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Featured The Trinity

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by brightlights, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. brightlights

    brightlights A sinner

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    Nothing in this trinity is before or after, nothing is greater or smaller. In their entirety the three persons are coeternal and coequal with each other.
     
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  2. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Well-Known Member

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    True.
     
  3. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    This may be useful.

    Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith; Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

    And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

    But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. 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. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

    Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies; and shall give account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
    This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

    ~Athanasian Creed

    --David
     
  4. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    And then there is this, a humorous look what the Trinity is not.


    --David
     
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  5. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Is a little right of Atilla the Hun Supporter

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    Yes. You beat me to it. I was going to post those two exact posts. Well played sir, well played.
     
  6. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

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    Never seen that before. That was good!

    Frankly though, I don't know how "the water analogy" is Modalism? Three forms of the same substance that obviously can exist on earth simultaneously. All forms (liquid, solid and vapor) are still and always remain as 2 hydrogens and 1 oxygen.
     
  7. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Is a little right of Atilla the Hun Supporter

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    Good question. The problem with the water analogy is that while it affirms the same substance it confuses the different persons of the Holy Trinity. There are three persons not merely three different modes or states of the same God.
     
  8. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

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    Well I suppose if we look at "persons" though the lens of purposes they serve; we could say liquid, solid and vapor all serve different purposes in our environment. And that makes sense because I don't know if we define the persons of the Trinity beyond their purposes. You follow me?
     
  9. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Is a little right of Atilla the Hun Supporter

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    I understand what you are trying to say but a person is more than just a function, a person is a who not just a substance that functions thus. It seems at first glance like a minor difference but it winds up being a major difference. Every analogy breaks down in trying to describe the Holy Trinity at some point that is why I avoid said analogies.
     
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  10. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Well-Known Member

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    Actually, mode of being and mode of person are different. Sabellianism would teach mode of person, but classical Trinitarianism teaches mode of being.
     
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  11. brightlights

    brightlights A sinner

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    It's a huge mistake to reduce the persons of the Trinity to purposes. We might be tempted to say, for example, that the Father is the creator of the universe and that he plans salvation, the Son executes salvation, and the Holy Spirit applies salvation. But this is misleading if we do not understand that the Son and the Holy Spirit are equally active in creation and even in planning redemption. All the persons of the Trinity are active in creation, redemption, and sanctification.
     
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  12. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

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    I agree with you that certainly in principle no analogy is perfect and they all have their point of breaking down.

    Yet the Scripture does tell us that what can be known of God is witnessed to us in the creation and so I don't believe it was by any accident that God created water the way that He did. Now can we "interpret the witness" well enough? That's another question; yet the way this world is constructed does testify to God in many ways.
     
  13. The Righterzpen

    The Righterzpen Jesus is my Shield in any Desert or Storm

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    Purpose as applied to looking at simplified earthy analogies is a different focus than stringing a bunch of Bible verses together to get a more complex and complete picture.
     
  14. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Is a little right of Atilla the Hun Supporter

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    True the two terms mean something different but I’m not sure I follow you here. How is God the definition of pure being have different modes? What am I missing? Could you provide an example? Perhaps there is an Orthodox way of understanding this that I am simply unaware or don’t understand.
     
  15. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    Hi @Jonaitis, I don't believe the doctrine of the Trinity teaches "modes" per say, since (except in a special sense, see the definitions below) that would mean that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is One God/One Person (manifesting Himself/appearing to us in three different ways, not as three different/distinct Persons). The Trinity is quite specific in its Biblical insistence that there is one God who exists from/to everlasting as three distinct Persons.

    I believe that we should take the time we need to understand each other as best we can (as this can all become pretty confusing if we do not), so perhaps some additional definitions would be in order? Here are some that may prove to be useful in the discussion (to at least help us make sure that we are all on the same page, so to speak). Most are taken from Shedd's, Dogmatic Theology.

    Mode = a manner in which something is expressed or experienced.

    Modalism = the teaching that God is but a single Person who manifests Himself successively as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are not distinct Persons in the Godhead but rather are masks or roles in which God reveals Himself to His creation. Thus, modalism denies the ontological Trinity, which is the view that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit refer to three actual, internal distinctions within the Godhead itself. For modalists the Trinity is purely an economic Trinity.

    Modalism is also called Sabellianism after Sabellius, an early proponent of the teaching. It is also sometimes called patripassianism, because by this theory the Father suffered on the cross in his manifestation as the Son. Modalism should not be confused with the orthodox trinitarian concept of modus subsistendi (mode of subsisting). ~Shedd, W. G. T. (2003). Dogmatic theology. (A. W. Gomes, Ed.) (3rd ed., p. 957). Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Pub.

    Sabellianism = antitrinitarian heresy named after Sabellius, a third-century proponent of modalism. Consequently, modalism is also called Sabellianism. ~Shedd, W. G. T. (2003). Dogmatic theology. (A. W. Gomes, Ed.) (3rd ed., p. 961). Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Pub.

    Ontological Trinity = the internal, intratrinitarian distinctions ad intra or within the Godhead itself. ~Shedd, W. G. T. (2003). Dogmatic theology. (A. W. Gomes, Ed.) (3rd ed., p. 959). Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Pub.

    Economic Trinity = the offices or functions performed by each of the three members of the Trinity. The economic Trinity concerns the roles that each member performs in terms of the created order ad extra or outside of himself. ~Shedd, W. G. T. (2003). Dogmatic theology. (A. W. Gomes, Ed.) (3rd ed., p. 954). Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Pub.

    Notae Internae and Notae Externae = “internal characteristics” and “external characteristics” that designate characteristics of the ontological Trinity and economic Trinity respectively. The notae internae refer to the peculiar properties that distinguish the Persons from One Another, ontologically speaking.

    The “internal characteristic” of the Father is paternity. This characteristic entails His own unbegottenness, as well as His generation of the Son and spiration of the Spirit. The Son is characterized by filiation (i.e., that He is begotten of the Father) and spiration of the Spirit. The Spirit is characterized by procession, that is, He proceeds from the Father and the Son. Because these distinctions entail activities within the very nature of the Godhead, they are also called the “internal operations” or opera ad intra.

    On the other hand, the notae externae refer to the characteristics of the trinitarian Persons in their operations outside of the Godhead, that is, with reference to the opera ad extra. The Father is particularly associated with His role as Creator, Preserver, and Ruler of His creation; the Son is connected most closely with redemption; and the Spirit’s work is peculiarly tied to inspiration, regeneration, and sanctification. Thus, the notae externae are those characteristics of the trinitarian Persons viewed from the standpoint of the economic Trinity. ~Shedd, W. G. T. (2003). Dogmatic theology. (A. W. Gomes, Ed.) (3rd ed., p. 958). Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Pub.

    Modus Subsistendi = the different ways or “modes” in which the divine nature subsists, namely, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is therefore the functional equivalent to the term person, though more philosophically precise, as the unqualified usage of the word person in everyday speech most naturally suggests three separate beings, which in the context of the Godhead would be tritheism. The expression mode of subsisting should not be confused with modalism, because in modalism the one God has only one mode of subsistence, ontologically speaking, but chooses to reveal himself in three different ways. In the trinitarian view, God has within himself a threefold life, eternally subsisting in three modes. ~Shedd, W. G. T. (2003). Dogmatic theology. (A. W. Gomes, Ed.) (3rd ed., p. 957). Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Pub.

    Tritheism = denotes a unity of will and affection, rather than of nature.
    --David
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019 at 6:11 PM
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  16. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Well-Known Member

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    Hi David,

    I am referring to mode of subsisting (modus subsistendi). It is something of the archaic discription, but I've always thought that it expresses the Trinitarian concept of distinction better than person. Sure, it confuses people, but Modalist today (as well as Mormons) abuse the term "Trinity."
     
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  17. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

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    I understand (and I agree with you), which is why I hope we can always find ourselves on the same page where our use of terminology is concerned, or we'll just end up taking around each other, to one degree or another anyway.

    --David
     
  18. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Is a little right of Atilla the Hun Supporter

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    Thanks for the reply. Let me digest this. I figured it was a difference of terminology.
     
  19. Grip Docility

    Grip Docility Well-Known Member

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    I’ll just say it. We have a Body, Spirit and Soul.

    The Body isn’t the Spirit.
    The Spirit isn’t the Soul.
    The Soul isn’t the Body.

    Is my Spirit Unique and Me? Yes
    Is my Body Unique and Me? Yes
    Is my Soul Unique and Me? Yes

    When someone sees my Body, do I reveal my Spirit and Soul? Yup

    Can people “see” my Spirit and Soul, by seeing my Body act accordingly? Yup

    Does anyone know my Spirit and Soul but God and Myself? Nope

    Are my three portions of being perfectly intertwined as One? Yup.

    Am I as perfectly 1 as God is PERFECTLY ONE? Nope

    What is my point? Meh... I don’t have one. People can go ahead and put their stones down. :p

    1 Thessalonians 5:23 ; Genesis 1:27
     
  20. Yekcidmij

    Yekcidmij Economist & Engineer

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    Are your body, soul and spirit 3 persons? No. So you aren't tri-personal.
     
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