Sign in to follow this  
prisonchaplain

What Do You Think About My Beliefs About: God's Nature?

Recommended Posts

PC,

Thanks for the reply.

Doesn't the word trinity, though imply a unity of three? We are saying that the three persons of God are a unity. There are three divine persons in a unity even.

We can only presume that Moses would have not turned over in his grave at the idea of Jesus being the devine Son of God, cause it hasn't go over that great with most jewish people.

I suppose I was just trying to turn over the idea in a different way.

LDS say that the unity between the person is just purpose and yet from my perspective we are called to grow in unity with the nature of Christ. If we are called to share the nature of Christ, then I would expect the unity of God to least encompass their nature. I was just to see if I could get another way of explaining the unity that we believe exist between the persons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three persons, one God. The three are one. One what? One God? One being? One essence? One nature?

Trinitarians insist on the "one God." And, if God is one, and is eternally supreme, then Christ's oneness with the Father is of a different character than our oneness with his nature, his character, his example, and his kingdom. We describe this difference by saying that Jesus is ESSENTIALLY one with the Father and the Spirit, while we are joined with him by adoption.

Also, we are discussing but half of the equation. Part and parcel of this discussion is not only God's supreme nature and essence, but also his exclusive ETERNAL nature. When God made us, did he create us out of nothing more than his creative will, or did he fashion us? Is there an aspect of our nature, our intelligence, that is also eternal?

Trinitarians say no.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three persons, one God. The three are one. One what? One God? One being? One essence? One nature?

Trinitarians insist on the "one God." And, if God is one, and is eternally supreme, then Christ's oneness with the Father is of a different character than our oneness with his nature, his character, his example, and his kingdom. We describe this difference by saying that Jesus is ESSENTIALLY one with the Father and the Spirit, while we are joined with him by adoption.

Also, we are discussing but half of the equation. Part and parcel of this discussion is not only God's supreme nature and essence, but also his exclusive ETERNAL nature. When God made us, did he create us out of nothing more than his creative will, or did he fashion us? Is there an aspect of our nature, our intelligence, that is also eternal?

Trinitarians say no.

In John 17 Jesus clearly tells us in scripture "that they may be one, even as we are one." The Hebrew word for one G-d is "ehad" and is translated in English as one - but does not have the same meaning today as it did in ancient time.

The word "ehad" had two meaning. First the counting number of a single "one" that cannot be divided in to parts (fraction) or persons. The second meaning is a unity - as a man and woman being one in marriage. The problem that early Christianity had with the Jews is the question of Polythesism. It is the reason that with the advent of the Trinity there was strong effort to keep anyone away from scripture and the understanding of Hebrew without some extra explanation - thus the Trinitarian Creed that was claimed at the time to be greater than the Holy Scriptures.

The Trinitarian Creed tried to deal with the idea of parts by denying the ressurected body of Christ as having anything to do with what represents G-d. Thus the idea of G-d having no body, parts or passions.

One point that is overlooked often in the talking about the G-dhead is the that Joseph Smith was shown the Father with the Son standing next to him. This witness is also given by Steven in Acts 7:56. The biggest difference with the LDS and other religions is that the LDS have the unaltered words of a Prophet called of G-d to teach that the G-dhead is comprised of 3 seperate and distinct individuals.

Those that teach the Trinity can say they believe it to be true and believe the scripture to teach this idea. LDS can counter not only with possible understanding of the scriptures but we can also claim that G-d has called a prophet to end the discrepency with a witness commanded and directed of G-d.

Though Trinitarians can claim to be inspired - they have not, to my understanding claimed that G-d appeared to any of them and gave commandment as was given to Moses. Thus Joseph Smith was commanded by G-d to teach that the Father and Son are distinct individuals. So there is a witness before the world that the oneness of G-d is a unity of covenant. So now we know for sure the correct meaning of scripture when it speaks of the oneness of G-d through the ancient Hebrew discription of "ehad". And any that has studied the ancient meaning of ehad knows that the witness is indeed possible.

Therefore the question is how can one that has not seen Jesus standing at the right hand of G-d to know if such a witness is of G-d?

The Traveler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see the idea the three part's of God being aware of each other as wandering close to tri-theism. It merges the distinction's of three beings with absolute mono-theism as if the two could be merged. Thus the creedal writer's emplyed the latin word persona to absolutely deny they were like three men.

Does anybody have an alternative to the latin word persona idea of the person's? The word was and is the only definition of person's that fit's mono-theism. The only other definition i know of make's them defineable as three modern person's. But it say's the three are mere role's of God which sound's like it fits modalism closer to me.

My Understanding The Trinity book is clear that the creed's do not say the three are person's. In an ancient sense it does, but it does not in the modern sense. The word person has if i recall Allister E. McGrath's right has undergone a change. In an ancient sense it applied to an actor and the person's he played. The modern sense now is applied to three modern human person's. God is one person in the modern sense, but three person's in the ancient sense.

PrisonChaplain's 1-5 list make's look neatly organized what i think the creedal writers did not nor couldn't think through. The person's of an actor are not distinct from the actor. The person's of an actor are not aware of the other person's an actor play's. The person's of an actor are dumb. The distinct centers of consciousness within God are not dumb, and the Father and Son and Holy Spirit are aware of the other person's within God.

I know how they can be one God and it all boil's dow to this latin word persona making them non-person's person's. If they have the attribute's associated with three modern person's that make's them defineable as person's. Only if the three are not three modern person's does the creedal idea not wander close toward's the idea of tri-theism.

I was for many year's confused by how Trinitarians could beleive in three person's as God yet object to the idea of three God's. But when i read Understanding The Trinity i understood the creed's defined the word person's in a mono-theistic compatible way. I was mistaken into thinking the creed's meant God was one God with three modern person's inside him. The creed's only work as mono-theism if the latin word persona make's them non-person person's within one person God.

I know i have spent a lot of time expressing my doubt's about that latin word. But the word is how the creedal writer's felt they kept their idea away from teaching tri-theism. But they stopped working on the creed's and ignored a key problem that never fit their latin word. The person's are self aware of each other which is an ability three God's would also have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Three persons, one God. The three are one. One what? One God? One being? One essence? One nature?

Trinitarians insist on the "one God." And, if God is one, and is eternally supreme, then Christ's oneness with the Father is of a different character than our oneness with his nature, his character, his example, and his kingdom. We describe this difference by saying that Jesus is ESSENTIALLY one with the Father and the Spirit, while we are joined with him by adoption.

Also, we are discussing but half of the equation. Part and parcel of this discussion is not only God's supreme nature and essence, but also his exclusive ETERNAL nature. When God made us, did he create us out of nothing more than his creative will, or did he fashion us? Is there an aspect of our nature, our intelligence, that is also eternal?

Trinitarians say no.

I essentially agree, three persons, one God and that will never be in union with God as the persons of God are with one another. But what is it about God that allows that to occurr, how are we to fit three persons into one God. Of course the safe bet is to say, that is what is revealed and leave it that. I suppose part of what I was working away at in my mind is that the persons within God have a nature or essence that allows them to be in unity as persons in a way that we with our nature could never be and maybe that is why we find the idea so bamboozleling.

I'd agree with the second part with the caveat that maybe you should replace "eternal" with the phrase something like "eternally pre-existent". Don't we as creatures with a beginning still fit the concept of eternal if we have no end. Scripture does promise eternal life.

Dale,

I have the seen the persona verses person arguement but from my experience the people supporting the persona idea seem IMHO seem to get very close to unitarianism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AnthonyB-Is Unitarianism the same as modalism? The creedal writer's did adopt persona while holding the person's were not mere roles of God. Since they had no other way to explain it outside of wandering into tri-theism they badly chose a word that never fit the Trinity. I recently ran into a CARM article on the Trinity that acknowledged the three each had awareness. The creed's do not confuse the person's. The entity like distinctions exist within the one God.

LDS have sometime's used the argument that Jesus would be a ventriloquist at his baptism. That's not what the creed's say. The person's are distinct within God.

One Catholic guy told me that as long as they arn't seperate they are not three God's.

Allister E. McGrath's book is the clearest explanation on the Trinity i have seen yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AnthonyB-Is Unitarianism the same as modalism?

No. Unitarians believe that Jesus is not God. They argue that he is subordinate to the Father, and that He was truly a created being (not eternally pre-existent).

Modalists argue just that opposite--that Jesus is God himself, eternally existent in the three modes (or roles) of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the clarification. I heard of Unitarianism before, but was uncertain about what they thought about the trinity.

The spirit of man to a baptist friend of mine was created in the body based on Zachariah 12:1. She would feel that no intelligence of man existed before life. Only God's intelligence in her mind existed forever. My own position on Zachariah 12:1 is that all it say's is God creates the spirit that is within man. I am not certain that it discloses for sure that God made that spirit in the body.

With Evangelical's creation ex-nehilo is an important idea. Nothing existed before and Jesus was before the intelligence of any other created being. And Jesus created all thing's and the intelligence is to them a created thing.

I am not certain emplying a figure of speech like Moses speaking with God face to face mean's God has no face. To me if Jesus was a personage of spirit in-between his death and resurrection God has a face. (Luke 24:39) But saying God has wing's doesn't mean he could not have a body also.

I think John 4:24 does not for certain teach God is formless spirit. Jesus lumped the Father and the Holy spirit when he said god is spirit. If Jesus was a personage of spirit then God is more than spirit. The 2nd person of the Trinity atleast would be a personage of spirit and tabernacle. Jesus can't merely be saying the Father, and Holy Spirit is spirit without saying he as God is spirit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dale,

Ex-nihilo is not an evanglelical specific doctrine but universal across Catholic/Orthodox/Protestant.

I'm not sure that the difference between formless spirit and personage of the spirit (yet alone exactly what constitutes an "intelligence" in LDS terms) is that clear to me. For me Spirits are incorporeal in the sense that they have no physical body as we have a physical body. However they are capable of taking on what ever form or lack of form that they wish. They are also able to interact or not interact with matter in this realm as they choose.

I'm not sure that spirit is created ex-nihilo as matter is. God breathed spirit into man and spirit seems to be able to passed from person to person (as when Jesus passed the spirit onto his disciples Jn 20:22) Two common metaphors used for spirit is breathe/wind and fire. I suppose I see spirit being given to man originally from God's spirit, as if fire is passed from the source fire to a candle. Our spirit has a point when it is lit but it also comes from the eternal spirit of God.

As the nature of trinity, I still don't like "persona", as I really do believe in the personality of the each of the persons. PC said 3 persons in 1 God and I agree but that is not exactly what the original creeds said.

The greek was 3 hypotases in 1 ousia

The latin was 3 personae in 1 substantia

Except of course that usual latin word for hypostasis is substantia!.

So the greek words look like 3 substances/beings in 1 essence to latin people, that is 3 beings in 1, or tri-theism.

And the latins words personae made the greeks think of prosopon and that the greeks thought the latins were espousing modalism, that is three faces/or actor parts in 1 real being.

I think that if they had meant what we mean with persona than the greeks would have used prosopon not hypostasis, especially when a previous church council had prohibited saying three hypostases or ousia. (At the time presuming that hypostasis was equivalent to ousia.)

The obvious objection to "person" is that most modern people equate it to "being" reducing in their minds the 3 persons to 3 beings in 1 God.

Given that the creed writers had to use a word which they then had to specify precisely what the word meant, I think we are in the same position in English, use person but explain that we don't mean being by it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are correct creation ex-nehilo is not just an Evangelical idea. I am not alway's as precise as i need to be.

I might doubt the latin word persona, but i see it as the only way to define the three persons as non-person's. They can't be defined in the modern sense as person's or the creedal idea of God wanders into tri-theism. But the creed's also do not teach the three are mere role's of God. Some LDS have misunderstood and thought the Trinity idea made Jesus a ventriloquist at his baptism. That is an bad argument some LDS have raised to prove how absurd the Trinity idea is.

John 17:22 say's "that they may be one, even as we are one" which sounds tri-theistic to me. I can't be one in purpose with myself, but only with other people. Yet the three person's of God are supposed to be one in purpose with each other without being three people.

With the Trinity idea other than the body of Jesus the spirit part of God must have no form. The three parts of God must exist as part of the same being, and not as two personages. The spirit of God is ever-where present without end to how big God is if i understand the Trinity right. If Jesus in-between his death and resurrection was a personage that would mean he had a spirit body. If he had no spirit body he would be a distinction within God without a spirit body.

It is my understading LDS only feel the spirit and physical body of the Father was created. But that his intelligence was uncreated.

In my Community of Christ we do not see the Father as having a physical body. My church has a Trinitarian view of God. But not being a creedal church we have had Anti-Trinitarianism also. Those who believed God and Christ were two personages were strict mono-theists. Out of fear of being seen as teaching they were two God's they equivoqated on the deity of Jesus. So that the Father alone was literally Almighty God.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dale,

What do you preceive to be the difference between person and personage? (I have at least 1 LDS on this board, who is among the best poster IMHO say that from his perspective their was no real diference.)

What do you mean be "spirit body", I see Paul in 1 Cor 15 calling the resurrected body as a spiritual body?

I still don't get why God couldn't not have the appearance of a form. Certainly God appeared to man in appearance as if a man. (eg at the tent with Abraham) The Holy Spirit is decribed appearing as a dove and flames of fire. The Holy Spirit also dwells in all true followers of Jesus without ceasing to be a person or be the one God being.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anthony-A spirit body would be a spirit without a body. (Luke 24:39) I would see a spirit body as being in the form of a man, or woman.

Zachariah 12:1 has the spirit created by God. That when we die we leave or physical bodies. I had a couple seeming out of body experiences in my life and i felt i had form. I could have hallucinated, but i think Jesus knew the body had an intelligent spirit within it.

I see the future resurrected body as being spiritual, but it is not to me the only kind of spiritual body.

I think Jesus was a personage or having a spirit body in other word's after he died. After he rose from the dead he was a personage of spirit and flesh. I do not object to God being a personage of spirit. I am not LDS, but Reorganized LDS and we do not see the Father as having a body.

With Old Testament appearence's of God LDS and other faith's interpret the scripture's far differently. To some God appeared in form only for the occasion, but has no true form like that of a spirit without a body. I take such experience's more literally so am open to God having form.

My church is not creedal, but officially my church endorses the creedal idea of God. But we have had Anti-Trinitarian view's of God also. We arn't a creedal church, so member's can disagree about God. But in the creed's the three person's of God are distinctions within God. And the only personage of flesh would be Jesus resurrected body. The distinctions are distinctions not personages as that would make them distinct being's.

Does my long winded explanation help you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this