Trinity (Part 1)

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  • #15466
     t8 
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    To GJG

    Your comments are in gray.

    I was just wondering, if we could all find  the points where we agree on, and then go on from there……………………do you think that would maybe help us all reach a reasonable conclusion sooner?  I thought maybe if we try it that way, rather than disprove one another?

    Yes we could try that. Sounds good to me at least.

    Earlier on when RamblinRose and others were involved, all the trinitarians took off in the end. Not one of them actually gave us one answer to disprove the scriptures we quoted and the conclusions we drew. We supplied answers to the arguments they gave.

    After that, others joined in the discussion and it has been kind of bouncing from one thing to another.  Although I have certainly learnt some stuff during this period too.

    BTW I do agree on your 2 points.

    Although I will stress that yes God is the Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, Sprirt, that inhabits all of creation.  He also exists outside creation too. He is bigger than creation and he could exist as thought or conciousness outside creation. Perhaps Spirit is the way he is manifested in creation.

    I also think that he has withdrawn his spirit where sin exists and he inhabits redeemed or pure vessels only. God abhors sin and he will eventually create a new Heavens and a new earth where sin has never been, so he can be in all.

    Do you also agree that Jesus built his Church on the truth that he is the Son of God and the Messiah?

    #15518
     t8 
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    To Larry Gibbons,

    Your quotes are in gray.

    T8, how do you conceive of the Word as expressed in John 1:1-4? Was this Christ in a pre-existent form or what? Strong's dictionary defines logos as a thought, a message, or concept. Certainly it is a common word used in a wide variety of ways, but regarding God is it to much to infer it may cover His broad plan of redemtion which, though centering on Christ, includes all revelation from Genesis to Revelation? It is not until John 1:14 that the word became flesh, that is, that God's message became embodied in the person of Christ.

    John1:1-4
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    2 The same was in the beginning with God.
    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men……………..
    10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

    Yes I think that the Book of John shows us that the Word is a person because it refers to the Word as 'him' and that the Word was different to God as he was with God in the beginning. Although it points out that the Word was God too, so I think that the Word came from God, before that there was just God.  In other words the Word came from God and the Word was manifest to our eyes as the Son of God in time. He is the only begotten. We (creation have been born by God through the Word. We are the image of Christ who is the image of God, therefore we are the image of God too.

    God is then talking to the Word when he says, “Let us make man in our image.” This also demonstrates that the Word is a different personality to God.

    I sometimes wonder if we are all the thoughts of God and we are given free will which seperates us as a different personality. After all, we are going to be like Christ. He is a Son and so are we. He also has a will and so do we.  

    So did the Word have a seperate will to God? I think yes, because God refers to the Word as another person. Another person is another will as far as I know. Another will is not the same as Gods will, but another will can choose to align with God's will. This is how we become one with God, in will, (thought and deed).


    To e man

    Your quotes are in gray.

    re: The word 'the' gives us the impression that the Holy Spirit is another separate person.

    It doesn't give me that impression at all. '

    I think it can to a person who has no pre-knowledge or understanding when reading those scriptures.

    If I said to you George Bush, myself and the president and you didn't know that George Bush was the president, then you would be thinking of 3 people. So why mention George Bush and the president anyway. Maybe to show that he will be manifest as himself and also as the office of president. We can assume that there is more to George Bush than a president. He is also a father and whatever else.

    Can God manifest directly, or must God create a living creature and then act through this creature? I realize that the language of the NT seems to imply the latter in regard to Christ, but it is not itself a logically absurd idea to say that if (if) God became a man, then this man would act as a man for an example to us, and even, for this reason, refer to his father (God) as other. This idea is not beyond all sense, especially if those Jews assumed that this man may in fact be God-incarnate.

    I think God manifests directly as the Spirit and his Spirit inhabits redeemed vessels and creation, so we see creation revealing God with our eyes, but our understanding knows that the Invisible Spirit of God does these things. Like the wind. We can see it's effect in creation, but cannot see the wind (shifting air) itself.

    If you preach the scriptures to the savages who have never heard of the popular God-incarnate idea, will they assume that this Jesus is God, or will they assume that he is only a man? And, if you show them all the scriptures addressing who this Jesus is, including all those passages that would seem, at face value, to imply that Jesus is God, then what will they think? How much of the Jewish culturo-linguistic matters variously claimed by the two main groups of Christians (Jesus is God, Jesus is not God) must these savages be aware of in order to get the right idea (that Jesus is not God)?

    I think that they would first of all assume that Jesus is a Man as he is born of Mary, but then if they read on, I don't think they would think that Jesus was God, rather the Word. The bible is quite clear that the Word became flesh.

    People think Jesus is God because they do not extract this idea themselves when reading the scriptures, rather it is taught as a foundational doctrine by most denominations. Therefore they are seeing things through this filter, that is if they have chosen to believe that Jesus is God.

    Nowhere in the scripture are we taught explicitly that Jesus is actually God and God is a trinity. I think these things came from politics and philosophy rather than from scripture itself.

    I have always wondered if anyone would see a trinity if they were morooned on a desert island with a bible and read it from cover to cover for the first time, with no former teaching or opinion. I don't think they would at all.

    I'm not quite sure about all of them, but I tend to think that the term 'Spirit' when combined with some of these is a reference to God-working-in-creation. That is why, for instance, Mary was told that the Holy Spirit, not simply 'God' was to be the cause of her conception. While this is not an absolute usage of the term (excepted by such things as 'God is a spirit, without form'), I think it is the normal usage. Can you tell me that there was no reason for it? Look at Genesis 1.  One part says 'God created', and another part says 'the spirit moved upon the face of the waters'. Was this just a meaningless variation, of human-linguistic origin? I can yet see no reason to think it must be, but I'm not sure either way.  More thought, more study.

    Maybe God himself is an eternal mind or conciousness and he is manifest as Spirit in creation. In other words when God (mind) decides to change something in creation he doesn't just think it, he actually does it in Spirit. (Not by might, not by power but by my Spirit says the Lord).  God's mind would surely not be contained within creation itself and perhaps Spirit is the part of him that is clothed in creation.  So maybe God is a Spirit to us, because we are created.

    Just my thoughts, nothing more.

    Once more on the idea 'God became a man'. This is not absurd. There need be no exchange of catagories. The only reason someone would think it must be an exchange of catagories is because he thinks in terms of the creature, not in terms of the creator. A similar problem is in the following.

    Was the God incarnate a popular idea before the Catholic, Egyptian or Babylonian trinities? I know that many cultures thought of God as an animal or human, but this thinking is idolatory and so was/is the Babylonian trinity. God actually destroyed Babylon because of her idolatory.

    I personally don't think people would see Jesus as part of a trinity God or as God by reading the bible alone, unless they had the trinity filter to start with or mixed their idolatory into scriptural doctrine.

    #15488
     GJG 
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    Thx again for the reply t8,

    I’m am glad that we both agree on these two points.

    I will try to hold off a while to get more replies.

    #15546
     global 
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    Hi T8,

    thanks for the links to the summaries of the conclusions that you have reached, I will try and post a more detailed reply to the points made later today, however for now I will just make one quick point.

    It may be true that I should have read the whole discussion before commenting, however as I mentioned before I see little point re-hashing arguments that were decided 2000 years ago by the early Church.

    All the discussions here were discussed by them in more detail, by more people, with better knowledge of the ancient languages (since they were still spoken in those times) and who lived closer to the time of Christ and who therefore could be expected to have a better knowledge of the teachings of Christ and the Apostles.

    You mentioned above that you believe that the Trinity was introduced for political reasons. I presume you are referring to the circumstances of the Council of Nicea and Constantine.

    It is universally accepted by scholars today that the Trinitarian formula adopted at that Council were not adopted for political reasons, and in any case the doctrine of the Trinity is clearly expressed in many Christian writings previous to that Council.

    You said that no-one has disproved your Biblical arguments up to now, I will try and look at them later and see if I can add anything useful, but if I cannot, it doesn’t mean that the early Church was unable to.

    Finally, even if the Trinity cannot be proved from the Bible, that doesn’t mean it is not true. The Bible itself says that Jesus taught his Apostles many things which are not written in the Bible. The Church is the guardian of these teachings and as I said before, the Church has affirmed the truth of the Trinity.

    Be Well.

    #15536
     t8 
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    To global

    Great, it will be good to get some feedback after you have read the paper. But for now, I would like to point out the fruits of the Trinity doctrine.

    Today, many Christians consider that belief in the trinity is the foundation of true faith. i.e No belief in the trinity, no salvation. These lies need to be exposed for what they are.  It is absolutely shameful that such lies have been able to dominate christians lives for such a long time. The bible predicts a great falling away, so if this happens is it any surprise.

    The trinity doctrine wasn't even completely formulated @ the Council of Nicea. It was many decades after that. History shows us that it slowly developed and that proves that it was not taught in the scriptures or that it was not very obvious.

    I think when you say that they must have had better knowledge than us back then, so who are we to challenge their conclusions, is a very naive statement. Did not the Pharasees have a good knowledge of scripture. But their conclusions were completely wrong weren't they. Your words show me that you trust man, if you blindly accept their conclusions.

    You know history shows us that only a fraction of the total Bishops turned up at Nicea. They were all invited, but most never showed up. So what does that tell you? Out of the ones that turned up, many disagreed with the conclusions and Constantine the Roman Emperor decreed that all who appose this doctrine will be put to death. So even the ungodly circumstances should speak volumes about what really happened.

    Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek, not burn people at the stake or kill them in some other way. Come on, it is obvious that this whole debacle was not of God. The fruits of this are bad, really bad. Then of course creed followed creed until it became acceptable to worship Icons, Mary and the Saints.

    If this is not a falling away from the truth, then what is.  You know that all these creeds are excuses for idolatory. The council of Nicea led men slowly but surely to idolatory.

    We have the advantage of looking back in time and looking at the fruit of these things. The christians of the first to third centuries did not have our unique perspective.

    From where I am standing, it seems clear to me that many christians erred when they started trusting in Creeds which are undeniably written by man and as far as I know, do not claim inspiration of God.

    Jesus and Paul warned us of lawnesses and great deception and doctrine of demons. So who are we to think that a Roman Emperor made the correct decision in implementing the Nicean Creed. Paul warned us to test the spirits and guard our doctrines closely for a reason.

    Why would anyone think that the conclusions of such men were right, when the fruit in their lives show murder, envy, hate and many other wicked deeds that history reveals.

    The Inquisition was a permanent institution in the Catholic Church charged with the eradication of heresies. If I lived in those days, I would have been burned at the stake for my belief in the one God (our Father) and Jesus being the Son of God, the Word of God.

    How many people were killed in the name of preserving creeds. Have a look in your encyclopaedia. 50 million people were slaughtered for the crime of “heresy” by Roman persecutors between the A.D. 606 and the middle of the 19th century and  they tortured countless others. This doesn't include witch hunts, but heretics (those who didn't bow down to the trinity doctrine and other Roman Catholic beliefs) and reformers.

    Her sins have piled up to Heaven. Jesus even said in [John 16:2] the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”

    All the creeds and the denominations that have been built on top of these creeds were never Gods will and never will be. The fruit and division proves that.

    Why do you want to be part of this evil, by supporting her doctrines, when you know full well in your spirit that such fruits are bad.

    This mess all started when men drew up creeds which led to the establishment of the trinity doctrine as a foundation and the denominations which were built on top. Certain denominations implemented ways to preserve their doctrines from so called heresy. The catholics and other denominations resorted to murder, but they called it by other names.

    You shall know a tree by it's fruit. A good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

    #15582
     Seeker 
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    It seems to me we must interpret scripture in light of scripture. The trinitarian doctrine is based largely on one scripture – John 1:1

    If we’re going to use one scripture (which is not a good idea – and I have many more) here is my one scripture.

    And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
    jOHN 17:3

    Nothing else needs to be said. There is no way to fit a trinity into this scripture.

    Seeker

    #15562
     global 
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    Quote
    Quote: from Seeker on 11:46 am on July 30, 2003
    It seems to me we must interpret scripture in light of scripture.  The trinitarian doctrine is based largely on one scripture – John 1:1

    Seeker

    How wrong you are, I will post on this soon.

    #15356
     global 
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    T8,

    I have now had a chance to read the summary of your arguments which you directed me to.

    It is a very long list so if you don’t mind I will try to respond in several posts, however before I begin I would like to refer you back to the comments I made before about how this question has already been discussed by many learned people.

    I don’t believe it is necessary to question people’s credentials in a forum like this, and as I said before even if someone was a respected university professor we would have to balance his opinion with the opinions of many others.

    However, in your own case, (and I say this without any intention of offending you, and I class myself in the same category as you) I have already shown you some factual errors in what you said in previous posts and will show more from your summary. These lead me to believe that you do not have the requisite knowledge of the Bible or Church history to carry out the Biblical exegesis which you are attempting, especially on the subject of the Trinity which is one of the most complicated of Christian doctrines.

    Yes, the Bible is useful for teaching us and yes we should test doctrines according to God’s word, but not at the expense of arrogantly setting ourselves up over those whom God has appointed to be our teachers and rulers.

    Now I will try to address some of the arguments from your summary, if you don’t mind I will begin from the end, i.e part 7 “How the Trinity Doctrine Came About”.

    You begin part 7 with statements like –

    “Arius (c.250-336) held that Christ is the Son of God, and that because He is the Son He therefore had a beginning.”

    “Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, headed the opposing party”

    This gives the impression that at that time the doctrine of the Trinity was not an established part of Church teaching but that there were two equal parties with opposing views.

    However this is not the case, but rather the Trinity was the established doctrine of the Church from the very beginning.

    We can see from the treatment of heretics:

    Tertullian speaking about the heretic Montanus in 150 AD affirms that his beliefs about the Trinity were the same as when he was a Catholic, and in the same work he talks explicitly about the Divinity of the three persons, their distinction, and the eternity of God the Son (“Adv. Prax.” II, 156) we have here a clear proof that Trinitarianism was an article of faith at a time when the Apostolic tradition was far too recent for any error to have arisen on a point so vital.

    In 220 AD Sabellius was excommunicated by St. Callistus for propagating a heresy about the Trinity in Rome, and in 200AD Noetus of Smyrna, the originator of this heresy was condemned by a local synod.

    This sect made no appeal to tradition for its beliefs and everywhere it appeared it found Trinitarianism in possession, in Smyrna, in Rome, Africa and Egypt. On the other hand, St. Hippolytus, who combats it in the "Contra Noetum," claims Apostolic tradition for the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

    In 320 AD St. Alexander, bishop of Alexandria convoked a council in which more than a hundred bishops from Egypt and Libya condemned Arius.

    The doctrine of the Trinity is also taught in all manner of Ecclesiastical writings.

    We can point out Justin “Apol.” 1vi; Athenagoras, “Legat; pro Christ.”, n.12. says “Christians are conducted to the future life by this unique fact, that they know God and his Logos, what is the unity of the Son with the Father, what is the commmunion of the Father with the Son, what is the Spirit, what is the unity of these three, and their distinction in unity”.

    Iraneus (Adv. Haer.”1, xxii,iv,xx, 1-6) teaches the consubstantiality of the Son and the Spirit. Clement of Alexandria expresses the same doctrine in “Paedag.” 1, vi, and later Gregory Thaumaturgas expresses it in his creed written between 260 and 270 AD –

    “There is therefore nothing created, nothing subject to another in the Trinity: nor is there anything that has been added as though it once had not existed, but had entered afterwards: therefore the Father has never been without the Son, nor the Son without the Spirit: and this same Trinity is immutable and unalterable forever” (P. G., X, 986).

    The Council of Nicea

    First a point about the purpose of Councils, a General Council is for the purpose of discussing and defending the true faith. A council cannot change previous doctrines or introduce new ones, the faith never changes. Councils should be thought of as confirming the true faith or what has always been taught by the Church. Furthermore no doctrine needs a General Council for its legitimacy, but the Church may use a Council to put a definitive end to debates in the Church.

    The fact that the doctrine of the Trinity was not discussed until the Council of Nicea or later councils in no way suggests that it was not part of doctrine before that date, in fact we have seen above it clearly was.

    Then what were the Councils for? We should distinguish here between what theologians call the “economic” trinity and the “ontological” trinity.

    The “economic” Trinity is the simple revelation of the Bible that God is three persons but one God.

    The “ontological” trinity is the theological explanation of how this “works” and the relation of the three persons to each other.

    It is clear that the “economic” Trinity was accepted by the Church from the very beginning, but the development of the “ontological” Trinity did take place in subsequent Councils over several centuries, but we should not infer anything sinister in that.

    T8 said –

    “The emperor Constantine was at first very amused by all the squabbling. It kept the people occupied. But as the controversy dragged on, he finally called a council of nearly 300 bishops to settle the matter, although only a fraction turned up. The first ecumenical council of the Christian church took place in Nicaea, now in modern Turkey (c.325), 294 years after the death of Christ. The presence of the emperor added to the vehemence of the arguments. He would listen to all sides and then rule. His verdict would decide truth.”

    This is a parody of what is universally accepted by scholars.

    “The emperor Constantine was at first very amused by all the squabbling”

    No, he was sympathetic to the problems –

    “Even though he had a general antipathy to the controversies, and even though he himself had only a rudimentary "theology," he was still not entirely without sympathy for the problems which arose. In any case, he permitted himself to be more fully instructed about many things by his episcopal counselors.” A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, 1966, p51-53)

    T8 – “he finally called a council of nearly 300 bishops to settle the matter”

    It is true that the first 8 councils were called by the Emperors as an invitation to meet, but they did not act without the consent of the Pope. In fact only the fifth was called in opposition to the Pope, and the conduct of the Emperor caused the legality of this Council to be questioned.

    The sixth Council (680) affirms that the Council of nicea was called by the Emperor and pope Sylvester (Mansi,Coll. Conc. XI, 661). The same affirmation appears in the life of Sylvester in the “Liber Pontificalis”

    Rufinus in his history of Eusebius says the Emperor called the Council “ex sacerdotum sententia” (on the advice of the priests).

    Constantine inaugurated the council as honorary President, and attended the sessions but he did not direct the theological discussions. The President in reality appears to have been Hosius, bishop of Cordoba, helped by the Papal legates Victor and Vincentius.

    T8 said – The presence of the emperor added to the vehemence of the arguments

    St Athanasius assures us that the presence of the Emperor didn’t interfere with the activities of the Council.

    Rufinus says that Arius was called before the Council many times , and his opinions debated seriously, but the majority rejected hi
    s ideas.

    T8 said – He would listen to all sides and then rule. His verdict would decide truth.”

    It is true that the Emperor himself suggested the final formula “hoinoousios” ("of one substance") but it is almost universally accepted that this was probably suggested to him by Hosius of Cordoba.

    For example –

    The decisive catchword of the Nicene confession, namely, hoinoousios ("of one substance"), comes from no less a person than the emperor himself. To the present day no one has cleared up the problem of where the emperor got the term. It seems likely that it was suggested to him by his episcopal counselor, Bishop Hosius (Ossius) of Cordova, and it was probably nothing more than a Greek translation of a term already found in Tertullian (A Short History of Christian Doctrine, Bernard Lohse, 1966, p51-53)

    and

    “…..and personally proposed (no doubt on Hosius’ prompting) the crucial formula expressing the relation of Christ to God in the creed issued by the council, "of one substance with the Father" (Encyclopædia Britannica, 1971, Vol. 6, p. 386)

    T8 said – “The nature of the Spirit was not an issue. It would be another fifty-six years before the institutional church would decree worship of the Holy Spirit.”

    We have already seen that the divinity of the Holy Spirit, and therefore his worship, was already well established amongst the first Christians, but further discussions on his precise nature would indeed take place in the future.

    T8 said – “This is the same Constantine who feigned a “conversion” to Christ, but not wanting to antagonize the pagan element, waited until he lay on his death bed to be “baptized” (just in case there is indeed a judgment).”

    Let’s see what other authorities say regarding the genuineness of Constamtine’s conversion –

    "The reasons for Constantine’s conversion to Christianity have been much debated. Some believe that it was an astute stroke of policy, designed to win the support of the Christians, or a wise act of statesmanship aimed at buttressing the decaying fabric of the empire with the strength of the Christian church. NEITHER VIEW IS VERY LIKELY (Encyclopædia Britannica, 1971, Constantine, Vol. 6, p. 386) (My emphasis)

    and

    “He was not baptized until he lay dying in 337, but THIS IMPLIES NO DOUBT ABOUT HIS CHRISTIAN BELIEF. It was common at this time (and continued so until about A.D. 400) to postpone baptism to the end of one’s life, especially if one’s duty as an official included torture and execution of criminals. Part of the reason for postponement lay in the seriousness with which the responsibilities of baptism were taken. Constantine favoured Christianity among the many religions of his subjects, but did not make it the official or ‘established’ religion of the empire." (The Early Church, Chadwick, Henry. p 122,125,127) (My emphasis)

    T8 said –

    “Throughout the ancient world as far back as Babylon, it was common for pagans to worship triad gods. This was prevalent in Egypt (Horus, Osiris & Isis), India (Siva, Brahma & Vishnu), and Babylon (Ishtar, Sin & Shamash). We may think that Paganism was conquered by Christianity, but it is probably more accurate to say that Christianity assimilated it.”

    I have already posted in an earlier post evidence that the Trinity is not derived from pagan sources. It only remains to add here that the triads mentioned are not a single god like in Christianity but always three separate gods as a family or one “big” god and other “small” gods.

    If anything these beliefs are closer to many Unitarians concept of God and Jesus, for example the Jehovahs Witnesses believe in the Almighty Father (the big god) and the Mighty Jesus, who is regarded as a smaller divinity.

    T8 said – “Even the fact that Christians worship on Sunday, was the adoption of a Pagan festival, because the Jews worship on the Sabbath.”

    This is irrelevant to the Trinity, but think again.

    The Sabbath is one of the Jewish observances that St. Paul says is not obligatory for Christians and other passages indicate that the gentile converts were meeting on Sundays, which they called The Lords Day, no doubt because Jesus rose from death on a Sunday. Nothing to do with paganism I’m afraid !

    T8, I will try and address your Biblical arguments in another post, however from a quick initial glance at many of the texts cited in your summary I can see that many of the proofs offered are in no way inconsistent with the Church’s doctrine of the Trinity when viewed in the context of the doctrine of the Incarnation aswell, you may want to do a little research on that.

    Be Well.

    #15390
     e man 
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    quote: from global on 1:54 pm on July 29, 2003

    Jesus did not write a Bible, what he did do is found the Church, and the Church has authority to decide on questions of Faith./quote

    God founded the Levitical priesthood, and the Sanhedren, and these became those who, through added tradition, made harsh Sabbath laws to which Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." The Sanhedren were responsible for Jesus’ execution.

    No man or institution is ever commanded by God to teach error, nor is anyone commanded by God to follow error. By God’s design the child is to obey his parents, yet no child is bound by God to simply obey any error his parents may superstitiously command. God has not made parents to serve Satan, but to teach children the truth. The Roman Catholic church, as such, is founded on blindness, not on berean-ness. If you claim Peter as your father, I claim Paul as mine, and it was Paul who corrected Peter.

    quote: The Church has decided that the doctrine of the Trinity is true, therefore if anybody questions that doctrine or the validity of his Church they are clearly not following Christ.
    /quote

    If this ‘Catholic’ church told you that there were four Divine persons in the ontology of God, you would simply believe it. You are no follower of Christ, you are no better than a Muslim, who follows Allah blindly. When God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham did not *simply* comply like a dog, Abraham sought out the truth of the command (see Hebrews 11:17-19).  Abraham was like the bereans. Abraham did not take such a command as a stand-alone, face-value command, rather, he thought on thne *why* of the command, and what he came up with was immanently sensible to his semi-pagan understanding. Had he not come up with the why of this bizarre command (bizarre in itself, and a contrary thing in light of the Promise) God would NEVER HAVE COMMANDED IT.

    quote: The fact that after 18 pages of debate on this topic no agreement has been reached reveals the need for an "authority" (guided by the Holy Spirit) to decide these questions for us./quote

    You are a tragic (well-intentioned) fool.
    Loyalty and truthfulness are two covenant values that must be held in tension against one another. Loyalty binds us together. The truth sets us free. If one value is emphasized over the other, then serious problems develop and both values will become distorted.
    If loyalty is overemphasized, then only affirmation will be given and heard as feedback. If truth telling is practiced without love and without loyalty, it does not build but tears down.
    If truthfulness is considered a fundamental component of loyalty, then the organization will be built on integrity.
    If loyalty is considered a fundamental component of truthfulness, then the organization will have true unity.

    quoteYou also stated the much repeated, but false, claim that the doctrine of the Trinity was influenced by pagan religions –

    T8 said:

    "Do you not know that the Babylonians worshipped a trinity including the Queen of Heaven. The Egyptians also followed the Babylonian religion and worshipped a trinity. This Babylonian system has infiltrated the Church of today and her doctrines are the foundations of this Harlot System"

    In fact neither the Babylonians nor the Egyptians had trinities like the Christian trinity and all attempts to prove that the Christian Trinity is derived from paganism have failed. I quote you –

    "First, it is important to note that the doctrine of the Trinity does not go back to non-Christian sources [pagan], as has sometimes been supposed in the past. There has been no lack of attempts to find the initial form of the doctrine of the Trinity in Plato, or in Hinduism, or in Parsiism. All such attempts may be regarded today as having floundered."  John Lohse, A Short History of Christian Doctrine

    "Yet the number three assumes peculiar importance indirectly in connection with the concept of the Trinity. There are threefold formulae listing the Persons in such passages as Matt. 28:19; Jn. 14:26; 15:26; 2 Cor. 13:13; 1 Pet. 1:2 (—> God, art. theos NT 8). There seems to be no precursor of this idea in any significant usage of the numerical concept in the OT, nor may it reasonably be connected with the occurrence of triads of deities in ancient Near Eastern paganism." (New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Colin Brown, 1932, God, vol 2, Three, p687, C. J. Hemer)

    "the New Testament established the basis for the doctrine of the Trinity. The doctrine developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Trinity, Vol. X, p.126, 1979)
    /quote

    History is a trial, and over which God presides; that everything God says and does is designed to force fallen men, over time, to fully realize that they are the one’s being tried, and to show them that they have, even from the beginning, been implicitly guilty of every error; that it is man who destroys the truth; that is is man who warps his own understanding (superstition). This is the context for all Biblical data.

    Now, some have objected to me and, partly parroting Orthodox summary statements, say "History is not a trial, it is God’s working out of his plan for his glory." Others have said to me that man is not on trial because he has already been found guilty (in Eden). But, the first objection shows a shallow understanding and thus poses a false dichotomy, while the second fails to account for the implication of the first: that man is tried for his guilt in even refusing salvation; God has not yet given the ultimate verdict. This is not a simple, one-time trail in which the criminal is found guilty of a crime, sentenced, and immediately punished. The trial goes on because man insists on trying to prove to all concerned (especially to himself) that he can save himself – which is, in effect, a counterclaim against God’s claim of Creator.

    The Trinity data has either nothing to say to this counterclaim, or everything. I have plenty of reasons to think it has everything.

    The founders of the Constitution of the USA commented that the nature of government was the nature of personhood, in that an officer of any one of the three branches/capacities of US government (executive, legistative, judicial) was effectively prevented from acting as a complete person upon/with the government, by being restricted to serve in only one of these three capacities. A strict monarchy, in which a single person is the ultimate ruler, is a form of government that functions as a complete person at that level. (The ‘Separation of Powers’ was instituted in the USA as a means to check the tendency of human government to become corrupt.)

    These three capacities (power, order, valuation) are the three realms of proof.

    (you can skip all but the final paragraph of this section for now, and go on to the next section.)

    Consider the power/order relation in the ‘omnipotence paradox’, such as the classic rock question: can an omnipotent being make a rock so big that even this being cannot lift it? If the answer is no, so goes the foolish argument, then this being isn’t, by definition, omnipotent. This conception of omnipotence is a logically anti-qualified conception. The ‘paradox’, when used to uphold the overly-simple belief that there is no omnipotent God, and thus no being worthy of worship (since no being can be ‘omnipotent’), I say, the ‘paradox’ is an argument that presupposes that logic requires that the conception of omnipotence be something that then this same logic denies can exist. (Read that last phrase again if you did not catch its meaning.) Thus, this presupposition is a self-contradiction that, if taken for the logical reality of the problem, is saying that logic itself contradicts itself. There are three other erroneous and hidden assumptions in the minds of those who mistakenly take this ‘paradox’ as logically compulsory. One, that power is being ruled over by ‘logic’ if it is allo
    wed that a power lacks the ‘power’ to violate self-evident truth. Two, relating to One, that ‘logic’ is a thing in itself (such that the human mind has possession of this greatest of all powers called ‘logic’). Three, that this ‘logic’ is the objective and neutral judge in the contest between self-evident truth and power. This last erroneous hidden assumption is the most interesting, for what this assumption does is to hold the ‘contest’ between ‘logic’ and power in the court of ‘logic’. One can switch it around, so that one’s ‘logic’ is pitted against power in the court of power – and then power, not ‘logic’, would seem to win. But, that’s just it, logic is not a thing of itself; logic is not the glue holding the rest of reality together. There is no glue. The final blow is in observing that, even were one to find a neutral judge in this ‘contest’ between ‘logic’ and power, one could not see to determine which of the two would win. (This insanity is by no means limited to problems posed upon God, but can be invented for any subject under the sun. Try an ‘omni-procrastinator’: does he put off everything, or does he get everything done?

    The third law of proof is what might be called spirit, for it is spirit, not matter, that has a sense of things: love.

    To put these three together 1)Power: God is not a Social Darwinist (might does not make right), even though God has (no, is) true power. 2)Order/law/logos: God is not the God of the Gnostics, even though God has all knowledge (God is his own knowledge). 3)Love: God is not a groom pathetically sunk forever into a coma.

    The greatest truths are also the most relevant—and the most obscure. But, the greatest truths are so obscure only because they are underneath everything else—they are the foundation.

    God is a plurality in unity. And, this plurality is three. And, each of these three is fully personal. But, is each of these three a person apart from the other two? What is a living being (and, what is authority)? You are both a person and a living being, so you should, in principle, be able to answer if these two are the same or different, and answer it without a moment’s thought. That’s a common sense question, but how much common sense do you yet know consciously? No one was born with conscious knowledge of hardly any of it, but it is pride that blinds us to some of it—it is man who destroys the truth.

    METAPHYSICAL MATERIALISM MEETS GOD

    or

    THE ERROR OF ADAM IN FULL CIRCLE

    Many people have heard the story about the primitive man who is introduced to a radio, whereupon he thinks that there is a little man inside of this box. There is, in fact, much more to the story:

    Take a baby from America and swap it at birth with a baby who is born to very "primitive"-minded (mentally degraded) parents who live in some isolated part of the Amazon. The primitive-born baby, who is thus raised in Middle Class America, will grow up to be mentally indistinguishable from a Middle Class American, while the American baby, who is thus raised in a mentally "primitive" culture, will grow up to be mentally "primitive". You see, the fact is that we are all primitives. Further, there is something to be said for how this fact plays out in the high-tech/high-science world. To wit:

    There is a version of the "Chinese room" experiment in which there is a person born blind who has been given all of the mindless procedural rules of interaction by which to tutor a sighted youngster on the nature of sight and light, which tutoring is conducted through a Braille-to-visual computer link. Such an experiment would actually work, just like a computer which is programmed with these same procedures: the literate sighted child can learn of the nature of sight and light from this blind person, even though this blind person has never experienced sight.

    Now, here is an either/or question:

    1)Is this experiment, in itself, a convincing case for the notion that real intelligence is mere mechanics?

    or,

    2), is this experiment convincing of this notion only because of some (quite possibly wrong) assumptions that many people both within and without the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) do not realize that they are making?

    The problem with this "Chinese room" experiment is that the rules must have been originated by a person who could see. The common failure to realize this simple fact is what has made current the notion that human functional intelligence is nothing but a complex combination of mindless procedures and interactions. In reality, the "Chinese room" experiment is nothing but a simulation–like all simulations–which is being made to work by way of the living intelligence that is behind it. The power and logic of the simulation seem to all be in place sufficiently well to raise the hopes of the atheist who seeks a way to make God into just another human; but, the "Chinese room" experiment, like the computer, actually knows nothing about what it is supposed to be doing. The missing third ingredient is that "subjective" quality which allows us to say " I think, therefore I am." This is ontological agency, more often poorly known by its derivative, "qualia". It is ontological agency which makes a power/logic entity, such as a human body, capable of doing things that exhibit ontological agency. There has to be "somebody" in there (or, at least, somewhere), in order for the machine to be recognized by an ontological agent as having an ontological agent behind the behavior. The logic- and-power aspect is not enough, and there is not going to be any mere logic-and-power entity which can, without prior input, exhibit intelligence. Computers only do programs, and the car stereo speaker which is blurting out the voice of the talk show host does not have any idea of what it is saying.

    Today, that primitive man I mentioned at the start has become educated just well enough to think that he can make a box in such a way as to ‘have a little man inside of it’.

    Atheists who work in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) seek to nullify God by thinking that they actually have the ability to engineer an ontological agent (an agent that can know something "subjectively", as opposed to appearing to know something by way of its behavior, or, less, non-behavior, such as an inanimate object). If man can be his own true master, then God is a useless entity at best –and this premise is intoxicating to those who would deny the existence of an entity that is both personal and is the ground of all other being. This intoxicant is very much like that which pertains to the fantasy of making a surplus-energy perpetual motion machine. But, ‘Strong’ AI it is so much more intoxicating, because it aims to cut at the very foundation of reality and to take that foundation to pieces, all while allowing man to gain dominance over it all. In the field of AI this aim has been unsuccessful; yet, the premise still holds captive the reprobate mind because other avenues are available by which to help maintain this self-deception, such as Transhumanism and the Hedonistic Imperative.

    It has been by way of AI that the definition of a person has come to light, and this definition holds that a person–an ontological agent–is triune. I suggested as much in my mention of the problem with the "Chinese room" experiment. "Strong AI" wishes to get beyond the mere power/logic (behavioral) aspect of human intelligence and to arrive at a way by which to engineer ontological agency itself. Those in the field of AI have had to admit that ontological agency is required in order for a power/logic agent to be truly intelligent, and they also admit that this simple fact presents a fundamental barrier to the success of "Strong AI". While there are those who hold to the idea that ontological agency (life) exists on a spectrum (so that either there is no such thing as a non-ontological agent, or that ontological agency comes with a certain kind of power/logic which is simply n
    ot present in brute-engineered machines), yet, we can have the very notion of non-ontological agency only by our own ontological agency. This presents a sort of conflict, and the fundamental failure of the "Chinese room" experiment to uphold the "Strong AI" position is a case in point.

    Not only is there some sort of a conflict in observing that the idea of non-ontological agency cannot be had except by an ontological agent, but our ontological agency asserts that something can be known to be objectively false. In order for us to be able to conclude that something is objectively false, we must, at least tacitly, be operating from something else which we take to be the objective truth by which to know that this first thing is objectively false. But, ontological agency is supposed, by many positivist evolutionists, to be inherently subjective, in the sense of being incapable of objectively knowing anything to be true beyond the fact that ‘what seems to be seems to be’ (a thing true by definition). In a sense, this is the correct view, but only so long as we are willing to see our mistakes as such. The denial that anything can be known objectively is a misapplication of the Adamic mind, by seeing the inability of the creature to once and for all define anything to a ‘T’ as implying that ontological agency cannot have objective knowledge. There is no little man in the radio, and the only reason that "Strong AI" has a foothold in anyone’s mind is because the aim of "Strong AI" can easily seem to be viable to the kind of mind that was created to have dominion over the physical world.

    God is an ontological agent. Therefore, God is triune by definition. The ground of all being, the standard by which all else is judged, is a person. The Biblical data which has been used to support the Orthodox Trinity, is an implicit, multi-level revelation whose mysteries are open to inquiry. When this data is understood for what it is, and not as a bizarre notion which elevates mystery above God by way of a pan-logical view of God’s ineffability, is in the most direct opposition to the most prized possession of atheism: belief in life-from-non-life, whether this be abiogenesis/evolutionism, or ‘Strong’ AI/multiple realizability.

    A PARABLE

    There was a wise and powerful king who wished to prove, for all concerned, as to the loyalty of all his subjects to his laws for the poor. So, he disguised himself as a pauper and went through his kingdom living as a pauper. The pauper began his life by asking many questions to all the judges which the king had long ago appointed, and later began teaching and caring for the poor like himself. He quickly became very famous among the poor, and was to them as the king himself.

    At some point the pauper charged some of the wicked judges with the intent to condemn him to the dungeon and throw away the key. They denied this, of course, because they had no reason, they thought, to condemn this good pauper to the dungeon—and now they wondered at his sanity for making such a charge.

    The more the pauper taught and healed, the more the people of the kingdom asked, "Who is this pauper?" Some of the people realized that the pauper was the king, for no one but the king could say or do the things that the pauper said and did. As the fame of the pauper grew, the wicked judges felt threatened, because the people saw in the pauper something greater than what the people saw in these wicked judges. The pauper even seemed to claim to have perfect authority over the judges, and this made the judges mad. How dare the pauper presume to be equal to the king. Even the king himself had said, long ago, that "The king is not a pauper", and these wicked judges stuck to this truth—or, so they thought.

    Many of the people who realized that the pauper is the king wondered when he would take his throne and punish these wicked judges. Others, who did not believe that the pauper is the king, yet expected the pauper soon to assume military power and free the kingdom from oppression, just like other men of old had done. Just like old times. But, the king is no simple man, and will not repeat himself in vain.

    These wicked judges came so to hate the pauper’s truth that they began conspiring to condemn him to the dungeon, just as he had said that they were guilty of doing. Eventually, they were able to trick up enough support to have the pauper condemned to the dungeon. So, to the dungeon he was condemned, and he stayed down there for a little while. He stayed down in the dungeon just as many days as there are realms of proof, as yet another reminder to those who would become worthy to be made true delegates of the king’s authority. Now, finally, the king has proved the full extent of the wicked pride of the judges and of the selfish willingness of the people to be mislead. The king has now allowed them every last measure of liberty to have a change of heart. Guess who has been wearing the royal key?

    Now, what purpose, or office, did the pauper serve? Answer: The purpose of a living fulfillment of the king’s laws. The Logos. The king sacrificed his life as the king, and even allowed himself to be condemned to the dungeon. All to make a point, to produce an exhibit to the royal court, in the trial held over the kingdom. The kingdom has now been tried according to the king’s laws. There is yet another stage in the trail before the verdict is pronounced, but I digress.

    The pauper always referred to the king as other, never did the pauper refer to himself as the king. This was only proper, and also for the fact that the full power and authority of the king would be misrepresented were the pauper (who is the king) to claim the king’s throne. Only the king has the right to the king’s throne, and the king will share it with only whom he will.

    So, now, on to the subject at hand. The pauper is the king and the king is the king. Each of two people is the king. But, is the king therefore two people? Of course not. How would anyone get this idea except by a corruption from the kingdoms where there are two kings each with equal authority. The significance of the whole scenario is not in the fact that each of two people is the king. There is only a certain, limited, significance in that fact, namely, that the king has the power to live as a pauper. The greater significance is in the common sense of the thing: the king tried his subjects according to his laws. The king is the highest authority and the highest power in the kingdom. He had became king of this kingdom because he had defeated the power of the kings of the wicked kingdoms round about, and had carved out a kingdom for himself. He would later begin to conquer the rest of the world by his sovereign wisdom (as a pauper), but what he had done at first was to prove to the world that he was the true sovereign of power. The gods of the pagans were sought by the pagans according to the power with which these gods could ‘help’ their followers (like dangerous toys given by a foolish grandpa to be used by the brat child as weapons against the child’s siblings). The true God is not foolish with his power, and has no need to be bribed into proving himself. It is we who are on trial, not him.

    Now, look at that one charge made by the pauper against the wicked judges. The pauper had charged them with being guilty of wishing to condemn him to the dungeon. How were they guilty of this at the time he charged them of it? Or, were they yet essentially innocent of this crime at that time? Like I said near the beginning of this post, history is a trial, and over which God presides; everything God says and does is designed to force fallen men, over time, to fully realize that they are the one’s being tried, and to show them that they have, even from the beginning, been implicitly guilty of every error. History is not just a procession of events, nor is it just a succession of Divine revelations of truth. History is a trial.

    Most Trinitarians *already* assume that each of the three ‘Divine Persons’ is playing a role, and that the
    one central role is the role of a man.

    (Edited by e man at 5:13 pm on July 30, 2003)

    #15651
     t8 
    Participant
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    To Global,

    Your quotes are in gray.

    This part of the Trinity Writing (History of How the trinity doctrine came about) is certainly the weakest part, because it is a historical argument and not a scriptural or doctrinal one.  I admit that it could contain error. We know that history is full of inconsistencies, contradictions and biases. The sources that were used, come from the following:

    1. History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume 1, Draper, John William M.D.,
      LL.D.1876. Chapter 6, part 2; Chapter 9, part 1 and 2;
    2. The Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia (see Nicaea, councils of; Arianism; creed)
    3. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon 1845, part 4

    I have been thinking of a complete rewrite with this section as this writing is based on a thesis, written by someone else. Anyway the points that you contested come from the sources quoted above, so you are really contesting the sources themselves. I think we both know that we need to really prove things from scripture (the written source) as to what the Church should believe.

    We know that Jesus and Paul taught us that great deception, doctrine of demons and even a great falling away would happen. So if we use sources outside the scriptures to prove a doctrine, then we risk falling for these prophecied deceptions. I think we can both appreciate the fact that the scriptures are the most reliable source of Christian doctrine and I look forward to your challenges from the scriptures I have quoted in Trinity Writing.

    You also mentioned that the Trinity doctrine doesn't link back to the Babylonian or Egyptian trinities. Well I say to you that we both can see that they are 3 fold and have uncannily similar structure. Perhaps you can say that the Egyptian Trinity is not linked to the Babylonian one either, but the fact remains that Babylonian idolatory is still with us today and has passed through many cultures and even kingdoms. You really need to see the way the Spirit wants you to see, in order to see true idolatory. I think it is just different names, same package. We are told to come out of Babylon in the Book of Revelation for a reason. “Come out of her my people”

    I don’t believe it is necessary to question people’s credentials in a forum like this, and as I said before even if someone was a respected university professor we would have to balance his opinion with the opinions of many others. However, in your own case, (and I say this without any intention of offending you, and I
    class myself in the same category as you) I have already shown you some factual errors in what you said in previous posts and will show more from your summary. These lead me to believe that you do not have the requisite knowledge of the Bible or Church history to carry out the Biblical exegesis which you are attempting, especially on the subject of the Trinity which is one of the most complicated of Christian doctrines.

    Matthew 11:25
    At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

    You know if it is about being learned and wise, then perhaps you could judge me, but it is not. The foolishness of God, will beat the wisdom of man, any day any time. If men are full of themselves, then how can they be filled with the Spirit. No a man must empty himself in order to recieve the fullness of God and it is the Spirit who leads us into all truth.

    Yes, the Bible is useful for teaching us and yes we should test doctrines according to God’s word, but not at the expense of arrogantly setting ourselves up over those whom God has appointed to be our teachers and rulers.

    You are judging me here harshly here. Please be careful when you judge. You may be doing this very thing yourself.

    This gives the impression that at that time the doctrine of the Trinity was not an established part of Church teaching but that there were two equal parties with opposing views.

    Maybe you got that impression, but if you think about it, doctrines take time to develop if they are not taught in the scriptures. The Trinity doctrine was not fully developed even at Nicea. It was decades after Nicea when the Holy Spirit became the 3rd member and hence the Trinity. Obviously such teaching would have to exist in some form, it wouldn't just suddenly appear. Your examples show that. On the other hand, if the Trinity Doctrine were taught explicitly in scripture, then you would assume that such a doctrine wouldn't need all this time to develop. It could easily have been established as it is today, right from the first creed.

    I think that the time involved to reach the Trinity Doctrine conclusion shows that the scriptures either didn't make it obvious or it doesn't teach it at all. This time factor and the obvious development of the doctrine also shows that much debate took place and clearly shows the mind of man at work. When we compare this doctrine to the doctrine of Christ and Paul, we find that the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of Christ and Paul are very different.

    However this is not the case, but rather the Trinity was the established doctrine of the Church from the very beginning.

    Incorrect. The Trinity Doctrine was absolutely not part of the early Church, the scriptures prove that. In fact it was never  part of the Catholic Church (Universal). But the Roman Catholic Church and her daughters, yes. Many of those who apposed the Roman Catholic Church's doctrines were murdered, in order to preserve the Roman Church's power and doctrines over Christendom.

    Today, most people just assume that certain Roman doctrines like the Trinity are correct. But to really test these doctrines, we need to look at scripture and this is partly what the Reformation was about. A challenge to the Roman Church about her doctrines and conduct.  The response to Luther was to brand him as a Heretic. Luther even wrote about the Babylonian capture of the Church.

    Constantine inaugurated the council as honorary President, and attended the sessions but he did not direct the theological discussions. The President in reality appears to have been Hosius, bishop of Cordoba, helped by the Papal legates Victor and Vincentius.

    But who had the final decision?

    Anyway, this may come as a shock to you, but I stated earlier in this discussion, that I personally do not have any real problem with the Nicene Creed in statement. I think it is pretty accurate, although I may disagree with some of it, it is also possible that I am reading it in the wrong context.

    What I objected to was the reason for doing it. Creeds created a structure that departed from the true faith. Instead of an organic Body of Christ, we now see a man-made structure with a man-made government that controls Christians and is also guilty of murdering believers who did not adhere to her creeds.  In addition the deceptions of this Harlot system, she also deprived it's subjects (in fact everyone) of the scriptures themselves, because they were confident that the common person was not capable of interpretting scripture correctly. So it was first interpreted and then that interpretation was passed down. This is how the Trinity and other false doctrines have been able to survive for so long. By the time Reformers made the scriptures available to all, it was very hard to not see through these filters and prejudices.

    So it is obvious that there exists much sin and darkness with the so called Organised Church. This so-called church is founded on certain doctrines of which the trinity doctrine is chief. This is why many christians today believe that the foundation of faith is belief in the trinity doctrine. But this is a clear departure of truth. We only have to
    read Jesus own words in Matthew 16

    15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
    16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
    17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
    18 And I tell you that you are Peter,and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

    History clearly reveals a huge difference between the Body of Christ and the Organised Churches of today. Their creeds  have led men to idolatory, the worship of Mary and other created things. Even Islam and Mormonsim were partly spurred on by this apostacy and they used examples of this apostacy to make themselves look good. The history of Islam and Mormonism make many references to the apostacy of Christendom.

    I see the cunning of the Serpent here, the working out of his plan to take political control of the Church using his Roman Beast, then leading men away from the truth and creating unimaginable divisions. Of course many Christians in history and today do not partake of these sins and some have paid with their life. This is where I stand and I am willing to lay my life down for the truth too.

    In closing, I would suggest that we could start a new discussion on the history of the development of the Trinity doctrine so as to not detract from searching the scriptures for the true nature of God.  Either you or myself could start it. Up to you.

    I now look forward to your response on the scriptural points made.

    (Edited by t8 at 8:30 pm on July 31, 2003, NZ Time)

    #15322
     global 
    Member
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    E man,

    I can see that you have thought about this very deeply, and that is an impressive post, however you have still not shown anything I said to be factually incorrect.

    Yes, I claim Peter as the leader of the apostles and the first Pope, the fact that he was bishop in Rome, was martyred there and that other churches recognised the primacy of the church in Rome has been proven to my satisfaction.

    I hold this belief in common with the majority of Christians throughout history since it was never seriously challenged until the heresies of the 16th century.

    I believe that the Bible also clearly identifies Peter as the leader of the Apostles. The verse you cite about Paul correcting Peter is another proof of the authoritative position of St. Peter in the early Church, since his example and conduct was regarded as decisive. But Paul, who rightly saw the inconsistency in the conduct of Peter and the Jewish Christians, did not hesitate to defend the immunity of converted pagans from the Jewish Law.

    Be Well.

    #15604
     GJG 
    Member
    • Topics started 4
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    To t8

    I am going to start another thread regarding ‘common ground’, as I can see the trinity thread continuing along the disproving method for quite some time.

    It is obvious to me that if we all disprove one another it only creates more posts that seem to cause new posters to keep the old posts being reused…….does that make sense?

    Anyway, as you have agreed to the ‘common ground method’ I will start it up using that title. I truly hope that many different views join in.

    Look forward to all the replies in this soon to be started thread.

    #15622
     BrandonIke 
    Member
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    There was a statement in the first few pages that was never answered with what I read.
    For the Trinity, he said that in the old testament God said He gave His glory to no one else for He is a jealous God, but then in the new testament Jesus said "Let us share our glory that we had before creation." or something like that.
    So can you Oneness of God people give a refutation to this? In other words, if God does not give glory to others then why did He give it to Jesus? If Jesus is a part of God then the second verse rings soundly with the first.

    #15563
     BrandonIke 
    Member
    • Topics started 16
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    Which Greek manuscript do you guys think is most authentic anyway?
    The Alexandrian text, which are the oldest known ones with many omissions, or the Byzantine text?
    The former is considered more accurate since it is older naturally. But others say it is corrupt and just unused, while the latter was more popular and existed at the same time or earlier but was used and reused in the form of scrolls extensively and so deteriorated so none now remain, only copies of copies.
    The Alexandrian text takes away a lot of the references to Jesus as deity, but didn’t you say that Athanasius was from Alexandria, Egypt, and DELIBERATELY wanted to deify Jesus to fit in with his triune elaboration?
    I heard many newer versions take from the former, while the KJV is from the Textus Receptus from the latter. What’s the deal here? Which Bible should I read?

    #15583
     global 
    Member
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    T8 said – “You are judging me here harshly here. Please be careful when you judge. You may be doing this very thing yourself.”

    T8 I am sorry if I gave the impression that I was judging you, I wasn’t and in fact I did say that I also consider myself not qualified to make certain judgements about ancient Greek, biblical interpretation etc.

    That is why I only try to present arguments that I have found from recognised sources rather than my own opinion.

    I don’t regard this discussion as a contest that one of us must win and the other lose, rather it is a win win situation, because we are both looking for the truth and hopefully we will both find it. It may be that the IDEAS that one of Hold are proven to be false, but that doesn’t reflect on us as individuals.

    T8 said – “I think we can both appreciate the fact that the scriptures are the most reliable source of Christian doctrine”

    Well not exactly, the first Christians had no Bible as it wasn’t completely written then, and even when it was completely written it wasn’t until the advent of printing many centuries later that ordinary people had access to it. They relied on the leaders of the Church to preach the Gospel to them as they had received it themselves according to Tradition. In fact it was this Tradition itself which conserved and produced the Bible. The Bible is part of Tradition.

    Furthermore the writings of early Christians show that many times they made recourse to “the tradition of the Apostles” or “the tradition of the Church” as proof for their beliefs.

    The Bible says many things were taught to the Apostles which are not written in the Bible.

    Mark 4.33 – “Jesus preached his message using many other parables like these….” (which are not recorded there)

    Mark 6.34 “..and began to teach them many things.” (none of these many things are recorded there)

    John 16.12 “I have many more things to teach you, but now it would be too much for you to bear. But when the Spirit comes he will lead you into all truth”

    John 20.30 “In his disciples presence, Jesus peformed many other miracles which are not written in this book.”

    John 21.25 “There are many other things which Jesus did. If they were all written down one by one the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.”

    What happened to all these other precious teachings and actions of our Lord? Did they simply disappear, forgotten because they were not included in the Bible? No, they were preserved by the Tradition of the Church. The Bible can be regarded as a cristalization of the teachings of Jesus, but not the whole teaching.

    The Bible itself recognizes the value of the Tradition of the Church –

    1 Corinthians 11:2
    Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you

    2 Thessalonians 2:15
    So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.

    2 Thessalonians 3:6
    Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.

    So, in order to fully understand the teachings of Christ and the Apostles there are two sources of authority, the Bible and Tradition. They are the two pillars of the Faith. The one supports the other, they confirm each other, and if something is not clear in either the Bible or Tradition we may look to the other for clarification.

    This is why despite the fact that there are hundreds of protestant churches who all claim to only follow the Bible, there is no doctrinal agreement between them, because they have rejected Tradition which clarifies the Bible.

    T8 said – “if the Trinity Doctrine were taught explicitly in scripture, then you would assume that such a doctrine wouldn’t need all this time to develop. It could easily have been established as it is today, right from the first creed.”

    T8 there are many doctrines in the Christian faith which have taken centuries to fully understand or explain in theological terms, just look at the debates regarding free will with the Arminians etc.

    As I said the simple revelation of a monotheistic God as three persons is (I believe and will attempt to show) in the Bible, but the exact theological explanation of this did take a long time, the same as for many other doctrines. Furthermore, as I pointed out, the time when the Church formally ruled on a matter in a Council bears no relation to when that doctrine began to be taught.

    T8 said – “The Trinity Doctrine was absolutely not part of the early Church, the scriptures prove that.”

    I’m not sure exactly what your position is here, perhaps you could clarify.

    I have posted evidence that belief in the Trinity including all the essential elements of oneness of God, but with three persons, co-equal etc. WAS present in the first three centuries of the Church.

    So, are you saying that :

    1) It was not present in the Apostolic era, but then appeared when the Apostles died.

    If this is your position, how do you explain that such a serious error came into the Church so quickly and spread throughout the whole of Christendom virtually as soon as the Apostles died? Why were the leaders who the Apostles appointed (and who certainly knew the teaching of the Apostles on this point) unable to prevent this?

    Also, is it possible to believe that God allowed the newly established Church to disappear so quickly and all Christians until the present day have been worshipping a false God. Doesn’t this make a mockery of Jesus promise to the Church that the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth?

    And the verse you yourself posted – “And I tell you that you are Peter,and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

    Or are you saying that :

    2) It was present in the first three centuries but as a minority belief which only gained the ascendancy until after Nicea.

    If this is the case there will be at least as much historical data of the type I have posted which show that Trinitarians were being expelled as heretics (as I have shown the anti-Trinitarians were), unitarian creeds, writings etc etc.

    If this is the case please post that evidence as I would be interested in seeing it too.

    I didn’t get time yesterday to start work on the Biblical arguments but hopefully I will be able to begin that today.

    Be Well.

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