Thursday, 6 September 2007

Holy Trinities, Batman!


I am grumbling my way through an essay on the Trinity as part of a university paper called "Doing Theology." I say "grumbling" because the paper is a compulsory one in the BTheol program, and because - despite long disassociation from Armstrongism - I'm a thorough-going skeptic over full-blown trinitarianism.

Later I want to expand on this subject, but for the moment I'd like to share some of the surprises that have cropped up in my reading.

* Catholic theologians cheerfully concede that there is no explicit doctrine of the Trinity in either Old or New Testaments. I've dug through Richard McBrien's excellent Catholicism before making this statement.

[W]e cannot read back into the New Testament, much less into the Old Testament, the trinitarian theology and doctrine which slowly and often unevenly developed over the course of some fifteen centuries.
(283)

* Evangelical theologians cheerfully concede that there is no explicit doctrine of the Trinity in either Old or New Testaments. I call British Anglican evangelical poster-boy Alister McGrath (Christian Theology, 2007 edition) to the witness box to demonstrate the veracity of that statement.

[N]either the developed trinitarian vocabulary or the specific concepts developed by Christian theologians to express the Christian vision of God are explicitly stated in the New Testament.
(249)

* The first person to use the term Trinity was the Montanist convert Tertullian. Tertullian abandoned Catholic Christianity to adopt the beliefs of a Holy Spirit obsessed sect. Remarkably then, the first "trinitarian" to self-identify under that label was a heretic.

Tertullian's Montanism helped him to insights by which the church eventually transcended this formula and developed a more consistent doctrine of the Trinity.
(Jaroslav Pelikan, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600), 105.)


* Popular conservative theologian Larry Hurtado consistently describes the position of the early church as "binatarian."

The arguments used by orthodox theologians are sometimes creative, occasionally profound, and invariably subjective. Catholics have the easiest path through because they can fall back on the authority of tradition, something most of us feel more jaundiced about. But why let the facts get in the way? My favorite quote comes from Robert Jenson who, despite being Lutheran is a devotee of Reformed dogmatician Karl Barth.

Genesis' teaching about creation can only be accounted for by a full-blown doctrine of the Trinity.
(Jenson, "Creation as a Triune Act," Word & World 2/1 (1982), 39)

Yeah right: try convincing a rabbi. This is supercessionism gone crazy.

In any case, the subject, and the sheer bloody-mindedness of the dogmatic bias from certain mainline sectarian hacks, has set me thinking. Of course, finding problems with the Trinity doesn't mean that COG7-style binatarianism is thereby a better option, or Ken Westby-style "One God" unitarianism, and I'd want to make that go double for the near polytheism of the Armstrong/Mormon "God Family" teaching. Making sense of the God question in 2007 calls for something more radical and "out of the box" than squabbling over proof-texts and obscure philosophical mumbo-jumbo.

More on this at a later time.

34 comments:

Douglas Becker said...

Holy cow, Batman!

There are two of us?

That makes us binary!

That can't be right. We are three in one.

No there's only one of us!

I'm so confused!

Lussenheide said...

Where is Dr. Stavranides when you need a simple , easy to understand , quick answer to such silly questions??

Lussenheide

Corky said...

Well after all, it was revealed to Paul in a "Mystery" and it followed the "pattern" of things in heaven and earth.

According to those mystery religions a god begets a son by a human woman and he is sacrificed and resurrected to be with his father.

As in the case of Mithras who slays the bull (Taurus) Jesus slays the ram/lamb (Aries).

Astro-theology is so much fun, where is Dennis when we need him?

Lyle said...

I to this day have yet to hear a good explanation for Acts 13:2 from a non-Trinitarian. I mean not only do you have the Holy Spirit speaking, but this Holy Spirit is referring to himself/itself in the first person two separate times.

Richard said...

Can't wait to hear XCG ministers quote from this blog, during sermons!

By the way -- didn't Batgirl join Batman and Robin during the TV series? That makes 3, doesn't it?!?

ConnedNo More said...

I'm sure the Buzzard_Hunting dynamic
duo could straighten you out on this.

Anonymous said...

Why spend hours studying the nature of a non-existent god?

Paul

Bamboo_bends said...

Certain paradoxes fall away when on adopts a Unitarian approach. I never met Westby so I don't know his views are. Trinities of various kinds are found in many cultures.

Unitarianism seems to fit well with what we know of cosmology. God as a source of all being. We come from God and return to God at death. Catholic theologians are much more honest about their theology than many "evangelicals". Tradition is honored among Catholics, not so much in the xCGs.

Jesus disciples knew nothing of his divine virgin birth, we only find out about that "after the fact" as it were. Learning that, it was hard for me to hold on to a binity any longer, but I do feel Jesus has a special place with God, perhaps as the first fully human and humane (versus animalistic) man. But I always struggled with that concept "and greater works than this shall you do", how would that be possible with Jesus as God?

One God, one spirit living in all creation, kind of takes the wind out of the sails of those who want to decide in whom the Spirit dwells and who it does not. It dwells in all.. But not all are conscious to it...yet.

That's why even in the worst of cults, there are individuals, often quiet unassuming souls, that anyone can see the hand of God in their lives. We've all seen them. Not often from the pulpit, but occasionally.

How's that for a day of not bashing the xCGs?

Neotherm said...

The Trinity, as traditionally formulated, is difficult to understand. How can a single being consist of 3 persons instead of one? It makes the mind spin.

Further, the Triune nature of God is defined implicitly in the Bible and hinges on interpretation. There are ideas in the Bible that are stated quite explicitly and yet great controversy ensues.

I believe in the Trinity more based on tradition than well defined doctrine. If it turns out that God is not a Trinity, I don't think I will be disappointed in any way. I just lean heavily towards a Triune belief.

-- Neo

Lussenheide said...

In response to Bamboo's post and question about "how does one do greater works"??

Jesus said in:
John 14:12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my father."

Us ??, doing greater works than Jesus himself ! ?? That is an amazing statement especially when we consider that Jesus healed the sick, cured blindness, deafness and even raised the dead back to life.

So what did Jesus mean when he stated, "Greater works that these will you do" ?

In spite of the greatness of the healings that Jesus did, those people still eventually died in the flesh. God is concerned about eternal consequences and the salvation of people.

On the day of Pentecost, the 120 disciples of Jesus received the Holy Spirit. This after 3 1/2 years of miracles and ministry. Not bad, but certainly a humble beginning.

But notice what happened after Peter's first sermon after he received the Holy Spirit... THREE THOUSAND people requested to be baptised. (Acts 2:41). Soon after , FIVE THOUSAND more souls made a commitment to Jesus Christ. (Acts 4:4).

This was just the start. Soon the Gospel went around the world, and BILLIONS have heard it. No matter how you want to size it up, that has been a greater work than Jesus did while on Earth in proclamation of his message. Of course it is a good thing to heal the sick. H0wever, it is a greater work to bring the multitudes to inherit eternal life. Certainly, that is the greater work.

Realize the gift that we have been given in spreading this special message and " Doing The Greater Work" !

Your Friend,
Bill Lussenheide

Anonymous said...

"No matter how you want to size it up, that has been a greater work than Jesus did while on Earth in proclamation of his message."

Slick. But the problem here is that Christ referred to his "works," which certainly includes his miracles. Why don't we see Christians performing miracles? Why don't we see Christians with the more notable gifts of the Spirit such as divine healing or speaking in foreign tongues as opposed to the subjective, non-falsifiable gifts such as peace and empathy and the like? I grappled with this question for years, always making excuses for God:

It's not his will to give us these gifts right now.

We don't have enough faith.

Ect.

Here is an honest possibility that allows one to avoid making excuses for God:

There are no miracles, no gifts of the spirit from god because god doesn't exist.

Paul

Anonymous said...

There's nothing so nit-witty
As the doctrine of TRI-NITTY.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Acts 13:2?

it's called "personification"...a very common literary technique....

bottom line is, God told them, but not with audible words.

Anonymous said...

perhaps we shouldn't try to find a coherent, consistent, rational doctrine in a book that is neither coherent, consistent nor rational

Corky said...

I lean heavily toward there being no God rather than three or two or many.

There is no evidence of even one, much less more than one God.

What is "God"? Definition: "supernatural being".
What is a supernatural being?
Definition: "God".

Is that rather circuler or is it just me?

Anonymous said...

It seems like most are still looking for the answers to ancient questions in the same old book...Why? Do they expect the words to rearrange themselves? To me, all the proof anyone should need of God is non-coincidental answered prayer. (Answers that cannot be explained away by coincidence, circumstance, or just plain ol' luck)

I have been lucky enough to have my faith validated in this manner. Not everyone has. The truth is that we cannot know the true nature and make-up of God, at least not now, and speculation is fruitless.

Evolution vs. Creation / Design is a different subject, although I would love for Gavin to tackle that as a topic at some point. Evolution / abiogenesis is philospophy, not science and as science is terminally flawed.

Corky said...

Lyle said...
I to this day have yet to hear a good explanation for Acts 13:2 from a non-Trinitarian.

The same as when GWB said, "God told me to attack Iraq".

The same as all the Jewish patriarchs seeing God face to face and the NT saying, "no man has seen God at any time".

The same as "Wisdom" (the holy spirit) being a woman:

Wis 6:12 Wisdom is glorious, and never fadeth away: yea, she is easily seen of them that love her, and found of such as seek her.

Anonymous said...

"Evolution / abiogenesis is philospophy, not science and as science is terminally flawed."

How so?


Paul

VistaAdmin said...

Lyle>>I to this day have yet to hear a good explanation for Acts 13:2 from a non-Trinitarian.<<

You could have added, how come we may speak against Jesus or the father and be forgiven, but if we speak against the Holy Spirit, we will not be forgiven, in this world nor the world to come? And believe me, I could multiply examples.

HWA was very much mistaken on this doctrine and, sadly, it is not the only doctrine he got wrong. However, I don't subscribe to the idiotic and irrational view that he was a false prophet.

One of the fundamental reasons why the ministry in WCG got so many doctrines wrong, was because WCG was the Laodocian era of the church, with the emphasis on material wealth. But spiritually, it was lukewarm, naked and blind. So God spewed it out of his mouth. That is why, today, we see a multiplicity of confused groups, all claiming to represent God, as though Christ is divided or God is the author of confusion.

Sadly, none of the authors cited in Gavin's post is able to understand the nature of God. And if I may be bold enough to say so, neither does Gavin. One has to be at perfect peace with God to understand his nature. For Jesus said: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." They shall see God, not with their physical eyes, but with the "eyes of their understanding"(Eph.1:18).

Douglas Becker said...

By most definitions, there can only be one true God, Father, Creator. Those who look at Scriptures find support for this in "Hear O Israel, God is one God" as well as others, such as Jesus' statement, "The Father is greater than I".

If one were to look at the Bible as a guide, the picture [with some obvious problems] would be this:

1) God the Father existed for all eternity;
2) In a beginning, God the Father created from Himself a divine being lesser than Himself, the Word, to work with Him and do works -- a Being who was the express stamped image of the Father as it says in Hebrews;
3) The Word created all things by the direction and pattern given by the Father, including heaven, all angels and the physical universe;
4) The Word created humanity -- but under the direction of the Father with whom He was in complete concert;
5) The Word became flesh as a man, son of God and son of man as Jesus Christ, the Messiah;
6)Jesus, the Word, sacrificed himself so that sin could be remitted and humanity could have a chance to become sons of God as spirit beings: Sons of God, not gods in their own right -- although as spirit, their manifestations would certainly make them appear as gods to humans;
7) While all humanity has a chance to become sons of God, a few were chosen as a vanguard -- at some time in the future everyone will have an opportunity and humanity will disappear and be replaced by those of the spirit;
8) In all this, the Holy Spirit remains the Power of God and has other functions such as inspiring answers (2026 - answer).

This scenario answers a lot of the questions but creates others, such as the statement "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever", which becomes more like a spiritual point of view than anything -- unchanging in character, not in form.

This also knocks in the head the Wade Cox / CCg postulate that Jesus was an archangel [probably Michael, but he won't positively commit to that]. In his latest Sabbath Mess for 9/1/2007, he wants desperately to reduce Jesus Christ to a mere angel yet again. For those of us suspicious, it would seem that this is rank heresy in light of the clarity of Hebrews 1 and 2. He wants Jesus to be equal with Lucifer, but with better luck. It's all laughable if it weren't for the tragedy of the simple falling for such rubbish [and some of you believe that it is rubbish within the rubbish -- what can we say?].

As for Ken Westby, we've listened in a couple of times, but frankly it is the posting of Tom Roberts which seems to define the venue the best. The short story is that the belief seems to be that Jesus came into existence first at conception. There is no pre-existence. This solves one part of the "God is One" but creates all sorts of headaches which must be explained away in sometimes rather convoluted ways. [Remembering Occam's Razor: If it's overly complicated, be suspicious.]

For those inclined to consider new eschatological viewpoints, the one good thing that came of Herbert Armstrong's semi keeping of the Holydays is the premise of the Last Great Day. The second resurrection differs considerably from the Church of God Seventh Day, which mooshes the Second Resurrection together with the Great White Throne Judgment, and if you don't accept Jesus now as your savior now, too bad for you in the Second Resurrection: You will be doomed. Period. End of Story. At least Herbert Armstrong had a better ending if a bit muddled.

There are headaches galore with the Second Resurrection and the White Throne Judgment. For one thing, the Scripture is rather thin and wan on this topic and there has to be a real stretch of imagination to encompass it. The second problem is what to do with Satan the Devil. He leads armies on attack at the start of the millennium (a word not in the Bible, but whatever), is held for 1,000 year in bonds (dead, maybe?) and then is loosed a little season after the millennium.

Here's the problem folks, between the millennium and the Last Great Day, there is no short period. Sunset ends one and begins the other. There's no time. What you are left with is the scenario in Revelation 20, to wit: The Second Resurrection begins and simultaneously Satan is loosed a little season -- maybe like 80 years or so -- after which he leads the armies against the righteous and the armies get zorched. Then, after all the shouting dies down, the Great White Throne Judgment begins and some are thrown into the lake of fire and others go on to eternal life. It is only then that all the tears can be wiped away.

That's one scenario. Try to get that out of your head.

And here's another disturbing thought. Each one of us develops character in our spirit (according to one view of Scripture). It is separate from the physical brain which renders not just consciousness but intellect as well. Suppose, just suppose, that when people are resurrected, and their bodies are reformed that their spirit is put in a body which has no memory of the past, but does have formed character. This would not just be merciful but would also solve a lot of problems, such as all the excess baggage of hatred and wounds of misdeeds complicating the lives of those who are being given a chance at salvation.

There are endless problems with this scenario, such as the scientific knowledge of the formation of the will in the prefrontal lobes.

Ah, faith.

Ah, the Power of God.

Without which none of this would be possible and is reduced to abject fantasy -- which many here would say is the case anyway.

This gets us back to what Charlie said:

It seems like most are still looking for the answers to ancient questions in the same old book...Why? Do they expect the words to rearrange themselves? To me, all the proof anyone should need of God is non-coincidental answered prayer. (Answers that cannot be explained away by coincidence, circumstance, or just plain ol' luck)

I have been lucky enough to have my faith validated in this manner. Not everyone has.


Faith and personal experience with God would be the only real tap into a reality of the existence of God. As he said, some seem to have it and some don't -- but it is not [as a matter of faith] luck.

As for:

The truth is that we cannot know the true nature and make-up of God, at least not now, and speculation is fruitless.

Certainly, for those of us seeking the nature of God, particularly the Loving Father who cares for His children, the churches of God ministry has been devoid of such knowledge and cannot possibly teach what they do not know. From the very beginning of childhood, I have wanted to know God. I have been frustrated in the seeking of the knowledge of Who and What God is by Herbert Armstrong and his entourage.

It is clear that those who are of that particular mindset do not know God because they allowed themselves compromise through the seduction of the physical. Flat out I say that they committed idolatry and never got beyond the First Commandment. They cannot have known God really and they could not demonstrate to others Who and What God really is. Beyond that, they set a very bad example, which has led many to perdition (and that's whether one believes in God or not -- wrecked ruined lives in chaos). They failed and I am supremely disappointed in them, whether or not anyone can say that it really not their fault because they were in abject ignorance.

Excuses, excuses.

It isn't particularly impressive when one looks at the cold hard performance of the troupe of less than stellar performers -- many of which were filled with themselves and who let themselves and others get in the way of knowing the Creator. It's no wonder that they don't know the nature of God. I highly advise them to seek the gold refined in the fire -- the kind of fire they put us all through. Maybe that's the best answer: All the victimization was allowed for the perfection of the saints. Otherwise, there's no good explanation except that they were just plain deluded bad people.

It is unfortunate that many of the Sabbattarian religious types concentrate on the Old Testament when there are so much riches of love, compassion and righteousness in the New. Faith is mentioned only twice in the Old Testament: Once to show that there was no faith within Israel and the other that the just shall live by faith. That's it. Just two Scriptures. Note the difference in the new where faith is mentioned throughout. For without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Therein hangs the tale: I'm certainly convinced by the evidence that the problems of the church of gods was a result of either a lack of faith or faith in the wrong things or, worse, the wrong people which led to the massive idolatry which turned into a sort of "Babylon the Great": Lots of lush trappings but empty of what might be termed "family values" unless we want to include dysfunctional families. The whole venue was skewed by the focus on the personality of one man who was not just simply flawed. Flawed is allowing temptation a little too long and committing the sin in the mind. Or leaving the top off the toothbrush or not putting the dishes in the dishwasher. Excessive spending on the self with blood money is beyond flawed... way, way beyond. For many, he replaced God and supplanted Jesus Christ. "I will lead you into the Kingdom" he said -- yet another example of false prophecy (personal opinions raised to doctrine status).

Doubtless, he didn't even know where the Kingdom was.

So there it is: A different viewpoint. One for which there is no real solid proof unless you have the faith.

Anonymous said...

Paul,

Science is forming a hypothesis and subjecting that to tests, the results of which either confirm the validity of the hypothesis or demonstrate that it is false.

Every hypothesis tested regarding either micro-evolution or abiogenesis has fallen flat on its face...Yet many do exactly what armstrongists do, when faced with evidence contrary to that which you already believe, blame the evidence instead of discarding the theory.

Regarding abiogenesis: Some of the "building blocks" of life could not have formed in the presence of oxygen and others not in the presence of another element; hydrogen (I think), yet both are required for life as we know it.

Another point, dead cells contain every last criteria evolutionists tell us is required for life, yet dead cells remain, well; dead...But we are to believe scientists that tell us that some frankencell formed from amino acids in an atmosphere where the amino acids could not have could not have and then began to live on its own, multiply and change into billions of different species both plant and animal.

That is philosophy, not science.

Going where the evidence leads you is science...and theology.

Stinger said...

Vistaadmin said:

HWA was very much mistaken on this doctrine and, sadly, it is not the only doctrine he got wrong. However, I don't subscribe to the idiotic and irrational view that he was a false prophet.

Since Armstrong was more wrong than he was right about things biblical, only an idiotic and irrational person would NOT say he was a false prophet. By your own admission he was even wrong about the so called church "eras," supposing his group to be in the Philadelphia one, and not Laodicea.

And even that "prophecy" of his is suspect since it was the Seventh-day Adventists who coined that church era doctrine long before Armstrong was even around. And on top of all that, out of the Book of Revelation, which barely made it into the canon, as set forth by the Catholic Church.

Your foundation is about as solid as house pillars made of ice cubes -- in Florida -- in August.

Anonymous said...

HWA was very much mistaken on this doctrine and, sadly, it is not the only doctrine he got wrong. However, I don't subscribe to the idiotic and irrational view that he was a false prophet.

This thinking must be the result of working on an idiotic and irrational operating system.

Anonymous said...

"Every hypothesis tested regarding either micro-evolution or abiogenesis has fallen flat on its face...Yet many do exactly what armstrongists do, when faced with evidence contrary to that which you already believe, blame the evidence instead of discarding the theory."

You just stated that science is testing hypothesis, and now admit that evolution/abiogenesis has been tested. But you originally said, "Evolution / abiogenesis is philospophy, not science..." So which is it? Is it science or philosophy?

"Regarding abiogenesis: Some of the "building blocks" of life could not have formed in the presence of oxygen..."

Given that oxygen was present when they were formed: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB035_1.html


"...and others not in the presence of another element; hydrogen (I think), yet both are required for life as we know it.

I am not sure as to what you are referring to.

"Another point, dead cells contain every last criteria evolutionists tell us is required for life, yet dead cells remain, well; dead...But we are to believe scientists that tell us that some frankencell formed from amino acids in an atmosphere where the amino acids could not have could not have and then began to live on its own, multiply and change into billions of different species both plant and animal."

I am not aware of the frankencell theory. Here is a decent article on the subject:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.html



"Going where the evidence leads you is science...and theology."

?? I assume you mean God? If so, then theology is the direct opposite of science, for it relies on willingly not going where the evidence is leading you.


Paul

Anonymous said...

Sadly, none of the authors cited in Gavin's post is able to understand the nature of God. And if I may be bold enough to say so, neither does Gavin. One has to be at perfect peace with God to understand his nature.

This from someone who said that Herbert Armstrong was not a false prophet.

One would also think that deliberately rejecting truth would be an obstacle to knowing God.

Bamboo_bends said...

Perfect Peace VistaAdmin said...

I don't subscribe to the idiotic and irrational view that he was a false prophet.


Name one prophecy of his that came true? (other than the idiots prophecy "this church will change after I die" - all things change.)

That is why, today, we see a multiplicity of confused groups, all claiming to represent God, as though Christ is divided or God is the author of confusion.

How about the simpler explanation. We don't blame God for HWA's crap and make even more atheists out of sincere people. It was just the effort of a very greedy self aggrandizing man.

Sadly, none of the authors cited in Gavin's post is able to understand the nature of God. And if I may be bold enough to say so, neither does Gavin. One has to be at perfect peace with God to understand his nature. For Jesus said: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." They shall see God, not with their physical eyes, but with the "eyes of their understanding"(Eph.1:18).

Thank you for solving a 2000 year old theological argument!

I could just slap myself on the head for not seeing the obvious.

Now that the inaffable, unknowable, ever growing, every learning God is all hermetically sealed in your neat can, what will we talk about now?

Douglas Becker said...

Name one prophecy of his that came true?

Well, OK, here goes: Germany reunited.

Note that this prophecy came to pass after his lifetime, so it may have been better to say that none of his prophecies came true during Herbert Armstrong's lifetime.

And yet....

If it only takes one failed prophecy to make a false prophet, does one fulfilled prophecy out of hundreds which have failed make a man a true prophet of God?

Another question to be asked for a man who declared false prophecies and signed them "In the name of Jesus Christ" -- some of the prognostications had failed before the letter actually was mailed (like the radio station to broadcast to Israel) -- is when, in Scripture, has God ever forgiven a false prophet? Is there an example where one became an Apostle after repenting?

The record of the New Testament is that the Apostle Paul made the false prophet, Elymas, blind for a season. It is interesting that at one point Roderick Meredith was going blind but resorted to doctors (and not to God) for laser surgery to stop the blindness. In other words, it appears that he managed to get around the judgment against him [which was not so easy in the case of the murders in services in his church]. Herbert Armstrong died legally blind. Compare this with Moses of which Scripture says at 120 years old, his eyes were not dim -- he still had an eye for the ladies.

Ah, but the subtlety escapes many Armstrongists who fail to repent of their idolatry, looking as it were, through the Vista of their own windows.

Anonymous said...

"Well, OK, here goes: Germany reunited."

Which would have happened eventually, just as one day America will cease to exist. Fulfilled prophecy? No, just time. All nations fall at some point.




Paul

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is not a binatarian God so much as a
bipolar God.

Jordan Potter said...

What is "God"? Definition: "supernatural being".
What is a supernatural being?
Definition: "God".

Is that rather circuler or is it just me?


It's just you. Not all supernatural beings are gods, and not all gods are supernatural beings.

Jordan Potter said...

How can a single being consist of 3 persons instead of one? It makes the mind spin.

Indeed it does. Another thing that is puzzling and mysterious is why human persons cannot share a single intellect and will the way the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit do. How come with us it's just one intellect and will per being?

Trinities of various kinds are found in many cultures.

Yes and no. There are triple deities, like the Morrigu, and there are special groups of three god beings (often a father, mother, and son), but only Christianity has one God in three Persons. One might call the pagan concepts "trinities" in the sense of "groups of three," but none of them are anything like Trinities in the proper, Christian sense.

Also, Tertulllian may have first used the Latin word "Trinitas," but before him was St. Theophilus of Antioch, who used the word "Triados," the Greek equivalent of Trinity. Tertullian's theology was, of course, faulty, helping set a precedent for Arius -- so it's not surprising he left Christianity and became a Montanist . . . and eventually left Montanism and became a Tertullianist, ending his life in a sect with just one member, himself.

Corky said...

Jordan Potter said...
What is "God"? Definition: "supernatural being".
What is a supernatural being?
Definition: "God".

Is that rather circuler or is it just me?


It's just you. Not all supernatural beings are gods, and not all gods are supernatural beings.

Hee hee, how many supernatural beings do you know?

Anonymous said...

Paul,

My point was that even though they have been tested, time and time again, the tests prove the theory false, yet the theory is kept and the results discarded! It is also the same with armstrongism and many other forms of religion. You can take the bible and "test" it...what doesn't hold up to scrutiny should be held suspect...yet the results of studies are often disregarded and the printed word accepted at face value.

I'll take a look at your links as well, however, any biologist will tell you which amino acids could not have formed in the presence of oxygen.

I am not saying that the universe was created in six days, it is not a testable theory. I am saying that abiogenesis AND evolution could not have possible happened in any form that it has been presented to mankind. The theories are testable and the results came up, well, not living for abiogenesis, and as to evolution, it has only been proven that speciation and adaptation occur and that is known as microevolution. New species do not occur (Macroevolution).

I do hope to still be among the living when it is all figured out.

Corky said...

"I do hope to still be among the living when it is all figured out."

http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/List_of_creationist_arguments