Post by Mike Miller on Aug 27, 2007 14:36:39 GMT -5
A while back, I e-mailed a description of the Trinity to several people. The description came from the doctrinal statement of a local church's website, and I asked if anyone could spot anything wrong with it, and if so, to state why or why not. I only received two responses, but they were very good. I'll post them as well, but before you read them, take a hard look yourself. Doctrine is crucial. After all, if we can't get the Trinity right, then we're wrong on the very nature and identity of God Himself.
Our God is one but is manifested in three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit being co-equal (Phil. 2:6). God the Father is greater than all, the Sender of the Word (Logos) and the Begetter (John 1:14, 14:28, 16:28). The Son is the Word flesh-covered, the One Begotten, and has existed with the Father from the beginning (John 1:14, 1:18, 1:1). The Holy Spirit proceeded forth from both the Father and the Son and is eternal (John 15:26).
Post by Mike Miller on Aug 27, 2007 14:38:18 GMT -5
"Manifested in three persons" is problematic, as the this manifests a modalistic understanding of the Trinity. It is also difficult to reconcile the description "being co-equal" with the later description of the father as "greater than all." The phrase "flesh-covered" could also be problematic if the intent is to convey anything other than the full humanity of Jesus. Finally, the Father has not existed "from the beginning", but is eternal, as is the Son, and has no beginning. These are the most apparent problems. I'm sure the trained theologians on the list will find more.
Post by Mike Miller on Aug 27, 2007 14:39:38 GMT -5
Last time I checked, the Father is not greater than all. How can the father be co-equal but then greater? Greater in what way?
In what was has the the Spirit "proceeded forth" from the Father and Son? Do they mean "sent"? If so, then that's not too bad, though I wouldn't word it that way. However, it seems that they want to make the Spirit a result of the relationship between the Father and Son, as I've heard before. This, of course, makes the Spirit somewhat subordinate to the Father and Son, temporally.
Not only that, but God doesn't manifest Himself in three person, He IS three persons. To put it like that seems to be akin to modalism.
Good points. What jumped out at me initially was the phrase, "The Holy Spirit proceeded forth from both the Father and the Son and is eternal (John 15:26)." This seems to make the Spirit subordinate to the Father and the Son. I read "God the Father is greater than all..." as greater than all creation.
Post by Mike Miller on Aug 28, 2007 15:16:49 GMT -5
Hey, everyone. I just deleted a post--not because I disagreed with it (I didn't)--but because it was somewhat derogatory. Humor is appreciated, but when commenting on false doctrine, let's be civil. We want to win them--not alienate them.