We will deal with some of the common arguments against the Christian Trinitarian doctrine in this installment. We will begin by answering the question, “Is the Christian Trinitarian doctrine borrowed from pagan religions?”
If you haven’t read the first two parts of this series (and watched the videos), I suggest you do so in order to understand what we mean by the Christian Trinity.
So, is the Christian Trinitarian doctrine borrowed from pagan religions? In a word, no. But this is a popular accusation proffered by unitarian cults, non-Christian religions, and atheists. The arguments are usually not comparing alleged pagan roots to the actual Trinitarian doctrine but to the heretical views of modalism or Arianism (the video explains why). Anyone who understands the difference would see through this immediately.
As the first video clip below states, “If unitarians wish to show the Trinity is really a stolen pagan deity, they must show the doctrine of the Trinity is specifically taught in pagan literature.”
An attempt to do just this has come from people like Arthur Weigall (1880-1934 CE), who wrote “Paganism in our Christianity.” Another favorite anti-Trinitarian source comes from Alexander Hislop (1807-1865 CE) who wrote “The Two Babylons.”
While Weigall was an anti-Christian myther, Hislop was actually a Trinitarian who was making a poor attempt at attacking the Catholic church. His book was severely criticized by real historians and scholars as total bunk. but that doesn’t stop Anti-Trinitarians from quoting from it.
If someone actually wants to find out what the Trinity is, they should read the early church fathers, like Ignatius of Antioch (c. 37 – c. 107 CE), or Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240 CE), or Origen (c. 185 – c. 254 CE), and others who articulated these beliefs from the early second century onward. They should also read the Scriptures, both in the Old and New Testament, to see where this doctrine came from (see where they are in part two) instead of believing these popular fables circulating on the Internet.
The Christian Trinitarian doctrine did not come from pagan religions or Greek philosophy. But, again, to save verbiage, I will let this video by InspiringPhilosophy do the heavy lifting on exposing some of the most popular arguments against the Trinity as nothing more than poorly researched association fallacies.
Here’s another video I found that makes similar arguments, with additional information, and it makes an additional spiritual point that these pagan similarities can also be seen as crude demonically inspired counterfeits to the true nature of God (see 2 Cor.11:14).
Next time we will look at some popular misinformation about the Council of Nicaea and the development of the Trinitarian doctrine.
I really don’t know how to express this any more clearly. I don’t care if you think the Trinity is in the bible. The word is never used, and Judaism (meaning Jesus, who was born a Jew, lived a Jew, and died a Jew) is entirely a Unitarian belief.
One god, Yhwh.
That, however, is not important.
The concept of the Trinity is not unique to Christianity. It is found in multiple older religions… and clearly expressed as such, using the actual word, Trinity.
You’re argument for “uniqueness” is as meaningful as arguing “But my Trinity is Blue, Red and Green, whereas yours is Wool, Cotton and Polyester”
It doesn’t matter.
What matters is a triune godhead.
When Christianity adopted the triune belief (in the 4th Century CE), they were simply borrowing it, not only from older religious belief systems, but from Greek philosophy.
Unless, of course, you think the Hindu Puranas, for example, are in fact Yahwehist scripture.
In response, the three-gods-in-one (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva) replied,
But of course, according to you, Mel, that passage isn’t at all referring to a Trinity.
John, repeating the same words over and over again won’t make your argument any clearer or more valid.
This is probably the dumbest argument of all! Of course, no one thinks the word, “trinity” is in the Bible! John, it’s a theological term to express what is revealed in the Bible. The videos I included in part two give dozens of Scripture passages that teach this concept about the nature of God.
And that is blatantly false. Jesus, who was a Jew, was monotheistic, but He was not unitarian. He said, over and over again, that He came from His Father, He accepted worship, saying He was the Son of God (which was blasphemy to the Sanhedrin).
The reason the Jews picked up stones was because they knew exactly who Jesus was claiming to be.
Besides all the passages where Jesus accepts worship, the Magi came to worship Him as God…
So, even the pagan Magi understood who Jesus was and came to worship Him. This can only be true if they though He was God. The videos I gave in part two given dozens of other Scripture, both in the Old and New Testament, that clearly teach the triune nature of God.
Again, no, John, it doesn’t refer to the Christian Trinity at all. This is an association fallacy. The video in this post totally debunks this popular fallacy. Saying something is “3-in-1” is NOT the same thing as the Christian Trinity (any more than 2-in-1, 4-in-1, or 10-in-1 would be). What you’re describing is with Brahma. Vishnu, and Shiva is called POLYTHEISM, three gods in one. The Trinity is NOT three gods in one. It’s ONE GOD in three co-existing, equally divine persons. You ought to actually know what you’re talking about when you make an argument instead of parroting other people’s fallacious arguments.
That’s the funny thing about the bible, Mel, I can produce arguments for Jesus implying he is Yhwh, and arguments for Jesus saying he’s not Yhwh. For example:
Jesus said “No one is good – except God alone
Jesus said “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only
John 13:3 the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God, and went to God.
John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me
John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak,
John 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him
John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
So when Jesus says ”My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me” he’s referring to whom, precisely?
Who “sent” him?
Isn’t it nice how clear and free of any ambiguity your god communicates?
As for the Trinity, i’m not even going to entertain your patently ludicrous contention that the idea is not found in, not only, older religions, but also in Greek philosophy.
You doing so simply reveals how prepared you are to pretend to be dumb just to prop-up your worldview.
And to repeat: You’re argument for “uniqueness” is as meaningful as arguing
It simply doesn’t matter.
The concept is far, far, far older than your particular religion.
Right, but you cannot negate the one with the other. You must make ALL His references to God together for a proper hermeneutic. Otherwise, you have a false doctrine. All the verses you are quoting are only articulating the human side of the hypostatic union of Christ (fully God, fully man). You are not arguing against Christ’s divine nature at all. As Paul says in Philippians, and I will use the Amplified to make the meaning more clear (emphasis mine)…
And the New Testament is not ambiguous about it, especially in the original language. For instance in John 1:1c. The Greek structure is literally “and God was the Word” as follows:
και θεος ην ο λογος
and God was the Word
A first year Greek student would know the significance of this particular structuring. The following is from New Testament textual scholar, Daniel B. Wallace:
So, in other words, it’s not…
και λογος ην ο θεος
“and the Word was the God” (i.e., the Father; Sabellianism or Modalism, Oneness Pentecostal, etc.)
Nor is it…
και λογος ο ην θεος
“and the Word was a god” (Arianism, Jehovah Witnesses)
This is what it’s saying…
και θεος ην ο λογος
“and the Word was God” (Orthodoxy).
Jesus Christ is God and has all the attributes that the Father has. But He is not the first person of the Trinity. All this is brilliantly and concisely affirmed in και θεος ην ο λογος.
This is why we cannot just read the Bible, we must correctly interpret it in a way that our interpretation provides explanatory scope with all the verses, not just one side of the story.
Do you actually ever listen to yourself, or notice, even for a moment, the hoops you have to jump through?
What you call “hoops” is called proper exegesis, John. Not your fallacious argument based on heretical cult fallacies. Since you’re so stubbornly oblivious to the basics of the Trinity and continue to make false accusations about the nature of Christ, the “hoops” I have to go through are to show you WHY your argument is fallacious and false. But I doubt you will ever listen, so it’s for the benefit of everyone else I guess.
And let me ask you, did you ever wonder why you seem to gravitate to every spurious and condemned heretical cult doctrine and conspiracy theory on the Internet?
Of course you’re right, Mel, and the Jews (ie. Jesus), who’s god you’re talking about, were wrong. You have Proper exegesis™
And as I have already said, I am not going to entertain your patently ludicrous contention that the idea of the Trinity is not found in, not only, older religions, but also in Greek philosophy.
John, you just continue making more fallacious arguments! It was the JEWS who were the first Christian church in Jerusalem! It was John, A JEW, who said that Jesus was the Word and was God. These were ALL Jews, John. Paul was a highly-trained Jewish Rabbi who quoted the early Christian hymn in Phil.2:5-8. And I already showed in part two (video) that the Trinitarian concept went all through the Hebrew Scripture, although it was a mystery before Christ.
So, yes, my exegesis of John 1:1 is how you properly understand the original Greek text. It’s not ambiguous. You are not making a argument, you just being ridiculous now. Frankly, if you want to believe those cult doctrines that were exposed for the fraud they were by the early church, go ahead. But I prefer to follow what the Scripture is actually saying to us.
And repeating your stupid “Blue, Red, and Green” association fallacy is not making your case. It’s just showing how mulishly obstinate you are. Again, believe whatever fallacious fables you want. You obviously will anyway.
Yes, I heard you the first time.
You have proper exegesis™ which helps your particular flavour of hermeneutics.
I’m sorry to interject here Mel, but please tell me WHO determined the manuscripts John Zande is referencing as heretical, cult, and fallaceous?
No problem. I would start with the early church who deemed modalism and Arianism (and Gnosticism) heterodoxical, and with good reason. Christian cults like the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Unitarians embrace one or the other of these doctrines. The sources JohnZ gives here are some of the same sources they use, which are fringe views that have been criticized by real historians and scholars. He does this in order to create a straw man that he can easily knock down, supposing to debunk Christianity itself. That is fallacious argumentation. I could go on but that would be a few examples of what I mean.
Hmmm, why wouldn’t you just say God, directly from Him? Peculiar, very peculiar. 🤔 🙄
Taking other men’s words for it is suspect, is it not? And to be honest with you Mel, over the last 3 decades I’ve heard/read (monthly, quarterly) various Christian groups label other Christian groups as cults.
So I’m sincerely sorry, but at this point your explanation falls very short. To me it’s just a pointing the finger game without nearly enough extensive, broad, impartial or fair examination of all sides.
And that is an association fallacy. You do not have a Trinity, you have three different colors.
The point John already demonstrated is that the Christian version of a Triune god is certainly not an original idea.
That it is a man-made doctrine is, if one is honest, really beyond dispute, and only the most convoluted explanations are required to arrive at this nonsense, which the average Christian is still unable to explain, but merely accept as a part of faith because this is what he /she has been indoctrinated to believe.
Even you are unable to honestly explain how, if Jesus was Yahweh, why on earth he was praying to ”himself” in the garden of Gethsemane yet calling out to his dad.
Furthermore, practically the only ”line” hauled out by proponents of this idiotic doctrine is the one that reads, I and the father are one, from John. and there are non Trinitarian explanations for this.
And this is aside from the other lines which clearly delineate between father and son.
And of course the ”Holy Spirit” (sic) was not even a genuine consideration at this point.
Besides, you cannot reasonably demonstrate that these words in John were actually spoken by the character Jesus the Nazarene.
It will likely never be established just how many of those at the first council of Nicaea agreed with the view of Arius, even though officially it was no more than a handful. But Constantine’s threat of exile and excommunication surely must have had an impact.
Athanasius, whose view was practically as minority a view as Arius’, at Nicaea was exiled five times. That’s how good he was at making this doctrine stick.
Also, the fact that Contantine’s second son, and also Emperor Valens acknowledged the Ariun position, which, over time, reclaimed considerable theological ”ground” shows that this stupid doctrine was not a ”done deal”.
But the orthodox mob desperately needed Jesus to be god so they simply made him one, in 381 …. for all intent and purpose, by vote.
After Theodosius made it law the fun and games began again.
The point John make was an invalid point. It’s an association fallacy.
And your revision of Christian history is atrocious. I will try to clear that up in my next post.
From an edict of Theodosius.,
“Let us believe the one deity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title of Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since, in our judgement, they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles [assemblies] the name of churches.”
They Made it Up.
It was a teaching that was foreign to the character, Jesus the Nazarene, never taught by the apostles and unknown to the other biblical writers,
These are all popular fables that will be debunked when I talk about Council of Nicaea next time.
I didn’t even touch Wiki on this one by the way and got a lot of these ”popular fables” from the video which I know damn well you
are going to include in your post!
Other material I researched by proper historians.
We’ll just have t wait and see how truly honest you are , won’t we?
Based on past history I am not feeling that confident.
“That the earliest Christians did not consider Jesus God is not a controversial point among scholars. Apart from fundamentalists and very conservative evangelicals, scholars are unified in thinking that the view Jesus was God was a later development within Christian circles.”
from Did Jesus Exist? chp. 7, p. 219.
That should clear things up for you …. from a proper scholar.
Haha…Ehrman is well known by his peers for constantly overstating his case. This is simply NOT TRUE. It’s a major exaggeration of the facts. While it is true that the theological TERM “Trinity,” was coined later, the Christology itself was not. This is clear in Scripture and the early church fathers from the second century on. Sorry, but Bart is not a “proper scholar” when it comes to this. He’s just your favorite poster boy you prop up to defend your spurious views about Christ.
As he says, evangelicals and fundamentalists.
You have yet to cite anything definitive to make your case, only ”intuitive interpretation.”
His track record as a Christian demonstrates his bona fides.
You are still wallowing in heavy evangelicalism.
You will dismiss anyone that does not follow your cherry picked view, rather take a path of honesty and be prepared to accept the evidence as it is presented.
However, here is a small test:
Please explain exactly:
1.Who was Jesus the Nazarene praying to in the garden of Gethsemane.
2. Who was he appealing to when hanging from the cross?
For one, Ehrman doesn’t believe in the supernatural which makes his ability to understand the Bible basically meaningless. He’s a good scholar. but he’s pretty much run off the rails over the last few years.
Crap … he was a full blown Christian. He knows the bible far better than you. Inside out and backwards.
Whereas you are still motoring along on faith and your videos.
Sure, Ehrman WAS a full-blown Christian but he’s certainly not now. And he even said it was because he could resolve the problem of evil, which is ironic since Atheists can’t either. But, while I’m not a scholar myself, I can read and many scholars are saying these things about Ehrman.
And, besides, knowing the Bible inside and out doesn’t mean you have better understanding. The Sanhedrin understood their Bible better than anyone and they crucified their Messiah.
Smile … and here we go again.
So it’s his highly specialized scholarly view after goodness knows how many years, plus his insight as a full blown Christian who will understand perfectly the evangelist and apologetic approach to practically every scenario verses the views of Mel Wild , apologetic evangelical pastor who relies largely on intuitive interpretation.
I wonder who is going to be:
a) the most biased.
b) the least scholarly
c) the least honest
d) the most close-minded
e) the least inclined to accept evidence based consensus.
Dunno about you but my money is on Mel Wild.
Says Ark, the most biased, close-mind, and hypocritical anti-theist I know.
You don’t know what you’re talking about. And thinking you’re making a point by constantly throwing out accusations is just…not smart.
You have just besmirched Ehrman because according to you now that he is no longer a Christian he can no longer be trusted to give an accurate historical view of the bible!
What palpable nonsense!
You have never once offered an evidence based historical view for a single claim you have ever made pertaining to your religious views.
Every thing you put forward is faith driven and to this end it simply has to be interpreted to come out the way you need it to.
And when this is shown to be disingenuous you simply handwave away all evidence ans write your ”Whatever …”
This is the hallmark of an indoctrinated christian.
A man who would allow his wife’s brains to be blown out rather than deny ”his lord”.
And you consider me close minded?
It’s not according to me, Ark. Ehrman calls himself an agnostic, not a Christian. And I referred to what other scholars say about his tendency to overstate his case.
What evidence, Ark? You’ve shown NO evidence to contradict what I’ve said. You just make accusations and dismiss actual Bible exegesis.
No, Ark, what you’ve shown is an anti-Christian cold-blooded monster who would put a gun to my wife’s head to make me deny my faith. Again, you twist everything to make yourself self-righteous, but you have it backwards. The anti-Christian is the monster, not me.
Yes, absolutely. You are a narrow-minded naturalist. You close your eyes to anything you don’t want to understand and cop out with a “I don’t know,” then have the audacity to say I’m wrong! That’s about as closed-minded as it gets, bordering on delusional.
Here you go, blathering again. Who said Ehrman was a Christian? I KNOW he is not.
And I consider it is your view unless you cite a source.
Ehrman for one.
John has presented more evidence than I can recall and now Tim has jumped in.
When you present your Nicaea post it will be torn to shreds by evidence from genuine historians, but you will simply hand wave it away.
I never once said I did not agree with you about the monster, but you are a sick individual if you would allow this monster to take the life of your wife simply because of your screwed up delusional hubris.
You could even cross your fingers and pretend, for the gods’ sake. But no, even this is not an option for you.
You are simply out of your mind.
I don’t know is honest. It is not a cop-out because if I don’t know then I don’t flocking know, you sanctimonious arse.
1. The human/divine Jesus was speaking to His Father in heaven. You ask this as if it’s proving something. Jesus is not the Father, which is a critical component to the Trinitarian doctrine. The Incarnate Christ is fully human and fully God (called the Hypostatic union). This is Christianity 101.
2. Jesus was identifying with US, our human feeling of abandonment, quoting Psalm 22, as a man speaking to God. The Scripture states that Jesus identified with our weaknesses in all points but without sin.
You’re not making an argument against the Trinity here.
1.He is speaking to his father. His dad. Thankyou.
As long as you understand he was not talking to himself.
And this is what everyone else understood at the time. He was appealing to his Father in Heaven. God, Yahweh.
No apologetic bullshit please, Mel.
Who was he crying out to while hanging on the cross?
Did I say I was?
Haha…that’s rich. Now you’re teaching me the Bible, Ark. Here’s what I said: “Jesus was identifying with US, our human feeling of abandonment, quoting Psalm 22, as a man speaking to God.” So, yes, He was talking to His Father on our behalf.
What YOU are giving me is total BS. YOU are the one cherry-picking verses here (or just parroting bad theology you picked up on the Internet). If Jesus actually thought HE was abandoned by God, then He would have contradicted Himself. That’s why it fails the hermeneutical test. Here’s what Jesus said about His crucifixion on a couple other places:
So, it’s very clear that Jesus thought His Father would NEVER abandon Him for one moment, but WE thought He did.
Then Paul said this…
God was IN Christ, Ark, reconciling the world to Himself on the Cross. It couldn’t be plainer.
In fact, if you read the WHOLE psalm and not just the one verse soundbite, you will see that David didn’t actually think God would abandon him either.
So, the only right way to exegete what Jesus said on the Cross when He quoted Psalm 22 was as a way to identify with us. In reality, God the Father was IN Christ, not abandoning Him like the disciples did, reconciling the world to Himself.
Thank you. He was crying out to his ”dad”.
I have no real interest in dissecting the rest of your intuitive interpretation.
So two crucial examples of Jesus the Nazarene communing /appealing to his god.
The god of the Jews. Yahweh.
That’s clear enough I believe.
You made the case.
And the rest as they say … is history.
That’s because you have no interest in actually defending your views with proper exegesis, you just parrot your wild accusations and hand-wave away any actual argument while declaring victory. Whatever…if that makes you feel better. But don’t ever fool yourself into thinking that people who actually know what they’re talking about will ever take your dismissals seriously.
No, because you quote scripture and interpret the words attributed to the character Jesus the Nazarene, and when you come across a comment you might feel is a little too near the bone for your liking you keep it in moderation.
Ehrman knows what he is talking about and you dismiss him!
Rohl does not know what he is talking about but you pander to him.
Yes, you are unbiased all right.
Ark, you comment so often (many times more than anyone else) it’s hard to keep up. You obviously have nothing else to do but to sit on my blog. I don’t sit at my computer all day and I’m certainly not going to spend every waking moment just answering you! Sometimes I’m away from my computer for a couple of day like this weekend. The only comments I purposely moderate are the belligerent ones and when you just keep saying the same thing over and over again. But if you have some comment that’s so important and relevant here, tell me what it’s in reference to and I will look for it.
Ark, this is where you are just naïve. There is NO SUCH thing as unbiased.
This is why your intuitive interpretation is as good as saying whatever I what then this is what it is.
A point you continually demonstrate with your indoctrinated posts and comments.
What do you mean by intuitive interpretation? Now, you’re making things up. The interpretations I gave you were based on sound exegesis.
Yours is the indoctrinated anti-theist and parroted cult version of the Bible.
How is Jesus the Nazarene talking to Yahweh in Gethsemane anything but him talking to Yahweh?
I have no idea what your point is. No Trinitarian has ever said that Jesus wasn’t talking to His Father in the Garden. What does that have to do with anything? We’re not defending Modalism (Jesus is the Father). Of course, He was talking to Him.
Sorry the term you used was ”construed from interpretation” .
And as there are many interpretations, how do you arrive at the one which is considered correct?
All doctrines are construed from Scripture, whether false or sound. There is no other way to make a biblical doctrine.
You can test the soundness of the doctrine by applying proper exegesis. Does the conclusion create a contradiction elsewhere, does it have explanatory scope and power, etc.
The Trinity is a fabricated doctrine.
And that’s a myther fabrication.
No, it is a demonstrable fact.
Hurry up and put up your Nicaea post.
What do you mean by demonstrable fact? You mean your absurd standard that’s beyond any shred of doubt whatsoever? Haha.
And, Ark, I would get lot more done, and faster, if you didn’t make a hundred comments every time I post. Obviously, you have nothing better to do than to just take potshots on Christian blogs all day. I just end up approving some without comment because I don’t have enough time in the day to answer them all.
This is well done. Thanks, I enjoyed the videos. I appreciate the last one about cults and copycats. One of the lures, the dangers of cults, from secular to religious, is the way they take just enough information,just enough truth, to pull people in. The very fact that the truth is so alluring it is actually used to entice people in, is fascinating to me. Also really awful and kind of sad. The Truth shall set you free,not exploit you. A few times, as in some of those red pills I lament over, I’ve watched them use evangelism and Christianity to lure in and manipulate their followers.
Well shoot, even evangelizing atheists are copycats, seeking decons. A few times I’ve said, “you’re just like a pharisee,a religionist.” It’s like some of them have left religion but taken all the bad with them, leaving behind the good.In truth they haven’t left religion at all, they’ve just taken it with them,all except for the worship music,contemplation,fellowship,and love.
As to the trinity, I love the mind,body,spirit, nature of us all, having been created in His image. We seldom get all our own parts working together in that same kind of loving harmony, but it’s a concept worth defending and protecting because the trinity becomes a really important idea in understanding love and relationship. Also,it’s other worldly, so it’s supposed to boggle our brains,to leave us with some mystery.
Amen, IB. Well said. It’s funny to me how evangelizing anti-theists like every spurious heretical doctrine there is to make their case!
That’s exactly it. It’s like they left bad Fundamentalism to become…atheistic Fundamentalists! Take all the bad, remove the good, then make their “Christian” straw man that they can knock down. Yet, here they are, still practicing bad evangelism, getting obnoxious in people’s faces, but now for the religion of scientism. The only parts of the Bible they quote are the parts they can twist in the worst possible way. They truly are the modern day, nit-picking legalistic Pharisees…everything we should run away from in “religion,” including theirs. Ironically. these combative anti-theists are just the other side of same bad coin that they thought they left!
I don’t think we should forget this important point about understanding God, who, by definition, would be much more complex than our finite brains. The Trinity is not an easy concept to grasp, and probably never fully grasped. Truly other-worldly, like trying to explain four-dimensional objects in a three-dimensional world. Whatever explanation you give, it falls short of the real thing. We can only give analogies, not truly express something that is outside our ability to totally comprehend.
I’d assume Mel you are including yourself in this group of misunderstanding-humanity and all our finite brains, correct? I mean I wholeheartedly agree with you that…
Yes, and there are very, very excellent reasons why — particularly to the layperson, or those who can only handle milk as opposed to (esoteric) meat. And from this we can safely infer that God shows favoritism only to His (predestined?) chosen, but not to those that might claim the “Savior” in sheep’s clothing! But I don’t want to get dogmatic; let’s leave all the judging to God shall we! 😉
Yes, of course, I include myself.
But you are also lumping me in here with a lot of things I don’t believe. For instance, I don’t bleieve God picks favorites. In fact, Scripture says the opposite. He’s “no respecter of persons.” And I also don’t believe in what would be called “double predestination.” That is a Calvinist doctrine that God only picks some. The New Testament is pretty clear that Jesus died for the whole world, and that His will is that everyone would be saved. We make the choice whether we will accept it. He did predestine us to become sons and daughters but, again, whether we accept that or not is up to us.
I realize I’ve opened up a whole new theological can of worms. 🙂 We may have to talk about that another time. I have to go so I may not be able to respond to any more questions for now.
I firmly disagree, as would many, MANY other Christians, theologians, apologists, and yes, Scripture does too saying otherwise in light of these following passages:
Acts 13:48, Ephesians 1:4-5, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14, Genesis 3:15, 17:7, Exodus 19:5-6, Jeremiah 31:31-34, Matthew 20:28, 1 Corinthians 11:25, and Hebrews 9:15.
But you are not alone Mel in disagreeing — in whatever exegetical or hermeneutical fashion you choose — with these passages from the SAME God. FourSquare, the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America, and a large multitude of other churches and organizations do NOT like God and His sovereignty having so much control over creation and humanity. 😉
Hahaha! Indeed! But then again, these are theological-doctrinal problems and debates that not even the earliest Church and Church Fathers resolved over a 300-400+ year timespan and to this DAY today, the Christian church is unequivocally divided, obviously! 😀
One “What” – three “Who’s” ❤️ When we draw close to God, we start to understand, that what our head does not know our heart does.
I like that analogy. It is very true. It’s usually our head that follows the heart’s intuitive knowledge.
Conversely, by not seeing God in relationship within Himself does not allow us to understand our relationship in Him. And again, God cannot BE love unless He’s more than one person. Love can only be love in relationship.
Mmmm, my heart understands much better than my intelligent head… on certain days! Then, there are times when my intelligent head saves me from my gullible heart! 😉 ❤
The wisdom of men is foolishness to God…where did I hear that at ? 😉
Well, I can’t speak for you T-W-O, but I’ve heard that saying not only in 8-9 different foreign cultures around the world, but in several sacred manuscripts from at least 4 different continents. It seems to be quite universal, quite inclusive! 😉
I think it’s so funny when people are like that…oh the Hindus say that, the Buddha said that, the head hunters of the deep jungle believed that…truth has existed since the beginning of time. That’s like saying the Mayans say the sky is blue, so if you Christian say the sky is blue somehow your viewpoint is invalid or less authentic…I’m not sure what your point is…because as a Christian I can say a few things. You only know of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the revelation of The a Holy Spirit. If you do not believe, it is not because of anything other than you are not fortunate enough to have the mysteries that are written of revealed. If God himself has not decided to enlighten you to them, how or why should I .
Ooooo, sorry T-W-O. There we part ways BIG TIME. Your individual experiences of “truth” are not the same as mine. And naturally, that goes for everyone in the world!!! Thank goodness. No one has exclusive rights to “truth.” Another condition that is good!!! Otherwise, we’d all be slaves, huh? LOL 😉
God does. Truth could never be anything besides absolute. The idea that I am needed to perceive truth or you are needed to perceive truth is incorrect. That’s like saying that a sunset only happens if I see it. Truth is truth. Truth is absolute.
That’s fine T-W-O. But around 71% of the world doesn’t see it that way at all, and the other 29% don’t really agree amongst each other either. There’s very good logical reasons why there is all the wonderful diversity too! This cannot be denied or argued. 🙂
Have a fabulous evening T-W-O. Thanks for the brief interaction.
I don’t care if 99.9% of the world sees it differently than me. 100% of them will realize the moment they die that there is but one true God, and they needed Jesus Christ to get to him. And according to your statistics, 71% are going to be sorry they didn’t get right when they had the chance.
It’s interesting to note I wrote of the Parable of The Sower today. The Bible actually agrees with your statistics. In it 75% of the seed sown is destroyed by one means or another and only 25% is actually fruitful.
T-W-O… I politely closed our discussion. If you want to go up against 71% to 80% of the world population today — AFTER 2,000+ years of your individual ideology — that’s fine. I’m not interested; besides, no one nor even a reasonable cumulative number of life-death travellers (LOL) has died, crossed over for a week or a month or a year, then come back to tell everyone WHAT exactly happens after death. You have no proof of what you claim. Period.
And I’ve already spent well over 12-years of my life, academic studies, including seminary and extensive biblical exegesis (and hermeneutics, as Mel is so fond a word) and actual face-to-face interactions, relationships, service, and learning the most plausible truths and probabilities. Thank you though for your personal opinions; I respect them.
Once again, have a nice evening. Our brief interaction was interesting. Thanks. ❤
I have something more powerful than proof. I have faith 😁 goodnight
Me too! 😁 Nite.
The Greeks had a “Demiurgic triad” – Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.
A view which developed in parallel with Orthodox Christianity was Gnostic Christianity, which had a triad of its own – the father, son, and mother…that also preceded the Orthodox trinity.
Christian Gnosticism, as the heresiologists, such as Irenaeus and Hippolytus, were quick to point out, was rooted in centuries-old Pythagorean philosophy, notably a reworking of the Monad, the male principle (primordial one), and the dyad, the female principle.(primordial matter). Together, they are the Abyss. The Monad and Dyad give rise to the Goddess Silence (Sige), who precedes the Logos (the Word!), who can help to act as the Demiurge. Compare that to John 1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God…All things were made by him…
This, and your other examples, are not the same thing as the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. All of these variations were debunked on the videos, so I don’t want to cover it again here. These, again, are association fallacies.
But this doesn’t mean that these theological thoughts were written in a vacuum. For instance, the Hellenistic thoughts about “logos” is used by John to CONTRAST the paradigm of Heraclitus and later Jewish thought with Christ as the structuring reality of everything. It’s a brilliant comparison in contrast when you understand it. I wrote a separate post on the history of “logos” and how John used the word here: “Logos: the structuring reality of everything.”
“not the same thing as the Christian doctrine of the Trinity”. Yes, it’s not the exact same thing, but the influence is clear, which is why Justin Martyr and Tertullian both had to address the similarities between Christianity and the preceding philosophies
No, they were not “influenced” by these pagan cultures in the way you suggest. They were trying to develop language for what was already true about Christ and the Godhead. In other words, they weren’t inventing something, they are explaining it. And saying “three-in-one” to tie to the Trinity is an association fallacy. I used to have “Three-in-one” machine oil in my house, but that doesn’t mean that it’s associated with the Trinity.
Yes, Justin Martyr and Tertullian had to address apparent similarities by way of contrast. They were showing that the Trinity is not the same thing as the polytheistic unions of various pagan gods. That is not the Trinity, and there is no previous version of the pagan deities that matches the Trinitarian doctrine.
The Holy Spirit is analogous to Pneuma. The Son was the Logos. These were not new concepts, nor was it new to combine these concepts together, around the Monad. The Trinity was simply a reformulation of ideas and practices that were common throughout Greek philosophies – Stoicism, Platonism. The Stoics literally merged Logos and Pneuma as one – pneuma was the vehicle for logos.
You’re certainly free to deny the influence, but for people who aren’t defending a conservative apologist position, the influence is quite clear.
Yes, the words themselves were not new concepts. Pneuma was the Greek word for spirit or “air.” It doesn’t follow that the writers were merely borrowing pagan religions by using these common words. Again, nothing in the Bible is written in a vacuum but is often juxtaposed in context with the cultural worldview it’s addressing. Yes, Greek words like “pneuma” and “logos” were common words. But the New Testament writers applied them in a unique way than the pagan religions around them. By the way, this is how the Hebrew writers contrasted their creation story with the ancient cultures around them. They used it as a point in direct contrast to the other creation stories.
Thank you, but again, “influence” is kind of a squishy term to use here. No one is immune to influence. But if by that you mean they borrowed their same usage of the words, I would disagree. Again, I would contend that the writers were using these words in contrast to the general way they were understood in the Hellenistic Greek culture. That’s what makes John 1:1 so brilliant. Logos was never used this way before. Heraclitus said war or conflict is the “logos,” what brings chaos into order; the New Testament writer uses that ongoing argument to say that it’s Jesus Christ Himself who brings all things into order (logos). All things are held together and consist in Him. It’s absolutely brilliant and a drastically different worldview.
You’ve offered excellent highly plausible “alternative” histories applied well to the bigger historical context of the time-period and region of the world in question… as opposed to the orthodoxed versions extant due to the mighty power and reach of the Roman Empire. BRAVO Sir.
Mel, you wrote: This is why we cannot just read the Bible, we must correctly interpret it in a way that our interpretation provides explanatory scope with all the verses, not just one side of the story.
Read again what you wrote. Key words: “interpret” and “interpretation.” Also, your comment, “we must correctly interpret … not just one side of the story” How true. But what is repeatedly demonstrated by Christians is their inability to see more than “one side of the story.”
Added note: the videos you reference carry little weight to non-believers. They’re just another way of presenting what you believe to be true … and that, of course, is the crux of the discussion.
Mel, you mentioned that people should read the early church fathers, like … Tertullian. Was curious if you knew that he has been credited by numerous sources as the author of the following:
“At that greatest of all spectacles, that last and eternal judgment how shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness; so many magistrates liquefying in … flames … philosophers blushing in red-hot fires …”
Not sure that he’s a very good reference point. 😉
I don’t have to agree with everything someone says, doctrinally speaking, to quote them.
@ Nan : I’m not sure what you find offensive about this. I think he is saying he won’t take pleasure in seeing people being tormented in hell. This is somehow offensive how? The other day Hugh Hefner died and I wept for his soul. I think he was a very terrible human being who destroyed decency in every way possible – yet it bereaved my soul deeply because I knew unless he had repented he was in hell.
God bless you Mel, you are so much more patient than I in dealing with people’s spiritual blindness. I really need to pray about that, I have little to no patience…which I know is wrong.
Apparently you didn’t read Tertullian’s comments closely enough. How else can you possibly interpret the utter joy behind such words as admire, laugh, rejoice, exult? He was absolutely overwhelmed with delight that the “monarchs” and “magistrates” were going to suffer in darkness, flames, and red-hot fires.
On a side note, it’s commendable that you “wept” for the soul of Hugh Hefner … but neither you nor anyone else knows for certain about any kind of Life After Death.
And one other note … many of those who are conversing with Mel do not suffer from “spiritual blindness.” In fact, they see much more clearly than most believers because they have looked beyond the precepts of the so-called “holy book” and found a much freer and happier life WITHOUT the ever-abiding FEAR of what might happen at life’s end.
I am in no way afraid of dying ❤️ I’m going to live through it. As for being freer or happier, that is debatable I live a pretty amazing life filled with amazing joy. God bless 🙏🏻
Very well stated and excellent rebuttal Nan. 🙂
Tamara nor anyone else, past and present, can prove any of it — BUT… faith (blindly?) in whatever folklore one chooses is just fine, as long as you don’t arrogantly push it in everyone’s face like constantly banging a cymbal. LOL 😛