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Thread: On the trinity

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    On the trinity

    I am a reformed Baptist, and pretty much agree with the athanasian creed on the trinity.

    But I do think there is widespread misunderstanding of the doctrine.

    The doctrine contains an incomprehensible mystery that defies logic. It concerns me when so many trins claim it is perfectly logical, they either do not understand the statement of the doctrine or they do not understand logic.

    The trinity contradicts classic identity theory.


    Most trins hold that each person possesses all the qualities of the divine being.

    Yet according to identity, a quality is considered to be any truth about something.

    And the truth that the divine Being exists as (or more simply is) three persons poses an inexplicable logical problem according to identity.

    If each person has all the qualities of the divine Being, then Each person would necessarily (again according to identity) be the other persons, which confounds them (they become indistinguishable).

    This is a divine mystery that cannot be apprehended intellectually.


    And of course another way to say this, is if each person had all qualities in common they would have numerical identity, and indistinguishable according to identity.

    Identity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

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    Re: On the trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Simpletruther View Post
    I am a reformed Baptist, and pretty much agree with the athanasian creed on the trinity.

    But I do think there is widespread misunderstanding of the doctrine.

    The doctrine contains an incomprehensible mystery that defies logic. It concerns me when so many trins claim it is perfectly logical, they either do not understand the statement of the doctrine or they do not understand logic.

    The trinity contradicts classic identity theory.


    Most trins hold that each person possesses all the qualities of the divine being.

    Yet according to identity, a quality is considered to be any truth about something.

    And the truth that the divine Being exists as (or more simply is) three persons poses an inexplicable logical problem according to identity.

    If each person has all the qualities of the divine Being, then Each person would necessarily (again according to identity) be the other persons, which confounds them (they become indistinguishable).

    This is a divine mystery that cannot be apprehended intellectually.


    And of course another way to say this, is if each person had all qualities in common they would have numerical identity, and indistinguishable according to identity.

    Identity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


    It’s been said that “If you try to explain the Trinity, you will lose your mind. But if you deny it, you will lose your soul.” That saying, more or less, comes from “The Trinity teaches us that God is beyond all human comprehension.”, being a most common explanation throw-away response when Christians can’t come up with either a logical or biblical answer to such questions as you raise. And that the Trinity being 3 diff persons explains that Jesus, being in the human form representation of God, is not omniscient as explains Jesus saying, in Mark 13:32, NIV: "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.". That answers the question “If Jesus is God, shouldn’t He know?”

    Anywho, the following is a pretty good explanation of the whole thing. It is put rather simply stated in it’s parts, but like with so many things, many simple parts put together still become complex:

    Understanding What the Trinity is: Father, Son, Holy Spirit

    I think your delving into identity goes nowhere. I believe there are matters that are, at least presently, beyond human comprehension. Just like there are colors in the spectrum that exist which we are not capable of seeing. So, I suppose if you believe in a Christian god, you can accept with faith in something you can’t comprehend or fathom. I mean, consider that death is a complete end with no consciousness or any “thereafter”. Fathom that and describe what it is being nothing more than a part of carbon matter energy of the universe in Einstein E=mc2. I think it easier to fathom having faith in God that is of a Trinity that can't be comprehended, and all that such faith entails.

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    Re: On the trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesmoke View Post
    It’s been said that “If you try to explain the Trinity, you will lose your mind. But if you deny it, you will lose your soul.” That saying, more or less, comes from “The Trinity teaches us that God is beyond all human comprehension.”, being a most common explanation throw-away response when Christians can’t come up with either a logical or biblical answer to such questions as you raise. And that the Trinity being 3 diff persons explains that Jesus, being in the human form representation of God, is not omniscient as explains Jesus saying, in Mark 13:32, NIV: "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.". That answers the question “If Jesus is God, shouldn’t He know?”

    Anywho, the following is a pretty good explanation of the whole thing. It is put rather simply stated in it’s parts, but like with so many things, many simple parts put together still become complex:

    Understanding What the Trinity is: Father, Son, Holy Spirit

    I think your delving into identity goes nowhere. I believe there are matters that are, at least presently, beyond human comprehension. Just like there are colors in the spectrum that exist which we are not capable of seeing. So, I suppose if you believe in a Christian god, you can accept with faith in something you can’t comprehend or fathom. I mean, consider that death is a complete end with no consciousness or any “thereafter”. Fathom that and describe what it is being nothing more than a part of carbon matter energy of the universe in Einstein E=mc2. I think it easier to fathom having faith in God that is of a Trinity that can't be comprehended, and all that such faith entails.
    He purpose of bringing in identity is to refute wrong headed trins that claim the trinity is perfectly logical.

    Clearly it is not, as defined by identity. Now if we define logic as some kind of spiritual understand that cannot be explained wih words, ok then it is logical in that sense.

    I would disagree that the trinity is necessary to be a Christian. Yes that is by far the majority view, But I can’t find that claim in the Bible.

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    Re: On the trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Simpletruther View Post
    He purpose of bringing in identity is to refute wrong headed trins that claim the trinity is perfectly logical.

    Clearly it is not, as defined by identity. Now if we define logic as some kind of spiritual understand that cannot be explained wih words, ok then it is logical in that sense.

    I would disagree that the trinity is necessary to be a Christian. Yes that is by far the majority view, But I can’t find that claim in the Bible.
    There is no such claim nor is there any such doctrine in the Bible...
    "For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but through the one who subjected it, on the basis of hope that the creation itself will also be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God. " Romans 8:20,21

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    Re: On the trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Simpletruther View Post
    He purpose of bringing in identity is to refute wrong headed trins that claim the trinity is perfectly logical.

    Clearly it is not, as defined by identity. Now if we define logic as some kind of spiritual understand that cannot be explained wih words, ok then it is logical in that sense.

    I would disagree that the trinity is necessary to be a Christian. Yes that is by far the majority view, But I can’t find that claim in the Bible.


    I agree with your take on the identity argument. It's just that there is enough already to refute that the Trinity is not perfectly logical. However, there is no need to see perfect logic in the understanding of the Trinity to accept both the division of persons and the unity of all three as a part of or, as the great majority of Christians believe, central in Christian faith. Putting you in a rather small minority that you believe such is not necessary to be a Christian (though I don't have substantial evidence, like polls, on that point). But the very definition of faith is on your side. All you have to do is believe, honestly in your heart, that Christ is your savior, and your in.

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    Re: On the trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesmoke View Post
    I agree with your take on the identity argument. It's just that there is enough already to refute that the Trinity is not perfectly logical. However, there is no need to see perfect logic in the understanding of the Trinity to accept both the division of persons and the unity of all three as a part of or, as the great majority of Christians believe, central in Christian faith. Putting you in a rather small minority that you believe such is not necessary to be a Christian (though I don't have substantial evidence, like polls, on that point). But the very definition of faith is on your side. All you have to do is believe, honestly in your heart, that Christ is your savior, and your in.
    Yes the last sentence there is good enough. I see the trinity as meat doctrine, one has to study and draw out of scripture. I think most Christians unnecessarily draw a dividing line there.

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    Re: On the trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesmoke View Post
    I agree with your take on the identity argument. It's just that there is enough already to refute that the Trinity is not perfectly logical. However, there is no need to see perfect logic in the understanding of the Trinity to accept both the division of persons and the unity of all three as a part of or, as the great majority of Christians believe, central in Christian faith. Putting you in a rather small minority that you believe such is not necessary to be a Christian (though I don't have substantial evidence, like polls, on that point). But the very definition of faith is on your side. All you have to do is believe, honestly in your heart, that Christ is your savior, and your in.
    Not really, there's more to it, as verse 36 of John chapter 3 points out..."The one who exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life;"..."exercises" means that actions are required, not merely believing in one's heart...
    "For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but through the one who subjected it, on the basis of hope that the creation itself will also be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God. " Romans 8:20,21

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    Re: On the trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Simpletruther View Post
    Yes the last sentence there is good enough. I see the trinity as meat doctrine, one has to study and draw out of scripture. I think most Christians unnecessarily draw a dividing line there.


    "the last sentence there is good enough"

    My personal take on "believe Christ is your savior and your in", though, is the belief that Christ died for our sins ends it all. He died for us. Whether Muslim, Hindu or non-believer. That's the end of it. We don't have to run around professing ourselves. We've already been saved. That's my own personal take/interpretation of "the deal", though I'm not a "believer". Whether you want or not, you've been saved.

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    Re: On the trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
    Not really, there's more to it, as verse 36 of John chapter 3 points out..."The one who exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life;"..."exercises" means that actions are required, not merely believing in one's heart...


    Really. Action belie what you say in heart. Not in heart, not in action. Not in action, not in heart. So, lets get into "good works" now.

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    Re: On the trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesmoke View Post
    "the last sentence there is good enough"

    My personal take on "believe Christ is your savior and your in", though, is the belief that Christ died for our sins ends it all. He died for us. Whether Muslim, Hindu or non-believer. That's the end of it. We don't have to run around professing ourselves. We've already been saved. That's my own personal take/interpretation of "the deal", though I'm not a "believer". Whether you want or not, you've been saved.
    I don't think that is communicated in scripture. God uses means to his ends, and it is through faith men are saved.

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