Memo to Anti-Trinitarians
- HOW TO DISPROVE THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY
If you want to disprove the doctrine of the Trinity, you must
disprove one of the following propositions:
1. There is one God (i.e., one proper object of religious devotion).
2. The one God is a single divine being, the LORD (Jehovah, Yahweh).
3. The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is God.
4. The Son, Jesus Christ, is God.
5. The Holy Spirit is God.
6. The Father is not the Son.
7. The Father is not the Holy Spirit.
8. The Son is not the Holy Spirit.
Anyone who affirms all eight of these propositions without
equivocation is affirming the doctrine of the Trinity, since this is
just what the doctrine of the Trinity says.
In order to dispute the doctrine of the Trinity, then, you *must*
take issue with one or more of the propositions stated above.
Anything else is tangential to the issue.
This may help you in deciding if a particular thread or post is
relevant to the truth or falsity of the doctrine. If it doesn't
address one or more of these propositions, it isn't relevant.
HOW TO DEFEND AN ANTI-TRINITARIAN THEOLOGY
In addition to refuting the propositions that constitute the
doctrinal content of the doctrine of the Trinity, anti-Trinitarians
have some work to do in order to show that a superior alternative
1. Present a clear alternative.
Constantly carping at things about the Trinity that you don't like,
can't understand, and won't accept is not enough. You must tell us
what we should believe instead.
2. Identify the religion associated with that alternative.
It's no good telling us that you believe X, Y, and Z instead of the
Trinity, if this "alternative" is your own private confection of
beliefs. I say this because the true doctrine of God will be held by
a community of believers in Jesus Christ, the EKKLHSIA ("church").
Theologies do not exist in a vacuum, or in isolation. You are either
part of a church that teaches the theology you espouse, or you are
picking and choosing what you will believe from others and not
committing yourself to a _way of life_ that puts a set of teachings
into practice. Jesus Christ said that he would be with his people
until the end of the age as they engaged in the work of making
disciples, baptizing and teaching them (Matt. 28:19-20). So, what
people today are Christ's people?
3. Show that your alternative theology does not suffer from the
defects you claim to find in Trinitarianism.
a. If you criticize the doctrine of the Trinity for developing in
the fourth century, identify the religious tradition or movement
that predated the fourth century that you think had--and has--the
b. If you criticize the doctrine of the Trinity for its use of
extrabiblical language, show that your theology consistently avoids
the use of all extrabiblical words.
c. If you criticize the doctrine of the Trinity for being influenced
by non-Christian philosophy or religion, show that your theology is
completely free of such influences.
d. If you criticize the doctrine of the Trinity for being difficult
to understand, show that your theology is free of anything
incoherent, confusing, paradoxical, or mysterious.
4. Demonstrate that your theology explains the full range of
biblical information better than the doctrine of the Trinity.
This means showing that your view accounts for a wider range of
biblical material, based on sound exegesis of the texts, with a
minimum of ad hoc reasoning. In other words, it is not enough to
argue that certain texts *might* be translated so as to avoid the
Trinity, or that other texts *need not* be interpreted in a
Trinitarian fashion. Rather, you must show that your non-Trinitarian
view is the *best* reading of more biblical texts than can be
claimed on the Trinitarian side.
Of course, everyone is likely to run into a text or two that is more
difficult to cohere with their position, but the right view will
have fewer of these difficulties.
Note: All such argumentation will have to contrast the anti-
Trinitarian alternative with the doctrine of the Trinity as it is
actually taught in serious works of theology, not your own
oversimplistic or fractured impression of what the doctrine means.
In Christ's service,
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "wglmp"
> >>He'd wish the death penalty on anybody who was
>remember that God
> Not really part of this conversation, but you might
> judges justly, and accepts repentence (see the Bookof Job and the
> case of Ninevah).Since we agree that God punishes out of hope to bring
a change of heart, we can assume that when God sends
punishment, he is looking for a change of heart.
Ezekiel 8, NASB --
15 And He said to me, "Do you see this, son of man?
Yet you will see still greater abominations than
16 Then He brought me into the inner court of the LORD
's house. And behold, at the entrance to the temple of
the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about
twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the
LORD and their faces toward the east; and they were
prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun.
17 And He said to me, "Do you see this, son of man? Is
it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit
the abominations which they have committed here, that
they have filled the land with violence and provoked
Me repeatedly? For behold, they are putting the twig
to their nose.
18 "Therefore, I indeed shall deal in wrath. My eye
will have no pity nor shall I spare; and though they
cry in My ears with a loud voice, yet I shall not
listen to them."
We can also safely assume that many of those who
endured this punishment, cried out not just because of
the punishment itself, but also because the punishment
made them realize the error of their way.
Unfortunately, God specifically says that he will not
listen to their cries.
This then is a case of God sending punishment and
making up his mind not to listen to any cries that
result, when in fact it's no great leap to assume some
of those crying did so in real repentence.
Check out the hottest 2008 models today at Yahoo! Autos.