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Saturday, March 07, 2020

Mailvox: maybe I do have a point

A critic apologizes for assuming my nonexistent heresy:
I wrote you a letter concerning the trinity of God and I want to apologize for scolding you. I have come to understand the revelation of The Bible better these past few days and I admit I jumped the gun in criticizing your argument about the trinity. There are apparent contradictions between The Bible and the teaching about The Trinity like many believe it. I think this stems from the wrong interpretation that the catholic church presents about God. I also went over your argument again and admit that there is a contradiction between The Word of God and this belief in The Trinity as it is many times taught in different circles.
Accepted. As I frequently point out, any time an argument is reliant upon an observable falsehood or deception, it is usually being made in defense of a false position. The mere fact that I am frequently and erroneously criticized for not subscribing to "the Nicene Creed" when I am in fact the one subscribing to the actual Nicene Creed of 325 as opposed to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381 that most Christians wrongly believe to be "the Nicene Creed" should be sufficient to give the average critic pause.

It is also worth noting that the third Ecumenical Council of 431 reaffirmed the original 325 version of the Nicene Creed and rejected the later pseudo-Nicene version. And finally, you may wish to consider the fact that Sir Isaac Newton independently came to the same conclusion that I did. As for me, I could not care less if all the modern theologians from all the modern sects and churches and denominations declare otherwise. Given their assertions on various other theological matters, I tend to rather like our odds of being the party more in line with the truth.

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134 Comments:

Blogger Herr Abubu March 07, 2020 8:13 AM  

The Nicene Creed strictly professes that Christ is God and condemns anyone who says otherwise. It also professes belief in the Holy Spirit, although not as elaborately as the Second Ecumenical Council. And why refer to the 3rd EC when the whole point of the council is that Christ, the Logos, is both God and man? Why does Newton's opinion matter at all?

Blogger Zaklog the Great March 07, 2020 8:33 AM  

My metric on these questions may be rough, but I think it has some sense. I will regard with high suspicion any claim about the faith which means that the great majority of Christians throughout history were completely wrong about it. This is why, when I learned that up until the 1930s, Protestants agreed with the Catholic stance against contraception, I changed my mind on it.

Unless I've been grossly misled (possible), the vast majority of Christians throughout history disagree with you on this point, Vox. It would take quite a bit to convince me on this one. (Yes, I realize that convincing me in particular is of little interest to you. Just explaining my position.)

Blogger John Regan March 07, 2020 9:01 AM  

I don't read either version as denying the Trinity. Is that the point here?

Blogger sykes.1 March 07, 2020 9:01 AM  

Are you assuming that no Council after Nicaea is valid?

Blogger VD March 07, 2020 9:38 AM  

The Nicene Creed strictly professes that Christ is God and condemns anyone who says otherwise. It also professes belief in the Holy Spirit, although not as elaborately as the Second Ecumenical Council. And why refer to the 3rd EC when the whole point of the council is that Christ, the Logos, is both God and man? Why does Newton's opinion matter at all?

Read the whole post again. It's right there in front of you.

Unless I've been grossly misled (possible), the vast majority of Christians throughout history disagree with you on this point, Vox. It would take quite a bit to convince me on this one.

Read the whole post again. It's right there in front of you.

I don't read either version as denying the Trinity. Is that the point here?

Read it again. No, that is not the point, but at least you're on topic.

Are you assuming that no Council after Nicaea is valid?

FFS, that's not even a reasonable question given what I wrote. Read it again.

IF YOU'RE GOING TO COMMENT HERE, LEARN TO FREAKING READ WHAT IS THERE!

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( The Surprised Pig hadn't had any idea he tasted this good ) March 07, 2020 9:55 AM  

"I think this stems from the wrong interpretation that the catholic church presents about God."

oh boy.

10,000 post thread of knee jerk papist tears incoming?

Blogger Silly but True March 07, 2020 10:11 AM  

So it was felt necessary to introduce the Nicene Creed when Christians beliefs were becoming too compromised by what we can term Judeo-Christian concepts. And it was further believed that later introduction of Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed primarily pushed by practitioners of a particular Moloch cult based around Simon Peter and idolatry of Mary, could be used to infect Christians.

With “Judeo-Christian” worship having completed a total infection of nearly every Christian institution, and the ascendant Moloch cultists having managed to facilitate several recent generations of their worst offenses against God and man/boys in their whole history, one begins to see how simple distinction of the Nicene Creed becomes as important for Christians in 2020 than it may ever have been since its origination.

Blogger VFM #7634 March 07, 2020 10:13 AM  

Catholic here.

The Persons of the Trinity are equal in dignity, and if I understand things correctly, the Son is a perfect reflection of the Father, and the Holy Ghost a perfect reflection of both of them. Naturally, there's the little problem that the Father is the ultimate source of the other two Persons, and Our Lord saying "the Father is greater than I". But the OP's post attacking what he believes the Catholic position is on the matter is a possibly willful failure to grasp the matter entirely, or to at least defer to pre-Vatican II Catholic magisterium, which is what I do.

There's also an IQ difference in understanding the Trinity, as well as, of course, the post-Vatican II "Catholic" authorities being completely AWOL when it comes to defending the Catholic position on anything. I mean, it's a mystery, and we won't understand the matter entirely, not even if we get to Heaven.

Blogger MichaelJMaier March 07, 2020 10:23 AM  

"Read the whole post again. It's right there in front of you."

Vox.... you have a lot of patience.

Blogger jeffinjapan March 07, 2020 10:39 AM  

God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit; one essence, three divine persons.

Some excellent books written by early Church Fathers are:

On the Holy Trinity by St. Gregory of Nyssa
On the Holy Spirit by St. Basil
On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius

Blogger Doktor Jeep March 07, 2020 10:40 AM  

The 381 version seems too wordy and such words added given to ambiguity. I half expected to see a "code of conduct" thrown in.

Blogger wired216 March 07, 2020 10:42 AM  

Ok going out on a limb here as a midwit. We know God has a corporeal form because Adam and Eve walked with him. Heard his footsteps when he was approaching. But above that God is more than that form. The Holy Spirit. When God became man he did not come to earth in his corporeal form. Instead he begot a son filled with the Holy Spirit but not the Holy Spirit itself so Jesus as the son was not on equal standing with the Holy Spirit not being it completely of it himself. So no Trinity.

Blogger John March 07, 2020 10:42 AM  

Good morning Vox,

You typically have good reasons for objecting to things. Will you please clarify which parts of the 381 creed you find objectionable? Do you have any objection to Articles 1 & 2 of the 381 creed?

Blogger wired216 March 07, 2020 10:46 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Zaklog the Great March 07, 2020 10:49 AM  

Read the whole post again. It's right there in front of you.

Okay, so the 431 council affirmed the 325 version and rejected the 381 version. I'll take your word on that for the moment and look up more later. It still appears that the 381 version is what the great majority of Christians throughout history have affirmed. I don't know how that happened, and I'll have to look into it, but that appears to be the case.

If what you're saying is true, how and when did the 381 version become dominant? Unless it is fairly recent, I'm still in much the same position.

Blogger John Regan March 07, 2020 10:52 AM  

Well, I wish I had more time right now but I'll come back to this interesting discussion, if you don't mind VD. Further reading indicates Newton did not accept the doctrine of the Trinity as understood based on the commonly accepted Nicene Creed. And I take it that applied not only to the idea of the Holy Ghost, but also to the idea of Christ's relationship to the Father. I didn't know that about Newton. But I'm guessing that you do not deny the Trinity, just the Athanasius take on it. I'm not sure what the significance of that is at the moment with respect to whether you are a heretic, or whether Newton was, at least for that reason.

If I'm in the right neighborhood let me know. This is a rabbit hole I don't mind going down.

Blogger Ska_Boss March 07, 2020 11:01 AM  

I don't see why it was necessary to insert "In one holy catholic and apostolic Church;" to the creed. How does this benefit or even clarify what was written in the First? In my opinion, it allows the authors to give themselves an authority that has zero Biblical reference, hence allowing those who would lead others astray into a (false) position of power.

Blogger Lazarus March 07, 2020 11:03 AM  

Zaklog the Great wrote:It still appears that the 381 version is what the great majority of Christians throughout history have affirmed.

Argumentum ad populum in Vox Popoli

Blogger VFM #7634 March 07, 2020 11:07 AM  

Further reading indicates Newton did not accept the doctrine of the Trinity as understood based on the commonly accepted Nicene Creed.

I found it strange for VD to bring up Newton. From what I can gather, he was some sort of Gnostic and not anyone anybody would ever want to find spiritual guidance for, in anything.

Blogger Johnny March 07, 2020 11:23 AM  

"As for me, I could not care less if all the modern theologians from all the modern sects and churches and denominations declare otherwise. Given their assertions on various other theological matters, I tend to rather like our odds of being the party more in line with the truth."

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "on various other theological matters", but if you're talking about Churchianism and Judeo-Christianity then it's worth noting that even those who AREN'T Churchian or Judeo-Christian espouse the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (Or as they call it the Nicene Creed) as the foundation of the Christian faith.

All churches except the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other massively heterodox groups stick to Trinitarianism. So even churches that tend to be non-Churchian and non-Judeo-Christian like the Eastern Orthodox, Traditional Catholicism, Confessional Lutheranism, some Independent Baptists, etc. are adamant about the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.

Blogger David March 07, 2020 11:23 AM  

Modern:
We believe in one God, programmer of this reality.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, God's playable character in this reality. By whom all things were encoded. God was fully man and inserted into this reality. He suffered and on the third day rebooted. Believers get a codec of God uploaded to their soul for better communication.

Blogger Newscaper312 March 07, 2020 11:37 AM  

The problem I have with the Scripture-and-only-Scripture school is that while you can certainly argue about the details of what the Roman and various Orthodox branches of Catholicism have done in the name of Tradition, it is historical fact that the organic Church existed *before* the Gospels, Acts, etc were written codified, by a few decades.

Blogger Newscaper312 March 07, 2020 11:40 AM  

Re Scripture only, throw in inspiration vs "taking dictation" like claimed for Muhammad or Joseph Smith, it gets fuzzier.

Blogger Daniel March 07, 2020 11:43 AM  

David that is Gnostic code: it is full of daemons.

Blogger Zaklog the Great March 07, 2020 11:45 AM  

@18 Yes, argumentum ad populum when the question is the nature of the Christian faith and the populum in question is the entirety of Christians throughout history, and I am not ashamed of that. If you can show me that the revival of the 381 version is a recent innovation, that will change my position. But to tell me that the great majority of Christians throughout our history are fundamentally wrong on a question of the faith? You've got a serious uphill battle there.

When did the 381 creed, rejected by the 431 council, become dominant once more? How? Why?

Blogger VD March 07, 2020 11:50 AM  

But to tell me that the great majority of Christians throughout our history are fundamentally wrong on a question of the faith?

The great majority of people have been fundamentally wrong about nearly everything in history. MPAI. Furthermore, Jesus did not tell us that unless you believe the Holy Spirit is totally equal with God the Father, you will be saved.

What part of "now we see as though through a glass, darkly" do you find hard to grasp? I think every single Christian throughout history is fundamentally wrong about multiple questions of the faith, including me. So, the idea that most modern Christians are wrong about the Trinity doesn't trouble me in the slightest. We're just a little bit less wrong than everyone else....

Blogger Silly but True March 07, 2020 12:04 PM  

Judeo-Christians ascribe particulars of the Proverbs of Solomon — observations from an ancient Jewish King — to be that Jesus is a subordinate possession of God (Proverbs 8:22-23), and this focus on a handful of hundred-years-old words grew to become a key point of the disagreements leading to need for Nicene Creed.

He was surely a successful and beloved king of Israel. But people tend to value his words more because he was recognized for being a prophet of the Lord. In this regard, ability to use his words to push a particular narrative gains even more power.

Perhaps rather than being any circa 960 BCE expert on the Trinity he is a better example for administration of people: Solomon initiated his reign with a purge of non-supporters that infiltrated his kingdom, instituted a major series of construction projects throughout Israel including building the Temple as well as walls to protect it, and one of the strengths of his lordship was skillful trade deals.

The greatest leaders and god-emperors are well to follow Solomon’s lead.

Blogger Jack Amok March 07, 2020 12:05 PM  

What is the minimum set of beliefs someone has to hold for you to

a) accept them as a fellow Christian

and

b) have confidence they won't - intentionally or unintentionally - support entryists trying to gain power in the church?

Blogger cyrus83 March 07, 2020 12:11 PM  

The text of Canon 7 of Ephesus does not condemn the Creed of 381, it condemns composing a different faith from that of Nicaea. It's not intended to exclude additional propositions from being required for belief, otherwise something as simple as requiring belief in Scripture would run afoul of this canon since it is nowhere mentioned in the 325 text.

Chalcedon 20 years later saw no inherent contradiction in affirming both the 325 and 381 creeds in light of this canon.

Blogger Zaklog the Great March 07, 2020 12:12 PM  

@26 What part of "now we see as though through a glass, darkly" do you find hard to grasp?

And you may be right. I'm not rejecting that possibility entirely. I'm just explaining my own skepticism. To be honest, previously when you had talked about questioning trinitarian doctrine, I thought you were doubting the identity of Jesus as the unique son of God. That worried me badly. This difference? I won't say it doesn't matter, but it's much less troubling to me.

Hope I'm not being too Gamma here.

Blogger Up from the pond March 07, 2020 12:14 PM  

Newton was no spiritual leader, but he was an exact man who saw and read more accurately than the average person does. On matters of fact, his word carries remarkable weight.

Blogger Silly but True March 07, 2020 12:49 PM  

Much of the disagreement appears to be in how various groups of followers interpret [how] “the Holy Spirit proceeds (solely?) from the Father” and to degree of how the Holy Spirit in proceeding from the Father is (must be?) associated with the Son.

Provided we agree that God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I’m generally fine in not having church enforcers to go behead people who believe the Holy Spirit comes solely from the Father versus and to what degree it is of the Father and the Son.

I do understand in my own experience that my own opening up to receive the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit is a constant struggle for me, but so is my attempted emulation of the Son’s ways.

Blogger VFM #7634 March 07, 2020 12:52 PM  

Newton was no spiritual leader, but he was an exact man who saw and read more accurately than the average person does. On matters of fact, his word carries remarkable weight.

You're talking about a super-smart but at least semi-autistic, possibly non-Christian Englishman in the mold of Dawkins or the Hitchens brothers. His word carries weight only in material matters... maybe.

Blogger Stu mcg March 07, 2020 12:57 PM  

325 says they believe in the Holy Ghost, 381 it says the same but proceedeth from the father

Is the issue whether the Holy ghost is equal with god the Father ?? I'm confused as heck

Blogger VD March 07, 2020 1:00 PM  

Englishman in the mold of Dawkins or the Hitchens brothers.

If Newton and the likes of Dawkins and the Hitchenses look at all alike to you, you really shouldn't opine on these matters. Dawkins and the Hitchenses aren't even in my league, and I'm nowhere close to Newton's.

You cannot completely separate the spiritual and material worlds unless you believe they do not intersect at all.

Blogger James Dixon March 07, 2020 1:12 PM  

> I mean, it's a mystery, and we won't understand the matter entirely...

A fair summation, yes.

> The 381 version seems too wordy and such words added given to ambiguity.

Agreed. In many cases the additions seem completely unnecessary, at least to me.

> I don't see why it was necessary to insert "In one holy catholic and apostolic Church;" to the creed.

I agree and have no idea why they felt it necessary. I also have no idea why they felt the need to expand on the incarnation, the crucifixion, or the nature of the Holy Ghost. The information I can find online indicates that it was an attempt to combat heresies that had arisen in that time.

The two best articles I could find on the subject were http://www.self.gutenberg.org/articles/comparison_of_nicene_creeds_of_325_and_381 and http://thenazareneway.com/nicene_niceno_constantinopolitan_creed.htm

Blogger FrankNorman March 07, 2020 1:17 PM  

Vox, would you explain what the difference is between your own beliefs and what you understand to be the concept of the Trinity as commonly believed?

Blogger Weouro March 07, 2020 1:22 PM  

The modernist infiltration/takeover of the Catholic Church according to trad catholics makes me wonder if something similar could have happened in the past.

It's popular to compare Archbishop Lefebvre to Athanasius. But the difference is that Lefebvre lost at council while Athanasius won. So in the analogy Lefebvre and the trads are more like the Arians and the modernists are more like Athanasius.

In a thousand years I wonder if Catholics will look back and scorn the heretic traditionalists the way traditionalists scorn the heretic Arians.

Anyway, the point is nobody knows, and God deliberately created us with that limitation. He didn't have to, but he did. A lot of people agreeing with each other doesn't prove anything true except that it more or less works as an organizing principle.

Blogger Silly but True March 07, 2020 1:26 PM  

About the only question more fascinating and beyond reach of human understanding than “what is the Holy Spirit” is “how can so many and so different peoples all claim Newton as their own?”

Blogger Mr. B.A.D. March 07, 2020 1:26 PM  

Considering how confident you are in all of this Vox, I wonder why you arent any braver when it comes to debating Dyer on it.

Blogger Steve Samson March 07, 2020 1:26 PM  

I'm looking forward to this having spent some hours puzzling about it myself and plenty more reading and listening to others.
I get stuck at "proceeds from the Father" and "not the Son, not the angels in heaven, but the Father."

Blogger Amy K. March 07, 2020 1:30 PM  

Jesus specifically prophesied falsity would enter into his church after he died. Whether the trinity doctrine is a product of the wheat or the weeds is something each person must decide for himself.

Matthew 13:24-30
24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

Blogger MichaelJMaier March 07, 2020 1:53 PM  

Do a search in this blog for "Trinity". I did that earlier today. The search button is not on the mobile version of this page, though.

Blogger VD March 07, 2020 1:54 PM  

Considering how confident you are in all of this Vox, I wonder why you arent any braver when it comes to debating Dyer on it.

First, because I don't give a single fraction of a quantum of a damn about what Jay Dyer thinks about this or anything else. I'm not criticizing him, I simply don't care about his opinions anymore than I care about what some eight-year-old Nigerian girl thinks about who should be starting at striker for Arsenal.

Second, I no longer have any interest in Internet debates, my own or anyone else's. It has nothing to do with genuine intellectual disputation and accomplishes nothing except give dozens of gammas an excuse to sperg for a week or two.

In the future, I hope to simply write my posts and my books without paying even the slightest attention to what anyone else says, does, or thinks. One encounters far better minds in books. Reading Taleb's books better than following his Twitter account.

Blogger KSC March 07, 2020 2:06 PM  

The 325 and 381 creeds both affirm the eternal deity of the son, and the 325 creed even anathematizes those who don’t. In your post “The False Doctrine of the Trinity”, from sometime in 2012 I believe, you deny the co-equality of the son and father based on the father’s possession of knowledge that the son lacks. Have you changed your views or am I missing something? Do you believe the Nicene Creed of 325 allows both the affirmation of the son[s deity and his inequality with the father where the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381 does not?

Blogger Uncompliant March 07, 2020 2:10 PM  

@21 -- wonderful !

As for my question -- sorry in advance.

I was raised Christian, but not tradChristian I guess, not tradCath. So, sorry for this question, but I did not learn this in Sunday School. If it helps, I am just a child.

Here goes -- Why is it three? God for sure; Christ for sure; but why differentiate the Holy Spirit as anything worthy of separation and of such intense focus? What does a distinct/separated-out Holy Ghost add to Christianity, to our understanding of divinity as font and Christ as savior and to our place/role in creation?

Blogger Knight of Logos March 07, 2020 2:32 PM  

A lot of theology strikes me as presumptuous and egotistical. Obviously, God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all important and interrelated. However, in my humble opinion, we as humans do not and can not have full understanding of the nature in which they are related. Just like a dog wouldn't understand the socio-sexual hierarchy of humans, I do not think man can understand the workings of God and the nature of the spiritual realm. We can acknowledge the trinity and incorporate what we know from our experiences and from scriptures into our lives. We can have glimpses into the spiritual world. However, I do not think we can know on a deep level what the relationship between God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit would look like.

From logic and intuition, I have my own beliefs and they have some differences from the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. I will not share them here because it is not important for anybody else besides me. Putting the teachings of Jesus Christ that are obvious and clear into practice is much more important than debating about what can be inferred through subtext.

Blogger Silly but True March 07, 2020 2:36 PM  

@SteveSamson
You are surely not alone and among greater men than any of us also in being stuck there.

I’ve generally accepted the perfection in man’s messiah needing to be of man. I find it interesting that there was not any apparent coming-of-age custom or timing associated with the coming of Christ; he wasn’t divinized the moment he became a man in Jewish tradition of the time for example. Rather, to a degree, there were several goals that I understand. Jesus receiving His divine revelation from the Holy Spirit around age 30 rather than say equivalent to our 16, allowed other men to be more accepting of His message.

Additionally, the revelation of God’s remission of sin through grace and baptism rather than rigid fealty to the law had to organically be allowed to take root within the hearts and minds of the people and predated the coming of Christ.

John the Baptist was a harbinger, revealing the message that one greater than he would follow to baptize not with the waters of the Jordan as John was doing but with the Holy Spirit instead.

I don’t know what specific role the Holy Spirit played upon Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist in transforming Jesus from being a son of man, lowly carpenter unknown to most. But within just the first two chapters of Mark he transforms from this role to be the One tempted by Satan in the desert, recognized by demons as having dominion over them, heals crippled and lepers, and is so widely known among men as the Messiah that he cannot ever get a moments rest any more. It doesn’t much matter to me how and precise pathway how the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, as far is that it does proceed from the Father.

Blogger Jeff aka Orville March 07, 2020 2:44 PM  

One encounters far better minds in books. Reading Taleb's books better than following his Twitter account.

I'd buy that book(s). The tweets and blogs are completely inadequate for developing and explaining any serious subject.

Blogger James Lovebirch March 07, 2020 3:03 PM  

@40

Can you articulate what their disagreement is?

Blogger VFM #7634 March 07, 2020 3:13 PM  

If Newton and the likes of Dawkins and the Hitchenses look at all alike to you, you really shouldn't opine on these matters. Dawkins and the Hitchenses aren't even in my league, and I'm nowhere close to Newton's.

You cannot completely separate the spiritual and material worlds unless you believe they do not intersect at all.


I wasn't thinking of their different IQ levels, but of their similar autistic contempt for traditional Christian beliefs and a pride in their own intelligence that made them believe they knew better than everyone else.

I mean, Newton dabbled in alchemy and the occult, for crying out loud. He even got mercury poisoning from it. Even if his IQ was in the 200 range, I wouldn't trust a single word he wrote about religion.

Blogger Silly but True March 07, 2020 4:08 PM  

@50:
I claim him as my own too. But as we see in this very thread, at one end are atheist philosophers and scientists who are zealously committed to their blind faith of their religion of naturalism.

At the other end, creationists much more devout than myself emphasize that Newton professed to be a Christian, denounced atheism, and had a high regard for the Bible.

I would say their disagreement is in fundamental religious beliefs.

There is also no doubt Newton was brilliant. By the time the typical American college graduate in 2020 graduates college, Newton had already made his most significant contributions to modern thought—the invention of calculus, discovery of the fundamentals of optics, and development of the law of gravity and three basic laws of motion.

What’s disagreement? We can only know the man by his works and what exists of others about him. He carries weight still in our modern world that everyone who believes in something has an interest in claiming he also believes as they do.

Blogger Zaklog the Great March 07, 2020 4:25 PM  

I realize upon thinking through it further that the question of contraception is not entirely congruent. If the church had been wrong about contraception, they would not merely have been mistaken, but actually in sin, as they would be violating the second commandment, adding God's name to a command which was not his. This is not the same case with Vox here, even if he is incorrect.

Almost the entire Christian church throughout history is mistaken about a question of theology? Possible. I'm suspicious but possible. Almost the entire Christian church throughout history is actively violating God's law by adding his name to a cause which is not his? No. I'm not buying that.

Blogger Thomas A'Beckett March 07, 2020 4:45 PM  

This discussion is totally autistic.

Also Jesus says: "He that seeth me, seeth also the Father." John 14:9. And the rest of John 14.

Gabriel says to Mary: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God" Luke 1:35. Note not "the son of the Holy Spirit", but "the Son of God." Because the Holy Spirit is God.

As to Newton, he figured out the inverse square law and was good at a calculus, i.e. he was a total geek. But his metaphysics were as good as his investing prowess, when he lost all his money in the South Sea Bubble. I wouldn't take religious lessons from him.

This discussion is reaching levels of sola scriptura autism that shouldn't be possible.

Blogger Steve Samson March 07, 2020 4:49 PM  

No. I'm not buying that

Thanks. Now something I was merely puzzling over now has huge significance. Adding to His Word is pretty clearly forbidden.

Blogger Silly but True March 07, 2020 4:51 PM  

@Uncompliant:
What does it add? From Christ’s lips to my ears — technically from Christ’s lips to the ears of Jewish scribes as witnessed by the Apostle Mark and later transcribed, but all the same:
“Verily I say unto you, all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme.

But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation”

I may not understand what It may fully be, but I surely am weary of minimizing Its appropriate place in the scheme of things.

Blogger Leahn Novash March 07, 2020 5:10 PM  

It suffices to say that Jesus himself said that the road was narrow, the gate small, and only a few would find it. Now think for a moment that you are making an argument from majority. If I need to explain further, you shouldn't be here.

Blogger Ransom Smith March 07, 2020 5:23 PM  

The Trinity is one of the dumbest doctrines to hang a cap on.
And get people will argue your ears off.

Blogger John Regan March 07, 2020 5:45 PM  

@35:

>>You cannot completely separate the spiritual and material worlds unless you believe they do not intersect at all.<<

Well, here's an interesting discussion along those lines.

From a Catholic perspective, I don't know if rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity while affirming the Father, Son and Holy Ghost makes you a "heretic". It might.

The Trinity, like divine omniscience, basically makes no sense. I understand that. At some level it's an attempt to explain how God can be one and yet become incarnate. The one-ness of God was extremely important in the early church, intellectually speaking.

St. Paul's "through a glass darkly" is probably the best answer I am ever going to have when it comes to this subject. That, and Kierkegaard's idea of the paradox limiting Reason's ability to comprehend divine things and the divine nature.

God is the author of Reason. But He also transcends it.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 07, 2020 5:49 PM  

"Almost the entire Christian church throughout history is actively violating God's law by adding his name to a cause which is not his? No. I'm not buying that."

That's undoubtedly the case. Most likely do it with different causes or idiosyncratic causes of their own. Some do it with the same causes as others, and sometimes as quite large groups.

Blogger Ten41 March 07, 2020 5:52 PM  

A few years back I was trying to find out info on both sides of the aisle. One of the better places I found for arguments against the Trinity was called the The Trinity Delusion

Blogger Uncompliant March 07, 2020 6:12 PM  

@56 -- Thank you. And thanks to others for their comments too.

Blogger VD March 07, 2020 6:13 PM  

you deny the co-equality of the son and father based on the father’s possession of knowledge that the son lacks.

I don't deny anything. I merely apply logic to the Bible. If the Son and Father are wholly equal, and the Son can die, then so can the Father.

Do you asserte that Man can kill God the Father? Or do you deny the Cross?

Given the consequences, I'm most dubious about equality. I don't deny the possibility that God is above such logic, but if that's the case, then I see absolutely no point in spending two seconds thinking about theological matters. It would be like trying to write Chinese poetry without knowing how to speak, let alone write, Chinese.

Blogger Up from the pond March 07, 2020 6:21 PM  

>Thomas A'Beckett
>autism

Blogger KSC March 07, 2020 6:30 PM  

This question has occasionally been addressed in Christian history,, typically by way of pondering whether the Father or the Spirit could become incarnate. The standard answer—as far as I understand it—is that any of them could, but it was "fitting" that the Son become incarnate due to his particular nature. So, in answer to your question: on the hypothetical of the Father becoming incarnate, indeed he could die, but precisely as Jesus died—as man, not as God. (I'm not defending this idea, just stating it here; it's speculative but I don't believe anything in Scripture contradicts it).
I'm still curious how you reconcile your beliefs with the Nicene Creed, since it affirms the Father and the Son have the same nature.

Blogger James Lovebirch March 07, 2020 6:31 PM  

@53

Adding some nuance.

From my limited knowledge of the history, I'm aware of at least one long period in the church where a majority of the patriarchates were wrong about a matter of theology that they believe they all later came to the truth on in a counsel. In fact, if you counted everyone who claims to be Christian, all the laymen, all the supposed heretics, whichever side of the schism you dislike and all the protestants, it's probably factual to state that most of Christianity has been mistaken on intellectual, theological points throughout most of history from any perspective, by any analysis.

What's not allowed to fail by the logic of the historical church is the church in totality in what it authoritatively teaches until the end of time.

If someone would like to challenge that logic itself directly, it can be incoherent to do so by appealing to the Bible they canonized and the counsels they participated in depending on how you're trying to do it

Blogger Jack Amok March 07, 2020 6:51 PM  

A lot of theology strikes me as presumptuous and egotistical. Obviously, God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all important and interrelated. However, in my humble opinion, we as humans do not and can not have full understanding of the nature in which they are related.

I agree with you.

So why would the Nicene Creed be important?

I think Doctor Jeep hit on something when he said the 381 version sounded like it would be followed by a Code of Conduct. Ding ding ding! That's a phrase to think about. We know how Codes of Conduct are used to subvert and take over organizations. So a while back Vox proposed a brilliant Code of Conduct for an outfit:

Rule 1: This is the Code of Conduct
Rule 2: Anyone trying to update the Code of Conduct will be immediately kicked out.

So why have one at all? Because if you don't have one, some entryist will propose one, and people will say "oh, sure, I guess we do need a code of conduct" and the SJWs start working away to kick out all the people who actually care about the organizations goals. By having the CoC he proposed, you're insulated because the leadership thought about it and specifically declared trying to use the CoC to gain power over people was cause to be thrown out.

At the time of the Council of Nicaea, Christianity had become successful on Earth and as an institution was beginning to wield Earthly power. Yet it was generations removed from Christ or His disciples leading it. Men were beginning to argue over doctrine, using disagreements over what you correctly observe are largely unknowable details to declare people heretics and eliminate rivals for power.

If you treat the Nicene Creed as a Voxian Code of Conduct, it makes perfect sense. Whether someone is right or wrong about what they believe about the Trinity is less important than if they want to change the official doctrine to their way so they can declare everyone who disagrees with them a Heretic.

Blogger James Dixon March 07, 2020 6:54 PM  

> ...you deny the co-equality of the son and father based on the father’s possession of knowledge that the son lacks.

"Being of one substance with the Father" is not the same thing as coequal. John 14:28: "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I." You can debate exactly what was meant by that if you want.

> Obviously, God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all important and interrelated. However, in my humble opinion, we as humans do not and can not have full understanding of the nature in which they are related.

That's why it's called a mystery.

Blogger Welleran March 07, 2020 7:03 PM  

That's retarded. The father did not incarnate, the Son did, death is something that happens to living matter not to unincarnated deity. If it had been the desire of the Father to incarnate and offer His life then yes He would have experienced a material death but like what happened to the Son it is a physical death only that in no way hinders or diminishes spiritual being or glory. How do you understand John 1:1? Who do you think the Word who is God and was with God at the same time is?

Blogger VD March 07, 2020 7:14 PM  

That's retarded.

You're clearly too short for this ride. I suggest you be quiet before you find yourself banned.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine March 07, 2020 7:30 PM  

Our capacities are limited. We have to separate things into parts in order to see and to think about them, but very little if anything of our experience exists as wholly distinct parts, and the same can be said for indistinguishably unified wholes.

I don't care to risk anything in an arena I'm unequipped to be playing in, so I'm staying out of this one.

Blogger Shane Bradman March 07, 2020 7:42 PM  

The failure of Protestantism is encouraging everyone to have their own opinion. When it comes to theology, most people don't understand it and should not have an opinion on it. It should not be encouraged to try and come up with answers for questions out of our league. The result is millions of people that assume they know better. Protestants should learn from the Orthodoxy and their idea of Theoria, rather than criticising any one who has a different opinion. And please shut up about Catholics because there's a very good chance that what you think the Catholic Church believes is absolutely incorrect. Do not get distracted.

Blogger Zaklog the Great March 07, 2020 7:48 PM  

@60 Most likely do it with different causes or idiosyncratic causes of their own.

I think you misunderstand the context of what I said. I don't mean that Christians in this place and time or that will not make that mistake. I mean something which almost the entire church throughout history forbid as sinful. A moral error of that magnitude and continuity would be so gross as to make the entire thing doubtful.

@55 Now something I was merely puzzling over now has huge significance. Adding to His Word is pretty clearly forbidden.

Yeah, picked that up from C.S. Lewis some time ago. That's what "do not use the Lord's name in vain" means. It's not about rude language. It's about saying, "God said . . ." when God did not say. It is why we should be very careful what we say is sinful or God's command.

Blogger cyrus83 March 07, 2020 7:55 PM  

Jesus was able to die as a man because he was a man, and it is of the nature of men that they can die. The divine nature however cannot die, and so neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit can die. So how is Christ as God able to become man without somehow being less than the Father while also being able to die whereas the Father cannot? The nature of Christ and the attempt to understand it is the source of all the Christological controversies of the first millennium.

The ultimate answer arrived at is the hypostatic union, the union of a divine and human nature in the single person of Jesus without confusion in which Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. I'm not going to pretend I understand it. At some point the intelligence of man fails when trying to comprehend the divine.

Blogger Ransom Smith March 07, 2020 8:07 PM  

And please shut up about Catholics because there's a very good chance that what you think the Catholic Church believes is absolutely incorrect. Do not get distracted.
The same can be said in reverse.
Log from thine own eye.

Blogger Shane Bradman March 07, 2020 8:26 PM  

Ransom, you don't see me talking about Calvin and Luther's theology, yet there are many people here criticising Catholics from a protestant perspective, including the man who sent the email. Have the dignity to keep your opinions to yourself when they irrelevant and unasked for.

Cyrus83, that's the common understanding. That Jesus could die does not mean that God can die, because what is on Earth is mortal and what is in Heaven is eternal.

Blogger Ransom Smith March 07, 2020 8:42 PM  

Have the dignity to keep your opinions to yourself when they irrelevant and unasked for.
Show me an opinion in my comment.
When you attack Protestants as being ignorant to Catholicism, don't cry when the blow is returned.

Blogger rumpole5 March 07, 2020 8:58 PM  

Vox thank you for sharing your thoughts on the trinity. I value your opinion because when you comment on a subject you usually appear to have given it more background work and thought than I would have done. I don't always agree with your conclusions, but I love the footnoting.

Blogger Jack March 07, 2020 10:13 PM  

Read the Athanasian Creed.

Blogger Didas Kalos March 07, 2020 10:37 PM  

Matthew 1:23
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

John 1:1-14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Blogger weka March 07, 2020 11:40 PM  

Some people need to learn that the links are there for a reason.

Blogger weka March 07, 2020 11:59 PM  

An eight year old Nigerian girls opinion about who should start for Arsenal may be more valid.

Blogger OvergrownHobbit March 08, 2020 12:09 AM  

We are praying for the people of Italy, and will continue to pray for the well-being of you and your family.

Theological debates can go hang.

Blogger Uncompliant March 08, 2020 12:12 AM  

Well, I will go ahead and say it -- so you will have seen it.

In our true nature, we are all divine; we share in the divine nature; that is what it means to be sons and daughters of God; to be made in His image.

We possess our divine nature here on this plane of existence, but not in the fullness that it was given. The analogy that I prefer is the concept of being "out of phase" or "out of alignment." Some of us are nearly entirely out of phase with our divine nature -- out of phase with God. Of all of us now and here before, Christ best understood his divine nature. Being the Son of God, naturally, he was the most "in phase."

It does not strike me as odd that God would love us enough to send His Son to be a Teacher, a Way-Shower -- a Savior -- to help us understand our divine nature and how to bring ourselves into alignment. We do this through prayer and understanding. That is what prayer is; it is not an effort to get God to do something, but an attempt to shift ourselves in the direction of God. What we must comprehend is that Spirit has mastery over the material.

That we all partake in the divine and that we are all capable of shifting ourselves to be better aligned with God is shown by Christ's ministry. As he taught them and they prayed and they learned, Christ's Apostles and Disciples came to better understand their divine nature and their alignment with God. They each became more in phase with God -- although not each to the same degree. Thus, Peter was able understand enough -- to align himself more closely with God -- to walk on water, at least until fear wrecked his new alignment. But still, he and the rest were able to heal the sick and bear witness to God and Christ through miracles and wonders.

We are all called to be Apostles and Disciples.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 08, 2020 12:14 AM  

Mr. B.A.D. wrote:Considering how confident you are in all of this Vox, I wonder why you arent any braver when it comes to debating Dyer on it.
The FUCK is wrong with you?

Blogger Thomas A'Beckett March 08, 2020 3:04 AM  

Didas Kalos wrote:Matthew 1:23

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.


Thanks. Also quoting the start of John normally demolishes these Unitarian/Arian arguments.

cyrus83 wrote:The ultimate answer arrived at is the hypostatic union, the union of a divine and human nature in the single person of Jesus without confusion in which Jesus is both fully human and fully divine.

Right. Jesus has two natures. Same as the host. At the point of consecration the host becomes the body of Christ and has two natures.

One of the many problems with prostestanism and sola scriptura is that people think they can cherry pick bits of the bible and say 'gotcha'. They can't.

And before they know it they have thousands of different sects all with autistically different interpretations of verses of the bible. Meh!

Blogger Scuzzaman March 08, 2020 4:04 AM  

I used to be puzzled by Vox's hostility to theologians and theological discussions, but as I've stopped indulging in them and just sat and watched, it's been making a lot more sense to me.

Blogger Dan Karelian March 08, 2020 10:04 AM  

@26, @63

Positioning yourself with Isaac Newton on this issue is dubious at best, considering his involvement in occultism, Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism in particular. There is a mountain of written evidence to show that he was not only an occultist but also in total prelest. There are less Gnostic, and more intelligent non-trinitarians, than Isaac Newton.

What reason is there to affirm the Nicene Creed in the first place, as a non-denominational, if you do not accept the authority of the historical Church? You just happen to agree with it?
Would it not be more consistent to formulate your own non-denominational creed to the extent that you can defend it on the basis of Scripture? Unless it is virtually the same as the Nicene Creed, doubtful.

Chalcedon made it clear how God can "die" but it doesn't matter if one doesn't even grasp the distinction between nature and person, that is hypostasis.
It is impossible to make sense of God in Scripture, if one relies on Aristotelian categories and sola scriptura as the main pillars of the interpreting paradigm. That's one reason why the historical Church, with a coherent paradigm is the ultimate interpreter of Scripture, through the Holy Spirit.
The fact that God transcends our philosophical notions of categories doesn't exclude the possibility of understanding of His relation to humanity on the Cross. But it requires a wholly different paradigm, which places revelation ahead of reason.

If on the basis of 1 Corinthians 13:12 all theology can only ever be hazy opinioning, then likewise the exegesis - a branch of theology - concerning this verse amounts to just another hazy opinion, which if followed consistently should not be taken with any more epistemic certainty than the exegesis of any other verse, which in turn is to say that the Scripture becomes wholly uncertain. And you can't even be certain of that.

This exegesis of 1 Corinthians 13:12 is not some properly basic belief.
In other words VD's justification of his position on theology is self-defeating on an epistemic level. The conclusion of his argument makes the premise and by extension the whole position incoherent and self-contradictory.
Unless this particular exegesis is of such a special category of epistemic certitude that the last two millennia of theology can be subjected beneath it. Of course, such a category would beg justification.

The Issue: Total Epistemic Depravity or TED.

Blogger James Dixon March 08, 2020 11:47 AM  

> One of the many problems with prostestanism and sola scriptura is...

That Roman Catholics won't shut up about it. You'd think it was still their church or something...

Blogger James Dixon March 08, 2020 11:52 AM  

> What reason is there to affirm the Nicene Creed in the first place, as a non-denominational, if you do not accept the authority of the historical Church?

"The historical Church" is not "the Roman Catholic Church". That's the whole point of the Great Schism and the Reformation.

Blogger KSC March 08, 2020 12:19 PM  

Here's what Aquinas on whether it was particularly fitting that the Son became incarnate. Note that by implication he accepts the possibility that the Father or the Spirit could also have become incarnate. I think his position is essentially correct.

https://biblehub.com/library/aquinas/summa_theologica/whether_it_was_more_fitting.htm

Blogger Stu mcg March 08, 2020 2:48 PM  

Are you asserting that man can kill God the son??????

Blogger Akulkis March 08, 2020 3:06 PM  

@ Newscaper312

So if these traditions predate the compilation of the New Testament, then why are there no scriptures even mentioning, let alone giving affirmative support to and for these traditions. If they are so important, WHY is there nothing written in the New Testament which, as you say, was compiled after these traditions were supposedly established if these traditions are so important. It would seem to me that there would be some letter or other N. T. document stating these traditions, if not flat out providing the basis for their establishment.

And of course, the words of Jesus himself demonstrate adherence to the written word of God himself ALWAYS takes precedence over traditions started and maintained by mere men.

To put traditions over God's word is inversion. Just like as in what Jesus called "the synagogue of Satan."

Blogger Richard Rahl March 08, 2020 3:37 PM  

Akulkis wrote:@ Newscaper312

So if these traditions predate the compilation of the New Testament, then why are there no scriptures even mentioning, let alone giving affirmative support to and for these traditions. If they are so important, WHY is there nothing written in the New Testament which, as you say, was compiled after these traditions were supposedly established if these traditions are so important. It would seem to me that there would be some letter or other N. T. document stating these traditions, if not flat out providing the basis for their establishment.

And of course, the words of Jesus himself demonstrate adherence to the written word of God himself ALWAYS takes precedence over traditions started and maintained by mere men.

To put traditions over God's word is inversion. Just like as in what Jesus called "the synagogue of Satan."


"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle." -2 Thes 2:15

Blogger Akulkis March 08, 2020 3:37 PM  

The first appearance of the Holy Ghost, might be in Exodus, being called "The Angel of Death." I could be wrong, perhaps it is just a servant angel. I don't recall any part of Exodudus stating that anybody observed this Angel, which makes it different from all of the other angels, and similar to the Holy Ghost.

Blogger Akulkis March 08, 2020 3:50 PM  

Alchemy was a search for knowledge, and a method to transform malleable, corrodable and poisonous lead into the malleable,
non-corrodable and far more useful, gold (with far more intrinsic value and usefulness) Even if gold was as common as beach sand, there would be high demand for it because it has so many desirable characteristics and properties.

Alchemy wasn't part of what we would call the occult today (e.g. necromancy, witchcraft, etc.) It took a long long time to suss out the relevant physics which today we call chemistry, because theechanisms of the operating principles are sovsmall as to invisible, or *hidden* (hence "occult" adj: hidden, verb: to hide)

Blogger Thomas A'Beckett March 08, 2020 3:59 PM  

Akulkis wrote:

And of course, the words of Jesus himself demonstrate adherence to the written word of God himself ALWAYS takes precedence over traditions started and maintained by mere men.

To put traditions over God's word is inversion. Just like as in what Jesus called "the synagogue of Satan."


This is all so tiresome. You need to go and look at how the New Testament was compiled. From your comment, you clearly know nothing about it.

What you are doing, and what almost all US protestants do, is making a fetish of the printed word. You are raising the printed word in your copy of the Bile above God and are therefore breaching the first commandment.

Secondly, you are assuming that you can interpret it better than anyone else. This is a) the sin of pride, b) the sin of presumption and c) another breach of the 1st commandment as you appear to think that you can know what God thinks.

Stop being such a sperg.

Blogger Akulkis March 08, 2020 4:21 PM  

Almost every western-world Protestant sect specifically cites some erroneous belief or doctrine of the Roman church as part of their story as to why they separated from the Roman church. Often more than one.

Blogger Akulkis March 08, 2020 4:31 PM  

I never once heard the term Sold Scripture or anything like it in any protestant church. It's a straw man of a nonexistent doctrine which the leadership of the Roman church uses as a contrast to justify heretical practices in the Roman church under the rubric of "tradirions" completely ignoring the words of Jesus himself regarding his ABSOLUTE contempt for traditions with no scriptural basis or foundation.

Are Cardinals a greater authority on Christian doctrine than Christ himself ?

Blogger James Lovebirch March 08, 2020 5:09 PM  

@90

I think Dan would agree with you there. He seems Orthodox, not Roman Catholic. The historical church is the other side of the schism.

@91

Aquinas was the theologian who fully developed the concept of Absolute Divine Simplicity, which the Roman Catholic Church (and not the Orthodox patriarchates) accepted as dogma. He would have to allow that it is not just the Son that could incarnate in order to be consistent with that; he has to reject the trinity altogether if God is one absolutely simple essence or being with no real distinctions within himself, and he'd even have to reject the concept of a personal God who exists separate from his creation if it's really carried through to the end. Or so I've seen it explained.

@92

The point I think he's making is that you aren't in some privileged position when you delude yourself that you're using only scripture. You're creating a new tradition of man (system of interpreting scripture) ad hoc, out of whole cloth, with no connection to Jesus's apostles, with no authority, expertise, credibility or promise from God. Your new system of interpretation is subject to your current worldview, which is conditioned by the world and your fallen nature, but then you act as if God is on your shoulder telling you these things, which is either delusional or dishonest and either way prideful.

And scripture doesn't exist apart from tradition. It's nonsensical that you appeal to it as the word of God while simultaneously believing that the men who allowed you to have it in the present were apostate.

The historical church, while a tradition maintained by men, maintains continuity in what they believe from when Jesus was on Earth teaching. It has always viewed itself as the flock and the rest of humanity as lambs lost in the wilderness, not without good reason.

Note for others, the church I'm referring to is not the present-day Roman one.

Blogger James Dixon March 08, 2020 5:56 PM  

> Secondly, you are assuming that you can interpret it better than anyone else.

And you accuse others of being a sperg.

Blogger Akulkis March 08, 2020 7:11 PM  

When those of the Roman church stop sperging about imaginary stuff that they, not Christ, (or even the apostles) made up, and get mad at everyone else for not going along with their made up bellshit, then I'll stop sperging about the truth of the matter. Until then, piss off.

Seriously, members of the Roman church CAUSE more of the disunity which they profess to abhor than any other sect in Christiandom.

Blogger Akulkis March 08, 2020 7:17 PM  

"What you are doing, and what almost all US protestants do, is making a fetish of the printed word."

Just like Jesus did, in answering so many challenges to his condemnations of the Pharisees and their traditions, by starting his replies, "Is it not WRITTEN..."

The written word doesn't change.

Traditions are constantly changed, often inadvertently, without anybody even noticing.

The tale of the who always cut the end off of an Easter ham because that's how her mother always did it.... and the husband asking his mother in law about it, who replies that the hams were always too large to fit into her small oven is a perfect example of how a tradition gets modified on the basis of some insignificant local adaptation, and the following generation thinking that the local adaptation is the One True Way(TM) to do it.

As I said above, Jesus REPEATEDLY condemned following traditions which DIRECTLY CONTRADICTED SCRIPTURES.

Again, since when are the Cardinals more authoritative on Christian doctrine than Christ himself or his hand-picked apostles?

Blogger Akulkis March 08, 2020 7:22 PM  

"
"Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle." -2 Thes 2:15"

"...by word or our epistle."

Two sides of the same coin of writing.

Again, why should I even consider a tradition which DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS THE WORD OF GOD?

Who started these traditions which you cling to like good luck charms, and praying to statues, and asking dead men to pray for you instead of praying to God yourselves?

With that kind of insanity, you have absolutely no room to criticize even whacked out sects like the Mormons.

Blogger Akulkis March 08, 2020 7:27 PM  

To clarify.

I have no problem with traditions, AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT CONTRADICT *GOD'S* *WORD*. Why do you INSIST on upholding traditions which DIRECTLY contradict God's Word?

Does the Lord's Prayer start out with "Oh, Moses, please ask God to intercede on our behalf?" or does it start with "Our father..." indicating a DIRECT APPEAL TO GOD HIMSELF, without any of this B.S. of praying to Mary or [Insert Name here], the Saint of [this group or that group] which is functionally no different than praying to different gods of the Roman Pantheon, each with his or her own distinct jurisdiction within the world.

There is absolutely NO ROOM in a sincere seeker of Christ for such blatant idolatry.

Blogger Akulkis March 08, 2020 7:29 PM  

"What you are doing, and what almost all US protestants do, is making a fetish of the printed word."

If the written word of God is so unimportant, then why was it even written and adopted into the Bible in the first place?

Seriously, talk about "picking and choosing" what parts of the Bible to believe and what to ignore and discard, when those of the Roman church point their fingers at Protestants for doing this, it is a MASSIVE case of projection.

Blogger Akulkis March 08, 2020 7:33 PM  

"
And scripture doesn't exist apart from tradition. It's nonsensical that you appeal to it as the word of God while simultaneously believing that the men who allowed you to have it in the present were apostate."

I'm not arguing that it does.

I'm saying that any tradition which DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS THE WRITTEN SCRIPTURES is blatant heresy.

"No, officer, I wasn't speeding, I was just travelling 30 miles over the speed limit, because that's how my family has done it for the last 15 generations" doesn't lessen the disregard for the law by even one iota.

And yes, the New Testament is a form of law... it's new set of laws to replace the law of Moses, which replaced the Noahide law, which replaced the Adamic law.

Blogger IrishFarmer March 08, 2020 7:42 PM  

You might have an interesting point if we didnt have 100+ years of trinitarian writings from the fathers, showing that it was already well established. If we didnt have the words of Our Lord Himself commanding us to baptise in the name of the Holy Spirit in the same breath as the Father and the Son. And if we didnt have the type throughout the Old Testament. "You send forth your spirit and they are created and you renew the face of the earth." For 2000 years Christians believed and confessed some form of the Trinitarian doctrine. We didnt discover something new 2000 years later. Heresy always has some appeal or it wouldnt work. I get it, but theres no evidence of a conspiracy to insert the Holy Spirit into the trinity against all scripture and tradition....if it did happen, it happened long before 329 in fact pretty much as far back as we are able to have any evidence at all.

Blogger Iamblichus March 09, 2020 3:08 AM  

Its like Trinitarians are reading a different book is seems clear only Yahweh/The Father is the uncreated creator. Trinity seems like neo-pagan subversion/sperging to me

Blogger Iamblichus March 09, 2020 7:42 AM  

The trinity causes all sorts of problems. Turns God into a mysterious schizophrenic. I dunno how anyone can read Jesus as saying he is the same level of the father

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 09, 2020 8:27 AM  

Thomas A'Beckett wrote:What you are doing, and what almost all US protestants do ...
I do not call myself a Protestant. I don't Protest Rome. Rome ain't nothin' but a thang.

Blogger John Regan March 09, 2020 8:55 AM  

It would be important in any discussion of the Trinity to note the intellectual atmosphere of antiquity. This is not just a conflict or contrast between Christian scripture and Christian tradition.

More or less beginning with Xenophanes and Parmenides about the 5th century BC, the Greek intellectual world embraced monotheism and rejected - even ridiculed - polytheism. This was consistent with the Hebrew religion, that also held polytheism in contempt.

So the Christian religion, or at least the more intellectual among its adherents, was anxious to not be seen as regressing into polytheism, and the doctrine of the Trinity addressed this concern.

Controversy has always followed the idea. The "filioque" issue ultimately led to the great schism after a thousand years.

There is some scriptural support for the Trinity idea, but it's not definitive and the RC Church characterizes it as a "mystery" because it doesn't make any sense, really. That's one reason it's not clear to me that a variant or deviant understanding of it would automatically make someone a heretic from the RC point of view.

Blogger Ransom Smith March 09, 2020 9:00 AM  

You might have an interesting point if we didnt have 100+ years of trinitarian writings from the fathers, showing that it was already well established.
That means nothing if the scripture itself doesn't concur.
we didnt have the words of Our Lord Himself commanding us to baptise in the name of the Holy Spirit
Re read the verses, since the words are actually "God's Holy Spirit". Meaning God himself living within us. Not a separate entity.
Study the Greek.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 09, 2020 9:08 AM  

Iamblichus wrote:I dunno how anyone can read Jesus as saying he is the same level of the father
I don't know how anyone can read the first chapter of John's Gospel and come to any other conclusion.

During His incarnation, Jesus the man chose to give up equality with God, and to carry out God's will rather than His own. He chose not to know things like the time of His return. Is that equal?

During creation, the Son was with the Father and nothing was created without Him. Is that equal?

If equality meant identity, we wouldn't have a Trinity. I have always figured that there are three ways we can experience one God, and Trinity is a way for us to work with that.

Salvation comes from believing* Jesus, not from understanding the Trinity.

*Notice I didn't say ``believing in.''

Blogger James Dixon March 09, 2020 10:04 AM  

> *Notice I didn't say ``believing in.''

You didn't, but John himself did: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Blogger IrishFarmer March 09, 2020 10:56 AM  

Even your interpetation isnt functionally different than mine. If the Holy Spirit is the same as The Father then why mention it? Why did all of the earliest Christians all make the same distinction. I cant offer 100% proof that will convince any skeptic, I can only show the overwhelming evidence in favor and point out the almost zero evidence against it and hope that persuades.

Blogger Silly but True March 09, 2020 12:40 PM  

This thread has caused me to revise my prior level of tolerance for violent resolution between the sects.

Let us have the Orthodox Church of Our Lord Slayer of Heretics, and the Reformed Church of Our Lord Slayer of Heretics -- which churches, naturally, consider each other heresies — slay all the heretics.

Then whomever is left standing must therefore not be heretical.

Blogger JV March 09, 2020 1:28 PM  

I wrote those e-mails to Vox. His argument flew over my head the first time I encountered it and only later I realized he has a point. The Trinity of God is one of the first things I understood about God, so I have ever since I gave my life to Jesus Christ been confident of the truth of the matter. I'll just share here now what I have come to believe about The Trinity of God afer prayer and studying The Bible and researching various teachings on it. I ask you to test everything for yourself through prayer and studying The Bible.

Afaik there are two widely accepted traditional interpretations about The Trinity, the catholic one and the popular protestant one which is very similar to the catholic one. Look them up if you're not familiar with them.

"Matthew 24:36 King James Version (KJV)
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

"John 1:1 King James Version (KJV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

"John 10:29-30 King James Version (KJV)
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one."

"1 Corinthians 11:3 King James Version (KJV)
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."

"John 16:13-15 King James Version (KJV)
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you."

These verses alone present contradictions if I subscribe to either of the traditional views. I do believe Jesus Christ, The Son of God is God like John 1:1 reveals, He is also Almighty, but not in relation to The Father. Through these verses I can see the Trinity of God, but a hierarchical one. God The Father is greater than all, Jesus Christ, The Son of God is subservient to Him and The Holy Spirit is subservient to The Father and to The Son. This doesn't mean Jesus or The Holy Spirit are any less God than God The Father. I believe there is no such thing as part God or half God, so they must all be God and one God like revealed in John 10:30. The Trinity is eternal, The Father did not give "birth" to The Son , Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. The way I understood this hierarchy of God is really through 1 Cor. 11:3. I think of man and wife, the man is the head of the wife and the wife is subservient to the man. Both are still equally human. I believe in The Trinity of God, now more than ever, but I also believe God has a hierarchy, He is The God of order after all. All glory to God!

Of course we see "like through a glass, darkly" but I also believe there are things we can learn about God and God wants us to get to know Him. So I encourage anyone who is interested in this to pray and to study the subject. I write this as a simple servant of Jesus Christ and pray that anything that might have been from me might go away and that which was from God might stay and do work. Be blessed.

Blogger James Lovebirch March 09, 2020 5:10 PM  

Anybody who doubts the trinity should look into how the Orthodox formulate it. It's very different from the west because the West accepted Thomism and rejected the essence-energy distinction, and these two facts confound them when it comes to giving a coherent account of the trinity.

The West is also stuck thinking in a paradigm they received from the Greek philosophers. In order to understand the Orthodox perspective, you'll have to learn their different paradigm.

“The root of all heresies is the failure to distinguish nature and Person.” -St. John of Damascus

I haven't done a deepdive into what Vox believes to see if he has a different take, but Arianism either makes Jesus a creature (who therefore can not be worshipped, which is contradicted by the Bible) or turns Christianity into polytheism. Thomism turns God into a monistic one like in hinduism. That's at a deep level of study of the implications of the positions, and people who defend those positions won't always readily accept the implications.

Blogger Timitz March 09, 2020 5:54 PM  

What strikes me about all the people attacking Newton's position because of his alchemy, occult dabbling, gnosticism/atheism/dislike of Christianity are literally ad hominem'ing the argument instead of attacking it. It makes me think they don't understand the argument, but still want to disagree.

Blogger Akulkis March 09, 2020 10:01 PM  

@115

>> *Notice I didn't say ``believing in.''

> You didn't, but John himself did: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."


Be VERY careful about using a preposition as the basis of an argument about the meaning of ANY ancient writings.

For example, I dare you to make ANY sense of the correspondence between English prepositions and Russian Prepositions. And this is despite the fact that in the two languages, many overloaded words (same word, two completely different meanings) have the same overloadings (i.e. the words, one in English, one in Russian, will translate between each other not just for one concept but for ALL uses of either word.

An example is English "Cancer" and Russian "Рак" (pronounced "rahk").

Cancer refers to the tumorous disease and is an alternate word for a crab.

Рак refers to the tumorous disease and is also the word for crab.

There are many others, but that's the first one that comes to my mind at the moment.

In contrast, as regards to explaining Russian prepositions in English, feast your eyes on this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_grammar

Notice that verbs (Section 5) are covered in depth, with 25 subsections, including topics which don't even have an English equivalent (Imperfective vs Perfective. Verbs of Motion as distinct from all other verbs).

Now notice that there isn't even a single paragraph on Russian prepositions, because even I, a relative novice at the language, could easily write a 50-page book on that area of Russian grammar, and still not come anywhere close to doing the subject any justice.

And while Russian grammar is closer to Greek grammar than to English grammar, Ancient Greek grammar is even farther away from English grammar.


A) I put the pan /on/ the stove.
B) John lives /on/ Maple Street.
C) The hotel is /on/ the sea.
D) I turned the light /on/.

In Russian, despite having GREAT parallels in overloadings of meanings in nouns and verbs, there are no parallels to the overloading of meanings in prepositions. (Therefore, translating a Russian joke into English which relies on multiple meanings of a preposition will be difficult to impossible, and vice-versa. For example, "3 men are walking down the street and /turn into/ a bar." Will not translate into Russian, as the Russian for "the motion of "turn into" is completely different from the "turn into" as in "A turned into B" meaning "A transformed to become B."

A) I put the pan /on/ the stove.
Translates as I put the pan "на" (na) the stove.

This uses a preposition "на" (na), which we would consider the primary meaning of "on" -- "resting upon"


B) John lives /on/ Maple Street.

Would be properly translated into Russian as this "John lives "рядом с" (ryadom s): /next to, beside, by/ Maple Street. Note that both "рядом" "с" are also standalone prepositions
рядом - prep "next/alongside"; adv "next, beside, nearby, alongside, by, side by side, next door, next door to, adjacently, abreast"

с - "with/from/in/since/against/off/per/after/con/cum/ex/withal/around/syne"

C) The hotel is /on/ the sea.
Would be properly translated into Russian as this: The hotel is "у" (oo) "in/at/near/among/by/on" the sea.
Alternatively:
The hotel is "об" (ob) "about/on/of/upon/against/around" the sea.

D) I turned the light /on/.
Here, "on" isn't even a preposition, it's an adjective.

Another example:

E) John went into the house.

John went "в" ("v") /into/ the house.

But:
F) 7 divided into 21 is 3
is 7 divided на ("na") 21 - 3.

Notice here we see на, the exact same preposition used in example (A), where на was used in place of English "on"

1/2

Blogger Akulkis March 09, 2020 10:02 PM  

2/2
Translation of prepositions between vastly languages is often quite tricky and error prone. And some languages didn't even HAVE prepositions until the modern era, which would include Hebrew, Aramaic, and the Greek language as it existed when the books of the New Testament were written.

If there are any significant errors in English translations of the Bible, they will involve inserting either the wrong preposition, or inserting a preposition which was never meant to be there in the first place.

Dollars to donuts, in the verse you quoted, the word "in" was inserted by translators based on zero evidence, as at that time, Greek didn't even have a case system to IMPLY a preposition or to indicate preposition is intended.

Therefore, let's look at how that verse reads WITHOUT the word "in" inserted by the translators:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth ** him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Now, if you believe Jesus -- everything he said -- to be the truth, and acted on it, would you perish or not? Would you have everlasting life or not?

I'm not saying that I know the answer to that question, but I can tell you that the original scripture does not say "believe in Him" because neither ancient Greek nor Aramaic had any equivalent word for "in." At best, there could be a hint. And I do mean merely a hint, and not a blatant, indisputable indicator that the correct preposition is "in" and no possible other English preposition.

This could be, yet again, one of those "traditions" without any true foundation, but this time, invented by some translator between then and now.

John 3:16
*American Standard Version
...that whosoever believeth on him should not perish...
*Amplified Bible
For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
Complete Jewish Bible
For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.
(Note: Jewish converts to Christianity often refer to themselves as "Completed Jews").
*Contemporary English Version
God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.
*Darby Translation
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but have life eternal.
The Message (a recent translation, finished in 1993)

Note that the translators not only can't agree on which preposition to use, they can't even agree on which VERB to use, which is a FAR easier task.

Blogger Didas Kalos March 09, 2020 11:03 PM  

Actually the translators agreed on "in" here. But (at risk of being thought to make light of the Word) you stain. At a gnat.
Romans 10:17, and if you have a real bible, Acts 8:37. Acts 2:38 says neither.
But Jesus did say "in"

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 10, 2020 9:03 AM  

The interlinear I checked after reading @115 does have a preposition in the Greek. The preposition is translated as ``in.'' Yes, Jesus says believe in.

I was focusing on that passage in James where he tells us that the devil believes. That tells us there will be at least one believer in hell, although that is obviously a special case.

Blogger Akulkis March 10, 2020 10:08 AM  

"Actually the translators agreed on "in" here. "

I just showed you that no, there is NOT agreement on the word "in".

*Darby Translation
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but have life eternal.
The Message (a recent translation, finished in 1993)

And that's not the only translation which puts the word "on" there. And also, as I said, there is disagreement as to use the verb "believe" or "trust" or "have faith" or even "believe and trust"

Did you even bother to read the examples I included at the end?

Translation is NOT easy. Especially when you're dealing with languages which are either no longer spoken (Aramaic) or which have changed drastically since the documents were written out (Hebrew and Greek).

I could have just said, "Translation is difficult" and left it at that. But, I backed up that assertion by doing about an hour's worth of work to DEMONSTRATE exactly how and why that is so, because many Americans don't have any exposure to foreign languages other than German and the Romance languages (French, Spanish and Italian), all of which have prepositions very similar to English (because modern English is derived primarily from German and French.

Blogger KSC March 10, 2020 10:32 AM  

Here's an interesting article on whether Newton was an Arian.

https://www.sfu.ca/~poitras/Arian_newton.pdf

Blogger WillBound March 10, 2020 11:12 AM  

@122. Akulkis. Very impressive scholarship, apart from the fact that the Greek of John 3:16 says πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν, which includes the preposition "εἰς".

And btw the "on" in "I turned the light on" isn't an adjective. It's a particle.

Blogger Silly but True March 10, 2020 12:15 PM  

The root problem in all of this was that Arius was a sperg, but more fundamentally, Christian leadership of his time allowed Amazight — essentially Moorish — theological fancies to drive church doctrine.

Blogger Akulkis March 10, 2020 12:36 PM  

For those who found the original Greek texts -- thanks for updating my knowledge.

--

"On" / "Off"

These two words DESCRIBE the possible states of the light.
Therefore adjective.

Particles don't describe things, they tend to specify something. Examples: "The" and "a".

Blogger Akulkis March 10, 2020 12:45 PM  

@124

"I was focusing on that passage in James where he tells us that the devil believes. That tells us there will be at least one believer in hell, although that is obviously a special case."

So, Satan, who believes in God, has to spend eternity with pagans and as a special bonus, every single spergy gamma atheist ever. That would certainly put him in a foul mood.

Satan: "I, and 1/3 of all the other angels, took on God and we captured the Earth AND all of this!"

Atheist: No, ya didn't!

Satan: Just for that, I'm making the diarrhea layer in the "stand on your head room" two feet deeper.

Blogger Didas Kalos March 10, 2020 9:37 PM  

@Akulkis. Re-read what I wrote and put your thinking cap on. If you think hard enough it will dawn on you that I am correct.

Blogger Akulkis March 11, 2020 6:07 AM  

@Didas Kalos

You can't study multiple, widely differing foreign languages as I have without being FORCED to become well educated in the subject of grammar -- because the subject of grammar is the set of concepts used to talk ABOUT language.

When you study a foreign language as a deliberate, organized task (as opposed to say, picking it up "naturally" through casual exposure to it by, say, growing up in one of the areas in Switzerland between 2 of the zones of French/German/Italian speakers) you have no choice but to learn not only the grammar of your target language, but ALSO your own language.

I studied Spanish through formal education for 3 1/2 years. I've studied Russian on my own for about 15 years and counting. These two languages have substantially different grammars.


"On" and "off", when used in the context of the "on and off" control switch positions are descriptive. If you replaced the switch with a dial, it would be Off, various proportional power levels, and full, or maximum. Those latter two could not possibly be particles -- they are descriptive. By generalization of the situation, "On" and "off" or likewise descriptive. Anything descriptive is either an adjective (if it describes a noun), or and adverb (if it describes a verb or another adjective -- eg "greenish" in the term |greenish blue" -- "greenish" is describing/modifying "blue".

Most every language has the major categories of verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, pronouns.

A particle is any word which doesn't fit into, or isn't being used as any of the those types listed above.

Trust me -- I learned Russian mostly from cold, analytical books, not conversationally, augmented by a substantially smaller amount of recorded material to learn proper pronounciation, and to get some practice hearing the language spoken at normal conversational rates. By that method, I learned the language well enough to go to Russia for several weeks, and survive on my own without the use of an interpreter, or even a "phrase book."

If you can show me how "Turned the light from off to on" is grammatically different from "The light turned from red to green", then I'm willing to entertain your idea that "Turned the light on" uses 'on' as a particle, not an adjective.

I've laid out my argument for it being an adjective.

"If you think about it" is not an argument, just th preface for a bald assertion.

I invite your to back up your assertion with a logical argument. In the end, one or even both of us will end up a better understanding or English grammar.

Blogger Dad29 March 12, 2020 11:56 AM  

Probably useful for you to take a look at the history of the Apostles' Creed--which DOES include the Holy Ghost.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01629a.htm

Blogger James Jameson March 16, 2020 12:36 PM  

The scribes didn't argue over the divine nature of the Holy Spirit, they called it a devil. That's the blasphemy. They saw the Son of God working miracles through the Holy Spirit and called it a demon.

22 "And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils."

28-29 *unforgivable sin*

30 "Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit."

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