Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Trinity Doctrine: Catholic Encyclopedia

The evidence from the Gospels culminates in the baptismal commission of Matthew 28:20. It is manifest from the narratives of the Evangelists that Christ only made the great truth known to the Twelve step by step.

First He taught them to recognize in Himself the Eternal Son of God. When His ministry was drawing to a close, He promised that the Father would send another Divine Person, the Holy Spirit, in His place. Finally after His resurrection, He revealed the doctrine in explicit terms, bidding them "go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:18). The force of this passage is decisive. That "the Father" and "the Son" are distinct Persons follows from the terms themselves, which are mutually exclusive. The mention of the Holy Spirit in the same series, the names being connected one with the other by the conjunctions "and . . . and" is evidence that we have here a Third Person co-ordinate with the Father and the Son, and excludes altogether the supposition that the Apostles understood the Holy Spirit not as a distinct Person, but as God viewed in His action on creatures.

See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15047a.htm

12 comments:

Philip Fletcher said...

Another strange explanation of what they believe the Trinity to be. Still the scripture never says the 3 are 1. Furthermore if what they say about be revealed at the time of the apostle being there with him. Then there is no new Revelation as stated by some theologians in the 4th Century.

Anonymous said...

The dogma-dancers have often demonstrated lacunae in their ability to think critically, and to adequately contemplate the questions that challenge them.

~Kas

Edgar Foster said...

One of my students asked: if Jesus is God, then why did he implore the Father to forgive his executioners/enemies? Couldn't Jesus as God forgive them himself?

I told the student that he posed a good question, and if he could wait a few weeks, I would like him to ask the question again in class. Of course, you can probably guess how most Trinitarians would answer his question, even though I've admittedly come across numerous attempts to address this query in the scholarly literature. In other words, no unanimous consent on how to answer questions of this nature.

Anonymous said...

Your student asks a good question, Edgar.

Predictably, when Jesus does what only God is assumed to be able to do, he this is evidence that he is God. Yet when Jesus doesn't do what God can do and in fact has to appeal to God to do it, this isn't evidence that he's not God.

Trinitarianism appears to be non-falsifiable.

~Kas

Philip Fletcher said...

Not only do they appear non-falsifiable, the question the writing of the bible as authentic.

Edgar Foster said...

No argument from me there, Kas. Thoughts of Karl Popper spring to mind. :)

Edgar Foster said...

Philip, Kas hit the nail on the head. Trinitarianism often seems to be heads I win, tails you lose.

Philip Fletcher said...

They seem to think that the 4th century teaching is a Revelational update of th e 1st century teaching and so it is the correct belief. God revealed the revelation to the 4th century "christians" it is the most correct belief.

Anonymous said...

I have no way of proving this, but I think that a healthy dose of good old-fashioned fear and/or disbelief causes many to cling to the orthodox doctrine. People simply can't bring themselves to grant that something that huge, that important, could have gone so wrong, with the result that the historic Church has been in the dark about who/what God is since shortly after the Apostles died. That's just too uncomfortable to contemplate, and they have the "security" of the majority on their side along with a sort of self-justifying institutional apparatus to help them massage away any cognitive dissonance they may experience.

Anonymous said...

BTW, that last post about cognitive dissonance was from Kas. I forgot to sign my name.

~Kas

Matt13weedhacker said...

Philip Fletcher said: "They seem to think that the 4th century teaching is a Revelational update of the 1st century teaching and so it is the correct belief. God revealed the revelation to the 4th century "Christians" it is the most correct belief."

Philip, you hit on something there.

Montantism (2nd-3rd century C.E.) believed and taught exactly that. That the "prophecies" of Montanus, Maximilla and Priscilla were in fact "revelational updates" to what Jesus and the Apostles taught. And guess who wrote on behalf of the the Montantitsts? Was one of their champions?

Tertullian!

Yeah, that's right, the inventor of the word and concept of: "Trinity".

And Tertullian (and his disciple Cyprian) had a huge influence on many of the key players in the Nicene, and Post-Nicene "development" (wink wink) of the co-equalization + joint-substance concept/theories. Some who promoted joint substance theories Post-Nicea were actually labelled "Montantists" because of this. See Book 1, Chapter 23:57-58, Eccl. Hist. by Socrates Scholasticus and Chapter 28, Sozomen's Eccl. Hist, for proof.

So this heresy (Montantism) played a definite role in the rise of this Same-Identity Heresy (the Tri{3}nity).

Modalism was the big driver in all this though. From Modalism, Tri{3}nity was begotten/born. From Tertullian, and Sabellius, and Paul of Samosata (all three heretics) was same-substance-itarianism born/begotten. Though the Gnostic's used the same substance language earlier, and probably (most likely) influenced the early Modalists to some degree.

Tertullian as a Montantist, certainly believed that it was open season on the interpretation of Scripture via the "New Prophecy", and felt compelled, and at liberty to expound this concept to the "Church" (i.e. non-Montantists Christians), and give his own unique explanations on these "New" revelational updates on the nature and existence of God, His Son, and His spirit.

Philip Fletcher said...

Agree. But what I don't get, is why they fuss about scriptures like John 1:1 and 8:58, Hebrew 1:8, at best they could prove a duality. As I like to say for them 1+1 is 3, true there are a few instances where all three are mentioned but never as one.