What I like about the Trinitarian view.

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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby mikedsjr » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:48 am

CHeretic or anyone else,

Let me ask some questions one post at a time and get your response with a verse(s) as my starting point to each.

2 Peter 1:17
For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,”


Would you agree this verse says 2 things.
1) There is a person in this verse called God and His name is Father.
2) There is a person in this verse called Son related to the Father.
3) There are two different persons here.

I'm just want affirmation that is clearly what this verse states.
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby ChristianHeretic » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:49 pm

mikedsjr wrote:2 Peter 1:17
For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,”


Would you agree this verse says 2 things.
1) There is a person in this verse called God and His name is Father.
2) There is a person in this verse called Son related to the Father.
3) There are two different persons here.

I'm just want affirmation that is clearly what this verse states.


1) Whether "person" is an appropriate title or not, I don't know. There is an "entity" known as "God" who is also described as "Father" in this verse, Yes.
2) Because this is a reference to Jesus, I would say Yes, there is a "person" who the entity "God the Father" acknowledges as His "Son."
3) Again, don't know that "person" is the right term for God.
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby mitchellmckain » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:13 pm

mikedsjr wrote:CHeretic or anyone else,

Let me ask some questions one post at a time and get your response with a verse(s) as my starting point to each.

2 Peter 1:17
For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,”


Gosh, does this passage raise more questions than it answers? It talks not only of God the Father and His beloved Son but also of this agent which it calls "the Majestic Glory", from which there is a voice saying these words. Now I would judge that the most sensible understanding of this is that "the Majestic Glory" refers descriptively to God the Father, but it could also refer to some other agent such as the Holy Spirit, I suppose.

mikedsjr wrote:Would you agree this verse says 2 things.
1) There is a person in this verse called God and His name is Father.

No it does not say that there is a person called God and it certainly does not say that his name is "Father". It says (drawing from the context), that our Lord Jesus Christ recieved honor and glory from "God the Father" in these words which said "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased". If this says anything about God the Father it is that He can speak (words can come from Him) and perhaps that He can be described as "the Majestic Glory" assuming that this refers to Him.

mikedsjr wrote:2) There is a person in this verse called Son related to the Father.

No verse does not say that there is a person called Son nor that that this person is related to the Father. Instead what we see in this passage, is that God the Father calls the Lord Jesus Christ (refered to earlier in the epistle) "my beloved Son". But it would appear that God has done something similar elsewhere in the Bible.

In Exodus 4:22, the Lord said to Moses to say to Pharaoh, that Israel is my first-born son.
In Jeremiah 31:7-9, "For thus says the Lord" (verse 7), "I am a father to Israel and Ephraim is my first-born" (verse 9).
In the Psalms 2:7, the speaker says that it is the decree of the Lord speaking to him, "You are my son, today I have begotten you." It may be assumed that this refers to David since it is part of a collection of Psalms which are attributed to David.
In Chronicles chapter 17, God told Nathan regarding David, "I will be his Father and he shall be my Son."
In Chronicles chapter 28, God says to David, "It is Solomon your son who shall build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my Son, and I will be his Father."

Why then am I a Trinitarian? Well it certainly does not rest on passages calling Jesus the Son of God. BUT there are other passages and for me the most telling is this one, Phillipians 2:5-8

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.


mikedsjr wrote:3) There are two different persons here.

It does not say this but I certainly think that we can infer this as the most reasonable understanding of the passage.
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby ChristianHeretic » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:37 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:Why then am I a Trinitarian? Well it certainly does not rest on passages calling Jesus the Son of God. BUT there are other passages and for me the most telling is this one, Phillipians 2:5-8
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

So who do you consider Paul to be referring to when he says "God" in this verse? Is it the same "Father" as the above verse?
1) Christ Jesus was "in the form of God" - is Paul saying that Jesus was in the form of 'the Father' or is he saying that Jesus was in the form of 'a God'?
2) "did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped" or KJV-"thought it not robbery to be equal with God" - is Paul saying something about Jesus' consideration about equality with 'the Father'?

Are these two references to the same God, different parts/persons/hypostases/aspects of the same God, or two different "Gods" altogether?
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby Moonwood the Hare » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:29 am

ChristianHeretic wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:Why then am I a Trinitarian? Well it certainly does not rest on passages calling Jesus the Son of God. BUT there are other passages and for me the most telling is this one, Phillipians 2:5-8
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

So who do you consider Paul to be referring to when he says "God" in this verse? Is it the same "Father" as the above verse?
1) Christ Jesus was "in the form of God" - is Paul saying that Jesus was in the form of 'the Father' or is he saying that Jesus was in the form of 'a God'?
2) "did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped" or KJV-"thought it not robbery to be equal with God" - is Paul saying something about Jesus' consideration about equality with 'the Father'?

Are these two references to the same God, different parts/persons/hypostases/aspects of the same God, or two different "Gods" altogether?

It's a comparison between Jesus and Adam. Adam tried to grasp at equality with God but Jesus did not need to as he had from the beginning been in the form of God. Generally the New Testament uses the word God to mean what later theology would call the Father here there is a slight shift away from that because morphe refers to the inner form the properties that make a thing what it is.

But I'd like to go back to your general query
Why would God introduce us to Himself in code left for others to decipher hundreds of years after the appointed messengers of the Word of God?
Because this seems to imply a Biblicist approach to scripture, a kind of hyper-protestantism where the doctrine of sola scriptura 'that scripture is the final authority' has mutated into solo scriptura 'that scripture is the only authority'. The problem with this is that granted this view there would be no way of knowing which books were scripture. Before we read the word of God on page 1 of the Bible we read the word of the Church on the contents page. Or to take another Protestant idea the perspicuity of scripture, the idea that scripture has a clear meaning; this cannot mean that each individual is free to imagine his own version of what scripture means and that all conflicting interpretations have equal authority for that would place authority not in scripture but in each individual. Perspicuity means that the essential meaning of scripture is clear so if the Church has always said that the scripture says God is a trinity then scripture says God is a trinity.
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby mitchellmckain » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:09 am

ChristianHeretic wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:Why then am I a Trinitarian? Well it certainly does not rest on passages calling Jesus the Son of God. BUT there are other passages and for me the most telling is this one, Phillipians 2:5-8
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

So who do you consider Paul to be referring to when he says "God" in this verse? Is it the same "Father" as the above verse?
1) Christ Jesus was "in the form of God" - is Paul saying that Jesus was in the form of 'the Father' or is he saying that Jesus was in the form of 'a God'?
2) "did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped" or KJV-"thought it not robbery to be equal with God" - is Paul saying something about Jesus' consideration about equality with 'the Father'?

Are these two references to the same God, different parts/persons/hypostases/aspects of the same God, or two different "Gods" altogether?

1) There is only one transpersonal God.
2) I don't think that your second translation fits the context of the passage. Paul is saying something about what God values, which is not power and knowledge but love. So God is ready, willing and able to set aside power and knowledge for the sake of those whom He loves, and become a helpless human infant to grow up among us.

They are refering to one God who can limit Himself and become a human being.
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby mikedsjr » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:03 pm

CH,
I wanted to start at ground level, where we could agree, and I think we do. I have no problem with "entity" or "being". We might have different ending definitions, but for the sake of this, i think it will still work for both of us.

The next 2 verses, + 1 additional, I want to use are the ones from my signature.

Key verse Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
Exodus 3:11-14
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
12 He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”


Key Verse John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
John 8:48-59
48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?”
49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me.
50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge.
51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’
53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?”
54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.
56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”
57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”
58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Key Verse John 10:33
22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter,
23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.
24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me,
26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
30 I and the Father are one.”
31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.
32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?”
33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”


So the point of the first verse was to show two separate "beings"/"entities" with a relationship. The point i'm laying forth is Jesus claims Himself as God, who we have already demonstrated He is called God the Father's Son. I added the verses around the text to add context to what is being said.

So this my starting point for Jesus' divinity. My first case. This, at the very least, supports the Liar, Lunatic or Lord case.
1. Do you agree Jesus uses the same I AM from Exodus 3:14 to profess who he is in John 8:58 to the Jews, who then pick up stones?
2. Do you agree that John 10:33 is claiming the Jews are seeking to stone Him for claiming Himself as God?
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby ChristianHeretic » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:45 pm

Moonwood the Hare wrote:It's a comparison between Jesus and Adam. Adam tried to grasp at equality with God but Jesus did not need to as he had from the beginning been in the form of God. Generally the New Testament uses the word God to mean what later theology would call the Father here there is a slight shift away from that because morphe refers to the inner form the properties that make a thing what it is.

So are you saying that both "Gods" refer to the Father in this verse, just different aspects of that "God"? Jesus was already in the "inner form" of the Father so he didn't need to pursue equality with the Father because it already belonged to Him? So is your interpretation of the verse that although Jesus was already in the "inner form" of God, ie "equal to God", He still emptied Himself in spite of the fact that He was "equal to God?" Or does "did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped" mean that Jesus "didn't regard equality with 'the Father' a thing to be grasped" or as the KJV puts it, Jesus "thought it not robbery to be equal with 'the Father'?" To me, the verse is saying that in spite of the fact that Jesus was in the same "form" as the Father, he still "didn't regard equality with 'the Father' a thing to be grasped" like Satan did.

Couple of points on the justification of this verse you've made above though:

1) 'morphe' does not mean "the inner form the properties that make a thing what it is", that's the Trinitarian rationalization through the years which has led the NIV and others to the butchering of the verse..."in very nature God", "he was God"-NLT, "He had equal status with God"-Message. No where else in either the LXX (Job 4:16, Wis Sol 18:1, Isa 44:13, Dan 3:19) or NT (Mk 16:12) is it used that way. The term actually means "form, outward appearance, shape"-BDAG, "external appearance"-Thayer, "form, shape"-Middle Liddell. The "inner" that you have added is biased conjecture by the Trinitarian church. Paul was saying that Jesus was in the external form, shape of the Father. What does this mean? Good question!

2) I'm not convinced this is a comparison to Adam either. To claim that "Adam tried to grasp at equality with God" I think is a stretch with how the text reads. I would say Satan is a better comparison here than Adam.

Moonwood the Hare wrote:But I'd like to go back to your general query
CH wrote:Why would God introduce us to Himself in code left for others to decipher hundreds of years after the appointed messengers of the Word of God?

Because this seems to imply a Biblicist approach to scripture, a kind of hyper-protestantism where the doctrine of sola scriptura 'that scripture is the final authority' has mutated into solo scriptura 'that scripture is the only authority'. The problem with this is that granted this view there would be no way of knowing which books were scripture. Before we read the word of God on page 1 of the Bible we read the word of the Church on the contents page. Or to take another Protestant idea the perspicuity of scripture, the idea that scripture has a clear meaning; this cannot mean that each individual is free to imagine his own version of what scripture means and that all conflicting interpretations have equal authority for that would place authority not in scripture but in each individual. Perspicuity means that the essential meaning of scripture is clear so if the Church has always said that the scripture says God is a trinity then scripture says God is a trinity.

I'm by no means saying that there isn't room for interpretation into what we as Christians should interpret as the truth of God. But to argue that this central "truth" of God's nature wasn't directly conveyed to the apostles and rather it was gradually revealed throughout the next 300 years is a stretch. For instance, the term "theos" is used over 1300 times in the NT, and it's only argued to be used for Jesus in 9 grammatically questionable verses interpreted that way by the Trinitarian church? I just have a hard time believing that this is a truth that we were supposed to derive from their words in spite of the fact that the apostles and other authors of Scripture apparently didn't recognize it as such.
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby ChristianHeretic » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:57 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:
ChristianHeretic wrote:So who do you consider Paul to be referring to when he says "God" in this verse? Is it the same "Father" as the above verse?
1) Christ Jesus was "in the form of God" - is Paul saying that Jesus was in the form of 'the Father' or is he saying that Jesus was in the form of 'a God'?
2) "did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped" or KJV-"thought it not robbery to be equal with God" - is Paul saying something about Jesus' consideration about equality with 'the Father'?

Are these two references to the same God, different parts/persons/hypostases/aspects of the same God, or two different "Gods" altogether?

1) There is only one transpersonal God.
2) I don't think that your second translation fits the context of the passage. Paul is saying something about what God values, which is not power and knowledge but love. So God is ready, willing and able to set aside power and knowledge for the sake of those whom He loves, and become a helpless human infant to grow up among us.

They are refering to one God who can limit Himself and become a human being.

1) So Jesus is in the form of this one "transpersonal God" at the same time that he "did not regard equality with 'this transpersonal God' a thing to be grasped"? How can Jesus be the one "transpersonal God" and not equal to this "transpersonal God" at the same time? Surely at least you'll acknowledge that this second reference is solely a reference to the Father, not to the alleged entire "transpersonal God"?

2) It's not my second translation, it's the KJV? And if you look at the term used by Paul translated by the KJV "robbery", it really puts your perspective of Paul's "context" into question. Paul uses the term 'harpagmos' to describe how Jesus sees this "equality with God." This unique noun is used elsewhere in antiquity and is defined by BDAG to exclusively mean “a violent seizure of property, robbery,” and presumes malicious intent to seize something that doesn’t belong to you. It’s a vicious act of dishonesty and quite literally, taking something that is not rightfully yours. But BDAG then goes on to say that this only definition that they are aware of in the ancient world is “next to impossible in Philippians 2:6” because “the state of being equal with God cannot be equated with the act of robbery.” So why does Paul use it here? Why would Paul be saying that, to Jesus, claiming equality with God was analogous to, or even associated with, a violent act of robbery? Good question!
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby ChristianHeretic » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:44 pm

mikedsjr wrote:So this my starting point for Jesus' divinity. My first case. This, at the very least, supports the Liar, Lunatic or Lord case.
1. Do you agree Jesus uses the same I AM from Exodus 3:14 to profess who he is in John 8:58 to the Jews, who then pick up stones?
2. Do you agree that John 10:33 is claiming the Jews are seeking to stone Him for claiming Himself as God?

Ok, good starting point. And to answer both of the above. The short answer would be no, but it's more complicated than that, so I'll go into detail below on each verse:

1) John 8:58
John most likely used the LXX as his version of Scripture as acknowledged by Dunn:
Dunn, Christology in the Making; pg 14 wrote:It is evident that the LXX is the Bible of the fourth evangelist. This Greek translation is the source of the large majority of John’s OT quotations, not only the three quotations that agree entirely with the LXX (10:34; 12:38; 19:24), but also – with various degrees of certainty – of the quotations in 1:23; 2:17; 6:31, 45; 7:38; 12:15; 15:25; 19:36.

And if that is the case, then unfortunately the Ex 3:14 argument has a difficult obstacle to overcome. The LXX version of Ex 3:14 says:
Ex 3:14 LXX wrote:And God spoke to Moses, saying, I am <EGO EIMI> THE BEING <HO ON>; and he said, Thus shall ye say to the children of Israel, THE BEING <HO ON> has sent me to you.

The reason this is significant is that the Greek terms are different. Jesus says in Jn 8:58 "I am" ("ego eimi") and God claims in Ex 3:14 to be "The Being" ("ho on") or other translations translate it "the One Who Is". This significant discrepancy is evidenced by most early church fathers who quoted the verse (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book IV, Chpt XIII; Origen, Against Celsus, Book VIII, Chpt XII; Novation, Concerning the Trinity, Chpt XV). The argument was made by them that this verse proved the pre-existence of Jesus, but the early apologists who were reading the text in Greek had no idea of this alleged claim to be YHWH.

What makes this modern argument even more difficult to subscribe to is this later interpretation of what was "obviously" meant by Jesus with his use of the phrase "I am" doesn't appear to be all that evident to those religious leaders at the time. Let's look at the context a few verses earlier to apparently the same religious leaders:
John 8:24-25 NASB wrote:"Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He <EGO EIMI>, you will die in your sins." So they were saying to Him, "Who are You?" Jesus said to them, "What have I been saying to you from the beginning?”

So in spite of the fact that Jesus says the exact same thing 34 verses earlier, you don't hear modern orthodoxy espousing this verse because it doesn't help their argument. Jesus says "I am" and the religious leaders extremely versed in the names of YHWH respond, "Who are you?"

2) John 10:33
My initial response to this verse is absolutely the religious leaders thought that by claiming that He and His Father were "One" that this was a claim to be "God." That is evidenced in the text. The question I have is "Were they right?" The best way to answer that question is to look at Jesus' response, which is remarkably left out of almost every orthodox commentary you'll find on this subject (even your context above):
John 10:34-36 wrote:34Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? 35If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken—36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?”

I believe the majority of theologians leave out Jesus’ response because it is, in their opinion, unnecessary to hear what Jesus says about the accusation against Him. This oversite is largely because these theologians agree that “oneness” infers equality as the Jewish leaders did here. Except it looks above that the Jewish leaders thought Jesus meant “I and the Father are one and the same” because they accused Him of claiming to be God, who they knew to be solely “the Father,” better known as YHWH. So they only could have thought Jesus was claiming to be the Father, not united with the Father as a triune yet singular God as Christian orthodoxy would speculate a few hundred years later. They could only have been anti-Modalism, not anti-Trinitarianism.

And so before we jump on the bandwagon, claiming that these Jewish leaders were accurate in their assessment of Jesus’ claims, know that they must have thought that He was claiming to be the Father, not just united with Him. In defense of the Jewish leaders Jesus encountered though, they weren’t privy to Jesus’ prayer, as recorded by John in chapter 17 of his Gospel a few chapters later, where Jesus conveys to us His definition of this “oneness” that He spoke of in verse 30 above. Many modern theologians, on the other hand, seem to be intentionally avoiding this clarifying prayer in John, and somehow believe that the accusation of these Jewish men who believed that Jesus was claiming to be the Father somehow supports their theories. So it seems that the Jewish leaders perceived that Jesus was making a different claim than Trinitarians believe He was making in regards to His “oneness” with the Father. But this doesn’t stop modern orthodoxy from soliciting the opinions of these accusers in support of their theories. So in reality, modern orthodoxy doesn’t agree with these Jewish leaders after all. They don’t believe Jesus was claiming to be the Father either. So they also actually recognize Jesus’ claim to be “united” with His Father in spite of the fact that they petition this verse to support their theory that Jesus was somehow equal to “God” as well because He claims He and His Father are united. So now that neither Trinitarians nor non-Trinitarians believe that Jesus was claiming to be the Father with this claim to be “one” with Him, Jesus’ response to this accusation of deity becomes extremely significant.

Jesus responds to their charge of blasphemy first with a quotation from the Old Testament. The “Most High,” or God, is presiding over a court of “gods,” or judges, where He is reprimanding them for unjust practices:
Psalm 82:6-7 wrote:"I said, ‘You are "gods" <ELOHIYM>; you are all sons of the Most High.’ But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler.”

But Jesus claims in John above, as paraphrased, “if your Scripture calls the sons of the Most High ‘gods’ to whom God’s Word came, would it be blasphemy for me also, as God’s Son, to be called a ‘god’?” He then goes on to clarify, again paraphrased, “and regardless, just for clarity, what I claimed was, that I am ‘God’s Son,’ so why would that be considered blasphemy?” Jesus "answers" them and dissents directly to their accusation of claiming to be God, and seems to believe that claiming to be God’s Son should not be considered blasphemy, or a claim to be “God” for that matter, unless you are referring to the use of the term “god” that the other “sons of the Most High” are described as being in Psalm. And in that case, He is a “god” in the same way that they were “gods,” solely because they have been given authority from the one true God, but neither would be considered equal to this one true God.
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby mitchellmckain » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:46 pm

ChristianHeretic wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:1) There is only one transpersonal God.
2) I don't think that your second translation fits the context of the passage. Paul is saying something about what God values, which is not power and knowledge but love. So God is ready, willing and able to set aside power and knowledge for the sake of those whom He loves, and become a helpless human infant to grow up among us.

They are refering to one God who can limit Himself and become a human being.

1) So Jesus is in the form of this one "transpersonal God" at the same time that he "did not regard equality with 'this transpersonal God' a thing to be grasped"?

Yes.
ChristianHeretic wrote:How can Jesus be the one "transpersonal God" and not equal to this "transpersonal God" at the same time?

Jesus IS equal to this transpersonal God. To say that He did not regard equality with 'this transpersonal God' a thing to be grasped' is not the same things as not BEING euqal to this transpersonal God. It means that although He certainly was equal to this transpersonal God, He had absolutely no problem with setting all that aside to become a helpless human infant.

ChristianHeretic wrote:Surely at least you'll acknowledge that this second reference is solely a reference to the Father, not to the alleged entire "transpersonal God"?

Nope. This is a reference to the form of God and not a particular person of God.

ChristianHeretic wrote:2) It's not my second translation, it's the KJV? And if you look at the term used by Paul translated by the KJV "robbery", it really puts your perspective of Paul's "context" into question. Paul uses the term 'harpagmos' to describe how Jesus sees this "equality with God." This unique noun is used elsewhere in antiquity and is defined by BDAG to exclusively mean “a violent seizure of property, robbery,” and presumes malicious intent to seize something that doesn’t belong to you. It’s a vicious act of dishonesty and quite literally, taking something that is not rightfully yours. But BDAG then goes on to say that this only definition that they are aware of in the ancient world is “next to impossible in Philippians 2:6” because “the state of being equal with God cannot be equated with the act of robbery.” So why does Paul use it here? Why would Paul be saying that, to Jesus, claiming equality with God was analogous to, or even associated with, a violent act of robbery? Good question!

But the context is one of talking about Jesus attitude when setting aside the form of God to take upon himself the the form of man. In that context it makes no sense to talk of any violent act of robbery of equality with God. Again this is about what God values. It is not the omnipotence and omniscience that we so superficially think is the most important thing about God. It is not power and knoweldge which God values most, for these are things which He will cast aside for the sake of love.

Look, far be it from me to claim that you cannot interpret the passage otherwise and that you must believe as I do. I only explain WHY I DO believe as I do. If you want to say that this is not inevitable then I agree, BUT if you want to claim that my view is not consistent with this passage then they burden of proof is all on you and that is not a case you are even coming close to making.
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby ChristianHeretic » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:53 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:
CH wrote:1) So Jesus is in the form of this one "transpersonal God" at the same time that he "did not regard equality with 'this transpersonal God' a thing to be grasped"?

Yes.
ChristianHeretic wrote:How can Jesus be the one "transpersonal God" and not equal to this "transpersonal God" at the same time?

Jesus IS equal to this transpersonal God. To say that He did not regard equality with 'this transpersonal God' a thing to be grasped' is not the same things as not BEING euqal to this transpersonal God. It means that although He certainly was equal to this transpersonal God, He had absolutely no problem with setting all that aside to become a helpless human infant.

Ok, your view is obviously in the majority of Kenosis theologians, just doesn't make sense to me. We are not equal to ourselves, we ARE ourselves.

mitchellmckain wrote:
ChristianHeretic wrote:Surely at least you'll acknowledge that this second reference is solely a reference to the Father, not to the alleged entire "transpersonal God"?

Nope. This is a reference to the form of God and not a particular person of God.

K, just don't get this. I get your speculation that the first reference is to this alleged "transpersonal God", the form of "God," but the second reference is specifically saying something about Jesus' equality with "God." You are not equal to a form, we don't say we're equal to ourselves, that's obvious, so it would have to be a reference to another form, entity, essence, something? And at least on this point, I'm in good company?
Augustin, On the Trinity, Book 1, Chpt 6 wrote:'Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God;’ using here the name of God specially of the Father; as elsewhere, ‘But the head of Christ is God.'

mitchellmckain wrote:Look, far be it from me to claim that you cannot interpret the passage otherwise and that you must believe as I do. I only explain WHY I DO believe as I do. If you want to say that this is not inevitable then I agree, BUT if you want to claim that my view is not consistent with this passage then they burden of proof is all on you and that is not a case you are even coming close to making.

I'm perfectly fine if you want to subscribe to your view. I however, am not. Too many inconsistencies and discrepancies for me. I disagree with your interpretation of the verse, but we are all allowed our own opinions, so we can leave it there. If in fact you are a kenosis theologian, I would suspect that we can at least agree that Jesus didn't have the "form of God" while he was here on earth in the "form of Man." (Augustine disagreed with this too though)
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby mitchellmckain » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:58 am

ChristianHeretic wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:Jesus IS equal to this transpersonal God. To say that He did not regard equality with 'this transpersonal God' a thing to be grasped' is not the same things as not BEING euqal to this transpersonal God. It means that although He certainly was equal to this transpersonal God, He had absolutely no problem with setting all that aside to become a helpless human infant.

Ok, your view is obviously in the majority of Kenosis theologians, just doesn't make sense to me.

My view is not that of a Kenosis theologian. Kenosis theology says that Jesus was not God while on the earth and I do not say any such thing. Jesus was God before, during and after. Jesus was fully God and fully man. But while being a man implies limitations, being God does not imply no limitations because God's omnipotence includes the ability to impose limitations upon Himself. Setting aside knowledge and power no more means that God ceases to be God than the loss of a leg or a memory means that a man ceases to be a man.

ChristianHeretic wrote:We are not equal to ourselves, we ARE ourselves.

Huh? 2 is the number 2, AND 2 equals the number 2. I don't see how these are mutually exclusive. I certainly did not use the word in any such weird mutally exclusive sense. Jesus is equal to this transpersonal God and Jesus IS this transpersonal God.

ChristianHeretic wrote:If in fact you are a kenosis theologian, I would suspect that we can at least agree that Jesus didn't have the "form of God" while he was here on earth in the "form of Man."

Except that it WAS the form of God at the time because Jesus was God. The point is that however omnipotent, omniscient and in every way limitless God is by nature, God can impose limits upon Himself. His limitless power includes a power over Himself to be as He chooses to be and He is not confined to what a theologian decides that He must be. The limitations He imposed upon Himself was an expression of His very omnipotence and to say that God is unable to do such a thing would preclude omnipotence. Phillipians 2:5-8 is saying that not only CAN God accept the limitations of humanity but that He can do so gladly because limitless power and knowledge of God is not so necessary to His being that He cannot set them aside when His objectives require it.

So you see... not a kenosis theologian after all. Open theologian yes, but kenosis theologian no. Semantics? You betcha. Religion, especially the theological aspect of it, is 90-99% semantics.

ChristianHeretic wrote: (Augustine disagreed with this too though)

Well I disagree with Augustine about other things, including the one about redemption being all about God choosing a few people to replace the angels that had fallen. Augustine was an extremist just as Pelagius was an extremist. Both were right about a few things and both were wrong about a few things.
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby ChristianHeretic » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:55 am

mitchellmckain wrote:although He certainly was equal to this transpersonal God, He had absolutely no problem with setting all that aside to become a helpless human infant.
ChristianHeretic wrote:Ok, your view is obviously in the majority of Kenosis theologians, just doesn't make sense to me.

My view is not that of a Kenosis theologian. Kenosis theology says that Jesus was not God while on the earth and I do not say any such thing. Jesus was God before, during and after. Jesus was fully God and fully man. But while being a man implies limitations, being God does not imply no limitations because God's omnipotence includes the ability to impose limitations upon Himself. Setting aside knowledge and power no more means that God ceases to be God than the loss of a leg or a memory means that a man ceases to be a man.

ChristianHeretic wrote:We are not equal to ourselves, we ARE ourselves.

Huh? 2 is the number 2, AND 2 equals the number 2. I don't see how these are mutually exclusive. I certainly did not use the word in any such weird mutually exclusive sense. Jesus is equal to this transpersonal God and Jesus IS this transpersonal God.

No offense mitch, but you're kinduv all over the place. First my point about terminology is that we don't SAY "we are equal to ourselves" because that is an obvious statement. So your speculation that Paul would feel it was necessary to tell us that although Jesus was equal to Himself, He chose not to be equal to Himself and become like a man simply doesn't make sense. There had to be a reason why Paul was claiming how Jesus felt about claiming equality with God, because it was apparently not previously evident before.

Second, kenosis theology is not claiming that "Jesus was not God while on the earth", it just claims that He "gave up" some or all of his divine attributes, which are different things, and exactly what you are describing below by claiming "God's limitless power and knowledge aren't so necessary to His being that He cannot set them aside". When you say "He certainly was equal to this transpersonal God, He had absolutely no problem with setting all that aside to become a helpless human infant", I think it is reasonable to interpret that you said in spite of the fact that He "was equal to this transpersonal God," He "set all that aside." What did He set aside? Unless you mispoke, you claimed He set aside His equality with this transpersonal God you're envisioning. So now, can one be NOT equal to the transpersonal God AND equal to Him at the same time?

mitchellmckain wrote:Phillipians 2:5-8 is saying that not only CAN God accept the limitations of humanity but that He can do so gladly because limitless power and knowledge of God is not so necessary to His being that He cannot set them aside when His objectives require it.

Hmmm...interesting. So if God chooses to "limit" His omniscience, omnipotence, etc, does He then have the same omnipotence He had before He limited His own omnipotence to get back to where He was before with this omnipotence He took away (I tried to make that statement as confusing as I possibly could to try to wrap my mind around the eternal quagmire you're creating here). Huh? Sounds like you're having your cake and eating it too here...this is not just "Can God make a rock so big that He can't lift it." This is, if God chooses to take away His power to exercise His power can He now exercise this power He chose to take away from Himself? The answer to that question is simple...No! Or else He never actually took away the power to begin with.
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Re: What I like about the Trinitarian view.

Postby mitchellmckain » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:25 pm

ChristianHeretic wrote:No offense mitch, but you're kinduv all over the place.

No offense CH but I have just been all over the place following where YOU have led the discussion.

OK, I have left the door open for an "agree to disagree" ending to this, but you persist in this absurd argument that only your perspective can be rational and thus are becoming abusive. You KNOW that I can play that game. You KNOW that I am more than willing to play that game. Just remember that YOU asked for it, before you start complaining about it.

ChristianHeretic wrote:First my point about terminology is that we don't SAY "we are equal to ourselves" because that is an obvious statement. So your speculation that Paul would feel it was necessary to tell us that although Jesus was equal to Himself, He chose not to be equal to Himself and become like a man simply doesn't make sense. There had to be a reason why Paul was claiming how Jesus felt about claiming equality with God, because it was apparently not previously evident before.

So you can't understand a meaning of the passage when you impose such absurdities. I have no such problems. I have explained how I understand the passage repeatedly now, and I repeat myself once again. The context is about the ATTITUDE of Jesus when taking upon Himself human limitations, admonishing us to immitate Him in such an attitude that will sacrifice power and knowledge and whatever else we think we have a right to, all in order to serve others. I understand that you prefer not to understand the passage in this way but instead interpret it more in line with your non-trinitarian theology.

ChristianHeretic wrote:Second, kenosis theology is not claiming that "Jesus was not God while on the earth", it just claims that He "gave up" some or all of his divine attributes, which are different things, and exactly what you are describing below by claiming "God's limitless power and knowledge aren't so necessary to His being that He cannot set them aside".

Ok when I looked this up last night that is how I found it defined. Looking it up again today I am finding other variations. Yes I do believe that Jesus accepted all the limitations of a human existence when he became a helpless human infant, and indeed set aside power and knowledge to grow and learn as a human child. Just as long as you understand that I completely deny that any of this power and knowledge is neccessary to His divinity and thus that Jesus was always fully God even when He was fully human.

There is one thing, however, that Jesus had that other human beings haven't had since Adam and Eve and that is an unbroken relationship with the Father. So all though Jesus was fully human, He was NOT the same as everyone one else. He was not and never was a fallen human being or sinner.

ChristianHeretic wrote: When you say "He certainly was equal to this transpersonal God, He had absolutely no problem with setting all that aside to become a helpless human infant", I think it is reasonable to interpret that you said in spite of the fact that He "was equal to this transpersonal God," He "set all that aside." What did He set aside? Unless you mispoke, you claimed He set aside His equality with this transpersonal God you're envisioning. So now, can one be NOT equal to the transpersonal God AND equal to Him at the same time?

How can two people be both equal and not equal at the same time? They are equal in their humanity but not equal with regards to many different abilities. Jesus set aside limitless power and knowledge to accept all the limitations of human existence. Thus with regards to power and knowledge, Jesus was not equal with God, just as with regards to the power to walk and run, a cripple is not equal to other men, but with regards to divinity, Jesus was equal with God, just as with regards to humanity the cripple is indeed equal to other men.

ChristianHeretic wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:Phillipians 2:5-8 is saying that not only CAN God accept the limitations of humanity but that He can do so gladly because limitless power and knowledge of God is not so necessary to His being that He cannot set them aside when His objectives require it.

Hmmm...interesting. So if God chooses to "limit" His omniscience, omnipotence, etc, does He then have the same omnipotence He had before He limited His own omnipotence to get back to where He was before with this omnipotence He took away (I tried to make that statement as confusing as I possibly could to try to wrap my mind around the eternal quagmire you're creating here).

LOL Sound to me like you are having a deplorable (and probably willful) failure of imagination. You think that God cannot impose limitations upon Himself without limitations upon the limitations? We are talking about a being who exists outside the mathematical structure of time and space of this phyiscal universe deciding to exist in a portion of that time and space with all the limitations of a human being. You frankly talk as if God were some kind of alien floating in outer space already under the limitations of time and space deciding to change its physical form to that of a human being with all of its limitations and thus not be able to change back to floating alien at a later time.

ChristianHeretic wrote:Sounds like you're having your cake and eating it too here...this is not just "Can God make a rock so big that He can't lift it." This is, if God chooses to take away His power to exercise His power can He now exercise this power He chose to take away from Himself? The answer to that question is simple...No! Or else He never actually took away the power to begin with.

Sounds to me like this is what you WANT to believe. This sounds an awful lot like saying that light being both a particle and a wave is just physicists having their cake and eating it too. LOL! People use such absurd rhetoric as no more than an excuse for why they don't want to believe that something is possible. Why do you want to believe that God cannot do such a thing? Why do you have such a need to believe that people who disagree with you must be irrational in some way? LOL Sounds like some serious emotional investment in your own theological opinions.
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