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Thread: Question about the Trinity

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoghead View Post
    Modalism has been denounced as a heresy, true. However, all "heresy" really means is that a particular idea does not square with he teaching of a particular church. It has nothing to do with the actual validity of teh concepts labeled heretical. Many "heretics" were proven right in the end. If you come right down to it, just about everyone has ben or can be labeled a heretic. The Protestant Reformers labeled the Catholics (Papists) as all heretics and followers of the Anti-Christ. The Catholic Church labeled teh Protestants as all heretics, and so on, and so on, throughout history.
    The "heresy" charge against modalism goes back to Tertullian. Actually, he seemed largely concerned with the fact Sabellius was crediting the Father with suffering. big no-no, as it was assumed God could not suffer. And, interestingly enough, Tertullian comes close to modalism in his psychological model of the Trinity, where he likens the Father's relationship to the Son as analogous to the inner dialogue we have between ourselves and our Reason. Both Augustine and also Calvin proposed psychological models of the Trinity as well.
    Today, many Christians are "modalistic." So the "heresy" notion has been dropped in many quarters and seems a bit old-fashioned.
    You talk a lot without actually saying anything.

    From your answer to Bill, it sounds like you are a bit out there on your idea of God, yourself. What did you mean by "personalities" and "subjective" in your answer to him? You seem a bit modalistic yourself in that answer. Do you think that God has one objective personality and plays "subjective" roles as the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit? Because that is what it sounds like you were saying.

  2. #62
    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoghead View Post
    Then you fail to have paid any attention to anything I said and know little of teh history of the Trinity.
    Yes, because I was responding to . . .
    The Trinity is a very complex theological issue, probably one of the most complex in Christendom. . . . "
    The "Trinity" is one conclusion to all that. It is one understanding of what you discribed as a very complex theological issue. The underderstanding the term "Trinity" is the name of one explanation. So it is I said, "Then you fail to understand that the 'Trinity' is the solution not the problem." In any case you were not using the term that way, as the name of that one view/understanding/solution.
    Last edited by 37818; 07-21-2016 at 07:19 AM.
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  3. #63
    tWebber Obsidian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoghead
    And, interestingly enough, Tertullian comes close to modalism in his psychological model of the Trinity, where he likens the Father's relationship to the Son as analogous to the inner dialogue we have between ourselves and our Reason.
    I find problematic the argument which you are ascribing to Tertullian, and I have also found that Christians on this forum (or at least on tektonics) seem to adopt that same argument. It is problematic because it implies that the Father doesn't have reason on his own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obsidian View Post
    I find problematic the argument which you are ascribing to Tertullian, and I have also found that Christians on this forum (or at least on tektonics) seem to adopt that same argument. It is problematic because it implies that the Father doesn't have reason on his own.
    I don't think the Trinity has three reasons any more than it has three wills. Hence it's perfectly OK to use a psychological model that identifies the Son with reason. Indeed the Logos represents reason. The psychological model is a common one. Augustine is probably the best known for it in the West. Typically the West uses psychological models and the East social models. Both are orthodox. The standards are designed to allow both.

    The treatment of the Trinity in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy uses a term that is helpful here. It speaks of one-self and three-self models of the Trinity. Both types can be orthodox, but one-self models are most common in the West. That explains why you're accustomed to seeing psychological models here and on tektonics.

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    Edited by a Moderator

    Moderated By: Bill the Cat

    This is not the area to deny the Trinity.

    ***If you wish to take issue with this notice DO NOT do so in this thread.***
    Contact the forum moderator or an administrator in Private Message or email instead. If you feel you must publicly complain or whine, please take it to the Padded Room unless told otherwise.

    Last edited by Bill the Cat; 10-03-2018 at 10:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxb View Post
    What would be the difference between a being and a person?
    A being is just something that exists. A rock is a being. A tree is a being. But neither of those is a person.
    I think people get confused because they think "a being" means "a sentient being".


    Then what is one being? Is a rock one being, or multiple beings (e.g. atoms)? A rock is a compound being; it can be broken into two, smaller, rocks which may exist independently of the other. Traditional Christian theology holds that God is a simple being, meaning God cannot possibly be separated into multiple sub-beings, like an absolutely elementary particle which cannot possibly be further subdivided. A simple being is unambiguously "one being."

    None of this precludes that (one) being from having three persons. Rather it implies that the three persons cannot be separated into separate beings. And that no one (or two) of them could possibly exist without the other(s). It is necessary that all three exists, or none exists. Thus their existence (i.e. being) is one.

  7. Amen Chrawnus amen'd this post.
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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    A being is just something that exists. A rock is a being. A tree is a being. But neither of those is a person.
    I think people get confused because they think "a being" means "a sentient being".


    Then what is one being? Is a rock one being, or multiple beings (e.g. atoms)? A rock is a compound being; it can be broken into two, smaller, rocks which may exist independently of the other. Traditional Christian theology holds that God is a simple being, meaning God cannot possibly be separated into multiple sub-beings, like an absolutely elementary particle which cannot possibly be further subdivided. A simple being is unambiguously "one being."

    None of this precludes that (one) being from having three persons. Rather it implies that the three persons cannot be separated into separate beings. And that no one (or two) of them could possibly exist without the other(s). It is necessary that all three exists, or none exists. Thus their existence (i.e. being) is one.
    Rocks are not beings. They are things.

  9. Amen Jedidiah, Christianbookworm amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Rocks are not beings. They are things.
    As philosophers use the term, "a being" is synonymous with "an existent"--something that "is" (or "has being").

    The word comes from the participle of the verb "to be" (as "jumping" is to "to jump"). "A being" takes the participle substantively: anything that is be-ing.

    The concept comes from ancient greek philosophers generalizing to larger and larger categories, until you get a category that includes everything that exists. In which, the only thing that they all have in common is that they have being.

    It is true that sometimes English speakers use "a being" to refer only to a "living being" or a "sentient being". But the older Christian theologians (working in Latin and Greek) had in mind the general philosophical category of beings, including inanimate beings.

    For example, here is a section from Aquinas' Summa Theologica (I.44) in which there are many references to beings. This happens to be a discussion about how every being (i.e. every thing that exists) comes from God.
    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1044.htm

  11. Amen Chrawnus amen'd this post.
  12. #69
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    As philosophers use the term, "a being" is synonymous with "an existent"--something that "is" (or "has being").

    The word comes from the participle of the verb "to be" (as "jumping" is to "to jump"). "A being" takes the participle substantively: anything that is be-ing.

    The concept comes from ancient greek philosophers generalizing to larger and larger categories, until you get a category that includes everything that exists. In which, the only thing that they all have in common is that they have being.

    It is true that sometimes English speakers use "a being" to refer only to a "living being" or a "sentient being". But the older Christian theologians (working in Latin and Greek) had in mind the general philosophical category of beings, including inanimate beings.

    For example, here is a section from Aquinas' Summa Theologica (I.44) in which there are many references to beings. This happens to be a discussion about how every being (i.e. every thing that exists) comes from God.
    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1044.htm
    I think your use of 'being' to be 'anything in existence' is just making it more confusing to explain the Trinity.

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    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    I think your use of 'being' to be 'anything in existence' is just making it more confusing to explain the Trinity.
    Confusing as it may be that is still how the word has traditionally been defined when used to speak about the Trinity.

  14. Amen Joel amen'd this post.

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