View Poll Results: What is the Degree of the Churchgoer's Understanding of the Trinity?

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  • 1. Not a critical concept for the modern church

    0 0%
  • 2. Not thought about and not taught

    1 14.29%
  • 3. taught by not valued by the Christian

    2 28.57%
  • 4. Recognizes the deity of Christ but does not think this through any further

    0 0%
  • 5. Recognizes Christ and the Father as equal existence and status in the Godhead

    0 0%
  • 6. Recognizes the equality of Christ, the Spirit, and the Father in the Godhead

    3 42.86%
  • 7. Realizes the complexity of the Trinity and the difficulties of conceptualizing the Trinity

    2 28.57%
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Thread: Churchgoer Understanding of the Trinity?

  1. #11
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    As member of a "charismatic" church (Assemblies Of God) , the Holy Spirit is a little more emphasized but I believe the church I attend is very even keeled about it. Our pastor actually excommunicated a parishioner who continually acclaimed his status as a "prophet" and kept speaking out in service and one-on-one. There's a lot more to the story but his refusal to submit to the Pastor's and the Boards authority got him tossed. You would be hard pressed 9 Sunday's out of 10 telling the difference in our church and CP's for instance, but people do pray in tongues over other people at the altar, and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is encouraged for every believer. It's not a requirement for membership in the church though. AOG's vary from church to church from what I'm told and we are an autonomous church affiliated with the AOG North Texas District. My Daughter just told me that when she was in H.S., her teacher went into great depths of teaching the Trinity. I don't remember any adult classes teaching on it though. Pastor doesn't get deep into it, but recognizes from the pulpit the Co-Equal, Godhead.
    I have always "gone to Church" even when I wasn't the pastor or staff. Once, when I was "between Churches", we attended a Church that was, supposedly, a charismatic Church, but I knew the pastor, and just wanted to hear him preach. Like you said, I was hard pressed to see any difference between that service and the ones I usually conducted or attended.

    I visited with the pastor after the service, and expressed that to him, and he said that Sunday Nights were a little more "free", but what I had experienced was their typical Sunday morning service.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  2. #12
    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I concur, though, in my experience, many of the people who left the SBC over this ended up in Bible Churches. Southern Baptists have called ourselves "people of the Book", so it makes sense that the Bible Churches would see an influx of those who....

    Actually, thinking more about this, yeah.... those who left specifically because of the Holy Spirit controversy would be looking more for some emotional expression.

    I am glad that I ended up in an SBC church in my youth where the pastor very firmly taught the power and work of the Holy Spirit.
    I've not heard Bible Churches being "charismatic" in any way...seems odd they would go that direction. The AG church here in my area was full of ex-Baptist's, myself included.
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

  3. #13
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    I've not heard Bible Churches being "charismatic" in any way...seems odd they would go that direction.
    That's why I "branched". Those who would be interested in the emphasis on the Holy Spirit, as opposed to those who were disillusioned with the SBC not "preaching the Word", which would include the power of the Holy Spirit.

    The AG church here in my area was full of ex-Baptist's, myself included.
    Yuh
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  4. #14
    tWebber
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    In fact all major theologians, even in the liberal tradition, are trinitarians. But I don't think we've done a very good job of making the doctrine look like it matters or even makes sense. When someone asks they get buried in antique philosophical terms.

  5. #15
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by hedrick View Post
    In fact all major theologians, even in the liberal tradition, are trinitarians. But I don't think we've done a very good job of making the doctrine look like it matters or even makes sense. When someone asks they get buried in antique philosophical terms.
    This issue about burying people with antique philosophical terms was actually the perception of the Trinity which was my particular interest. However, I figured I would just ask the general perception of the church people's encounters and understanding of the Trinity.

  6. #16
    43rd Mojave Summer DesertBerean's Avatar
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    We teach the trinity in our membership classes and we discuss it every now and then in regular adult classes. I haven't recently heard of in depth discussion recently (before coronavirus) but I'd been spending a lot of time with toddlers and pre-K (although they do ask now and then and we try).

    As for tongues, we are AOG and do believe in the gift as well as initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We also follow the commands about control and order of service. Once upon a time there was a man who spoke with passion about Christ and claimed to prophesy. However he was openly critical about our display of the Cross and spoke against other things. He was told to leave because of his disruption. God is no author of confusion.

  7. Amen mikewhitney, Littlejoe amen'd this post.
  8. #17
    tWebber
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    I wish all could speak in tongues, more so that all could prophesy.

    I'm glad the Trinity discussion arises in the classes. It does seem that the topic still does not get enough attention. I think that the awareness of Trinitarian concepts may keep people more accurately understanding Christ as Deity. It helps to discuss the Spirit ... but there probably are church groups that fear this leads to charismatic "extremes." I do believe some people prophesy and some people do miracles of God. But this mostly seems significant in missionary work. Yet, God seems to address the worship/interaction expectations his children expect. Still, the Spirit seems to be relegated to less prominence. This would be largely because Christ came as the man walking among us, as the one to point us to God. The Father is understood most directly as God -- that we are being pointed back to the heavenly -- the unseen God.

  9. #18
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertBerean View Post
    We teach the trinity in our membership classes and we discuss it every now and then in regular adult classes. I haven't recently heard of in depth discussion recently (before coronavirus) but I'd been spending a lot of time with toddlers and pre-K (although they do ask now and then and we try).

    As for tongues, we are AOG and do believe in the gift as well as initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We also follow the commands about control and order of service. Once upon a time there was a man who spoke with passion about Christ and claimed to prophesy. However he was openly critical about our display of the Cross and spoke against other things. He was told to leave because of his disruption. God is no author of confusion.
    One of my best pastor friends was an older AOG pastor -- he told me one of his greatest challenges is allowing the freedom of the Holy Spirit, while 'policing the nuts', because there are people drawn to the emotional aspect, who are not, in his opinion, motivated by the Spirit. He has removed people from his services on occasion, as you rightly say - God is not the author of confusion.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  10. Amen Littlejoe, DesertBerean amen'd this post.
  11. #19
    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hedrick View Post
    In fact all major theologians, even in the liberal tradition, are trinitarians. But I don't think we've done a very good job of making the doctrine look like it matters or even makes sense. When someone asks they get buried in antique philosophical terms.
    These "antique philosophical terms" can admittedly seem a bit esoteric and hard to understand for anyone who hasn't had time to familiarize themselves with their meaning (perhaps even if you've had the time to familiarize yourself with them!), and according to me it would probably have been much better if they were never needed. But since all sorts of heresies and delusions has risen up against the orthodox faith past Christians have obviously felt the need to put names to concepts that are found in the Bible, but are never explicitly given a name, in order to facilitate refutation of these heresies. Had these heresies never arisen, the need to for these "antique philosophical terms" would never have arisen either.

    Then again, it's hardly necessary for the ordinary Christian to familiarize themselves with all of the terms, as long as the biblical concepts that these philosophical terms describe and support are properly understood. Obviously it's not the terms themselves that are the important part, but what they teach and point towards.
    Last edited by Chrawnus; 05-23-2020 at 05:56 AM.

  12. Amen Cow Poke, mikewhitney, Celebrian amen'd this post.

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