Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sola Scripture.

About five years ago, I read the New Testament from the book of Matthew to Revelations for the first time. I mostly did this because I was starting to get into conversations with one of my Baptist friends, and it was involving Biblical matters. I figured since I disagreed with her on pretty much all theological stances, I should at least have a good idea of the book she was using: especially since I was using it, too. :)

Now, I have never believed in the Trinity. As she is a Baptist, she does, and that is one of the things we discussed. It’s another reason why I read the Bible, because I figured if the Trinity is a ‘make or break’ case for Christianity, it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

After completing the New Testament, I could see what verses were used to support the Trinity, but was also left with an incredibly unsettled feeling. Part of it was because of the following:

John 10:30 of “I and my Father are one” is often used to show that Jesus was claiming to be God. However, the support Jesus uses of that statement when the Jews try to stone him is from John 10:34: “Jesus answered them, “Isn’t it written in your Torah, “I have said, “You people are Elohim’”” If He called ‘elohim’ the people to whom the word of Elohim was addressed [and the Tanakh] cannot be broken, then are you telling the one whom the Father set apart as holy and sent into the world, ‘You are committing blasphemy’ just because I said, “I am the son of Elohim’?”

Jesus does not say that he is God in that statement – the Psalms he pulls from, where God addresses others as ‘Elohim’ is proof of that, because other humans are addressed as gods. (There’s also the fact that there’s no definite article in front of ‘theos’ where the Jews say he’s claiming to be God, and thus the interpretation runs ‘You are claiming to be a god’).

When the fact that Jesus later prays that his disciples be as one just as he and his Father are one is added into the mix, then the “I and my Father are one” completely loses any Trinitarian support for me.

There’s adding what Paul defines as the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15: what he received was that Christ died for our sins, in according with the Tanakh, he was buried, he was raised on the third day in according with the Tanakh and was seen by Peter, the Twelve, more than 500 and him. Nowhere here is part of the ‘good news’ that God becoming flesh. There’s also the sense that given that Paul was Jewish, to go from a Unitarian God to a Trinitarian God should’ve been much more apparent in his letters, and flat-out stated, given that this is a big reason why the Jews regard Christianity as polytheistic (and they were willing to die for the belief in the one God – this is a striking change, and yet there’s nothing). But there’s not, and even in his prayers, he is praying to the Father through Jesus Christ, or directing his prayers to the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ – and yet in today’s churches, the prayers are directed to Jesus, not the Father.

There’s Acts, where what’s proclaimed in the second chapter is that Jesus was a man demonstrated to be from God, and such.

There was the sense from other Trinitarian verses that there were a multitude of explanations for them, many of which were simpler than the Trinity. All of this combined with my sense that the Trinity itself was incredibly vague, led me to do much research.

I’m currently in the process of reading The Divine Truth or Human Tradition? A Reconsideration of the Roman Catholic-Protestant Doctrine of the Trinity in Light of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures? By Patrick Navas (not a Trinitarian, as one might guess), and he put into words why I was so unsettled after reading the New Testament for the first time.

Sola Scripture is essentially that all Christian beliefs and practices must stem directly from the Bible. The second coming does this. The resurrection does this. Jesus dying for sin does this – all are clearly and explicitly stated in the Bible.

The Trinity is not. That is what I found so unsettling about the New Testament. Take any concept of the Trinity and try and find it in the Bible: co-equal, same substance, God the Son, God Incarnate, Jesus as the second person of the Trinity, the Father as the first person of the Trinity, God-man and so on.

As one scholar say:

“As early as the 8th century, the theologian St. John of Damascus frankly admitted what every modern critical scholar of the New Testament now realizes; that neither the doctrine of the Trinity nor that of the two natures of Jesus Christ is explicitly set out in Scripture. In fact, if you take the record as it is and avoid reading back into it the dogmatic definitions of a latter age, you cannot find what is traditionally regarded as orthodox Christianity in the Bible at all.” -- Tom Harpur, For Christ’s Sake

Which is the situation I ended up in when reading the New Testament for the first time. And the book didn’t just quote from this scholar, but from all sorts of Trinitarian scholars who admitted that it is not clearly or explicitly taught in the Bible. He also went through the different ways in which the Trinitarian verses are interpreted, but many of them seem to re-write what the verses actually say, rather than letting the verses speak for themselves. The author himself offered interpretations that seemed simpler, honestly, and were along the lines of what I was already thinking before reading the book.

For example, everyone’s favorite: John 1

“When all things began, the Word already was. The Word dwelt with God, and what God was, the Word was [Also translated as ‘the Word was God’ The Greek grammar gets fun here, in terms of the lack of definite article and such. I would advise looking up both viewpoints, as they’re too long to type here]. The Word, then, was with God at the beginning, and through him all things came to be.”

First problem: how is God defined in this paragraph? When it says that the Word dwelt with God, God cannot refer to the Trinity, because the Word is considered part of the Trinity. So it must be God the Father. However, if it goes on to say that the Word was God, then ‘God’ used there can no longer refer to the Father, because the Word is not the Father. It can’t mean ‘trinity’ because the Word is not the Trinity. So it would be construed as the Word was ‘God the Son, the second person of the Trinity.’

However, the verse itself is no longer standing on its own. Outside qualifications have been applied, including the definition of ‘God’ changing between the two lines.

Second concept: God first created in Genesis, through speaking. “And God said, Let there be light.” This completely ties into God’s Word being at the beginning (of our concept of time, and thus at the beginning of the creation of this finite reality), because the first thing God did was speak, and through that Word, all was created.

Just for fun, another one from Philippians 2

“Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.” It goes onto say he emptied himself, taking on the form of a slave, humbled himself, obedient to the death and because of this, God exalted him and bestowed upon him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, every tongue should confess he is Lord to the glory of the Father.

Okay, first – it does not say that at the name of Jesus, everyone worships Jesus. It says at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend and confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father. This gives the Father glory, which is why everyone is doing the action.

Second – the concept of form. I know Trinitarians often go with the idea of 'essence'. I disagree, because the word itself goes with outward appearance in the other circumstances. The verse also later says that the son takes the form of a slave – outward appearance. He never takes the ‘essence’ of a slave, but human likeness and appearance. The use of the word ‘form’ is supposed to build off each other, and thus remain consistent.

Third –When I first read this, I didn’t read it as Christ was equal with God, but rather Christ wasn’t going to grasp/seize/try and gain something not previously possessed in terms of equality – he was going to do what Adam did not do, which was grasp at the equality. The whole verse is basically about humility. Plus, if Christ is co-equal with God, then how can we have the same attitude as Christ? Considering ourselves co-equal is simply not done. The whole point of the same attitude is humility/obedience, and part of that is not seizing at equality with God.

Fourth – it simply says that Christ emptied himself. Emptied himself of what? Emptied himself to the point of humility, so that he didn’t seize/grasp equality with God?

Fifth – Christ and God are separate here. Christ is exalted precisely because of obedience, and thus God gave him a name above all other names. Why would any of this be necessary if Christ was already co-eternal? To me, the straightforward reading is that Christ was exalted because of his actions and obedience to God, and was not exalted prior.

If you gave someone who had no knowledge of Christianity, who was essentially a blank slate, a Bible, they would reach the conclusion of the second coming, and dying for sin, and the resurrection, and Jesus being the Son of God. What that person would not walk away with is any concept of the Trinity as understood today. The person may or may not reach the conclusion that Jesus is God, dependent on how they read the use of the word god in the Tanakh (as in, Moses is referred to as ‘elohim,’ the angels are referred to as ‘elohim’ other people in Psalms 82 as ‘elohim’). But shouldn’t the person be able to, if sola scripture is sufficient enough to reach all doctrines of Christianity? Shouldn’t the Trinity as it is just leap off the pages?

Note: I am fully aware of all the verses used to support the Trinity. Before anyone responds with one of those verses, asking how I would interpret it, I would ask that they either try to locate this book, or another book that deals with the concept of the Trinity from this viewpoint. Or look at the verses again, and see if there’s another possible interpretation behind them. Or just look at different Bibles, to see the variety of ways in which those verses were translated. If you have done so, and wish to comment, okay. But please indicate in your comment that you have an understanding of the alternative interpretation.

18 comments:

Mystical Seeker said...

I agree with your comments. I think that the passage in Phillipians 2, for example, says that "God also highly exalted him", which strongly suggests that Jesus is not God.

In any case, I think a more interesting example of the separation of Jesus from God comes from Jesus's own words, as reported in the earliest Gospel to have been written, Mark. Jesus says in Mark 10, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God." This is a clear statement that denies the divinity of Jesus. This was obviously an embarrassing passage for later Christians who wanted to elevate Jesus's status, including gospel writers who used Mark as a source. So in Matthew, the sentence gets changed to make it less embarrassing. Jesus instead says, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good."

I think that whenever the synoptic gospels retain a passage that is embarrassing to later Christians, especially when the parallel passages rewrite it to make it less embarrassing, that is a clue in favor of its authenticity. In any case, this is a clear example of how Jesus was made increasingly divine in the minds of the believers over time. But Jesus himself, if Mark is to be believed, denied his own divinity.

The same process can be found in the question of when Jesus became God's son. Was he elevated to the spirit of holiness upon resurrection, as Paul says? Or at baptism, as Mark says? Or at birth, as Matthew says? Notice how over time they kept moving Jesus's holy status earlier and earlier in his life.

Mystical Seeker said...

Another point to consider--Luke says that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit. This seems rather odd, when you think of it. That means that Jesus on earth was actually not just one person of the Trinity, but two! And why did Jesus need to be filled with a second person of the Trinity if he was one of them already? I think this is an example of where the doctrine of the Trinity, which is convoluted and strained to begin with, just plain starts to break down.

Heather said...

Mystical,

I'm totally not surprised that you agree with my comments. :) And everything you addressed are also points that jumped out at me, in terms of the Trinity. Another big one for me was in John, where Jesus wept because Lazarus was dead -- that only makes sense if he were honestly moved by the death, and mourning. But if he were also God, he would know that he'd resurrect Lazarus, and thus the tears are a farce, and beneath him. (that, and in this section, Jesus is identified as the Christ, the Son of God, rather than 'God, the second person in the Trinity)

There was just too much in the NT that could no longer be taken for what it said if the Trinity were valid, such as what I listed here, and what you listed.

Then the complication goes even further with the OT thrown into the mix -- there's no concept of the Trinity, there's no concept of God becoming man, or the Messiah being a God-man. Why would something this important be non-existent for 2/3rds of the Bible?

Cragar said...

When I was a youth I started attending a Baptist church, and the Trinity was always something that never made sense to me. And like you it caused me to read the Bible more fervently. And then a lot more things didn't make sense, but that is another story....

SocietyVs said...

"The Trinity is not. That is what I found so unsettling about the New Testament. Take any concept of the Trinity and try and find it in the Bible" (Heather)

Yeah the trinity is an interesting doctrine to be sure - 3 = 1. I also have a tough time finding the trinity doctrine within the bible but the one scripture is John 8:58 - where Jesus states 'I am' but more than that - he existed prior to Abraham? For me, that is an intersting statement to say the least - it does not prove the trinity so much - but gives Jesus a very special place. Plus John uses "I am" a lot in his writings - I would be interested in what the thought is on that.

Just how do you see Jesus then in all of this? If he is not the 'son of God' (or God) - what is he? I would be interested to know - since I am looking at the same issue and have made no conclusion as of yet.

But i think the work you have laid out is very well thought indeed.

Heather said...

Cragar,

**And like you it caused me to read the Bible more fervently. And then a lot more things didn't make sense, but that is another story.... **

So, essentially, if you want to help someone be a Christian, don't let them read the Bible. ;)

This is interesting, though. It sounds like you didn't grow up Baptist. I didn't grow up Trinitarian, and so we aren't reading the Bible with a set of creeds in place. Whereas someone who is raised in this tradition sees it with no problem. In many ways, this seems to suggest that much of what is believed in the Bible is something read into the text, not necessarily there itself.

Heather said...

Society,

**where Jesus states 'I am' but more than that - he existed prior to Abraham? For me, that is an intersting statement to say the least - it does not prove the trinity so much - but gives Jesus a very special place. Plus John uses "I am" a lot in his writings - I would be interested in what the thought is on that. **

The 'before Abraham was, I am' is interesting. One, because it depends on how you view the concept of God and time, and how you view the word. Obviously, Jesus was not referring to any human personality with the 'I am.' It was the Logos that existed from the beginning, because God spoke before all of creation.

But God is also outside of time, and so what does it mean that the Word existed before Abraham? Was the Word bound by time? To God, all things bound in the concept of time could occur at once.

The way the book explained it was also in the matter of the Greek (which was a very technical explanation, so you'll forgive me for not posting it here), it's along the lines of including all the past action and the present, so that, "I am here -- and was before Abraham." Which makes for interesting thoughts.

I also don't see the 'I am' statements as that trinity-proof. People make 'I am' statements all the time. The focus of those should not be on the 'I am' but on what God had Jesus be -- the bread of life, the resurrection. AFter all, how else could Jesus say he was any of those, without starting out as 'I am?' It's a common way of referring to what a person is.

I view Jesus as a window to the nature of God -- I also think there's a huge difference between son of God and God Himself. He was our physical example of what God was, as well as the example of what it meant to be human, and what we should be as humans, instead of the fruits of the flesh that we sometimes follow.

Bible student said...

Thanks Heather. Well researched and written!

The idea of a triad of deities first appeared in ancient Egypt about three centuries after the Great Flood of Noah’s time. These Egyptian deities came to be worshiped as Osiris, Isis and Horus. Christendom adopted the trinity doctrine in the 4th century C.E..

In the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, John 8:58 reads, Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.

The scriptures that are cross referenced, in my study copy of that Bible are:

(Proverbs 8:22) “Jehovah himself produced me as the beginning of his way, the earliest of his achievements of long ago.

(John 17:5) So now you, Father, glorify me alongside yourself with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was.

(Colossians 1:17) Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist,

My favorite scripture on the subject of Christ’s pre-human existence is: Genesis 1:26 . . .And God went on to say: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, . . .

Many different translations suggest God had company when creating mankind. This is in harmony with Proverbs 8:30: “then I came to be beside him as a master worker, and I came to be the one he was specially fond of day by day, I being glad before him all the time,”

In this translation John 1:1 is rendered, “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.”

**Greek grammar** explained: the definite article ho, “the,” appears before the first “God,” but there is no article before the second.

Brendan said...

The problems with "sola scriptura" are fundamental to language. Meaning of words and symbols is derived from the individual observers perspective. There is not and cannot be "truth" revealed by scripture only, because the meaning of the words, ideas and images contained therein are actually within the observer.

The only "truth" is to be found in the dogma of "sola perspectiva."

HeIsSailing said...

Heather sez:
“the Psalms he pulls from, where God addresses others as ‘Elohim’ is proof of that, because other humans are addressed as gods.”

Now that you have seen my secret polytheistic side, I would challenge that interpretation. But that is another topic….

Heather:
“I’m currently in the process of reading The Divine Truth or Human Tradition? A Reconsideration of the Roman Catholic-Protestant Doctrine of the Trinity in Light of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures? By Patrick Navas?

Holy theology, Batgirl!! That looks like the some of the dreadfully geekish titles on my bookshelf. Where do I order?

Heather:
“The Trinity is not. That is what I found so unsettling about the New Testament.”

I found the very concept of ‘canon of scripture’ to be troubling. I believed in sola scriptura, even before I ever heard of sola scriptura. The holy tradition like that of Catholicism was anathema. Yet how was scripture determined? Uhh.. .. tradition…

One of my favorite debates was one I attended while in college. Catholic and protestant ministers debated the issue of Sola Scriptura. And even though I was a good Protestant, I had to admit the Catholic easily won that debate. I was frankly shocked at how well he did.
Heather:
“that neither the doctrine of the Trinity nor that of the two natures of Jesus Christ is explicitly set out in Scripture.”

One of my favorite books right now is Ehrman’s The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture . In it, he shows how many of the textual variances in the earliest manuscripts were used to gloss over this or that ancient heresy. Some of them stuck into our current bible, but not all. But he shows in example after example how some of the variances would introduce a Gnostic, docetic version of Jesus. They would also, as a consequence, make Jesus more human. Thinking about that, I suspect that much of the humanity of Jesus as written in the Gospels may have been slightly altered here and there just to remove the heresy of docetism. Well… maybe.

Heather:
“Also translated as ‘the Word was God’ The Greek grammar gets fun here, in terms of the lack of definite article and such.”

I have heard good scholars give both sides of this story. Was the Word God, or was the Word a God?? What was the original intent?

Heather:
“Just for fun, another one from Philippians 2”

I have recently rediscovered this passage. I just do not see it supporting a Trinitarian point of view. For one thing, why does Paul say that the Christ is given the name of ‘Jesus’ by God after his resurrection?? As you say, at that name, everyone will worship God the Father. These are two distinct beings here, and Jesus is presented as ‘adopted’ by God in this passage.

I wish I could help you Heather, but I can’t find the trinity in Scripture either.

Dan Marvin said...

Once again Heather you are very far from the truth but I am hear to help. How do you describe away John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

You understand that God's name to Moses was "I AM"

I have even greater proof of the Deity of Jesus in this PDF here towards the middle there is a chart that describes what a definition of God would be and some Bible references and then next to it Bible verses that point that same definition to Jesus. All doubt would be removed if you all really study and read it.

Just in case you really want The Truth

For Him,
Dan

StaCeY said...

"Sola Scriptura" sounds to me rather like "only by the script".

The "scripted" life is not for me.

What I love about this blog is the tendency toward "sola perspectiva" as Brendan put it.

I do however think it stands to reason that SOME THINGS are actually a matter of concrete "global" truth REGARDLESS of one's perspective. (ex. either I typed this post or I didn't...either you ate peanutbutter and jelly for lunch today or you didn't... either Jesus/Yahshua actualy walked the earth in flesh and blood or he didn't...either two very tall buildings were wired with explosives and "pulled" or they weren't). Now what each one of us sees... assumes or percieves regarding the truth of these matters can either be guided by fact, fantasy, illusion, or dilusion.

People buy lies and scripts all the time in the name of "truth" ("justice... freedom... happiness... security")...

but if we live sola by the scripturas of others... (church...state...educators...media...family... friends... pastors...neighbors....etc...etc..).......

are we then nothing more than marionettes? playing at life while the invisible strings are being pulled by men "higher up" the (string pulling) ladder than ourselves? Can we truly be alive... while we are "missing the mark" of our OWN unique world & understanding in God? Living by "scripted meanings" as if they were our OWN? As if there were no "visionary" life or meaning to be born in us?

While the biblical texts were indeed "scribed"...
the meaning(s) therein cannot in TRUTH be "pre-scribed".
As I see it SOLA LIFE IN GOD'S SPIRIT gives vital and organic meaning to anything. "Scriptures" included.

Well anyway... that's "sola" my "perspectiva".

Heather said...

Bible Student,

This will probably be one of the view points that we reach an agreement on in terms of the Bible. ;)

****Greek grammar** explained: the definite article ho, “the,” appears before the first “God,” but there is no article before the second. **

Yup. I know the response here has been that it's an anarthrous verb, except from what I've read, it can't be an anarthrous 'theos' because an anarthrous 'theos' in the nominative case is not a distinct name such as "God." Rather, it comes more towards showing that the Logos had the same qualities has God -- as in, the Logos was with God and the Logos was divine.

However, as HIS says, both sides give good accounts.

Brendan,

**There is not and cannot be "truth" revealed by scripture only, because the meaning of the words, ideas and images contained therein are actually within the observer. **

I agree. If the truth is objective, it's limited by the subjective nature of the receiver.

Heather said...

HIS,

**Now that you have seen my secret polytheistic side, I would challenge that interpretation.** You may challenge away. :) Neither one of us are arguing that we hold the key to absolute truth. It was more to show that the use of the word 'god' was very fluid in the Old Testament.

**Holy theology, Batgirl!! That looks like the some of the dreadfully geekish titles on my bookshelf. Where do I order?**

Lol. It's a fascinating book, and it's just full of footnotes. It's available at amazon.com. Also, you might like a book called 'Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament' by Jason David BeDuhn. I was toying with ordering that as well, saw that this book referenced it, and so caved in.

**I found the very concept of ‘canon of scripture’ to be troubling.**

Oh, same here. Ultimately, the Bible was determined by men. They decided what books to keep and which ones to discard. They decided how to translate them and interpret them.

**Thinking about that, I suspect that much of the humanity of Jesus as written in the Gospels may have been slightly altered here and there just to remove the heresy of docetism. Well… maybe.**

Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me. How often have we been in a situation where we've heard something point-blank, and determined that the person didn't really mean what s/he just said. Even though there was little to no room for interpretation. Do we really expect that the scribes way back then would've behaved differently?

**Was the Word God, or was the Word a God?? What was the original intent?**

And this is what bothers me about the existence of the debate: this is central to many who call themselves Christian. There shouldn't be this type of debate, period, over concepts that are not specifically stated in the Bible, like resurrection or salvation (although, salvation is Jesus saves -- and as you did a post earlier, what exactly does that mean?)

**I wish I could help you Heather, but I can’t find the trinity in Scripture either.**

Quite all right -- what happened to you with the Phillipians passage pretty much happened to me with all the others.

Heather said...

Dan,

I did specifically ask that if anyone comments, they indicate in the comment that they have an understanding of the alternate interpretation. I also incidated that I am aware of what is used to support the Trinity, which would include the deity of Jesus.

As it is: **How do you describe away John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

You understand that God's name to Moses was "I AM" **

This was covered in part in two seperate comments to this post.

First -- God to Moses. It has been translated as "I am that I am" or "I will be what I will be," which was essentially God telling Moses "Never you mind who I am."

Second -- in Greek, from what I've read, the I am in the NT 'ego emi' is not there in the section where God talks to Moses. It's a different form of that word. Nor does Jesus say "I am the I AM." He simply says "I am."

Third -- go see what I said to Society in terms of how the "Before Abraham was, I am" looks in Greek.

Heather said...

Hi, Stacey.

**I do however think it stands to reason that SOME THINGS are actually a matter of concrete "global" truth REGARDLESS of one's perspective.**

I understand -- 2+2=4 no matter what my perspective is.

**Can we truly be alive... while we are "missing the mark" of our OWN unique world & understanding in God? Living by "scripted meanings" as if they were our OWN? As if there were no "visionary" life or meaning to be born in us?**

I think another way of looking at this is what makes one alive: searching for the truth or living the truth? The answer isn't always one or the other. Eventually, the search for the truth can become a lack of living, because one is so busy trying to find how to live.

At the same time, I also think it can be dangerous to say: "I live/know the absolute truth, enough said." I don't think any of us will fully know that in this lifetime. We'll get pieces, and glimpses, and sometimes those glimpses are the absolute complete truth, but they don't stay.

It's also important to question the truths we have, to make sure we understand why we hold those truths, and to understand the truths better.

StaCeY said...

Heather,

I wanted to write back sooner,
but life kept getting in the way.

It was important to me that I had not come off wrongly. I TRULY ENJOY your deeper searches for truth... and the way you and others here think so deeply for yourselves... and express yourselves so articulately.
Did I come off critically? I certainly did not intend to.

I'm not nearly as well read as most everyone here (unless you count music chord charts and lead sheets). I really just know God... and understand Jesus' teachings intuitively ... in the Spirit. I write rather intuitively as well... rather the way I tend to improvise music. So sometimes my contributions may seem a bit out in left field.
Sometimes there is no other way to read what I have written but intuitively. I WANT to interact here though... because you all
s-t-r-e-t-c-h me. and that's good.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So my thoughts on the trinity---

When I left the roman catholic church after an 8 year stint there,
I just kinda ditched all dogma... in favor of simply walking (walking simply) with Father... in Jesus' example.

So it's kind of a double edged thing. On one hand... it doesn't really affect me one way or the other... what the deal is with the trinity. It's not a "high priority" issue in my life. On the other hand I love to read and hear the more carefully thought out views of others who also know God's Spirit (and know how to think for themselves).

My own intuition says it's bunk.
My only direct backing in Jesus' words/example... was His beautiful prayer that we would be ONE with The Father... as He and The Father are ONE.

I don't see how the idea of the trinity fits into that ideal at all.

Love your thoughts and your eloquence...
Stacey.

Heather said...

Hi, Stacey.

No worries -- you didn't come across as critical (well, you didn't come across as criticizing. You came across as thinking critically, and the latter is a good thing. :)

I take it you're a musician? I'm envious. I took piano for a few years, and while I mastered playing the songs of others, creating my own work always seemed so impossible.

**My only direct backing in Jesus' words/example... was His beautiful prayer that we would be ONE with The Father... as He and The Father are ONE.
**

I think you and are are along the same paths: everytime I read the Gospels, I see Jesus calling people to follow him, not worship him. A large part of following him involved being one with the Father, just as he is one with the Father.

And please always feel free to comment.