Notes Toward A Biblical Understanding of The Trinity

C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710
edited June 2018 in Biblical Studies

Let's be clear, the word, "Trinity" is not found in the Bible like other words: Millenium, and Incarnation, but its concept and teachings do. Like the names for the days of the week (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, etc.) are not found in the Bible, however, there is the first day, 2nd day, 3rd day, etc.

The doctrine of the Trinity (Lat. trinitas “tri-unity” or “three-in-oneness”) is one of the most important doctrines of the Christian faith. However, the term “Godhead” is used which is found in Romans 1:20 and Colossians 2:9. Through the word “Godhead” the same idea is expressed by the term “Trinity,” that there are three living person in the Godhead. Let us not forget, there a warning against false teaching found in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. The apostle declares that the hearts of the believers are to be “knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

There are two main ways of explaining the Trinity over the years:

Trinitarian speculations.

Trinitarian speculations consisted in interpreting the divine nature by analogies drawn from human nature. Many have tried to explain a threefold distinction within the Deity and attempts to explain it are not wanting in number. From the Cappadocian Fathers—Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory Nazianzen—to the so-called Athanasian Creed or the more recent Hegelian and Barthian interpretations, not to mention Augustine, speculative Christian theologians, beginning with a humble confession or the incomprehensibility of the divine nature and the limitations of human speculation, cheerfully went on to interpret the relations of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit within the Deity, each one in terms of then-accepted discrimination of substance. “Hypostasis,” “nature” and “person” were among the preferred terms.
[one can see the excessively lengthy and complex course of trinitarian speculation through succeeding centuries (See sources below).

The Trinity of Revelation.

It is a declaration concerning God based on a revelation; not only on the self-disclosure of God but also on a disclosure of the truth of God. Therefore, it is an objective reality and, in the strictest sense, an affirmation of theology. The recognition of the Holy Spirit—as truly fully divine, parallel and equal to the Father is—first of all, the object of a revelation. This is how God wills to make himself known to man.

The divine Triad is met only in God’s revelation. It is therefore impossible to speak about God’s triune nature independent of the Scriptures. We must abide by the testimony of the OT and NT. This means that the Bible exceeds all the psychological and physiological analogies. When we speak of divine “persons” we do so because the Scriptures enforce this conclusion upon us. We do so because this is how the biblical writers under Inspiration try to make us understand the relationship existing between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

It’s unfortunate that the Trinity of speculation had triumphed over the Trinity of revelation and experience over the years. We hold fast to the Bible revelation of God. Who can know God except he reveals himself?

Three distinct Persons in the unity of God.

The word “person,” at this point, requires more particular notice. According to the ordinary rules of language-interpretation of the Scripture, nothing is more certain than that there is but one God. [See for instance Deut 4:39; 2 Ki 19:51; Ps 88:10; Is 44:6,9; Mk 12:29, 32]. This should never be forgotten. It is the very foundation of our doctrine of God.

By the same use of language rules, we also learn that there are three in whom we are to believe. The highest names and perfections are attributed to them throughout the Holy Writings. The Scriptures seem to indicate that these three are all persons because they are described as doing that which only intelligent agents or persons can do. Is not this sufficient authority for applying the term “persons” to them?

Finally, the same authoritative source tells us that they are distinct, not merely in relation to us, as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, but in relation to each other as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is sufficient authority for calling them distinct Persons, although the danger always exists that one may tend to tritheism.

Just because some practices, terms or concept overlaps with paganism or mythology it doesn't mean that its origin or teachings are from or depended on them. For example, the Creation and Flood Stories of Bible are not from or dependent upon Babylonian accounts. Upon close examination, it is clearly shown that they are not the same. Ancient mythologies DO NOT drive biblical teachings, principles, concepts or practices.

We are not to surrender God’s revelation of himself "ancient mythology and mystery religions." It's not true that "more honest and recognized theological scholars of a Trinitarian background even openly admit and state that there was no such Trinity teaching in existence at the times of Acts and not until some time later."

God himself is a mystery, how much more the incarnation or the Trinity. However, that should not trouble us as long as the different aspects of these mysteries are clearly taught in Scripture. Even though we may not be able to comprehend logically the various aspects of the Trinity, we need to try and understand as best as we can the scriptural teaching regarding it. All attempts to explain the Trinity will fall short, “especially when we reflect on the relation of the three persons to the divine essence ... all analogies fail us and we become deeply conscious of the fact that the Trinity is a mystery far beyond our comprehension. It is the incomprehensible glory of the Godhead.” Therefore, we do well to admit that “man cannot comprehend it and make it intelligible. It is intelligible in some of its relations and modes of manifestations, but unintelligible in its essential nature.” (See Sources below). “There are many mysteries which we do not understand or can explain."

Trinitarian Confessions
Do the apostles think of the Holy Spirit as divine, as a divine person distinct both from the Father and from the Son?

Several passages can speak for themselves:

  1. Paul mentions all three persons together. In one of his very earliest writings:
  • “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this, he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:13, 14).
  1. It is evident that God, Christ, and the Spirit are in foremost in Paul’s mind. First Corinthians 12:4-6 agrees with this: “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.”
  2. The triadic pattern is clearly seen. In an attempt to bring together basic values of the Christian faith Paul ended his second Epistle to the Corinthians with these words: “The grace or the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor 13:14).
  • When we place things side by side or in position, the three divine persons come together in a clear trinitarian confession. There are many other texts of Paul that reveals when closely examined the influence of a threefold pattern. See for instance Rom 15:30; Gal 4:6; 2 Cor 1:21, 22; Eph 3:14-16; Tit 3:4-6.
  1. The Gospel of Matthew also ends clearly with the three persons found in their now traditional order:
    “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).

The fact that in these statements we have a trinitarian formula seems inescapable. I repeat it's erroneous to say that the doctrine of the Trinity is postbiblical and answers a problem which did not occur to the writers or the NT. Later as we look at the Trinity in Scripture… CM

Sources:

-- Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Eerdmans, 1941), 88-89.
-- Henry P. vanDusen, Spirit, Son, and Father (New York, 1958), 149-177.
-- H.A.W. Turner, The Pattern of Christian Truth (London, 1954).] Note, also, the carefully documented Bampton lectures.

Post edited by C_M_ on
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Comments

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367

    My suggestions are...

    1. Don't hang up on the word "Trinity."
    2. Don't try to imagine 3 people and then stuff them all into one.
    3. Don't try to imagine God morphing into this or that.
    4. Creeds and formulas abound and have some limited use.
    5. Accept that humans can't fully understand everything about God.
    6. Don't try to limit God into "persons" or personalities or entities...just acknowledge that He is God and has some attributes similar to those terms.

    Cliffnotes version: Don't limit God. Let Him Be. He says, "I Am."

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    Well, in rather few words: Not only is the word "Trinity" not found in the Bible, the concepts (yes, plural ... because even in these forums I've already encountered several different ideas and concepts of what the Holy Trinity supposedly is) are NOT found in the Bible either.

    The God of the Bible is NOT a Triad, Tri-unity, Trinity, Multiperson "Godhead", but HE is only ONE LIVING SPIRIT BEING ... Deut 6:4 ("Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD")

    All the many nice sounding and fancily arranged words of the above sources are misleading and propagating the Trinity heresy, rather than Biblical truth.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,190

    @C_M_ said:
    The fact that in these statements we have a trinitarian formula seems inescapable. I repeat it's erroneous to say that the doctrine of the Trinity is postbiblical and answers a problem which did not occur to the writers or the NT. Later as we look at the Trinity in Scripture… CM

    CM, I offer my genuine respect and appreciation for the work you put into creating posts such as this one. Your heart for Christ and the high value you give to your belief that Jesus was God are on vivid display in these collations of insights from the sources you cite (and thanks for citing sources!)

    I would gladly engage you on the issues and Bible texts raised by your posts, but in our past engagements on the matter, I believe you've made it clear that you will only engage Bible texts that conform to your views. The result of your apparent policy has been your unwillingness to engage any of the many texts I've cited to support my view of Jesus' relationship with God. For that matter, you've not engaged any of my many direct responses to the texts other Trinity advocates have posted in these forums, responses which in my view, most often showed that the proffered verses do not support a Trinitarian theology. I hope you can understand how unsatisfying it is for one's substantive and original work on an issue to be summarily and without substance dismissed by those who disagree.

    Should there come a time when you're willing not only to post your own views, but also to engage with others - even those who hold views different from yours - in Bible-based study of the relationship of God and Jesus, please make that clear in a post. I will eagerly join you.

    p.s. You're not the only one in these forums who won't engage the texts I cite or the verses I offer!! But I write this post to you, so for the moment, you're the only one I address.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,210

    This is why it comes back to Peter and the early Church baptizing converts in the Name of Jesus Christ. Fulfilling Jesus' command to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All of whom scripture identifies as God. Each simultaneously existing as three distinct persons in the one spiritual essence called God.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @Dave_L said:
    ... All of whom scripture identifies as God. Each simultaneously existing as three distinct persons in the one spiritual essence called God.

    Hmn ... so now "God" is not an acting living being (or person), but "a spiritual essence"

    Gen 1:1 - "In the beginning a spiritual essence created heaven and earth" ???

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,210

    @Wolfgang said:

    @Dave_L said:
    ... All of whom scripture identifies as God. Each simultaneously existing as three distinct persons in the one spiritual essence called God.

    Hmn ... so now "God" is not an acting living being (or person), but "a spiritual essence"

    Gen 1:1 - "In the beginning a spiritual essence created heaven and earth" ???

    By this I'm showing God is one Spirit with three distinct, coeternal persons called Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    @C_M_ said: ... Later as we look at the Trinity in Scripture… CM

    Warning, Danger! Let's avoid Tritheism (three Gods). It is when the Son and the Holy Spirit are conceived to be names, operations, attitudes, or offices of the Deity then they are not conceived as Persons. He who conceives that the Father is not the Son or Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is not the Son, conceives them to be three distinct persons. And he who conceives the unity of God and the Trinity of persons conceives the persons distinct but united. In other words, though he may not be able to accurately express his conceptions, he will nevertheless really conceive the three divine Persons to be at the same time distinct and yet one.

    The argument has only one fault. This fault is fundamental. It is true that with respect to men, who are the only intelligent beings besides God and the angels of whom we have any knowledge, this notion of perfect unity in plurality of Persons does not correspond or fit into the framework of our human existence—perhaps because man’s nature was purposely meant to be different from the nature of God.

    In other words, it was the will of the Creator that man should be thus. Therefore, even the best analogies fall short in their attempt to describe the divine Being. Any and all spiritualistic interpretations are simply imperfect and untrue. They weaken and diminish the divine majesty to which no earthly likeness can be compared. The word “person” is still a poor way of expressing the reality. Here more than anywhere else in theology are we reminded of the purely hypothetical character of our speculations. Therefore, we must confess that the Trinity is one indivisible God and that the distinctions of the Persons do not destroy the divine unity. This unity of God is expressed by saying that He is one substance. Nevertheless, in the divine unity, there are three co-eternal and co-equal Persons, who, though distinct, are the One undivided and adorable God. This is the doctrine of Scripture.

    The Old Testament emphasizes the exclusive unity of God (Deut 6:4; 5:7–11), it also alludes to the plurality of God (Gen 1:2, 26; 11:7; 18:1–33; Exod 23:23). Of all allusions to this plurality of God in the Old Testament, Isa 42:1 and Isa. 48:16 come very close to a Trinitarian formulation.

    The New Testament does not have any explicit statement on the Trinity—apart from 1 John 5:7, which has been rejected as a medieval addition to the text —but the Trinitarian evidence is overwhelming. Jesus is clearly described as divine in the gospel of John (John 1:1–3; 20:28), and he himself proclaims his own divinity (John 8:58).

    In the NT, we find also clear references to the three persons of the Godhead. All three are mentioned:
    -- At the baptism of Jesus (Matt 3:16–17).
    -- During the Lord’s Supper Jesus comforts his disciples with the thought that he and the Father would send the Holy Spirit to guide them after his departure (John 14:16–17).
    -- All three persons are part of the baptismal formula found in Jesus’ great commission to his disciples (Matt 28:19).
    -- Paul readily refers to all three persons in many of his epistles (Rom 8:9–11; 2 Cor 13:14; 2 Tim 1:3–14; Eph 1:13–14; 3:14–19).
    -- Peter acknowledges the work of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the salvation of people (1 Pet 1:2).
    -- John is a witness of the Spirit’s testimony regarding Jesus, the Son of God (1 John 5:5–9).

    The book of Revelation also presents three persons involved in the final events of this world (Rev 1:4–5; 22:16–18).

    But all these biblical evidence to the triune God become somewhat ambivalent for some people because the Holy Spirit is often referred to with metaphors of objects:
    -- A dove (Matt 3:16)
    -- The wind (John 3:8)
    -- Fire (Isa 6:6, 7)
    -- Water (John 7:37–39)
    -- Oil (Matt 25:1–4)

    Despite these difficulties in understanding and explain how the one true God determined to save sinners by sending his beloved Son, the early church clung to the radical claim that God is one—Father, Son, and Spirit.

    But the history of the development of the doctrine of the Trinity also brings up some issues. Historically, it can be argued that the development of the doctrine of the Trinity is closely connected with the Christological disputes the early church struggled with. When the early church through a series of councils confirmed the eternal divinity of Jesus, it opened the way for a clarification of the relationship between God the Father and Jesus. “The more emphatic the church became that Christ was God, the more it came under pressure to clarify how Christ related to God.” And along with this, it needed to clarify the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This next time. CM

    -- Alister E. McGrath, Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought (Malden: Blackwell, 1998), 61.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,190

    @Dave_L said:
    This is why it comes back to Peter and the early Church baptizing converts in the Name of Jesus Christ. Fulfilling Jesus' command to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All of whom scripture identifies as God. Each simultaneously existing as three distinct persons in the one spiritual essence called God.

    If in his baptisms of converts, Peter sought to fulfill Jesus' command to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, why didn't Peter just baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @Dave_L said:

    @Wolfgang said:

    @Dave_L said:
    ... All of whom scripture identifies as God. Each simultaneously existing as three distinct persons in the one spiritual essence called God.

    Hmn ... so now "God" is not an acting living being (or person), but "a spiritual essence"

    Gen 1:1 - "In the beginning a spiritual essence created heaven and earth" ???

    By this I'm showing God is one Spirit with three distinct, coeternal persons called Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    No, you are not showing anything ... you are claiming something illogical and unreasonable, which I would therefore regard to be a false claim.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @C_M_ said:
    ... {long quote from some book } ...
    -- Alister E. McGrath, Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought (Malden: Blackwell, 1998), 61.

    many words ... and if read carefully, one can easily notice that the study shows somewhat plainly that the Trinity was and is NOT a biblical truth but only some confused later developed "theology" and supposedly "Christian thought".

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,210

    @Wolfgang said:

    @Dave_L said:

    @Wolfgang said:

    @Dave_L said:
    ... All of whom scripture identifies as God. Each simultaneously existing as three distinct persons in the one spiritual essence called God.

    Hmn ... so now "God" is not an acting living being (or person), but "a spiritual essence"

    Gen 1:1 - "In the beginning a spiritual essence created heaven and earth" ???

    By this I'm showing God is one Spirit with three distinct, coeternal persons called Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    No, you are not showing anything ... you are claiming something illogical and unreasonable, which I would therefore regard to be a false claim.

    You cannot understand scripture unless you understand the Trinity and the deity of Christ.

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,210

    @Bill_Coley said:

    @Dave_L said:
    This is why it comes back to Peter and the early Church baptizing converts in the Name of Jesus Christ. Fulfilling Jesus' command to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All of whom scripture identifies as God. Each simultaneously existing as three distinct persons in the one spiritual essence called God.

    If in his baptisms of converts, Peter sought to fulfill Jesus' command to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, why didn't Peter just baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

    Peter baptized in the personal name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - Jesus Christ.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @Dave_L said:
    You cannot understand scripture unless you understand the Trinity and the deity of Christ.

    You make me smile with your claim ... what you are actually saying is "you cannot understand the Trinity ... unless you understand the Trinity ..."

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,210

    @Wolfgang said:

    @Dave_L said:
    You cannot understand scripture unless you understand the Trinity and the deity of Christ.

    You make me smile with your claim ... what you are actually saying is "you cannot understand the Trinity ... unless you understand the Trinity ..."

    You cannot understand scripture unless you understand the Trinity and the deity of Christ.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @Dave_L said:

    @Wolfgang said:

    @Dave_L said:
    You cannot understand scripture unless you understand the Trinity and the deity of Christ.

    You make me smile with your claim ... what you are actually saying is "you cannot understand the Trinity ... unless you understand the Trinity ..."

    You cannot understand scripture unless you understand the Trinity and the deity of Christ.

    Dave_L, repeating your same line over and again does not make it so ... we are aware that you obviously believe what you write there.

    I happen to know believers who do NOT understand the Trinity, and yet they understand a lot more of Scripture than many Trinitarians together.

    I happen to have read articles by various authors who are Trinity proponents and who freely admit that they themselves do NOT understand the Trinity ... according to you, they should not be able to understand Scripture, yes?

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,210

    @Wolfgang said:

    @Dave_L said:

    @Wolfgang said:

    @Dave_L said:
    You cannot understand scripture unless you understand the Trinity and the deity of Christ.

    You make me smile with your claim ... what you are actually saying is "you cannot understand the Trinity ... unless you understand the Trinity ..."

    You cannot understand scripture unless you understand the Trinity and the deity of Christ.

    Dave_L, repeating your same line over and again does not make it so ... we are aware that you obviously believe what you write there.

    I happen to know believers who do NOT understand the Trinity, and yet they understand a lot more of Scripture than many Trinitarians together.

    I happen to have read articles by various authors who are Trinity proponents and who freely admit that they themselves do NOT understand the Trinity ... according to you, they should not be able to understand Scripture, yes?

    Just sayin'

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @Dave_L said:

    @Wolfgang said:

    @Dave_L said:
    You cannot understand scripture unless you understand the Trinity and the deity of Christ.

    Dave_L, repeating your same line over and again does not make it so ... we are aware that you obviously believe what you write there.

    I happen to know believers who do NOT understand the Trinity, and yet they understand a lot more of Scripture than many Trinitarians together.

    I happen to have read articles by various authors who are Trinity proponents and who freely admit that they themselves do NOT understand the Trinity ... according to you, they should not be able to understand Scripture, yes?

    Just sayin'

    WHAT are you "just sayin' " ?? Your replies make no sense ...

  • Dave_LDave_L Posts: 2,210

    @Wolfgang said:

    @Dave_L said:

    @Wolfgang said:

    @Dave_L said:
    You cannot understand scripture unless you understand the Trinity and the deity of Christ.

    Dave_L, repeating your same line over and again does not make it so ... we are aware that you obviously believe what you write there.

    I happen to know believers who do NOT understand the Trinity, and yet they understand a lot more of Scripture than many Trinitarians together.

    I happen to have read articles by various authors who are Trinity proponents and who freely admit that they themselves do NOT understand the Trinity ... according to you, they should not be able to understand Scripture, yes?

    Just sayin'

    WHAT are you "just sayin' " ?? Your replies make no sense ...

    You cannot understand scripture unless you understand the Trinity and the deity of Christ.

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367
    edited June 2018

    The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. - 1 Cor 2:14

    Post edited by GaoLu on
  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @GaoLu said:
    The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. - 1 Cor 2:14

    And what is the context of this statement made in 1Co 2:14?
    And what is the point YOU are trying to make by quoting the verse in the context of the current exchange of Dave_L and myself?

    Please, answer in detail and in regard to what I asked in the two questions. If you are really not willing to answer, then tell me why and say so.

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367
    edited June 2018

    @Wolfgang said:

    @GaoLu said:
    The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. - 1 Cor 2:14

    And what is the context of this statement made in 1Co 2:14?
    And what is the point YOU are trying to make by quoting the verse in the context of the current exchange of Dave_L and myself?

    Please, answer in detail and in regard to what I asked in the two questions. If you are really not willing to answer, then tell me why and say so.

    A person unable to recognize who Christ is, that he is God, is unable to understand because such things are spiritually discerned.

    The solution is to become humble, repent of sin, submit oneself to the Spirit of God and only then can one understand. Until then all arguments are futile.

    Post edited by GaoLu on
  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415

    @GaoLu said:

    @Wolfgang said:
    Please, answer in detail and in regard to what I asked in the two questions. If you are really not willing to answer, then tell me why and say so.

    A person unable to recognize who Christ is, that he is God, is unable to understand because such things are spiritually discerned.

    The solution is to become humble, repent of sin, submit oneself to the Spirit of God and only then can one understand. Until then all arguments are futile.

    In other words, you are too much of a coward to call me straight forwardly an unbeliever or non-Christian???

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367
    edited June 2018
    I meant what I said and not something else. Just like the Bible.
    Post edited by GaoLu on
  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415
    edited June 2018

    @GaoLu said:
    I meant what I said and not something else. Just like the Bible.

    Yes indeed ... and I understood very well what you said and simply put it into a straight forward rhetorical question ... since you evaded my question, it is plain and clear that my understanding of what you said is correct. Why don't you have the courtesy to admit it?

    Post edited by Wolfgang on
  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367
    edited June 2018

    I don't mean something other than what I said. Nothing rhetorical, nothing evaded (although I don't apologize for doing so at times).

    Wolfgang, this is very telling about how you invent facts and come to conclusions based on bad assumptions. The problem in how you have been unable to see who Jesus is may have manifested right here. In fact, it looks like we have flushed out a whole covey of quail.

    Post edited by GaoLu on
  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 1,415
    edited June 2018

    @GaoLu said:
    I don't mean something other than what I said. Nothing rhetorical, nothing evaded (although I don't apologize for doing so at times).

    So then, your comment with quoting the verse from 1Co 2 was isolated and actually had nothing to do with what had been posted in the thread??

    Wolfgang, this is very telling about how you invent facts and come to conclusions based on bad assumptions.

    I was not inventing any facts, I did draw conclusions from what and how you commented and then even asked a question to give you the opportunity to detail what your actual purpose and meaning for your comment had been?
    Unfortunately, you decided to further evade the matter and simply repeated what you already had said.

    The problem in how you have been unable to see who Jesus is may have manifested right here. In fact, it looks like we have flushed out a whole covey of quail.

    So are you now very slowly and by somewhat "carefully wording" (cp. your phrase "problem in how you have been unable to see who Jesus is" !) admitting that I was not too far off with what I put into my earlier question?

    I will plainly and clearly tell you two very plain things about "the problem" you think you have flushed out:
    (1) I do NOT have a problem at all to see who Jesus is ... I firmly agree with his very own words and the testimony of others recorded in Scripture => Jesus is man whom God had in His foreknowledge and had promised throughout OT times to be born of a woman and to be the Messiah.
    (2) My inability to see the TRINITY God Jesus is due to the truth that Scripture does NOT even hint at such a "God" or "3 Persons Godhead" and that I refuse to accept the later dogmas established at church councils under rather dubious circumstances and the force of political power.

    By the way, there has been no need "to flush out" the above ... I've been saying this openly for what seems to be almost "centuries" on CD forums. Actually, I am asking myself at various times what is causing your (and others') inability to see the plain Scripture truth of who Jesus is and causes you and others to add to who Jesus is in order to arrive at a "God-man" / "man-God", "3 person God", etc ....

    Post edited by Wolfgang on
  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367
    edited June 2018
    If the show fits wear it. Else don’t.

    I intended the scripture quote generally. God wrote/inspired it. Those are His words. They either convict or comfort. They don’t apply to.a select few; they apply to us all. They are relevant to this conversation more than almost any other. The matter we are discussing may be right up there in importance with accepting or rejecting God.

    The divinity of Christ is absolutely fundamental to all Jesus did and said and is, fundamental to His ability to be a Messiah for us. Reject that and you have no savior at all and futile NT theology.

    Stumbling over wordings and descriptions is understandable, but ejecting the divinity of Christ is to reject the essence of His identity and purpose and being.

    As we have discussed before, I do not really like the term trinity and accompanying descriptions, but not because there is any diubt about the divinity of Jesus or the unity / oneness of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit

    Actually I have some far-fetched, doubtful ideas that there may be even more manifestations/ persons/ parts—whatever you call it—to the one, single, God YHWH. But that is another story.

    I am not judging you, in fact I have always particularly liked and respected you and think you have a lot of things really right. I suspect your are a born-again authentic child of God. I don’t know your heart, what you really believe or your relationship with Jesus. You seem to have a generally good spirit and testimony. I do think you are missing out by misunderstanding who Jesus is (just like I’m probably missing out on some things). Sometimes we have to let go of such things.

    I could paint your beliefs in the worst possible light and imagine that you are an evil deceiver, duped by the devil or not one of the chosen and lack spiritual discernment. I do thInk you are wrong and alarmingly so on the divinity of Christ. However, I prefer to paint you in a good light as a man who knows and loves God and is on a journey that so far has not yet encountered the full light of knowing Jesus. .

    I suspect that lacking light is true for all authentic believers in some areas—I know far more about God today than I did a year ago. So we learn and grow. One thing I would like to convince you of regarding the divinity of Jesus is to lay down credal descriptions and books and just read the Bible and really draw close to Christ. I invite you will come to realize deeply, spiritually Who He is, and all the awkward 3-in-one and trinity questions will fade into awe and understanding.

    I think that is how it was with me. I probabsly never read a creed or seriously studied “Trinity” till I was in my 40’s. The word was something other people used that didn’t work well for me, though I understood what it meant and accepted it. The term wasn’t taught, the concept rarely mentined in my circles. My understanding grew mostly out of then Bible and just knowing God. I’m sure there were other influences such as books and conversations, but largely I think my process of knowing God and understanding the divinity of Jesus was largely free of dogma or theological arguments.

    Wrong understanding of Trinity or rejection of Trinity—both can lead to worship of a false Christ. The right thing is an authentic knowledge and understanding of Who He is coupled with an authentic personal relationship with Him. That takes spiritual discernment which is a gift given or withheld by God.

    I trust you to God’s work in your heart. I hope this respectfully and clearly communicates my heart for you. I really want love to be greater than details of how we articulate Biblicsl matters and overwhelmingly evident and felt by you.
    Post edited by GaoLu on
  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 401

    Although not written to me I found your post to be a helpful contribution to this discussion. Thank you for sharing the following I can personally relate

    @GaoLu said:
    I probably never read a creed or seriously studied “Trinity” till I was in my 40’s. The word was something other people used that didn’t work well for me, though I understood what it meant and accepted it. The term wasn’t taught, the concept rarely mentioned in my circles. My understanding grew mostly out of the Bible and just knowing God.

  • C_M_C_M_ Posts: 2,710

    @GaoLu said:
    I suspect that lacking light is true for all authentic believers in some areas—I know far more about God today than I did a year ago. So we learn and grow. One thing I would like to convince you of regarding the divinity of Jesus is to lay down credal descriptions and books and just read the Bible and really draw close to Christ. I invite you will come to realize deeply, spiritually Who He is, and all the awkward 3-in-one and trinity questions will fade into awe and understanding.

    Thanks for your heartfelt contribution. This is the GaoLu, I am accustomed to hearing from. See, you can say good things. CM

  • GaoLuGaoLu Posts: 1,367

    I sure leave a string of typos when writing on my iPhone in a Walmart parking lot, holding my 16 mo old granddaughter, and waiting for my wife and daughter to finish shopping.

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