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Is the Trinity Scriptural?
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Post Is the Trinity Scriptural? FloridaForever
I was reading the other day on Christianity Today of Neal Morse (?). In his album, "Sola Scriptura," he has received criticism for not holding an orthodox view of the Trinity.

He said that he came to his conclusion from his own reading of scripture.

I have to admit that purely from reading-the-scriptures standpoint, I don't think anyone would come to the conclusion that God is really three persons.

First, any normal reading of scripture clearly indicates that God is a single person, and not a tri-person, so to speak.

I often hear people act as if the "original language" implies that God is multiple. Hogwash! If that were so, then the Jews--which read it in the original language--would have come to a very different conclusion about the nature of God.

The very term "God" is used in all but esoteric theological arguments as a singular noun that indicates a single person/entity.

Further, while there are certainly scriptures that indicate that Jesus is clearly high and above all other powers and principalities, there are also scriptures that indicate that He considers God to be greater than Him, to be the One Who instructs Him, etc.

All I am saying is this: "Why must we postulate a trinity--a notion that we can neither fully understand nor articulate? Can we not instead understand that Jesus is the SON of God, and let it go at that? Can we not simply say that Jesus issues from God (as opposed to being created by God), is therefore of the same substance as God, but not force our way to a trinitarian understanding?"

The Jews and the Muslims understand God to be singular. We claim to be monotheistic, but, beholden to the notion of the trinity, we have worked our way into a corner, it seems, of doctrine. We are trying to wed monotheism and something more aking ot polytheism (even though you and I both know that that is not our intention).

I'm looking for SCRIPTURE that indisputably shows the Trinity. Yes, I know about "MY father and I are one." But is that really a telling argument? I mean, my wife and I are one, too, according to scripture. But not in anything other than a figurative way.

And is there any thing in all of scripture that makes us truly think that "God" means more than one person? "Let us make man?" Well, who is to say He's not speaking to the angels?

And if there is no absolute proof, why do we insist upon it being part of our orthodoxy?
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Post Tell ya what. Scooter
Which part should we disallow? Acts Enthusiast
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4/25/07 12:41 pm


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Post Scooter... FloridaForever
What part should we disallow? How about the parts that aren't scriptural? Are would you prefer to hold scripturally erroneous positions just because it's part of our tradition? Golf Cart Mafia Soldier
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4/25/07 1:22 pm


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Post How about this example: ServantoftheMostHighGod
At Jesus baptism; Jesus is in the water, the voice from heaven is the voice of God, the Holy Spirit descended as a dove on Jesus. Voila: the Trinity. Or, was Jesus the world's greatest ventriloquist and the dove just an optical illusion? Hey, DOC
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4/25/07 1:29 pm


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Post The Baptism of Christ....................... The strict Constructionis
.................does not prove a "trinity" of "three persons".


God's own Spirit descended "like a dove" and then that same God (who IS Spirit, the same Spirit that overshadowed Mary) audibly spoke.

Sure there are distinctions within the Godhead, but those distinctions came about at a certain time.
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4/25/07 1:37 pm


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Post ServantoftheMostHighGod... FloridaForever
Why in the world would you think Jesus' baptism proved the Trinity?

If my son is being baptized and I say "This is my beloved son," that doesn't mean we are ONE.

Rather, the baptism of Jesus just means that God (the Father) spoke at the baptism of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus.

I don't see what you are arguing. Can you better explain?
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4/25/07 1:48 pm


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Post Dave Dorsey
...so you're arguing in favor of tritheism? Acts Admin
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4/25/07 1:51 pm


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Post tell ya what sheepdogandy
read Ol Bro Hoyt's book.

"50 reasons why I believe in the Trinitarian concept of God."

And call me in the morning.
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4/25/07 2:07 pm


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Post Arguing for tri-theism Poimen
Indeed he is and just does not realize it yet.

I do not accept all of the creedal notions of the triunity of God. But I do hold to the trinity as the NT teaching on the nature of God. I believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost alone eternally (have/will) share divinity. Therefore I deny the concept of Jesus being begotten of the Father as to his divinity. Either He always was or He was created. Now He was begotten in the incarnation, yes. But that refers to his humanity -- not his divinty.

Simply put, do we agree that the Father is divine, that Jesus is divine, that the Spirit is divine, and that these alone are designated in Scripture as divine?

If so we have only two logical conclusions -- The Trinitarian concept of God or the Oneness concept of God. Anything else denies the basic premise and teaching of scripture on who is divine.
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4/25/07 2:17 pm


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Post Poimen...not so FloridaForever
First, I have not at all indicated that Jesus was created. If he is divine, he was not created, but has existed as long as God.

But how can that be the case and there not be three separate beings? Because at some point in eternity past, Jesus was not separate from the Father at all, but was IN the Father in the same way that Levi paid tithes in Abraham (not yet being born).

That is, we can easily argue that if Jesus is of the very same substance as God, then it makes sense that Jesus (actually, then He was not Jesus, but "the Son of God") issued forth from God, and thus is identical to God in substance.

At the same time, since that substance is eternal and divine, Jesus is also eternal and divine.

Note, however, that just because my son issues from me does not make him actually ME. He is fully separate.

In fact, let's take it to where it really should go.... If you were to clone me, the clone would still be utterly separate from me. Identical but not the same.

And the fact that Jesus defers to God in so many ways throughout the scriptures ("My Father is greater than I" "Your God and My God," etc.) makes it clear that while Jesus can certainly be said to be divine, He is not God in the same sense that my clone is not me.

Conversely, Jesus IS God in the same way that a clone IS me. Same DNA. Same look. Same everything. Except the clone is not me in the fullest sense.

And as for saying I am arguing for tri-theism, that is utterly incorrect. Not only do I NOT think there are three, equal "gods" who form a single God, I do not believe them to be EQUAL in the complete sense. After all, Jesus Himself said that the Father was greater than Him.

And we know that He will deliver the Kingdom into the Father's hand.

So you see that one need not arrive at the Trinity nor Oneness to have a valid position on the relation of Jesus and God. Further, I would argue that BOTH Trinitarianism AND Oneness are scripturally deficient, for the cannot account for those scriptures where it is clear that either Jesus is under God...or that God is separate from Jesus.

The BEST thing we can say--one that requires no conjecture or theological wrestling--is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

That's the revelation the God gave to Peter, and, really, we shouldn't seek to go beyond that revelation.

Lastly, the SON of God implies not only chronological order, but hierarchical order. Just as son implies certain things--relationship, chronological ordering, and even authority--so, too, must we assume that the word "Son" was used purposely by God, and that it can provide us clarity if we will but abide by scripture.

I did notice, Poimen, that you offered no scripture. Would you be willing to address those scriptures that Trinitarians find a bit difficult?
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Post TheoloJohn
I think the real question really is, "Is systematic theology ever valid?, for the doctrine of the Trinity is nothing if not straightforward systematic theology. It is an attempt to synthesize both the unity and the threefold nature of God as revealed in Scripture. I know of no better way to explain the nature of the Godhead than the classical trinitarian concept, though certainly the doctrine of the Trinity as such has never been meant to explain all there is to God.

Is it scriptural? The doctrine of the Trinity is a simple straightforward conclusion from the following scriptural facts:

1. The Bible plainly declares in both Old and New Testaments that there is only One God.

2. The Bible just as plainly declares that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.

3. Therefore, three-in-one is the only reasonable conclusion one can come to regarding these two apparently contradictory facts. And that is all the word "trinity" means--three in one. Even Oneness folks I've known have agreed with the description of God as three-in-one, but for some reason when I point out that this is what the very word "trinity" means, a "tri-unity" or "three-in-oneness" of the Godhead, they don't seem to know how to respond, except to say that "the word trinity is not in the Bible", as if that proves anything either way about the doctrine.

The doctrine of the trinity was originally an attempt to preserve especially the Deity of Christ. In the fourth century, the Arians were teaching that the Son was a created being and thus was not of the same essence as the Father. They said he was of like essence, but could not agree that Jesus was truly equal to the Father in the sense of His full deity.

Is the doctrine of the Trinity scriptural? It is scriptural insofar as it is an attempt to systematize the plain teaching of Scriptures (i.e., put it all together) with regard to the nature of the Godhead. I know of no other reasonable way to explain how God can be One and at the same time be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Oneness position makes God out to be some kind of ventriloquist at Jesus' baptism, and makes Jesus out to be his own Father somehow, thus destroying the whole concept of their Father-Son relationship of perfect love.

My 2c,

John
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4/25/07 3:35 pm


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Post gocart 7 1/2
TheoloJohn wrote:
I think the real question really is, "Is systematic theology ever valid?, for the doctrine of the Trinity is nothing if not straightforward systematic theology. It is an attempt to synthesize both the unity and the threefold nature of God as revealed in Scripture. I know of no better way to explain the nature of the Godhead than the classical trinitarian concept, though certainly the doctrine of the Trinity as such has never been meant to explain all there is to God.

Is it scriptural? The doctrine of the Trinity is a simple straightforward conclusion from the following scriptural facts:

1. The Bible plainly declares in both Old and New Testaments that there is only One God.

2. The Bible just as plainly declares that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.

3. Therefore, three-in-one is the only reasonable conclusion one can come to regarding these two apparently contradictory facts. And that is all the word "trinity" means--three in one. Even Oneness folks I've known have agreed with the description of God as three-in-one, but for some reason when I point out that this is what the very word "trinity" means, a "tri-unity" or "three-in-oneness" of the Godhead, they don't seem to know how to respond, except to say that "the word trinity is not in the Bible", as if that proves anything either way about the doctrine.

The doctrine of the trinity was originally an attempt to preserve especially the Deity of Christ. In the fourth century, the Arians were teaching that the Son was a created being and thus was not of the same essence as the Father. They said he was of like essence, but could not agree that Jesus was truly equal to the Father in the sense of His full deity.

Is the doctrine of the Trinity scriptural? It is scriptural insofar as it is an attempt to systematize the plain teaching of Scriptures (i.e., put it all together) with regard to the nature of the Godhead. I know of no other reasonable way to explain how God can be One and at the same time be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Oneness position makes God out to be some kind of ventriloquist at Jesus' baptism, and makes Jesus out to be his own Father somehow, thus destroying the whole concept of their Father-Son relationship of perfect love.

My 2c,

John


Great post, TJ.. It is succinct, cogent, and to the point. You certainly do not need my confirmation of this fact, but I just wanted you to know. I always enjoy reading your posts.
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4/25/07 3:57 pm


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Post Re: Scooter... Scooter
FloridaForever wrote:
How about the parts that aren't scriptural? Are would you prefer to hold scripturally erroneous positions just because it's part of our tradition?


Response: How about you take the question at face value.

Or do you prefer to make things up as you go, despite the Bible?

Just because you got some kind of fruitloop theology don't expect to be stroked as some kind of out of the box thinker.
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4/25/07 4:08 pm


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Post Jesus' Baptism, cont. The strict Constructionis
I think it could be better argued that Jesus' baptism proved BITARIANISM (the belief that God is TWO persons).

Jehovah is SPIRIT. His Spirit descended like a dove and then He spoke from heaven.

We so pre-disposed to the idea that the Holy Spirit is a "third person" that we just assume that the JEW, John the Baptist believed the same thing. But he did NOT believe that. To him, the ONE who spoke from heaven and the "dove" were one and the same.

TheoJohn said,

Quote:
1. The Bible plainly declares in both Old and New Testaments that there is only One God.

2. The Bible just as plainly declares that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.

3. Therefore, three-in-one is the only reasonable conclusion one can come to regarding these two apparently contradictory facts. And that is all the word "trinity" means--three in one. Even Oneness folks I've known have agreed with the description of God as three-in-one, but for some reason when I point out that this is what the very word "trinity" means, a "tri-unity" or "three-in-oneness" of the Godhead, they don't seem to know how to respond, except to say that "the word trinity is not in the Bible", as if that proves anything either way about the doctrine.


I can't totally agree.

Yes, the OT declares that there is but one God. Yes, the NT makes it clear that this one God exists as FATHER < SON, and HOLY GHOST.

But the OT Jews only mentioned one "person" when they had actual visions of God. Therefore, we must interpret what the NT says about God in light of what God has already revealed about Himself IN DOGMATIC TERMS in the OT, that He is ONE PERSON.

Jesus said,

Quote:
“He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me." Jon 12:44-45
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4/25/07 4:38 pm


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Post Thelojohn... FloridaForever
You raise some good points....

I would counter, though, with a few things:

1) The Bible clearly portrays God to be a PERSON. Not persons...person. And all of our "redefining" of "God" as some plural entity fall short of scripture, I believe.

2) I do not believe it is clear at all that the NT classifies Jesus AS GOD. Certainly divine...but also something else. For instance, "There is one mediator BETWEEN God and man, the man Christ Jesus." That clearly seems to indicate that Jesus is not God in the most literal sense, for He stands between God and man.

Can you provide any scripture that would cause problems for my position? Namely, that Jesus is God in the same sort of sense that my clone is me...and is NOT God in the same sort of sense that my clone, while me in all sorts of way, is NOT me? Otherwise, I just feel much more comfortable on all parts believing it my way.

Thank you!
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4/25/07 4:39 pm


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Post Re: Thelojohn... Scooter
FloridaForever wrote:
That clearly seems to indicate that Jesus is not God in the most literal sense, for He stands between God and man.


Response: In the beginning the Word was with God and the Word was God and the Word was made flesh.

I'm sorry that you have allowed yourself to swallow such devilish false doctrine.

It is sad to see people err from the truth in such a manner.
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4/25/07 4:53 pm


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Post Take it easy ,Scooter The strict Constructionis
I think John is speculating more than he is declaring.

I don't believe that Jesus' humanity in any way takes away from His Deity or somehow makes His deity less than literal.

One way we could phrase is to say that in Christ God has ADDED humanity to His own Deity. He did this to assume the role of mediator.
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4/25/07 6:13 pm


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Post Re: Take it easy ,Scooter Scooter
The strict Constructionis wrote:
I think John is speculating more than he is declaring.

I don't believe that Jesus' humanity in any way takes away from His Deity or somehow makes His deity less than literal.

One way we could phrase is to say that in Christ God has ADDED humanity to His own Deity. He did this to assume the role of mediator.


Response: Is Floridaforever's name John?
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4/25/07 8:14 pm


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Post This is nuts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Proud to be a CP
This is what happens when created men become educated beyond their intelligence.

Here's the crux of the matter - FF asks, "if there is no absolute proof, why do we insist upon it being part of our orthodoxy?"

We can take that as far as our little hearts desire. There is no ABSOLUTE proof that God exists. There is no ABSOLUTE proof that the Bible is nothing more than a grand collection of stories and wisdom. There is no ABSOLUTE proof that each person's soul goes to either heaven or hell upon death, or no ABSOLUTE proof that the "afterlife" is not really a life after all. There is no ABSOLUTE proof that David Koresh was NOT some kind of Deity, but most people would agree he was a freaky fruit loop.

The truth is that EVERYTHING we believe has to be founded on faith in a God in whom we have no ABSOLUTE proof to hand to the world (by their standards). When we start buying into the notion that we must have absolute theological constructs to give to the world then we've taken on the character of the world, and I BELIEVE that is not scriptural. In reality, I want to know about God and know everything I can of Him, His Son, and the Holy Spirit, but just about the time I think I've got Him all figured out, I HOPE He wows me again and says "you ain't seen nothing yet!".

By the way, I am ABSOLUTELY certain in my FAITH that there is a trinity comprised the God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, each with different characteristics and roles, but all 100% God 100 % of the time and all 100% aware of where I am and what I need 100% of the time. As far as scripture goes - take another look at the references mentioned by others on this post - creation, the baptism of Christ, numerous places in Revelation - it's in the book. Don't rationalize your way out of the truth.

My prayers are with you all!
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Post Obvious spartanfan
The Trinity is obvious all through the Bible. The Quran speaks against the Diety of Christ and the Trinity - which lets me know that Satan does not like those two Scriptural doctrines. They are of satan who deny the Father and the Son. Do you believe the Quran (no Trinity) or the Bible (Trinity)? Pick a side and run with them. Golf Cart Mafia Underboss
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4/26/07 9:04 am


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