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Will the real Trinity please stand up.

Discussion in 'Christianity DIR' started by Squirt, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    This is a different kind of Trinity thread. I am starting it, not to debate whether the doctrine of the Trinity is a true doctrine or a false doctrine, but to prove that mainstream, traditional, orthodox Christians don't really even agree among themselves as to what this doctrine is stating.


    In another thread, Scott told me that, as far as he's concerned, Latter-day Saints are actually trinitarians, but just don't understand the doctrine well enough that we are able to realize this about ourselves. I agreed that we (LDS) don't understand it; it doesn't make sense to us, and that we consequently reject it. While I think that we have more in common with mainstream Christianity than mainstream Christianity is willing to concede, and while I've got to admit that I'd rather be told that my beliefs are Trinitarian in nature than that I believe in an entirely "different Christ" than "real Christians," I still think that Scott's wrong in considering us Trinitarians.

    I would like to hear from as many "mainstream, traditional, orthodox" Christians as possible on this subject. My purpose is to see how closely Trinitarian Christians agree among themselves as to what the Trinity really is. In my experience, I've heard so many contradictory explanations from people who all claim to believe the same thing, that I honestly don't know whose understand is accurate and whose isn't.

    (Thanks to Lord Roghen for the diagram.)
     
  2. EnhancedSpirit

    EnhancedSpirit High Priestess

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    Isis, Osiris, and Horus:
    Isis lay down beside the lifeless Osiris, content to dwell for eternity in the Underworld with the empty husk of Her Beloved. But in that moment a wonderful metaphysical union occurred, as the wandering spirit of Osiris found Isis and entered into Her womb. In that transcendent conjunction of The Ethereal and The Material, a new and miraculous force entered into the universe. He was soon brought forth into the living world again as Horus: Father resurrected as the Son, the Eternal Life-Force of Egypt to whom all the Pharaohs were but garments. And by his eventual victory over the chthonic, life‑negating will of Set, Osirus‑Horus became the Redeemer of World...

    In Hinduism, there is Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Preserver), and Shiva (Destroyer)

    The Brahmas also have their trinity. In their trinity, Vajrapani, Manjusri, and Avalokitesvara form a divine union of three gods into one god called "Buddha."

    Trinities were not confined to these groups alone, but the Persians, the Assyrians, the Phoenicians, the Scandinavians, the Druids, the inhabitants of Siberia, the ancient Mexicans, the Peruvians, American Indians, Hawaiians and many others, all worshipped "Trinitarian" deities.
     
  3. Polaris

    Polaris Active Member

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    Good post Squirt. Depending on the definition of a Trinitarian, we (the LDS) may very well be Trinitarians. Unfortunately however, as you explained, the definition of a Trinitarian seems to be quite vague and even inconsistant at times among "Trinitarians".

    Here are two specific questions that I have concerning the Trinity that I've never seen reasonably or consistantly answered and that would help determine whether or not the LDS are indeed Trinitarians:
    • If we were to see the Trinity would we see one or three beings?
    • If the Trinity is composed of one being, in what way are the Father and Son actually Father and Son?
    Hey Squirt, if this is deviating from where you wanted to take this thread let me know and I'll delete it.
     
  4. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I am not opposed to the label per se. It's the language of the Creeds and the metaphysical nuances we object to.

    And that is my point exactly.

    I would like to add a third one.
    • Can a single substance be both corporeal and non-corporeal at the same time?
    No, you're right on track. I just want to see how closely trinitarians actually agree among themselves on this issue, and if anyone would actually respond, I think we'd find out that the answer would be, "not very."
     
  5. Buttercup

    Buttercup Veteran Member

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    [FONT=&quot]The diagram above pretty much explains how I view the Trinity and I am your basic, mainstream Protestant.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]The Trinity is God in three entities, unified as one. God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit. All have equal power.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]I am the Father are One[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]…. John 10:30 [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]This is Jesus saying he is of equal power with God.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Jesus says he will raise himself from the dead putting himself on equal footing with God..[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days…” John 2:19[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Jesus saying the Holy Spirit will be sent, placing himself of equal authority with God…[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot](I agree with this online source and it's easier to cut and paste! :) http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/pentecostal/One-Ch6.htm)[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]John 14:16 says the Father would send another Comforter, namely the Holy Ghost, yet in John 14:18 Jesus said, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." In other words, the other Comforter is Jesus in another form - in the Spirit rather than the flesh. Jesus explained this in verse 17, saying that the Comforter was with the disciples already, but He would soon be in them. In other words, the Holy Ghost was with them in the person of Jesus Christ, but the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, soon would be in them. Jesus further explained this point in John 16:7, saying that He had to go away or else the Comforter would not come. Why? As long as Jesus was present with them in the flesh He would not he present spiritually in their hearts, but after He physically departed He would send back His own Spirit to he with them.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19).[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In this passage, Jesus commanded His disciples to baptize "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." However, this verse of Scripture does not teach that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate persons. Rather, it teaches the titles of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost identify one name and therefore one being. The verse expressly says "in the name," not "in the names."[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]To answer any doubt that the singular-plural distinction is significant or was planned deliberately by God, we need only read Galatians 3:16, where Paul emphasized the significance of the singular "thy seed" in Genesis 22:18. Many trinitarian scholars have recognized at least partially the significance of the singular in Matthew 28:19. For example, Presbyterian professor James Buswell states, "The 'name,' not 'names' of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in which we are to be baptized, is to be understood as Jahweh, the name of the Triune God." His insight of the singular is correct, although his identification of the singular name is in error. Jehovah or Yahweh was the revealed name of God in the Old Testament, but Jesus is the revealed name of God in the New Testament. However, the name Jesus includes Jehovah since Jesus means Jehovah-Savior.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Father, Son, and Holy Ghost all describe the one God[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot], so the phrase in Matthew 28:19 simply describes the one name of the one God. The Old Testament promised that there would come a time when Jehovah would have one name and that this one name would be made known (Zechariah 14:9; Isaiah 52:6). We know that the one name of Matthew 28:19 is Jesus, for Jesus is the name of the Father (John 5:43; Hebrews 1:4), the Son (Matthew 1:21), and the Holy Ghost (John 14:26). The New Testament church understood this to be so, for they baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; I Corinthians 1:13). Matthew himself endorsed this interpretation by standing with Peter and the other apostles during the sermon in which Peter commanded the people to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:14-38).[/FONT]
     
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  6. Polaris

    Polaris Active Member

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    [FONT=&quot]
    So if we were to see them we would see one being?

    If so, I'm curious how you would answer the other two questions:
    - In what way are the Father and Son actually Father and Son?
    - Can a single substance be both corporeal and non-corporeal at the same time?
    [/FONT]
     
  7. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    I don't see why one name must necessarily refer to one being. Going back to the diagram, we see three distinct beings, not just one. Why could three distinct beings not share a mutual name/title, "God"? You say that the diagram fairly accurately describes your understanding of God and yet there are clearly three distinct persons/beings represented in it.

    The Athanasian Creed states, "So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; And yet they are not three Gods, but one God." See, it sounds to me as if the first half of this statement explicitly contradicts the last half -- if we are talking in terms of "substance" (whatever that may mean). If the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are physically distinct from one another, they can be counted as distinct beings. If they are not physically distinct from one another, that's a whole different matter. And that's why I struggle so with this concept. I realize that no two individuals will express themselves in identical ways, but here, the first two posters appear not to agree of whether the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three distinct beings or just one being.

    Scott said:


    Buttercup said:
     
  8. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    The Trinity is very much a SPIRITUAL concept as it is a mental concept to grasp.

    There's profound beauty to understanding that God loved me so much, He came to earth to show me how to live and to die for me...so that I could be reconciled to Him.

    Father, Son and Holy Spirit...three separate manifestations of ONE God.

    Buttercup, explained things very well.
     
  9. PHOTOTAKER

    PHOTOTAKER Well-Known Member

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    i belief the "God" may be a sir name like "Christ" in this life we are striving to be like Jesus of Nazareth we are striving to be a "Christ" since Jesus was already a "Christ" he strove to be like his father "God"; and because of the atonement of Jesus the Christ, we intern will inherent everything that he and the father has by taking upon his name and keeping the commandments of God the Father (there allot more requirements I wont go into). The Holy Ghost is like the premarital Jesus endowed with the power of "God” to help the Children of man come back to the Father.

    some of the ideas come form "Jesus the Christ" i just expanded on the idea that Squirt had along with the Book...
     
  10. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    I'm not saying I don't appreciate Buttercup's or Scott's or your input, Dawny, but we started out with three questions and none of them have been answered yet:

    1. So if we were to see them we would see one being?

    2. In what way are the Father and Son actually Father and Son?

    3. Can a single substance be both corporeal and non-corporeal at the same time?

    I could not possible agree more that God's love for us is incredible, and I'm not trying to lessen its significance. I'd just like to get some answers to these three simple questions. I believe that Polaris and Phototaker and I would all answer them in the same way, but we don't accept the doctrine of the Trinity as it has been defined in the 4th and 5th century Creeds. It just doesn't appear that those who do accept this doctrine seem to be able to agree with each other on the nature of God, or to be able to answer these questions.

    Also, since you use the phrase "separate manifestations," would you be willing to try to explain what you mean by that? I'm afraid I don't quite follow you.

    Respectfully,
    Squirt
     
  11. Buttercup

    Buttercup Veteran Member

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    I was addressing the OP. These questions were posted by Polaris...not the author of this thread. I would have gotten around to them eventually. And I haven't read the other thread with the reference to Scott. :)

    I am not exactly sure......I have not seen God. Do you know anyone who has? We won't know EXACTLY what his manifestation will look like until we are with him.

    I believe the references to son and father are for our benefit....to understand the concept of God coming to earth (Jesus/Son), yet God (Father) still being in heaven.

    Sure, God can and has been.

    I shall be in and out probably the whole weekend. I'll keep checking back for more posts. :flower:
     
  12. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    Well... uh, I know of someone who did. :D And he said there were two distinct beings.

    So would it be safe to say that you don't see them as having a true father-son relationship?

    Well, just to clarify... I was actually referring to each person in the Trinity/Godhead. If you believe they are one substance, what is that substance? Is it corporeal or non-corporeal. If something is black, it's not white. If it's hot, it's not cold. These things are opposites. Would you mind explaining how any one part of the divine substance can simultaneously be two contradictory things?

    No hurry, my dear! Enjoy your weekend. We'll still be here when you get back. (Although actually, I won't be. I'm going to be out of town on business from Monday through Friday.)
     
  13. Buttercup

    Buttercup Veteran Member

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    Are you talking about Joseph Smith? Cheater! :D We have to use sources we can ALL agree on, namely just the NT.

    Not sure exactly what you mean here but I will say that an earthly father/son relationship would consist of the father being BORN before the son. Jesus has always been part of God....there was never a 'birthing'. If that doesn't answer your question...ask again! :)

    Well dear....you are asking me something only God truly knows. All's that I can say is that God was here on earth in corporeal form (Jesus God/Son) yet was fully God in heaven in non-corporeal form (God/Father) at the same time
     
  14. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    Oh well, you can't blame me for trying. :D What about Stephen (NT)? He saw Jesus sitting on the right hand of the Father. If there had not been two distinct beings, there could have been no physical relationship. It would have been impossible for Stephen to have seen Jesus to His Father's right unless they were two physically distinct beings.

    The scriptures refer to Him (Jesus) as "firstborn among many brethren". Unless that doesn't count. ;) And He was God's only begotten Son in the flesh. Was God Jesus' literal Father in the respect that Mary was His literal mother? (No sexual relationship is implied here, but the answer to that question will probably get to the bottom of what I'm trying to discover.)

    Yes, I know that. But even though I don't agree that God the Father was in non-corporeal form, I do believe He was in Heaven. And we both agree that Jesus was here on Earth in corporeal form. So how is it possible that they are "one substance" if one is corporeal and the other is not, if one is in Heaven and the other is not? Furthermore, where does the Bible even vaguely imply that they are both part of a single substance? I know it must sound like I'm just trying to be difficult, but I seriously want to make sense out of this and I can't.
     
  15. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Aren't we as humans more then "one substance"?
    At least I believe I am. ;)
     
  16. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    I'm not quite getting your point, Victor. If you are saying that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are "one substance," I want to know how this can be when a corporeal substance is the opposite to a non-corporeal substance. I don't even see how your question even figures into this discussion at all.

    And, again, I a primarily interested in comparing the way different Trinitarians understand God. I hadn't wanted this thread to end up being one where we debated the validity of the doctrine. I just wanted to see if all Trinitarians agreed on the nature of God, and so far it appears that they don't.

    Also, I'd be interested in seeing your answers to the questions Polaris and I asked:

    1. So if we were to see them we would see one being?

    2. In what way are the Father and Son actually Father and Son?

    3. Can a single substance be both corporeal and non-corporeal at the same time?
     
  17. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    How could any human truly know the answer to this question? I don't know the answer.

    Christ was in flesh, therefore, he was the literal SON of God. He was born of the Virgin Mary...impregnated by the Holy Spirit. On earth, His purpose was to show us how to commune with God...in a parent/child relationship. In the flesh...God was Christ...the Son.

    Yes. God can.

    God as three separate persons...if you don't like the word manifestation...

    God Almighty IS God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    I don't care much about the doctrine (as in Trinity doctrine), to be honest. I don't need to see it written down on paper...I can't imagine viewing God any other way.
     
  18. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you're not comfortable with this one, that's fine. There are questions that simply can't be answered. Personally, I don't think that this is one of them, but I'm sure you could ask me some that would stump me as well.

    I can go along with that for the most part. Any difference of opinion on this point is negligible.

    And on this, I guess we will simply have to agree to disagree. I don't think it is possible for God to be both corporeal and non-corporeal at the same time any more than I think it would be possible for him to be both good and evil. Even though He is God, I don't think He can be two contradictory things.

    Thank you. Yes, that does help.

    And we end on a note of agreement.
     
  19. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    Quote:[​IMG][​IMG]God Almighty IS God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.[​IMG][​IMG]
    So...you agree that God IS the Father, Son and Holy Ghost?
     
  20. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. I even agree that they are "one." I just don't interpret the word "one" the same way you do. Other than that, we are in agreement.
     
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