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juliann

Who's Coming To Dinner?

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http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695234115,00.html

It isn't often I see something new about the trinity. In my sojourn on the internet, I have observed a movement toward emphasizing the "three" in the "one". This is a clever way to break through the semantic game that is played when trinitarians insist they believe in three separate beings.

Whole books have been written to explain the Trinity. Here's how Franklin Evans used to explain the Trinitarian vs. unitarian view to his Methodist confirmation classes: "If God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were coming to dinner, how many places would you set?" For people who believe in the Trinity, the answer would be "one."

This gave me a chuckle because it is so true and so ironic.

If you go back to the third and fourth centuries post-Christ, says the Rev. Wade Halva of Cottonwood Presbyterian, "the Trinity was the litmus test for orthodoxy." Today, he says, "it's kind of a secret handshake," a way of saying "this is what it means to be a 'real Christian."'

So how many places would our trinitarian critics set at the table for their three personages?

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http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695234115,00.html

It isn't often I see something new about the trinity. In my sojourn on the internet, I have observed a movement toward emphasizing the "three" in the "one". This is a clever way to break through the semantic game that is played when trinitarians insist they believe in three separate beings.

The actual ignorance of trinitarian doctrine displayed here is quite notable.

The emphasis of the three-in-oneness of the Trinity dates at least to the so-called Athanasian Creed (c. 500 AD), and prior to that. That emphasis has been uniform and unwavering. Far from some recent movement that one might happen to have observed on the Internet, the unity of the Trinity (Tri-unity), has been religious dogma for over a millennium and a half.

No actual trinitarians insist they believe in three separate beings.

Unless by "semantic game" and an "observable movement" you were actually referring to the Athanasian Creed?

CKS

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The actual ignorance of trinitarian doctrine displayed here is quite notable.

Perhaps.

But on whose part?

The rise of the social Trinitarian model is a very encouraging development in Protestant and Catholic thought. Sometime before the end of this month, I intend to make some editorial adjustments to my Yale Divinity School paper of a few years ago, on Mormonism and the social Trinity, for publication in Element, the journal of the Society for Mormon Theology and Philosophy. You should be able to marvel at its brilliance and its insightfulness sometime during the first half of 2008.

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http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695234115,00.html

It isn't often I see something new about the trinity. In my sojourn on the internet, I have observed a movement toward emphasizing the "three" in the "one". This is a clever way to break through the semantic game that is played when trinitarians insist they believe in three separate beings.

This gave me a chuckle because it is so true and so ironic.

So how many places would our trinitarian critics set at the table for their three personages?

Well being as they do not understand anything about the realness of these three beings in one body, then they would probably have to set up up three settings and then hope two of them dont show up?

:P

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Perhaps.

But on whose part?

The rise of the social Trinitarian model is a very encouraging development in Protestant and Catholic thought. Sometime before the end of this month, I intend to make some editorial adjustments to my Yale Divinity School paper of a few years ago, on Mormonism and the social Trinity, for publication in Element, the journal of the Society for Mormon Theology and Philosophy. You should be able to marvel at its brilliance and its insightfulness sometime during the first half of 2008.

If you wish to defend Juliann's statements (leveled against "trinitarian critics," ergo, I'd assume, traditional Christians) that trinitarians have just recently begun to emphasize the three-in-oneness of the Godhead (per Juliann) and that this is a recent semantic game played by folks who insist they believe in three distinct beings (per Juliann), be my guest, and do so.

But those claims are plainly ridiculous.

So, that's not what you've done here. You've changed the subject to something else only tangentially related (in this case, social Trinitarianism) and have managed to plug one of your future publications--though the relevance of either that model or your paper to Juliann's post as written, frankly, escapes me.

I can hardly see the point of your post, other than to insinuate that I'm ignorant of the rudiments of basic trinitarian doctrine ("But on whose part," indeed), rather than Juliann. And that's disengagement?

Finally, I'm unaware of any proponents of the social trinitarian model, at least from within the precincts of traditional Christianity (again, the apparent focus of Juliann's post), who advocate belief in three beings.

Are you?

CKS

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No actual trinitarians insist they believe in three separate beings.

So how many table settings would you put out?

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You've changed the subject and have managed to plug one of your future publications . . . I can hardly see the point of your post

Social Trinitarianism is directly relevant to the subject.

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http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695234115,00.html

It isn't often I see something new about the trinity. In my sojourn on the internet, I have observed a movement toward emphasizing the "three" in the "one". This is a clever way to break through the semantic game that is played when trinitarians insist they believe in three separate beings.

Anyone who insists they beleive in three separate beings is not a tirnitarian. "three distinct persons" is the only correct terminology, because only this terminology accurately expresses the correct concept, "Person," properly understood, truly expresses the individuation (distinction) of rational substance without any implication of separaton, that is, division into parts, except when attributed to finite beings.

So how many places would our trinitarian critics set at the table for their three personages?

There are four places set at the table: one for each each person of the trinity and a fourth for the soul of man, who partakes of their divine life. Orthodox trinitarians, by the way, have long history of depicting the trinity as three indivuals sitting at table, as this article explains: http://www.rollins.edu/Foreign_Lang/Russian/trinity.html

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http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695234115,00.html

It isn't often I see something new about the trinity. In my sojourn on the internet, I have observed a movement toward emphasizing the "three" in the "one". This is a clever way to break through the semantic game that is played when trinitarians insist they believe in three separate beings.

But, trinitarians don't believe in three "separate" beings. God is only one being, that is manifested in three "distinct" persons.

So how many places would our trinitarian critics set at the table for their three personages?

Just one, since God the Father and the Holy Spirit were never incarnated in human flesh, nor will they ever be.

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Anyone who insists they beleive in three separate beings is not a tirnitarian. "three distinct persons" is the only correct terminology, because only this terminology accurately expresses the correct concept, "Person," properly understood, truly expresses the individuation (distinction) of rational substance without any implication of separaton, that is, division into parts, except when attributed to finite beings.

There are four places set at the table: one for each each person of the trinity and a fourth for the soul of man, who partakes of their divine life. Orthodox trinitarians, by the way, have long history of depicting the trinity as three indivuals sitting at table, as this article explains: http://www.rollins.edu/Foreign_Lang/Russian/trinity.html

:P

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"three distinct persons" is the only correct terminology, because only this terminology accurately expresses the correct concept, "Person," properly understood, truly expresses the individuation (distinction) of rational substance without any implication of separaton, that is, division into parts, except when attributed to finite beings.

Complete and utter gibberish. A person cannot be more than one "being" and a "being" cannot be more than one person. Volumes have been wasted on this absurd concept. It is a pure invention; a fiction fabricated by conjoining two mutually exclusive concepts and slapping on a coat of semantic nonsense to hide the seams.

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Social Trinitarianism is directly relevant to the subject.

With reference to Juliann's claims (that I directly addressed)?

With reference to the purportedly-recent tactic by trinitarians to emphasize the unity of the Godhead? With reference to the claim of purported semantics on the part of trinitarians who actually "insist they believe" in three beings?

Since you didn't connect social trinitarianism in any meaningful way to either Juliann's post or my response (you wrote merely: "The rise of the social Trinitarian model is a very encouraging development in Protestant and Catholic thought"), its mention is tangential.

Perhaps you could specifically bring to bear upon Juliann's claim the significance of the "rise of the social Trinitarian model [as] a very encouraging development in Protestant and Catholic thought."

I'd be interested in your take.

CKS

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Complete and utter gibberish. A person cannot be more than one "being" and a "being" cannot be more than one person. Volumes have been wasted on this absurd concept. It is a pure invention; a fiction fabricated by conjoining two mutually exclusive concepts and slapping on a coat of semantic nonsense to hide the seams.

Then I shall attempt an explanation that is not semantic. What I am about to write is difficult, but I have tried to make it simple enough to make sense if you read it slowly. The difference works like this:

"Being" and "person" differ in meaning insofar as "person" indicates being under the formalities of rationality and individuation: rationality because, one who is a person possesses reason by nature, and as a result free will (though one may lack the operation of reason due to immaturity or physical defect, it is still proper to the nature of a personal being); individuation because "person" indicates the self-indentifcation of a being, for "person" does not indicate being simply, but indicates "the one who has being," which is decidedly not the same thing. This is why "being" and "person" are sometimes distinguished as respective answers to the questions "what" and "who." When we ask "What is God?" only one answer can be given, since "what" does not inquire about individuation. When we ask "Who is God?" each person of the Trinity could give his own answer. This is because "who" specifies individuation.

An example that makes this distinction seem a little less abstract is to consider your own existence and your own self. It is quite clear, that there is a perfect overlap of you and ypur existence, for there is nothing in your existence that is not in you and vice verse, and the limits of your existence are the same as the limits of yourself. Yet at the same time, one could never say that "You are your existence." The fact is that you are you. You are the one who has existence. That is all the difference between person and being.

With this understanding of being and person, the Trinitarian formula can be seen to mean: There is one thing that is God, yet three who have that being. (As the preceding paragraph shows, this is not a mere difference in terminology, but a genuine difference derived from the nature of existence.)

This doctrine creates many problems for the intellect and always provokes the immediate objection that no such thing can be imagined; how then can it be real? This objection is absolutely rooted in and dependent upon materialist philosophy. Indeed, it is strictly impossible to argue along this line - and all other lines of argument I have encontered - apart from assuming materialism as a philosophical substratum.

When you say it is "gibberish," might I suggest that what you really mean is that it is not something you can imagine? that is it not something you can form a picture of in your mind? The fact is it should not be imaginable. Most misunderstadnings of the Trintiy in fact derive from attempts to create an imaginable model for it. The whole thing defies imagination and has to. Logically, the first principle of monotheism is that God is infinite (not that He is one, but that He is infinite; the reason God is one is that two infinites would limit each other and therefore not be infinite). Now it is absolutely absurd- more evidently so than the Trinity - that anything material should be infinite, for even if matter had no external boundaries, it would always be divisible within itself, and finite for that reason. Matter is necessarily finite per se. Therefore to be truly infinite, one must have more existence than matter has. Yet all imagination is drawn from experience, and the things we know by experience are all tangible things, which have boundaries that limit their existence, like shape and weight. The objects of imagination are all material. To say, therefore, that the Trinity must be imaginable to be real is to say that is must be material and finite, and therefore to assume that only matter is real, which is the philosophical definiton of materialism.

Yet no such philosophy of men has any place in Trinitarian thinking. The philosophy of God teaches that more exists than is knowable by the senses, the organs of carnal discernment. In particular, it teaches that the infinite exists, and therefore that metaphysical being is real, and more real than anything else.

The immaterial nature of the infinte is directly pertinent to the topic of individuation. For, in material things, matter itself is the principle of individuation. For instance, you and I are both human, and the form of "humanity" exists in you just as in me with no difference between us what soever. Yet though humanity in you is no different from humanity in me, we are not one another. Why? Because my humanity exists within a different piece of matter than yours does. That is what individuates us. In God, however, there is no matter to individuate Him, and if an immaterial entity is to be personal, and individual, some other principle of individuation must account for it. What that principle is be eludes natural philosophy, but Trinitarian faith identifies that principle as two internal processions within God's being, whereby the Son is beogtten, and the Spirit breathed. The whole payoff of Trinitarian theology is actually to understand these processions, which contain in themselves the whole object of human happiness and fullest concept of divine fatherhood. I can explain them too, but I wax long.

If you think this is all semantical trickery, can you point out where the trick was?

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No actual trinitarians insist they believe in three separate beings.

So what is word de jour? Personages? Whatever.

How many place settings would you put out?

If you wish to defend Juliann's statements (leveled against "trinitarian critics," ergo, I'd assume, traditional Christians)

I do not consider trinitarian critics to be traditional Christians. They are the exception not the rule. But you know that.

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This doctrine creates many problems for the intellect and always provokes the immediate objection that no such thing can be imagined; how then can it be real? This objection is absolutely rooted in and dependant upon materialist philosophy. Indeed, it is strictly impossible to argue along this line - and all other lines of argument I have encontered - apart from assuming materialism as a philosophical substratum.

When you say it can't be imagined, you're admitting that it can't be comprehended. The reason it can't be comprehended is because it is a contradiction in terms. You might as well be talking about a square circle. "It is fully square, yet it is also fully circular." Just don't go calling it a circular square, because that's totally different.

Therefore to be truly infinite, one must have more existence than matter has.

Another nonsensical statement. Where do you get the idea that something can have "more existence than matter"? What does that even mean? How does one go about measuring amounts of existence?

Yet no such philosophy of men has any place in Trinitarian thinking.

That's for sure.

For instance, you and I are both human, and the form of "humanity" exists in you just as in me with no difference between us what soever.

There is no form of "humanity." "Humanity" is a term of linguistic convenience. It is a useful fiction that makes helps us generalize and simplify reality. We take a group of organisms with shared genetic ancestry and physical similarities and stick them all under one heading, but that doesn't make the category we've created an immutable platonic form.

"Being" and "person" differ in meaning insofar as "person" indicates being under the formalities of rationality and individuation: rationality because, one who is a person possesses reason by nature, and as a result free will (though one may lack the operation of reason due to immaturity or physical defect, it is still proper to the nature of a personal being); individuation because "person" indicates the self-indentifcation of a being, for "person" does not indicate being simply, but indicates "the one who has being," which is decidedly not the same thing. This is why "being" and "person" are sometimes distinguished as respective answers to the questions "what" and "who." When we ask "What is God?" only one answer can be given, since "what" does not inquire about individuation. When we ask "Who is God?" each person of the Trinity could give his own answer. This is because "who" specifies individuation.

You've defined "person." (A being that thinks and acts) But you didn't define "being." For most people, the term "being" is a thing that thinks and acts. "I saw three beings appear over my bed." What did I see? Three rocks? Three toasters? No...when you read "I saw three beings," you immediately imagined three persons, because in virtually every case, "being" is synonymous with "person." If you define "being" more broadly--something like "that which exists," you still run into problems. How can something be "one being"? Again, we run into semantic problems stemming from methods of categorization. If a rock is "one being," what happens if we break the rock in half? Do we still have "one being" or have we created two beings?

Oh yeah..."immaterial being"--another contradiction in terms. The whole trinitarian tower is just floor after floor of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo like this.

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It was made simple for me by an evangelical friend...

The answer is mathematical. It's a matter of addition and multiplication.

1+1+1=3

but

1x1x1=1

Mormons add, "Christians" multiply.

Now that that's settled....

Bernard

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So what is word de jour? Personages? Whatever.

I believe you were looking for "persons" (rather than "beings"). In English conversations re: the Trinity, "persons" and "being/nature" are crucial terms. And "persons" (vis-a-vis "beings") is not some recent invention or merely current nomenclature, as you suggest ("word de jour").

Obviously you're not that interested in the distinction ("Whatever"), but it's really fruitless to begin a conversation when one is foundationally, but, alas, contentedly, confused about the very terms under discussion. You may not find traditional trinitarianism coherent or compelling, but the terms involved in the discussion have been around a long time.

How many place settings would you put out?

Depending upon what you might mean, I'd agree with either soren or Rusty Springs. Or, indeed, I might answer otherwise than either. Perhaps you could specify the focus and intent of your question.

I do not consider trinitarian critics to be traditional Christians. They are the exception not the rule. But you know that.

No, I don't know that. Frankly, I don't really know what you mean here. That traditional Christians are not trinitarians? Or that critics of the LDS Church are not traditional Christians? Or that critics of the LDS Church are not trinitarians? Or, something else? I don't know.

CKS

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Complete and utter gibberish. A person cannot be more than one "being" and a "being" cannot be more than one person. Volumes have been wasted on this absurd concept. It is a pure invention; a fiction fabricated by conjoining two mutually exclusive concepts and slapping on a coat of semantic nonsense to hide the seams.

"Adjust your mind; you have a serious fault in the linguistic programmes which structure your thought, which can halve your effective intelligence.

Attempt to describe 'being' and you can only actually describe doing.

We observe only 'doing'. We never observe 'being', 'existence' or 'essence'.

All phenomena, ourselfs included, consist of processes, not of 'things' performing processes. Language lets us down badly.

The false concept of 'being' acts as a word virus, scrambling our thoughts, for nothing consists of other than what it does. I think, therefore I think that I think, nothing more!

[...]

Nothing 'is' anything else; although many events resemble or look like others. Every use of the word 'is' conceals a loss of information and a reinforcement of narrow views and prejudice."

[...]

"Antispell One: Write Without Any Tense Of The Verb 'To Be'"

"Antispell Two: Eliminate Being From Speech"

"Antispell Three: Eliminate Being From Your Internal Dialogue"

"Are, am, is, was, be: out demons out!"

- Peter Carroll,
PsyberMagick:Advanced Ideas in Chaos Magick

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"Adjust your mind; you have a serious fault in the linguistic programmes which structure your thought, which can halve your effective intelligence.

Attempt to describe 'being' and you can only actually describe doing.

We observe only 'doing'. We never observe 'being', 'existence' or 'essence'.

All phenomena, ourselfs included, consist of processes, not of 'things' performing processes. Language lets us down badly.

The false concept of 'being' acts as a word virus, scrambling our thoughts, for nothing consists of other than what it does. I think, therefore I think that I think, nothing more!

[...]

Nothing 'is' anything else; although many events resemble or look like others. Every use of the word 'is' conceals a loss of information and a reinforcement of narrow views and prejudice."

[...]

"Antispell One: Write Without Any Tense Of The Verb 'To Be'"

"Antispell Two: Eliminate Being From Speech"

"Antispell Three: Eliminate Being From Your Internal Dialogue"

"Are, am, is, was, be: out demons out!"

- Peter Carroll,
PsyberMagick:Advanced Ideas in Chaos Magick

..........................................................................................................................................................

Another nonsensical statement. Where do you get the idea that something can have "more existence than matter"? What does that even mean? How does one go about measuring amounts of existence?

.............................................................................................................................................................

Hey Tsuzuki...I do have a electronic meter that can measure the amounts of this essence and being stuff! Its called a b.s meter. And it actually measures in the imagination mode too!

:P

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Hey Tsuzuki...I do have a electronic meter that can measure the amounts of this essence and being stuff! Its called a b.s meter. And it actually measures in the imagination mode too!

:P

Cool. I have one of those too. So, you agree with me that essence and being fall under the label of BS?

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Cool. I have one of those too. So, you agree with me that essence and being fall under the label of BS?

You know where i stand. By the way, how much did you pay for yours?

:P

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You know where i stand.

Actually, I forgot.

By the way, how much did you pay for yours?

Mine came free with my patriarchal blessing.

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Obviously you're not that interested in the distinction ("Whatever"), but it's really fruitless to begin a conversation when one is foundationally, but, alas, contentedly, confused about the very terms under discussion. You may not find traditional trinitarianism coherent or compelling, but the terms involved in the discussion have been around a long time.

Of course they have. The emphasis is different. No one really cares what you call them...the end result is the same, you are trying to imput a distinction while holding on to a monotheistic "one". Internet EVs are going towards social trinitarianism, an emphasis on the three whatevers. Perhaps it is the sanctuary EVs who are trying to hold onto the one.

Now, how many place settings ? Do you think no one is noticing that you are doing everything possible to not answer that? And it wasn't a Mormon who asked the question. :P

oooppss....misspelling in title....

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Actually, I forgot.

Mine came free with my patriarchal blessing.

Allright then, yes three beings of one essence is B.S. And cannott be explained by anybody.{this is why we need meters}.

:P

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Of course they have. The emphasis is different. No one really cares what you call them...the end result is the same, you are trying to imput a distinction while holding on to a monotheistic "one". Internet EVs are going towards social trinitarianism, an emphasis on the three whatevers. Perhaps it is the sanctuary EVs who are trying to hold onto the one.

Again, it's not three "whatevers." And I care deeply what you call them, even if you don't. As do other traditional trinitarians. "Input" a distinction, I assume? Or, "impute," perhaps?

No, I can't take credit for that, frankly. The terms, delimitations, and shape of the discussion predate me by quite a number of years. You'd do well to catch up on the past 1500 or so years of discussion before blithely dismissing the foundational elements of said discussion ("Whatever," "No one really cares what you call them").

Your utter disregard for acknowledging and using the basic terms of the discussion correctly doesn't bode well for any sort of intelligent discussion of the underlying issues.

CFR on these Internet EV's who are going towards social trinitarianism. And CFR as to how that model impinges in a relevant manner upon your patently-false claims about traditional trinitarians.

Now, how many place settings ? Do you think no one is noticing that you are doing everything possible to not answer that? And it wasn't a Mormon who asked the question. :P

Focus, specify, delimit your question. At this point, it's so vague as to be essentially meaningless. I couldn't care less who is or is not noticing that I'm "doing everything possible to not answer that." In fact, however, I'm not. I'm merely not answering a rather pointlessly-vague and unspecified question. Bring the relevant terms properly to bear upon your question and ask it from a determinate viewpoint.

If you can do so, I might be able to provide a relevant answer.

CKS

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