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Doctor Steuss

Trinity, Trinity, Trinity.

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Whoa, for a second there I thought the thread had really devolved into just another debate one, but I think we just barely dodged that bullet... :P

CS and consiglieri, good thoughts. I would also like to call attention back to the posts by Dando and Catholic Guy, as they brought up really good points about how the Trinity is an understandable concept, but yet runs deeper than our understanding at the same time.

And one addition to johnny and Southern Gentleman's conversation: When SG wants the phrase "one substance" to appear in the Bible, that doesn't make much sense to me. We all use phrases to describe our doctrines that are not found in our official Scriptures. For example, for LDS, I would like someone to find me the phrase "eternal progression" in the Quad. It's not there. Does this mean that the LDS view is automatically nonsensical or "non-scriptural", in their worldview? Of course not. Likewise with "one substance" for mainstream Christians. It is not explicitly mentioned, but I do sincerely believe it is strongly implied.

More thoughts later, I'm sure. Take care, everyone <_<

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rhinomelon,

When SG wants the phrase "one substance" to appear in the Bible, that doesn't make much sense to me.

Along the same line of thought ... the following link says:

Whether the word "person" should be said of God?

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/102903.htm

Although the word "person" is not found applied to God in Scripture, either in the Old or New Testament, nevertheless what the word signifies is found to be affirmed of God in many places of Scripture; as that He is the supreme self-subsisting being, and the most perfectly intelligent being. If we could speak of God only in the very terms themselves of Scripture, it would follow that no one could speak about God in any but the original language of the Old or New Testament.

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rhinomelon,
When SG wants the phrase "one substance" to appear in the Bible, that doesn't make much sense to me.

Along the same line of thought ... the following link says:

Whether the word "person" should be said of God?

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/102903.htm

Although the word "person" is not found applied to God in Scripture, either in the Old or New Testament, nevertheless what the word signifies is found to be affirmed of God in many places of Scripture; as that He is the supreme self-subsisting being, and the most perfectly intelligent being. If we could speak of God only in the very terms themselves of Scripture, it would follow that no one could speak about God in any but the original language of the Old or New Testament.

By the same token, the Bible strongly implies that there are three separate beings forming one Godhead, to whom our worship should be directed. Each is called, on various occasions, God. Therefore, Joseph Smith cannot be faulted for calling them three Gods, as in three divine persons, who form one Godhead, one divinity, one perfectly united trio or trinity.

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Magyar,

three separate beings forming one Godhead

What scripture mentions "beings" ... how do you define "beings".

What scripture reveals that "three separate beings forming one Godhead"?

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Another question:

Christ has a glorified body, but God the Father and the Holy Ghost do not. How does this play into the three persons being of one undivided substance?

I

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Doctor Steuss,

Christ has a glorified body, but God the Father and the Holy Ghost do not. How does this play into the three persons being of one undivided substance?

Maybe the following article below will help you understand, if not then ask some questions:

God Has No Body

http://www.catholic.com/library/God_Has_No_Body.asp

It says the following:

Jesus, who is God, assumed an earthly body when he was born of the Blessed Virgin, and that this body, now glorified, continues to exist. But since the Lord only took on human flesh in these "last days," and since God has always existed, without beginning or end, we must still conclude that having a body is not part of God

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Thanks Johnny. A few more questions:

Does God the Father occupy Christ

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Doctor Steuss,

Does God the Father occupy Christ

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Are God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Ghost three separate spirits, or one spirit with three distinct wills and centers of consciousness?

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Doctor Steuss,

Are God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Ghost three separate spirits, or one spirit with three distinct wills and centers of consciousness?

Christ has a human intellect and will, perfectly attuned and subject to his divine intellect and divine will, which he has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

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Doctor Steuss,
Are God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Ghost three separate spirits, or one spirit with three distinct wills and centers of consciousness?

Christ has a human intellect and will, perfectly attuned and subject to his divine intellect and divine will, which he has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Are they three seperate spirits though, or one spirit?

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Doctor Steuss,

Are they three seperate spirits though, or one spirit?

How are using spirit ... do you have a verse in mind?

Each of the persons is the divine substance, essence or nature.

Inseparable in what they are, the divine persons are also inseparable in what they do.

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Doctor Steuss,
Are they three seperate spirits though, or one spirit?

How are using spirit ... do you have a verse in mind?

From one of your previous posts:

Jesus teaches us: "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." This means God has no body, because a spirit is, by nature, an incorporeal being. As Jesus tells us elsewhere, "a spirit has not flesh and bones" (Luke 24:39). There is a big difference between being a spirit and having a spirit. Jesus says that the Father is a spirit, not that the Father has a spirit; this means that he lacks a body entirely.

I guess a better question would be, since "the Father is a spirit, not ... the Father has a spirit", is Jesus a spirit, or does he have a spirit? And are the Father, Jesus, and the HG three seperate spirits, or one spirit?

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Doctor Steuss,

I guess a better question would be, since "the Father is a spirit, not ... the Father has a spirit", is Jesus a spirit, or does he have a spirit?

Jesus is true man. A human body is animated by a spiritual soul.

And are the Father, Jesus, and the HG three seperate spirits, or one spirit?

The Father and the HG are pure spirit, they do not have a body of flesh.

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Doctor Steuss,
I guess a better question would be, since "the Father is a spirit, not ... the Father has a spirit", is Jesus a spirit, or does he have a spirit?

Jesus is true man. A human body is animated by a spiritual soul.

And are the Father, Jesus, and the HG three seperate spirits, or one spirit?

The Father and the HG are pure spirit, they do not have a body of flesh.

If I am understanding this correctly then, Jesus is a different and seperate spirit than the Father and HG? Or did I botch it?

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Jesus is a different and seperate spirit than the Father and HG?

Since we have different backgrounds, I think we might be talking past each other because for me "spirit" can mean different things.

Jesus is a "sperate spirit" in the sense that he had a distinct intellect and will.

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Jesus is a different and seperate spirit than the Father and HG?

Since we have different backgrounds, I think we might be talking past each other because for me "spirit" can mean different things.

You might be right in regards to the different definitions for the same word.

Jesus is a "sperate spirit" in the sense that he had a distinct intellect and will.

Gotcha.

Thanks.

I was falling back into my LDS mindset, and was equating spirit to the actual being (i.e. my spirit [aka, soul], your spirit, etc.).

This has been more difficult than I thought it would be. Every time I think I might be starting to understand, in actuality my understanding is coming from my creating LDS parallels to your belief.

I think at this point I will just need to hit up the books that have been recommended to me.

Thank you again everyone, I believe this thread has accomplished its purpose.

If anyone has anything to add, or any additional questions, please do so soon. I would leave this thread open indefinitely, but I think if I did, it would eventually move into a debate. Unless there are any other insights or questions, I will be requesting that the moderators lock this thread in a couple of hours.

Regards,

Stuart

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Doctor Steuss,

I was falling back into my LDS mindset,

It is hard getting past our mindsets.

This has been more difficult than I thought it would be.

The nature of a message board makes it even more difficult.

Thank you again everyone, I believe this thread has accomplished its purpose.

Thank you for the opportunity to exchange ideas and beliefs with you.

I will be requesting that the moderators lock this thread in a couple of hours.

Locking this thread sounds like a good idea to me.

Grace and peace,

johnny

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Could you perhaps lock it tomorrow afternoon, if it isn't generating anything more of interest? I have some thoughts and some things to look up tonight that I want to put down on the thread, but work today probably won't allow much.

Either way, though, it's your thread! :P

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Could you perhaps lock it tomorrow afternoon, if it isn't generating anything more of interest? I have some thoughts and some things to look up tonight that I want to put down on the thread, but work today probably won't allow much.

Either way, though, it's your thread! :P

I will definitely leave it open then. I would like as much information to promote understanding as possible. I would like to utilize this thread in the future as a reference tool.

Thanks,

Stu

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I have some questions for trinitarians.

1 - When the Bible refers to God, with no distinction of Father, Son or Holy Ghost, who is it referring to? Does it refer to the Father, all three or any one of the three?

2 - In the diagram that has been produced on this message board, where it has God in the middle and the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost around "God", this seems to imply that God is some type of entity, independant of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Does "God" exist, independant of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost?

3 - The Greek word, "monogenes" and the Hebrew word, "yalad", which are generally translated as, "begotten" or some form of it, in every case, throughout the Bible, refer to either a literal or a metaphorical birth. It always implies a beginning. With this in mnd, can you explain what it means to be "eternally begotten"?

T-Shirt

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Johnny - please refrain from using red on a regular basis.

Once in a very rare while for emphasis may be OK - but bold, italics, and underlining is much friendlier on the eyes.

Besides, the red font is kind of reserved for us power-hungry board admins.

Oreos

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Hmmm....a new administrator?? Is "Oreos" Greek for something? Like "tasty", perhaps? :P

Good questions, T-Shirt, I'll try to get to some of them today, if possible.

I will definitely leave it open then. I would like as much information to promote understanding as possible. I would like to utilize this thread in the future as a reference tool.

Thank you! Hopefully, I'll make your forbearance worthwhile in the next day or so... <_<

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While waiting for replies to my questioms, I have another question. First let me state that I believe the doctrine of the Trinity, as is born out in the creeds, was an attempt to reconcile the seeming contradiction of scripture, namely, that there are three divine persons/beings who, at various times, are called, "God" and, that there are a number of verses which, in no uncetain terms, declare that there is only one God.

When scripture speaks of God, without distinction to identity, LDS generally believe this refers to the Father. LDS believe that when scripture refers to there being only one God, it simpy means, there is only one God the Father, just as Paul states. This does not preclude the possibility that there can be other divine beings who can be called by the title, "God". The fact that the Son and the Holy Ghost are, at times, called, "God", in no way infringes on the fact that there is only one God the Father. God the Father is our God, just as He is the God of Jesus and the God of the Holy Ghost, there is no other.

Now, can you trinitarians set aside your beliefs for a moment, and recognize that this belief is not only viable, according to scripture, but is much simpler to comprehend?

T-Shirt

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Are we supposed to think of the Father as a father in a familial sort of way? And the Son, being of the same substance of the Father -- was there ever at any time that He was indistingishable from the Father? And will He always have His body?

Okay, there are quite a few questions to get to, and I might not get them all today, but here goes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with thinking of the Father in a familial sort of way, as that is one of the ways Christ and the apostles told us to think. But that is not the only way found in Scripture, as many analogies are used. God is referred to as a vine, a shepherd, a virgin losing a coin, etc. All the examples are used to tell us something about God and His nature and character. The family analogy is carried through the entire New Testament, speaking of the Church.

As to the second question, there was never a time when the Son was indistinguishable from the Father, as the Bible makes it pretty clear that the Son preexisted everything else, including time. This is what the early Christians spoke of as "eternal generation". C.S. Lewis used the analogy of two books stacked on a table. The top book owes its position to the bottom book, but if those two books had been stacked that way for eternity, then one could say that the position of the top book was being eternally generated by the bottom book.

And what of the analogy of God being like water, which can be manifest as a solid, liquid, or gas? Is this usually embraced by most mainstream Christians?

It is a common analogy, but there is no "one true" analogy used. It is a helpful one for explaining certain aspects of the Trinity, but no one analogy will capture the whole, and every analogy has points where it breaks down. Of course, this is to be expected when trying to find an analogy for the Creator in what is created. Given that God is a completely unique being, any analogy we could ever use would have its limitations. We must never make the mistake of equating the analogy with what it tries to describe, otherwise the weaknesses of any analogy are unfairly planted onto the reality. I see this as a common problem with LDS trying to understand the Trinity.

a) Some trinitarians don't understand their own doctrines, and preach modalism.

Quite true, but then, LDS have members who misunderstand certain teachings and then accientally lead others astray in terms of what LDS really believe. The best solution is to go to those who are knowledgable in these areas. As Dando and Catholic Guy have rightly said, the Trinity is not an easy concept, nor is it one that can be completely understood in all its aspects (but we can gain ever greater understanding of it by studying it and digging ever deeper). We can understand and agree on all the basics, however.

And I agree with a separate poster about the frequency with which it is heard from believers in the Trinity that God is like water, ice and steam. But then I hear from other believers in the Trinity that that belief actually smacks of modalism, which is different from what the Trinity really teaches.

Good thoughts, consiglieri! :P And that is one weakness of the water analogy, but it is only an analogy, and not the Trinity itself. Again, it is crucial to go to good sources for information on issues like this. If I relied on LDS missionaries to give me official church teaching, I'd be off the mark compared to what I learn here on the FAIRboards from people like Daniel Peterson and Tom Nossor and others.

I also hear from other believers in the Trinity that God is completely other and cannot be understood, and if you think you understand the Trinity, then you don't understand the Trinity!

I think Catholic Guy's response was quite good. The Trinity is not something about which we can know nothing; rather, the Trinity is something about which we cannot know everything. So we can have a common understanding of the basics of the Trinity, but none of us can claim to understand it totally.

If an author had successfully settled the issue and made God comprehensible at least once, I would expect there to not be so great a profusion of books all attempting the same goal.

If an author succeeded in making God comprehensible to us, I would be reluctant to trust such an endeavor. After all, if men and women in the Bible couldn't do it (even being inspired by the Holy Spirit), and they were constantly using analogies and imagery to describe the glory of God, I am comfortable with mystery in this area. To bring the infinite God down to human comprehension would entail shaving off too much of God to make it work. Heck, we can't even understand God's creations; why expect that we should easily and completely understand the Creator?

More thoughts later, I'm sure. Take care, everyone <_<

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