Robert Harris

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The Trinity doctrine & Greek philosophy
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2010, 10:28:50 am »
I would find it funny that non-Trinitarians cannot identify what/who Jesus is without being contradictory if it were not so damning. You said it yourself "Jesus is the only begotten God (Joh 1:18 NASB)  “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

You have a 0% biblical view on this.

John 20:28 "My Lord and my God." Jesus did not rebuke him for worship or calling him God. Is Jesus Thomas' God but not ours?

Jesus said that if you do not know him you do not have the love of the Father in you and you are not going to go to heaven.

I hope you prayerfully re-consider your view.
Who needs cable when you can watch Dr. Craig all day long on YouTube?
-ebeatworld

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jayceeii

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Re: The Trinity doctrine & Greek philosophy
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2020, 10:57:37 am »
I am a Christian trying to explore the doctrine of the trinity and I have a question which I would like to ask you please.  I do not have any philosophical or theological training.  I am just a thinker looking for answers.  I would be very grateful if you would have time to read my thoughts below and offer a response please.  If you think I am way off track, please say so and be as frank as you like.  Thank you very much in advance.  Looking forward to hearing from you.
Masih

The NT writers were not imbued with Aristotelian philosophy and didn't analyse things in terms of substance or ontology.  Instead they thought about things in terms of function - for example, they thought of God as creator, sustainer, ruler, judge, etc. but didn't speculate about his abstract qualities such as the inner structure of His being or personality.  Thus if one of the NT writers had been asked "Is Jesus God?", he probably would not have understood the question.  To his mind it would have sounded as bizarre as it would do to a modern western person being asked "What does the colour red smell like?"  This explains why the NT never attempted to define God in the same terms as the Nicene Creed or Chalcedonian Definition.  The NT authors simply never asked themselves the sorts of questions the Nicene Creed attempted to answer.  The theologians who formulated the Nicene Creed were deeply influenced by Aristotelian philosophy and so their minds naturally probed into the ontological relationship between God & Jesus, whereas the NT writers thought more about the functional relationship between God & Jesus (Sender/'Sent One', Commissioner/Messiah, Father/Son, etc.)  The 4th century theologians who formulated the doctrine of the trinity made accurate inferences from the biblical data, but the doctrine of the trinity is not necessarily the best or ultimate definition of God - it is only one among several equally valid lenses through which God may be viewed, depending on the way your mind works.

For background, this thought is in repsonse to a question posed by a biblical unitarian in a dbate about the trinity.  He asked: Assuming the doctrine of the trinity is true and central to the Christian religion and that Jesus and his apostles believed it, why do you think they “held back” from teaching it to us in a clear/straightfoward/explicit way, as they did so many other doctrines they believed to be important?
Examples of clear/straightforward/explicit teachings: God is one; God is holy; God is light; God is love; YHWH is God’s name; God created heaven and earth; Jesus died for our sins; God raised Jesus from the dead; Jesus sits at the right hand of God; Jesus is the Christ/Messiah and Son of God; the greatest commandments are Love God and Love neighbor.
What I mean is, do you ever wonder why in 1 Cor.8:6 Paul didn’t say something like, “To us there is one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons, one essence.” If that is what Paul believed (and wanted us to believe), why do you think he said something different? Why did he speak of the Lord Jesus in this text as someone other than (or distinct from) the “one God”?
Or how about… “You have heard it was said, 'Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one', but I say to you, Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one being yet three persons”?
Don't you find it surprising/odd (on any level) that the alleged “central” doctrine of Christianity was not plainly and continuously taught by its founder (Jesus) or the apostles?
ph: The NT writers were not imbued with Aristotelian philosophy and didn't analyse things in terms of substance or ontology. 

jc: This not only compartmentalizes people, but it presumes original thought is impossible, i.e. that without exposure to philosophers one could not philosophize.

ph: Instead they thought about things in terms of function - for example, they thought of God as creator, sustainer, ruler, judge, etc. but didn't speculate about his abstract qualities such as the inner structure of His being or personality. 

jc: This is what they said, but you don’t know what they thought. This has not been known, but the prophets think in layers. Their speech is derived from greater knowledge. Humans are trapped saying what is first on their minds. The prophets had other options.

Actually nobody has been thinking about God’s “inner structure” or personality! This is hand-waving, as when people cite “the great works of English literature” that aren’t great. To think about God’s personality would be to understand that opposition is a poor drama.

ph: Thus if one of the NT writers had been asked "Is Jesus God?", he probably would not have understood the question. 

jc: They were not asked, and it is because humans around wouldn’t dream of asking that. Humans see only other humans. Their minds have no categories for anything above that. This is why there’s a huge tangle in Christian thinking, seeing Jesus as a man, not God.

ph: To his mind it would have sounded as bizarre as it would do to a modern western person being asked "What does the colour red smell like?"

jc: No, that’s a bizarre question anywhere. You’re trying to limit the prophets, who spoke as they knew to speak to have the effects they wanted. The disciples recognized Jesus as God, and knew their mission was to spend time with Him, and begin to guide the planet.

ph: This explains why the NT never attempted to define God in the same terms as the Nicene Creed or Chalcedonian Definition.

jc: Some of these were from a new wave of hidden prophets, though entangled with the human crowd. They brought out some new truths that were not included in the Bible, but they were also civilization-builders giving the religion the organization it needed to grow.

ph: The NT authors simply never asked themselves the sorts of questions the Nicene Creed attempted to answer.

jc: They did not ask, but it was not simple. A revealing prophet has to believe his own message, but he can turn other directions if necessary (though I have yet to see it proved). Christianity could not be built up front. It needed to seem to have human input later on. There is a saying making the rounds, “You can’t handle the truth!” Well, humans can’t.

ph: The theologians who formulated the Nicene Creed were deeply influenced by Aristotelian philosophy and so their minds naturally probed into the ontological relationship between God & Jesus, whereas the NT writers thought more about the functional relationship between God & Jesus (Sender/'Sent One', Commissioner/Messiah, Father/Son, etc.) 

jc: Again this is limiting the prophets, who were the generators of the original philosophies given to man, not just the Bible and other religious teachings. Some of these are atheists too, but if read carefully it is found they secretly support the external God.

ph: The 4th century theologians who formulated the doctrine of the trinity made accurate inferences from the biblical data, but the doctrine of the trinity is not necessarily the best or ultimate definition of God - it is only one among several equally valid lenses through which God may be viewed, depending on the way your mind works.

jc: No, the Trinity is the best and most accessible. Since it is true, we know it came from cognoscenti, not humans. The Trinity is one of Christianity’s contributions to the world. Importantly only the Son speaks. All religions holding God speaks other ways are wrong.

ph: For background, this thought is in response to a question posed by a biblical unitarian in a debate about the trinity.  He asked: Assuming the doctrine of the trinity is true and central to the Christian religion and that Jesus and his apostles believed it, why do you think they “held back” from teaching it to us in a clear/straightforward/explicit way, as they did so many other doctrines they believed to be important?

jc: Everything was held back. Nothing was given straightforwardly. The human race is unguided, or as the fable of Eden suggests, they demanded to be their own guides, to be the ones choosing between good and evil without allowing the Creator to give His input.

Jesus and the apostles didn’t just believe the doctrine of the Trinity, they were living it, the disciples recognizing they were speaking with the Lord and that God speaks no other way. The religions posit God speaks directly to creatures but there’s no mechanism for it.

ph: Examples of clear/straightforward/explicit teachings: God is one;

jc: Christians say they believe there is only one God, but they don’t understand the meaning of the term “God” in a significant way. They think of themselves writ large.

ph: God is holy;

jc: Christians do not accept that God is holy, or they would be building reverence into their lives. There are no books about how to live reverently, i.e. how to imbue one’s surrounding social environment with positive energy, thankful to God for being alive.

ph: God is light;

jc: How could anything be more vague than this? God is not photons, and Christians have no more specific ideas about the word. In the East they teach of enlightenment, but the West rejects this entirely, even though Jesus said “the whole body shall be full of light.”

ph: God is love;

jc: Beings of hate are unfit to think about beings of love, nor have Christians made love practical in everyday life. The signs they dislike and distrust their neighbors are everywhere, one of the most obvious that snow blowers and other tools are not shared.

ph: YHWH is God’s name;

jc: Actually this is the name God gave to man for Himself. He may have other Names. In the long-term this could be seen as a Name for the Father or Invisible God, although only the Incarnation could have bestowed this Name, and only He could possibly answer to it.

ph: God created heaven and earth;

jc: Christians do not believe this. They conceive that God snapped His fingers and Heaven and Earth appeared, which means they don’t accept God made things in the way science is discovering. They expect a new Earth, once they have disposed of this one.

ph: Jesus died for our sins;

jc: Jesus died from humans sins, not for them. Christianity is the religion of perpetually crucifying Christ. They’d do it all again, in fact they have, only they do not know it yet.

ph: God raised Jesus from the dead;

jc: No, the disciples claimed Jesus raised Himself from the dead. They were expert at generating legends, but legends are not real. If God doesn’t have this power the Christians will decamp in flocks. They won’t worship a God of only everyday miracles.

ph: Jesus sits at the right hand of God;

jc: This is so vague! How can it be cited as an explicit teaching, except by an indiscriminate and inattentive mind? This is just a restatement of the doctrine of the Trinity, but the Lord is a living extension from the Invisible God, not seated beside Him.

ph: Jesus is the Christ/Messiah and Son of God;

jc: Each of these terms needs a definition or the sentence is empty. You might say of your soul-mate, “She’s da bomb,” but where people may know the meaning of bomb, they don’t know the meaning of Christ. I usually just say Incarnation, God embodied.

ph: the greatest commandments are Love God and Love neighbor.

jc: Jesus is the king of unfinished sentences. He left humans to make their own decisions what these meant, when with a few quick strokes He could have revolutionized society, ending poverty and establishing the forms of government that work for angels in Heaven.

ph: What I mean is, do you ever wonder why in 1 Cor.8:6 Paul didn’t say something like, “To us there is one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons, one essence.”

jc: This would’ve been too much organization at the onset of the religion. Men needed to feel they had contributed, so that Christianity was a human/heavenly hybrid they could follow. If the angels teach straight no men can follow, as birds leave no tracks in the sky.

ph: If that is what Paul believed (and wanted us to believe), why do you think he said something different?

jc: Paul was the popularizer, achieving what the direct disciples could not. Whether they were limited by their nature or their role, is still a question of mine. The religion is really Paulianity, not following Christ directly but following Paul’s private interpretations of it.

ph: Why did he speak of the Lord Jesus in this text as someone other than (or distinct from) the “one God”?

jc: I suppose with a close study I’d have to decide Paul’s stature, but I’ve been leaving it for others to muse about. Paul had a certain fire and merit, but was he a puppet or tool of the Holy Spirit as the story would have us believe? Or was he an especially crafty actor?

ph: Or how about… “You have heard it was said, 'Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one', but I say to you, Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one being yet three persons”?

jc: The doctrine of the Trinity is definitely post-Bible, but is the right way to think about the Deity. Before the Incarnation appears so that some of God’s Personality is seen, it’s impossible in a practical way to discuss the Trinity. But Jesus didn’t look much like God.

ph: Don't you find it surprising/odd (on any level) that the alleged “central” doctrine of Christianity was not plainly and continuously taught by its founder (Jesus) or the apostles?

jc: I find it surprising/odd on many levels that none of the religions contains either truth or guidance. These were edifices built only to swirl around humans with their desires, aiding civilization but pointing neither to salvation nor to the best mode of life for them.

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Aaron Massey

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Re: The Trinity doctrine & Greek philosophy
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2020, 09:55:15 pm »
I would find it funny that non-Trinitarians cannot identify what/who Jesus is without being contradictory if it were not so damning. You said it yourself "J<span style="font-size: 12pt;">esus is the only begotten God </span><span style="font-size: 12pt;">(Joh 1:18 NASB)<span>  </span>“No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.</span><span style="font-size: 12pt;">”

You have a 0% biblical view on this.

John 20:28 "My Lord and my God." Jesus did not rebuke him for worship or calling him God. Is Jesus Thomas' God but not ours?

Jesus said that if you do not know him you do not have the love of the Father in you and you are not going to go to heaven.

I hope you prayerfully re-consider your view.
</span>

John 20:28, is that all Trinitarians can quote?  Its not even synoptic gospel, its tainted with trinitarian view.  You wont find any of that in the synoptics.
Even if that is stated and not rebuked, it does not mean the Trinity is true.  Jesus is a "god"  but he is not "God" the father, and he was given all authority from the father, so he is not unlike God the Father, but he is the son god of the Father.
Proverbs 8:30 "then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man."

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jayceeii

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Re: The Trinity doctrine & Greek philosophy
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2020, 07:48:25 am »
John 20:28, is that all Trinitarians can quote?  Its not even synoptic gospel, its tainted with trinitarian view.  You wont find any of that in the synoptics.
Even if that is stated and not rebuked, it does not mean the Trinity is true.  Jesus is a "god"  but he is not "God" the father, and he was given all authority from the father, so he is not unlike God the Father, but he is the son god of the Father.
Jesus said if you have seen me, you have seen the Father. The meaning is the literal consciousness of the Invisible God is present in the Lord. All the others around have created souls, but if these souls know themselves in the depths, they’re able to identify the Lord is “operated” from an external force, and does not have a created soul. So, are you operated inwardly, and can you identify words arising from one not operated that way? This is how the disciples recognized Jesus, not because He cajoled them to leave their nets. In the end it is also wrong to call God “Father,” and to call the Lord, “Son.” These are words derived from those stuck in family models, to comprehend personalities.

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Aaron Massey

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Re: The Trinity doctrine & Greek philosophy
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2020, 04:46:21 am »
Jesus said if you have seen me, you have seen the Father. The meaning is the literal consciousness of the Invisible God is present in the Lord.
So the logos.. aka.. the "Word"   God created the world with his Word,  The first thing he said was Genesis 1:3  "let there be light"   In John 8:12  "i am the light of the world"   
Jesus was Gods first creation with in this world, on which it is imparted his consciousness.
But it is not the trinity.

Proverbs 8:30 "then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man."

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jayceeii

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Re: The Trinity doctrine & Greek philosophy
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2020, 12:28:22 pm »
Jesus said if you have seen me, you have seen the Father. The meaning is the literal consciousness of the Invisible God is present in the Lord.
So the logos.. aka.. the "Word"   God created the world with his Word,  The first thing he said was Genesis 1:3  "let there be light"   In John 8:12  "i am the light of the world"   
Jesus was Gods first creation with in this world, on which it is imparted his consciousness.
But it is not the trinity.
One would only say that God created the world through His Word, i.e. the Incarnation, if one accepted God manifests the Incarnation with sufficient power and awareness to truly represent the Creator. In other words the angels looking around would be able to identify all those with created souls, including themselves. Seeing the Lord they can tell there is no created soul and they therefore think, by logic, “That one alone might’ve created the world.” Moreover watching carefully they see the Lord continues to bear that weight, the heaviest one, with authentic traces to the Creator’s overall awareness of the whole planet.

Humans can’t see this, as it is obscured by the limits of embodiment. They also can’t understand it, since their minds are limited to thinking about a body, not the spirit that is present in that body, in its variable forms. Thus the early religious revelations were sunk in poetry allowing multiple interpretations, including selfish ones. Far more exacting definitions of the metaphysical realities can be made, at least enough to cut off the greedy folk. In your case, you have made two contrary metaphysical assertions, both that Jesus was God’s first creation, and that Jesus contains God’s authentic consciousness. Both these cannot be right. The doctrine of the Trinity says correctly, that Jesus was not made.

Your final assertion is trebly confusing, since where you quote me I did not say something was the trinity, nor is it clear what you intend us to understand by “it.” The Trinity is a way to comprehend God’s manifestations. I like to say the Father is the Mind, the Son is the Voice or Word, and the Holy Spirit is the arms of power over the creation. WLC said it right, that one cannot be a Christian without accepting the Trinity since there is then no mechanism for understanding, “Jesus is Lord.” God is literally present in Jesus.

We have to admit, however, that though manifesting the best and highest of God’s Personality, the power to create the world was not in the Lord. And yet, if you look again, Jesus does contain the awareness of the one who really created the world, since this is God’s authentic living consciousness. Jesus’ statement “only God is good” has so many possible interpretations one gets dizzy considering them all. My favorite is the man said, “You are good, Lord,” then Jesus replied, “Only God is good, perhaps you have seen that I am God.” Nonetheless the Lord must bear a certain humility before the all-conquering arms of the Holy Spirit. That power is unquestioned, although its beauty is rather limited.