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trinity, godhead, or neither

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Aqualung, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I dont' think so either, His physical body would have prevented it.
     
  2. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    Well, I guess it just depends who you are and what religion. I definitely don't think of a godhead and a trinity as being the same thing, those others might. It may be a hard concept (since I can't even explain it), but I don't think you should go back to a corner. Other view point are always nice, and they help me to see things in a different light.
     
  3. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Yes --- I do now --- thanks for clarifying.
     
  4. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Hi, Aqualung.

    I can't explain the Godhead, either. It's just not something God choose to explain. Perhaps because it would just gender more questions. There are things we won't know until we get to Heaven, and unless someone finds how God did it embedded in the corpus of the Text somewhere, we'll just have to live with it undefined. It exists, but we just don't know the mechanics of it.

    In some things in Scripture, like the fall of the city of Ai, God tells us what was done, how it was done, and who (or Who) did it.

    But when it comes to miracles (a.k.a. singularities) and many divine aspects, God only tells us what was done, and Who did it.
     
  5. Tried-by-Fire

    Tried-by-Fire New Member

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    What about when Jesus said this!
    In this verse Jesus was talking and He told Nicodemus that the Son of man is (preasent tense) in heven.


    John 3:13
    And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
     
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  6. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Good point. How could Jesus both be in Heaven and on the Earth at the same time, if God the Father isn't God the Son also?
     
  7. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Okay, I have some questions for you then:

    1. If He was unable to physically be in more than one place at once, does that mean He wasn't God after all?

    2. Do you believe He ascended in bodily form into Heaven?

    3. If the answer to question #2 is 'yes,' what do you think happened to his body once He arrived in heaven?

    That's all for now. I'd like to see how you answer these three questions before I ask the next ones. I don't want to try to second-guess you with regards to what you believe.
     
  8. Jensen

    Jensen Active Member

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    A Christian is anyone who believes in what the bible teaches (although we sometimes have some of it wrong in our understanding) and is a follower of Jesus the Son of God and his teachings given to him by God. I believe in God the Father, the Son of God..who is the Messiah and in the Holy Spirit. I also believe that there are angels. Deity is divine, but divine isn't always deity...in that I think that Jesus and the angels are divine, yet not God.

    I don't see that a Christian's possible misunderstanding of the "composition" of God makes him any less a Christian.

    Do you see what I'm saying? :bounce
     
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  9. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Good job! That's the first time I've ever seen anyone come up with that scripture to support the Trinity. I am honestly impressed. :clap

    However...

    I don't believe that you have interpreted this verse correctly. Jesus is frequently described in the scriptures as "the Son of Man" and "the Son of God." He is God's Son; I think we can both agree on that. But what exactly does the phrase "the Son of Man" mean?

    If the word "a" had been used instead of the word "the," we could interpret it as meaning "a descendent of Adam." For instance, in the Old Testament, Daniel is referred to as a "son of man." Obviously, Daniel and Jesus were two different individuals, and Daniel certainly wasn't God's only begotten Son. But "the Son of Man" is just another way of saying "the Son of God." Jesus is the Son of the archetypal Man, the perfect heavenly Man, the Eternal Father.

    Going back to John 3:13, I believe that this scripture is saying the following (in modern English):

    "No man has ascended to Heaven, except He who came down from Heaven, He who is the Son of God, who is in Heaven."

    In other words, I believe that this verse is stating that God is in Heaven (present tense). Jesus Christ, at the time, was on earth. They were not both in the same place at once after all.
     
  10. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Yes, I do. Thanks for clarifying.

    The dictionary describes "deity" as "the state of being a god." It describes "divine" as "pertaining to a deity." So in my opinion, you're kind of splitting hairs over your distinction between the two.

    However, I totally agree that a difference of opinion regarding the "composition" of God is a pretty poor reason for anyone to call someone else a "non-Christian." Believe me, I've personally been told I'm not a Christian about a gazillion times because I don't accept the doctrine of the Trinity.
     
  11. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Hi, Katzpur

    1. No --- we have a trivia question that exemplifies this truth well: WHAT IS THE ONLY MAN-MADE THING IN HEAVEN? --- answer: the nail scars in Jesus' hands and feet.

    2. Yes --- Acts 1:9 = AND WHEN HE HAD SPOKEN THESE THINGS, WHILE THEY BEHELD, HE WAS TAKEN UP; AND A CLOUD RECEIVED HIM OUT OF THEIR SIGHT. AND WHEN THEY LOOKED STEADFASTLY TOWARD HEAVEN AS HE WENT UP, BEHOLD, TWO MEN STOOD BESIDE HIM IN WHITE APPAREL; WHICH ALSO SAID, YE MEN OF GALILEE, WHY STAND YE GAZING UP INTO HEAVEN? THIS SAME JESUS, WHICH IS TAKEN UP FROM YOU INTO HEAVEN, SHALL SO COME IN LIKE MANNER AS YE HAVE SEEN HIM GO INTO HEAVEN.

    When Jesus returns to set up His Millennial Kingdom, which the Jews think will be the coming of the Messiah, Jesus will simply show them His hands, and then they'll realize the truth of His first advent --- and weep.

    The Jews currently believe that when the Messiah comes, God is going to REND THE HEAVENS - (Isaiah 64:1) - and come down. That's one of the reasons they didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah. God hadn't rent the Heavens yet.

    But God is going to rend the Heavens during the Tribulation, and when the Jews gather to welcome Him, He's going to show them the nail prints in His hands, and they are going to realize then that He had already been here. They will react favorably to this as ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED - Romans 11:26.

    I have a special love for the Jews, as they are God's wife and chosen people. Thanks to the Jews, this country is as prosperous as it is.

    3. Nothing.
     
  12. Jensen

    Jensen Active Member

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    Then you should understand since I don't believe in the trinity either.

    Understanding that Jesus is the Son of God and not God isn't splitting hairs as I see it. It's believing what the bible actually says verses what is traditionaly taught by modern churches.

    :bounce
     
  13. Harvster

    Harvster Member

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    Part of the following was sourced from the Encyclopaedia of Bible difficulties by Gleason L. Archer. To which I fully concur. Along with a current biblical scholar currently teaching.
    Christian baptism commanded by Christ in the great commission Matt. 28:19 is to be “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (NASB) notice that it says “name”, and not “names”. This suggests that the name of God is Father-Son-Holy Spirit. It is true that the term “Trinity” was not employed into the actual Hebrew or Greek texts of the bible; but neither is “Soteriology” – neither is “Hamartiology” nor “transcendence” nor “immanence” nor “pre-existence” nor “Christology”. Few people who discuss biblical teaching raise a red flag and object to the use of these terms when they discuss the nature of the gracious working of God. Such designations serve only as convenient labels for concepts or complex teachings concerning subject that belong together. It is impossible to discuss theology as a systematic, philosophical discipline without using these technical terms. None of them is found in the bible text, to be sure; but all of them sum up in a coherent, organized way the major concepts that are taught in scripture. Therefore we must dismiss as irrelevant the objection that the precise word Trinity is not used in the bible text.
    On the other hand, we venture to insist that some of the most basic and fundamental teaching about God remains nearly incomprehensible without a grasp of the doctrine of the Trinity. It was once quoted by someone regarding this doctrine “To try to explain it is to loose your mind; to try to deny it is to lose your soul”. First let us be very clear as to what is meant by “Trinity”. This implies that God is a Unity subsisting in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit- all three of whom are one God. That God is one is asserted in both the OT and NT: Deut 6:4, Mark 12:29, Eph 4:6, Is 45:22 (footnote to this scripture please note that here God states that He is the only one who can save, however in the NT Christ states that “I am the Way, the Truth and The Life and no one come to the Father but through Me”. It is here that Salvation is spoken of and is why we must accept Christ as our savour. Therefore confirming that Christ is in fact God.), Ps 96:4-5, 1 Cor 8:5, 6.
    On the other hand, the bible teaches that God is not a sterile monad but eternally exists in three Persons. This is suggested by the creation account in Genesis 1:1-3: “In the beginning God [Elohim, plural in form, with the im ending] created [Bara, a singular verb, not the plural Bareu] the Heavens and the Earth [this plural for God is probably a ‘plural for Majesty’; yet compare Genesis 1:26-27]. And the earth was formless and void…and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters [showing the involvement of the Third Person, the Holy Spirit, in the work of Creation]. Then God [Elohim] said “let there be light”! (NASB) Here we have God speaking as the Creative Word, the same as Logos John 1:3, who is the Second Person of the Trinity.
    The bible teaches that each Person of the Trinity has a special function, both in the work of creation and redemption.
    The Father is the source of all things (creation) He is the one who planed and ordained redemption. As for God the Son, it is through Him that all the work of creation and redemption was accomplished. In redemption it was by his perfect obedience to the law and by His atoning death on the cross Heb 1:3. The Holy Spirit is the Person of the Godhead who inspired the writing of scripture (1 Cor 2:13; 2 Pet 1:21), who manifests the Gospel of Gods redeemed (John 16:14).
    The NT repeatedly and plainly affirms that Christ was God incarnate. He is set forth as the all creative Word of God who actually was God (john 1:1-3). He was indeed the -“Only Begotten God” (John 1:18, for according to the oldest and best manuscripts that was the original reading in this verse) rather than “only begotten son”. In John 20:28 the affirmation of the no longer doubting Thomas is accepted by Christ as His true identity as He commented on it in the next verse… Believed what? Why, that which Thomas just acknowledged, that Christ is both Lord and God!
    Please note from the above mentioned evidence we must conclude that scripture does indeed teach of the doctrine of the Trinity, even though it doesn’t use that exact term. Further more we ought to observe that the concept of God as one in essence but three in centres of consciousness - what the Greek Church referred to three Hypostases and the Latin Church as personae – is absolutely unique in the history in human thought. No other culture or philosophical movement ever came up with such an idea as God as this – an idea that remains very difficult for our finite mind to grasp yet the inability to comprehend fully the richness and fullness of Gods nature as embraced in the Trinity should not furnish any solid ground for scepticism as to its truth. For if we are to accept and believe only what we can fully understand, then we are hopelessly beyond redemption. Why so? Because we shall never fully understand how God could love us enough to send His only Son to earth in order to die for our sins and become our saviour. If we cannot accept any idea that we do not completely understand, how can we believe John 3:16? How can we receive the assurances of the gospel and saved.
     
  14. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Excellent defense of the Godhead, Harvester. Good job!
     
  15. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    Harvster - My translation says, at matt 28:19 "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the holy Ghost." That changes the meaning a lot. It means that they could have said the name of the father, the name of the son, and the name of the Holy Ghost, not just the name of "the-father-son-andd-holy-ghost"

    I don't have a problem with the fact that "trinity" is not mentioned by name. I just don't think the concept is supported biblically. They are not "one God." They are three distinct beings, but they are united in purpose.

    The only reason the Christ was "God incarnate" is because Christ is the God, Lord, Judge, Ruler of this world. But he still has a father, and he and his father are seperate, although united in purpose.


    Christ is not the Father. He is our God and Lord, but that does not mean that he is the Father. He speaks of the Father, and why would he do that if he were the Father, too. Why not just say, "no one can be saved except through me"?


    It's like saying this, "The Jury decides the fate of the defendant." Because the jury is acting in unison, they are reffered to in the singular, but it would be stupid to say that the jury is not comprised of just one person. It is comprised of twelve, although all are united in purpose.

    Christ is both Lord and God because he is the Lord and God of this Earth. That does not also mean that he is part of some weird trinity, where he is at the same time the Father, and the Holy Ghost. All three are seperate.
     
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  16. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Hello, Harvster.

    I'd go along with that. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost share the name of God.

    I suppose that if you want to discuss theology as a philosophical disciples, you're right. When I discuss God, however, I seem to be able to do so quite adequately without getting into neo-Platonic thought at all. As far as the doctrine of the Trinity being a coherent, organized way of teaching man about the nature of God, I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree. I don't consider myself a stupid person, but I find the Bible to do a fine job of explaining who God is and what my relationship to Him is.

    That doesn't sound too awfully good for the Apostles and first century Christians. I bet they'd turn over in their graves knowing that. Imagine having died as a martyr, only to learn that because you didn't get into metaphysics, you were going to be damned! (I hope I'm not being too hard on you. I'm just not comfortable with your implication that if I don't accept the doctrine of the Trinity, my soul is lost. Can you appreciate that?)

    Agreed, (with very minor differences in wording).

    My goodness! I wasn't aware that the Bible teaches that God is a "monad" of any sort -- sterile or otherwise.

    You kind of lost me from here on out. I can agree with much of what you're saying. But if, by all of this, you are implying that the Father = the Son = the Holy Ghost, I disagree.

    Again, I agree. Faith is the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must walk in faith. If the works of God could be understood and explained, there would be no value whatsoever in faith.

    Kathryn
     
  17. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Just a couple of questions for you, Jensen:

    1. Why do you believe that Jesus did not correct Thomas who, when he finally recognized Him as the resurrected Savior, exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!"?

    2. Are you a cat-lover like me, or did you just like the avatar?
     
  18. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Hi, Katzpur --- two quick questions:

    You say the Bible does a fine job of explaining who God is, etc.; but does it do a complete job? In other words, is there more to God that we can know that is outside of the King James Bible?

    You say you can discuss God quite adequately without getting into neo-Platonic thought. I agree with that statement wholeheartedly myself, but can a person know Him just as well as you do via Sola Scriptura?
     
  19. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Well, you have implied that you believe it does. Haven't you said that it contains everything God wants us to know about Him?

    Yes, there is. Unfortunately, much of the gospel Jesus Christ taught was lost during the first couple of centuries after His death. By the time the doctrine of the Trinity was established, man's understanding of who God was had been so corrupted by philosophy that what the Bible has to say about God became secondary to what the secular scholars of that time period insisted God had to be in order to be God.

    That's why we have, in addition to the four gospel accounts of Christ's life, "The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ." Trouble is, most people judge it as false without even having studied it and prayed about it. Its sole purpose is to strengthen the position of the Bible, and yet it is dismissed without a thought by people who are convinced that it couldn't possibly be true.

    That would be impossible. This is the very reason Jesus Christ established His Church on a foundation of Prophets and Apostles. This is why Paul pointed out that this same organization should continue to guide His church "...till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive..."

    With Sola Scriptura alone, you have hundreds of different interpretations of the exact same words, resulting in thousands of different denominations of Christians, all believing to be interpreting the same words correctly. With doctrine being interpreted by the philosophers, and the rest of humanity just blindly accepting the notion that these philosophers merely clarified what the Bible already teaches, you get uninspired gibberish disguised as God's word. But with living Prophets and Apostles, personally designated by God and called to act as His spokesmen, you get a clear understanding of what God wants us to know about Him. You don't need to worry about being "carried about with every wind of doctrine" or about the "cunning craftiness" of men.

    Kathryn
     
  20. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Okay, thank you.
     
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