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[Serious] The Trinity
#31
RE: The Trinity
(January 18, 2021 at 9:32 pm)Belacqua Wrote: I'll take a guess on this one. 

I think it's because many of the terms are different names for the same thing. So God is Being, which is one name for him. He's also the Good, which is another name for the same thing. (How all of these things end up being only one big thing in the end is also a big discussion.) 

Or strictly speaking, to differentiate terms like "good" from what we think of as their meaning in this world, Dionysius uses the term "over-good," "over-being," etc. 

I suspect that the reason human beings need these different terms is just good old Neoplatonic limited perception. Since we are embodied and live in division, whereas God is one, we are not currently able to see all the different names as being the single thing they are. So while the trinity is three-in-one, the names are many, yet merely different labels for the same thing.

Or I may be wrong.

Yeah, I remember from Feser's book that these are supposed to be different ways of looking at God. God is Being, Good, Truth, etc, all in one. But what I was trying to get at is why the selectivity of which of these are Persons and which are just names? Furthermore, how is the distinction of Persons in God reconciled with the notion that God is strictly simple? Isn't there not supposed to be any distinction within God as understood by theologians like Aquinas?
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#32
RE: The Trinity
(January 18, 2021 at 10:33 pm)Grandizer Wrote: But what I was trying to get at is why the selectivity of which of these are Persons and which are just names?

I don't know! 

Is it because something like the Good is an attribute, whereas the persons of the Trinity are not? Though this may just kick it down the road -- why is the Good an attribute and not a person...? 

Quote: Furthermore, how is the distinction of Persons in God reconciled with the notion that God is strictly simple? Isn't there not supposed to be any distinction within God as understood by theologians like Aquinas?

Here I think we're into the "it's just a mystery" portion of the argument.

As I recall, when they make a distinction between natural theology and revealed theology, the Trinity is the example they usually give of the latter. So as you know, natural theology is the part that can be proved through logic, and therefore grasped by human understanding, whereas revealed stuff like the Trinity can't. It can be described by humans but not understood, in the way that rats can't understand prime numbers (allegedly). 

The obvious explanation for non-believers is that the Bible mentions the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit separately, and the concept of the Trinity was cobbled together later to assert that Christianity isn't as polytheistic as those things would make it appear. 

I'm thinking that there were serious Christians, like Isaac Newton, who rejected the idea of the Trinity, for just those reasons.
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#33
RE: The Trinity
From my experience, it seems to be whatever they need it to be for the given moment. One might even think they're just making it up as they go along.
"For the only way to eternal glory is a life lived in service of our Lord, FSM; Verily it is FSM who is the perfect being the name higher than all names, king of all kings and will bestow upon us all, one day, The great reclaiming"  -The Prophet Boiardi-

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#34
RE: The Trinity
Christianity had been plugging along for three centuries before the first trinitarian christians existed. Jesus wasn't even a god for the first two.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#35
RE: The Trinity
(January 19, 2021 at 12:59 am)The Grand Nudger Wrote: Christianity had been plugging along for three centuries before the first trinitarian christians existed.  Jesus wasn't even a god for the first two.

False. The Gospel According to John already had Jesus be some sort of divine figure, and even Paul saw Jesus as divine in some sense.

And I think it's misleading to imply the Trinity came about just like that a few centuries after Christianity first emerged. There was a gradual process occurring during first few centuries of Christianity in which Jesus was sort of vaguely divine and then became more prominently divine to the point of being God ultimately. Similar thing with the Holy Spirit: Spirit of God (so sort of the same thing as God) then becoming God in its own right.
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#36
RE: The Trinity
(January 19, 2021 at 7:05 am)Grandizer Wrote:
(January 19, 2021 at 12:59 am)The Grand Nudger Wrote: Christianity had been plugging along for three centuries before the first trinitarian christians existed.  Jesus wasn't even a god for the first two.

False. The Gospel According to John already had Jesus be some sort of divine figure, and even Paul saw Jesus as divine in some sense.

And I think it's misleading to imply the Trinity came about just like that a few centuries after Christianity first emerged. There was a gradual process occurring during first few centuries of Christianity in which Jesus was sort of vaguely divine and then became more prominently divine to the point of being God ultimately. Similar thing with the Holy Spirit: Spirit of God (so sort of the same thing as God) then becoming God in its own right.

It's right there at the beginning:

Quote:The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Sort of hard to miss, I'd think.
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#37
RE: The Trinity
(January 19, 2021 at 7:05 am)Grandizer Wrote:
(January 19, 2021 at 12:59 am)The Grand Nudger Wrote: Christianity had been plugging along for three centuries before the first trinitarian christians existed.  Jesus wasn't even a god for the first two.

False. The Gospel According to John already had Jesus be some sort of divine figure, and even Paul saw Jesus as divine in some sense.

And I think it's misleading to imply the Trinity came about just like that a few centuries after Christianity first emerged. There was a gradual process occurring during first few centuries of Christianity in which Jesus was sort of vaguely divine and then became more prominently divine to the point of being God ultimately. Similar thing with the Holy Spirit: Spirit of God (so sort of the same thing as God) then becoming God in its own right.
It's neither false, nor is it misleading.  Jesus was worshipped before he was thought of as divine, the explanation given is his exaltation through resurrection.  Trinitarian beliefs did come about three centuries in, and it wasn't gradual.  It was, again, a political compromise.

Ultimately, whether trinitarian beliefs make sense (and what sense they make) isn't a question of apologetics or historic revisionism. It's an idea with a traceable past both within and without the christian movement - and whatever christian apologists wish to be the case when it comes to it's development or believe to be true regarding the doctrine is immaterial. From their end, it literally cant make sense as an article of faith, but in mere reality it makes all the sense in the world as how a group with major schisms pulled two together in order to purge the third and condense societal authority in a crucial period for the merge between the christian religion and the roman state. Had they not arrived at this (or some similar) compromise, there would likely be no christianity today, as christianity is a product of this and many other little movements.

It's not done with it, either. As soon as martin nailed a memo to a door christianity had the same argument again, one effect of that is that today - the vast majority of american christians and christian churches are functionally non trinitarian.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#38
RE: The Trinity
What you specifically stated is false, though. Jesus was seen as a god at some time during the first two centuries, first century even, since the emergence of Christianity.

The rest of what you said (in the last post) is red herring that can be safely ignored.
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#39
RE: The Trinity
What I specifically stated is true, and well attested. You can research it for yourself, as it's a fascinating subject.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
Reply
#40
RE: The Trinity
(January 19, 2021 at 7:32 am)Belacqua Wrote:
(January 19, 2021 at 7:05 am)Grandizer Wrote: False. The Gospel According to John already had Jesus be some sort of divine figure, and even Paul saw Jesus as divine in some sense.

And I think it's misleading to imply the Trinity came about just like that a few centuries after Christianity first emerged. There was a gradual process occurring during first few centuries of Christianity in which Jesus was sort of vaguely divine and then became more prominently divine to the point of being God ultimately. Similar thing with the Holy Spirit: Spirit of God (so sort of the same thing as God) then becoming God in its own right.

It's right there at the beginning:

Quote:The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Sort of hard to miss, I'd think.

Yep, exactly. And there are various passage in the Gospel of John where you see Jesus referring to himself as God. One example is in John 8, where Jesus clearly implies he is God in multiple verses and reaffirms this by telling the Jews he was conversing with that "before Abraham was born, I am" (John 8:58). The response of the Jews was to pick up stones to throw at him (because the implication is clear).

"John" appears to be equating Jesus to God himself, and so it seems that it isn't just that Jesus is a god or some divine figure, but the God. Whatever the correct interpretation may be (whether Jesus is God or a god), "John" gives a clear illustration of how some early Christians in the first couple centuries viewed Jesus. And it's hard to see (given this) how Jesus wasn't viewed by them as divine in some way, if not as God.

And for those looking for a scholar to back this up, here's a video lecture by Bart Ehrman on YouTube. Feel free to give it a watch, interesting stuff.



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