View Full Version : Andy: Can you Chime in on This?
01-12-2007, 11:24 PM
Hey all. Glad to be back after a long break.
I've been wading through more theological...er...sewage and am, once again, just stumped. Who knew there could be so darn many views of God???
Check this out: www.remnantfellowship.com/RFQuestionsNAnswers.asp
Note: Reading all of this will take awhile.
Looks like WHACKY doctrine to me but then I started asking myself, "Where DOES it say in the Bible that Jesus is part of a trinity?"
The closest I could come was Jesus saying that He and the Father are 1.
Okay, it's late and there may be much more that I actually know than I can remember right now.
Andy, I KNOW you can help me on this one. You are well versed on early church history so maybe you can help clarify the whole issue.
Anyone who's theologically savvy can help as well!
01-13-2007, 10:07 AM
Cathy, there are two subjects in your thread, really.
(Before I continue, could I invite you to expound on your last post in The Gay Agenda? It created quite the stir, and I think would be helpful. It's up to you, of course.)
The first is the existence of "whacky" theologies. Oh yeah, they abound.
There are also a plethora of "remnant" theologies - some of these are considered "cults", in the negative sense that exists today, and others are considered churches. "Cult", however, from the latin cultus, means veneration or worship. Christianity is, and always has been, a cult by definition. The negative sense of cult has developed from the oftimes unusual object of veneration.
In the case you cited, we can see a veneration or worship based on a Christian weight loss program published (I believe) in the mid 90's, the "Weigh Down" program. As a result of the popularity of the program, the author and other significant players seemed to have become aware of certain "biblical truths" into which they alone have insight. Diet plan begets biblical wisdom - nothing strange about that, I guess?
"Remnant" theologies are based on the assumption that certain people represent the remnant of true belief - the last of a line of "true believers" - they are usually small in number, have realized popularity or profit by another means, and then use the audience generated by that means to begin preaching a certain doctrine that is usualy rigid or inflexible, and that supports their claim to be the true "remnant" of God's faithful.
Circular logic is usually employed to make the claims. A common one is that using reason to understand the Word of God (or nature of God, or will of God) is actually the work of Satan. How do they convince you of this? The write long expositions and reason to show their logic.
Fro the website you posted:
Think about this: if these “cult experts” use their definition to say that my understanding of God, Son, and Spirit is wrong, then they themselves must claim to understand enough to know that I am wrong, so therefore -- by their own definition -- they are the cult leader!
The Bible is far too clear on what “heresy” is. A heretic is someone who does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God. First John 2:22-23 says, “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist--he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” A person who believes in the trinity believes that the Father and the Son are one person, denying the “Father” and denying the “Son.” So who is it that we will see when we get to heaven – the Father or the Son? Certainly not both, if you hold to the Trinitarian belief. You have denied that they can exist as two separate beings.
Trinitarians do not say that the "Father" and the "Son" are one person. The actual doctrine, which I will talk about in anther post, is that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Ghost) are three persons of the One God. As convoluted as that may seem (rightly so, I believe), they use a WRONG definition of trinitarian to prove that trinitarians are wrong. They are using flawed reason to make their point that reasoning produces heretical theologies, and to show that their reasoning produces the right theology.
Nuff said, for now.
01-13-2007, 10:48 AM
There are several Bible passages that gave rise to the "trinitarian formula". The "trinity" or "triune" God was not explicitly defined in scripture, but was formulated as a result of many theological questions, and the development of certain "heretical" concepts of God.
A couple of examples would be:
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
1 Peter 1:2 who have been chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood: May grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Also John's "the Word was with God" language talking about Christ is sginificant in the development of Trinity.
While the question came to a head in the early 300's with the development of Arianism, it had been considered as early as about 70 AD.
The problem was this (using traditional theological logic):
God is the only entity that can bring salvation.
Salvation comes through belief in Jesus Christ. (John 11:25. Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live ...)
If Jesus a creature (a creation of God, like us), then Jesus cannot grant salvation.
Therefore, Jesus, has to be God.
But Jesus discourses with and prays to God. Jesus is not synonymous with God. How can Christ be God?
Yes, but Jesus discourses with and prays to "The Father". Jesus also says the Spirit will be with us. The Spirit, from the OT, is the ru'ah "Breath" of God.
So the One God engages with creatures in three persons - Father, Son, Holy Spirit, but neither one is the totality of God, while each is God.
The logical (?) answer - One God in three persons.
This was wrestled about in the Didache (The Teachings) beginning about 70 AD, and there were many attempts to reconcile the inherent contradictions. The council of Nicea (325) ended up reconciling the problem by saying that each "person" of God is homousia (of the same substance).
Even though most Christian denominations are trinitarian, you can spot confusion all over the place. Check out hymns. Most, if they talk about trinity in some way, use God, Jesus and Spirit, as opposed to Father/Creator, Son/Jesus/Redeemer, Spirit/Comforter language. They end up differentiating between God and the other persons, which is technically a heresy.
This is a brief excursion into a very complicated theological discussion, and what I have written is bound to be fraught with problems. If you have a definitive answer, God bless you - and write a book, because it still represents all kinds of debate in Christianity.
01-14-2007, 05:08 PM
I happened to be listening to a talk between two women who have recently gotten out of seminary, a UCC seminary. They were agreeing that the more that they learned about Christianity, the more questions that they came away with, and the more KINDS of questions there were. I assume that this happens to anyone who attends the more liberal seminaries.
Now I don't know what they teach in the more conservative seminaries,(Thoughts, Andrew?) but in most of the conservative churches, as I understand it, all of the day to day questions have simple, straightforward answers that maintain the status quo. There are of course some larger questions, that only God knows the answer to, but these are rarely in a position to threaten the status quo.
I tend to read a lot of theology, especially from liberal authors, and I tend to think of myself as a Very, Very armateur theologist (No, I will NOT call myself a theologian!) and I always come away with more questions than answers.
And the biggest difference between being online, and the real world, is that it is hundreds of times easier to find people with strange beliefs ON THE INTERNET.
Peace and Love, Bruce Chris
01-16-2007, 07:29 PM
Thanks for your input, especially you, Andy. I think that's as good an explanation as we're going to get...on this side anyway.
It is funny that there are so many ideas out there that seem really valid. If only their authors weren't wacky, big-haired, too much make-up wearing, ultra-thin people...oh wait, I just mentioned several CCS with that comment. :rolleyes:
01-17-2007, 09:44 AM
Nicely said, indeed.
Can I use your plywood analogy? It's remarkable in its simplicity and truth.
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