gao_lu — 2017-04-24T00:02:43-04:00 — #1
The Westminster Confession of Faith in Chapter 2 beings with this:
There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions... (proof text is Acts 14:15)
I do not agree that God is without passions, which I would identify as emotions.Thus this is an element of a creed with which I disagree, based on my present understanding.
I would appreciate perspectives on this.
[Other elements of creeds that might be of concern could be added in this thread so long as we keep a little order to it all.]
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-04-24T01:13:56-04:00 — #2
The emphasized terms of the statement clearly exclude Jesus from being the one God spoken of here. since Jesus did have a body.
gao_lu — 2017-04-24T01:34:42-04:00 — #3
The Westminster statement includes Jesus being one with God as spoken of there because God existed before the body of Jesus existed and He exists after the body died and was resurrected. God "put on a body,"
“In him [Jesus] the whole fulness of deity (Godhead) dwells bodily” Col. 2:9
God, in the form and nature of a man became incarnate "in these last days." God is in no way contained or limited to a body, though he can inhabit one and does in the person of Christ. That does not make 2 gods, or a demi-god, it is God in flesh--Jesus the Christ. So the Westminster passage offers no contradiction to Jesus being God.
BTW, any thoughts on the passability of God?
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-04-24T01:46:22-04:00 — #4
the creed is self-contradicting .... it's very plain and simple.
Remember, if there are 3 cars, they are not one vehicle ... no matter how anyone wants to say that the one vehicle is somehow the one car as well as the 2nd or 3rd car
Also, what is meant with "inhabiting a human body" ?? That would not make that human body to actually be God, for only the part which inhabits would still be God, while the body would still be the human body. The person whose body is involved would NOT become or be God.
Just because I "inhabit" a house, the house can not be declared to actually be me ...
gao_lu — 2017-04-24T01:50:26-04:00 — #5
Brilliant men wrote that and affirm it. Obviously, you misunderstand it. I am no stupe, and it makes sense to me.
The car analogy has nothing to do with the Trinity. 3 cars are three cars. One God who manifests Himself in more than one way is one God.
Same thing as "You" inhabit a human body. What is so hard about that?
Not at all. Is your body the sum, the totality of Wolfgang? Car, house, whatever. I doubt you think that at all. Correct me if I am wrong. God is not divided into parts, yet we see different attributes of God emphasized at different times.
Try thinking of it this way, God is love, God is light, God is Jesus. He isn't 33 1/3 part of each. He is wholly each. Yet you can't say "light is God. That is easy to understand. You can't say the "body is Wolfgang, or Christ. You can say Jesus the person, evident in a body, is God.
gao_lu — 2017-04-24T02:10:30-04:00 — #6
Seems to me you are trying to visualize three heads and sort of bumble them together and say the three are really one. That is not the notion of Trinity at all.
You have no difficulty understanding the Father and the Spirit as being one, right? Two terms. Two concepts. A little different from each other, but easily understood to be one God. You don't stumble over that one trying to make 2 cars out of it.
I think the problem may be that you think of the Holy Spirit as something real, an essence, but make no mental effort to attach a body to it, and rightfully so. So with "father and Spirit" there is no conflict of the multiple "cars" analogy. But somehow, God has a sort of body-like image, at least that we get from the prophets and Revelation. Then Christ has a real "image" in the form of a body. Now those two images become two entities and thus two "cars." There error is thinking of God from human perspective as being limited by a "body," Do away with that, and think of Him as an real essence but without body and then think of that omnipresent God who inhabits all space and eternity as choosing to inhabit very specifically and manifest as a person with a body in the form of Jesus. Now I think the "cars"analogy no linger fits. And should not. It isn't the same thing at all. Suddenly we can see easily that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One God.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-04-24T02:50:11-04:00 — #7
A manifestation of God are NOT themselves God .... or would you like to make the flame in the burning bush at the time of Moses to be the next person of God ? God has manifested Himself in certain way in the Scriptures, why would you not believe that the Scriptures also are God ?
Problem is that "I" do NOT inhabit a human body ...the human body IS PART of "me"!
Do you see how you "fiddle around" with terms ... manifestations of, totalitiy of, parts, attributes ??
Thinking like this is non-sense as it is based on a total misunderstanding of the expressions "God is love" and "God is light" ... While God is love and God is light, God IS NOT Jesus.
Jesus is a living human person, conceived in and born of a woman ...
If Jesus is God, and the One to Whom Jesus prayed is also God ... you have TWO Gods !!
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-04-24T03:06:43-04:00 — #8
I most certainly stumble over that idea which you seem to have about "the Father" and "the Spirit", because "the Father" and "the Spirit" are NOT two different Beings/Persons/Entities who ARE one.
"The Father" and "the Spirit" are NOT two of three "persons" of a Trinity ...they are things which God indeed IS .... just as God IS the Creator, the Almighty, the Ancient of Days, the Holy One of Israel ...BUT God is NOT "the Son". Why do you not expand the Trinity to a Multinity and include Creator, Almighty, Holy One, Ancient of Days, etc ??
See above .... what do you do with the Creator, the Ancient of Days, the Almighty, and -- to include the two you mentioned earlier - love and light ?? According to your thinking and logic, those should certainly be treated the same as Father, Spirit, Son ....
The truth is very plain and simple: There is only ONE WHO ALONE is TRUE GOD ...
this One is almighty, thus He is called "the Almighty",
this One is the Father, therefore He is called "the Father",
this One is Spirit, therefore He is called "the Spirit",
this One is Holy, therefore He is called "the Holy One" (and in combination with "Spirit" then "the Holy Spirit",
this One is of old, therefore He is called "the Ancient of Days",
Now note carefully => this One is NOT a Son, therefore He is NEVER called "the Son"
There are not many different Gods, because the above mentioned terms all refer to THE SAME ONE living and acting Spirit Being / Person. The Trinity, however, has THREE different acting living Beings / Persons and therefore these would be THREE GODs.
gao_lu — 2017-04-24T03:12:34-04:00 — #9
I think you are really close to getting it. The Scriptures are not God. The flames were not God. The bush was not God. But God was there. Moses really was, no kidding, in the presence of God. I think we can say a similar thing about a body--anyone's body. I still thnk you are imagining God as something He is not--as a sort of body or something that has to be in a finite place and space. That by definition is what God is not.
Oh, are you 2 parts? Two Wolfgangs? Again, I think you see the picture. You are parts, in a sense, but one Wolfgang, but you don't tally up the parts to determine how many Wolfgang's there are.To do so would be to change the meaning of saying your body was "Wolfgang." There is more to Wolfgang than the biological bits. Similar thing with Jesus and God.
I am intentionally using your language, your terms to explain. What other tools do I have? For myself, I don't need those terms or think about them in my understanding of God. He isn't "parts."
I agree about the nonsense part, to say God has three parts because we describe three aspects of Him is truly non-sense. I think you are so close to seeing that. Seeing, you almost believe and then step back shaking your head as if saying, "No! I will NOT believe." Take a deep breath and try again.
If God is love and light as you say then he is like two cars, right? Wrong of course. That is nonsense. Same with saying God and Jesus are two.
I have asked many times and I don't recall you ever answered. So I ask one time more. Are the Father and the Spirit one God? Or two Gods? If you say "two Gods" (I know you won't), then we have a lot of work to do. If you say "one God" (you would be right), then Just allow Jesus to be part of your same notion on exactly the same basis for the same reason and be one with the Father and Spirit.
Frankly, if you deny that Christ is God, then you must by the same argument deny that the Spirit and Father can be one. Which way is it?
One God, Wolfgang. Anser the above and you have only one possible conclusion. But a note on your statement: Jesus was God, but that is not all God is. So could Jesus pray to that "something that was greater than just His body, the flesh, the man Jesus? Of course! Jesus understood that "other," that "the rest of Him" to be something else, something He called "Father."
Think of it like this. God is everywhere. Even inside you. Yet you pray "to God." Why do that, if He dwells in you? Why not just pray to yourself? Why? Becuase you know there is more to God than just what indwells you. Far greater. That being, essence, whatever you call it, is what Jesus addressed and taught us to address as "Father."
gao_lu — 2017-04-24T03:32:31-04:00 — #10
Exactly. two are one. Just as you say. Not separate beings. Just one.
Exactly. Jesus too. Why accept the Father and Spirit but reject Jesus?
Between you and me privately, I have some reason to think there may be other manifestations of God not revealed to us. I have reasons for that but suspect that would be a hornet's nest and its only distant speculation. The Adjectives you mention are descriptions of God, so I wouldn't bother with calling Him a multinity (though I like that word).
What about His Names? I am a bit of a specialist in the Names of God, would those count? Probably no need. We make special distinguishing of Father, Son and Spirit, because they have obvious unique functions and apparently unique personalities that are obvious to categorize. Some day we shall seem the Unity clearly. I will not say there is no mystery to fully understanding the Godhead, there is. The Bible even says, "Great is the mystery of godliness..."
Beautifully laid out. You accept readily that all the above are ONE. Rightly so. There is one more descriptor of the man Jesus, "the Son," who fits right there as well. Please, do not reject that One.
Jesus is in fact called "the son" many times. Upon His incarnation, in human terms, He came forth from God and is heir to all that is God's, therefore "the Son" is a perfect term. Can you think if a better one? \
I know, I know. You reject who Jesus is (like the Jews did), so He can't be God or Lord to you. But if He isn't God He can't be Savior (no man can be your savior); and God forbid that you have a LORD other than God.
I know arguing is futile, but I have a sense you can and will see, to the glory of Jesus our Lord and Savior! With Thomas, I can say "My Lord and My God." And for the record, Thomas declaration was not profanity as some claim. Wolfgang, I am very sorry, but you CANNOT say those words with Thomas or me.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-04-24T04:00:57-04:00 — #11
Did you really read what I wrote ???
No ... no "Jesus too" or do you now call Jesus "a thing" ???????
No, I don't !!! I accept that One is all these things !!
Yes, there is a description of the man Jesus ... BUT this is NOT a description of the One Who Alone is GOD !!
Yes, "the Son" is an accurate term for the man Jesus .... BUT it is NOT at all a term for GOD! Or do you really want to sell us the total non-sense that the Father is his own Son and the Son is his own Father ???
You apparently do NOT know at all .... by the way, the Jews did NOT reject Jesus as God, they rejected him as the Messiah prophesied of old to be sent by YHWH/God!!
I suggest you argue with Rom 5:12ff ... the truth stated there is simple and plain: Since sin came by A HUMAN BEING/A MAN, the remedy for sin also had to come by A HUMAN BEING/A MAN.
I certainly agree with Thomas declaration and regard Jesus also as "my divine Lord" !! I just don't twist Thomas' words to mean something which Thomas most definitely did not have in mind ... or do you think he was an "early Trinitarian"? Thomas, just as any of the disciples and apostles there KNEW that the one standing in front of them was NOT YHWH, God, the Almighty ... but that he was that man Jesus, whom they had accepted as Messiah/Christ and who had been killed days before but indeed had been risen from the dead by YHWH/God.
Do you think that the apostles knew from OT the truth that no man could stand in the presence of God and not die ???
gao_lu — 2017-04-24T04:21:43-04:00 — #12
We have laid our ideas on the table. Sometimes that is the best we can do. I thank you for that.
I don't want to leave you disappointed if there is something remaining that you really want to address, but otherwise I think it best to lay this down for now. I really have offered my best and feel satisfied with that. I do feel disappointed that you seem to take up "easy" points to argue, but ignore the most important arguments. I don't know what to do with that. I hope I don't do that with you.
I do see the Rom 5:12ff point and agree. Jesus was a man. God incarnate. So that supports 100% the deity of Christ.
You absolutely do not and cannot. Thomas addressed Jesus as "God." You cannot do that. If Jesus is a man and not God and you address him as Lord, then you are in direct contradiction to the will of God. Thomas clearly had in mind what he said. He stood in front of Jesus and said, addressing Him right there personally as "GOD."
Note: 1Cor 8:6; Eph 4:5 - if some man named Jesus is your Lord, then God is not your Lord or you have multiple Lords in contradiction to Scripture.
They knew that. God was veiled before Thomas in flesh. He was veiled before Moses. One day that will change, but not yet. They knew, understood and wrote about it (E.G. 1Cor 13:12 )
Do you mind if we move back to the "Passion" question?
dave_l — 2017-04-24T08:51:27-04:00 — #13
This might help explain how God is not moved by emotion even though scripture says “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Genesis 6:6 (KJV 1900)
gao_lu — 2017-04-24T09:29:18-04:00 — #14
Thanks Dave. I will look at that further, although it likes a time investment. I am more hoping for discussion here.
bkmitchell — 2017-04-24T09:40:35-04:00 — #15
Thank you for the link to the ReformedForum's podcast on this subject!
I found the presenters to be very articulate and informative.
dave_l — 2017-04-24T11:30:40-04:00 — #16
Many believe Genesis 6:6 uses anthropomorphisms to describe God’s eternal decree carried out in time. That is, using symbols or illustrations the primitive human mind could grasp.
"There are a number of other ways in which God’s power and majesty are described in the Bible. Many of these analogies are anthropomorphic, but a number refer to elements of the material universe. Among the anthropomorphisms, we may note that God is referred to as a bridegroom (Is. 61:10), a father (Deut. 32:6), a king (Is. 33:22), a shepherd (Ps. 23:1) and as a physician (Exod. 15:26). In addition to this, parts of the body and human actions are frequently attributed to him. He is said to have a face (Exod. 33:20; Rev. 22:4), eyes (Ps. 11:4; Heb. 4:13), ears (Ps. 55:1), a nose (Deut. 33:10), a mouth (Deut. 8:3), hands (Num. 11:23) and a heart (Gen. 6:6). He is described as knowing (Gen. 18:21), seeing (Gen. 1:10), hearing (Exod. 2:24), smelling (Gen. 8:21), tasting (Ps. 11:5), sitting (Ps. 9:7) and walking (Lev. 26:12).
Among the sub-human and material analogies used of him, we may mention that he is compared to animals like the lion (Is. 31:4), the eagle (Deut. 32:11), the lamb (Is. 53:7) and even the hen (Matt. 23:37). He is called a fire (Heb. 12:29), and related images like the sun (Ps. 84:11), the light (Ps. 27:1) and the torch (Rev. 21:23) are also used of him. In addition he can be called a rock (Deut. 32:4), a tower (Prov. 18:10), a shield (Ps. 84:11) and a shadow (Ps. 91:1).
Some modern scholars have detected remnants of paganism in these analogies, but it must be said that any such suggestion is firmly contradicted by the Bible itself, which frequently insists that God cannot be reduced to any creaturely shape. Nor have these analogies ever been a problem to believers, whether Jews or Christians, who have instinctively known that they must be understood in a metaphorical way. They are intended to highlight certain aspects of God’s character and activity, and remind us that he is present with his people in the most intimate and seemingly ordinary aspects of everyday life. He teaches us and protects us in a way which, although it can be illustrated by earthly examples, ultimately goes beyond all human understanding."
Bray, G. L. (2000). God. In T. D. Alexander & B. S. Rosner (Eds.), New dictionary of biblical theology (electronic ed., p. 514). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
bill_coley — 2017-04-24T15:18:05-04:00 — #17
Wolfgang, how do you think Romans 1.1-4 contributes to the issue you engage here?
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ro 1:1–4). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
It seems to me that Paul clearly distinguishes between God and Jesus who, Paul contends, descended from humanity (David's line) and was "declared to be the Son of God in power according the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord."
Paul's declaration, in my view, tracks perfectly with his word to the Philippians that after the crucifixion God "highly exalted (Jesus) and bestowed on him the name that is above every name...." (Philippians 2.8-11) It also tracks with Peter's word to the gathered in Acts 2, that God had "made" Jesus, whom they had crucified, "both Lord and Christ." (Acts 2.36)
It seems to me the distinction between God (deity) and Jesus (human whom God raised and then exalted) is clear here. What do you think?
I think this is a good point. In Luke 10.16 Jesus distinguishes between himself and God yet again when in a commentary on several unrepentant cities he says "the one who rejects (Jesus) rejects (God) who sent (Jesus)."
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-04-24T16:29:42-04:00 — #18
I think it contributes exactly what you then pointed out ! It's most likely again a passage which trinity folks interpret as the "God nature" and the "human nature" of Jesus somehow corresponding and dealing with each other
Exactly ..... In addition, I would think that the Jews knew perfectly well that Jesus never claimed to be God but only claimed to be that son of Abraham, son of David, that promised man who would be the Messiah. Had Jesus claimed to be God, the Jews opposing him would perhaps have treated him as crazy and mentally ill .. because they believed that no man in his right mind could possibly think that a man could be YHWH/God. However, for a man to claim to be the Messiah, the Son of God, was a real possibility and in the case of Jesus it was a threat to the Jews' views and their expectations of the Messiah ... they expected a political ruler, a king, a liberator from Roman power etc ... which expectations Jesus of course did not meet!
dave_l — 2017-04-24T16:43:32-04:00 — #19
“The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” John 10:33 (KJV 1900)
will_scholten — 2017-04-24T19:12:03-04:00 — #20
When did the "trinity" teaching begin? Another doctrine of man!
It must have started after the Nicene creed, no mention of a trinity here, is there!
Another thing after Constantine the great!
Nicene Creed We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made; of the same essence as the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried. The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end. And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life. He proceeds from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and to life in the world to come. Amen.
next page →