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Re: [apologetics] Trinity

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  • magma2@aol.com
    In a message dated 3/31/03 10:47:10 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... and the NT insists that God the Father and Jesus Christ are both God and yet are in some
    Message 1 of 88 , Apr 1, 2003
      In a message dated 3/31/03 10:47:10 PM Eastern Standard Time,
      pastorpixler@... writes:

      >>The tension lies in the fact that the OT insists that there is one God
      and the NT insists that God the Father and Jesus Christ are both God and
      yet are in some sense personally distinct. <<

      I haven't been following this thread too closely, so please excuse me just
      jumping in. Of course, the above claim to tension between the testaments is
      ridiculous. While the further revelation of God per the NT is certainly more
      detailed, the fact that God is spoken of as a plurality throughout the OT
      cannot be denied as in Gen 3:22; 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man
      is become as one of us . . . ."

      >>This implies ditheism at
      least, and then tritheism, as we further consider the relationship of
      the Holy Ghost to the Father and the Son.<<

      Evidently you have some difficulty in understanding the sense in which God is
      thought of as both one and three and that certainly would not be the same
      sense. I'm starting to think we should start calling you "pastor pixilated"
      ;-)

      >>There are three who are God
      and these three are in some sense distinct. This leads to the
      inescapable conclusion, without careful interpretation, that there are
      three Gods, which is definitely tritheism. <<

      At least from the few posts I've read from you, this is an unwarranted
      conclusion and you have not provided the necessary premises to validly infer
      this conclusion. Perhaps you should consider some "careful interpretation"
      in the future so that you can avoid drawing such unwarranted conclusions.

      BTW, for whom or what do you pastor or is that a title you have simply given
      yourself?


      >>And yet the OT insists that
      there is one God. Thus, in order to harmonize the NT with the OT we must
      "theologize" a bit and resolve the tension.<<


      Yeah, when talking about the nature and attributes of God we don't want to be
      guilty of doing theology ;-P


      >> The Father is essentially
      God (not just a participant in the divine); Jesus Christ is essentially
      God; and the Holy Spirit is essentially God (NT), and yet there is only
      one God (OT). This is, at least, how I understand the tension.<<

      Might I suggest (since I confess I don't think you are a serious student, but
      consider yourself a "teacher" who is informing Trinitarians of their "errors"
      ;) that you read, for starters, "The Intellectual Trinunity of God" by Joel
      Parkinson at trinityfoundation.org. There is no question that the Trinity is
      a difficult concept, but it is not a contradictory notion as some would
      contend. As for it being difficult, Peter said while many things are easy to
      understand, the untaught and unstable distort some of the more difficult
      doctrines to their own destruction. I'm guessing Peter had men like you in
      mind, but I'm happy to be proven wrong :)

      >>So, is God simply the
      abstract, divine nature that the three persons share? "One" divine
      substance; "three" divine persons...<<

      While you might bark at this formulation, and I agree it is traditionally not
      very good since substance remains undefined and persons has often been left
      undefined as well, it is hardly contradictory. Again, if you are interested
      in learning as oppose to teaching, might I suggest along with the Parkinson
      piece mentioned above, Gordon Clark's books on the Trinity and the
      Incarnation? He abandons the idea of substance altogether and defines
      "person" per the Scriptures, yet has no problem (i.e., tension) with the idea
      of one God and three persons. Perhaps we can discuss them when you're
      finished?

      >>But allow me to ask (since I am really more interested in clarification
      of the Trinitarian view than I am a polemic defense of my view),<<

      No offense, but from what I've read so far I hardly think this is the case.

      Sean



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • blackmane7979
      Hi sean; Thanks for the responses. I have looked into a large number of perspectives of these things, and you may know already that GHC was not alone in
      Message 88 of 88 , May 22, 2003
        Hi sean;

        Thanks for the responses.
        I have looked into a large number of perspectives of these things,
        and you may know already that GHC was not alone in positing a kind of
        reductionist view of propositions as the essence of individuated
        consciousness. I found three or four other instances of small groups
        with somewhat similar views, at that level at any rate.

        The most common view is of something like a monadic undefined but
        basic indivisible *entity*, ranging from the Liebnizian windowless
        non-derived 'energy' to various other descriptions which embody the
        same basic concept, but applied to alternative conceptions of
        immaterial units which bear props as either a faculty or expression
        of what is their supposed intrinsic conscious state, whatever that
        may be. LOL.

        However, we have neurobiologists in our family, and within
        neurobiology there are currently three or four theories
        which 'theoretically' resolve the brain-mind problem, where a
        physical substrate for quality cognitive spaces are understood in
        terms of phase spaces, like tensor phase spaces for instance. Model
        representations are patterns of activity distributed across a set of
        units, where manipulations are transformations by matrix
        multiplication followed by thresholding or similar nonlinear
        operation. Logicians like Bas Von Fraasen and C A Hooker have
        logically demonstrated that the resources of phase space analysis
        have sufficient power to represent the structure and relations of
        language and logic, as a simple and elegant geometric framework. So
        it suggests to them a unified cognitive neurobiology where language,
        logic, propositional attitudes are characterized in terms of phase
        spaces, matrices and vectors as part of a geometric theory of
        computational representations, language and logic. This is their
        posited shape, at least, of a unified brain-mind theory. Perhaps the
        only difference between this and any other conceptualization is the
        *theoretical* power of this one to define explicitly the relations
        that may hold between mind and brain (and subsequently the external
        world), rather than leaving us with the unexplainable, and somewhat
        undefined notions of what may be explicit constituents of thought,
        the mental. At any rate, I find all this quite fascinating, for a
        variety of reasons.

        Thank you for your courtesy in replying to me. I have, by the way,
        never suggested your views to be false by my take. I have only held
        them not to be altogether intelligible to me, whether or not they may
        be to you and others. That could just as well be some deficiency on
        my part as easily as their possessing intrinsic unintelligibility. I
        was looking at why and how they might appear to be unintelligible to
        me, so I have attempted, in my own mind, to argue GHC's case as he
        would/might argue it, which forces me to adopt the argument from his
        perspective. I can't say I am fully satisfied with myself for what I
        have learned from this, but it has been very interesting and
        informing.

        John



        --- In apologetics@yahoogroups.com, magma2@a... wrote:
        > In a message dated 5/21/2003 12:45:18 PM Eastern Standard Time,
        > blackmane7979@y... writes:
        >
        > > Ok. How would you describe the relation between an individual
        set of
        > > props, meaning a person, and the external world?
        >
        > Umm, the perennial mind/body problem ;)
        >
        > Would it be
        > > something like a psychophysical relation, some kind of
        > > representation, an illusion, or what?
        >
        >
        > The external world is real, after all the bible says so (and that's
        not being
        > facetious). As you know IMO there is no other way to avoid
        solipsism or
        > complete skepticism without starting with the Bible alone. In
        Scripture we're
        > told that the body is a "tent," or "clothes," or, perhaps better a
        tool which
        > allows us to interact with the external world. But it is the mind
        that is
        > interacting. What is the nature of what it is we are interacting
        with when we say
        > things like the "external world"? I really have no idea. Clark
        suggested that
        > the created world consists of propositions, which seems to be in
        harmony with
        > the idea that God creates by his fiat word. Also, strictly
        speaking there is
        > no external world in a sense for all things exist in God (Acts
        17:28).
        >
        > Jonathan Edwards had the idea that the world is constantly being re-
        created
        > moment by moment and what we see is actually like a person viewing
        a movie (of
        > course, Edwards didn't have movies but that is the only analogy I
        could come
        > up with). Read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God and you get
        the sense of
        > men being suspended by God's sovereign will and good pleasure alone
        while the
        > abyss is lapping at their feet as they are blissfully unaware. So,
        while I
        > don't share Edwards view of perpetual re-creation, since I'm not
        sure what that
        > would do to the idea that on the Seventh Day God rested, but he was
        a brilliant
        > man and I don't think we should quickly dismiss what he has to
        say. Of
        > course, science tells us that what we think is a thing is really
        99% empty space.
        > So what is the external world? I don't know. Empiricists couldn't
        avoid
        > skepticism so they're no help either. Now, maybe there is more
        information that
        > can be culled or deduced from Scripture to better answer some of
        these
        > questions, maybe there isn't and these types of questions will have
        to wait for glory?
        > I just really have no good answer -- or at least a complete one.
        >
        > Sean
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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