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Author Topic: Sabellianism  (Read 16860 times) Average Rating: 0
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Leisa
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« on: March 25, 2011, 01:53:17 PM »

Now that I understand that the Oriental Orthodox, the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholics, and indeed, the Protestants, all believe in the same unity of the two natures of Christ, I am further along then I was before.  For some reason I thought that when the Oriental Orthodox rejected the 4th Council they were rejecting the two natures of Christ however this is not the case.

So now that I have done more reading online, I realize that I am not going to convert to the Oriental or the Eastern Orthodox church because I can't.  I don't believe Christ had two natures.  Indeed, I find myself in the camp of Sabellius!

Yeah!  At least I know that my ideas have a name now, and it is Sabellianism or Modalism.  (according to wikipedia).

So I guess there isn't a church that adheres to this view that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three manifestations of one God.

And I guess this makes me a heretic.  Oh well, I can't lie, its what I believe.  I don't believe for one second that Christ was in any way human.  Its just like if I was to put on baby clothes and have someone push me around in a stroller.  Would that make me a baby? No.  So too, if God takes on flesh, does that make God a man?  No.

That's how my logic works.  But thank you everyone for your help.  If it was not for this discussion I would have never found out the formal name for my beliefs.


_____________________________________________________

This discussion was split off from a thread about the Joint Declaration:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,34519.new.html#new

Salpy




« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 08:33:18 PM by Salpy » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 02:01:44 PM »

Then you must no longer commune in any Christian Church.
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2011, 02:54:15 PM »

Its just like if I was to put on baby clothes and have someone push me around in a stroller.  Would that make me a baby? No.

God didn't "put on baby clothes", God actually became a baby.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2011, 04:45:02 PM »

leisa, why do you think Jesus Christ was not in any way human? do you think it would have been difficult for God to achieve this? or do you think it was unnecessary?
the reason we believe it was necessary is that, by taking human nature and yet never sinning, God perfected that same human nature that was spoiled by adam and eve when they rejected God and disobeyed His commandment. this tells us that humans can be united with God (in the eternal paradise). if Jesus Christ had been only divine, he would only have demonstrated that gods are very good at sinlessness. that wouldn't have helped us humans at all!
instead, he lived a perfect human life, and then because He was God, He was able to take all our sins and our mortality and destroy death by His death and resurrection. both the human and the divine natures are necessary for His death and resurrection to restore us to a correct relationship with God.

i know it's all a bit complicated, but i would like to invite you to keep searching for the truth and attending church and searching for an ever deeper relationship with God. however, if you don't believe the main Christian beliefs, it is not appropriate to take Holy Communion, as father peter said.
i hope this explains it a bit for you, when i read theology i understand it better by putting in simpler language, which sometimes helps.
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2011, 06:50:11 PM »

Dear Leisa,

I think mabsoota gave a nice and concise summary of why the dogma of Christ's complete and perfect humanity is so important to us--our very salvation hinges on it. I hope you will consider engaging with the points mabsoota has raised as well as his/her inquiry into why you hold to the beliefs you do. Please do stick around! 
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 06:23:07 AM »

i am female. mabsoota = 'happy (f)' in arabic.
i love your pic of our departed patriarch kyrillos 6th, he was a really blessed man  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 01:13:41 PM »

leisa, why do you think Jesus Christ was not in any way human? do you think it would have been difficult for God to achieve this? or do you think it was unnecessary?
the reason we believe it was necessary is that, by taking human nature and yet never sinning, God perfected that same human nature that was spoiled by adam and eve when they rejected God and disobeyed His commandment. this tells us that humans can be united with God (in the eternal paradise). if Jesus Christ had been only divine, he would only have demonstrated that gods are very good at sinlessness. that wouldn't have helped us humans at all!
instead, he lived a perfect human life, and then because He was God, He was able to take all our sins and our mortality and destroy death by His death and resurrection. both the human and the divine natures are necessary for His death and resurrection to restore us to a correct relationship with God.

i know it's all a bit complicated, but i would like to invite you to keep searching for the truth and attending church and searching for an ever deeper relationship with God. however, if you don't believe the main Christian beliefs, it is not appropriate to take Holy Communion, as father peter said.
i hope this explains it a bit for you, when i read theology i understand it better by putting in simpler language, which sometimes helps.


I can not go to communion unless I have confessed my sins and so confession comes before communion. 

My logic is that even though God took on flesh, he was still God.  Just as if I conceal my true identity by dressing up as a witch or a nun, I am neither of those things, but I appear to be. So too, I think God took on flesh and appeared to be an ordinary man, however, Jesus is true God.  This is evidenced by his knowledge of everything that would happen in the future and his ability to do miracles as he so desired. 

Remember when Jesus is in the boat sleeping and the storm comes up and the apostles are freaking out?  They don't realize who they are with.  No one does!  No one can understand who Jesus is until he comes back from the dead.  And even then, its hard to believe.

God didn't become a man, he took on flesh but he didn't become a man.  If Jesus was a man then they would have drown out at sea like every other mortal caught in a storm. 

And if you mean to tell me that God worked the miracles in the human Jesus then I would also say preposterous!  That would mean that Jesus was not God (blasphemy).  If Jesus is God, which he is, and the Father is another God, then there are two Gods!  (also blasphemy).  God is one.  Which means that Jesus is the same God as the Father who is the same as the Holy Spirit.  Not three gods but one God in three manifestations.

Anyways, thats how I understand things and if people also had this understanding in the 2nd century then I'm going to stay right in the second century.  I'm not budging.
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2011, 01:28:01 PM »

leisa, why do you think Jesus Christ was not in any way human? do you think it would have been difficult for God to achieve this? or do you think it was unnecessary?
the reason we believe it was necessary is that, by taking human nature and yet never sinning, God perfected that same human nature that was spoiled by adam and eve when they rejected God and disobeyed His commandment. this tells us that humans can be united with God (in the eternal paradise). if Jesus Christ had been only divine, he would only have demonstrated that gods are very good at sinlessness. that wouldn't have helped us humans at all!
instead, he lived a perfect human life, and then because He was God, He was able to take all our sins and our mortality and destroy death by His death and resurrection. both the human and the divine natures are necessary for His death and resurrection to restore us to a correct relationship with God.

i know it's all a bit complicated, but i would like to invite you to keep searching for the truth and attending church and searching for an ever deeper relationship with God. however, if you don't believe the main Christian beliefs, it is not appropriate to take Holy Communion, as father peter said.
i hope this explains it a bit for you, when i read theology i understand it better by putting in simpler language, which sometimes helps.


I can not go to communion unless I have confessed my sins and so confession comes before communion. 

Just a note, you probably shouldn't be going to communion at all if you believe what you say you do, as it's certainly not Roman Catholic teaching by a long shot and you can't even fudge it with some creative words.

You should really go talk to your priest about what you're thinking the next time you go to confession.
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2011, 03:11:30 PM »

Why would Christ have drowned by virtue of his humanity? Did he not tell his apostles that they too could do likewise if they just had faith? Were they also God?


This seems to be putting quite the limits on what God and cannot do. Almost bordering on Deism - as you say a miracle cannot be worked through a man, by virtue of humanity.

edit: But as has been said, you should talk to your priest about this.
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2011, 04:06:53 PM »

leisa, why do you think Jesus Christ was not in any way human? do you think it would have been difficult for God to achieve this? or do you think it was unnecessary?
the reason we believe it was necessary is that, by taking human nature and yet never sinning, God perfected that same human nature that was spoiled by adam and eve when they rejected God and disobeyed His commandment. this tells us that humans can be united with God (in the eternal paradise). if Jesus Christ had been only divine, he would only have demonstrated that gods are very good at sinlessness. that wouldn't have helped us humans at all!
instead, he lived a perfect human life, and then because He was God, He was able to take all our sins and our mortality and destroy death by His death and resurrection. both the human and the divine natures are necessary for His death and resurrection to restore us to a correct relationship with God.

i know it's all a bit complicated, but i would like to invite you to keep searching for the truth and attending church and searching for an ever deeper relationship with God. however, if you don't believe the main Christian beliefs, it is not appropriate to take Holy Communion, as father peter said.
i hope this explains it a bit for you, when i read theology i understand it better by putting in simpler language, which sometimes helps.


I can not go to communion unless I have confessed my sins and so confession comes before communion. 

My logic is that even though God took on flesh, he was still God.  Just as if I conceal my true identity by dressing up as a witch or a nun, I am neither of those things, but I appear to be. So too, I think God took on flesh and appeared to be an ordinary man, however, Jesus is true God.  This is evidenced by his knowledge of everything that would happen in the future and his ability to do miracles as he so desired. 

Remember when Jesus is in the boat sleeping and the storm comes up and the apostles are freaking out?  They don't realize who they are with.  No one does!  No one can understand who Jesus is until he comes back from the dead.  And even then, its hard to believe.

God didn't become a man, he took on flesh but he didn't become a man.  If Jesus was a man then they would have drown out at sea like every other mortal caught in a storm. 

And if you mean to tell me that God worked the miracles in the human Jesus then I would also say preposterous!  That would mean that Jesus was not God (blasphemy).  If Jesus is God, which he is, and the Father is another God, then there are two Gods!  (also blasphemy).  God is one.  Which means that Jesus is the same God as the Father who is the same as the Holy Spirit.  Not three gods but one God in three manifestations.

Anyways, thats how I understand things and if people also had this understanding in the 2nd century then I'm going to stay right in the second century.  I'm not budging.



This entire post is a weird conglomeration of Sabellianism and Apollinarianism, both heresies that were condemned by the Church over 1600 years ago. Indeed there is nothing new under the sun.  Cool
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2011, 11:27:53 AM »



Schultz, I don't go to communion so there is no worries there, and I wouldn't go unless I had been to confession because of my unorthodox views they would have to be confessed and the Priest would probably tell me that I could NOT go to communion...
I am well aware of protocol.
And I would talk to my Priest if I had one but ours got taken away from us.  Some sort of scam no doubt of the Catholic church to remove all genuine traditional Priests and replace them with counterfeit modernists.
Sorry, its just that if you were Catholic you would know what I was talking about.
And so I am falling into heresy the longer I stay out of the church.  I am aware of the moral dilemma so that is why I am looking for another church but maybe I should just go back to the Catholic church I don't know?

Leisa
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2011, 11:31:48 AM »

Why would Christ have drowned by virtue of his humanity? Did he not tell his apostles that they too could do likewise if they just had faith? Were they also God?


This seems to be putting quite the limits on what God and cannot do. Almost bordering on Deism - as you say a miracle cannot be worked through a man, by virtue of humanity.

edit: But as has been said, you should talk to your priest about this.

Hi Kaatkin, can you please quote the verse you are referencing so I can look at it.

I will talk to a Priest when I find one.  I promise.

Leisa
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2011, 11:48:24 AM »


This entire post is a weird conglomeration of Sabellianism and Apollinarianism, both heresies that were condemned by the Church over 1600 years ago. Indeed there is nothing new under the sun.  Cool


Hi Paisius,
I already said I agreed with Sabellius. I think his ideas are sound.  Why do you think his views, or what we know of them anyways from his critics, are muddled and confused?  I think saying someone is fully human and fully God is confusing.  What sense can anyone make of that?  (rhetorical question)

And here is another thing that really sticks out in my mind like a broken bone in a fractured leg...... Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father. 

THAT is confusing! 

Leisa

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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2011, 12:15:22 PM »


This entire post is a weird conglomeration of Sabellianism and Apollinarianism, both heresies that were condemned by the Church over 1600 years ago. Indeed there is nothing new under the sun.  Cool


Hi Paisius,
I already said I agreed with Sabellius. I think his ideas are sound.  Why do you think his views, or what we know of them anyways from his critics, are muddled and confused?  I think saying someone is fully human and fully God is confusing.  What sense can anyone make of that?  (rhetorical question)

And here is another thing that really sticks out in my mind like a broken bone in a fractured leg...... Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father. 

THAT is confusing! 

Leisa



How old are you? (rhetorical question)
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2011, 02:14:52 PM »

Why would Christ have drowned by virtue of his humanity? Did he not tell his apostles that they too could do likewise if they just had faith? Were they also God?


This seems to be putting quite the limits on what God and cannot do. Almost bordering on Deism - as you say a miracle cannot be worked through a man, by virtue of humanity.

edit: But as has been said, you should talk to your priest about this.

Hi Kaatkin, can you please quote the verse you are referencing so I can look at it.

I will talk to a Priest when I find one.  I promise.

Leisa
I'm referencing the exact same section you are.
However I was a bit off, Jesus did not say they all could if they just have faith, however he did tell Peter that the reason he sunk was because he doubted. (Matt 14:31).
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2011, 03:33:57 PM »



Leisa
I'm referencing the exact same section you are.
However I was a bit off, Jesus did not say they all could if they just have faith, however he did tell Peter that the reason he sunk was because he doubted. (Matt 14:31).

Hi Kasatkin fan,

I was referring to Mark chapter 4:35-41 'The storm obeys Jesus' Where Jesus is sleeping during the storm.

Mark 4:40 "But he said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"

What was it that they had no faith about? 

If you know what they had no faith about then you'll understand my position.

Leisa
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2011, 03:43:12 PM »



How old are you? (rhetorical question)


Hi Minasoliman,

My point about the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father is that it demonstrates two Gods.  Two distinct Gods.
Whereas, early Jewish followers of Jesus would never have been able to conceptualize Jesus as "another" God because Jesus and the Jews were strict monotheists.  "The Lord thy God is one" for example.

So, many conceived of Jesus as the same as the Father in a different manifestation (Sabellius, modalists, monarchians etc.)



Leisa

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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2011, 04:21:30 PM »



Leisa
I'm referencing the exact same section you are.
However I was a bit off, Jesus did not say they all could if they just have faith, however he did tell Peter that the reason he sunk was because he doubted. (Matt 14:31).

Hi Kasatkin fan,

I was referring to Mark chapter 4:35-41 'The storm obeys Jesus' Where Jesus is sleeping during the storm.

Mark 4:40 "But he said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"

What was it that they had no faith about? 

If you know what they had no faith about then you'll understand my position.

Leisa

I would say they had no faith that God would protect them, but that doesn't make your sentiments make any sense, since by virtue of being fully God, fully human, Jesus could/would protect them. None of that discounts his humanity.
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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2011, 05:18:29 PM »

Hi Minasoliman,
So, many conceived of Jesus as the same as the Father in a different manifestation (Sabellius, modalists, monarchians etc.)
Leisa
This makes the unity of the Trinity to be "God in Essence" rather than The Father. "God in Essence" is not the Person of God, and one cannot have any personal relationship with an abstract essence or divine force. As someone who used to consider himself a Taoist I know what it's like to venerate an abstract force or essence, and it is not the same as a relationship of persons in Mystery.

As for the incarnation:

"Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin" 1 Peter 4:1

God suffered in the flesh; a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks.

"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." 2 John 1:7

My point about the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father is that it demonstrates two Gods.  Two distinct Gods.
If you believe this, you have not learned the doctrine of the Trinity.
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« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2011, 11:43:46 AM »



How old are you? (rhetorical question)


Hi Minasoliman,

My point about the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father is that it demonstrates two Gods.  Two distinct Gods.
Whereas, early Jewish followers of Jesus would never have been able to conceptualize Jesus as "another" God because Jesus and the Jews were strict monotheists.  "The Lord thy God is one" for example.

So, many conceived of Jesus as the same as the Father in a different manifestation (Sabellius, modalists, monarchians etc.)



Leisa



"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5)

Christ refuted their theological misconception, by mentioning a psalm:
Quote from: Matthew 22
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”
They said to Him, “ The Son of David.”
43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:
       44 ‘ The LORD said to my Lord,

      “ Sit at My right hand,
       Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’?
 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

In other words, Christ must be God, and that there is a distinction that can be understood between the Father and the Son.  It doesn't make sense that God talks to Himself. 


In addition, this is a mystery.  We indeed believe in One God.  But to describe the one God in the way you like to explain it means you are leaning on your own understanding, and not on divine revelation through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (who enlightens the Church and the Scriptures).

"I and the Father are one" John 10:30.
"He who has seen Me has seen the Father" John 14:9
"I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1

These are how we understand the Oneness of God.  Christ did not say, "I am the Father."  Christ did not say, "I am both the vine and the vinedresser."  Christ did not pray to Himself.  But in a mysterious fashion, He and the Father are One because they are One God, and no one but God truly understands this.  We can only give analogies for our weak human minds to fathom it.  For instance, the sun has an orb, light, and heat.  So is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Distinct, but one sun.  When a blind man feels the heat, he can say, "This is the sun warming me."  If a man sees rays of light shining into the world through the light, one can say, "The sun reveals the world to me."  When one looks at a circular object that cannot be seen directly, one knows the sun is there, from which the light is begotten from it, and the heat proceeds from it.

We do not however say the Father is part of God.  The Father is God.  The Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.  But the Father is not the Son, and they're both not the Holy Spirit.  This is the real mystery of the oneness of God.  It is not a simple understanding.  It is just as complex as imagining fully four or five dimensional shapes with your mind's eye.  We may only see a sliver of understanding, but we will never really understand the Godhead fully except God alone.  Polytheism believes in gods who are limited in scope and divinity completely.  Other Monotheistic religions believe in gods who are either mere forces or mere persons that send angels to have relationship with us.

When we say "persons" it is the weakness of human language in the way we describe the distinction in the Godhead.  Nevertheless, it is a term used to describe how we can have a relationship with God, since we are persons and we want an intimate personal relationship.  In addition, when we have a relationship with one person, we don't really see "love" or "intimacy" or "compassion" between the two of us.  It becomes a force between two persons.  But the Trinity reveals in clear distinction how we can be engrafted into God with the perfection of "persons".  The Word of God became man so that in man receiving the Word's own Holy Spirit enlivening him just as it eternally enlivens the Word, we, even in our human state, may become sons of the Father and partake of Divine life.  This intimacy does not exist in a one-to-one human basis.  Therefore, because of the uniqueness of the Godhead, there should be no comparison, and one should not think of two or three "Gods."
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« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2011, 02:17:20 PM »

Leisa,

Here is for you, real all attentively : http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theology/nature_of_christ.pdf

It helped me to understand the issue of the " One Incarnate Nature of God the Word. "

May God bless you.
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« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2011, 12:14:04 PM »


I would say they had no faith that God would protect them, but that doesn't make your sentiments make any sense, since by virtue of being fully God, fully human, Jesus could/would protect them. None of that discounts his humanity.

I would say it pertains to how they viewed Jesus. 
In a way, you could say we are all in the boat with Jesus in a storm, and our emotional response to the situation (our mortality) is predicated on how we view Jesus.

You say this story doesn't discount his humanity however it was precisely his humanity that they saw.  Not his divinity.

This is the problem with God incarnating, but one that is unavoidable.
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« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2011, 12:45:11 PM »

Hi Minasoliman,
So, many conceived of Jesus as the same as the Father in a different manifestation (Sabellius, modalists, monarchians etc.)
Leisa
This makes the unity of the Trinity to be "God in Essence" rather than The Father. "God in Essence" is not the Person of God, and one cannot have any personal relationship with an abstract essence or divine force. As someone who used to consider himself a Taoist I know what it's like to venerate an abstract force or essence, and it is not the same as a relationship of persons in Mystery.

As for the incarnation:

"Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin" 1 Peter 4:1

God suffered in the flesh; a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks.

"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." 2 John 1:7

My point about the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father is that it demonstrates two Gods.  Two distinct Gods.
If you believe this, you have not learned the doctrine of the Trinity.

We have a relationship with Jesus, and before that the Jews had a relationship with Yahweh.
The trinity is not compatible with a belief in one God.  You cannot conceive of God as three persons and also conceive of God as one person. 
If Jesus is an addition to Yahweh then you have the trinity with the Holy Spirit, but if Jesus is the same as Yahweh then there is no need for the trinity.

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« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2011, 01:06:53 PM »

We have a relationship with Jesus, and before that the Jews had a relationship with Yahweh.
The Jews had a relationship with Jesus, too. Jesus spoke to Moses saying "I AM."

You cannot conceive of God as three persons and also conceive of God as one person.  
No one is claiming otherwise. The Trinity is three Persons of one essence, having its source in the Person of the Father.

We have a relationship with Jesus, and before that the Jews had a relationship with Yahweh.
The trinity is not compatible with a belief in one God.  You cannot conceive of God as three persons and also conceive of God as one person.  
If Jesus is an addition to Yahweh then you have the trinity with the Holy Spirit, but if Jesus is the same as Yahweh then there is no need for the trinity.

Do you acknowledge that God has existed eternally with His Word and Spirit?
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« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2011, 04:07:50 PM »



How old are you? (rhetorical question)


Hi Minasoliman,

My point about the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father is that it demonstrates two Gods.  Two distinct Gods.
Whereas, early Jewish followers of Jesus would never have been able to conceptualize Jesus as "another" God because Jesus and the Jews were strict monotheists.  "The Lord thy God is one" for example.

So, many conceived of Jesus as the same as the Father in a different manifestation (Sabellius, modalists, monarchians etc.)



Leisa



"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5)

Christ refuted their theological misconception, by mentioning a psalm:
Quote from: Matthew 22
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”
They said to Him, “ The Son of David.”
43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:
       44 ‘ The LORD said to my Lord,

      “ Sit at My right hand,
       Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’?
 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

In other words, Christ must be God, and that there is a distinction that can be understood between the Father and the Son.  It doesn't make sense that God talks to Himself. 


In addition, this is a mystery.  We indeed believe in One God.  But to describe the one God in the way you like to explain it means you are leaning on your own understanding, and not on divine revelation through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (who enlightens the Church and the Scriptures).

"I and the Father are one" John 10:30.
"He who has seen Me has seen the Father" John 14:9
"I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1

These are how we understand the Oneness of God.  Christ did not say, "I am the Father."  Christ did not say, "I am both the vine and the vinedresser."  Christ did not pray to Himself.  But in a mysterious fashion, He and the Father are One because they are One God, and no one but God truly understands this.  We can only give analogies for our weak human minds to fathom it.  For instance, the sun has an orb, light, and heat.  So is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Distinct, but one sun.  When a blind man feels the heat, he can say, "This is the sun warming me."  If a man sees rays of light shining into the world through the light, one can say, "The sun reveals the world to me."  When one looks at a circular object that cannot be seen directly, one knows the sun is there, from which the light is begotten from it, and the heat proceeds from it.

We do not however say the Father is part of God.  The Father is God.  The Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.  But the Father is not the Son, and they're both not the Holy Spirit.  This is the real mystery of the oneness of God.  It is not a simple understanding.  It is just as complex as imagining fully four or five dimensional shapes with your mind's eye.  We may only see a sliver of understanding, but we will never really understand the Godhead fully except God alone.  Polytheism believes in gods who are limited in scope and divinity completely.  Other Monotheistic religions believe in gods who are either mere forces or mere persons that send angels to have relationship with us.

When we say "persons" it is the weakness of human language in the way we describe the distinction in the Godhead.  Nevertheless, it is a term used to describe how we can have a relationship with God, since we are persons and we want an intimate personal relationship.  In addition, when we have a relationship with one person, we don't really see "love" or "intimacy" or "compassion" between the two of us.  It becomes a force between two persons.  But the Trinity reveals in clear distinction how we can be engrafted into God with the perfection of "persons".  The Word of God became man so that in man receiving the Word's own Holy Spirit enlivening him just as it eternally enlivens the Word, we, even in our human state, may become sons of the Father and partake of Divine life.  This intimacy does not exist in a one-to-one human basis.  Therefore, because of the uniqueness of the Godhead, there should be no comparison, and one should not think of two or three "Gods."

You have touched on a lot of points and they are too numerous for me to respond to all of them.  And I keep getting interrupted today and have lost my concentration.
You said Jesus did not pray to himself.  And also that he and the Father are one.
If he and the Father are one who did he pray to?



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« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2011, 04:16:57 PM »

To be one does not mean to be the same.

Christ and the Father are one God, but they are diverse Persons. Therefore the Divine Person of Christ prays to the Divine Person of the Father while both are one God.
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« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2011, 04:18:13 PM »

Leisa,

Here is for you, real all attentively : http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theology/nature_of_christ.pdf

It helped me to understand the issue of the " One Incarnate Nature of God the Word. "

May God bless you.


Thank you for the article.  It doesn't really answer my questions because it begins with the assumption that Jesus had a human nature.
I would ask the author to rewind for me to explain how they arrived at the theology of two natures.  I know it is because they say Jesus suffered.

To me, suffering is a human condition.  It is not something that God experiences.  At least, not the suffering that is the human condition.  Humans suffer because they have sin, and the consequences of that sin which is death.  God neither has sin nor does God die.

I realize that God took on flesh and that flesh was crucified by divine will.  I don't equate that with human suffering nor does it imply for me that Jesus had a human nature.  
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« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2011, 06:58:12 PM »

Humans suffer because they have sin, and the consequences of that sin which is death.  God neither has sin...
"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

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« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2011, 09:18:32 PM »

 You cannot conceive of God as three persons and also conceive of God as one person.  
We don't believe that. We believe that God is one in essence, but three in persons. Since God is one and three in different ways, then this is not a contradiction.
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« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2011, 09:36:50 PM »

John 1:1
1a - En arche een ho logos
"In [the] beginning was the Word."

1b – kai ho logos een pros ton theon
"and the Word was with the God."

1c – kai theos een ho logos
"and God was the Word."

The Word (Jesus) is God, yet separate. Similar to a body of water consisting of a spring, a river, and an ocean are all of one water, yet separate. Notice how John rejects Modalism in this one phrase.

John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.

Two natures mean he was both FULLY God and FULLY Man, without separation, but coexisting. You already acknowledge Jesus was God. Did he also eat? Poop? Sweat? Bleed? Cry? Et cetera? These are aspects of a man, not of God. He was both completely.

Bold advice: You're not the only one to consider these things in two thousand years of Christian history, they were rejected by the undivided Church for a reason. Or do you believe you can discover what they couldn't figure out?

There is a fine line between discerning the Truth of the Church and creating your OWN religion.
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« Reply #30 on: April 26, 2011, 12:46:24 PM »



How old are you? (rhetorical question)


Hi Minasoliman,

My point about the reference to Jesus sitting at the right hand of the father is that it demonstrates two Gods.  Two distinct Gods.
Whereas, early Jewish followers of Jesus would never have been able to conceptualize Jesus as "another" God because Jesus and the Jews were strict monotheists.  "The Lord thy God is one" for example.

So, many conceived of Jesus as the same as the Father in a different manifestation (Sabellius, modalists, monarchians etc.)



Leisa



"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5)

Christ refuted their theological misconception, by mentioning a psalm:
Quote from: Matthew 22
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?”
They said to Him, “ The Son of David.”
43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:
       44 ‘ The LORD said to my Lord,

      “ Sit at My right hand,
       Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”’?
 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

In other words, Christ must be God, and that there is a distinction that can be understood between the Father and the Son.  It doesn't make sense that God talks to Himself. 


In addition, this is a mystery.  We indeed believe in One God.  But to describe the one God in the way you like to explain it means you are leaning on your own understanding, and not on divine revelation through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (who enlightens the Church and the Scriptures).

"I and the Father are one" John 10:30.
"He who has seen Me has seen the Father" John 14:9
"I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1

These are how we understand the Oneness of God.  Christ did not say, "I am the Father."  Christ did not say, "I am both the vine and the vinedresser."  Christ did not pray to Himself.  But in a mysterious fashion, He and the Father are One because they are One God, and no one but God truly understands this.  We can only give analogies for our weak human minds to fathom it.  For instance, the sun has an orb, light, and heat.  So is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Distinct, but one sun.  When a blind man feels the heat, he can say, "This is the sun warming me."  If a man sees rays of light shining into the world through the light, one can say, "The sun reveals the world to me."  When one looks at a circular object that cannot be seen directly, one knows the sun is there, from which the light is begotten from it, and the heat proceeds from it.

We do not however say the Father is part of God.  The Father is God.  The Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.  But the Father is not the Son, and they're both not the Holy Spirit.  This is the real mystery of the oneness of God.  It is not a simple understanding.  It is just as complex as imagining fully four or five dimensional shapes with your mind's eye.  We may only see a sliver of understanding, but we will never really understand the Godhead fully except God alone.  Polytheism believes in gods who are limited in scope and divinity completely.  Other Monotheistic religions believe in gods who are either mere forces or mere persons that send angels to have relationship with us.

When we say "persons" it is the weakness of human language in the way we describe the distinction in the Godhead.  Nevertheless, it is a term used to describe how we can have a relationship with God, since we are persons and we want an intimate personal relationship.  In addition, when we have a relationship with one person, we don't really see "love" or "intimacy" or "compassion" between the two of us.  It becomes a force between two persons.  But the Trinity reveals in clear distinction how we can be engrafted into God with the perfection of "persons".  The Word of God became man so that in man receiving the Word's own Holy Spirit enlivening him just as it eternally enlivens the Word, we, even in our human state, may become sons of the Father and partake of Divine life.  This intimacy does not exist in a one-to-one human basis.  Therefore, because of the uniqueness of the Godhead, there should be no comparison, and one should not think of two or three "Gods."

You have touched on a lot of points and they are too numerous for me to respond to all of them.  And I keep getting interrupted today and have lost my concentration.
You said Jesus did not pray to himself.  And also that he and the Father are one.
If he and the Father are one who did he pray to?

Yes, like Fr. Peter said, to be one does not mean to be the same.  You use the same close-minded logic diphysites use when they want to criticize the phrase "one incarnate nature".  Christ prayed to the Father.  It's very clear.  Unless you want to believe that what he did was all a show-off act on how to pray, and that He's not really praying, then by all means, go ahead and believe such a preposterous belief, but don't forget what the Scriptures says:  "That they may be one as we are One" (John 17).  If Christ desires that you and I be one, then does that mean I am talking to me when I'm talking to you?  Do you see how idiotic that thinking is when compared to the Scriptures?

Why don't you read my post again.  If you get confused, good, because you should never overlook the fact that God is ultimately incomprehensible to begin with.  We only know what has been revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.  To go around and use human logic to describe divine logic is like asking a dog to write Shakespeare, let alone howl pentameters.
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« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2011, 03:53:17 AM »

I created this Christology diagram, perhaps it will help our friend understand how Hypostatic Union works:

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« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2011, 12:27:54 AM »

THE ETHIOPIAN CREED

We Ethiopians believe in One God, God the Father, Almighty who possesses all, Maker of the Heavens and Earth, the visible and the invisible.
We believe in God the Son, Jesus Christ, One Lord, the only begotten Son of the Father, who was with Him before the creation of the world. He is Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not made, and, in His Divine Essence, one with His Father. All things were made by Him, and without Him nothing whatsoever was made, in Heavens or on Earth.
He came down from Heavens for our sake, for the sake of humanity, for our salvation. He was Incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the Divine Work of the Holy Spirit, and, acquiring the human soul and the human flesh from Her, became the Perfect Man.
In the days of Pontius Pilate, He suffered, was crucified, died and was buried for our sake. And He rose from the dead on the third day, ascended in glory into Heaven and sat on His Throne at the right-hand of His Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. There is no end to His Kingdom.
We believe in God the Holy Spirit. He is the life-giving Spirit who proceeds from God the Father, spoke through the Prophets, and, by the atonement of Jesus Christ, descended upon the Apostles and filled the world with His Grace. We worship and glorify Him with the Father and the Son.
We believe in the One Church of The Holy Covenant that was founded by the Word of God, Jesus Christ, initially in the Hearts of the Patriarchs, and later sustained by His Divine Messages through the Prophets, and finally brought to perfection through the Holy Spirit by His convocation of the Apostles, and where His Body and Blood is offered as Sacrifice for the Holy Communion with God, and where the Sacramental Blessings of the Holy Spirit are bestowed upon and communicated to all believers.
We believe in One Baptism for the remission of sins.
We believe in the Resurrection from the dead and the Life to come, world without end. Amen.

Source:  http://www.TheChurchOfEthiopia.org
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« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2011, 01:41:02 AM »

1. Historically there are no known modalists before Noetus (c. 190 AD) and later Praxeas and Sabellius. Tertullian affirmed Sabellian modalism was contra the ancient "Rule of Faith" which was employed in all ancient churches during the first and second centuries. After Sabellianism was condemned it essentially died out until Emanuel Swedenborg revived it in the 1700s, but it was not until the twentieth century that it mushroomed after the unitarian modalist view emerged and split the nascent Pentecostal movement.

Obviously there was far too long a period before Sabellianism appeared for it to have been the position of the earliest church in any major geographic center.

2. Doctrinal. Most heresies tend to absolutize one side of a dialectical reality. Usually the culprit is intellectual rationalism:  the need to "eff the ineffable" so as to fit in the little box we call the human brain. The Ecumenical Councils view of the Trinity, accepted by Orthodox, Latin Catholics, and all major trajectories of Protestantism for the last two millennia give a much more natural reading of passages like Jn 14:25-26 in the basic affirmation -contra Sabellianism- that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are DISTINCT AND INTERACTING. This is the more natural reading of the scriptures, e.g.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." – John 14:25-26

How must a Sabellian interpret such a passage? To say these are three "Me's" which are not distinct and interacting would result in a very strained reading of  Jn 14:, such as:

But the Helper (Me), the Holy Spirit (Me) whom the Father (Me) will send in My name, He (Me) will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I (Me) said to you...?

Christ said He must go away, but that the Father would send the Spirit. If they are not distinct, how was Christ away when the Spirit descended?

Isaiah 48:16: “Come near unto Me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the LORD God, and His Spirit, hath sent Me.”
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« Reply #34 on: May 09, 2011, 05:05:22 PM »

the need to "eff the ineffable

Great post as usual and I don't mean to write off everything, but I just love a good turn of phrase.

Nice.
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« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2011, 09:08:02 PM »

A tangent about the Ethiopian Creed was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,36021.0.html
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« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2011, 09:54:42 PM »

the need to "eff the ineffable

Great post as usual and I don't mean to write off everything, but I just love a good turn of phrase.

Nice.
Thanks
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« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2011, 11:19:35 PM »

Christus resurrexit!
 You cannot conceive of God as three persons and also conceive of God as one person.  
We don't believe that. We believe that God is one in essence, but three in persons. Since God is one and three in different ways, then this is not a contradiction.
1X1X1=1
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« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2011, 12:09:04 PM »

To be one does not mean to be the same.

Christ and the Father are one God, but they are diverse Persons. Therefore the Divine Person of Christ prays to the Divine Person of the Father while both are one God.


I do find this odd.  It reads like God prays to himself. (I don't mean you imply that, I mean that the narrative of the trinity implies it).
So the question for me is Did Jesus really pray?  It seems to me that when Jesus prays he is alone by himself (with no witnesses present) so what or how or if he prays is beyond the scope of our knowledge.  The bible says he taught others how to pray, and this I don't question, but I question if we know what Jesus was doing when he was alone.

But that is an issue I have with the text which claims in one instance that Jesus goes off by himself in private to pray, and then in the next instant claims to tell us how he was praying in private.  So, there are difficulties there.
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« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2011, 12:23:03 PM »

Humans suffer because they have sin, and the consequences of that sin which is death.  God neither has sin...
"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."



"Who knew no sin..."


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« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2011, 12:39:11 PM »

 You cannot conceive of God as three persons and also conceive of God as one person.  
We don't believe that. We believe that God is one in essence, but three in persons. Since God is one and three in different ways, then this is not a contradiction.


Mark 12:29
"And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God."

Do you think that the above statement is pertains to the essence of God?  Or the number of God?

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« Reply #41 on: May 12, 2011, 12:52:04 PM »


Mark 12:29
"And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God."

Do you think that the above statement is pertains to the essence of God?  Or the number of God?


... to the essence of God.
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« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2011, 01:39:39 PM »

1. Historically there are no known modalists before Noetus (c. 190 AD) and later Praxeas and Sabellius. Tertullian affirmed Sabellian modalism was contra the ancient "Rule of Faith" which was employed in all ancient churches during the first and second centuries. After Sabellianism was condemned it essentially died out until Emanuel Swedenborg revived it in the 1700s, but it was not until the twentieth century that it mushroomed after the unitarian modalist view emerged and split the nascent Pentecostal movement.

Obviously there was far too long a period before Sabellianism appeared for it to have been the position of the earliest church in any major geographic center.

2. Doctrinal. Most heresies tend to absolutize one side of a dialectical reality. Usually the culprit is intellectual rationalism:  the need to "eff the ineffable" so as to fit in the little box we call the human brain. The Ecumenical Councils view of the Trinity, accepted by Orthodox, Latin Catholics, and all major trajectories of Protestantism for the last two millennia give a much more natural reading of passages like Jn 14:25-26 in the basic affirmation -contra Sabellianism- that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are DISTINCT AND INTERACTING. This is the more natural reading of the scriptures, e.g.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." – John 14:25-26

How must a Sabellian interpret such a passage? To say these are three "Me's" which are not distinct and interacting would result in a very strained reading of  Jn 14:, such as:

But the Helper (Me), the Holy Spirit (Me) whom the Father (Me) will send in My name, He (Me) will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I (Me) said to you...?

Christ said He must go away, but that the Father would send the Spirit. If they are not distinct, how was Christ away when the Spirit descended?

Isaiah 48:16: “Come near unto Me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the LORD God, and His Spirit, hath sent Me.”

No known modalists before 190AD!  I would argue that there were no trinitarians in the first community because all of the disciples were Jews!

You and Minasoliman and Azurestone have all quoted from the gospel of John, the last gospel written.
I agree with you that the gospel of John makes some clear departures from the earlier gospels and I won't argue with you there.
I would be the last person to try and harmonize the gospel of Mark with the gospel of John.
If you prefer the gospel of John then that is fine and we will have a difficult time marrying some of the passages in John with the earliest gospel. Clearly I lean on the gospel of Mark.  And I am not a theologian and I won't even make an attempt to reconcile certain passages. I doubt it can even be done to be honest.  I think there are different voices and they are and will remain distinct.
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« Reply #43 on: May 12, 2011, 02:02:21 PM »

1. Historically there are no known modalists before Noetus (c. 190 AD) and later Praxeas and Sabellius. Tertullian affirmed Sabellian modalism was contra the ancient "Rule of Faith" which was employed in all ancient churches during the first and second centuries. After Sabellianism was condemned it essentially died out until Emanuel Swedenborg revived it in the 1700s, but it was not until the twentieth century that it mushroomed after the unitarian modalist view emerged and split the nascent Pentecostal movement.

Obviously there was far too long a period before Sabellianism appeared for it to have been the position of the earliest church in any major geographic center.

2. Doctrinal. Most heresies tend to absolutize one side of a dialectical reality. Usually the culprit is intellectual rationalism:  the need to "eff the ineffable" so as to fit in the little box we call the human brain. The Ecumenical Councils view of the Trinity, accepted by Orthodox, Latin Catholics, and all major trajectories of Protestantism for the last two millennia give a much more natural reading of passages like Jn 14:25-26 in the basic affirmation -contra Sabellianism- that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are DISTINCT AND INTERACTING. This is the more natural reading of the scriptures, e.g.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." – John 14:25-26

How must a Sabellian interpret such a passage? To say these are three "Me's" which are not distinct and interacting would result in a very strained reading of  Jn 14:, such as:

But the Helper (Me), the Holy Spirit (Me) whom the Father (Me) will send in My name, He (Me) will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I (Me) said to you...?

Christ said He must go away, but that the Father would send the Spirit. If they are not distinct, how was Christ away when the Spirit descended?

Isaiah 48:16: “Come near unto Me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the LORD God, and His Spirit, hath sent Me.”

No known modalists before 190AD!  I would argue that there were no trinitarians in the first community because all of the disciples were Jews!

You and Minasoliman and Azurestone have all quoted from the gospel of John, the last gospel written.
I agree with you that the gospel of John makes some clear departures from the earlier gospels and I won't argue with you there.
I would be the last person to try and harmonize the gospel of Mark with the gospel of John.
If you prefer the gospel of John then that is fine and we will have a difficult time marrying some of the passages in John with the earliest gospel. Clearly I lean on the gospel of Mark.  And I am not a theologian and I won't even make an attempt to reconcile certain passages. I doubt it can even be done to be honest.  I think there are different voices and they are and will remain distinct.

"Mark 1:1-3 – Jesus comes in the place of Yahweh

I’m not going to go all out here, but let’s take a quick look at how Mark introduces Jesus in 1:1-3.

1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”—
3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”

4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

The point to be made here is pretty simple. Mark presents John the Baptist as the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy found in Isaiah 40. The point of this prophecy is that God (Yahweh) will return to his people to save and forgive them. And before God returns he will send a messenger to announce his coming, to prepare his way. That messenger will be a voice calling in the wilderness, telling everyone to get ready for God’s return. It seems pretty clear that in the fulfillment of the prophecy the voice of the wilderness is John who, as we all know, lived in the desert and preached repentance in the light of the return of God. So that part of the prophecy is clear enough. But there’s another protagonist in the prophecy: God. Who, then, is God in the fulfillment? Who is it that comes after John? Not, strictly speaking, Yahweh, or God as understood in the Old Testament. Rather it is Jesus who comes after the voice calling in the wilderness. John announces the return of God and the audience waits in hushed expectation for the God to appear on stage. But when the curtain is finally drawn it is…. Jesus!"
Source: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?action=post;quote=569163;topic=35544.0;sesc=66ef1c77e46535c0795d61fabbe4f392
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« Reply #44 on: May 12, 2011, 02:05:10 PM »

In Mark 2:28, Christ claims to be "Lord of the Sabbath." Now it was God who "rested" on the seventh day and it was God who command that we rest and keep the Sabbath holy. If God is the Lord of the Sabbath, and Jesus claims to be Lord of the Sabbath, then he claims to be God.

In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus forgives sins of his own authority, which a perogative of God.

On this matter C.S. Lewis states,
"Then comes the real shock. Among these Jews there suddenly turns up a man who goes about talking as if He was God. He claims to forgive sins. He says He has always existed. He says He is coming to judge the world at the end of time. Now let us get this clear. Among Pantheists, like the Indians, anyone might say that he was a part of God, or one with God: there would be nothing very odd about it. But this man, since He was a Jew, could not mean that kind of God. God, in their language, meant the Being outside the world Who had made it and was infinitely different from anything else. And when you have grasped that, you will see that what this man said was, quite simply, the most shocking thing that has ever been uttered by human lips.

One part of the claim tends to slip past us unnoticed because we have heard it so often that we no longer see what it amounts to. I mean the claim to forgive sins: any sins. Now unless the speaker is God, this is really so preposterous as to be comic. We can all understand how a man forgives offences against himself. You tread on my toe and I forgive you, you steal my money and I forgive you. But what should we make of a man, himself unrobbed and untrodden on, who announced that he forgave you for treading on other men’s toes and stealing other men’s money? Asinine fatuity is the kindest description we should give of his conduct. Yet this is what Jesus did. He told people that their sins were forgiven, and never waited to consult all the other people whom their sins had undoubtedly injured. He unhesitatingly behaved as if He was the party chiefly concerned; the person chiefly offended in all offences. This makes sense only if He really was the God whose laws are broken and whose love is wounded in every sin. In the mouth of any speaker who is not God, these words would imply what I can only regard as a silliness and conceit unrivalled by any other character in history."
-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
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« Reply #45 on: May 12, 2011, 03:36:29 PM »


Mark 12:29
"And Jesus answered him: The first commandment of all is, Hear, O Israel: the Lord thy God is one God."

Do you think that the above statement is pertains to the essence of God?  Or the number of God?

Leisa, in the Hebrew, the word "one" (Achad) is a word used for a unity, not a singularity.
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« Reply #46 on: May 12, 2011, 04:01:45 PM »

To be one does not mean to be the same.

Christ and the Father are one God, but they are diverse Persons. Therefore the Divine Person of Christ prays to the Divine Person of the Father while both are one God.


I do find this odd.  It reads like God prays to himself. (I don't mean you imply that, I mean that the narrative of the trinity implies it).
So the question for me is Did Jesus really pray?  It seems to me that when Jesus prays he is alone by himself (with no witnesses present) so what or how or if he prays is beyond the scope of our knowledge.  The bible says he taught others how to pray, and this I don't question, but I question if we know what Jesus was doing when he was alone.

But that is an issue I have with the text which claims in one instance that Jesus goes off by himself in private to pray, and then in the next instant claims to tell us how he was praying in private.  So, there are difficulties there.

Liesa, has anyone here explained to you the difference between the Catholic and Orthodox understanding of the Trinity?
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« Reply #47 on: May 12, 2011, 05:06:33 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Now that I understand that the Oriental Orthodox, the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholics, and indeed, the Protestants, all believe in the same unity of the two natures of Christ, I am further along then I was before.  For some reason I thought that when the Oriental Orthodox rejected the 4th Council they were rejecting the two natures of Christ however this is not the case.

So now that I have done more reading online, I realize that I am not going to convert to the Oriental or the Eastern Orthodox church because I can't.  I don't believe Christ had two natures.  Indeed, I find myself in the camp of Sabellius!

Yeah!  At least I know that my ideas have a name now, and it is Sabellianism or Modalism.  (according to wikipedia).

So I guess there isn't a church that adheres to this view that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three manifestations of one God.

And I guess this makes me a heretic.  Oh well, I can't lie, its what I believe.  I don't believe for one second that Christ was in any way human.  Its just like if I was to put on baby clothes and have someone push me around in a stroller.  Would that make me a baby? No.  So too, if God takes on flesh, does that make God a man?  No.

That's how my logic works.  But thank you everyone for your help.  If it was not for this discussion I would have never found out the formal name for my beliefs.



While Sabellians did indeed not profess a belief in the physical Incarnation of God in the form of Jesus Christ, I don't think you are necessarily a Sabellianist just because you believe that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One God, for that is indeed the Orthodox teaching.  Christology can get quite confusing, especially in the English tongue which is not poetic enough to convey the depth and meaning.  At the least in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (an OO jurisdiction) our Christology and Theology teaches that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are indeed One God, in Three persons. 

They share equally amongst themselves the exact same Divine Essence or Divine Nature, but in the Ethiopian theology and languages there can be no abstract nature which is not manifested into some sort of form.  Essentially the "nature" of something is its "function" and the manifested existence is its "form".  So in Ethiopian theology, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit all share unified, One Divine Nature (which is their mutual and unison function, to be Divine, to give Life to the Universe, to bring Light into the void of Darkness, to bring Something into Nothingness) but are manifested into three distinctive Forms which still convey the same function (IE, are remaining fully Divine).

God the Father is in His own manifested Person as the Father, and the Son is in His own manifested Person as the Son, and the Holy Spirit is in His own manifested Person as the Holy Spirit, but between all three is only One Divine Essence, so we indeed believe in only One God, in Three Persons. 

At least this is the particularly Ethiopian interpretation of Orthodox Christology.   How is this different than Sabellianism? Sabellianism essentially taught that there were no distinctions in the Persons of the Trinity, and that they were all sort of different apparitions of the One God.  That God didn't manifest His Oneness into three Distinctive yet mutually unified forms, rather that God simply exists as Three sorts of Visions of the One God, sort of like if the different Persons of the Trinity were merely the visual effect of looking at God from different angles of perception.  This is indeed heresy, as God exists in Three Persons, but remains One God.  Jesus Christ is not a different God than God the Father, but He is indeed a unique manifestation of that One Godhead. Jesus Christ is not merely a different perception or glimpse of God. 

In human terms, just as our own human soul and personal nature is ephemeral rather than substantive, and yet is clearly manifested in the physical forms of our unique Persons and bodies, so to does the Godhead manifest itself in the Persons of the Trinity.  God the Father does not exist in a physical form, but in Ethiopian theology neither can God the Father exist as a purely abstract Nature or concept, and so subsequently God the Father must exist in some form or Person which is immaterial and yet clearing a real existing manifestation, not an abstraction or conception.  The same is true with the Person of the Holy Spirit. What makes the Incarnation so unique is that through the Son, the Godhead miraculously takes on a physical manifestation, the immaterial takes on the material, the immortal takes on mortality, the divine takes flesh, and so this is why we call our church Tewahedo, which in Ge'ez theological terms means "Made Into One Unified, Composite Form"

However, if you do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ was both Perfect Man and Perfect God, you may not be a Sabellian but are surely not in line with Orthodox theology.  The crux of our Faith is that Jesus Christ precisely is the Perfectly Divine Godhead yet manifested into a Perfectly Human Body of flesh and blood just as you and me, and in this way we human beings who had previously been separated from the Immortality and Infinity of God through the Divine Mysteries now have a bridge over the gap.  That bridge into the Divine is the flesh and blood of our Lord and Savior, which He took from the loom/womb of our Holy Lady, the Virgin Mary who is the True Jacob's Ladder into Heaven. 
Christology is confusing for most laity, even for most fathers, so it is best to leave it to the experts.  Don't get caught up on one or two things, flow with the Grace of learning which God will give you in His time through a prayerful effort Smiley

stay blessed,
Habte Selassie
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« Reply #48 on: May 16, 2011, 06:30:09 PM »


Leisa, in the Hebrew, the word "one" (Achad) is a word used for a unity, not a singularity.


No, echad means one in number. 
http://www.searchgodsword.org/lex/heb/view.cgi?number=0259
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« Reply #49 on: May 16, 2011, 06:36:14 PM »

To be one does not mean to be the same.

Christ and the Father are one God, but they are diverse Persons. Therefore the Divine Person of Christ prays to the Divine Person of the Father while both are one God.


I do find this odd.  It reads like God prays to himself. (I don't mean you imply that, I mean that the narrative of the trinity implies it).
So the question for me is Did Jesus really pray?  It seems to me that when Jesus prays he is alone by himself (with no witnesses present) so what or how or if he prays is beyond the scope of our knowledge.  The bible says he taught others how to pray, and this I don't question, but I question if we know what Jesus was doing when he was alone.

But that is an issue I have with the text which claims in one instance that Jesus goes off by himself in private to pray, and then in the next instant claims to tell us how he was praying in private.  So, there are difficulties there.

Liesa, has anyone here explained to you the difference between the Catholic and Orthodox understanding of the Trinity?
This has nothing to do with the difference between Catholic and Eastern Orthodox understandings of the Trinity. You know that both Churches profess three, distinct, subsistent persons.
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« Reply #50 on: May 16, 2011, 06:37:19 PM »


Leisa, in the Hebrew, the word "one" (Achad) is a word used for a unity, not a singularity.


No, echad means one in number.  
http://www.searchgodsword.org/lex/heb/view.cgi?number=0259
Yes, as one school of fish is one in number, or one class of students is one in number. Regardless of that, Catholics and Orthodox both profess the unity (oneness) of God's essence. We simply apply the Trinity to the number of persons.
You can say that God is one in essence, and three in persons. This is not a contradiction becasue the "oneness" and "threeness" are applied to God differently.
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« Reply #51 on: May 16, 2011, 06:40:36 PM »

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" - Genesis 1:26
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« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2011, 06:42:13 PM »

There is a "church" that you could join that believes as you stated you do in the OP. You could become a Oneness Pentecostal. They fully embrace Modalism/Sabellianism.
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« Reply #53 on: May 16, 2011, 06:43:02 PM »

Now that I understand that the Oriental Orthodox, the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholics, and indeed, the Protestants, all believe in the same unity of the two natures of Christ, I am further along then I was before.  For some reason I thought that when the Oriental Orthodox rejected the 4th Council they were rejecting the two natures of Christ however this is not the case.

So now that I have done more reading online, I realize that I am not going to convert to the Oriental or the Eastern Orthodox church because I can't.  I don't believe Christ had two natures.  Indeed, I find myself in the camp of Sabellius!

Yeah!  At least I know that my ideas have a name now, and it is Sabellianism or Modalism.  (according to wikipedia).

So I guess there isn't a church that adheres to this view that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three manifestations of one God.

And I guess this makes me a heretic.  Oh well, I can't lie, its what I believe.  I don't believe for one second that Christ was in any way human.  Its just like if I was to put on baby clothes and have someone push me around in a stroller.  Would that make me a baby? No.  So too, if God takes on flesh, does that make God a man?  No.

That's how my logic works.  But thank you everyone for your help.  If it was not for this discussion I would have never found out the formal name for my beliefs.


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This discussion was split off from a thread about the Joint Declaration:

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Then why did he eat and need to keep warm or get frustrated sometimes?
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« Reply #54 on: May 16, 2011, 06:43:45 PM »

There is a "church" that you could join that believes as you stated you do in the OP. You could become a Oneness Pentecostal. They fully embrace Modalism/Sabellianism.
Don't lead her to join a heretical church.
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« Reply #55 on: May 16, 2011, 06:45:44 PM »


Leisa, in the Hebrew, the word "one" (Achad) is a word used for a unity, not a singularity.


No, echad means one in number.  
http://www.searchgodsword.org/lex/heb/view.cgi?number=0259

What is the word used where the two become one flesh in Genesis 2:24?
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« Reply #56 on: May 16, 2011, 06:51:56 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Leisa, in the Hebrew, the word "one" (Achad) is a word used for a unity, not a singularity.
Yes, this word is used in the Hebrew to convey the sense of "made into One" or "unison" and it is generally used in that context.  I'm not sure why that Strong's reference you posted was off, my Strong's on the shelf translates Achad as "259: 'echad,  united, first, ordinal," from the primitive root Achad "unify, collect" which is why it is used in the Old Testament to describe the Oneness of the Elohim (which is plural for God) and which is precisely why we embrace the fullness of the Trinity.

This is also related to the Ge'ez Tewahedo which the Ethiopian Church takes its name and theology from, which also means "made into One" do describe the unified nature of the God-Man Jesus Christ as to His perfect unity in the Incarnation of humanity and divinity.  Unfortunately, the Arabs misunderstand their own etymologies, and mistranslate the Arabic "Tewad" as to mean God is Solitary in their Muslim doctrine "Allah is One" which originated as Muhammed tried to trump the Christological debates between the OO and EO during the 6th and 7th centuries.  I understand the Copts and the Syrians also use Tewad to convey the Christological teachings of the unity of the Divine and Humanity in the Oneness of the Incarnation.

We also chant these words in Ge'ez at the start of our liturgy, which sings, "Ahadu Ab Kidus, Ahadu Weld Kidus, Ahadu Menfes Kidus" which poetically translates into "Made into Oneness the Father is then Holy, Made into Oneness the Son is then Holy, Made into Oneness the Holy Spirit is then Holy" and the theological implications of these prayers is to imply that it is precisely the divine unity of the Three Persons of the Trinity, in particularly the unity of the One Godhead between the Three Persons, which in turn brings that Godhead into Christ through the Unity of the Incarnation, which makes God Holy (in the verb sense).

A good deal of Tewahedo Theology and Christology is expressed in the 14 Anaphoras of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as well as our many hymnals and vigil prayers (Mahalet).

Stay Blessed,
habte Selassie
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« Reply #57 on: May 16, 2011, 06:52:40 PM »

There is a "church" that you could join that believes as you stated you do in the OP. You could become a Oneness Pentecostal. They fully embrace Modalism/Sabellianism.
Don't lead her to join a heretical church.
If she has already formally embraced heresy in her heart nothing we can do or say will cause her to change her mind. Plus, this isn't exactly the ideal medium to try to save her from it, since we obviously would want to steer her to Catholicism where as others will want to pull her into Eastern or Oriental Orthodoxy. All we can do is pray that the Holy Spirit tugs at her heart and leads her to truth.
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« Reply #58 on: May 16, 2011, 06:54:35 PM »

There is a "church" that you could join that believes as you stated you do in the OP. You could become a Oneness Pentecostal. They fully embrace Modalism/Sabellianism.
Don't lead her to join a heretical church.
If she has already formally embraced heresy in her heart nothing we can do or say will cause her to change her mind. Plus, this isn't exactly the ideal medium to try to save her from it, since we obviously would want to steer her to Catholicism where as others will want to pull her into Eastern or Oriental Orthodoxy. All we can do is pray that the Holy Spirit tugs at her heart and leads her to truth.
True, but I would much rather her Be EO or OO than a modalist. I dated one once... Yuck!!! I mean, they look at Sablleus like some kind of hero.
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« Reply #59 on: May 16, 2011, 06:57:11 PM »

There is a "church" that you could join that believes as you stated you do in the OP. You could become a Oneness Pentecostal. They fully embrace Modalism/Sabellianism.
Don't lead her to join a heretical church.
If she has already formally embraced heresy in her heart nothing we can do or say will cause her to change her mind. Plus, this isn't exactly the ideal medium to try to save her from it, since we obviously would want to steer her to Catholicism where as others will want to pull her into Eastern or Oriental Orthodoxy. All we can do is pray that the Holy Spirit tugs at her heart and leads her to truth.
True, but I would much rather her Be EO or OO than a modalist. I dated one once... Yuck!!! I mean, they look at Sablleus like some kind of hero.
The ones I know (I have a friend who is a oneness pentecostal as well as a whole branch of my family is) probably wouldn't even know who he is. They are largely ignorant of Church history and simply believe that their breakaway sect that formed in the early 1900s somehow restored pure Apostolic Christianity, which they believe was lost for some time.
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« Reply #60 on: May 16, 2011, 07:14:04 PM »

There is a "church" that you could join that believes as you stated you do in the OP. You could become a Oneness Pentecostal. They fully embrace Modalism/Sabellianism.
Don't lead her to join a heretical church.
If she has already formally embraced heresy in her heart nothing we can do or say will cause her to change her mind. Plus, this isn't exactly the ideal medium to try to save her from it, since we obviously would want to steer her to Catholicism where as others will want to pull her into Eastern or Oriental Orthodoxy. All we can do is pray that the Holy Spirit tugs at her heart and leads her to truth.
True, but I would much rather her Be EO or OO than a modalist. I dated one once... Yuck!!! I mean, they look at Sablleus like some kind of hero.
The ones I know (I have a friend who is a oneness pentecostal as well as a whole branch of my family is) probably wouldn't even know who he is. They are largely ignorant of Church history and simply believe that their breakaway sect that formed in the early 1900s somehow restored pure Apostolic Christianity, which they believe was lost for some time.
Well, when it all comes down to it, I am not a fun of their version of "speaking in tongues" and "falling on the ground" and what not.
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« Reply #61 on: May 16, 2011, 07:17:24 PM »

There is a "church" that you could join that believes as you stated you do in the OP. You could become a Oneness Pentecostal. They fully embrace Modalism/Sabellianism.
Don't lead her to join a heretical church.
If she has already formally embraced heresy in her heart nothing we can do or say will cause her to change her mind. Plus, this isn't exactly the ideal medium to try to save her from it, since we obviously would want to steer her to Catholicism where as others will want to pull her into Eastern or Oriental Orthodoxy. All we can do is pray that the Holy Spirit tugs at her heart and leads her to truth.
True, but I would much rather her Be EO or OO than a modalist. I dated one once... Yuck!!! I mean, they look at Sablleus like some kind of hero.
The ones I know (I have a friend who is a oneness pentecostal as well as a whole branch of my family is) probably wouldn't even know who he is. They are largely ignorant of Church history and simply believe that their breakaway sect that formed in the early 1900s somehow restored pure Apostolic Christianity, which they believe was lost for some time.
Well, when it all comes down to it, I am not a fun of their version of "speaking in tongues" and "falling on the ground" and what not.
Me neither. There are times when I certainly think they seem to be walking with a ghost, it just ain't the Holy Ghost.
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« Reply #62 on: May 16, 2011, 08:13:34 PM »

I'm not sure why that Strong's reference you posted was off, my Strong's on the shelf translates Achad as "259: 'echad,  united, first, ordinal," from the primitive root Achad "unify, collect" which is why it is used in the Old Testament to describe the Oneness of the Elohim (which is plural for God) and which is precisely why we embrace the fullness of the Trinity.
I think she was using some obscure evangelical software that doesn't utilize or only partially utilizes Strong's.

To be one does not mean to be the same.

Christ and the Father are one God, but they are diverse Persons. Therefore the Divine Person of Christ prays to the Divine Person of the Father while both are one God.


I do find this odd.  It reads like God prays to himself. (I don't mean you imply that, I mean that the narrative of the trinity implies it).
So the question for me is Did Jesus really pray?  It seems to me that when Jesus prays he is alone by himself (with no witnesses present) so what or how or if he prays is beyond the scope of our knowledge.  The bible says he taught others how to pray, and this I don't question, but I question if we know what Jesus was doing when he was alone.

But that is an issue I have with the text which claims in one instance that Jesus goes off by himself in private to pray, and then in the next instant claims to tell us how he was praying in private.  So, there are difficulties there.

Liesa, has anyone here explained to you the difference between the Catholic and Orthodox understanding of the Trinity?
This has nothing to do with the difference between Catholic and Eastern Orthodox understandings of the Trinity. You know that both Churches profess three, distinct, subsistent persons.
Papist, I'm not trying to be deliberately divisive here. I think that for Leisa, the EO understanding might be able to shed a light on this issue that might clear it up.
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« Reply #63 on: May 16, 2011, 08:49:04 PM »

Didn't St. Paul say that if someone is speaking in tongues, you have to have an interpreter? (Also, that it's not the most important of the spiritual gifts...)  Roll Eyes

If you watch evangelical shows on television, you'll never see an interpreter.   Lips Sealed
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« Reply #64 on: May 16, 2011, 09:36:47 PM »

Didn't St. Paul say that if someone is speaking in tongues, you have to have an interpreter? (Also, that it's not the most important of the spiritual gifts...)  Roll Eyes

If you watch evangelical shows on television, you'll never see an interpreter.   Lips Sealed
Yeah, they (pentecostals) really make a mess of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the role of the Holy Spirit in general. Rather than believing in one Baptism (of water and the Spirit) they believe there is water Baptism as well as a separate experience known as "Baptism of the Holy Spirit." Water Baptism they see as simply symbolic, and Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the one they think is the crucial Baptism. The only way they believe it can be determined that one is Baptized in the Holy Spirit is by speaking in tongues.
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« Reply #65 on: May 16, 2011, 09:49:43 PM »

There is a "church" that you could join that believes as you stated you do in the OP. You could become a Oneness Pentecostal. They fully embrace Modalism/Sabellianism.

But that's not her only heretical doctrine. She has a difficient Christology as well, as she says that Christ was not human. The Oneness Pentecostals believe that God became human.
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« Reply #66 on: May 16, 2011, 09:58:43 PM »

Actually, I recall a few years ago reading something by a Oneness Pentecostal that said Christ had "heavenly flesh," or some such ridiculous thing.  I think that was their way of arguing against calling the Virgin Mary "Mother of God."

To the extent I've been exposed to these guys, however, they tend to have a sort of Theodorean Christology.  It's the only way they can explain Christ praying to the Father on Holy Thursday night.  

I guess it follows that a heretical Triadology leads to a heretical Christology. 
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« Reply #67 on: May 17, 2011, 12:48:40 AM »

I was just reminded of this recording by Fr. John Behr, in which he gives a very basic explanation of the Holy Trinity:

http://www.myocn.net/index.php/20080612873/Special-Moments-in-Orthodoxy/Special-Moments-in-Orthodoxy-Trinitarian-Theology.html

He is an EO priest, but I think what he says agrees with what the OO Church would say on the topic.
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« Reply #68 on: May 17, 2011, 01:40:58 AM »

Orthodox Trinitarians are monotheists. Anyone who does not understand this has still to achieve an adequate understanding of Trinitarian theology.


What is the word used where the two become one flesh in Genesis 2:24?
Echad/אֶחָ֣ד can mean one in number but it doesn't have to. Frequently it occurs as a descriptor of a plural unity.

A few examples:

וַיַּ֨עַן כָּל־ הָעָ֜ם קֹ֤ול אֶחָד֙
"...all the people [plural] answered in ONE voice" (Ex 24:3)

חֲלֹ֥ום פַּרְעֹ֖ה אֶחָ֣ד
"the dreams [/חֲלֹ֥ום/plural] of Pharaoh are ONE" (Gen 41:25)

וְהָי֖וּ לְבָשָׂ֥ר אֶחָֽד
"...they [the man and the women] shall become ONE flesh (Gen 2:25)

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוָ֗ה הֵ֣ן עַ֤ם אֶחָד֙
"YHWH said 'the people are ONE'" (Gen 11:6)

יְהוָ֥ה אֶחָֽד
YHWH is ONE (Dt 6:4)

1. Historically there are no known modalists before Noetus (c. 190 AD) and later Praxeas and Sabellius. Tertullian affirmed Sabellian modalism was contra the ancient "Rule of Faith" which was employed in all ancient churches during the first and second centuries. After Sabellianism was condemned it essentially died out until Emanuel Swedenborg revived it in the 1700s, but it was not until the twentieth century that it mushroomed after the unitarian modalist view emerged and split the nascent Pentecostal movement.

Obviously there was far too long a period before Sabellianism appeared for it to have been the position of the earliest church in any major geographic center.

2. Doctrinal. Most heresies tend to absolutize one side of a dialectical reality. Usually the culprit is intellectual rationalism:  the need to "eff the ineffable" so as to fit in the little box we call the human brain. The Ecumenical Councils view of the Trinity, accepted by Orthodox, Latin Catholics, and all major trajectories of Protestantism for the last two millennia give a much more natural reading of passages like Jn 14:25-26 in the basic affirmation -contra Sabellianism- that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are DISTINCT AND INTERACTING. This is the more natural reading of the scriptures, e.g.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." – John 14:25-26

How must a Sabellian interpret such a passage? To say these are three "Me's" which are not distinct and interacting would result in a very strained reading of  Jn 14:, such as:

But the Helper (Me), the Holy Spirit (Me) whom the Father (Me) will send in My name, He (Me) will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I (Me) said to you...?

Christ said He must go away, but that the Father would send the Spirit. If they are not distinct, how was Christ away when the Spirit descended?

Isaiah 48:16: “Come near unto Me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the LORD God, and His Spirit, hath sent Me.”

No known modalists before 190AD!  I would argue that there were no trinitarians in the first community because all of the disciples were Jews!

You and Minasoliman and Azurestone have all quoted from the gospel of John, the last gospel written.
I agree with you that the gospel of John makes some clear departures from the earlier gospels and I won't argue with you there.
I would be the last person to try and harmonize the gospel of Mark with the gospel of John.
If you prefer the gospel of John then that is fine and we will have a difficult time marrying some of the passages in John with the earliest gospel. Clearly I lean on the gospel of Mark.  And I am not a theologian and I won't even make an attempt to reconcile certain passages. I doubt it can even be done to be honest.  I think there are different voices and they are and will remain distinct.
According to Tertullian there were no Sabellians before Noetus (190 AD), but the point made was not simply that Sabellian theology was comparatively late and geographically isolated, but *in conflict with the Rule of Faith* as found in all the ancient churches of the first and second centuries. I for one would at least pause before believing a view that not only wasn't practiced anywhere in earliest Christianity, but which also conflicted with the practice which existed everywhere in ancient Christianity during its first two centuries just because it "seemed logical and biblical to me."

Your hypothesis that Sabellianism was the belief of the author of Mark's Gospel also seems on the face of it extraordinarily dubious at best. Do we know of any major scholars who argue the author of Mark's Gospel was a Sabellian?

If you admit the Gospel of John is problematic for you this further attests the disparity of your view with that of earliest Christianity. Wouldn't acceptance of four Gospels in all the major geographic centers of earliest Christianity, with no examples of early Christians accepting the Gospel of Mark while rejecting the other three also be rather problematic to the notion that you are reconstructing an original primitive faith of the church?

If the evidence from Tertullian shows Sabellianism was unknown in the churches founded by apostles before Noetus, there are lines of evidence which suggest Trinitarian theology was very early, in the writings of those who were direct disciples of an original apostle, or contemporaneous with them.

D. F. Wright, "Creeds and Confessional Forms" in Ralph Martin and Peter Davids, eds., Dictionary of the Later New Testament and its Developments: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship (1997), p. 258 affirms that 1 Clem 46:6 (""Have we not one God and one Christ and one Spirit of grace who was poured upon us?") "...is at once Trinitarian, baptismal, and interrogatory." The same author also cites Didache 7:1 (c. 60-100 AD) as "confirming evidence that a Trinitarian confession was normal at baptism probably by the end of the first century" (ibid). The Didache, or Teachings of the Apostles, was a manual of catechism widely distributed in early Christianity, e.g. in Antioch, Palestine, and Alexandria.

Justin Martyr (d. 165 at Rome) wrote "There is pronounced over the one who elects to be born again and has repented of his sins the name of God the father and Lord of the universe, the person who leads the one to be washed to the water calling him by this name alone... Also in the name of Jesus Christ who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and in the name of the Holy Spirit who through the prophets foretold everything about Jesus, the one to be enlightened is washed (Justin Martyr, Apol I 61.10). Wright observes the "italicized must be fairly close to the words used by the minister of baptism (not by the candidate) in the Roman church (ibid, p. 258).

The Trinitarian baptismal formula in Did 7:1 is the same as that found in Matt 28:19. I have also seen Sabellians try to argue the Trinitarian baptismal formula in Matt 28:19 was a late addition with absolutely no direct evidence and despite the fact that all extant ancient texts of Matt contain the Trinitarian baptismal formula. This is especially problematic in that the Trinitarian formula appears in the Didache, which some scholars actually date slightly before the Gospel of Matthew was completed.

Ignatius, bishop of Antioch (from where Paul left and returned on all three of his missionary journeys) wrote "One alone is Physician. Born and unborn, God come in the flesh. The life in death. From Mary and God. At first possible, and then impossible, Jesus Christ our Lord" (Ignatius to the Ephesians 7.2).
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« Reply #69 on: May 17, 2011, 01:03:06 PM »

1. Historically there are no known modalists before Noetus (c. 190 AD) and later Praxeas and Sabellius. Tertullian affirmed Sabellian modalism was contra the ancient "Rule of Faith" which was employed in all ancient churches during the first and second centuries. After Sabellianism was condemned it essentially died out until Emanuel Swedenborg revived it in the 1700s, but it was not until the twentieth century that it mushroomed after the unitarian modalist view emerged and split the nascent Pentecostal movement.

Obviously there was far too long a period before Sabellianism appeared for it to have been the position of the earliest church in any major geographic center.

2. Doctrinal. Most heresies tend to absolutize one side of a dialectical reality. Usually the culprit is intellectual rationalism:  the need to "eff the ineffable" so as to fit in the little box we call the human brain. The Ecumenical Councils view of the Trinity, accepted by Orthodox, Latin Catholics, and all major trajectories of Protestantism for the last two millennia give a much more natural reading of passages like Jn 14:25-26 in the basic affirmation -contra Sabellianism- that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are DISTINCT AND INTERACTING. This is the more natural reading of the scriptures, e.g.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." – John 14:25-26

How must a Sabellian interpret such a passage? To say these are three "Me's" which are not distinct and interacting would result in a very strained reading of  Jn 14:, such as:

But the Helper (Me), the Holy Spirit (Me) whom the Father (Me) will send in My name, He (Me) will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I (Me) said to you...?

Christ said He must go away, but that the Father would send the Spirit. If they are not distinct, how was Christ away when the Spirit descended?

Isaiah 48:16: “Come near unto Me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the LORD God, and His Spirit, hath sent Me.”

No known modalists before 190AD!  I would argue that there were no trinitarians in the first community because all of the disciples were Jews!

You and Minasoliman and Azurestone have all quoted from the gospel of John, the last gospel written.
I agree with you that the gospel of John makes some clear departures from the earlier gospels and I won't argue with you there.
I would be the last person to try and harmonize the gospel of Mark with the gospel of John.
If you prefer the gospel of John then that is fine and we will have a difficult time marrying some of the passages in John with the earliest gospel. Clearly I lean on the gospel of Mark.  And I am not a theologian and I won't even make an attempt to reconcile certain passages. I doubt it can even be done to be honest.  I think there are different voices and they are and will remain distinct.

Wow...really Leisa.  Not only are you in denial, but very stubborn, looking for ways to try to stick with your own beliefs rather than the beliefs of the Apostles.  Why do you continue with this idiocy?  Why don't you have a bit of humility for once that you can't comprehend the divineness of God, and accept what is written?  Let's see what St. Mark writes:

Quote from: Chapter 1
9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Already, the gospel in its very first chapter attests to the distinction between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit descended on Christ, which means the Holy Spirit is not Christ.  And the Father being the voice from heaven attesting to the divinity of Christ, saying "My beloved Son."  And the gospel continues saying:

Quote
12 Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.

Christ didn't drive Himself into the wilderness, but the Spirit drove Him.  And the Father's voice from the clouds did not appear once, but twice later when Christ shown forth His divine nature in front of His disciples:

Quote from: Chapter 3
7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 8 Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.

How can a voice talk to Himself, Leisa?  Did the gospel of St. Mark somehow reveal to you that Christ ordered the heavens to fool his disciples into thinking that His Father is distinct from Him?

And how can Christ not know the day of the end of times to occur, but rather only the Father knows if He and the Father are the same person?


Quote from: Chapter 13
32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

Just the mere fact of showing that the Son doesn't know, but rather the Father shows the distinctness.  Did you forget that chapter also as you were glancing over this whole gospel?  And certainly, you may accuse the gospel of John for having a false prayer in John 17, but what obout Mark 14?

Quote
32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed. 34 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.”
35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
37 Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Again He went away and prayed, and spoke the same words. 40 And when He returned, He found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him.
41 Then He came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

Again, did Christ talk to Himself, saying "Abba, Father...take this cup from Me"?  And certainly who is that wills?  Not Me, but You, Who is Me anyway?  Do you see how your beliefs Leisa leads to a contradiction to your favorite gospel?  Have you becomes so blind and deficient in understand that you glanced over these verses and continued in your stupid beliefs?

And Who is Christ who cried out "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me" (Mark 15:34) if He forsook know one but Himself?  Are you saying all of this is an act, or either that or He's a madman?  And was the author of the gospel hallucinating or stupid when he said:  "So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God." (Mark 16:19) when he could have said that Christ sat at the right hand of heaven?

Be real Leisa.  You claim the gospel of Mark is more consonant to your beliefs, but now you turned the Gospel of Mark either into a book filled with mysterious language that only you Leisa understand, or you're deluding yourself and just can't face the facts that the gospel of Mark really does attest to the distinctness of the persons of the Trinity.
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« Reply #70 on: May 18, 2011, 11:47:16 AM »


But that's not her only heretical doctrine. She has a difficient Christology as well, as she says that Christ was not human. The Oneness Pentecostals believe that God became human.


To clarify, I said I didn't believe Jesus had a human nature.  Something cannot be God, and not be God at the same time.
If Jesus is God incarnate then he does not have a human nature because that would be saying that God has a human nature.

And you are correct that Pentecostals believe Jesus had two natures.
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« Reply #71 on: May 18, 2011, 11:49:59 AM »


But that's not her only heretical doctrine. She has a difficient Christology as well, as she says that Christ was not human. The Oneness Pentecostals believe that God became human.


To clarify, I said I didn't believe Jesus had a human nature.  Something cannot be God, and not be God at the same time.
If Jesus is God incarnate then he does not have a human nature because that would be saying that God has a human nature.

And you are correct that Pentecostals believe Jesus had two natures.
I think you are misunderstanding the the Law of non-contradiction. It states that something cannot be and not be at the same time and in the same way. You see Christ can be human and Divine as long as he is human and Divine in different ways. In other words, this is possible as long as there is a true distinction between his humanity and Divinity, or as long as we are not saying that his humanity is his Divinity nor that his Divinity is his humanity.
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« Reply #72 on: May 18, 2011, 12:06:21 PM »


Your hypothesis that Sabellianism was the belief of the author of Mark's Gospel also seems on the face of it extraordinarily dubious at best.



I didn't say that.  I said that Sabellianism makes more sense to me than the trinity.  I am suggesting that the trinity was a popular interpretation and gained a foothold centuries after Jesus's resurrection and not the belief of early Jewish followers of Christ.
In fact, I would even go so far as to say that it would require a total ignorance of Judaism to consider that Jesus could have had the belief in a unity of Gods.  Or that Jesus could have known himself to be a part of a trinity.  Or that Jesus could even have conceived of a God that could be divided into parts.
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« Reply #73 on: May 18, 2011, 12:09:18 PM »

To clarify, I said I didn't believe Jesus had a human nature.
Which is false.

Something cannot be God, and not be God at the same time.
Except God.

If Jesus is God incarnate then he does not have a human nature because that would be saying that God has a human nature.
Are you saying there is a limit to what God can and cannot be or what He can and cannot make happen? Wouldn't the denial of His ability to be incarnate suggest that He is not, in fact, God?
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« Reply #74 on: May 18, 2011, 12:10:45 PM »


Your hypothesis that Sabellianism was the belief of the author of Mark's Gospel also seems on the face of it extraordinarily dubious at best.



I didn't say that.  I said that Sabellianism makes more sense to me than the trinity.  I am suggesting that the trinity was a popular interpretation and gained a foothold centuries after Jesus's resurrection and not the belief of early Jewish followers of Christ.
In fact, I would even go so far as to say that it would require a total ignorance of Judaism to consider that Jesus could have had the belief in a unity of Gods.  Or that Jesus could have known himself to be a part of a trinity.  Or that Jesus could even have conceived of a God that could be divided into parts.

Again, you are mischaracterizing the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that there is a unity of gods, because we believe in only one God (From the Creed: "I believe in one God"). The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that God could be divided into parts because we profess that the members of the Trinity are "one in essence and undivided" (from the Divine Liturgy).
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« Reply #75 on: May 18, 2011, 01:51:26 PM »


Again, you are mischaracterizing the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that there is a unity of gods, because we believe in only one God (From the Creed: "I believe in one God"). The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that God could be divided into parts because we profess that the members of the Trinity are "one in essence and undivided" (from the Divine Liturgy).


"..the members of the Trinity..."  - your words.
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« Reply #76 on: May 18, 2011, 02:02:59 PM »


Again, you are mischaracterizing the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that there is a unity of gods, because we believe in only one God (From the Creed: "I believe in one God"). The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that God could be divided into parts because we profess that the members of the Trinity are "one in essence and undivided" (from the Divine Liturgy).


"..the members of the Trinity..."  - your words.
What is your point? Perhaps I should have been more careful and said the Persons of the Trinity. But either way, what is your point? what is more, you haven't really addressed the substance of my posts.
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« Reply #77 on: May 18, 2011, 02:17:12 PM »


Again, you are mischaracterizing the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that there is a unity of gods, because we believe in only one God (From the Creed: "I believe in one God"). The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that God could be divided into parts because we profess that the members of the Trinity are "one in essence and undivided" (from the Divine Liturgy).


"..the members of the Trinity..."  - your words.
So, from your perspective, it is impossible for God to simultaneously and eternally exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit while still being One God?
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« Reply #78 on: May 18, 2011, 04:52:14 PM »

In fact, I would even go so far as to say that it would require a total ignorance of Judaism to consider that Jesus could have had the belief in a unity of Gods.
No, not the belief in a unity of gods, but rather, a belief that God is a unity.

Do you acknowledge that God has always existed eternally with His Word and Spirit?

What is the word used where the two become one flesh in Genesis 2:24?
Echad. Tongue

To clarify, I said I didn't believe Jesus had a human nature.  Something cannot be God, and not be God at the same time.
If Jesus is God incarnate then he does not have a human nature because that would be saying that God has a human nature.
The Logos/Christ is one Person. He is God, even in essence, having a Divine Essence. He united His Divine Essence with Human Essence taken from the flesh of Mary, without changing His Person. These two essences do not become fused into one essence, but remain un-con-fused.

We humans likewise have material and spiritual natures, but we are each only one person. A nature does not experience things, the person to whom the nature belongs experiences things.
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« Reply #79 on: May 18, 2011, 10:20:45 PM »


Your hypothesis that Sabellianism was the belief of the author of Mark's Gospel also seems on the face of it extraordinarily dubious at best.



I didn't say that.  I said that Sabellianism makes more sense to me than the trinity.  I am suggesting that the trinity was a popular interpretation and gained a foothold centuries after Jesus's resurrection and not the belief of early Jewish followers of Christ.
In fact, I would even go so far as to say that it would require a total ignorance of Judaism to consider that Jesus could have had the belief in a unity of Gods.  Or that Jesus could have known himself to be a part of a trinity.  Or that Jesus could even have conceived of a God that could be divided into parts.


The Scriptures is filled with references to worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the Scriptures is filled with references of their distinction.  So you do the math.
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« Reply #80 on: May 18, 2011, 10:59:13 PM »

The Scriptures is filled with references to worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the Scriptures is filled with references of their distinction.  So you do the math.
Trinity: 1+1+1 = 1
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« Reply #81 on: May 18, 2011, 11:03:57 PM »

(1) * (1) * [(1+1)/2] = ...?
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« Reply #82 on: May 18, 2011, 11:14:31 PM »

The Scriptures is filled with references to worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the Scriptures is filled with references of their distinction.  So you do the math.
Trinity: 1+1+1 = 1
No...more like this:

∞ + ∞ + ∞ = ∞
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« Reply #83 on: May 18, 2011, 11:22:23 PM »

It's precisely because Christianity makes no sense that it is probably true.

You think the ineffable, uncircumscribable, ever-existing God would reveal himself to mankind as being no bigger/better than the thoughts of our most talented philosophers?

Modalism/Sabellianism, much like Islam, has human-invention stamped all over it.

If the early church wanted to convince the pagan world of the truth of Christianity, do you think it would have settled upon the apparently-contradictory and certainly impossible-to-truly-understand doctine of the trinity as the best way of doing so?

Some things to think about.
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« Reply #84 on: May 19, 2011, 12:52:49 AM »

Modalism/Sabellianism, much like Islam, has human-invention stamped all over it.
Careful, Akimori... Calvinists use the same argument in favor of their silliness (It makes no sense, and God makes no sense to humans!) Tongue
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« Reply #85 on: May 19, 2011, 01:53:35 AM »

Modalism/Sabellianism, much like Islam, has human-invention stamped all over it.
Careful, Akimori... Calvinists use the same argument in favor of their silliness (It makes no sense, and God makes no sense to humans!) Tongue

True dat.

Except that in Calvinism the ineffable, uncircumscribable, ever-existing God is revealed as being even smaller and more petty than the meanest and poorest of our philosophers.
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« Reply #86 on: May 19, 2011, 08:58:25 AM »

Or 1x1x1=1
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« Reply #87 on: May 19, 2011, 06:17:37 PM »

Math wizards,
 
While your points are true and somewhat humorous, I was trying to make the point that 3 persons make a single god.
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« Reply #88 on: May 19, 2011, 06:20:00 PM »

It's precisely because Christianity makes no sense that it is probably true.

You think the ineffable, uncircumscribable, ever-existing God would reveal himself to mankind as being no bigger/better than the thoughts of our most talented philosophers?

Modalism/Sabellianism, much like Islam, has human-invention stamped all over it.

If the early church wanted to convince the pagan world of the truth of Christianity, do you think it would have settled upon the apparently-contradictory and certainly impossible-to-truly-understand doctine of the trinity as the best way of doing so?

Some things to think about.

[devil's advocate]
I thought we were created in God's image. How come I can't understand Him?
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« Reply #89 on: May 19, 2011, 10:03:39 PM »

Math wizards,
 
While your points are true and somewhat humorous, I was trying to make the point that 3 persons make a single god.
Mine wasn't meant to be humorous, and I think it was the most on track:

∞ + ∞ + ∞ = ∞
Infinite Father + Infinite Son + Infinite Holy Spirit = One Infinite God
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« Reply #90 on: May 20, 2011, 12:45:44 AM »

And maybe the Trinity has nothing to do with Mathematical functions, and more to do with the infinite God who is beyond us and our understanding.
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« Reply #91 on: May 20, 2011, 06:00:08 AM »

Or 1x1x1=1

I already did the multiplication nonsense theory, and you didn't take into account Jesus becoming God-man Wink

And maybe the Trinity has nothing to do with Mathematical functions, and more to do with the infinite God who is beyond us and our understanding.

Someone must not have sent you the memo. Catholics are supposed to throw out mystery and overanalyze everything...  Kiss
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« Reply #92 on: May 20, 2011, 10:10:31 AM »

Someone must not have sent you the memo. Catholics are supposed to throw out mystery and overanalyze everything...  Kiss

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« Reply #93 on: May 20, 2011, 10:56:05 AM »

And maybe the Trinity has nothing to do with Mathematical functions, and more to do with the infinite God who is beyond us and our understanding.
That too, but I still say mine is closest to correct. Tongue
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« Reply #94 on: May 20, 2011, 02:08:18 PM »


Again, you are mischaracterizing the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that there is a unity of gods, because we believe in only one God (From the Creed: "I believe in one God"). The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that God could be divided into parts because we profess that the members of the Trinity are "one in essence and undivided" (from the Divine Liturgy).


"..the members of the Trinity..."  - your words.
What is your point? Perhaps I should have been more careful and said the Persons of the Trinity. But either way, what is your point? what is more, you haven't really addressed the substance of my posts.


We are talking about how to describe God.  Jesus said God is one.  The churches says God is a trinity.  Is the concept of God expressed by Jesus the same as the Christian concept of God?
Yes or no?
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« Reply #95 on: May 20, 2011, 02:09:36 PM »


Again, you are mischaracterizing the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that there is a unity of gods, because we believe in only one God (From the Creed: "I believe in one God"). The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that God could be divided into parts because we profess that the members of the Trinity are "one in essence and undivided" (from the Divine Liturgy).


"..the members of the Trinity..."  - your words.
What is your point? Perhaps I should have been more careful and said the Persons of the Trinity. But either way, what is your point? what is more, you haven't really addressed the substance of my posts.


We are talking about how to describe God.  Jesus said God is one.  The churches says God is a trinity.  Is the concept of God expressed by Jesus the same as the Christian concept of God?
Yes or no?
Yes, becaue the doctrine of the Trinity teaches that there is only one God. Smiley That is all.
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« Reply #96 on: May 20, 2011, 02:12:57 PM »


So, from your perspective, it is impossible for God to simultaneously and eternally exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit while still being One God?

Here is how I would characterize the situation.  Lets say you are my neighbor.  And you meet me in front of our house's and you call me Leisa.  Then, the next time we meet is at a halloween party and I'm dressed as Lady Godiva.  And another time you meet me at my work where I am dressed in a nurses uniform and you call me nurse.
Ok.  Are there three Leisa's?  Or is there one Leisa in three different situations?
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« Reply #97 on: May 20, 2011, 03:12:07 PM »


So, from your perspective, it is impossible for God to simultaneously and eternally exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit while still being One God?

Here is how I would characterize the situation.  Lets say you are my neighbor.  And you meet me in front of our house's and you call me Leisa.  Then, the next time we meet is at a halloween party and I'm dressed as Lady Godiva.  And another time you meet me at my work where I am dressed in a nurses uniform and you call me nurse.
Ok.  Are there three Leisa's?  Or is there one Leisa in three different situations?

Let's say that there's one God, the Father Almighty. And this one God exists eternally together with His Word and Spirit. He sends down his Word to fashion and heal creation, His Spirit moves upon the face of the deep and fills all things.
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« Reply #98 on: May 20, 2011, 06:05:44 PM »


So, from your perspective, it is impossible for God to simultaneously and eternally exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit while still being One God?

Here is how I would characterize the situation.  Lets say you are my neighbor.  And you meet me in front of our house's and you call me Leisa.  Then, the next time we meet is at a halloween party and I'm dressed as Lady Godiva.  And another time you meet me at my work where I am dressed in a nurses uniform and you call me nurse.
Ok.  Are there three Leisa's?  Or is there one Leisa in three different situations?
Your analogy is flawed because you are a finite being as opposed to the Almighty and Infinite God.
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« Reply #99 on: May 20, 2011, 06:23:39 PM »


So, from your perspective, it is impossible for God to simultaneously and eternally exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit while still being One God?

Here is how I would characterize the situation.  Lets say you are my neighbor.  And you meet me in front of our house's and you call me Leisa.  Then, the next time we meet is at a halloween party and I'm dressed as Lady Godiva.  And another time you meet me at my work where I am dressed in a nurses uniform and you call me nurse.
Ok.  Are there three Leisa's?  Or is there one Leisa in three different situations?

Who did Jesus pray to?

The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus at his Baptism and the Father speaks expressing His son. Was this confusion?

I understand you reject one of the Gospels to support your theory. Perhaps also because John has this:
John 14
Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God: believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I shall go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself: that where I am, you also may be. 4 And whither I go you know: and the way you know. 5 Thomas said to him: Lord, we know not whither you go. And how can we know the way? 6 Jesus said to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by me. 7 If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him. And you have seen him. 8 Philip said to him: Lord, show us the Father; and it is enough for us. 9 Jesus said to him: Have I been so long a time with you and have you not known me? Philip, he that sees me sees the Father also. How do you say: Show us the Father? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abides in me, he does the works. 11 Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? 12 Otherwise believe for the very works' sake. Amen, amen, I say to you, he that believes in me, the works that I do, he also shall do: and greater than these shall he do. 13 Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you shall ask me anything in my name, that I will do.

If you love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father: and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever: 17 The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, nor knows him. But you shall know him; because he shall abide with you and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world sees me no more. But you see me: because I live, and you shall live. 20 In that day you shall know that I am in my Father: and you in me, and I in you. 21 He that has my commandments and keeps them; he it is that loves me. And he that loves me shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas says to him, not the Iscariot: Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world? 23 Jesus answered and said to him: If any one love me, he will keep my word. And my Father will love him and we will come to him and will make our abode with him. 24 He that loves me not keeps not my words. And the word which you have heard is not mine; but the Father's who sent me. 25 These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you. 26 But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.
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« Reply #100 on: May 20, 2011, 08:24:05 PM »

Let's say there is one tree. The tree has the branches (with the leaves etc.), the trunk and roots, and the life. Yet how many trees do we have? One. Yet the leaves are not the trunk, and neither are they the same thing as the life of the tree.

Granted this is an oversimplification and does have many holes, but it does show an example of three being one, while each being distinct. In the same way, you have a spirit, soul and body. Your spirit is not your soul, your soul isn't your body, but you are one Leisa, not three. Again this is an analogy and does not perfectly capture the trinity in any way.
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« Reply #101 on: May 21, 2011, 12:40:25 AM »

While your points are true and somewhat humorous, I was trying to make the point that 3 persons make a single god.

That's a sort of weird phrasing of it. What do you mean by "make"?
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« Reply #102 on: May 21, 2011, 12:40:25 AM »


Again, you are mischaracterizing the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that there is a unity of gods, because we believe in only one God (From the Creed: "I believe in one God"). The doctrine of the Trinity does not include the idea that God could be divided into parts because we profess that the members of the Trinity are "one in essence and undivided" (from the Divine Liturgy).


"..the members of the Trinity..."  - your words.
What is your point? Perhaps I should have been more careful and said the Persons of the Trinity. But either way, what is your point? what is more, you haven't really addressed the substance of my posts.


We are talking about how to describe God.  Jesus said God is one.  The churches says God is a trinity.  Is the concept of God expressed by Jesus the same as the Christian concept of God?
Yes or no?

The Church says God is One. The Tri-Unity of God is a complementary doctrine to the Oneness of God, not a competitive one.
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« Reply #103 on: May 21, 2011, 12:40:25 AM »


So, from your perspective, it is impossible for God to simultaneously and eternally exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit while still being One God?

Here is how I would characterize the situation.  Lets say you are my neighbor.  And you meet me in front of our house's and you call me Leisa.  Then, the next time we meet is at a halloween party and I'm dressed as Lady Godiva.  And another time you meet me at my work where I am dressed in a nurses uniform and you call me nurse.
Ok.  Are there three Leisa's?  Or is there one Leisa in three different situations?

BTW, how do you account for all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism and His Transfiguration?
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« Reply #104 on: May 21, 2011, 04:19:07 AM »


So, from your perspective, it is impossible for God to simultaneously and eternally exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit while still being One God?

Here is how I would characterize the situation.  Lets say you are my neighbor.  And you meet me in front of our house's and you call me Leisa.  Then, the next time we meet is at a halloween party and I'm dressed as Lady Godiva.  And another time you meet me at my work where I am dressed in a nurses uniform and you call me nurse.
Ok.  Are there three Leisa's?  Or is there one Leisa in three different situations?

So Leisa, did you pray to Lady Godiva and send the Holy Nurse to your disciples?  Did your Lady Godiva costume call you "my beloved daughter" and the Holy Nurse descend upon you in the form of a stethoscope?
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« Reply #105 on: May 21, 2011, 08:00:39 AM »

While your points are true and somewhat humorous, I was trying to make the point that 3 persons make a single god.

That's a sort of weird phrasing of it. What do you mean by "make"?

Don't read into it too much.

But to ease your mind, make as in "composed of, or within", not create. Though, that didn't stop the "size comparison" on who's a analogy was better, anyways.
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« Reply #106 on: May 22, 2011, 11:09:47 AM »


BTW, how do you account for all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism and His Transfiguration?

I would ask you, where do you get this information that "all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism"?
(Lets stick to the baptism for now).
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« Reply #107 on: May 22, 2011, 11:17:40 AM »


Who did Jesus pray to?

The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus at his Baptism and the Father speaks expressing His son. Was this confusion?

I understand you reject one of the Gospels to support your theory. Perhaps also because John has this:
John 14
Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God: believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I shall go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself: that where I am, you also may be. 4 And whither I go you know: and the way you know. 5 Thomas said to him: Lord, we know not whither you go. And how can we know the way? 6 Jesus said to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by me. 7 If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him. And you have seen him. 8 Philip said to him: Lord, show us the Father; and it is enough for us. 9 Jesus said to him: Have I been so long a time with you and have you not known me? Philip, he that sees me sees the Father also. How do you say: Show us the Father? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abides in me, he does the works. 11 Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? 12 Otherwise believe for the very works' sake. Amen, amen, I say to you, he that believes in me, the works that I do, he also shall do: and greater than these shall he do. 13 Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you shall ask me anything in my name, that I will do.

If you love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father: and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever: 17 The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, nor knows him. But you shall know him; because he shall abide with you and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world sees me no more. But you see me: because I live, and you shall live. 20 In that day you shall know that I am in my Father: and you in me, and I in you. 21 He that has my commandments and keeps them; he it is that loves me. And he that loves me shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas says to him, not the Iscariot: Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world? 23 Jesus answered and said to him: If any one love me, he will keep my word. And my Father will love him and we will come to him and will make our abode with him. 24 He that loves me not keeps not my words. And the word which you have heard is not mine; but the Father's who sent me. 25 These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you. 26 But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.


Your first question was asked by me earlier in this thread. 
Regarding your second question, perhaps you can tell me what happens at Jesus's baptism regarding the Holy Spirit and the Father.
Lets just start with that.
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« Reply #108 on: May 22, 2011, 11:23:38 AM »

Let's say there is one tree. The tree has the branches (with the leaves etc.), the trunk and roots, and the life. Yet how many trees do we have? One. Yet the leaves are not the trunk, and neither are they the same thing as the life of the tree.

Granted this is an oversimplification and does have many holes, but it does show an example of three being one, while each being distinct. In the same way, you have a spirit, soul and body. Your spirit is not your soul, your soul isn't your body, but you are one Leisa, not three. Again this is an analogy and does not perfectly capture the trinity in any way.

The analogy of a person with a brain and a chest and arms is similar and I would ask you why would the brain pray to the hand?
If indeed we are talking about one person, or one tree, or one God, then why would God pray to God?  Or why would a leaf have a separate being or existence from the bark?  It doesn't, the tree is one, the tree is not a trinity or a multiplicity of "persons".  Neither is a man with a brain, spirit and body a trinity? It is one man.  And insofar as it is one man, a man does not pray to his own intellect, nor does a man pray to his own spirit or his own body.  That would be idolatry and nonsense.
So then you tell me why Jesus who is one God, prays to himself?
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« Reply #109 on: May 22, 2011, 11:51:06 AM »

Regarding your second question, perhaps you can tell me what happens at Jesus's baptism regarding the Holy Spirit and the Father.
Lets just start with that.

Mark 1
Quote
9 And it came to pass, in those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And forthwith coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens open and the Spirit as a dove descending and remaining on him. 11 And there came a voice from heaven: You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased.

Luke 3
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21 Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also being baptized and praying, heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove, upon him. And a voice came from heaven: You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.

Matthew 3
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13 Then comes Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by you, and you come to me? 15 And Jesus answering, said to him: Allow it to be so now. For so it becomes us to fulfil all justice. Then he allowed him. 16 And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him. 17 And behold a voice from heaven saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

John 1
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29 The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him; and he says: Behold the Lamb of God. Behold him who takes away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said: After me there comes a man, who is preferred before me: because he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John gave testimony, saying: I saw the Spirit coming down, as a dove from heaven; and he remained upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me: He upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizes with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw: and I gave testimony that this is the Son of God.


Tag, you're it.
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« Reply #110 on: May 22, 2011, 11:57:22 AM »


BTW, how do you account for all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism and His Transfiguration?

I would ask you, where do you get this information that "all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism"?
(Lets stick to the baptism for now).
Scripture makes a distinction between Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father at Jesus' baptism. If sabellianism was true there would be no reason to make this distinction.
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« Reply #111 on: May 22, 2011, 12:29:37 PM »

Leisa, you mistake, is to say that God is a person. In the sense you mean it, God is not a person, God is the divine nature. This divine nature is three persons. When we pray to God, we mean that we are most usually praying to God the Father. When we say that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are equally and consubstanially God, we do not mean that they are the same person who we call 'God', but that they are the same unity of nature and are equally Divine and of the same substance.

When God the Word addresses God the Father it is because they are not the same Divine Person, even though they share and are the same Divine Substance. They are both God, but are different Divine Persons.

Your analogy of a person with a brain, a chest and an arm is not at all applicable to the case of the Trinity. The brain is only a part of human nature, the chest is only a part of human nature, the arm is only a part of human nature. Therefore the brain, chest and arm relate as incomplete parts and aspects of human nature, more than that the brain is not a human person, the chest is not a human person and the arm is not a human.

In the case of the Holy Trinity, the Father is entirely and completely Divine and is not a part of the Divine nature. The Word is entirely and completely Divine and is not a part of the Divine nature. The Holy Spirit is entirely and completely Divine and is not a part of the Divine nature. These are three Divine persons who are entirely and completely the same Divine nature, but who have a relation of persons among themselves.

They are not parts, or aspects, they are persons occupying (to put it very loosely and simply) the same natural space.

Your analogy is not the same. You refer to non personal parts of human nature that do not occupy the same natural space, since the brain is a different part of humanity to the chest and to the arm, and none of them are persons.

Father Peter
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« Reply #112 on: May 22, 2011, 01:10:09 PM »

Azurestone, I meant, in your own words.  Can you tell me what happened?  What is your understanding of what happened at Jesus's baptism?
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« Reply #113 on: May 22, 2011, 01:12:21 PM »


Scripture makes a distinction between Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father at Jesus' baptism. If sabellianism was true there would be no reason to make this distinction.

Scripture?  What does scripture say?  That is what I am asking you guys.  What does scripture say about what happened at Jesus's baptism.  And please don't just quote from all four gospels. Read it and tell me, what is it saying?
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« Reply #114 on: May 22, 2011, 01:16:57 PM »

Azurestone, I meant, in your own words.  Can you tell me what happened?  What is your understanding of what happened at Jesus's baptism?

Are you playing, now? It's two sentences.
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« Reply #115 on: May 22, 2011, 01:33:20 PM »


Scripture makes a distinction between Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father at Jesus' baptism. If sabellianism was true there would be no reason to make this distinction.

Scripture?  What does scripture say?  That is what I am asking you guys.  What does scripture say about what happened at Jesus's baptism.  And please don't just quote from all four gospels. Read it and tell me, what is it saying?
The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove and God the Father said "this is my beloved Son, of whom I am well pleased." We see the Three hypostases of the Holy Trinity present at this moment in Jesus' life.
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« Reply #116 on: May 22, 2011, 01:34:14 PM »

Leisa, you mistake, is to say that God is a person. In the sense you mean it, God is not a person, God is the divine nature. This divine nature is three persons. When we pray to God, we mean that we are most usually praying to God the Father. When we say that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are equally and consubstanially God, we do not mean that they are the same person who we call 'God', but that they are the same unity of nature and are equally Divine and of the same substance.

When God the Word addresses God the Father it is because they are not the same Divine Person, even though they share and are the same Divine Substance. They are both God, but are different Divine Persons.

Your analogy of a person with a brain, a chest and an arm is not at all applicable to the case of the Trinity. The brain is only a part of human nature, the chest is only a part of human nature, the arm is only a part of human nature. Therefore the brain, chest and arm relate as incomplete parts and aspects of human nature, more than that the brain is not a human person, the chest is not a human person and the arm is not a human.

In the case of the Holy Trinity, the Father is entirely and completely Divine and is not a part of the Divine nature. The Word is entirely and completely Divine and is not a part of the Divine nature. The Holy Spirit is entirely and completely Divine and is not a part of the Divine nature. These are three Divine persons who are entirely and completely the same Divine nature, but who have a relation of persons among themselves.

They are not parts, or aspects, they are persons occupying (to put it very loosely and simply) the same natural space.

Your analogy is not the same. You refer to non personal parts of human nature that do not occupy the same natural space, since the brain is a different part of humanity to the chest and to the arm, and none of them are persons.

Father Peter

The question still remains, why does one divine person (Jesus) pray to another divine person (the Father)?  Especially given that you said they are all 'completely the same Divine nature"?
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« Reply #117 on: May 22, 2011, 01:37:10 PM »

The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove and God the Father said "this is my beloved Son, of whom I am well pleased." We see the Three hypostases of the Holy Trinity present at this moment in Jesus' life.

Thank you for answering the question.  Now I can respond to it.  Who saw the dove descend and who heard the voice?
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« Reply #118 on: May 22, 2011, 01:43:00 PM »

The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove and God the Father said "this is my beloved Son, of whom I am well pleased." We see the Three hypostases of the Holy Trinity present at this moment in Jesus' life.

Thank you for answering the question.  Now I can respond to it.  Who saw the dove descend and who heard the voice?
St. John the Baptist, Jesus, and anyone else who was present that John was baptizing that day. Then the Gospel writers recorded it.
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« Reply #119 on: May 22, 2011, 01:50:28 PM »


St. John the Baptist, Jesus, and anyone else who was present that John was baptizing that day. Then the Gospel writers recorded it.

Everyone else?  Are you sure about that? What in the gospels would indicate to you that this was witnessed by the crowds?
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« Reply #120 on: May 22, 2011, 01:52:39 PM »


St. John the Baptist, Jesus, and anyone else who was present that John was baptizing that day. Then the Gospel writers recorded it.

Everyone else?  Are you sure about that? What in the gospels would indicate to you that this was witnessed by the crowds?
I didn't say everyone else, I said "anyone else" who may have been present that day, and it isn't recorded in the Gospel to my knowledge. That was my speculation. Since St. John the Baptist is a prophet and had followers and often baptized multitudes of people I don't think my speculation was all that far fetched.
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« Reply #121 on: May 22, 2011, 01:53:37 PM »

Why should one divine person not address another divine person?
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« Reply #122 on: May 22, 2011, 02:03:37 PM »


I didn't say everyone else, I said "anyone else" who may have been present that day, and it isn't recorded in the Gospel to my knowledge. That was my speculation. Since St. John the Baptist is a prophet and had followers and often baptized multitudes of people I don't think my speculation was all that far fetched.

Ok, then lets look at what the four gospels say.  Mark says "he saw" meaning John saw.  Matthew says "he saw".  Luke does not say who witnessed this, and John says "I saw". ("I" being John).

So we have three gospels claiming that John saw this.  The fourth doesn't comment.

Now, do you still say that the crowds or others present experienced this?

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« Reply #123 on: May 22, 2011, 02:17:11 PM »


I didn't say everyone else, I said "anyone else" who may have been present that day, and it isn't recorded in the Gospel to my knowledge. That was my speculation. Since St. John the Baptist is a prophet and had followers and often baptized multitudes of people I don't think my speculation was all that far fetched.

Ok, then lets look at what the four gospels say.  Mark says "he saw" meaning John saw.  Matthew says "he saw".  Luke does not say who witnessed this, and John says "I saw". ("I" being John).

So we have three gospels claiming that John saw this.  The fourth doesn't comment.

Now, do you still say that the crowds or others present experienced this?
What does any of this have to do with why you embrace the sabellian heresy?
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« Reply #124 on: May 22, 2011, 02:38:05 PM »


What does any of this have to do with why you embrace the sabellian heresy?

You said: "Scripture makes a distinction between Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father at Jesus' baptism."

 
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« Reply #125 on: May 22, 2011, 02:52:25 PM »


What does any of this have to do with why you embrace the sabellian heresy?

You said: "Scripture makes a distinction between Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father at Jesus' baptism."

You've yet to say how it's relevant. Three of the gospels say John (the Baptist, Prophet, and Forerunner) was the one who directly observed Jesus' divinity. He also proclaims split acknowledgement by the heavenly hypostases. In what way does John remaining the focus of the story strengthen modalism?
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« Reply #126 on: May 22, 2011, 02:54:59 PM »


Thank you for answering the question.  Now I can respond to it.  Who saw the dove descend and who heard the voice?

You are committing the fallacy of RED HERRING.  Wink

Your question who witnessed this incident will not change the fact that the Evangelists recorded that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were simultaneously present during this event. The Gospel accounts suffice to debunk your allegation that these three are the distinct manifestations of the same person.

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« Reply #127 on: May 22, 2011, 02:59:41 PM »


You said: "Scripture makes a distinction between Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father at Jesus' baptism."


This is actually a STRAW-MAN. The poster did not exactly make this statement.
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« Reply #128 on: May 22, 2011, 03:18:46 PM »

Why should one divine person not address another divine person?

Because there is only one God.





  

 

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« Reply #129 on: May 22, 2011, 03:24:45 PM »



You've yet to say how it's relevant. Three of the gospels say John (the Baptist, Prophet, and Forerunner) was the one who directly observed Jesus' divinity. He also proclaims split acknowledgement by the heavenly hypostases. In what way does John remaining the focus of the story strengthen modalism?

You didn't answer my question - was this event experienced by anyone other than John?
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« Reply #130 on: May 22, 2011, 03:29:39 PM »


Thank you for answering the question.  Now I can respond to it.  Who saw the dove descend and who heard the voice?

You are committing the fallacy of RED HERRING.  Wink

Your question who witnessed this incident will not change the fact that the Evangelists recorded that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were simultaneously present during this event. The Gospel accounts suffice to debunk your allegation that these three are the distinct manifestations of the same person.



sigh.  I am trying to discuss what happened at Jesus's baptism.  And I can't read it for you.
If you want to read it and discuss it I would be more than happy to discuss it with you.
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« Reply #131 on: May 22, 2011, 03:32:32 PM »

You've yet to say how it's relevant. Three of the gospels say John (the Baptist, Prophet, and Forerunner) was the one who directly observed Jesus' divinity. He also proclaims split acknowledgement by the heavenly hypostases. In what way does John remaining the focus of the story strengthen modalism?

You didn't answer my question - was this event experienced by anyone other than John?

And you're avoiding ours. What does it matter?

It appears you hold your position you are comfortable with by rejecting parts of the Bible. First, the 20-30 year difference between Mark and John being written down is good enough to throw out the book of John. Now your saying that John the Baptist was a Prophet enough to know God and point people to Him, but he is not holy enough to be trusted in all divine revelation, especially when it conflicts with your current logic.
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« Reply #132 on: May 22, 2011, 03:33:19 PM »


St. John the Baptist, Jesus, and anyone else who was present that John was baptizing that day. Then the Gospel writers recorded it.

If I misquoted Wyatt it was by accident.  I have no desire to misrepresent him.
He asked me what the baptism had to do with my Sabellianism, and I said the only reason I was talking about the baptism was because someone raised it as a proof against Sabellianism.
And I am happy to discuss Jesus's baptism.  I don't think it is a proof against Sabellianism.
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« Reply #133 on: May 22, 2011, 03:37:08 PM »

You've yet to say how it's relevant. Three of the gospels say John (the Baptist, Prophet, and Forerunner) was the one who directly observed Jesus' divinity. He also proclaims split acknowledgement by the heavenly hypostases. In what way does John remaining the focus of the story strengthen modalism?

You didn't answer my question - was this event experienced by anyone other than John?

And you're avoiding ours. What does it matter?

It appears you hold your position you are comfortable with by rejecting parts of the Bible. First, the 20-30 year difference between Mark and John being written down is good enough to throw out the book of John. Now your saying that John the Baptist was a Prophet enough to know God and point people to Him, but he is not holy enough to be trusted in all divine revelation, especially when it conflicts with your current logic.

No, I am not avoiding your questions.
I asked about who witnessed these events at Jesus's baptism.  Someone said several people and I said it was only John.
Why is that relevant is because it is an entirely different thing if something is objectively witnessed as a real event by multiple people, or if it is one person's personal revelation or experience.

We are not talking about something that happened in a real sense, like the other miracles Jesus performed.  We are talking about something that John experienced alone.  John, who was the prophet who foretold of Jesus.

So you have to put it into the category of personal revelation.
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« Reply #134 on: May 22, 2011, 03:47:03 PM »

Why should one divine person not address another divine person?

Because there is only one God.
No one is saying there isn't.
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« Reply #135 on: May 22, 2011, 03:48:34 PM »

No, I am not avoiding your questions.
I asked about who witnessed these events at Jesus's baptism.  Someone said several people and I said it was only John.
Why is that relevant is because it is an entirely different thing if something is objectively witnessed as a real event by multiple people, or if it is one person's personal revelation or experience.

We are not talking about something that happened in a real sense, like the other miracles Jesus performed.  We are talking about something that John experienced alone.  John, who was the prophet who foretold of Jesus.

So you have to put it into the category of personal revelation.

"Personal revelation" is a RC distinction between things that are determined to be real and True, and things that are undetermined an of a personal nature so as to be of no obligation of any other believer.

Even in RC, John the Baptist is a "prophet". This is not a random title given to anyone that speaks something True.

Orthodox believe in a very real phenomena, also, that can be known a divine knowledge. That is, the closer an individual is to God (prayer, relationship, filled with His Grace, progressing along in Theosis), the more of a shared nature we have with Him. For example, a Saint's words are not just important because they are faithful, but because they are literally "Holy" and can tell us something of God.

A prophet can express this Divine Knowledge to reveal God to us, and this is a very precious thing. John the Baptist was a Prophet, he is Holy. We do not believe he is expressing opinion, but "revealing" to us the mind and nature of God Himself.
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« Reply #136 on: May 22, 2011, 03:59:32 PM »



And you're avoiding ours. What does it matter?

It appears you hold your position you are comfortable with by rejecting parts of the Bible. First, the 20-30 year difference between Mark and John being written down is good enough to throw out the book of John. Now your saying that John the Baptist was a Prophet enough to know God and point people to Him, but he is not holy enough to be trusted in all divine revelation, especially when it conflicts with your current logic.

I would say that Jesus's baptism does not prove the existence of three independent persons in the trinity.
When I read the texts, what I see is John reaches the fulfillment of his prophecy and his job in the revealing of prophecy.
He has found the Messiah.  He knows this because he sees (and maybe hears something, not all the gospel accounts record the voice) something happen as Jesus is baptized.
Now, some accounts place Jesus outside the water and praying when this happens, and some place him in the water during his baptism.
Obviously one is true but both cannot be correct.
But if we assume that it did happen this way, in one place or the other, then we know that John got his signal from God that prophecy was fulfilled.  And he says he saw a dove descend and land on Jesus.  

How do we know that we cannot take this incident literally?  If we were to take it literally then we would have to say that the Holy Spirit is a bird.  Obviously the Holy Spirit is not a bird is it?
We are dealing with the language of revelation and spirit.  Jesus didn't since that day, walk around with a bird on his shoulder.  (As John says the spirit landed on him and stayed on him).

And that is why I do not take it as there being literally three "persons" present.  We are not dealing with a literal event.
When Jesus resurrected we were dealing with a literal event.  The baptism is not that kind of event.

I would like to hear if someone has a different reading of the event.






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« Reply #137 on: May 22, 2011, 04:14:13 PM »

I would say that Jesus's baptism does not prove the existence of three independent persons in the trinity.
When I read the texts, what I see is John reaches the fulfillment of his prophecy and his job in the revealing of prophecy.
He has found the Messiah.  He knows this because he sees (and maybe hears something, not all the gospel accounts record the voice) something happen as Jesus is baptized.
Now, some accounts place Jesus outside the water and praying when this happens, and some place him in the water during his baptism.
Obviously one is true but both cannot be correct.
But if we assume that it did happen this way, in one place or the other, then we know that John got his signal from God that prophecy was fulfilled.  And he says he saw a dove descend and land on Jesus.  

How do we know that we cannot take this incident literally?  If we were to take it literally then we would have to say that the Holy Spirit is a bird.  Obviously the Holy Spirit is not a bird is it?
We are dealing with the language of revelation and spirit.  Jesus didn't since that day, walk around with a bird on his shoulder.  (As John says the spirit landed on him and stayed on him).

And that is why I do not take it as there being literally three "persons" present.  We are not dealing with a literal event.
When Jesus resurrected we were dealing with a literal event.  The baptism is not that kind of event.

I would like to hear if someone has a different reading of the event.

Was it a literal dove? Or did the Holy Spirit descend "like/as" a dove?


I don't expect you to hold St. John Chrysostom in very high opinion, however the Orthodox certainly do, as well as the Roman Catholics. As forth century Bishop, well known for his orthodoxy and spiritual sermons, I've included his sermon on Matthew for your reference to another opinion.

Homily XII.
Matt. III. 13.
Quote
2. “Then he suffereth Him. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.”

For inasmuch as many supposed that John was greater than He, because John had been brought up all his time in the wilderness, and was son of a chief priest, and was clothed with such raiment, and was calling all men unto his baptism, and had been born of a barren mother; while Jesus, first of all, was of a damsel of ordinary rank (for the virgin birth was not yet manifest to all); and besides, He had been brought up in an house, and held converse with all men, and wore this common raiment; they suspected Him to be less than John, knowing as yet nothing of those secret things;—and it fell out moreover that He was baptized of John, which thing added support to this surmise, even if none of those mentioned before had existed; for it would come into their mind that this man was one of the many (for were He not one of the many, He would not have come with the many to the baptism), but that John was greater than He and far more admirable:—in order therefore that this opinion might not prevail with the multitude, the very heavens are opened, when He is baptized, and the Spirit comes down, and a voice with the Spirit, proclaiming the dignity of the Only Begotten. For since the voice that said, “This is my beloved Son,” would seem to the multitude rather to belong to John, for It added not, “This that is baptized,” but simply This, and every hearer would conceive it to be said concerning the baptizer, rather than the baptized, partly on account of the Baptist’s own dignity, partly for all that hath been mentioned; the Spirit came in form of a dove, drawing the voice towards Jesus, and making it evident to all, that This was not spoken of John that baptized, but of Jesus who was baptized.

And how was it, one may say, that they did not believe, when these things came to pass? Because in the days of Moses also many wonderful works were done, albeit not such as these; and after all those, the voices, and the trumpets, and the lightnings, they both forged a calf, and “were joined unto Baal-peor.” And those very persons too, who were present at the time, and saw Lazarus arise, so far from believing in Him, who had wrought these things, repeatedly attempted even to slay Him. Now if seeing before their eyes one rise from the dead, they were so wicked, why marvel at their not receiving a voice wafted from above? Since when a soul is uncandid and perverse, and possessed by the disease of envy, it yields to none of these things; even as when it is candid it receives all with faith, and hath no great need of these.
Speak not therefore thus, “They believed not,” but rather inquire, “Did not all things take place which ought to have made them believe?” For by the prophet also God frames this kind of defense of His own ways in general. That is, the Jews being on the point of ruin, and of being given over to extreme punishment; lest any from their wickedness should calumniate His providence, He saith, “What ought I to have done to this vineyard, that I have not done?”

here likewise do thou reflect; “what ought to have been done, and was not done?” And indeed whensoever arguments arise on God’s Providence, do thou make use of this kind of defense, against those who from the wickedness of the many try to raise a prejudice against it. See, for instance, what astonishing things are done, preludes of those which were to come; for it is no more paradise, but Heaven that is opened.
But let our argument with the Jews stand over unto some other time; for the present, God working with us, we would direct our discourse to what is immediately before us.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf110.iii.XII.html
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« Reply #138 on: May 22, 2011, 04:15:00 PM »

How do we know that we cannot take this incident literally?  If we were to take it literally then we would have to say that the Holy Spirit is a bird.  Obviously the Holy Spirit is not a bird is it?
We are dealing with the language of revelation and spirit.  Jesus didn't since that day, walk around with a bird on his shoulder.  (As John says the spirit landed on him and stayed on him).
The passage doesn't say that the Holy Spirit is a dove, it says He descended on him like a dove.
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« Reply #139 on: May 22, 2011, 04:21:50 PM »

Luke 3:22 "and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in a bodily form like a dove."
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« Reply #140 on: May 22, 2011, 04:36:56 PM »

Luke 3:22 "and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in a bodily form like a dove."

Luke does reference a body.

22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove, upon him. And a voice came from heaven: You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.
22 et descendit Spiritus Sanctus corporali specie sicut columba in ipsum : et vox de cælo facta est : Tu es filius meus dilectus, in te complacui mihi.
22 καὶ καταβῆναι τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον σωματικῷ εἴδει ὡς περιστερὰν ἐπ' αὐτόν, καὶ φωνὴν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ γενέσθαι, σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα.

However, the method it is described, that is "the Holy Spirit itself descends as a dove", not "a dove lands like the Holy Spirit". As well as correlation with the other Gospels, would still point strongly to symbology of the dove, not the Spirit.

The dove brings meaning, in addition to it's shape. A dove was used in Genesis, and has long represented a messenger from God as well as a bringer of peace.

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« Reply #141 on: May 22, 2011, 05:58:32 PM »

"Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, 'What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?' They said to him, 'The son of David.' He said to them, 'How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

'The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet’?

'If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?' And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions."

-Gospel of Mark

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." -2 Corinthians

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." - Gospel of John

"There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord." -Book of Isaiah

"Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble;
He saved them out of their distresses.
He sent His Word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions." -Psalm 107
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« Reply #142 on: May 22, 2011, 06:31:11 PM »


I would say that Jesus's baptism does not prove the existence of three independent persons in the trinity.
When I read the texts, what I see is John reaches the fulfillment of his prophecy and his job in the revealing of prophecy.
He has found the Messiah.  He knows this because he sees (and maybe hears something, not all the gospel accounts record the voice) something happen as Jesus is baptized.

I see that you continue playing this game by maintaining your fallacy of RED HERRING. I cannot take your posts seriously and cannot have an academic debate with you as long as you stick to these logical fallacies, sorry.

Now, some accounts place Jesus outside the water and praying when this happens, and some place him in the water during his baptism.
Obviously one is true but both cannot be correct.

RED HERRING.

But if we assume that it did happen this way, in one place or the other, then we know that John got his signal from God that prophecy was fulfilled.  And he says he saw a dove descend and land on Jesus.  

RED HERRING.

How do we know that we cannot take this incident literally?  If we were to take it literally then we would have to say that the Holy Spirit is a bird.  Obviously the Holy Spirit is not a bird is it?

STRAW-MAN. You are reaching an illogical/faulty conclusion and trying to ascribe it to John the Baptist and the Evangelists.

We are dealing with the language of revelation and spirit.  Jesus didn't since that day, walk around with a bird on his shoulder.  (As John says the spirit landed on him and stayed on him).

According to your view, Jesus descended on Himself.  Cheesy

And that is why I do not take it as there being literally three "persons" present.  We are not dealing with a literal event.

Now you claim that people experienced an illusion? A funny illusion that wanted to convince people that Jesus declared Himself His own Son from heaven and then descended on Himself in the bodily form of a dove?  Cheesy

Nothing surprising when we remember that Sabellianism is based on the idea of illusion/deception.

When Jesus resurrected we were dealing with a literal event.  The baptism is not that kind of event.

You mean the baptism was part of a fable or myth? Maybe there is no Holy Spirit at all because this is the first incident through which the people could see the Spirit descend on Jesus. If that was not a literal event, maybe the Holy Spirit does not even actually exist.  Cheesy

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« Reply #143 on: May 23, 2011, 10:59:01 AM »

Psalm 110 is not talking about two Gods.  It is talking about God, and the human lord of someone.  For instance, a prophet could be called 'lord' and a wife can address her husband as me'lord.  It is referencing a person who has power over them.  So "The Lord says to my lord..
is God addressing the speaker's master. 

Matthew 22:41 Demonstrates how Jesus knows the scriptures better than his opponents and uses it against them.  He is speaking to who the Messiah will be.  Someone higher than David, otherwise David wouldn't address him as "my lord".
But it is more of a demonstration of Jesus's intellectual might over the pharisees.

How do you think Matthew 22 demonstrates the trinity?

And what are your thoughts about Jesus's baptism? 






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« Reply #144 on: May 23, 2011, 11:01:07 AM »

Psalm 110 is not talking about two Gods.
Of course not, but then no one is even bringing up multiple gods except for you. The Church doesn't teach that the Trinity means multiple gods.
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« Reply #145 on: May 23, 2011, 11:26:33 AM »


Father is God, Son is God, Holy Spirit is God
Father is not Son, Son is not Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit is not Father

One God revealed in three hypostases (persons).
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« Reply #146 on: May 23, 2011, 11:28:19 AM »

Psalm 110 is not talking about two Gods.  It is talking about God, and the human lord of someone.  For instance, a prophet could be called 'lord' and a wife can address her husband as me'lord.  It is referencing a person who has power over them.  So "The Lord says to my lord..
is God addressing the speaker's master. 

Matthew 22:41 Demonstrates how Jesus knows the scriptures better than his opponents and uses it against them.  He is speaking to who the Messiah will be.  Someone higher than David, otherwise David wouldn't address him as "my lord".
But it is more of a demonstration of Jesus's intellectual might over the pharisees.

How do you think Matthew 22 demonstrates the trinity?
so you really don't think the "my lord" in Matthew 22 is Jesus?
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« Reply #147 on: May 23, 2011, 02:57:21 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ


When I read the texts, what I see is John reaches the fulfillment of his prophecy and his job in the revealing of prophecy.
He has found the Messiah.  He knows this because he sees (and maybe hears something, not all the gospel accounts record the voice) something happen as Jesus is baptized.


Now see this my dear is entirely and fundamentally what is wrong with the Protestant "read the Bible for yourself" ethos, it is flawed.  My aunt and I were having a similar conversation in regards to "End of the World" folks who constantly misread the Bible to say the world is always seeming to end on this or that date or after such and such an event.  The problem is that they are all reading this Bible for themselves, and further what languages and translations are they reading? Do these translations convey the intended poetic and spiritual meanings of the original languages? See, this is one of the reasons the Church (be it Catholic or Orthodox) has always had problems with vernacular translations of the Bible, because it inherently can cause misunderstandings and things can honestly get lost in translation.  What language are you reading this Bible? What translation? Are you cross-referencing other translations and languages? That is entirely why the Church largely leaves the Bible for the experts, the clergy and the priests.  No, you don't have to be ordained to be a Biblical scholar, in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo tradition our most learned clerics are not ordained, they are literally clerks called "Debtera" however they are also Cantors in that they chant along in Vigils and Matins.  These scholars and scribes and of course many of the priests are dedicated to the Bible and they are more reliable sources to consult for your questions.  I do read the Bible frequently, but less and less I find myself reading it for facts or revelations so much as for a prayerful serenity and guided meditation.  

I have no trouble with you reading the Bible, however when you have misunderstandings you shouldn't parade them as the Gospel truth Wink

In Orthodox we have a very simple adage, ask your priest.  If persons do not have a relationship with a priest well enough to ask him about such matters, then those persons are hardly ready to begin to understand the depth and profundity of the Bible, these should be seeking a relationship with the priests and the Church first and foremost, and then from that Orthodox relationship a better understanding of the Bible will emerge. How could ones seek to do Trigonometry when they don't even have their basic arithmetic skills honed in? Further more,  God is not trapped in the Bible like the minotaur in the labyrinth for us to solve the puzzle and release Him, no, God exists on His own.  Seek God first, then read about Him later.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #148 on: May 25, 2011, 03:11:00 AM »


BTW, how do you account for all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism and His Transfiguration?

I would ask you, where do you get this information that "all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism"?
(Lets stick to the baptism for now).

The Father's voice coming from outside Jesus and the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus from outside of Him.
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« Reply #149 on: May 27, 2011, 11:29:33 AM »


so you really don't think the "my lord" in Matthew 22 is Jesus?


I know that Jesus won that debate with the Pharisees.

There is only one Lord or God in the Torah.  So when psalm 110 says "The Lord says to my lord,"
it is referring to a human who is doing God's will.  A priest or king perhaps, a righteous ruler.

However, why does Jesus refer to psalm 110? Was Jesus a warrior king who led people into battle?  Does he "shatter kings"?
Psalm 110 is not talking about Jesus as far as the description of this person in psalm 110 goes.  But Jesus refers to it.

Why?  I think he does because the Jews held their prophets in the highest estimation even though the one standing before them is greater than the prophets who have gone before.  They sortof have it backwards.  And he is using his logic to stop them in their tracks.
How can he be his son if he calls him lord?

I think he is using 110 for didactic purposes and not because he is saying that he is that priest/king in 110.  110 cannot be referring to Jesus.  God doesn't sit next to God.  Prophets who did the will of God were at God's right hand figuratively speaking.  And 110 is speaking of a ruler. 

That is my guess or the best I can come up with at this time.

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« Reply #150 on: May 27, 2011, 11:53:57 AM »


BTW, how do you account for all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism and His Transfiguration?

I would ask you, where do you get this information that "all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism"?
(Lets stick to the baptism for now).

The Father's voice coming from outside Jesus and the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus from outside of Him.

Yes, but are they present?  If they were present, then they would be perceived by everyone there.
God's voice is heard by John, and John sees a spirit descend, but this voice and this spirit are not real in the sense the river they are standing in is real.
So you could argue whether or not God's voice and the Holy Spirit were present in that way.

John may or may not have heard a voice.  But he did report seeing a spirit descend in all 4 gospels.  But only John sees this.
This tells me that it is meant for John to see alone.

Also, how is it John knows that the one who comes after him will baptize with the spirit?  Through his own revelation from God.  No one else knows that. How does John know anything at all? Where does he get his information from? Does he get it from dreams?  Perhaps from waking dreams or visions?  Does he get messages in a bottle?  (kidding).

No doubt, John gets his information in the form of visions.  And this vision is no different from his other visions.  How did he know Jesus was coming?  How did he know Jesus would baptize with the spirit?  From his visions no doubt.  But the thing about visions is that they are not necessarily literal.  They are more likely in a metaphor.  For instance, John says that he is not qualified to loose the sandle straps of the one who is coming?  Is that literally true? Are Jesus's sandles so strong that no one can untie them?  Is that a statement about Jesus's cobbler?

Of course not. 

To say that John's vision means there is a second person in the godhead is really stretching it in my opinion.  That would be to read too much into the text.

Another reason I don't think the spirit or dove literally landed on Jesus is because Jesus doesn't need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Just like he doesnt NEED to be baptized by John.  However, this was Johns way of knowing it was Jesus who baptizes with the spirit. 



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« Reply #151 on: May 27, 2011, 11:57:54 AM »



Now see this my dear is entirely and fundamentally what is wrong with the Protestant "read the Bible for yourself" ethos, it is flawed.  My aunt and I were having a similar conversation in regards to "End of the World" folks who constantly misread the Bible to say the world is always seeming to end on this or that date or after such and such an event.  The problem is that they are all reading this Bible for themselves, and further what languages and translations are they reading? Do these translations convey the intended poetic and spiritual meanings of the original languages? See, this is one of the reasons the Church (be it Catholic or Orthodox) has always had problems with vernacular translations of the Bible, because it inherently can cause misunderstandings and things can honestly get lost in translation.  What language are you reading this Bible? What translation? Are you cross-referencing other translations and languages? That is entirely why the Church largely leaves the Bible for the experts, the clergy and the priests.  No, you don't have to be ordained to be a Biblical scholar, in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo tradition our most learned clerics are not ordained, they are literally clerks called "Debtera" however they are also Cantors in that they chant along in Vigils and Matins.  These scholars and scribes and of course many of the priests are dedicated to the Bible and they are more reliable sources to consult for your questions.  I do read the Bible frequently, but less and less I find myself reading it for facts or revelations so much as for a prayerful serenity and guided meditation.  

I have no trouble with you reading the Bible, however when you have misunderstandings you shouldn't parade them as the Gospel truth Wink

In Orthodox we have a very simple adage, ask your priest.  If persons do not have a relationship with a priest well enough to ask him about such matters, then those persons are hardly ready to begin to understand the depth and profundity of the Bible, these should be seeking a relationship with the priests and the Church first and foremost, and then from that Orthodox relationship a better understanding of the Bible will emerge. How could ones seek to do Trigonometry when they don't even have their basic arithmetic skills honed in? Further more,  God is not trapped in the Bible like the minotaur in the labyrinth for us to solve the puzzle and release Him, no, God exists on His own.  Seek God first, then read about Him later.

stay blessed,
habte selassie


I am not a Protestant I am a Catholic. 
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« Reply #152 on: May 27, 2011, 11:59:36 AM »

^ you are anything but Catholic.
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« Reply #153 on: May 27, 2011, 12:10:27 PM »


BTW, how do you account for all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism and His Transfiguration?

I would ask you, where do you get this information that "all three hypostases being present simultaneously at Jesus' Baptism"?
(Lets stick to the baptism for now).

The Father's voice coming from outside Jesus and the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus from outside of Him.

Yes, but are they present?  If they were present, then they would be perceived by everyone there.
God's voice is heard by John, and John sees a spirit descend, but this voice and this spirit are not real in the sense the river they are standing in is real.
So you could argue whether or not God's voice and the Holy Spirit were present in that way.

John may or may not have heard a voice.  But he did report seeing a spirit descend in all 4 gospels.  But only John sees this.
This tells me that it is meant for John to see alone.

Also, how is it John knows that the one who comes after him will baptize with the spirit?  Through his own revelation from God.  No one else knows that. How does John know anything at all? Where does he get his information from? Does he get it from dreams?  Perhaps from waking dreams or visions?  Does he get messages in a bottle?  (kidding).

No doubt, John gets his information in the form of visions.  And this vision is no different from his other visions.  How did he know Jesus was coming?  How did he know Jesus would baptize with the spirit?  From his visions no doubt.  But the thing about visions is that they are not necessarily literal.  They are more likely in a metaphor.  For instance, John says that he is not qualified to loose the sandle straps of the one who is coming?  Is that literally true? Are Jesus's sandles so strong that no one can untie them?  Is that a statement about Jesus's cobbler?

Of course not. 

To say that John's vision means there is a second person in the godhead is really stretching it in my opinion.  That would be to read too much into the text.

Another reason I don't think the spirit or dove literally landed on Jesus is because Jesus doesn't need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Just like he doesnt NEED to be baptized by John.  However, this was Johns way of knowing it was Jesus who baptizes with the spirit. 

Homily XII.
Matt. III. 13.
Quote
2. “Then he suffereth Him. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.”

For inasmuch as many supposed that John was greater than He, because John had been brought up all his time in the wilderness, and was son of a chief priest, and was clothed with such raiment, and was calling all men unto his baptism, and had been born of a barren mother; while Jesus, first of all, was of a damsel of ordinary rank (for the virgin birth was not yet manifest to all); and besides, He had been brought up in an house, and held converse with all men, and wore this common raiment; they suspected Him to be less than John, knowing as yet nothing of those secret things;—and it fell out moreover that He was baptized of John, which thing added support to this surmise, even if none of those mentioned before had existed; for it would come into their mind that this man was one of the many (for were He not one of the many, He would not have come with the many to the baptism), but that John was greater than He and far more admirable:—in order therefore that this opinion might not prevail with the multitude, the very heavens are opened, when He is baptized, and the Spirit comes down, and a voice with the Spirit, proclaiming the dignity of the Only Begotten. For since the voice that said, “This is my beloved Son,” would seem to the multitude rather to belong to John, for It added not, “This that is baptized,” but simply This, and every hearer would conceive it to be said concerning the baptizer, rather than the baptized, partly on account of the Baptist’s own dignity, partly for all that hath been mentioned; the Spirit came in form of a dove, drawing the voice towards Jesus, and making it evident to all, that This was not spoken of John that baptized, but of Jesus who was baptized.

And how was it, one may say, that they did not believe, when these things came to pass? Because in the days of Moses also many wonderful works were done, albeit not such as these; and after all those, the voices, and the trumpets, and the lightnings, they both forged a calf, and “were joined unto Baal-peor.” And those very persons too, who were present at the time, and saw Lazarus arise, so far from believing in Him, who had wrought these things, repeatedly attempted even to slay Him. Now if seeing before their eyes one rise from the dead, they were so wicked, why marvel at their not receiving a voice wafted from above? Since when a soul is uncandid and perverse, and possessed by the disease of envy, it yields to none of these things; even as when it is candid it receives all with faith, and hath no great need of these.
Speak not therefore thus, “They believed not,” but rather inquire, “Did not all things take place which ought to have made them believe?” For by the prophet also God frames this kind of defense of His own ways in general. That is, the Jews being on the point of ruin, and of being given over to extreme punishment; lest any from their wickedness should calumniate His providence, He saith, “What ought I to have done to this vineyard, that I have not done?”

here likewise do thou reflect; “what ought to have been done, and was not done?” And indeed whensoever arguments arise on God’s Providence, do thou make use of this kind of defense, against those who from the wickedness of the many try to raise a prejudice against it. See, for instance, what astonishing things are done, preludes of those which were to come; for it is no more paradise, but Heaven that is opened.
But let our argument with the Jews stand over unto some other time; for the present, God working with us, we would direct our discourse to what is immediately before us.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf110.iii.XII.html

From someone who read the original Greek over 1,600 years ago, there wasn't an inkling of thought that the voice was heard by John only. In fact, the voice confirms to everyone else that Jesus greater than John the Baptist.
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« Reply #154 on: May 27, 2011, 12:11:05 PM »



Now see this my dear is entirely and fundamentally what is wrong with the Protestant "read the Bible for yourself" ethos, it is flawed.  My aunt and I were having a similar conversation in regards to "End of the World" folks who constantly misread the Bible to say the world is always seeming to end on this or that date or after such and such an event.  The problem is that they are all reading this Bible for themselves, and further what languages and translations are they reading? Do these translations convey the intended poetic and spiritual meanings of the original languages? See, this is one of the reasons the Church (be it Catholic or Orthodox) has always had problems with vernacular translations of the Bible, because it inherently can cause misunderstandings and things can honestly get lost in translation.  What language are you reading this Bible? What translation? Are you cross-referencing other translations and languages? That is entirely why the Church largely leaves the Bible for the experts, the clergy and the priests.  No, you don't have to be ordained to be a Biblical scholar, in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo tradition our most learned clerics are not ordained, they are literally clerks called "Debtera" however they are also Cantors in that they chant along in Vigils and Matins.  These scholars and scribes and of course many of the priests are dedicated to the Bible and they are more reliable sources to consult for your questions.  I do read the Bible frequently, but less and less I find myself reading it for facts or revelations so much as for a prayerful serenity and guided meditation.  

I have no trouble with you reading the Bible, however when you have misunderstandings you shouldn't parade them as the Gospel truth Wink

In Orthodox we have a very simple adage, ask your priest.  If persons do not have a relationship with a priest well enough to ask him about such matters, then those persons are hardly ready to begin to understand the depth and profundity of the Bible, these should be seeking a relationship with the priests and the Church first and foremost, and then from that Orthodox relationship a better understanding of the Bible will emerge. How could ones seek to do Trigonometry when they don't even have their basic arithmetic skills honed in? Further more,  God is not trapped in the Bible like the minotaur in the labyrinth for us to solve the puzzle and release Him, no, God exists on His own.  Seek God first, then read about Him later.

stay blessed,
habte selassie


I am not a Protestant I am a Catholic. 


Your faith is not Catholic.
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« Reply #155 on: May 27, 2011, 01:09:37 PM »


No doubt, John gets his information in the form of visions.  And this vision is no different from his other visions.  How did he know Jesus was coming?  How did he know Jesus would baptize with the spirit?  From his visions no doubt.  But the thing about visions is that they are not necessarily literal.  They are more likely in a metaphor.  For instance, John says that he is not qualified to loose the sandle straps of the one who is coming?  Is that literally true? Are Jesus's sandles so strong that no one can untie them?  Is that a statement about Jesus's cobbler?

Of course not. 


Zechariah had a vision in the temple and got from the angel appearing only to him the good news of John's birth. Likewise, Mary was informed of Jesus' birth through a vision. According to your weird and faulty interpretation, these visions were not literal; therefore, neither Zechariah had a son named John nor did Mary conceive and give birth to a son named Jesus! Your argument turns even the person of Jesus into a symbol or metaphor.  Grin
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« Reply #156 on: May 27, 2011, 01:15:52 PM »

I also wonder how you would interpret Jesus' following statement:

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you. (John 14:26)

 Roll Eyes
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« Reply #157 on: May 27, 2011, 01:48:41 PM »

However, why does Jesus refer to psalm 110? Was Jesus a warrior king who led people into battle?  Does he "shatter kings"?
Yes.

He shattered the dominion of the enemy and trampled down princes, He is the Lord mighty in war.

Psalm 110 is not talking about Jesus as far as the description of this person in psalm 110 goes.  But Jesus refers to it.
Then you disagree with every Father of the Church and every exegesis, mainstream protestant, Orthodox, Catholic, Church of the East, even gnostic, etc, for the first 1900 years of Christianity. Even Sabellius or Apollinarius would have surely said this person is Jesus.

There is only one Lord or God in the Torah.
Yep. And He exists eternally together with His Word and Spirit.
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« Reply #158 on: May 27, 2011, 03:15:45 PM »

^ you are anything but Catholic.

I was the first to admit that my views were "heretical".
But that doesn't change the fact that I am baptized and married and have received Catholic sacraments.

I was never a Protestant nor do I now claim to be one.

I already said I follow the line of thinking that they are manifestations of one God. Not three "persons" of a trinity.

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« Reply #159 on: May 27, 2011, 03:30:05 PM »


From someone who read the original Greek over 1,600 years ago, there wasn't an inkling of thought that the voice was heard by John only. In fact, the voice confirms to everyone else that Jesus greater than John the Baptist.

Is that right? 
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« Reply #160 on: May 27, 2011, 03:51:28 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I was the first to admit that my views were "heretical".
But that doesn't change the fact that I am baptized and married and have received Catholic sacraments.

I was never a Protestant nor do I now claim to be one.


Pardon me, but I never meant to insinuate that you were a Protestant. I was speaking about the Protestant ethos of "read the Bible for yourself" which is not strictly Protestant, but did originate from the Protestant traditions.

I agree fully that the Bible should be read by the laity, often and frequently, however with a kind reverence and reservation of judgment.  Those of us in the Apostolic Church (Catholic or Orthodox) should venerate the Bible but not read it as a spiritual fact book, or a "Where's Waldo" approach to the Divine.  It is not a puzzle to be solved with the mind, it is a meta-narrative of God's interaction with a particular family and genealogy to be experienced with the heart

The Apostolic Tradition has taught us time and time again to read the Bible carefully under the guidance of both our current spiritual fathers as well as the Patristic Fathers and the light of the Holy Tradition.  The Bible as it sits on the shelf is incomplete, it is a half, the other half is the Holy Tradition of the Church, and both the Bible and the Holy Tradition absolutely must be interpreted and experienced cooperatively, integrally, united.  So if you are interpreting ideas from the Bible which are not in line with the experience of the Church across several layers and times, then perhaps you may need to read it again Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #161 on: May 27, 2011, 04:29:10 PM »


From someone who read the original Greek over 1,600 years ago, there wasn't an inkling of thought that the voice was heard by John only. In fact, the voice confirms to everyone else that Jesus greater than John the Baptist.

Is that right? 

Is that wrong? I quoted it twice. Look up St John Chrysostom, if you are unfamiliar with him.
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« Reply #162 on: May 27, 2011, 04:47:47 PM »

I was the first to admit that my views were "heretical".
But that doesn't change the fact that I am baptized and married and have received Catholic sacraments.
Are you still receiving the Eucharist?
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« Reply #163 on: May 27, 2011, 05:34:13 PM »


From someone who read the original Greek over 1,600 years ago, there wasn't an inkling of thought that the voice was heard by John only. In fact, the voice confirms to everyone else that Jesus greater than John the Baptist.

Is that right? 

Is that wrong? I quoted it twice. Look up St John Chrysostom, if you are unfamiliar with him.

Ok. I'm very confused by that quote from St. John Chrysostom. I admit I have NO IDEA what he is talking about.
I'll pick the first English translation on Biblos but please go to Bibos or another site to compare translations.

John 1:29-42
Jesus the Lamb of God

29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”

Jesus’ First Disciples

35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?”

39“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.

40Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peterj). 


Now ask yourself, if everyone knew who Jesus was AT HIS BAPTISM, then why don't they know it the following day, and the day after that, except that John TELLS them?

Notice also there is no voice recorded in this gospel.

Matthew 3:13-17

The Baptism of Jesus

13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

This is interesting because in this gospel John recognizes Jesus BEFORE baptizing him.  In contrast to the other three gospels.

Mark 1:9-11
The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus

9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

12At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Notice it is always "he" saw, not "they".  And notice that Jesus departs straight for the wilderness.

Luke 3:21-22

The Baptism and Genealogy of Jesus

21When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Please notice that this time it happens when Jesus is praying, not during his baptism. 

Do any of the gospels testify to the fact that people were alerted to Jesus's status as the Messiah at his baptism?
Or do they say that John was cognizant of it?  And then John told others.
Lets assume that the gospel of John has it wrong.  And lets even assume for one crazy second that the gospels that say "he saw" are wrong and mistranslated from "they saw".  Now even in that situation, we still don't see anyone chasing after Jesus following his baptism.  Don't you think that if they found out Jesus was the Messiah at his baptism they would have gathered around him and started to follow him and ask him questions?
But according to three gospels he goes out into the wilderness harassed by no one.  In John's gospel he starts his ministry after his baptism when John announces him.

So tell me how it is that you arrive at the conclusion that this event at his baptism was experienced by all those present and not just experienced by John?



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« Reply #164 on: May 27, 2011, 06:04:15 PM »

Some of the bolder items, I believe are irrelevant to your point, but instead of arguing over English grammatics of translated Koine Greek, I'll put St. john's words into better English.

He starts with the context of the story. There are many people who are being baptized by St. John in the waters of the Jordan. St. John was a well known prophet, and people revered him as such for his great wisdom. Many people even believed St. John to be the possible Messiah. He was certainly of God, why not! But John has been saying No, I am not the Messiah!  (Luke 3:15-17)

The comes Jesus. There has been word that He is a holy man, as well, but certainly not holier than the prophet John! When Jesus comes to John to be baptized, John doesn't think himself worthy enough; He already knows who Jesus is(Matthew 3:14). When Jesus is baptized, the other hypostases of God show themselves proclaiming His Divinity. S

St John Chrysostom is saying, the voice and dove weren't for John the Baptist, but for everyone else. John already knew, he was a prophet, but now everyone else realizes who the Messiah truly is.
Quote
For since the voice that said, “This is my beloved Son,” would seem to the multitude rather to belong to John, for It added not, “This that is baptized,” but simply This, and every hearer would conceive it to be said concerning the baptizer, rather than the baptized, partly on account of the Baptist’s own dignity, partly for all that hath been mentioned; the Spirit came in form of a dove, drawing the voice towards Jesus, and making it evident to all, that This was not spoken of John that baptized, but of Jesus who was baptized.

Does this read any differently?
Quote
Matthew 3:

11 I indeed baptize you in water unto penance, but he that shall come after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and fire. 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his floor and gather his wheat into the barn; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

13 Then comes Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by you, and you come to me? 15 And Jesus answering, said to him: Allow it to be so now. For so it becomes us to fulfil all justice. Then he allowed him. 16 And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him. 17 And behold a voice from heaven saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
http://newadvent.org/bible/mat003.htm
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« Reply #165 on: May 27, 2011, 06:12:33 PM »

From a Catholic apologist. RC doctrinal apology is typically too scholastic (over thought) for Orthodox, but perhaps it will help clarify the mindset.

From the book 'Theology and Sanity' by Frank Sheed
Quote
(ii) "Person" and "Nature"

Let us come now to a consideration of the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity to see what light there is in it for us, being utterly confident that had there been no light for us, God would not have revealed it to us. There would be a rather horrible note of mockery in telling us something of which we can make nothing. The doctrine may be set out in four statements:

In the one divine Nature, there are three Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is not the Father: no one of the Persons is either of the others.

The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God.

There are not three Gods but one God.

We have seen that the imagination cannot help here. Comparisons drawn from the material universe are a hindrance and no help. Once one has taken hold of this doctrine, it is natural enough to want to utter it in simile and metaphor - like the lovely lumen de lumine, light from light, with which the Nicene Creed phrases the relation of the Son to the Father. But this is for afterward, poetical statement of a truth known, not the way to its knowledge. For that, the intellect must go on alone. And for the intellect, the way into the mystery lies, as we have already suggested, in the meaning of the words "person" and "nature". There is no question of arithmetic involved. We are not saying three persons in one person, or three natures in one nature; we are saying three persons in one nature. There is not even the appearance of an arithmetical problem. It is for us to see what person is and what nature is, and then to consider what meaning there can be in a nature totally possessed by three distinct persons.

The newcomer to this sort of thinking must be prepared to work hard here. It is a decisive stage of our advance into theology to get some grasp of the meaning of nature and the meaning of person. Fortunately the first stage of our search goes easily enough. We begin with ourselves. Such a phrase as "my nature" suggests that there is a person, I, who possesses a nature. The person could not exist without his nature, but there is some distinction all the same; for it is the person who possesses the nature and not the other way round.

One distinction we see instantly. Nature answers the question what we are; person answers the question who we are. Every being has a nature; of every being we may properly ask, What is it? But not every being is a person: only rational beings are persons. We could not properly ask of a stone or a potato or an oyster, Who is it?

By our nature, then, we are what we are. It follows that by our nature we do what we do: for every being acts according to what it is. Applying this to ourselves, we come upon another distinction between person and nature. We find that there are many things, countless things, we can do. We can laugh and cry and walk and talk and sleep and think and love. All these and other things we can do because as human beings we have a nature which makes them possible. A snake could do only one of them - sleep. A stone could do none of them. Nature, then, is to be seen not only as what we are but as the source of what we can do.
Quote
Returning to the point at which this digression started: we must not say three separate persons, but three distinct persons, because although they are distinct - that is to say, no one of them is either of the others - yet they cannot be separated, for each is what he is by the total possession of the one same nature: apart from that one same nature, no one of the three persons could exist at all. And we must not use any phrase which suggests that the three persons share the Divine Nature. For we have seen that in the Infinite there is utter simplicity, there are no parts, therefore no possibility of sharing. The infinite Divine Nature can be possessed only in its totality. In the words of the Fourth Council of the Lateran, "There are three persons indeed, but one utterly simple substance, essence, or nature."
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« Reply #166 on: May 27, 2011, 06:36:00 PM »

I was the first to admit that my views were "heretical".
But that doesn't change the fact that I am baptized and married and have received Catholic sacraments.
Are you still receiving the Eucharist?
?
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« Reply #167 on: May 27, 2011, 06:42:03 PM »

For an Orthodox description of the Trinity, Fr. John Meyendorf's book 'Byzantine Theology' may offer some value.

Quote
Unity and Trinity.

The Cappadocian Fathers adopts the formulation which would remain the criterion of Orthodox Trinitarian theology in the East: God is one essence in three hypostases. This Cappadocian settlement given the circumstances of the fourth century never pretended to be anything more than the best possible description of the divine mystery, not the solution of a philosophical process similar to the Plotinian "Trinity of hypostases." The Fathers always affirms that we cannot know what God is; only that He is because He has revealed Himself — in salvation history — as Father, Son, and Spirit. God is Trinity, "and this fact can be deduced from no principle nor explained by any sufficient reason, for there are neither principles nor causes anterior to the Trinity."8

Why then are this description and this terminology preferable to others? Mainly, it is because all the options then available seemed inadequate from the start. The formula "one essence, three prosopa," for example, was not able to exclude a modalistic Trinity since the term prosopon although commonly used to designate "person" could also mean "mask" or "appearance." The Cappadocian Fathers meanwhile have wanted to affirm simultaneously that God is one object and three objects, that both His unity and His trinity are full realities. "When I speak of God," writes Gregory of Nazianzus, "you must be illumined at once by one flash of light and by three. Three in properties, in hypostases or Persons, if anyone prefers so to call them, for we would not quarrel about names so long as the syllables amount to the same meaning; but one in respect of the ousia, that is, the Godhead."9

There is no claim here for philosophical consistency although an effort is made to use current philosophical terms. The ultimate meaning of the terms however is clearly different from their meaning in Greek philosophy, and their inadequacy is frankly recognized.

This is particularly true of hypostasis, a term crucial in Trinitarian theology, and in Christology. Neither in Aristotelianism nor in Neo-Platonism was the term intended to designate a person in the Christian (and modern) sense, an agent, "possessing" his own nature and "acting" accordingly, a unique subject whose absolute identity can in no way be duplicated. Against the "old Nicaeans," the Cappadocian Fathers wanted to emphasize that the Nicaean homoousion ("consubstantial") did not identify the Son with the Father on the personal level but only on the level of the ousia. "Neither is the Son Father, for the Father is one, but He is what the Father is; nor is the Spirit Son because He is of God, for the Only-begotten is one, but He is what the Son is."10 Thus, in God, the "what" is one, but the three hypostases are personal identities irreducible to each other in their personal being. They "possess divinity,"11 and divinity is "in them."12

One recognizes the hypostatic character [of the Spirit] in that He is revealed after the Son and with the Son, and in that He receives His subsistence from the Father. And the Son, in Himself and with Himself revealing the Spirit, who proceeds from the Father, shines alone with the un-begotten light and has nothing in common with the Father and the Spirit in the identity of His particularities, but is revealed alone in the characters proper to His hypostasis. And the Father possesses the particular hypostatic character of being the Father and of being independent from all causality...13

The same personalistic emphasis appears in the Greek Fathers’ insistence on the "monarchy" of the Father. Contrary to the concept which prevails in the post-Augustinian West and in Latin Scholasticism, Greek theology attributes the origin of hypostatic ‘‘subsistence" to the hypostasis of the Father — not to the common essence. The Father is the "cause" (aitia) and the "principle" (archē) of the divine nature, which is in the Son and in the Spirit. What is even more striking is the fact that this "monarchy" of the Father is constantly used by the Cappadocian Fathers against those who accuse them of "tritheism": "God is one," writes Basil, "because the Father is one."14 And the same thought is found in Gregory of Nazianzus: "God is the common nature of the three, but the Father is their union [henōsis]."15 Pseudo-Dionysius also speaks of the Father as the "source of Divinity,"16 and John of Damascus in his Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith also affirms the essential dependence of the Son and the Spirit upon the Person of the Father:

Whatsoever the Son has from the Father, the Spirit also has, including His very being. And if the Father does not exist, then neither does the Son and the Spirit; and if the Father does not have something, then neither has the Son or the Spirit. Furthermore, because of the Father, that is because of the fact that the Father is, the Son and the Spirit are; and because of the Father, the Son and the Spirit have everything that they have.17

By accepting Nicaea, the Cappadocian Fathers eliminated the ontological subordinationism of Origen and Arius, but they preserved indeed together with their understanding of hypostatic life, a Biblical and Orthodox subordinationism, maintaining the personal identity of the Father as the ultimate origin of all divine being and action: "The three [are] one God when contemplated together; each [is] God because [they are] consubstantial; the three [are] one God because of the monarchy [of the Father]."18 Developing his well-known doctrine of the divine image in man, Gregory of Nyssa defines one aspect of human personal existence which is clearly different from that of God: each human person possesses the power of reproducing himself while in God there is only "one and the same Person of the Father from whom the Son is born and the Spirit proceeds."19 Thus, the human race is in a constant process of fragmentation, and can recover its unity only through adoption by the Father in Christ — i.e., by becoming children of the one single hypostasis which generates without fragmenting or multiplying. The origin of unity in the Trinity, the Father restores the unity of creation by adopting humanity in His Son, the New Adam, in whom humanity is "recapitulated" through the activity of the Spirit.
http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/byzantine_theology_j_meyendorf.htm#_Toc26430278

A large portion of this book is online. Please go to that link or here to read more, as it was only a snippet.
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« Reply #168 on: May 27, 2011, 07:29:59 PM »

So tell me how it is that you arrive at the conclusion that this event at his baptism was experienced by all those present and not just experienced by John?
Lk 3:21: "Now when all the people were baptized [ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν] Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened..."

Acts 1:21: "Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."

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« Reply #169 on: May 27, 2011, 08:20:55 PM »

John 10:17: "For this reason the Father loves Me..."

Not "the Son is the Father," but the Son is loved by the Father.

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« Reply #170 on: May 27, 2011, 08:36:46 PM »

John 10:17: "For this reason the Father loves Me..."

Not "the Son is the Father," but the Son is loved by the Father.


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« Reply #171 on: May 27, 2011, 08:42:19 PM »

^ you are anything but Catholic.

I was the first to admit that my views were "heretical".
But that doesn't change the fact that I am baptized and married and have received Catholic sacraments.

I was never a Protestant nor do I now claim to be one.

I already said I follow the line of thinking that they are manifestations of one God. Not three "persons" of a trinity.


Which is precisely why you are not Catholic. Once you cease to profess the Catholic faith, and adhere to man-made teachings, then you are no longer a Catholic. Face it. You are picking and choosing what to believe and what not to believe, rather than humbly submitting to Christ's Church. That makes you a protestant.
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« Reply #172 on: May 27, 2011, 11:50:44 PM »

^ you are anything but Catholic.

I was the first to admit that my views were "heretical".
But that doesn't change the fact that I am baptized and married and have received Catholic sacraments.

I was never a Protestant nor do I now claim to be one.

I already said I follow the line of thinking that they are manifestations of one God. Not three "persons" of a trinity.


Which is precisely why you are not Catholic. Once you cease to profess the Catholic faith, and adhere to man-made teachings, then you are no longer a Catholic. Face it. You are picking and choosing what to believe and what not to believe, rather than humbly submitting to Christ's Church. That makes you a protestant.
And not even a good Protestant because the vast majority of them still profess belief in the Holy Trinity.
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« Reply #173 on: May 28, 2011, 11:01:56 AM »

Some of the bolder items, I believe are irrelevant to your point, but instead of arguing over English grammatics of translated Koine Greek, I'll put St. john's words into better English.

He starts with the context of the story. There are many people who are being baptized by St. John in the waters of the Jordan. St. John was a well known prophet, and people revered him as such for his great wisdom. Many people even believed St. John to be the possible Messiah. He was certainly of God, why not! But John has been saying No, I am not the Messiah!  (Luke 3:15-17)

The comes Jesus. There has been word that He is a holy man, as well, but certainly not holier than the prophet John! When Jesus comes to John to be baptized, John doesn't think himself worthy enough; He already knows who Jesus is(Matthew 3:14). When Jesus is baptized, the other hypostases of God show themselves proclaiming His Divinity. S

St John Chrysostom is saying, the voice and dove weren't for John the Baptist, but for everyone else. John already knew, he was a prophet, but now everyone else realizes who the Messiah truly is.
Quote
For since the voice that said, “This is my beloved Son,” would seem to the multitude rather to belong to John, for It added not, “This that is baptized,” but simply This, and every hearer would conceive it to be said concerning the baptizer, rather than the baptized, partly on account of the Baptist’s own dignity, partly for all that hath been mentioned; the Spirit came in form of a dove, drawing the voice towards Jesus, and making it evident to all, that This was not spoken of John that baptized, but of Jesus who was baptized.

Does this read any differently?
Quote
Matthew 3:

11 I indeed baptize you in water unto penance, but he that shall come after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and fire. 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his floor and gather his wheat into the barn; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

13 Then comes Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John stayed him, saying: I ought to be baptized by you, and you come to me? 15 And Jesus answering, said to him: Allow it to be so now. For so it becomes us to fulfil all justice. Then he allowed him. 16 And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him. 17 And behold a voice from heaven saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
http://newadvent.org/bible/mat003.htm

I appreciate your answer.  But Matthew's gospel still says "he saw".

Chrysostom is telling us that everyone saw it, but the gospels don't say that.  How are we as readers of the gospels to assume that everyone saw this when the gospels say "he saw"?  And we have a narrative that has Jesus departing the baptism scene alone and unaddressed.

And you are relying on Matthew's gospel but you must realize that John's gospel contradicts it.  John's gospel says the exact opposite -
John 1:33
I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'

So how does John know Jesus is the Messiah BEFORE he baptizes him and sees the Spirit descend? 

Matthew 3:13-14
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"

Do you see the problem here?





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« Reply #174 on: May 28, 2011, 11:36:16 AM »

I appreciate your answer.  But Matthew's gospel still says "he saw".

Chrysostom is telling us that everyone saw it, but the gospels don't say that.  How are we as readers of the gospels to assume that everyone saw this when the gospels say "he saw"?  And we have a narrative that has Jesus departing the baptism scene alone and unaddressed.

And you are relying on Matthew's gospel but you must realize that John's gospel contradicts it.  John's gospel says the exact opposite -
John 1:33
I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'

So how does John know Jesus is the Messiah BEFORE he baptizes him and sees the Spirit descend? 

Matthew 3:13-14
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"

Do you see the problem here?
Reading Scripture is pointless if you don't interpret it with the mind and heart of the Church.
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« Reply #175 on: May 28, 2011, 11:42:22 AM »

John 1:
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29 The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him; and he says: Behold the Lamb of God. Behold him who takes away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said: After me there comes a man, who is preferred before me: because he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he may be made manifest in Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John gave testimony, saying: I saw the Spirit coming down, as a dove from heaven; and he remained upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me: He upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending and remaining upon him, he it is that baptizes with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw: and I gave testimony that this is the Son of God.

I don't think it's saying what you think. I think it's saying he did not know the man (Jesus), but he knew who he IS, and the the baptism was confirmation.

If you are not convinced, this is not the only place in the Bible we have presented as contradicting your desired position. Either way, we are still presented with the problem of Sola Scriptura. I don't just trust in my amateur abilities alone to interpret the Bible, choosing which scripture to trust over another. I trust the Church Fathers and the Tradition of the Church of which the Bible is only a part. We are told in the Bible to hold tight to our Traditions. Catholic doesn't mean universal in Greek, it means 'according to the whole', because our faith is verified through the consensus of all the saints and faithful.

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« Reply #176 on: May 28, 2011, 11:52:27 AM »

So tell me how it is that you arrive at the conclusion that this event at his baptism was experienced by all those present and not just experienced by John?
Lk 3:21: "Now when all the people were baptized [ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν] Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened..."

Acts 1:21: "Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."



Luke's gospel in contrast to the others, doesn't say who the witness is.  It is silent.  

And as far as Acts 1:21 goes, it is interesting.  Why do you think it is important for them to pick someone who is there from that point forward?
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« Reply #177 on: May 28, 2011, 12:06:42 PM »

Why do you think it reasonable to ignore the constant witness of the Christian Church against Sabellianism?

You are free to become and be a Sabellian, but by doing so you cease to be a Christian.

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« Reply #178 on: June 02, 2011, 01:26:00 PM »

Why do you think it reasonable to ignore the constant witness of the Christian Church against Sabellianism?

You are free to become and be a Sabellian, but by doing so you cease to be a Christian.



In the early church there were many who baptized in the name of Jesus alone and they were not necessarily considered non-Christians.  It wasn't until the 400's I believe when it was declared heretical to baptize in the name of Jesus only.
Obviously in the middle ages men were wrongly burned at the stake for rejecting the trinity.

I think that a Christian is someone who follows Christ.  And if I have a stricter definition of who Jesus is than you, I considering the 3 to be a matter of perception, and you considering the 3 to be a matter of essence, does that make me a non Christian?

"During the development of trinitarian theology, it was often proposed that the Christian God had three "faces" or "masks" (Grk. prosopa). The questions thus arose, is this threeness a matter of essence or perception? Where the three "persons" of the Godhead permanent distinctions, or modes of God's activity?" http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Sabellianism

Maybe you are the non-Christian for believing in three persons (trintiy)?  Instead of emphasizing the oneness of God?

It seems to me that there is more than one possible interpretation.  Perhaps this is hinted at in the vehemence towards the "judaizers"?  Obviously the early community was very diverse.  And the church can excommunicate until the cows come home, and burn every text that differs from orthodoxy but at the end of the day history will determine if that is a prudent move.

And I am open to discussing these views.

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« Reply #179 on: June 02, 2011, 01:44:34 PM »

That's just a red herring. The early church accepted baptism in the name of Jesus.

I asked about Sabellianism. This has always been rejected. On what authority do you believe that you alone are correct?
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« Reply #180 on: June 03, 2011, 12:12:49 PM »

I considering the 3 to be a matter of perception, and you considering the 3 to be a matter of essence
No, you consider the 3 to be a matter of perception, we consider the 3 to be a matter of persons. Tri-theists like Mormons consider the 3 to be a matter of essence.

In the early church there were many who baptized in the name of Jesus alone and they were not necessarily considered non-Christians.  It wasn't until the 400's I believe when it was declared heretical to baptize in the name of Jesus only.
Your second point is not true, and your first point is debatable, because many believe the Book of Acts' reference to baptism "in the name of Jesus" for the reception of the Holy Spirit was a completion of John's baptism which was in the name of the Father.

"During the development of trinitarian theology, it was often proposed that the Christian God had three "faces" or "masks" (Grk. prosopa). The questions thus arose, is this threeness a matter of essence or perception? Where the three "persons" of the Godhead permanent distinctions, or modes of God's activity?" http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Sabellianism
Jehovah's Witness private wiki propaganda isn't a very good argument.

Obviously in the middle ages men were wrongly burned at the stake for rejecting the trinity.

It seems to me that there is more than one possible interpretation.  Perhaps this is hinted at in the vehemence towards the "judaizers"?  Obviously the early community was very diverse.  And the church can excommunicate until the cows come home, and burn every text that differs from orthodoxy but at the end of the day history will determine if that is a prudent move.

And I am open to discussing these views.


You should probably read the primary sources for yourself instead of trusting random blogs and pop church history.
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« Reply #181 on: June 03, 2011, 06:40:23 PM »

this event at his baptism was experienced by all those present and not just experienced by John?
Lk 3:21: "Now when all the people were baptized [ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν] Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened..."

Acts 1:21: "Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."



Luke's gospel doesn't say who the witness is. It is silent.  
The passages both suggest there were multiple witnesses of Jesus' baptism. You can, of course, take or leave the testimonies in Luke and Acts as you have earlier with the Gospels of John and Mark, but that's what Luke and Acts present.
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« Reply #182 on: June 04, 2011, 05:42:18 AM »

I have not been able to read through the entirety of the last 4-5 pages since the posting of my own response on page one, but I notice generally that discussion on the subject of the Incarnation and Holy Trinity has devolved into matters of logical coherence, scriptural authenticity and historical credibility. I say 'devolved' not because such discussion is necessarily wrong, unedifying or useless, but rather because it seems to have relegated the matter raised by mabsoota's post, which, as far as we Orthodox are concerned, is of paramount importance: the soteriological underpinnings of Incarnational theology. From the Orthodox perspective, authentic Christology is first and foremost a saving Christology rather than a logical Christology; it is the latter too, but only incidentally so.

In a relatively old yet classical work exploring inter alia the Holy Fathers' Christological methodology, Fr. Gerald O'Collins states:

Right from the outset the driving force behind theological inquiry and official teaching about Jesus was clearly the experience of salvation…The overriding concern for salvation and their experience of it led Christians to maintain that two basic conditions make it possible for Jesus to do this for them: he must be truly human and truly divine to function as their effective Saviour…without the incarnation of the Son of God, divine redemption would be impossible. Yet without a genuine incarnation, the battle against the diabolic forces of evil would not be won from the inside. [Christology (Oxford University Press: 1995), 154-5]
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« Reply #183 on: June 10, 2011, 10:39:00 PM »

Dear Leisa,

I just want to make clear that my above post was not intended to quell the discussion at hand but rather to re-direct it from the seemingly tiresome and fruitless path it appears to have taken.

I guess the very basic question to you implicitly suggested by my above post is: how does your docetic Christology inform your understanding of salvation? You claim that it makes no sense for God to have become man in reality; rather than attempt to convince you otherwise, my suggestion to you is that the idea of Christ saving us through His coming, life, death, resurrection and ascension, makes no sense unless He truly became man. I am of the belief that once you are able to appreciate this reality you may then be more open-minded to accepting the paradox of the Incarnation.
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« Reply #184 on: June 13, 2011, 11:30:26 AM »

Dear Leisa,

I just want to make clear that my above post was not intended to quell the discussion at hand but rather to re-direct it from the seemingly tiresome and fruitless path it appears to have taken.

I guess the very basic question to you implicitly suggested by my above post is: how does your docetic Christology inform your understanding of salvation? You claim that it makes no sense for God to have become man in reality; rather than attempt to convince you otherwise, my suggestion to you is that the idea of Christ saving us through His coming, life, death, resurrection and ascension, makes no sense unless He truly became man. I am of the belief that once you are able to appreciate this reality you may then be more open-minded to accepting the paradox of the Incarnation.

I never said that I believed in docetism.  I'm not sure how you got that impression?  Would you quote me? 
 

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« Reply #185 on: June 13, 2011, 11:32:36 AM »

That's just a red herring. The early church accepted baptism in the name of Jesus.

I asked about Sabellianism. This has always been rejected. On what authority do you believe that you alone are correct?

No, it was not "always" rejected.  Let's recall what council defined the trinity. 
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« Reply #186 on: June 13, 2011, 11:35:13 AM »

Can you tell us when Sabellianism was ever accepted?
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« Reply #187 on: June 13, 2011, 12:04:50 PM »

this event at his baptism was experienced by all those present and not just experienced by John?
Lk 3:21: "Now when all the people were baptized [ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν] Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened..."

Acts 1:21: "Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John's baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection."



Luke's gospel doesn't say who the witness is. It is silent.  
The passages both suggest there were multiple witnesses of Jesus' baptism. You can, of course, take or leave the testimonies in Luke and Acts as you have earlier with the Gospels of John and Mark, but that's what Luke and Acts present.


Does Acts 1:21-22 say that many people at Jesus's baptism saw the clouds part and a dove descend on Jesus?

Does Luke report who witnesses the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus?









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« Reply #188 on: June 13, 2011, 12:29:08 PM »

Can you tell us when Sabellianism was ever accepted?


http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Sabellius



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« Reply #189 on: June 13, 2011, 01:15:39 PM »

That's a really bad source, Leisa.
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« Reply #190 on: June 13, 2011, 03:04:34 PM »

I've read elsewhere that Pope Callistus tolerated Sabellianism.  However, his position was attacked by other bishops in Rome, Alexandria, and elsewhere.  Although it was held for a while in certain isolated circles, Sabellianism in the end was condemned by the universal Church.  It was never embraced by the Church as a whole.  It was never accepted or vindicated by any council of bishops.  Like other heresies that raised their heads for a while, Sabeliianism did not survive as a legitimate Christian doctrine.
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« Reply #191 on: June 15, 2011, 09:14:56 PM »

I never said that I believed in docetism.  I'm not sure how you got that impression?  Would you quote me?

In your first few posts you speak of Christ merely appearing to be human but not becoming so in actuality. This reeks of Docetism. Unless you nevertheless regard the humanity of Christ to have been very real albeit foreign to His being and thus never actually appropriated by or united to His Person, in which case your Christology is more akin to the heresy of Adoptionism. Regardless, the principle of your Christology that is relevant to the issues and questions I've raised is that you deny the doctrine of the hypostatic union—the doctrine that is central to a proper understanding of Christ's redemptive mission.

The point I'm trying to emphasise is not simply that your doctrines are senseless, but, and more importantly, they are lifeless. They are neither based on a genuine experience of salvation nor will they ever lead you to such.
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« Reply #192 on: June 16, 2011, 11:01:28 AM »

I haven't kept up with the converstation as of lately (I really needed a break from OC.net). That being said, doesn't this passage from the Gospel of John provide a defnitive bibilical refutation of Sabellianism?

 "31If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

 32There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

 33Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.

 34But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.

 35He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

 36But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

 37And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

 38And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not." - John 5:31-38

Clearly the Father and the Son are presented as two distinct persons in this passage.

Further, there is clear biblical evidence that the Holy Spirit and God the Son are two distinct persons:

"16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. " -John 14 16-17

Here the Holy Spirit is not presented as the same comforter as Jesus, but another or distinct comforter.



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« Reply #193 on: June 16, 2011, 01:23:02 PM »

I haven't kept up with the converstation as of lately (I really needed a break from OC.net). That being said, doesn't this passage from the Gospel of John provide a defnitive bibilical refutation of Sabellianism?

Her mental gymnastics are to deny one Gospel and to allow the twist of another.

No known modalists before 190AD!  I would argue that there were no trinitarians in the first community because all of the disciples were Jews!

You and Minasoliman and Azurestone have all quoted from the gospel of John, the last gospel written.
I agree with you that the gospel of John makes some clear departures from the earlier gospels and I won't argue with you there.
I would be the last person to try and harmonize the gospel of Mark with the gospel of John.
If you prefer the gospel of John then that is fine and we will have a difficult time marrying some of the passages in John with the earliest gospel. Clearly I lean on the gospel of Mark.  And I am not a theologian and I won't even make an attempt to reconcile certain passages. I doubt it can even be done to be honest.  I think there are different voices and they are and will remain distinct.

She appears to think that the Gospel of John is less of the Truth because it is believed to have been written down 20-30 years after Mark. But mostly, because it refutes her theories.
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« Reply #194 on: June 16, 2011, 01:49:50 PM »

I haven't kept up with the converstation as of lately (I really needed a break from OC.net). That being said, doesn't this passage from the Gospel of John provide a defnitive bibilical refutation of Sabellianism?

Her mental gymnastics are to deny one Gospel and to allow the twist of another.

No known modalists before 190AD!  I would argue that there were no trinitarians in the first community because all of the disciples were Jews!

You and Minasoliman and Azurestone have all quoted from the gospel of John, the last gospel written.
I agree with you that the gospel of John makes some clear departures from the earlier gospels and I won't argue with you there.
I would be the last person to try and harmonize the gospel of Mark with the gospel of John.
If you prefer the gospel of John then that is fine and we will have a difficult time marrying some of the passages in John with the earliest gospel. Clearly I lean on the gospel of Mark.  And I am not a theologian and I won't even make an attempt to reconcile certain passages. I doubt it can even be done to be honest.  I think there are different voices and they are and will remain distinct.

She appears to think that the Gospel of John is less of the Truth because it is believed to have been written down 20-30 years after Mark. But mostly, because it refutes her theories.
Thanks for catching me up to speed. So now, not only is she in business of picking and choosing which Church teachings to believe, but also in the business of deciding the canon of the scriptures for herself. Interesting.
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« Reply #195 on: June 25, 2011, 12:50:32 PM »

I never said that I believed in docetism.  I'm not sure how you got that impression?  Would you quote me?

In your first few posts you speak of Christ merely appearing to be human but not becoming so in actuality. This reeks of Docetism. Unless you nevertheless regard the humanity of Christ to have been very real albeit foreign to His being and thus never actually appropriated by or united to His Person, in which case your Christology is more akin to the heresy of Adoptionism. Regardless, the principle of your Christology that is relevant to the issues and questions I've raised is that you deny the doctrine of the hypostatic union—the doctrine that is central to a proper understanding of Christ's redemptive mission.

The point I'm trying to emphasise is not simply that your doctrines are senseless, but, and more importantly, they are lifeless. They are neither based on a genuine experience of salvation nor will they ever lead you to such.

I sympathize with Sabellians and modalists who hold that Jesus is the same as the Father, ie: God.
 
"These in turn split into two principal groups - the Adoptianists and the Modalists - the former holding Christ to be the man chosen of God, on whom the Holy Spirit rested in a quite unique sense, and who after toil and suffering, through His oneness of will with God, became divine, the latter maintaining Christ to be a manifestation of God Himself." (1911 Encyclopedia Britannica)

Jesus, in my opinion, is divine, and does not possess a human nature.  Any more than God the Father or the Holy Spirit have a human nature.  God is not able to have a human nature.  

Human nature and divine nature are opposites, like hot and cold.  Wet and dry.  Up and down.  Something cannot be both God and human.

At least, not to my understanding.
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« Reply #196 on: June 25, 2011, 03:08:13 PM »


I sympathize with Sabellians and modalists who hold that Jesus is the same as the Father, ie: God.

This is a misleading designation, for all Orthodox Christians hold that Jesus is the same as the Father in the sense that the Son has the same divine substance as the Father.
 
Jesus, in my opinion, is divine, and does not possess a human nature. Any more than God the Father or the Holy Spirit have a human nature.  God is not able to have a human nature.

This means you try to impose limitations on God by trying to make the infinite finite.

If you do not believe that Jesus was a true human, you are not a Sabellianist, but a Gnostic Docetist. 

Human nature and divine nature are opposites, like hot and cold.  Wet and dry.  Up and down.  Something cannot be both God and human.

Human nature and divine nature will not be binary oppositions only because you believe and claim so. More, man was created in the image and likeness of God, which destroys your argument. Finally, if you are a Catholic, you cannot be a Sabellianist or a Gnostic Docetist. This is a mere contradiction.
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« Reply #197 on: June 25, 2011, 03:18:22 PM »

Jesus, in my opinion, is divine, and does not possess a human nature.  Any more than God the Father or the Holy Spirit have a human nature.  God is not able to have a human nature.  

Human nature and divine nature are opposites, like hot and cold.  Wet and dry.  Up and down.  Something cannot be both God and human.

At least, not to my understanding.

Did Jesus bleed? Did he eat and have tears? Was he born and did he die? How about pee and poop?

These are not divine qualities, they are human. Just as, for example, miracles are not human qualities. If you can affirm the former examples, then you must accept his human 'nature', in addition to his divine 'nature'.
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« Reply #198 on: June 25, 2011, 05:54:15 PM »

Human nature and divine nature are opposites, like hot and cold.  Wet and dry.  Up and down.  Something cannot be both God and human.

They are other and distinct from each other, but not necessarily "opposite". Also, Jesus isn't a "something", He's a "someone".
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #199 on: June 26, 2011, 01:36:15 PM »


.........Also, Jesus isn't a "something", He's a "someone".

Is that right?

 


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« Reply #200 on: June 26, 2011, 02:00:28 PM »


Jesus, in my opinion, is divine, and does not possess a human nature. Any more than God the Father or the Holy Spirit have a human nature.  God is not able to have a human nature.

This means you try to impose limitations on God by trying to make the infinite finite.


I don't quite follow you...?  You are the one saying God has a human nature.  You are the one that is holding the position that Jesus was bound to a human nature.

Let me ask you this:  is it possible for a thing to be both God and not God?  ie: omnipotent and not omnipotent?  Or does being omnipotent cancel out being non-omnipotent?

This is the nature of opposites.  Light cancels out dark.  Heavy cancels out light.  Sick cancels out health.  Truth cancels out lies..etc

So answer the question with a yes or no,...can something be omnipotent and not omnipotent? 

Then answer the question, can something be both God and not God?
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« Reply #201 on: June 26, 2011, 02:17:17 PM »