Isn't the Trinity Logically Impossible

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Fido
 
Reply Thu 28 May, 2009 01:43 pm
@Axis Austin,
Son of man is Son of Adam; again, an eathling man, and prophet, whose hands were pierced as a warning to others in the home of ones friends...
 
Labyrinth
 
Reply Thu 28 May, 2009 04:11 pm
@Fido,
Fido;65424 wrote:
Son of man is Son of Adam; again, an eathling man, and prophet, whose hands were pierced as a warning to others in the home of ones friends...


This is only one of numerous opinions about the interpretation of the Son of Man. He also is thought to be a messianic divine figure seen in the book of Daniel 7(?), 2 Esdras 13:3, and the Book of Enoch. These references are consistent with Jesus' description of the Son of Man given at his trial as a messianic figure "coming with the clouds."

This depiction of the Son of Man is a result of the apocalyptic fervor of some Jews (this peaked between 2nd centuries BC and AD) who were frustrated with the events of the times making deliverance of Judah unlikely to happen simply through history. Therefore, a dramatic inbreaking of God was hoped for. I happen to be of this opinion, but yea son of man as in just a man is also out there. I just don't see the need to keep calling Jesus a man. People knew he was a man. The great problem for the evangelists was to prove Jesus' divinity, not his humanity. But speaking of the Trinity, if Jesus' humanity is stressed then how is a man to be of one substance with God?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 28 May, 2009 04:26 pm
@Labyrinth,
Labyrinth;65333 wrote:

Ironically, "Son of God" to a Jew is actually an earthly man which signifies a king of Israel (see John 1:46?).


And sometimes an angel, depending on how certain phrases are rendered in English.

Labyrinth;65333 wrote:
The Matthew writer claims a virgin birth, but no other gospel writer does with no confirmation from Pauline writings (I think).


Luke also records the virgin birth.

Labyrinth;65431 wrote:

But speaking of the Trinity, if Jesus' humanity is stressed then how is a man to be of one substance with God?


Why is Jesus' humanity problematic for man's union with God? If Jesus was a man, and simultaneously part of the Trinity, doesn't this mean that man is capable of such a union with God? Presumably by living a Christ like life. It's an interesting subject, and I hope you can find time to elaborate on this.
 
Labyrinth
 
Reply Thu 28 May, 2009 04:48 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;65434 wrote:
And sometimes an angel, depending on how certain phrases are rendered in English.

Luke also records the virgin birth. .


Thank you for the corrections. I've been away from the Bible for a while.

Didymos Thomas;65434 wrote:
Why is Jesus' humanity problematic for man's union with God? If Jesus was a man, and simultaneously part of the Trinity, doesn't this mean that man is capable of such a union with God? Presumably by living a Christ like life. It's an interesting subject, and I hope you can find time to elaborate on this.


Good point. I guess I was hung up on the use of the term "substance" to describe the Trinity. I'm going by Calvin's explanation which is the freshest in my mind. What do we mean by substance? If the human Jesus was of the Trinity (the union you suggested), then we're not talking physical substance, right? Or is the Jesus of the Trinity the resurrected Jesus?

Overall, I'm glad we're open about this subject. Other Christians I've asked are overly quick to whip out the "Its a mystery" card.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 28 May, 2009 05:16 pm
@Labyrinth,
Labyrinth;65438 wrote:

Good point. I guess I was hung up on the use of the term "substance" to describe the Trinity. I'm going by Calvin's explanation which is the freshest in my mind. What do we mean by substance? If the human Jesus was of the Trinity (the union you suggested), then we're not talking physical substance, right? Or is the Jesus of the Trinity the resurrected Jesus?


That's an easy word to get hung up on. It seems like every time I set to thinking about the subject I have to do some basic rereadings to get my bearings, so to speak.

Personally, I am not sure what difference it makes if Jesus is pre or post resurrection. Still Jesus Christ, Son of god, right? But, no, I do not think the substance is physical.

Of course, this goes back to my take on the Trinity as being a meditative tool, and not something useful as dogma. As I take it, Jesus/Holy Spirit/Father are of the same substance in that they all represent, or point to, the true nature of the Divine. Their value in helping us experience the Godhead is their similarity.

(This thread has been around for a while, and it may be that I have, during the course of the conversation, contradicted myself; if so, I can only refer people to Mr. Whitman's words.)

Labyrinth;65438 wrote:
Overall, I'm glad we're open about this subject. Other Christians I've asked are overly quick to whip out the "Its a mystery" card.


I'm also glad we can have these sorts of conversations.

People explaining everything by way of mystery seems to miss the point. These concepts are not arbitrarily invented, they are thought up for some purpose. In the case of the Trinity, it was invented as a meditative thought and is used to help people better understand God. If we say "Oh, it's mystery" then we have not improved our understanding of God, much less come any closer to experiencing Him.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 28 May, 2009 08:38 pm
@Labyrinth,
Labyrinth;65431 wrote:
This is only one of numerous opinions about the interpretation of the Son of Man. He also is thought to be a messianic divine figure seen in the book of Daniel 7(?), 2 Esdras 13:3, and the Book of Enoch. These references are consistent with Jesus' description of the Son of Man given at his trial as a messianic figure "coming with the clouds."

This depiction of the Son of Man is a result of the apocalyptic fervor of some Jews (this peaked between 2nd centuries BC and AD) who were frustrated with the events of the times making deliverance of Judah unlikely to happen simply through history. Therefore, a dramatic inbreaking of God was hoped for. I happen to be of this opinion, but yea son of man as in just a man is also out there. I just don't see the need to keep calling Jesus a man. People knew he was a man. The great problem for the evangelists was to prove Jesus' divinity, not his humanity. But speaking of the Trinity, if Jesus' humanity is stressed then how is a man to be of one substance with God?

If I were to answer your last question then, If God is all, and the creator of all then all he made was made out of God... And Jesus said this to people, though I cannot find the reference, that they were gods, and that is how I conceive of myself, having power and freedom and knowledge as no mere animal...I am super animal...Hand me a hot dog...And no damned turkey dog either, for I am a god...
 
Labyrinth
 
Reply Thu 28 May, 2009 10:44 pm
@Fido,
Fido;65473 wrote:
If I were to answer your last question then, If God is all, and the creator of all then all he made was made out of God... And Jesus said this to people, though I cannot find the reference, that they were gods, and that is how I conceive of myself, having power and freedom and knowledge as no mere animal...I am super animal...Hand me a hot dog...And no damned turkey dog either, for I am a god...


When I read this, what first came to mind was the verse in Psalms that said man was created as just below angels. It's quoted in Hebrews and probably other NT books. Sure sounds like the "rational animal" you described Smile

So far after reading this thread, I like best the opinion that the Trinity was constructed as a meditative tool leading to experiencing divine natures. The Trinity is not explicitly described in the Bible, so it could very well be the workmanship of the church. Hopefully, I'll finally polish up my knowledge of church doctrine history so I can test this idea. At least partially though, it must've been constructed also to defend the faith against the Jews' accusations that Christians were polytheists. It wasn't very effective since the Muslims repeated those very same accusations later.
 
William
 
Reply Thu 28 May, 2009 11:28 pm
@Axis Austin,
This is the first time I have offered any comments as to my understanding of Jesus Christ. Yet, I do agree on what much that is said that is claimed that he said to be true and of a divine and universal construct or God. What I do disagree with is the BELIEF that he was the embodiment of God in it's entirety. By the simplest of reasoning, in my opinion, his demise would have never taken place for I feel God IS the mind of man. What I do believe from the information that can be gleaned from his life, is the cruxifiction, mental or physical, of those who effort to espouse the truth. In that respect and that respect alone, if find solace in what his life represented as it was the greed of man that caused his death. That, in my opinion, was not of God, as those of Christianity believe, but on the contrary, are the result of a disconnect from that God. I believe we are an extension of that God, but we are not that God which dispels the trinity of any man being the embodiment of all three; The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is in those interpretations that espouse his death as sanctioned by God, is IMO, what shuts down the mind from considering any truth for fear of cruxifiction from those who are disconnected. John 3:16, IMO, also contradicts this total embodiment for it, in and of it self, attest to a disconnect as it assumes God to be separate from man as it espouses "...God 'gave' his only son...for those who believe in 'him'...." In that verse is it not clear to me what "him" is referring to; God or Christ. I believe that if "him" referred to God, I , to some extent, agree with what it says, but to refer it to any individual human being as being all of what God is, I cannot agree with for reasons I have mentioned above. A very enlightened human being indeed, but not the entirety of God. That, in my mind, is impossible. IMO, to assume or manifest that a benevolent God would sacrifice or sanction the death of any human being to "prove" his love, is one of the greatest misrepresentations that has ever existed in the mind of man. Bar none. Though I did say "to some extent...", this just illustrates the consequences that can befall a man if he efforts to espouse the truth as it will threaten those whose greed for life has disconnected them from the truth. If the God of certain tenets, surely created the universe, he would not be permit himself to be crucified as an illustration of his love for the world; that would be immediately understood and would require no understanding and the cruxifiction would have never occurred in the first place and Adam and Eve would not have been cast out of Eden in that something imperfect can come from that which is perfect as it is believed, as do I, that God is perfect. IMO, before we could understand any idea of what perfect is, it was destined for us to learn what imperfection is. As I have said many, many times, we are the physical manifestation of God, but the overwhelming sensation of life and the greed for it has disconnected us as we "walk in the valley of the shadow of death. We are eternal creations. It is impossible to be otherwise; the reason for my signature. IMMHO.
William
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 06:02 pm
@William,
William;65483 wrote:
In that respect and that respect alone, if find solace in what his life represented as it was the greed of man that caused his death. That, in my opinion, was not of God, as those of Christianity believe, but on the contrary, are the result of a disconnect from that God.


[/B]Some interesting thoughts, thank you.

I want to highlight this one. I'm not sure I follow you. Greed is what drove those responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus, and practicing greed is clearly a disconnect from God.

But can't we also say that the way Jesus handled the situation, the way he responded to greed, was of God in that he forgave his executioners and refused to capitulate his teachings for the sake of his worldly life? [/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]

It seems that most people appreciate the story for being a powerful example of someone standing up for his belief without doing or even wishing harm against his tormentors. A story of a man who sacrificed his own life for the sake of something greater - the power of example set by his actions to positively influence others.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 09:19 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;66104 wrote:
[/B]Some interesting thoughts, thank you.

I want to highlight this one. I'm not sure I follow you. Greed is what drove those responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus, and practicing greed is clearly a disconnect from God.

But can't we also say that the way Jesus handled the situation, the way he responded to greed, was of God in that he forgave his executioners and refused to capitulate his teachings for the sake of his worldly life? [/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]

It seems that most people appreciate the story for being a powerful example of someone standing up for his belief without doing or even wishing harm against his tormentors. A story of a man who sacrificed his own life for the sake of something greater - the power of example set by his actions to positively influence others.

The establishment jews had a good racket, and it is unlikely that they wanted any poor prophet messing with that... But if you believe three of the four gospels, then Jesus ended his preaching with the attack on the money changers on the steps of the temple...What the sanhedrin said was: better that one should die than many...Is this not correct??? They would not be the first people to confuse the stuff of life with life...For that reason we have property rights, even though they leads to massive injustice...And it is unnecessary, since if you respect people, and their rights, then you would respect their property as an extension of their lives...But the protection of property rights is no guarantee of civil rights, and in fact, they are usually in conflict...The money changers and the rich jews thought of it as their right to change their coins and to market their religion... The place was impoverished...People were sueing each other for their tunics... Yet the Romans took a huge amount of wealth out of Jeruselem...The people were poor... The priestly class was wealthy...
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 09:36 pm
@Fido,
Yeah, exactly: the wealthy priest class exacerbated the Roman economic pillaging by leaving worshipers two choices: either give up bread or give up religion. Jesus had the courage and the social awareness to stand up for his peers, his fellow Jews, and challenge the sinful practice of the Money Changers at the Temple.

This money changing operation was the result of greed. Jesus directly challenged the greed of this practice and the spiritual appropriateness of this practice by overturning the tables. A strong argument can be made to the effect that Jesus understood perfectly that this act of civil disobedience would nail him to a cross, or at least in some very serious trouble.

It is that courage in the face of oppressive authority (and not just oppressive, but spiritually oppressive and manipulative) that caught the attention of so many of the poor and so many slaves. That was the earliest Christian base.

Christianity, as a popular movement, may very well have begun with that act: the overturning of the tables, a shock to the establishment and a rallying cry for the oppressed. Jesus, rather than being just any other supposed Messiah from the era, actually stood up and took action, decisive action. Uncompromising action against the abuses endured by the less fortunate of Jerusalem. Here was a King of the Jews who did not want a throne, crown, and scepter, but a King of the Jews who was a King for the Every-Man Jew - a King for the Every Man. I think he proved that by holding true to his teachings while being starred down by the tribunal. He did not equivocate.

Had, for example, ML King, Jr. embarked on his campaign for social justice with an overhaul of reforms to Christianity, it would be hard for me to tell him apart from Jesus. Maybe King was a Prophet of sorts, but he did not need to overhaul Christianity - the teachings were already there. "You are your brother's keeper". And Jesus taught us all to pray, "Our Father, who art in Heaven" so we are all brothers (and sisters!) in the Lord, even if we are ignorant of that fact.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 09:48 pm
@Axis Austin,
You know, there is a story about him and his crowd walking through a field and winnowing grain between their hands...Do you suppose that was his property, or his grain???Do you not guess that they trampled far more than they ate??? I know that the cross was used for revolutionaries... The jews were happy to present him as such, and have the romans take care of him so they could have clean hands... But the fact is that the free for all on the temple steps was not only a religious protest... The tables were over turned, but no single hand scooped up that money... Regardless of his faith, or his philosophy, there is no way to avoid the fact that the man, Jesus was a thief, and a leader of thieves... And it is still true of that organization...Organized Christianity will steal all that is not nailed down... They owned a fifth to a third of Europe... What they once got a hold on the never alienated, and they were not exactly sanguine in the methods they used to take from free people and peasants...The establisment churches of christendom are not one bit better than the jews they replaced...
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 1 Jun, 2009 10:09 pm
@Fido,
Recall Jesus' teaching: "you are your brother's keeper" - the grain was not Jesus' nor was it the grain of the supposed owner of the land - it was the grain of all men. Recall Jesus' teachings, 'it is better to stack treasure in Heaven than treasure on Earth' (or something to that effect). If the supposed owner of the land lamented the loss of grain trampled underfoot by Jesus and his company then the owner has a personal problem: he prefers the fruits of this life to the fruits of the greater life. The owner would have had an unhealthy attachment to the fruits of this world. Let the poor men in rags cross the field and eat what they may. Enough stinginess.

Give me one example of Jesus stealing. You call someone a thief? Show them to be committing thievery. I'll take the mythological accounts of Christian scripture, canon and apocrypha.

I will not defend the actions of organized Christian congregations as compared to the same actions of organized Jewish congregation, or to the same actions of any organized congregation. Yes, abuses have been committed in the name of Christ. What is your point?
I will not argue that Christianity is somehow inherently superior to Judaism. In fact, I would dispute such a claim. But I would argue that Jesus presented insightful criticisms of mainstream Judaism of the time and that he also had the nerve to act accordingly.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 05:22 am
@Axis Austin,
YA, right. a little theft is a little thing... When you steal a man's work you steal his life, and there Jesus was on the wrong side, standing with the wrong people...I do not deny that eating with dirty hands was more offensive to the Jews... Clearly they were struggling, as are we, with the form over the relationship...Judaism with its many laws is highly formal...Clearly, the priestly classes were defensive of their form...And they could not see that the whole country was mired in poverty while they sat on a pile of wealth...Jesus could see, and many of his parable were of farms and farming... So he must have known that the seed sowed by another was not his, or his followers simply because they cold take them...He has a quality of a thief on the run...Not having honor in his own town, etc..

My point is that organized religion is just a form... And it puts me to mind of an ironworker I once met who spent some time raising chickens... When a little rooster was born, the old rooster pursued him relentlessly kicking his tail from one end of the farm to the other...The man felt bad for the little chicken so he turned the big rooster into chicken soup...Then another rooster was born and the little rooster, now the big rooster harrassed the little rooster without mercy... The man concluded that you could not teach morality to chickens...But the same is true of people with formal power... Those in power identify with each other...Jesus tore it down, and Paul built it up, and as soon as in power the powerful began taking from the people, using their positions not to serve the people, but to be served...
 
William
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 08:01 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;66104 wrote:
[/B]Some interesting thoughts, thank you.

I want to highlight this one. I'm not sure I follow you. Greed is what drove those responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus, and practicing greed is clearly a disconnect from God.

But can't we also say that the way Jesus handled the situation, the way he responded to greed, was of God in that he forgave his executioners and refused to capitulate his teachings for the sake of his worldly life? [/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]

It seems that most people appreciate the story for being a powerful example of someone standing up for his belief without doing or even wishing harm against his tormentors. A story of a man who sacrificed his own life for the sake of something greater - the power of example set by his actions to positively influence others.


That's used to be a puzzler to me. Then I began to humanize the man. What "could" have actually taken place? You see, Didymos, I too, have gone through what can be described as a "mental metamorphosis" that draws a striking resemblance to that of Christ, as it defines that "process" one would have to go through to know the truth. I call it the "Christ effect". It is not based on those interpretations of his life but in Christ himself. Christ couldn't capitulate his teachings any more than I can. No one would understand it, not even Christ. All we have are those interpretations from people who "tried" to "explain" Christ from their own limited knowledge for they had no idea of what the man went through. All they have are the words he uttered and a very limited understanding of his entire life as they tried to draw parallels from the prophecies that were written in the old testament. It is impossible to know all that was going on at that time. All they had was word of mouth and the written word.

St. John of the Cross, while imprisoned and sequestered from the influence of outside inertia penned "The Dark Night of the Soul" explaining that very metamorphosis as he could interpret it from his "limited" understanding based on the word of mouth and written word. No one yet has survived that metamorphosis, that I know of anyway. Either they have been murdered or gone insane as Nietzsche did. Another man of whom I can draw parallels to and many, many others whom have suffered the same fate. I survived it. In doing so it was necessary I sever all bonds with this reality and what it deemed "truth"; for that itself, will drive one insane. I know, I been there, done that and made it through. Insanity is not an illness. It is the result of one trying to adapt to the truth using what this reality offers and it just does not fit. Not even close. The reason Christ is held in such high regard is because he was the 'first', and was crucified for it. The New Testament tried to "justify" that cruxifiction as it related to what it "thought" God to be. All of that from the words Christ spoke. That's is all we have and even those are left up to interpretation. Nevertheless at their very core is a truth that cannot be denied.

IMO, the new testament was necessary to "insure" the life of Christ followed the prophecies in the old testament, which could explain those interpretations. In those interpretations is where we find one of the major slip ups as to the "trinity" in the statement "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?" in Matthew and in the Psalm. If Christ were truly the embodiment, he would have never uttered those words, which means those who penned the old testament had something to do with the compiling of the New Testament. Now it could be interpreted, from what I just said to lead one to believe, the entire new testament to be a fabrication to "make" this man's life fit those prophecies written and condone (the old testament) by the power of the time. A power that still exist to this day. Hmmmm! Toss that around in your neuron at bit. Remember, "History is written by those who have hanged heros". A nifty little "truth" I got from "BRAVEHEART"

It is communication such as we are having now, that is so very important. I have never related to anyone what I have just related to you. It is not meant to disparage, only explain as to the knowledge I have and how I interpret it.

Thank you.
William
 
nameless
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 03:11 pm
@Axis Austin,
Axis Austin;41618 wrote:
Isn't the Trinity Logically Impossible

What has 'logic'/critical thought to do with 'beliefs'/religion??
They are diametrically opposed to one another. The more of one, the less of the other.
 
William
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 05:30 pm
@nameless,
nameless;66242 wrote:
What has 'logic'/critical thought to do with 'beliefs'/religion??
They are diametrically opposed to one another. The more of one, the less of the other.


The fact that there has been so much bloodshed and hate in the name of religion and beliefs, if we do not examine their tenets and doctrines, they will never go away and the bloodshed will continue. There is a logical understanding that will explain them. Those communications must take place. Many tenets are definitely not logical, such as the trinity, and that is why we are discussing it. If you would like to offer your input, regarding you understanding of the trinity, please feel free to do so.
William
 
Khethil
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 05:34 pm
@Axis Austin,
So....

... did we ever decide whether or not the Trinity was logically possible?

Sorry, just don't' feel like wading through 24 pages of axe-grinding Smile
 
William
 
Reply Tue 2 Jun, 2009 06:47 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil;66261 wrote:
So....

... did we ever decide whether or not the Trinity was logically possible?

Sorry, just don't' feel like wading through 24 pages of axe-grinding Smile


Hey, that's cheating! Ha. SmileI know what you mean by the "wading", that's why I apologize in most cases when I "don't wade". Why don't read a couple of the more recent posts and throw in your "two bits" and see where it goes.

William
 
nameless
 
Reply Wed 3 Jun, 2009 05:54 am
@William,
William;66260 wrote:
The fact that there has been so much bloodshed and hate in the name of religion and beliefs, if we do not examine their tenets and doctrines, they will never go away and the bloodshed will continue.

What makes you think that if you "examine their tenets and doctrines", that they'll "go away"? That makes about as much sense as the trinity.
Perhaps less.

Quote:
There is a logical understanding that will explain them.

Logic is a very limited tool of thought.
I think that you over-credit it's usefulness (evidence of 'beliefs'), but, it's not like you have any 'choice'.
Neither do the 'believers'.
I think that its rather arrogant to want to change other people to fit your notions of the way that they 'should' be...

Quote:
There is a logical understanding that will explain them. Those communications must take place. Many tenets are definitely not logical, such as the trinity, and that is why we are discussing it.

What has your limited logic, Mr. Spock, to do with religion? Are you going to logically argue someone from one belief system to another; your's. What is the difference between any simple proselytizing of religious beliefs and what you attempt? Seems like the same thing; one's belief is 'Jesus', another's is 'money', another's is 'logic', whatever...
Man is not a 'logical' creature.

Logic is an inadequate tool to refute 'beliefs'.
The 'trinity', as everything in the bible, can best be taken metaphorically, and therein benefit the perceiver.
Literality provides little 'fruit', mostly for the ego.
Metaphorically, the trinity might well relate to the 'egoPerspective' self, the 'Conscious Perspective' self (soul) and Consciousness (god/Tao..., but not the anthropomorphic psychopathetic monster god of the bible).
As metaphor, any 'meaning' would be strictly individual, as literal, it's nonsense of the highest order.
But, there's nothing wrong with nonsense...
It truly takes all kinds.
 
 

 
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