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ElfLord

Another EV dichotomy problem.

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stem,

You wrote:

Okay, that's what I thought. Thanks for your patience in grinding through the issue. I don't think you can escape the fact that the logic of your position entails that God is obligated to give everyone an opportunity for mercy. You might find that assumption more to your liking, and I understand that, but truth is not found by searching our feelings for what we find palatable. If God reveals to us that he chooses to show mercy to some but not others (Romans 9:15-18), it won't do us any good to say we don't like that idea. We are in no position to answer back to God (Romans 9:19-20).

Indeed you are right in that truth is not found in what we find palatable. In this case, it just so happens that which feels better, when contemplating the two beliefs, is also that which is true. For instance, Romans simply doesn't reveal the reasons, at least not explicitly, why some receive mercy and others do not. It simply does not tell us that the chance of mercy is not made available to all at some point.

Thanks for your comments.

love,

stem

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And this is relevant because....?

Meaning is made by the context in which words are used. In an LDS context, those words have a different meaning than they do in an EV or Catholic context. So what? Do you want to argue about what a "Bishop" is? What is the point of arguing about words?

If you see meanings of words in terms in this manner, why then did you say above:

mfbukowski, on 27 December 2010 - 06:15 PM, said:

Whatever that is supposed to mean. Call it substance or being it is all just jibberish.

...

.

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I regard the books of the Old and New Testaments as scripture.

Ok, then plese respond to that John verse I gave you. It clearly showed separate souls could be one.

The Journal of Discourses deservedly ranks as one of the standard works of the Church, and every rightminded Saint will certainly welcome with joy every number as it comes forth.

President George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, Preface, Vol. 8

I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture.

President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 13:95

Ok.

sme yvral yhwh alhynw yhwh axd

I called for Proof your interpretation. I have a different interpretation of the verses. You need to prove your interpretation is correct.

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mfbukowski,

We all have a choice to give into our fallen sinful disposition or not to do so. Sin is a choice; the fact that we are predisposed because of the corruption of the Fall to make the wrong choice does not negate the fact that it is a choice. God did not make people sinners; that was something that resulted from the first human beings' choice.

This is a contradiction. If we are predisposed, we have our choices compromised.

And if my choices are limited by someone else's sin- how can it be said that I have a choice to avoid the consequences?

Suppose I am paralyzed by a drunken driver. I no longer have the ability to choose to walk- so how can it be said that I have a choice to do so? I don't.

His sin has taken away my choice in regard to walking. Period.

You cannot have original sin without compromising agency. It is a contradiction. It may be that someone else has taken away my choice, but that choice is a real loss nonetheless!

Sin is not "our nature" in the same way as eating meat is in a tiger's nature, because sin is a spiritual/moral disorder.

So man does not have a sinful "nature"? I am surprised you would say that. Yet you say it is a predisposition- how can that be if it is not part of our "nature"? And how can it be a "disorder" if we have a natural tendency to do it? We are all born "sick"? That kind of logic really strains the definition of "sick" don't you think? If we are all born with a "disorder" what does the word even mean? If everyone is born with the same "disorder", how can it be called a "disorder"?

There is no sense to it.

To be mentally incompetent is a justifiable excuse for bad bahavior, but being sinful by disposition is not an excuse. For example, most men are predisposed to seek adulterous relationships with women other than their wives, but that isn't a legitimate excuse for doing so.

Precisely. That is why adultery is NOT a capital crime. Except for perhaps only a very few places in the world, it is not even a crime of any kind. In other parts of the world, if one does NOT have a mistress, it is considered almost abnormal. The world recognizes this predisposition and consequently judges this offense as not at all serious, precisely because most men have such a predisposition. We who have taken on more rigorous standards would disagree with the world's standard, but nevertheless the reason the world sees it this way is because the predisposition is so strong.

I'm sorry, but I don't have the time to respond to all of the interesting and important issues here.

I don't doubt it. Still however you have time to respond to all the usual arguments with all your usual arguments. Since that is the case, I must conclude that you are avoiding the "important" issues I have raised with you. You may have no time, but I don't doubt for one minute that you also have no answers.

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stem,

You wrote:

Okay, that's what I thought. Thanks for your patience in grinding through the issue. I don't think you can escape the fact that the logic of your position entails that God is obligated to give everyone an opportunity for mercy. You might find that assumption more to your liking, and I understand that, but truth is not found by searching our feelings for what we find palatable. If God reveals to us that he chooses to show mercy to some but not others (Romans 9:15-18), it won't do us any good to say we don't like that idea. We are in no position to answer back to God (Romans 9:19-20).

So we cannot trust our feelings for what is right or wrong? If we cannot trust our feelings, how then can we even know that God exists, much less that the Bible is correct and should be trusted? And if we don't know that, why should we trust your interpretation of that scripture? How can we know you are right?

How can the beauty and order of nature testify to us of his existence if we cannot trust our own feelings? And yet if we have not heard of Christ, isn't that supposedly how we will be judged?

Rob, with all due respect, I could never be an Evangelical, simply because there are so many issues here which make absolutely no sense to me. As a minister of the gospel I would argue that you need to deal with these contradictions if you are to have any credibility whatsoever.

Again and again, we go over the same questions and you give us no answers. Perhaps it is time to reconsider your position.

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mfbukowski,

If I say I don't have time to discuss everything on this forum, such as whatever it was you say you had posted about social Trinitarianism (I didn't even see it), you say:

I don't doubt it. Still however you have time to respond to all the usual arguments with all your usual arguments. Since that is the case, I must conclude that you are avoiding the "important" issues I have raised with you. You may have no time, but I don't doubt for one minute that you also have no answers.

However, when I do respond to your arguments, you say:

Again and again, we go over the same questions and you give us no answers. Perhaps it is time to reconsider your position.

In short, if I don't answer, you conclude I am avoiding the issue because I have no answers; but when I do answer, you claim I have given you no answers. In other words, it doesn't matter whether I answer you or not, you claim I don't answer you. Furthermore, you claim I am avoiding answering you despite the dozens of times I have responded to you personally (never mind all the other Mormons to whom I have responded over and over).

How rude, and how silly.

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If you see meanings of words in terms in this manner, why then did you say above:

mfbukowski, on 27 December 2010 - 06:15 PM, said:

.

You missed the point- the meanings of words are found in the context of their usage. The word "Bishop" has a very different meaning to a Catholic and to a Mormon. And every little Evangelical sect would have their own context of usage for that term as well. I have seen local Evangelical pastors calling themselves "Bishops" though they have one single congregation- which is a usage similar to the Mormon usage.

But my contention is that "essence" and "substance" and "being" are SO dependent on their context - their definitions- that they have virtually no meaning whatsoever and are often used as placeholders for no meaning at all.

Please define the difference between "essence" and "substance" and contrast it with "nature" (as in the "nature of the Trinity") for me since you think these terms actually mean something. And throw in "being" while you are at it.

How does one differentiate between what is "substance" and "essence"?

I would love to see a sentence using all these terms and contrasting their meanings so that I can actually understand them.

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mfbukowski,

If I say I don't have time to discuss everything on this forum, such as whatever it was you say you had posted about social Trinitarianism (I didn't even see it), you say:

However, when I do respond to your arguments, you say:

In short, if I don't answer, you conclude I am avoiding the issue because I have no answers; but when I do answer, you claim I have given you no answers. In other words, it doesn't matter whether I answer you or not, you claim I don't answer you. Furthermore, you claim I am avoiding answering you despite the dozens of times I have responded to you personally (never mind all the other Mormons to whom I have responded over and over).

How rude, and how silly.

That's very cute and evasive, but no, in fact you have never answered my arguments. You usually end up with something cute and evasive as you just have.

And as you point out

I have responded to you personally (never mind all the other Mormons to whom I have responded over and over).

One wonders why you are here at all if that is your attitude. You could have posted the same thing to anyone, yet you chose me. I wonder why you are evading answering my questions. The social trinity issues go to the heart of it, since there are other Evangelicals who now hold views similar to ours on this, and you know that very well, yet you choose to ignore that fact.

With you it always comes down to personal issues, not theological ones, with cutsie personal comments like "how sad" or "how rude"

I call that evasive

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You missed the point- the meanings of words are found in the context of their usage. The word "Bishop" has a very different meaning to a Catholic and to a Mormon. And every little Evangelical sect would have their own context of usage for that term as well. I have seen local Evangelical pastors calling themselves "Bishops" though they have one single congregation- which is a usage similar to the Mormon usage.

But my contention is that "essence" and "substance" and "being" are SO dependent on their context - their definitions- that they have virtually no meaning whatsoever and are often used as placeholders for no meaning at all.

Please define the difference between "essence" and "substance" and contrast it with "nature" (as in the "nature of the Trinity") for me since you think these terms actually mean something. And throw in "being" while you are at it.

How does one differentiate between what is "substance" and "essence"?

I would love to see a sentence using all these terms and contrasting their meanings so that I can actually understand them.

Expositions on the topics are easily accessible online. For example-

In philosophy, essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an object or substancewhat it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses itsidentity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essence

Substance and Trinity

http://cip.cornell.edu/DPubS?service=Repository&version=1.0&verb=Disseminate&handle=cip.mpat/1196190806&view=body&content-type=pdf_1#

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Yes I know. Those are the classic explanations, with which I differ. Those are all based on neoplatonic and scholastic philosophy which have little importance in today's world with anyone who has any background in contemporary philosophy.

I was hoping you had your own understanding of it, having, I presume, "been trained in the ministry".

Edit: From your wiki reference:

Existentialism

Main article: Meaning (existential)

Existentialism was coined by Jean-Paul Sartre's statement that for human beings "existence precedes essence." In as much as "essence" is a cornerstone of all metaphysical philosophy and the grounding of Rationalism, Sartre's statement was a refutation of the philosophical system that had come before him (and, in particular, that of Husserl, Hegel, and Heidegger). Instead of "is-ness" generating "actuality," he argued that existence and actuality come first, and the essence is derived afterward. For Kierkegaard, it is the individual person who is the supreme moral entity, and the personal, subjective aspects of human life that are the most important; also, for Kierkegaard all of this had religious implications.[3]

In metaphysics

"Essence," in metaphysics, is often synonymous with the soul, and some existentialists argue that individuals gain their souls and spirits after they exist, that they develop their souls and spirits during their lifetimes. For Kierkegaard, however, the emphasis was upon essence as "nature." For him, there is no such thing as "human nature" that determines how a human will behave or what a human will be. First, he or she exists, and then comes attribute. Jean-Paul Sartre's more materialist and skeptical existentialism furthered this existentialist tenet by flatly refuting any metaphysical essence, any soul, and arguing instead that there is merely existence, with attributes as essence.

The position I am taking is more along these lines, so I was hoping I could discuss it with you, but all you have done is repeat the problem I am showing you.

And philosophy has made a few advances since Duns Scotus!

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:P

That's very cute and evasive, but no, in fact you have never answered my arguments. You usually end up with something cute and evasive as you just have.

And as you point out

One wonders why you are here at all if that is your attitude. You could have posted the same thing to anyone, yet you chose me. I wonder why you are evading answering my questions. The social trinity issues go to the heart of it, since there are other Evangelicals who now hold views similar to ours on this, and you know that very well, yet you choose to ignore that fact.

With you it always comes down to personal issues, not theological ones, with cutsie personal comments like "how sad" or "how rude"

I call that evasive

It is getting more and more obvious when Bowman doesn't have a real answer. It seems that he is among those that are deluded by his vapid and vacuous responses that he calls "answers".

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Nah, it doesn't really violate the Shema. It only violates your MIS-interpretation of the Shema.

Why, exactly, can't Three separate and distinct divine beings/entities make up one God (or Godhead)?

Why, exactly, can't Eight conjoined and identical orangutans/chimpanzees make up one God (or Godhead)?

Anyone can make up any definition they want to redefine what One God means to cater to whatever whims suit them.

The Lectures on Faith define the Godhead as two personages.

GA's have asserted there is a Heavenly Mother with all the attributes of Deity.

Brigham Young taught that Adam is God.

Lorenzo Snow said God was once mortal man.

Again, I don't have to prove a negative. You have the burden to prove your redefinition correct.

There in only one God:

Then he said, "Tomorrow." So he said, "May it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God.

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Well if you can't understand it, it is no wonder you cannot come up with a logical argument in its favor. So then it is hard for us to understand your point.

Mystical understanding is great- but it makes it a little hard to discuss on a forum like this, which is evident from your attempt.

I understand what the Bible teaches. I don't fully comprehend the magnitude and complexities of God.

Are you saying you do?

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Ok, then plese respond to that John verse I gave you. It clearly showed separate souls could be one.

I already answered that. Believers are united by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

That believers can become "one", yet retain individual souls, doesn't automatically translate that God is comprised of three gods.

I called for Proof your interpretation. I have a different interpretation of the verses. You need to prove your interpretation is correct.

Again, my interpretation is the default interpretation. Thus you bear the burden to prove that God is comprised of three gods.

I will state that your church teaches that Heavenly Father's name is Elohim:

http://lds.org/ensign/1997/04/the-morning-breaks-the-shadows-flee?lang=eng

http://lds.org/general-conference/1977/04/come-know-the-lord-jesus?lang=eng

http://lds.org/general-conference/2008/04/walk-in-the-light?lang=eng

http://lds.org/general-conference/2008/04/faith-and-the-oath-and-covenant-of-the-priesthood?lang=eng

http://lds.org/ensign/1982/06/christ-and-the-creation?lang=eng

http://lds.org/ensign/2000/01/the-book-of-mormon-on-christs-role-as-redeemer?lang=eng

http://lds.org/liahona/1983/09/christ-and-the-creation?lang=eng

And that Jesus Christ "was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New".

http://lds.org/study/topics/jesus-christ?lang=eng

With that, the Shema is:

sme yvral yhwh alhynw yhwh axd

hear Israel Jehovah Elohim Jehovah one

In the Hebrew here, LORD is YHWY. "Jehovah" (JHVH / YHWY) is an English pronunciation, and according to the links above, refers to Jesus Christ.

In the Hebrew here, God is Elohim. Accordingly above, is the name of Heavenly Father.

With that, the Shema equates Christ as the Heavenly Father, according to the links above.

One Jehovah is God.

The only definition given by the biblical scriptures pertaining to God is that he is One.

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I already answered that. Believers are united by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

That believers can become "one", yet retain individual souls, doesn't automatically translate that God is comprised of three gods.

Again, my interpretation is the default interpretation. Thus you bear the burden to prove that God is comprised of three gods.

I will state that your church teaches that Heavenly Father's name is Elohim:

http://lds.org/ensig...s-flee?lang=eng

http://lds.org/gener...-jesus?lang=eng

http://lds.org/gener...-light?lang=eng

http://lds.org/gener...sthood?lang=eng

http://lds.org/ensig...eation?lang=eng

http://lds.org/ensig...deemer?lang=eng

http://lds.org/liaho...eation?lang=eng

And that Jesus Christ "was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New".

http://lds.org/study...christ?lang=eng

With that, the Shema is:

sme yvral yhwh alhynw yhwh axd

hear Israel Jehovah Elohim Jehovah one

In the Hebrew here, LORD is YHWY. "Jehovah" (JHVH / YHWY) is an English pronunciation, and according to the links above, refers to Jesus Christ.

In the Hebrew here, God is Elohim. Accordingly above, is the name of Heavenly Father.

With that, the Shema equates Christ as the Heavenly Father, according to the links above.

One Jehovah is God.

The only definition given by the biblical scriptures pertaining to God is that he is One.

http://www.mormonapo...__p__1208958261

How do you reconcile that with the fact that Joseph saw two personages.

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mfbukowski,

Let's see who is being evasive. Please provide a link to the post where you ask questions about the social Trinity (which, as I already told you, I didn't even see). I will respond to it. I will then expect you to acknowledge that I did respond to you and did not evade or ignore what you said (regardless of whether you think my answer is correct).

That's very cute and evasive, but no, in fact you have never answered my arguments. You usually end up with something cute and evasive as you just have.

And as you point out

One wonders why you are here at all if that is your attitude. You could have posted the same thing to anyone, yet you chose me. I wonder why you are evading answering my questions. The social trinity issues go to the heart of it, since there are other Evangelicals who now hold views similar to ours on this, and you know that very well, yet you choose to ignore that fact.

With you it always comes down to personal issues, not theological ones, with cutsie personal comments like "how sad" or "how rude"

I call that evasive

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I understand what the Bible teaches. I don't fully comprehend the magnitude and complexities of God.

Are you saying you do?

I believe in a God who is smart enough to teach us about him in ways we can understand, tailored for our puny understanding, just as we would teach children.

You think he can't do that? Why not?

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Yes I know. Those are the classic explanations, with which I differ. Those are all based on neoplatonic and scholastic philosophy which have little importance in today's world with anyone who has any background in contemporary philosophy.

I was hoping you had your own understanding of it, having, I presume, "been trained in the ministry".

Edit: From your wiki reference:

The position I am taking is more along these lines, so I was hoping I could discuss it with you, but all you have done is repeat the problem I am showing you.

And philosophy has made a few advances since Duns Scotus!

Wow you took a sharp right turn off the freeway on this comment on the meaning of 'substance' and 'essence' related to the word 'being'. I only wanted to relate to the fact that God is described as ' the only being who should be worshiped' in D&C 20. If substance and essence has no real meaning for us today, the one wonders what that term 'being' means in D&C 20.

The only training I had in the ministry was as a Mormon.

If neoplatonic thinking is wrongful, then what about Canaanite thinking of a Divine Council?

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mfbukowski,

Let's see who is being evasive. Please provide a link to the post where you ask questions about the social Trinity (which, as I already told you, I didn't even see). I will respond to it. I will then expect you to acknowledge that I did respond to you and did not evade or ignore what you said (regardless of whether you think my answer is correct).

Posts 164, 165, and 167. Post 167 links to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and summarizes the views of Stephen Davis.

I will acknowledge right now that you are not being evasive if you actually simply answer these posts, and you can answer them as you wish, even if I am not satisfied (as is highly likely) with your answers. But please do the best you can- I am looking for solid counter-arguments to these views which I hope are the best you can give.

I appreciate you taking your time to do so, because I know you have spent some effort in an attempt to refute these views- I honestly am interested in your views of what is wrong with Social Trinitarianism, and I also pledge to make a serious attempt at dialogue without snarkiness, (Though, since I am a fallen man, I have a "predisposition" to snarkiness)

It is my opinion that none of the classic views of what makes the three persons of the Trinity one- ie: substance, being, or essence, make any sense, and that to make a long story very short, the only thing that DOES make sense is that the three are one in purpose and love, which, not surprisingly, is the LDS view.

So essentially, I am looking for your best theological arguments against this view as opposed to the usual forum potshots. If you like you can refer me to other sources where I can find these arguments already made- I have no problem with that.

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It is often asked if the Trinity was once part of Joseph Smith's Preparatory Gospel doctrine,

How do you reconcile that with the fact that Joseph saw two personages.

The first vision of Joseph Smith (1838 version) actually does not contradict the doctrine of the Trinity. Mainly due to the fact that YHWH in orthodoxy by nature is a transcendent pluralistic being.

Second, the first vision can be understood as a theophany to harmonize it with the Trinity.

This transcendent nature seems to have its roots into the Old Testament accounts related to 'The Angel of YHWH'. Even the tiers of gods in the Canaanite pantheon as it related to proto-Israel has critical elements of description that leans toward this idea of the transcendence of those beings who resided on the higher tiers.

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If neoplatonic thinking is wrongful, then what about Canaanite thinking of a Divine Council?

Huh?

I don't know- give me a clue- what IS wrong with it? It's wrong because you call it "Canaanite" which is some kind of pejorative to you?

I could argue for days about what is wrong with Neoplatonism- but you dismiss the Divine Council because you call it "Canaanite" and that makes it prima facie wrong?

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Huh?

I don't know- give me a clue- what IS wrong with it? It's wrong because you call it "Canaanite" which is some kind of pejorative to you?

I could argue for days about what is wrong with Neoplatonism- but you dismiss the Divine Council because you call it "Canaanite" and that makes it prima facie wrong?

mfbukowski- you twisted what I wrote. There is a Divine Council described in the literature from Ras Shamra. Phoenician texts, as the Karatepe inscriptions, lkewise describe a Semitic pantheon of many gods. These records are connected to Canaanite beliefs. There is also an Hebrew proto-Israel version (pre-exile) of a Divine Council that differs from the one now found in clay.

These non-Hebrew ancient clay writings are now being used by certain Mormon apologists in attempts to reinterpret our current versions of the Old Testament in attempts of support of the Mormon doctrine of plurality of Gods.

Mormon apologists are using these clay tablets in favor the theological interpretations of the Hebrew scriptures recorded in the Christian Era by the Apostles of Christ as now seen recorded in the New Testament.

In effect certain Mormon Apologists are favoring Canaanite beliefs over certain New Testament doctrinal renderings of the Apostles of Christ given by these Apostles in LXX terms.

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mfbukowski- you twisted what I wrote. There is a Divine Council described in the literature from Ras Shamra. Phoenician texts, as the Karatepe inscriptions, lkewise describe a Semitic pantheon of many gods. These records are connected to Canaanite beliefs. There is also an Hebrew proto-Israel version (pre-exile) of a Divine Council that differs from the one now found in clay.

These non-Hebrew ancient clay writings are now being used by certain Mormon apologists in attempts to reinterpret our current versions of the Old Testament in attempts of support of the Mormon doctrine of plurality of Gods.

Mormon apologists are using these clay tablets in favor the theological interpretations of the Hebrew scriptures recorded in the Christian Era by the Apostles of Christ as now seen recorded in the New Testament.

In effect certain Mormon Apologists are favoring Canaanite beliefs over certain New Testament doctrinal renderings of the Apostles of Christ given by these Apostles in LXX terms.

Yes, I know. I twisted nothing because you didn't really say enough to twist. The last 2 of your sentences above are your opinion. Your point? I agree with the apologists. And they are wrong because.....?

This all goes back to the central question you tend to avoid: How do you know the Bible is "true"?

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mfbukowski,

Thanks for referencing your posts on social trinitarianism. There have been over 200 posts in this one thread alone (probably covering a dozen topics, with the original topic long forgotten!), and I've been participating in several other threads besides this one. Plus, I do have other things on my mind!

It's important to understand, first of all, that social trinitarianism is a modern philosophical approach to explaining the doctrine of the Trinity. It would therefore be inconsistent to criticize, say, the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity, or the explanations of Athanasius and Augustine, for utilizing Hellenistic philosophical concepts or language, while at the same time commending the social trinitarian project, which is really doing the same thing but utilizing contemporary Anglo-American philosophical concepts and language. Social trinitarianism also tries to find support in ancient Greek patristic concepts, notably perichoresis. This background and the interest of many Mormons in social trinitarianism nicely illustrate a major contention of mine with regard to LDS rejection of the creedal doctrine of the Trinity, which is that allegations of it using "philosophy" are actually irrelevant. All theology in one way or another engages or overlaps with issues in philosophy; it is inevitable, whether one is Catholic, evangelical, Mormon, or something else.

Now, let me try to explain what the issue here really is. Basically, social trinitarianism views the distinctness of the three persons as nonproblematic and views their "unity" as the problematic notion that must be explained. That is, social trinitarians begin philosophically with a strong, seemingly clear view of the three as three really distinct, different persons, with distinct identities, and then asks how and in what sense these three can be "one." This approach differs from an approach which begins philosophically with a strong, seemingly clear view of the one God as really one, undivided, perfectly whole Being, and then asks how and in what sense this one Divine Being can be "three." Both approaches affirm that God is both "one" in some way and "three" in some other way, but for those who take a "psychological analogy" approach the threeness is what is difficult to explain while for those who take a "social analogy" approach the oneness is what is difficult to explain.

To understand the social trinitarian view, imagine three incorporeal persons or beings (since this is reasoning by analogy, it doesn't matter which term we use here). It's important to make them incorporeal because social trinitarians view God as incorporeal by nature; they accept the orthodox view that only the Son is corporeal and only by virtue of his becoming a human being in the Incarnation. That is, social trinitarianism accepts the classic Incarnation doctrine that Christ is one person possessing, since his conception in the womb of Mary, two natures--divine nature (which he has had eternally) and human nature (which he "assumed" or took on himself in the Incarnation). This is the first obvious difference between social trinitarianism and LDS theology, and it makes a real difference in the way both theologies conceptualize the nature and unity of God. If the Three do not have individualized, different bodies, then they are not bodily separate from one another. There are no physical or locative differences among them. It is never literally correct to say something like "the Father is over here and the Son is over there."

Okay, so we have three incorporeal persons or beings. Now, imagine that these Three have always existed, eternally transcending time and space. Moreover, each of the Three has always been fully and absolutely divine in nature. None was ever anything but divine; none ever "became" God or was "exalted" to Godhood. None was God "before" the other two. The Father was never God without the Son or without the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost in common LDS parlance). It has always been the Three, co-existing in all ages and in all eternity as equally and absolutely divine. Here's big difference #2, since in LDS theology (usually) it is understood that the Father was (or became) God before Christ and the Holy Ghost. In LDS doctrine, all three in some sense may have always existed (an "intelligences"), but they have not always existed as God.

The next step is to imagine that these Three love one another so much that their whole life is consumed eternally with enjoying one another and loving one another. Being omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, the Three express their absolute, infinite love for one another by seeing, knowing, feeling, and willing everything together. One always sees, knows, feels, and wills what the other two see, know, feel, and will. Again, this is the eternal state of affairs; for all time in all ages and in all eternity, the Three have always seen, known, felt, and willed exactly the same things. The idea here is not that they became "one" in this way, but that they simply are one in this way -- always have been and always will be. According to social trinitarianism, it cannot be otherwise. It is impossible, by nature, for the Holy Spirit to know, see, feel, or will anything other than what the Father knows, sees, feels, and wills. And it has always been impossible for such to happen. The Three, by metaphysical necessity, must always be one in this way, and have always been one in this way. Here's bid difference #3: in LDS doctrine, Christ and the Holy Ghost must at some point have exercised their independent freedom of choice and merited inclusion in the Godhead along with Heavenly Father. In social trinitarianism, on the other hand, no divine person ever has independent volition in relation to the other two persons. Their "unity of mind" is not something attained, achieved, or arrived at, but simply what eternally and necessarily is.

At this point, the social trinitarian thought experiment leads to the obvious conclusion that if all Three eternally think, feel, choose, and act in perfect, metaphysically necessary lock-step with one another, then the reality is that they are not merely functionally but essentially (ontologically) one divine Reality. There is no physical or locative separation or differentiation of the Three; there is no mental, spiritual, moral, emotional, or volitional separation or differentiation of the Three. What is left is a relational distinction or differentiation among the Three: the Father relates to the Son in a personal way, the Holy Spirit relates to the Father in a personal way, and so forth. For example, the Father and the Son have an "I-Thou" relationship in which one knows the other, loves the other, seeks to glorify the other, and so forth. Social trinitarians especially emphasize the mutual love of the Three. So the personal distinctions of the Three are true distinctions, but metaphysically or ontologically the Three think, know, and act as One -- and they always have done so and cannot ever do otherwise. Here is big difference #4: the social Trinity is genuinely, metaphysically one in Being, whereas this is not so in the LDS Godhead. This is why it is never proper in social Trinitarianism to speak of "three Gods," whereas this is quite proper in LDS theology (as Joseph Smith himself insisted in 1844).

Finally, all that has been said implicitly entails that divinity or deity in social Trinitarianism is the permanent and immutable property of the Three and only of the Three. That is to say, the Three have always been God, eternally and necessarily existing in all ages and all eternity as God, and this is simply not true of anyone else--nor can it be. As I have explained elsewhere in this forum, if to be God means that one has always been God, then anyone who isn't God already can never be God. Godhood, in social Trinitarianism, is a closed circle or exclusive, nontransferable property or status of the Three. And here is big difference #5, since in LDS theology all human beings are potentially Gods of the same nature or kind as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

I hope this helps you understand why I don't view social trinitarianism as in any way compatible with or even somewhat supportive of LDS doctrine. For an excellent introduction to and defense of social trinitarianism by an evangelical theologian, see J. Scott Horrell, "Toward a Biblical Model of the Social Trinity: Avoiding Equivocation of Nature and Order," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 47 (2004): 399-421, available online free as a PDF document.

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Anyone can make up any definition they want to redefine what One God means to cater to whatever whims suit them.

Yup, just like the council at Nicea did.

None of these verses state that God or "the Godhead" is comprised of "Three Gods".

So? Neither do they claim other wise.

In fact, no verses in the Bible (or Book of Mormon, or JST) support your definition.

Well, you do seem to forget D&C 130:22

And what of the numerous verses that separate Jesus from God?

Like these,

Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Tim. 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

2 Tim. 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

For example.

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