Greek the way he has. Don't give anything he says in that area any credit. He is correct that in the phrase "The Word was God," "God" is a qualitative noun. But to use that to argue against the divinity of Christ is absolutely absurd, and if Wallace were here (the one Fortigurn likes to quote so much, who has taught the majority of conservatives their Greek, either directly or through his New Testament Syntax), he would have a conniption fit. There are only two "problems" with the traditional translation, "The Word was God."

1) The emphasis of the Greek is on the divinity of the Word. Theos is thrown forward in the sentence, and when you read it with the rest of the verse, the emphasis is very obvious. Here is a transliteration of the whole verse:

En arche en ho logos; kai ho logos en pros ton theon; kai theos en ho logos.
In the beginning was the Word; and the word was with God ; and Divine was the Word.

2) The traditional interpretation can be read as Fortigurn has repeatedly done, which is to identify Theos in 1:1c as the Father. In fact, precisely because it is a qualitative noun, Theos there is the class, which we popularly refer to God, but which more technically I have referred to as the Necessary Existence. In fact, let me suggest this paraphrase:

"In the very beginning, the Word and God were already existing. In fact, the Word Itself was divine, just as God is."

Now, that is VERY paraphrastic, but I thoroughly believe it captures the emphases of the passage. Again, for Fortigurn to try to use this to discount the divinity of Christ is beyond absurd. It is dishonest.
You are simply mistaken about the law of contradiction. It is not against the law of contradiction to say something is both p and q. If we define p as an apple and q as a fruit then we can certainly say an apple is both p and q at the same time (remember Jac's advice to consider the class?). No contradiction there. What the law of contradiction states is that p and not-p are contradictory. An apple and not-an-apple cannot be one and the same, that's contradictory. Do you see the logic now? It's brilliant. Jesus can be both p (man) and q (God). But eternal (p) most certainly cannot be mortal (not-p). Case closed.
And this I just wanted to quote because it is pretty. Great analogy that I think perfectly captures the entire concept. This is why I have repeatedly argued that Fortigurn's case is based on a simple misdefinition of God. When you add to that his argument from silence (and/or his incorrect understanding of purpose of Acts, supported by his incorrect understanding of the purpose of the Apostle's Creed), and this entire debate has made him look rather silly. In my opinion, he has come across as someone who knows a little bit of Greek and Hebrew grammar, and therefore thinks his arguments are beyond criticism. Everything he has said here would be laughed out of every first semester accredited Bible college course in the country. And in case anyone takes that as a personal attack against him, it isn't. Take it for what it is: a complete and utter rejection of his arguments. For Fortigurn himself, I have no labels. For his arguments, I have many, and none of them are complementary.
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?

#108

Post by Fortigurn » Sat Sep 29, 2007 6:57 pm

FFC wrote: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.
No he was not 'obviously being facetious', nor was he comparing himself with the wicked judges. He says very clearly 'God called them THEOI, and you want to stone me for saying I am the son of God?'.
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.
He doesn't say any such thing. He makes the point that he has called himself the son of God, not 'God'.

BW, I don't need to address your post because you're not saying anything new that I haven't already addressed. You should take note of the fact that even the other trinitarians here have acknowledged what I've said about 'elohim'.

Jac, are you saying that everyone else understands 'God' to be a class, but you don't? Well that certainly does seem to be the case, but the fact of the matter is that 'THEOS' in Greek and 'God' in English are both classes. I'll address this:
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.
This is a gross mischaracterization. Firstly I could happily accept that God can be a man, without damaging my case at all. The fact of the matter is that you have to prove Jesus is both God and man. You cannot find any passages of Scripture in which anyone was baptized with any such knowledge, whereas the evidence for the apostles baptizing people with the knowledge that Jesus is a man who is the agent of God, is clear. This does not prove that the apostles didn't teach that Jesus was both God and man prior to baptizing, but it does prove that you cannot assert that they did.

Secondly I have taken great care to read all your arguments and understand what you say. I have not been looking for 'silly debate points'. Thirdly you strangely took issue with the term 'God-man', claiming it was my term, when it isn't my term at all. It's a standard term used by trinitarians all over the world to describe Christ (the Catholic Encyclopedia actually uses both the term 'God-man' and 'man-God'), and as I took care to explain, it means no more than what you mean when you say Jesus is '100% God and 100% man'. Fourthly, there is an apparent contradiction in your two statements regarding 'God' as class/non-class. I have invited you to explain this.

Finally it is clear that you are the one who is deliberately drawing a line under this discussion and attempting to dismiss me through character attacks (including calling me a liar), without wishing to discuss the subject. If you don't want to discuss it, that's fine. But don't base your reason for doing so on fraudulent character attacks on me. I note that you have just done exactly what you wrongly claimed I had done - you're dismissing me out of hand saying it doesn't matter what I say because you refuse to take anything I say seriously.

Byblos, back to you.

* Agency: Clearly you're still having problems with the idea that God can use an agent. You say on the one hand that you don't, but then you say on the other hand that if God grants X, Y or Z to someone other than Himself that's God 'sharing His glory' with another. God doesn't appear to see it that way. You claim 'God did not use an agent for the purpose of affecting salvation because He promised that He, personally, will be our savior', and yet as I've pointed out God has commonly used an agent for the purpose of effecting salvation. He said He Himself, personally would save Israel from Egypt, and yet He did it through Moses. He said that He Himself, personally would save Israel from their enemies in Canaan, and yet He consistently did so through the judges (Ehud, Gideon, Samson, etc).

You say 'God assigning functions only attributable to Him to a mere man is most certainly giving his glory to another', and yet God told Moses that he would be 'As God to Pharoah', and that Aaron would be his prophet, David himself was not only addressed as God's son, he is even called 'elohim', Solomon was said to sit on the throne of YHWH, a child born in Isaiah 7 is called 'Immanuel', or 'God with us', and 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. Yet you don't think that any of these people are God, and you don't consider this God 'giving His glory to another'. So when it comes to Christ, you're indulging in special pleading.

* The Apostles' Creed: You attempted to deal with the complete absence of any reference to the trinity or Jesus' 'divinity' in the Apostles' Creed by claiming it was only intended as a refutation of the Gnostics. Yet where is the evidence for this? I've looked through half a dozen standard Christian Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and resources on Christian theological history, and none of them say this. They all say it was an early creedal statement expressing the fundamental Christian beliefs as commonly agreed to. No one even knows where the Apostles' Creed originated, nor who wrote it, and yet you're telling me you know the very purpose for which it was written? This is absurd.

The article you quoted starts with a false statement:
A Creed generally emphasizes the beliefs opposing those errors that the compilers of the creed think most dangerous at the time.
Not only is this not necessarily the case, it isn't even often the case. The comparison with the Council of Trent is entirely invalid, since Trent provides an explicit list of heresies to be condemned, whereas the Apostles' Creed does no such thing. Nor does the Creed place any 'emphasis' on any particular part of the Creed as an explicit refutation of any given heresy. I note that the Website also claims that the Apostles' Creed was intended to address Marcion, yet Marcion wasn't even born until 110 AD, and wasn't a danger until the mid-2nd century. Yet the Apostles' Creed precedes the 2nd century. Looking at the New Testament verses clearly intended to deal with Gnosticism, we find explicit reference to Jesus having literally come in the flesh. We find no such emphasis in the Apostles' Creed. One of the quotes on that Website (from some Bible dictionary), even claims that the Apostles' Creed wasn't simply intended to deal with Marcion (despite the fact that the Creed was written before Marcion was born), but even claims it was intended to deal with the Docetists and Donatists. But Docetism didn't appear until the mid-2nd century, and the Donatists didn't exist until the 4th century, long after the Creed was written. He claims these sections were added later, yet they appear in the earliest forms of the Creed. It seems the author of the simply hasn't checked his facts.

Some of the arguments raised in the article are simply weak. Is the mention of God creating all things in the Creed intended to address the Gnostic belief that God didn't create the world? There's no evidence for this. The doctrine that God created the world is taught from Genesis to Revelation. It's a standard Jewish and Christian teaching which obviously preceded the Gnostics by centuries. Was Genesis 1:1 written against Gnosticism? Clearly not. The teachings which the article claims were inserted to refute the Gnostic interpretations of Jesus are actually found in Acts, in the preaching speeches of the apostles to the Jews - clearly not intended to address Gnostics, still less to address an as yet unborn Marcion. In fact it's clear that the Apostles' Creed is based (surprise, surprise), on the speeches in the Acts, borrowing heavily from the actual preaching speeches of the apostles. The early Christians were using the Acts as the authentic record of apostolic teaching, and the benchmark of orthodoxy. Not a single one of the trinitarian 'proof texts' is even alluded to.

But as with other parts of the article, the argument simply doesn't stand up. Why would the Creed defend against one error, only to fall into another? Why say that God is the Father, not 'the Father, the son, and the Holy Spirit'? Why say that the Father created all things, if Jesus created all things? Why say that Jesus is the son of God, and omit any reference at all to his being 'God the son'? If the Gnostics believed that Christians 'were wrong in supposing that God had taken human nature or a human body', then why doesn't the Creed make it clear that God had taken human nature or a human body? None of this makes sense.

I note you had nothing to say about the Didache. Any reason for this?

* John 1:1: You wrote this:
And even if we do consider that the Word is qualitatively divine, the fact that it is considered divine at all and the fact that it was with God from the beginning and the fact that it accomplishes the will of the Father without fail should tell you that it is not just an utterance but a living, continuous utterance, which validates my point even more.
No, the fact that it is considered divine and it was with God from the beginning and that it accomplishes the will of the Father without fail does not tell me it's a 'living thing'. Why would I conclude that, when the Bible explicitly declares it to be an utterance (Psalm 33:6, 'the breath of His mouth'), and the Greek word LOGOS means exactly that? You might as well make the same claim for God's wisdom in Proverbs 6, which is personified to an extent the word never is - yet you don't believe God's wisdom is 'a living being'.

I am not trying to redefine what the word 'is' is. I'm perfectly happy with the statement as it stands. While we're on this subject, let me show you a good paraphrase of John 1:1 I read recently:
"In the very beginning, the Word and God were already existing. In fact, the Word Itself was divine, just as God is."
Fantastic! I wholeheartedly agree. It's very paraphrastic, but I thoroughly believe it captures the emphasis of the passage (Jac, as an aside you and I don't disagree about the Greek grammar, as you've acknowledged - we just disagree on whether 'LOGOS' refers to the word of God or to Christ; you believe the latter, I believe the former).

* GINOMAI: You said 'If only the text had supported your version and actually had said 'God said let there be flesh'', but I don't even need it to say that. It says that the LOGOS GINOMAI SARX. That is, SARX (flesh), came into being. Very simple. That's exactly what we see in Genesis 1-2. It certainly does not say 'And THEOS added SARX to THEOS, and THEOS GINOMAI THEOS-SARX'.

* Law of contradiction: You're still misunderstanding this. It's certainly not wrong to say that an apple is both an apple and a fruit. But in this case you're not saying that the apple is p and not-p. If q is not 'not-p', then you can certainly say that p is both p and q. But to do so you have to explicitly identify q as not 'not-p'. So what you need to do in the situation under review is prove that 'God' is not 'not-man', and 'man' is not 'not-God'. So you need to demonstrate that 'God' and 'man' are as apple and orange to fruit. You have to demonstrate that they are really the same class of being. The only people I know who try to do that are the New Agers and the Mormons.

Finally, you claim that eternal (p), cannot be mortal (q) (absolutely true), yet you believe that Christ was both God (who is p, eternal), and man (who is q, mortal). You see? You repeatedly contradict the case you're trying to make.

One last word for Jac:
Before today, I would have been surprised at Fortigurn's attempt to use the Greek the way he has. Don't give anything he says in that area any credit. He is correct that in the phrase "The Word was God," "God" is a qualitative noun. But to use that to argue against the divinity of Christ is absolutely absurd, and if Wallace were here (the one Fortigurn likes to quote so much, who has taught the majority of conservatives their Greek, either directly or through his New Testament Syntax), he would have a conniption fit.
You've agreed with me on the grammar, that's good (well you didn't have much choice about that, of course). But no, I am not using this to prove that Jesus isn't divine. As I have pointed out, this doesn't say anything about Jesus. I am simply pointing out that this does not mean that the word is a divine being.
2) The traditional interpretation can be read as Fortigurn has repeatedly done, which is to identify Theos in 1:1c as the Father.
If you think that I'm saying 'And the word was God [the Father']', then no that is not what I am saying. I'm perfectly happy with your paraphrase. As I have made clear, we don't disagree over the grammar, so your character attacks against me in that area are completely unfounded. Where we disagree (as I have said repeatedly), is that you believe LOGOS means 'personal divine being', and I believe it means what the lexicons say it means. You believe the word of God here is Jesus, I believe it's the 'breath of His mouth' (Psalm 33:6).
In my opinion, he has come across as someone who knows a little bit of Greek and Hebrew grammar, and therefore thinks his arguments are beyond criticism. Everything he has said here would be laughed out of every first semester accredited Bible college course in the country.
I have never said my arguments are against criticism. I have asked repeatedly that people check what I am saying by presenting my arguments to the professional lists at B-Greek and B-Hebrew. And yet no one has done so. It's completely untrue to say that 'Everything he has said here would be laughed out of every first semester accredited Bible college course in the country'. You cannot prove that for a moment, and if you really believed it the you wouldn't have wasted any time presenting what I have said to the professional lists to which I have referred.

Here are a couple of professional posts from B-Greek:
I don't think I would read Mk 2:6-7 to mean that Jesus claimed to BE God but that he claimed authority which, in their view, only God could legitimately claim. But the authority to forgive sins is associated, in the early Xn view, with the Son of Man as agent of God in judgment. Perhaps this may seem to be quibbling, but it doesn't seem to me to be quite the same thing as equating Jesus with God.
Source.
"You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God." The Messiah is, of course, God's anointed, and one of the major titles of the Davidic Messiah from the time of the prophecy of Nathan in 2 Samuel 7 was "Son of God." This by no means implied the Messiah's divinity, nor do I think that there is any reason to assume that it does in Matthew's gospel. Here again I think this is a matter of our wanting to read the Christological assumptions of a later century into a text, which does not in and of itself imply them.
Source. And these, from someone who believes in the trinity.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#109

Post by Jac3510 » Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:41 pm

Fortigurn wrote:Jac, are you saying that everyone else understands 'God' to be a class, but you don't? Well that certainly does seem to be the case
Uhm . . .
I wrote:Jesus belongs to the class popular called "God" (just as I belong to the class popularly called "Human.")
Hmm . . .
Fortigurn wrote:I have taken great care to read all your arguments and understand what you say.
Really now? And yet . . .
Fortigurn wrote:there is an apparent contradiction in your two statements regarding 'God' as class/non-class.
Ok, then. Carry on.

edit:

Ah, I can't let this gem slip by:
Fortigurn wrote:I note that you have just done exactly what you wrongly claimed I had done - you're dismissing me out of hand saying it doesn't matter what I say because you refuse to take anything I say seriously.
I didn't claim anything wrongly. You did exactly what I accused you of doing. As for me, I'm not dismissing you "out of hand." I hardly think replying to the majority of your posts line by line is "out of hand." I'm dismissing you because you either 1) cannot follow a simple argument, or more likely 2) don't care enough about having a rational debate. I provided a significant argument against your two foundational ideas, as well as provided a historical case for the apostolic tradition, and your response is to point out an "apparent contradiction"? Now, I cannot see how you can believe your own words here. You can't honestly think that is a contradiction that needs explaining. I can only conclude, then, that you are looking for cheap debate points to misdirect the conversation. I have no interest to have that kind of discussion. You can run your little "If you don't want to have the discussion then fine" game all you want. The simple fact is that I WON'T have this conversation with someone who refuses to give others involved the basic respect of properly entertaining and replying to arguments. I don't take anyone seriously who acts like that. I've given you several chances, and you repeatedly employ this technique. So, fine. Good for you. Your "dismissal", though, has nothing to do with your contradiction of my interpretation of passages.

As before, carry on.
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?

#110

Post by Pierac » Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:32 pm

Hi Jac,
Jac wrote: 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.
I agree. I have never been hip on the Trinity creeds. It's too hard to box in with all the opposing scriptures. First when trying to explain co-equal they have to deal with verses like these.

Joh 14:28 "You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
There is no co-equal verse here.

1Co 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.
Once again no co-equal status here!

1Co 15:28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
Once again the resurrected Jesus will be subjected to the One. Who is the One? The Father that He may be all in all. Very hard verse to make into a co-equal team.

Fortigurn has already pointed out that Jesus was a servant of God:

• 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'

Now to the issue of “free will” in regards to Jesus. Did Jesus have free will?

What saith the scriptures:

Joh 5:19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
Joh 5:20 "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.
Do you know of one Scripture that contradicts this verse in John 5:19? If you don't then you must admit that Jesus could not do anything by a supposed "free will" which is said to have the ability to act independently of God. “the Son can do nothing of Himself”

"Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief: When you shall make His soul an offering for sin…" (Isa. 53:10).

God said that He would "make" the soul of Jesus an offering for sin. God doing the "making" is the CAUSE. Therefore, Jesus was not free to run from the cross. God inspired Jesus [caused] Him to pray. And God caused Jesus to pray that His Father's will, would be done, not His Own will. The Father inspired [caused, made] Jesus state time after time, "Not My will but Thine, Not My will but Thine, NOT MY WILL BUT THINE"!!

Phi 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Joh 5:30 "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Jesus can not make it more clear! “I can do nothing on My own initiative” Why? Because He is not free to do so.

Joh 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.
Who's will? A co-equal partner's or the Fathers?

Joh 5:26 "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;
Joh 5:27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.
If Jesus is a co-equal “God” partner then He would not need to be given anything, especially life, and authority.

Joh 12:49 "For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.
So Jesus was commanded what to say? There is no co-equal or 'free will' verse here.

If Jesus had a "free will," He sure didn't use it very much:

Joh 14:24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.


Jesus Christ was very content to have His Father live in Him, and think in Him, and do good works and deeds, in Him. How about us, do we think we can do good works apart from Him?

Mar 10:18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.

Mat 12:18 "Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

Luk 9:35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!"


I like the way Irenaeus of Lyons explains God. It's so much better than any Trinity creed. It's very close to my previous post.

Irenaeus' “The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching” (mid-second century A.D.)
Translated by John Behr. p 42.


That God Himself created all by His Word and Wisdom

[4] For it is necessary that things that have come into being have received the origin of there being (arch genedewj) from some great cause; and the origin of all is God, for He Himself was not made by anyone, but everything was made by Him. And therefore it is proper, first of all, to believe that there is One God, the Father, who has created and fashioned all things, who made that which was not to be, who contains all and is alone uncontainable. Moreover, in this 'all' is our world, and in the world, man; thus this world was also created by God.

[5] In this way, then, it is demonstrated [that there is] One God, [the] Father, uncreated, invisible, Creator of all, above whom there is no other God, and after whom there is no other God. And God is verbal (logikoj), therefore He made created things by the word; and God is Spirit, as the prophets also says, "By the word of the Lord were the heavens established, and all their power by His Spirit". Thus, since the word 'establishes', that is, works bodily and confers existence (uparxij), while the Spirit arranges informs the various 'powers', so rightly is the Son called Word and the Spirit the Wisdom of God. Hence, His apostle Paul also well says, "One God, the Father, who is above all, and through all and in us all"-because 'above all' is the Father-while 'in us all' is the Spirit, who cries "Abba, Father," and forms man to the likeness of God. Thus, the Spirit demonstrates the word, and, because of this, the prophets announced the Son of God, while the word articulates the Spirit, and therefore it is He Himself who interprets the prophets and brings man to the Father.

The three articles on the rule of faith and baptism

[6] And this is the order of our faith, the foundation of [the] edifice and the support of [our] conduct: God, the Father, uncreated, uncontainable, invisible, one God, the Creator of all: this is the first article (kefalaion) of our faith. And the second article: the word of God, the Son of God, Christ Jesus our Lord, who was revealed by the prophets according to the character of their prophecy in according to the nature of the economies of the Father, by whom all things were made, and who, in the last times, to recapitulate all things, became a man amongst men, visible and palpable, in order to abolish death, to demonstrate life, and to effect communion between God and man. In the third article: the Holy Spirit, through whom the prophets prophesied and the patriarchs learnt the things of God and the righteous were led in the path of righteousness, and who, in the last times was poured out in the fashion upon the human race renewing man, throughout the world, to God.

[7] for this reason the baptism of our regeneration (palig-genesia) takes place through these three articles, granting us regeneration unto God the Father through His Son by the Holy Spirit: for those who bear the Spirit of God are led to the word, that is to the Son, while the Son presents [them] to the Father, and the Father furnishes (peripoiew) incorruptibility. Thus, without the Spirit is not [possible] to see the word of God, and without the Son one is not able to approach the Father; for the knowledge of the Father [is] the Son, and the knowledge of the Son of God is through the Holy Spirit, while the Spirit, according to the good-pleasure of the Father, the Son administers, to whom the Father wills and as He wills.


When reading Irenaeus, you clearly see there is only 'One God the Father uncreated, invisible, Creator of all, above whom there is no other God, and after whom there is no other God.'
Yet, as I stated earlier, you can not know the Father except through His Son, and you can not know the Son unless He is revealed by the Father through His Spirit.

Shema Yisrael!

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#111

Post by Jac3510 » Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:38 am

Hey Pierac,

I don't have time to read all of your post in detail now. I am getting ready to walk out the door for church, and I won't be back until late this evening. However, I did notice in my skimming of your response that you have majored on the Christ's submission to God as a means of denying His co-equality with Him.

Trinitarians have always answered this question in the same manner (so far as I am aware), and I believe their answer is exactly right. When we speak of coequality, we are, just as when we speak of His coeternity, speaking of His essence and nature. Ontologiclaly, Jesus is perfectly coequal with God, just as is the Holy Spirit. This is seen even in our human realm. I am ontologicaly equal with President Bush. He is no more human than I am. Economically, however, I am subservient to him. The same is true in the Trinity.

Notice that my definition is ontological. There is also an economical definition of the Trinity that speaks nothing of the Persons' coequality and coeternity. In this definition, the Father elects; the Son gives Himself for sin; the Holy Spirit regenerates and seals the elect; in return for the Son's willful sacrifice, He receives authority over all the world; the Father receives the subservience of the Son, making Him Lord over all; the Holy Spirit binds everything together. The key in this view, however, is that there is only one God who does all of this. And thus, we see the Trinity played out this way. It relies heavily on what is called Trinitarian Subordinationism, as opposed to, say Trinitarian Egalitarianism (which is, in my view, pure heresy). The point here is that in this view (which I do not think is necessarily incorrect), coequality is not mentioned because we are not speaking of God's ontology. Notice that, just the same, coeternality is not mentioned, either. Again, both of those are properties of God's ontological existence.

Please note that in my definition, I described the Trinity as the term that describes God's nature (ontology) as three Persons in one eternal Being. If you would like me to add a statement to my definition to explain the God's economical nature, I can, but I hope you can see that I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with Jesus saying that the Father is greater than He.

Oh, and on a final note, let me also say that this has always been the case. Here is where I depart from most Trinitarians, I think. Most believe that the Second Person in the Godhead was coequal in both ontology and economy, but then chose to empty Himself in the incarnation (the doctrine known as the Kenosis, see Phil 2:5-11). I disagree with this. I believe that even before the incarnation, the Son was always "under" the Father in the economic sense of the word. I cannot emphasize enough that this does not challenge the Son's coequality with God, because He is coequal with God by nature. Both belong to this class that Fortigurn wishes to call "God," that many people do, that I refer to as "Necessary Existance." I don't know how many Trinitarians on this board agree with me on this, but that's just the way I've come to look at it.

tl;dr - Coequality is limited to the ontology of the Godhead, which has never changed. The incarnation did not change God's nature. The Son has always been subservient to the Father, a fact well brought out by the economical view of the Trinity.

I'll get to the rest of your post tonight.

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?

#112

Post by Fortigurn » Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:07 am

Jac, if your complaint is that there's a post of yours I've left unanswered it's not because I'm refusing to answer it, it's because I just haven't managed to get around to it yet. I'm having to answer posts from several people, and I don't always get the time to address each post. I usually deal with the shorter and simpler ones first, because I can usually get them over and done with and wrap them up in one post. Yours will have to wait until tomorrow I'm afraid (the weekends aren't good for me, I work on weekends).

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#113

Post by Jac3510 » Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:06 pm

Alrighty Pierac, on to the rest of your post. I'll just line by line the stuff that doesn't deal with the coequality of Jesus as you have brought up some stuff that I'd really like to comment on.
Joh 5:19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
Joh 5:20 "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.
Do you know of one Scripture that contradicts this verse in John 5:19? If you don't then you must admit that Jesus could not do anything by a supposed "free will" which is said to have the ability to act independently of God. “the Son can do nothing of Himself”
Sure. Matt. 26:39 - Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (NIV)

Jesus clearly has a personal will in this verse: not to suffer on the cross. He chose, however, to do the will of the Father. Jesus was not an automaton that God carried along like a puppet. As I said before, He was the only man since Adam with a truly free will. I don't have it. You don't have it. Paul didn't even have it. Consider his own words:
  • Rom 7:15 - I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (NIV)

    Gal 5:17 - For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. (NIV)
That's what the Fall did, in my theology. So, again, I see Jesus as being the only man to actually have that choice. Now, since you do not believe that Jesus was divine, I'd like to know how you believe He was capable of never sinning, since Galatians 5:17 clearly says tat we are not able to do what we want to do (that is, the good we want to do)?
"Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief: When you shall make His soul an offering for sin…" (Isa. 53:10).

God said that He would "make" the soul of Jesus an offering for sin. God doing the "making" is the CAUSE. Therefore, Jesus was not free to run from the cross. God inspired Jesus [caused] Him to pray. And God caused Jesus to pray that His Father's will, would be done, not His Own will. The Father inspired [caused, made] Jesus state time after time, "Not My will but Thine, Not My will but Thine, NOT MY WILL BUT THINE"!!
Ahhh . . . I think you've taken the English word "make" here in the wrong sense. Unfortunately, I left my TWOT in Lagrange (two hours away . . . DOH!!!), so I'm forced to appeal to Strong's. Anyway, the word here is שׂוּם (suwm), and it means roughly "to put, place, set, appoint, make." Here are two alternative translations that bring out the force of the word in English more properly:
  • But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. (NASB)

    But it was the Lord's good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord's good plan will prosper in his hands. (NLT)
So, read the English word "make" here with its idea of "turn turn into," as in "When you get to the redlight, make a U-Turn." There is no causal idea here.
Phi 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Let me just offer my own translation of this verse: "For God is the one working among you even to will and to work concerning good will."

The good will being brought out is not God's personal glory. It is not His "good pleasure." In fact, the word "His" is not even in the Greek text. The immediate context is the famous "work out your salvation with fear in trembling." "Salvation" in that verse is not talking about "going to heaven." It is talking about the spiritual wholeness of the church (cf. James 5:15). The broader context of that is the whole of chapter 2, which teaches that we are to "regard one another as more important than yourselves" (2:3, my translation). This is exactly what Christ did. He considered us more important than Himself. Even though He existed as God, He took on the form of a man and poured Himself out in service to us (which is a better understanding than "He emptied Himself" in 2:7) even to the extent of death. It is in this frame of selfless service, of absolute humility, that the Philippians are exhorted to obey in Paul's absence and work to achieve their spiritual wholeness, and this should be done fearfully because it is God Himself who is working to bring about their good will towards one another.
Joh 5:30 "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Jesus can not make it more clear! “I can do nothing on My own initiative” Why? Because He is not free to do so.
Of course not. He has bound Himself to the will of the Father. The point I continually make is that Jesus chose to bind Himself to the Father's will. I wish I could say the same thing Jesus did. Paul wished it, too, but he could not, as per Romans 7:14ff. I certainly hope you do not believe that our will is more free than Jesus Christ's. Our bodies are enslaved to sin. Jesus chose to do not His will, but to do the Father's will. Choice, my friend. Choice.
Joh 12:49 "For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.
So Jesus was commanded what to say? There is no co-equal or 'free will' verse here.
I've already commented on Jesus' coequality with God. I only reference it here because you connected that concept with His free will. It should be obvious from my previous comments that, in my view, this is no problem whatsoever. Let me know if this needs any more elaboration.
If Jesus had a "free will," He sure didn't use it very much:
On the contrary, as I see it, He is the only person, other than Adam, who has ever had it. He exercised it every single day.
Joh 14:24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.

Jesus Christ was very content to have His Father live in Him, and think in Him, and do good works and deeds, in Him. How about us, do we think we can do good works apart from Him?

Mar 10:18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.

Mat 12:18 "Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

Luk 9:35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!"
I don't see your point with these verses. We are incapable of doing good works. Whenever I do a good work, it is not I who do it, but Christ in me (Gal 2:20). I heard a man by the name of Dave Anderson say something quite profound a couple of weeks ago. He said (paraphrasing): "I find that the hardest thing to convince a non-believer of is the substitutionary death of Christ; I find that the hardest thing to convince a Christian of is the substitutionary life of Christ." Even among faith-alone people, there is a huge tendency to try to live out a works-based sanctification. It's as if we have to strive to do good. John Piper preached a wonderful message (as much as I detest most of his theology) entitled, "The Debtor's Ethic." I'll save you the space of explaining it here. Just click the link when you get time. The point is just that we aren't capable of doing ANY good whatsoever, even as Christians. Jesus Christ does it through us. Why? Because He is the only one with a truly free will, and praise be to God, when I am resurrected, I'll finally have it, too.
I like the way Irenaeus of Lyons explains God. It's so much better than any Trinity creed. It's very close to my previous post.
.
.
.
When reading Irenaeus, you clearly see there is only 'One God the Father uncreated, invisible, Creator of all, above whom there is no other God, and after whom there is no other God.'
Yet, as I stated earlier, you can not know the Father except through His Son, and you can not know the Son unless He is revealed by the Father through His Spirit.
Well let's not have Irenaeus contract himself. This is the same man who said the following:
  • He, therefore who was known, was not a different being from Him who declared, 'No man knoweth the Father,' but one and the same, the Father making all things subject to Him; while He received testimony from all that He was very [true] man, and that He was very [true] God, from the Father, from the Spirit, from angels, from the creation itself, from men, from apostate spirits and demons, from the enemy, and last of all, from death itself." AH, IV, 6,7 (ANF, 469).
Besides, what you posted above, I see plenty of reason to see him considering Jesus to be divine. Notice:

"He made created things by the word . . . so rightly is the Son called Word." This is going to fly in the face of Fortigurn's (feeble) defense of John 1:1. The Son = Jesus. If the Son = the Word, and the Son = Jesus, then Jesus = the Word. Of course, that totally fits in with Col 1:16, "For by [Jesus] all things were created." It also fits with Irenaeus' broader theology, as I've shown above.

Two things, then, are worth noting. First, Irenaeus was around in the mid-second century. They had not gotten around to formalizing the doctrine yet, so we should not expect to see Trinitarian language. What we do see is something of an economical definition of the Trinity. See my previous post my explanation and example of that, and then compare that to his words here. You'll find them to be remarkably similar. I, then, don't have any real problem with anything in the above. I think he may be moving a bit closer to modalism than I am comfortable with, but that is hardly surprising.

So besides all that, let me return to my two questions to you, plus one extra one:

1. John 1 says that no one has ever seen God; Gen 18 says that Yahweh Himself appeared to Abraham. How do you get around that?

2. The Bible says that God created the universe in Gen 1, but then turns around and says that Jesus created everything, both visible and invisible, in Col 1. What is your take on that?

3. John 1:11 says, "He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him."(NIV) Now, "His own" here refers either to the whole of creation or, more likely (in my opinion), to the Jews. Take your pick, it doesn't hurt my argument. So, the question:

In the OT, Elohim created the universe, and therefore, the universe was Elohim's. Likewise, in the OT, Yahweh created the Jewish nation, and therefore, the Jews were His own people. How, then, can John say that Jesus came to "His own" if the people (or world) He came to was not His, but God's?

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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?

#114

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:10 am

Jac3510 wrote:1. John 1 says that no one has ever seen God; Gen 18 says that Yahweh Himself appeared to Abraham. How do you get around that?
An angel appeared to Abraham as the agent of God, just as an angel appeared to Moses as the agent of God ('God sent as both ruler and deliverer through the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush', Acts 7:35).
2. The Bible says that God created the universe in Gen 1, but then turns around and says that Jesus created everything, both visible and invisible, in Col 1. What is your take on that?
My take is that you're misinterpreting Colossians 1, which speaks of the new creation. Jesus himself attributed the creation to a person other than himself (Matthew 19:4).
3. John 1:11 says, "He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him."(NIV) Now, "His own" here refers either to the whole of creation or, more likely (in my opinion), to the Jews. Take your pick, it doesn't hurt my argument. So, the question:

In the OT, Elohim created the universe, and therefore, the universe was Elohim's. Likewise, in the OT, Yahweh created the Jewish nation, and therefore, the Jews were His own people. How, then, can John say that Jesus came to "His own" if the people (or world) He came to was not His, but God's?
Easy. For a Jew, the Jewish people are 'my people' (Esther 7:3-4; 8:6, Daniel 9:20, Lamentations 3:48). The Jewish people were 'his own'.

Now to answer that other post of yours.

* Non-contradiction: You hold that 'God' and 'man' are not p and not-p. You believe that 'man' is a class but 'God' is not a class. But this is simply our assertion. In English, Greek and Hebrew 'God' is a noun in a class which is 'not-man'. Indeed, Scripture is clear that 'God' and 'man' are not just simply different ways of saying the same thing, or mutually compatible attributes, they are two different and mutually exclusive classes.

But there's more. By claiming Jesus is both God and man, the trinitarian claims that Jeus is both immortal (p), and mortal (not-p), both omnipotent (p), and not-omnipotent (not-p), both all knowing (p), and not-all knowing (not-p). Even claiming that Jesus has two natures is logically incoherent, as is the claim that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man (requiring a peculiar definition of '100%').

* Argument from silence: As I have said repeatedly, I am not making an argument from silence. My argument is that the apostles baptized people as Christians after teaching them that Jesus is a man. I have presented evidence (which wasn't even denied), that the apostles baptized people as Christians after teaching them that Jesus is a man.

I have said more than once that this does not prove Jesus is only a man. The point I have made is that whereas I have evidence that the apostles baptized people with the knowledge Jesus is a man, you have no evidence that they baptized people with the knowledge Jesus is both God and man.

* The purpose of Acts: I'm not sure how you are defining 'the Apostolic tradition', but I have never said that the purpose of Acts was intended to record 'the whole of the Apostolic tradition'. I have said that the purpose of the Acts was to instruct a catechumens, and in the process describe what the apostles taught as the gospel prior to baptizing people. And that's exactly what we find, right from Acts 2.

* Pliny: You make three mistakes when appealing to Pliny. The first is that you're appealing to a secondary source rather than a primary source. The second is that even this secondary source is (allegedly), reporting what was said to him by people who were no longer Christians, and hadn't been Christians for between 3 and 25 years[/b], according to Pliny.

The third and most significant mistake is that you want to represent what these ex-Christians allegedly said as representative of Christian orthodoxy and orthopraxy. The problem with this is that there is no evidence for this whatever. If it were true, you would be able to find evidence for it, but you can't.

Consider the earliest witnesses to the orthopraxy of the early Christian assemblies:

# The New Testament: There are perhaps three (contested), hymnic passages in the New Testament, and none of them are addressed to Christ as a 'divinity'. Nor is there any evidence whatever that the early Christian assemblies met at dawn and sang a hymn to Christ, still less a hymn to Christ as a 'divinity'.

# The Didache: This contains a clear description of the service at Christian assemblies. There is no mention of a dawn meeting. There is no mention of a hymn to Christ, still less a hymn to Christ as a 'divinity'. Not only that, but the three prayers which are described are all prayers to God, who is identified as one person, the Father. And not only that, but Jesus is clearly identified not only as the son of God, but as His agent and servant.

# Justin Martyr: No mention of a dawn meeting. Prayers are made to God, and not to Christ. There is no mention of any hymns to Christ at all, still less to Christ as a 'divinity'. And this is the mid-2nd century.

So you're in exactly the same problem as those who claimed that the early Christian assemblies involved group sex and cannibalism - there is no record of it taking place at all. If as you claim this was the orthopraxy of the early Christian assemblies, then why is there no Christian record of it, not in the New Testament description of Christian assemblies, not in the Didache's description of Christian assemblies, and not even in Martyr's description of Christian assemblies?

How could it have been missed by these three key sources, for over 100 years? There is simply no evidence to support your case that this statement is representative of Christian orthopraxy at the Christian assembly.

* Heresies: You ask how it could be possible that people could come to the conclusion that Jesus was divine. Easy, the same way the came to the conclusion that Paul and Barnabas were divine - Jesus performed miracles. That's all it took for the superstitious Greeks to decide someone was divine.

It's easy to see that if the earliest creedal statements are directed at refuting specific heresies, then the belief that Jesus is God is certainly a belief at which they are taking aim.

In the Didache:

* 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'

Likewise the Apostles' Creed, in which God is described as one person, the Father, and to whom is attributed the entire creation, whereas Jesus is called the son of God, and is represented as a man.

The fact is that the earliest undisputed Christian document referring to Jesus as God doesn't appear until the 2nd century, so you can hardly claim that this is an apostolic teaching.

* Ignatius: No I did not say that Ignatius was 'too late to be admissible'. I didn't say that in the least. What I did say was this:
Next a string of quotes from Ignatius, mainly from the forged epistles or quotes of the later interpolations (not Ignatius' own words), so this is not an accurate representation of Ignatius. I can go into detail about Ignatius later if necessary. What's important here is that non-interpolated and authentic Ignatian epistles distinguish God from Jesus, identify God as one person (the Father), and identify Jesus only as God's son.
Added emphasis.

At the end of the day, I don't have to apologize for my position. I can see for myself that the apostles baptized people as Christians after teaching them that Jesus is a man. That was good enough for the apostles', and it's good enough for me. There is no evidence that they requried those people to believe Jesus is God, nor is Jesus' 'divinity' ever said to be a matter of salvation, from one end of the New Testament to the other.
Last edited by Fortigurn on Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#115

Post by FFC » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:10 am

Fortigurn wrote:No he was not 'obviously being facetious', nor was he comparing himself with the wicked judges. He says very clearly 'God called them THEOI, and you want to stone me for saying I am the son of God?'.
And you don't see the facetiousness in Jesus' words in comparing himself to clearly wicked Judges? Besides He never did deny that He was God as the Jews initially accused.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#116

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:11 am

FFC wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:No he was not 'obviously being facetious', nor was he comparing himself with the wicked judges. He says very clearly 'God called them THEOI, and you want to stone me for saying I am the son of God?'.
And you don't see the facetiousness in Jesus' words in comparing himself to clearly wicked Judges?
He wasn't comparing himself to them in the least. He said 'God called them THEOI, and you want to stone me for calling myself the son of God?'.
Besides He never did deny that He was God as the Jews initially accused.
On the contrary, he did indeed. They said 'You're calling yourself God!', and he said 'I said I am the son of God'.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#117

Post by FFC » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:02 am

Fortigurn wrote:
FFC wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:No he was not 'obviously being facetious', nor was he comparing himself with the wicked judges. He says very clearly 'God called them THEOI, and you want to stone me for saying I am the son of God?'.
And you don't see the facetiousness in Jesus' words in comparing himself to clearly wicked Judges?
He wasn't comparing himself to them in the least. He said 'God called them THEOI, and you want to stone me for calling myself the son of God?'.
Besides He never did deny that He was God as the Jews initially accused.
On the contrary, he did indeed. They said 'You're calling yourself God!', and he said 'I said I am the son of God'.
Trinitarians believe He is God as well as the Son of God, so I still see no contradiction or a denial of His diety. Quite frankly I wish He would have come right out and made it crystal clear to these Jews, but when you think about it why should He? Didn't he always speak in parables to them so that seeing they would not percieve and hearing they would not understand...etc? Jesus loved to deliberately confound the self righteous and arrogant.

However he was pretty clear to his close disciples in John 14 when He told Philip that whoever has seen Him has seen the Father and that He was in the Father and the Father was in Him. It seems pretty clear to me.

Take care
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#118

Post by Byblos » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:05 am

Fortigurn wrote: * Agency: Clearly you're still having problems with the idea that God can use an agent. You say on the one hand that you don't, but then you say on the other hand that if God grants X, Y or Z to someone other than Himself that's God 'sharing His glory' with another. God doesn't appear to see it that way. You claim 'God did not use an agent for the purpose of affecting salvation because He promised that He, personally, will be our savior', and yet as I've pointed out God has commonly used an agent for the purpose of effecting salvation. He said He Himself, personally would save Israel from Egypt, and yet He did it through Moses. He said that He Himself, personally would save Israel from their enemies in Canaan, and yet He consistently did so through the judges (Ehud, Gideon, Samson, etc).
God did not just grant 'X,Y, or Z' to Jesus. Virtually ALL of God's glory was granted to Him; It wasn't just some assignment like 'go lead the Israelites out of bondage' or 'go act as if you were Pharaoh's god'. Every attribute, including the creation, was in one way or another, attributed to Jesus. Clearly you are not seeing that but then again, this is really not directed at you or for you.
Fortigurn wrote:You say 'God assigning functions only attributable to Him to a mere man is most certainly giving his glory to another', and yet God told Moses that he would be 'As God to Pharoah', and that Aaron would be his prophet, David himself was not only addressed as God's son, he is even called 'elohim', Solomon was said to sit on the throne of YHWH, a child born in Isaiah 7 is called 'Immanuel', or 'God with us', and 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. Yet you don't think that any of these people are God, and you don't consider this God 'giving His glory to another'. So when it comes to Christ, you're indulging in special pleading.
Like I said, Jesus didn't just get some special assignment but he is attributed with the fullness of God's glory of which he emptied himself (or like Jac likes to say, he poured it out of him) in order to accomplish the will of the Father. No special pleading required.
Fortigurn wrote:* The Apostles' Creed: You attempted to deal with the complete absence of any reference to the trinity or Jesus' 'divinity' in the Apostles' Creed by claiming it was only intended as a refutation of the Gnostics. Yet where is the evidence for this? I've looked through half a dozen standard Christian Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and resources on Christian theological history, and none of them say this. They all say it was an early creedal statement expressing the fundamental Christian beliefs as commonly agreed to. No one even knows where the Apostles' Creed originated, nor who wrote it, and yet you're telling me you know the very purpose for which it was written? This is absurd.

The article you quoted starts with a false statement:
A Creed generally emphasizes the beliefs opposing those errors that the compilers of the creed think most dangerous at the time.
Not only is this not necessarily the case, it isn't even often the case. The comparison with the Council of Trent is entirely invalid, since Trent provides an explicit list of heresies to be condemned, whereas the Apostles' Creed does no such thing. Nor does the Creed place any 'emphasis' on any particular part of the Creed as an explicit refutation of any given heresy. I note that the Website also claims that the Apostles' Creed was intended to address Marcion, yet Marcion wasn't even born until 110 AD, and wasn't a danger until the mid-2nd century. Yet the Apostles' Creed precedes the 2nd century. Looking at the New Testament verses clearly intended to deal with Gnosticism, we find explicit reference to Jesus having literally come in the flesh. We find no such emphasis in the Apostles' Creed. One of the quotes on that Website (from some Bible dictionary), even claims that the Apostles' Creed wasn't simply intended to deal with Marcion (despite the fact that the Creed was written before Marcion was born), but even claims it was intended to deal with the Docetists and Donatists. But Docetism didn't appear until the mid-2nd century, and the Donatists didn't exist until the 4th century, long after the Creed was written. He claims these sections were added later, yet they appear in the earliest forms of the Creed. It seems the author of the simply hasn't checked his facts.

Some of the arguments raised in the article are simply weak. Is the mention of God creating all things in the Creed intended to address the Gnostic belief that God didn't create the world? There's no evidence for this. The doctrine that God created the world is taught from Genesis to Revelation. It's a standard Jewish and Christian teaching which obviously preceded the Gnostics by centuries. Was Genesis 1:1 written against Gnosticism? Clearly not. The teachings which the article claims were inserted to refute the Gnostic interpretations of Jesus are actually found in Acts, in the preaching speeches of the apostles to the Jews - clearly not intended to address Gnostics, still less to address an as yet unborn Marcion. In fact it's clear that the Apostles' Creed is based (surprise, surprise), on the speeches in the Acts, borrowing heavily from the actual preaching speeches of the apostles. The early Christians were using the Acts as the authentic record of apostolic teaching, and the benchmark of orthodoxy. Not a single one of the trinitarian 'proof texts' is even alluded to.

But as with other parts of the article, the argument simply doesn't stand up. Why would the Creed defend against one error, only to fall into another? Why say that God is the Father, not 'the Father, the son, and the Holy Spirit'? Why say that the Father created all things, if Jesus created all things? Why say that Jesus is the son of God, and omit any reference at all to his being 'God the son'? If the Gnostics believed that Christians 'were wrong in supposing that God had taken human nature or a human body', then why doesn't the Creed make it clear that God had taken human nature or a human body? None of this makes sense.
Please, this is nothing more than your own interpretation. If you do a little research on the purpose of the Apostles' creed you will find almost all of them mention something about it being to fight gnostic ideas about the humanity of Jesus. Here's another link (a Google online book) that specifically discusses the purpose of the creed. It also goes on to say that the origins are not exactly known but some parts of it could be traced to the apostolic age. The creed in its entirety could well have not been finalized until well after the Marcion appearance.
Fortigurn wrote:I note you had nothing to say about the Didache. Any reason for this?
Too many controversies as to origin, date, and particularly purpose.
Fortigurn wrote:* John 1:1: You wrote this:
And even if we do consider that the Word is qualitatively divine, the fact that it is considered divine at all and the fact that it was with God from the beginning and the fact that it accomplishes the will of the Father without fail should tell you that it is not just an utterance but a living, continuous utterance, which validates my point even more.
No, the fact that it is considered divine and it was with God from the beginning and that it accomplishes the will of the Father without fail does not tell me it's a 'living thing'. Why would I conclude that, when the Bible explicitly declares it to be an utterance (Psalm 33:6, 'the breath of His mouth'), and the Greek word LOGOS means exactly that? You might as well make the same claim for God's wisdom in Proverbs 6, which is personified to an extent the word never is - yet you don't believe God's wisdom is 'a living being'.

I am not trying to redefine what the word 'is' is. I'm perfectly happy with the statement as it stands. While we're on this subject, let me show you a good paraphrase of John 1:1 I read recently:
"In the very beginning, the Word and God were already existing. In fact, the Word Itself was divine, just as God is."
Fantastic! I wholeheartedly agree. It's very paraphrastic, but I thoroughly believe it captures the emphasis of the passage (Jac, as an aside you and I don't disagree about the Greek grammar, as you've acknowledged - we just disagree on whether 'LOGOS' refers to the word of God or to Christ; you believe the latter, I believe the former).

* GINOMAI: You said 'If only the text had supported your version and actually had said 'God said let there be flesh'', but I don't even need it to say that. It says that the LOGOS GINOMAI SARX. That is, SARX (flesh), came into being. Very simple. That's exactly what we see in Genesis 1-2. It certainly does not say 'And THEOS added SARX to THEOS, and THEOS GINOMAI THEOS-SARX'.

* Law of contradiction: You're still misunderstanding this. It's certainly not wrong to say that an apple is both an apple and a fruit. But in this case you're not saying that the apple is p and not-p. If q is not 'not-p', then you can certainly say that p is both p and q. But to do so you have to explicitly identify q as not 'not-p'. So what you need to do in the situation under review is prove that 'God' is not 'not-man', and 'man' is not 'not-God'. So you need to demonstrate that 'God' and 'man' are as apple and orange to fruit. You have to demonstrate that they are really the same class of being. The only people I know who try to do that are the New Agers and the Mormons.

Finally, you claim that eternal (p), cannot be mortal (q) (absolutely true), yet you believe that Christ was both God (who is p, eternal), and man (who is q, mortal). You see? You repeatedly contradict the case you're trying to make.
The reason you're not able to see my logic is that we are operating from two difference premises so this is really again not directed at you or for you but at everyone who does believe that the Word of God is the eternal Word who was with God from the beginning and by whom all things were made. Given that, if the Word became flesh and ceased to be the Word then eternal became mortal. The highlighted flies in the face of not only the law of contradiction but also in the face of any rational thought whatsoever. This is what the law of contradiction is supposed to guard against, oxymorons and inherently self-defeating contradictions from being employed as part of logical constructs.
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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#119

Post by Fortigurn » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:55 am

FFC wrote:Trinitarians believe He is God as well as the Son of God, so I still see no contradiction or a denial of His diety.
I know you believe that he is God as well, but the fact is that 'son of God' does not mean 'God', any more than 'son of FFC' means 'FFC'. Jesus said, very clearly, 'Look, you don't have a problem with God calling the judges THEOI, so why is it blasphemy when I say I am the son of God?'.
Quite frankly I wish He would have come right out and made it crystal clear to these Jews, but when you think about it why should He? Didn't he always speak in parables to them so that seeing they would not percieve and hearing they would not understand...etc? Jesus loved to deliberately confound the self righteous and arrogant.
But this is where trinitarians try to have their cake and eat it too. On the one hand you want to tell me that Jesus said so plainly that he was God that the Jews understood him without any problems at all, and on the other hand you want to tell me that when challenged he promptly obscured his previously explicit claim by saying he was only the son of God. It just doesn't make sense. If he was always speaking in parables so they wouldn't understand, how can you claim that they understood him perfectly as saying he was God?
However he was pretty clear to his close disciples in John 14 when He told Philip that whoever has seen Him has seen the Father and that He was in the Father and the Father was in Him. It seems pretty clear to me.
That's very clear to me also. If God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, then Christ was not God. If the water is in the glass, the water is not the glass.

Now Byblos:

* Authority: No, not every attribute or act of God was attributed to Christ, certainly not creation. But surely you can see that if Christ was God then he couldn't have any authority or power given to him, because he would already have it. I've shown repeatedly that the apostles said he was a man through whom God worked, which identifies him explicitly as an agent of God. Talk of him emptying himself 'of the fullness of God's glory' simply isn't in the realm of Scripture, which says no such thing.

* The Apostles' Creed: No it is not simply my interpretation. I have read more than a dozen commentaries on the Creed, and none of them say that Jesus' humanity is only mentioned as a counter to Gnosticism. And as I have pointed out, why would it go so far to correct one error that it excluded a vital truth, making absolutely no mention of Jesus as divine, and no mention of the trinity? As I have said before also, no one can say that the purpose of the Apostles' Creed was specifically X, Y or Z, other than that it was intended to be a creedal statement representing the core agreed on beliefs of the early Christians. Trying to claim that certain phrases or lines were intended to fight against this heresy or that heresy is completely speculative. It has long been recognized that the content of the Apostles' Creed is what it is because it follows the preaching speeches in Acts, proving yet again that the preaching speeches in Acts were considered by the early Christian community as definitive of the core gospel message.

As I have said before, there is no evidence that the references to Christ as a man post-date Marcion. The Creed as it is commonly quoted was already being quoted prior to Marcion. We have evidence for this. The only parts which are possibly later additions are 'descended into hell', and 'the communion of saints', neither of which have anything to do with the Gnostics. The 'Old Roman Creed' as commonly quoted clearly predates Marcion and had already been finalized. Later additions don't change the fact that a finalized version already preceded Marcion.

* The Didache: It's not surprising that you try to dismiss the Didache. As to its origin, that's irrelevant. You don't have any information on the origin of the Apostles' Creed, but you don't mind quoting that. As to its date, the consensus is that it is a late 1st century Christian document. As to its purpose, that has never been in dispute. It is explicitly a document containing the orthodoxy and orthopraxy to which a catechumens must give personal consent before baptism ('After reviewing all of this teaching, baptize in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in living water'). You are dismissing it on grounds which are irrelevant (the origin), and uncontested (the date and purpose). Look at the standard commentaries on the Didache, as well as the modern commentaries, and you won't find any great controversy over the date (though Audet wants to date it around 60-80 AD), nor the purpose.

* GINOMAI: It is your claim that the LOGOS could not GINOMAI SARX, because the LOGOS is (in your view), eternal in a sense which would prevent it becoming SARX. Yet the fact is that the text itself tells us that the LOGOS did GINOMAI SARX. You're not in a position to deny this unless you want to throw that verse out of your Bible. So the problem here is your understanding of the LOGOS, as I have said. You believe LOGOS means 'immortal and eternal being who is actually God the son', but that's not what it means. You can't say that the LOGOS didn't GINOMAI SARX without directly contradicting the Bible. The problem, as I have identified, is that you believe the LOGOS here is something which couldn't GINOMAI SARX, whereas the Bible makes it clear that it could. So the problem lies with your definition of the LOGOS.

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Re: Trinity – What is it?

#120

Post by Byblos » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:12 am

Fortigurn wrote: * GINOMAI: It is your claim that the LOGOS could not GINOMAI SARX, because the LOGOS is (in your view), eternal in a sense which would prevent it becoming SARX. Yet the fact is that the text itself tells us that the LOGOS did GINOMAI SARX. You're not in a position to deny this unless you want to throw that verse out of your Bible. So the problem here is your understanding of the LOGOS, as I have said. You believe LOGOS means 'immortal and eternal being who is actually God the son', but that's not what it means. You can't say that the LOGOS didn't GINOMAI SARX without directly contradicting the Bible. The problem, as I have identified, is that you believe the LOGOS here is something which couldn't GINOMAI SARX, whereas the Bible makes it clear that it could. So the problem lies with your definition of the LOGOS.
That is patently false. My claim is certainly not that 'the LOGOS could not GINOMIAI SARX'. I certainly agree with that. It is you who are claiming the LOGOS GINOMIAI SARX AND CEASED TO BE THE LOGOS. That is the crux of the argument and a direct result of your mis-definition of God that He is incapable of incarnating Himself into a physical being yet remain God.
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