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For Great Fiction: Trinitarian Monotheism

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Godspell, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. For Great Fiction, or anyone else who is a non-trinitarian Christian, please discuss the views about the nature of God here.

    For me, the newest way I've come to understand Trinitarian montheism is three books, translated in different languages, that nevertheless say the same thing.
  2. Do you not believe in three manifestations of God?
  3. I believe in the triunity of Father, Son and Spirit. I don't adhere to the doctrine of modalism or oneness. I don't know if that's what you were asking (or if your question was even directed at me).
  4. Yes, you're the only one on this thread. :) Thanks for answering. It only serves to help me understand your premise.
  5. To be sure I thought you might be talking to Great Fiction.
  6. I mentioned this on the other thread but will repeat it for those on this thread.

    I am a Monotheistic Trinitarian

    I think your analogy regarding three books is insightful

    I would say in the past that I believe the God-head is three "Persons." I no longer term the God-head using "Persons" and now use the word "Distinctions," since the word "Persons" is a human concept here in the natural. The three "Distinctions" however are Supreme beings acting as a single unit. Yet this is simply what I embrace
  7. Abdicate, do you believe in three manifestations?

    If so do you also believe that constitutes in description the "oneness doctrine?"
  8. I believe the word of God. I chose "manifestations" (An indication of the existence, reality, or presence of something) as the word because it seems everyone is hung up on lables.

    The word of God says (exact phrases):
    • Spirit of the Lord - 31 verses (Spirit of God - 26 verses)
    • Son of God - 47 verses
    • God the Father - 13 verses
    Oneness... again, I can only go by what the word of God says:

    John 10:30 KJV I and [my] Father are one.

    John 17:21 KJV That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

    There are 7 verses with the exact phrase "One God". Then there's this verse which keeps the Jews from believing in Jesus:

    Deu 6:4 KJV Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:

    Bear with me and so let me just say this. Since God is, wouldn't it be correct to state that anything from God is God? Can God reside in a house? What about His name? That's what He told Solomon. We think it a figure of speech, but what if it's a reality?

    1Ki 8:29 KJV - 29 That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, [even] toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.

    God spoke everything in to existance and the Word became Flesh. Everything that was made was made by the Word, JOhn 1:1-3. And the Word is all and in all, Col 3:11.

    So how can this verse be true if Jesus and the Father are One "Being" (His name in Hebrew literally - "I exist)"?

    Mat 27:46 KJV - 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

    So this leads back to man. What is it that "I am"? I HAVE a spirit. I HAVE a body (dust). I HAVE a soul.

    Ecc 12:7 KJV Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

    The key is this verse. It speaks of the body (dust) and the spirit (life) returning to their origins, but what of the soul, the entity that is made from the combination of the two, Gen 2:7? Heaven or Hell - it is eternal too.

    I am one person, but I have three manifestations. I don't think I could have written a shorter answer. :)
  9. I've gotten into this with some people on another forum too. I've been tempted to use the triunion of body, soul and spirit as an analogy to God also, but I don't think it matches the doctrine itself. In the complete doctrine each person in the Trinity is completely one God, and together they are also completely one God.

    That's why I've gone to the analogy of three books. Each is the same but each is different also.
  10. I'm sorry if I misrepresented you beliefs, Great Fiction. I wasn't sure if Seventh day Adventists were Unitarian or not.
  11. Trinitarian monotheist confuses the order and is a type of unintentional heresy...the Bible teaches there is only one God, YHVH...

    YHVH is the Father, YHVH is the Word/Son, and YHVH is the Holy Spirit but there are not three YHVH's...as God He is one and only one, as the Father He is not the Son nor the Spirit, as the Word/Son He is not the Father or the Spirit, and as the Spirit He is neither the Father or the Son...

    Subject/object dialogues in the Scriptures and their difference demonstrate this...for example only the Father knows the day and hour of Messiahs (the Word's of Son's) return, only the Son suffered the Cross, only the Spirit convicts us of sin...(a bit simplified but you get the idea)

    The order (and we get this view more clear in the Athanasian Creed) is the One as three and the three in unity, not the other way around. Semantics? I say not at all...a very important distinction that leads to a form of tri-theism....in the Greek we understand God as one Ousia in three Hypostases...in the Latin, one God in three personae, in the Hebrew the yachid (numerically one) God is echad (a unity)

    The disciples were illiminated to the fact that the one God (montheism) had revealed Himself in three distinct persons (the tri-unity)...so IMHO Monotheistic Trinitarianism is how we should have been taught, not triniteraian monotheism (a three headed god or a corporation)....I AM YHVH and there is NONE else....

    Only consistent singular personal pronouns even when associated with His plurality...when you pray do you imagine a threeness or one God...

    Think about this because it is NOT modalism (now disguised by the name oneness which makes "Jesus" not the Word/Son who became incarnate as the man Jesus, but actually the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit)
  12. I once communicated with a person who would in every answer provide scripture. That person was then criticised by others who said, "Why don't you speak for yourself regarding what these scriptures mean?" The person responded, "I prefer to always remain correct, as who can argue with the Word of God?"

    I only asked because the terminology is synonymous with Oneness Pentecostal preaching that support a oneness doctrine. A lot of my family relatives are Oneness Pentecostal. I was just curious.

    I appreciate your scriptural approach to argument
  13. It is no problem Godspell, I find your method of thought interesting. I appreciate your kind consideration.

    I am a member of a Non-Denominational Church, but I was raised Oneness Pentecostal. My father was a Pentecostal preacher.
  14. So GF what do you think about this statement of Athanasius who defended orthodoxy against the Arians?

    That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity...Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

    The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

    As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

    So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

    So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

    So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

    One God in three persons and the three in unity...how one could confuse this with modalism is in itself confusing....
  15. I agree with your premise regarding the grammatical order for “Monotheistic Trinitarianism.” Your attention to detail is threaded.
  16. I'm not savvy on "religious" terminology, so when I'm asked to explain "my" beliefs, I can only give them the word of God as I understand them in relation to other verses. Communication is based on a common language and if we can't agree on the word of God then what can be agreed upon seeing how the word of God is the foundation of our understanding of God and things spiritual. Even then I still have to pull up a dictionary. I've become so untrusting of what I've been taught I installed an app in Chrome where I can double click on any word and the dictionary definition pops up. I've discovered massive amount of deception in the church this way. I also find that people want you to use specific terminology so they can quickly, and usually inaccurately, judge you, not really seeking the truth. Most people come on here to show their prowess and yet they themselves know nothing, only regurgitating what others have said. No heart knowledge, only head knowledge, which is really useless because it doesn't affect society in a positive way. Ok... now I'm rambling... Forgive me @Great Fiction, I usually have a very hard time understanding you. I read and reread what you write, but it just escapes me, so forgive my ignorance if I don't respond properly or positively. :speechless:
  17. Ah. I personally don't think oneness is that unorthodox, although it is contrary to orthodoxy. Mostly I just think churches are upset that they would adopt a theology that has already been denounced as unorthodox.
  18. I would like to respond to both of your postings here in more detail - my apologies for a slow response

    Here is my view of the Athanasian Creed and Trinitarianism

    I am not rigid to every word in the Athanasian creed, though I do agree with the “strategic Trinitarian premise” that the creed communicates. As a Monotheist, and also acknowledging that “God is in three persons/distinctions, which constitutes the Trinity,” I am also sympathetic to possible “roles of authority” that may exist “internally” within the God-head. Technically this is a form of “Relational-Subordinate-Trinitarianism” but not to be confused with “Arian-subordinationism.”

    Meaning that Relational-Subordinate-Trinitarianism can support possibilities that “lessor rank regarding roles and authority can exist in the God-head” but does not support “that the essence of Christ or the Holy Spirit is inferior or different than God.” For Christ is in my opinion of the "same essence as God being co-equal in harmony with the creed," but the Relational-Subordinate-Trinitarian view can also embrace that “Christ's role/rank can be subordinate to the Father.” For example; Christ does not know the day nor hour of His own return but the Father does. Thus the Father is in a different role than Christ.

    The creeds from the third and forth century are unable to ponder in fullness the very origins/or eternal existence of God or even the eternal qualities of the God-head to its complete fullness. For no man, save Christ, has eternal recollection, and thus limited man can only build a limited hermeneutic based on scripture given. Thus I cannot endorse the Catholic creeds as scripture, but will resonate with the general premise (most revisions) of several creeds coming from the ecumenical councils. (thus Athanasian to our focus).

    May I contribute to “what is Modalism, Sebellianism, and Oneness,” for they all have differentiating attributes culminating into several variants.

    I am not quick to assign heresy regarding all variants of the Oneness tradition, even though I am a devout believer in Monotheistic Trinitarianism.

    Can we agree that Modalism, Sebellianism and the Modern Oneness doctrine all vary in the Monarchian tradition regarding manifestation and/or modes? For if we as the body can agree to recognize the differences of these variants, then most “Oneness vs. Trinitarian” discussions can avoid the pitfalls of convolution and unnecessary marginalization. For Modalism is in my opinion as misunderstood as Trinitarianism is to many. Yet I do not cast at you any incompetence my brother, as your breakdown was highly detailed; also bringing clarity.

    Can modalism also like Trinitarianism experience doctrinal change through time? Also creating its variants to configurable heresies and celestial considerations to ponder? For some variants would manipulate Christ to be just a mere man, and another to render Christ into a single-cell organism that would mutate like a shape-shifter transfiguring away from His former self. Yet some would ponder the very same-substance attributes of God's essence (homoousios- same substance) that the Trinitarians would later adopt to construct the Trinity from their Oneness opponents. For the Trinitarian then from others would “rationalize” that the trinity is based upon a single “essence” that can exist in three persons at the same time.

    Thus also let us agree that Oneness theology was preceded only by the Apostolic church itself and that those who were the first Trinitarians benefited from many teachings that were earlier in error regarding Monarchian ideologies. Let us also ponder that Trinitarianism is also in high debate regarding “inter-relationships to this very day,” thus the increase of knowledge is still in motion.

    Modalistic Evolution – I am slow to respond to your last post due to further study to build this chronological evolution with as much accuracy as possible. Please know that some of these variants will “premise” modalism rather than being modalistic itself.
    • Dynamic Monarchianism or Adoptionism – This is not technically Modalism and is simply Monarchianism alone; thus its title reflects. However it did provide foundation for Modalism. This view would “adopt” Christ into the God-head after Christ proved Himself or was approved by God. It would in simplicity “support for a manifestation to occur” in Christ at some point. Thus the manifestation in Christ to change Him to God would offer the first ideology that a Mode could quasi-exist.

    • Modalistic Monarchianism - (from Noetus of Smyrna) - Stating that the Father and Christ are the same person “one” but two different modes of God. I see this variant the first true Modalism documented.

    • Sebellianism/ Modalistic Monadism – ( from Sebellius) – The father of what I call “Monadistic transfigured succession.” There were many who preached against Sebellius for believing that God the Father in the old testament was the first manifestation/mode, the Son was the second/mode, and then the HolySpirit was the last mode, as God would “change His own form in a successive order like an single organism. The transfigurations are chronological (same substance – homoousios, but also Monadistic), while shape-shifting forward to each manifestation. They would not be simultaneous existences but Monadistic (simple substance which cannot be divided into parts).

    • Arian Subordinationism – This is also not technically Modalism but was indirectly in support to Modalism being Monarchianistic.”(from Arius) (Arianism) – That Christ is subordinate “not eternal,” “not equal,” nor “devine.” Arian-Subordinationism reduces Christ to an inferior status.”

    • Modern Oneness Theology – States that “modes” can be “simultaneous manifestations,” and are not restrained to chronological or successive sequence. Meaning that God will manifest Himself at will, in many ways at will, and anywhere at will, but also can be "simultaneous." Thus He is not limited to single-manifestations but is omni-present.
    I find the most dangerous version of these variants to be “Sebellianism” since it is “Monadistic,” which then could give credence to modern versions of “Godless Dialectical Materialism, and Scientific Communism.” For wretched “Godless Materialism” is only one step away from the Monadistic philosophy.

    However to your statement regarding confusion of Modalism and the Trinity. Modalism from Sebellius can “terminologically or grammatically” claim to be trinitarian because “trine” or “three” forms are claimed as deity in each of their transfigured manifested states through time. Yet all of the other variants of Modalism cannot adhere to the “trine” composite that is Trinitarianism even in the grammatical sense due to the fact that “Non-transitional Monarchianism is embraced.” However it is only in the “grammatical sense” that the claim can be made with Sebellianism, as the Trinitarian hermeneutic condemns Sebellius-teaching at every turn through early church history and even till this day.

    Most often its been my experience that the modern Oneness believer will condemn the non-simultaneousness position from Sabellius, and will often embrace that God is an “omnipresent-unlimited-multi-manifestion-capable-entity” which would say that the Christ-manifestations can exist at the same time that the Father-manifestations and the Holy Spirit-manifestations exist. Thus to most modern Oneness believers simultaneous manifestations may appear at His will as He desires. Sebellianistic Modalism does not support this.

    Thus with all that said, I would argue first that there are differences in “Modalistic and Oneness” belief systems. For I have witnessed many Trinitarians to accuse a Oneness believer of being Monadistic, when they in contrast have a very complex and different embrace of the "essence" of God. Also the accusations occur opposite as I have seen Oneness believers accuse Monotheistic-Trinitarians of being Trintitarian-Monotheists (or put differently as you proposed earlier as being Tritheistic).
  19. Abdicate we are all different and your presence on this forum is incredible. A true blessing to my life. Please let me confirm from my own small perspective that you reach many in your own writing style. I do apologize for my disposition to get too wordy.

    Also I do believe that your warnings regarding twisted terminology is constitutive unto sound discernment
    Abdicate likes this.
  20. It is contrary for sure

    I do not know about dispositions of others, but I will admit that researching and discovering early church history to intricacy was an impact to how I rationalized denominational lines in these modern times.

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