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To Shunydragon-Christianity and Polytheism

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  • To Shunydragon-Christianity and Polytheism

    Hi

    I would like another go at understanding the "Gods" of the Bible. I have just read a book where the author explains it like this:
    The word, "one" has two meanings. One in unity and one in number.
    The Bible says the husband and wife are one. (Matthew 19:5). Obviously a husband and wife are made up of two people. One in unity in this sense.
    Old Testament Hebrew even has two separate words translated "one".
    When Abraham went up to offer Isaac, his one son, the Hebrew word indicates an absolute one in number.
    It is an entirely different word used than that used in Deuteronomy 6:4: "Hear oh Israel the Lord our God is one Lord. In this passage, the Hebrew indicates not one in number but one in unity.
    Jesus was not practicing ventriloquism when he prayed and the Father answered. (John 10).


    Taken from the book, Freedom To Choose by Ernest J Gruen.

    Also Genesis 1:26:
    26 God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth.

    So you are right Shunydragon the Bible mentions 3 Gods. Christianity therefore has 3 Gods. This is what is called the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is more difficult to understand.
    Last edited by Esther; 09-27-2020, 02:15 PM.

  • #2
    That is NOT what is called the Trinity, Esther. The Trinity says there are three distinct persons but only one God. Not three Gods. Jesus the Son is fully God, The Holy Spirit is fully God, and the Father is fully God, and yet there is only ONE God.


    Three distinct persons yet only ONE God.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
      That is NOT what is called the Trinity, Esther. The Trinity says there are three distinct persons but only one God. Not three Gods. Jesus the Son is fully God, The Holy Spirit is fully God, and the Father is fully God, and yet there is only ONE God.


      Three distinct persons yet only ONE God.
      Yes I know this is the traditional and perhaps only view and that millions of highly intelligent Christians hold this view. At the same time I see 3 Gods in the Bible and can understand the unbeliever's and even believers struggle with the concept.

      One God in what sense? I have also heard that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are 3 separate persons or beings with the same surname, "God".

      What do you think about the word,"one" as having 2 meanings? One in absolute number and one in unity for example? Also the word, "one" to describe a husband and wife?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Esther View Post

        Yes I know this is the traditional and perhaps only view and that millions of highly intelligent Christians hold this view. At the same time I see 3 Gods in the Bible and can understand the unbeliever's and even believers struggle with the concept.

        One God in what sense? I have also heard that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are 3 separate persons or beings with the same surname, "God".

        What do you think about the word,"one" as having 2 meanings? One in absolute number and one in unity for example? Also the word, "one" to describe a husband and wife?
        One in essence and nature. There are no other Gods besides YHWH. Jesus is not a different God than the Father or the Holy Spirit. Each person in the trinity is fully the one and only God.

        YHWH is God shown in the Old Testament. Jesus is YHWH, the holy spirit is YHWH, and the Father is YHWH.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Esther View Post
          Hi

          I would like another go at understanding the "Gods" of the Bible. I have just read a book where the author explains it like this:
          The word, "one" has two meanings. One in unity and one in number.
          The Bible says the husband and wife are one. (Matthew 19:5). Obviously a husband and wife are made up of two people. One in unity in this sense.
          Old Testament Hebrew even has two separate words translated "one".
          When Abraham went up to offer Isaac, his one son, the Hebrew word indicates an absolute one in number.
          It is an entirely different word used than that used in Deuteronomy 6:4: "Hear oh Israel the Lord our God is one Lord. In this passage, the Hebrew indicates not one in number but one in unity.
          Jesus was not practicing ventriloquism when he prayed and the Father answered. (John 10).


          Taken from the book, Freedom To Choose by Ernest J Gruen.

          Also Genesis 1:26:
          26 God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth.

          So you are right Shunydragon the Bible mentions 3 Gods. Christianity therefore has 3 Gods. This is what is called the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is more difficult to understand.
          I believe it is best worded that most Christians believe in the Trinity, but many do not using the same scriptures.

          I guess I missed this, but nonetheless I do not believe the Trinity is as specifically as many claim, and should cross confirmed and harmonized with the Old Testament. I believe that What is written in the New Testament, particularly in the gospels is the relationship, between humanity and the spiritual aspects of God through Messianic Revelation, and a three person Trinity.

          More to follow . . .
          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

          go with the flow the river knows . . .

          Frank

          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post

            I believe it is best worded that most Christians believe in the Trinity, but many do not using the same scriptures.

            I guess I missed this, but nonetheless I do not believe the Trinity is as specifically as many claim, and should cross confirmed and harmonized with the Old Testament. I believe that What is written in the New Testament, particularly in the gospels is the relationship, between humanity and the spiritual aspects of God through Messianic Revelation, and a three person Trinity.

            More to follow . . .
            Sorry for the typos, not paying attention.

            I believe it is best worded that most Christians believe in the Trinity, but many do not using the same scriptures.

            I guess I missed this, but nonetheless I do not believe the Trinity is as specifically [in the New Testament] as many claim, and should be cross confirmed and harmonized with the Old Testament [where God is indeed One and indivisible]. I believe what is written in the New Testament, particularly in the gospels is the relationship, between humanity and the spiritual aspects of God through Messianic Revelation, and [not] a three person Trinity.

            More to follow . . .
            Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
            Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
            But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

            go with the flow the river knows . . .

            Frank

            I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Esther View Post
              Hi

              I would like another go at understanding the "Gods" of the Bible. I have just read a book where the author explains it like this:
              The word, "one" has two meanings. One in unity and one in number.
              The Bible says the husband and wife are one. (Matthew 19:5). Obviously a husband and wife are made up of two people. One in unity in this sense.
              Old Testament Hebrew even has two separate words translated "one".
              When Abraham went up to offer Isaac, his one son, the Hebrew word indicates an absolute one in number.
              It is an entirely different word used than that used in Deuteronomy 6:4: "Hear oh Israel the Lord our God is one Lord. In this passage, the Hebrew indicates not one in number but one in unity.
              Jesus was not practicing ventriloquism when he prayed and the Father answered. (John 10).


              Taken from the book, Freedom To Choose by Ernest J Gruen.

              Also Genesis 1:26:
              26 God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth.

              So you are right Shunydragon the Bible mentions 3 Gods. Christianity therefore has 3 Gods. This is what is called the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is more difficult to understand.
              Hebrews seems to be one in number not just unity. And Jesus does indeed pray to the one he calls Abba.

              There was a discussion of the Trinity under Unorthodox Theology that I posted to the other day. The emphasis is on the modes of God, 3 of 1 - actually no different from each of us: each of you is 1 being but you express yourself in the world or give yourself to the world in different modes or ways.

              Of course then there is the entire discussion of Jesus exalted by God or the preexistent Word made man.



              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post

                Sorry for the typos, not paying attention.

                I believe it is best worded that most Christians believe in the Trinity, but many do not using the same scriptures.

                I guess I missed this, but nonetheless I do not believe the Trinity is as specifically [in the New Testament] as many claim, and should be cross confirmed and harmonized with the Old Testament [where God is indeed One and indivisible]. I believe what is written in the New Testament, particularly in the gospels is the relationship, between humanity and the spiritual aspects of God through Messianic Revelation, and [not] a three person Trinity.

                More to follow . . .
                I would agree that this is what many (most?) Christians believe. It is also the fact that many Christians have no idea what this means. They can recite the belief but is it understood, does it make an impact? In a classroom setting, decades ago, I encountered even then, questions and confusion among many Christians. I suspect that many of those questions still persist today. It seems that over the decades many have found some/much of Christianity too 'incredible' to accept - given our present worldview and philosophy, much just doesn't 'make sense' and people leave. It seems a new way (or ways) must be found to explain many Christian beliefs so that they truly 'speak' to a present generation and can indeed be Good News.

                As an example, Catholics have long and still use the idea of transubstantiation to explain the Eucharist. However, transubstantiation belongs to a philosophical understanding that is not ours anymore: we simply don't think in terms of substance and accidents. However, decades ago a priest used the idea of transignification and 'it did the trick.' We 'transsignifiy' things each and every day, for example a ring given at a wedding. This concept can be easily explained to moderns today, so too can the Trinity be re-explained, re-presented for the 21st C.
                Last edited by thormas; 10-06-2020, 05:11 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by thormas View Post

                  Hebrews seems to be one in number not just unity. And Jesus does indeed pray to the one he calls Abba.

                  There was a discussion of the Trinity under Unorthodox Theology that I posted to the other day. The emphasis is on the modes of God, 3 of 1 - actually no different from each of us: each of you is 1 being but you express yourself in the world or give yourself to the world in different modes or ways.

                  Of course then there is the entire discussion of Jesus exalted by God or the preexistent Word made man.


                  That would be the Modalist heresy. God isn't just switching costumes! The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were all present at Jesus' baptism. The Father speaking from heaven was not a ventriloquist act!

                  I'll explain it again. There is one God. The Father is God. The Son is God(fully God and fully man after the incarnation). The Holy Spirit is God. The Father is not the Son is not the Spirit is not the Father.
                  Last edited by Christianbookworm; 10-06-2020, 08:40 PM.
                  If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post

                    That would be the Modalist heresy. God isn't just switching costumes! The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were all present at Jesus' baptism. The Father speaking from heaven was not a ventriloquist act!

                    I'll explain it again. There is one God. The Father is God. The Son is God(fully God and fully man after the incarnation). The Holy Spirit is God. The Father is not the Son is not the Spirit is not the Father.

                    No need to explain it again :+} Plus I never like to begin or end a conversation by saying "X is a heresy.' I like to explore and I doubt that God would mind.

                    Definitely modes, whether or not it is heresy or wrong for the 21st C is an entirely different story. For me, just stating/repeating the creed falls short; it does not really capture or help people. Many have left and continue to leave - for many reasons but also because some of the creeds/beliefs don't speak to them. Baum does.

                    Also, part of the issue with modes was the 'switching of costumes' but that is resolved if the modes are the eternal way that God interacts with man. It is not the Father, then the Son, then the Spirit - rather the One, in the human experience of God, is always Creator, Word and Encourager. In addition, Baum discusses how God is the transcendent presence, immanent in the everyday life of man and woman. Too often in traditional theism, the transcendence of God overwhelms his immanence. And, of course, all this leads to Jesus - but that is another (yet continuing) story for another time.

                    BTW, our modern concept of persons confuses the creed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by thormas View Post

                      I would agree that this is what many (most?) Christians believe. It is also the fact that many Christians have no idea what this means. They can recite the belief but is it understood, does it make an impact? In a classroom setting, decades ago, I encountered even then, questions and confusion among many Christians. I suspect that many of those questions still persist today. It seems that over the decades many have found some/much of Christianity too 'incredible' to accept - given our present worldview and philosophy, much just doesn't 'make sense' and people leave. It seems a new way (or ways) must be found to explain many Christian beliefs so that they truly 'speak' to a present generation and can indeed be Good News.
                      The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, whilst essential to the Christian faith, cannot be logically explained for the simple reason that it is a logical contradiction. The Catholic Church doesn't attempt to explain it but rather tends to accept it as a 'mystery' - albeit the central mystery of the Christian faith and life.

                      As an example, Catholics have long and still use the idea of transubstantiation to explain the Eucharist. However, transubstantiation belongs to a philosophical understanding that is not ours anymore: we simply don't think in terms of substance and accidents.
                      Transubstantiation is really a doctrine about a doctrine. Many denominations, e.g. the Anglican/Episcopalian tradition merely accept a doctrine of the "real presence" without trying to explain how it occurs.

                      However, decades ago a priest used the idea of transignification and 'it did the trick.' We 'transsignifiy' things each and every day, for example a ring given at a wedding. This concept can be easily explained to moderns today, so too can the Trinity be re-explained, re-presented for the 21st C.
                      Nevertheless, I think the 'Trinity' and 'real presence' are considered to be more than mere symbolism by most Christians.
                      “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post

                        That would be the Modalist heresy. God isn't just switching costumes! The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were all present at Jesus' baptism. The Father speaking from heaven was not a ventriloquist act!

                        I'll explain it again. There is one God. The Father is God. The Son is God(fully God and fully man after the incarnation). The Holy Spirit is God. The Father is not the Son is not the Spirit is not the Father.
                        Yes I agree there is not need to repeatedly explain the Traditional Trinitarian view, and no it is not a Ventriloquist act to explain the objections to those who believe differently, The fact that the traditional view is not that well defined in the edited redacted and compiled gospels.

                        More to follow.
                        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                        go with the flow the river knows . . .

                        Frank

                        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tassman View Post

                          The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, whilst essential to the Christian faith, cannot be logically explained for the simple reason that it is a logical contradiction. The Catholic Church doesn't attempt to explain it but rather tends to accept it as a 'mystery' - albeit the central mystery of the Christian faith and life.



                          Transubstantiation is really a doctrine about a doctrine. Many denominations, e.g. the Anglican/Episcopalian tradition merely accept a doctrine of the "real presence" without trying to explain how it occurs.



                          Nevertheless, I think the 'Trinity' and 'real presence' are considered to be more than mere symbolism by most Christians.
                          I agree with all you have written: the Trinity as mystery, some denominations accept the Eucharist as real presence and a mystery and both are considered more than mere symbolism. My point is there are ways to explain them that make senses and enable them to truly be 'good news:' such explanations allow them to be 'understood' and to become alive.

                          For example,the Eucharist is both symbolic and real presence. I always like the idea that a symbol is never 'just a symbol' if we actually understand what a symbol is.

                          And, actually, doesn't the Church regards the Trinity as more than a symbol? That is what God is. I think people say it, believe it, repeat it .........but have no idea what it means and, therefore, it really is 'separated' from life, from having a meaningful impact on life. I mean what is the Spirit? Where is the word - is it only in the pages of the NT? How is it a Living Word? Christianity has fallen off in much of the western world, in large part it seems because, it makes no sense in many instances and is at odds with our modern worldview - it is left to the side, even though many remain attracted to the very idea of Jesus.

                          That is why the need for explanations that provide insight and upon hearing those explanations, we see people 'nodding in assent' and saying, "of course, that makes sense." And, then it begins anew.



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post

                            Yes I agree there is not need to repeatedly explain the Traditional Trinitarian view, and no it is not a Ventriloquist act to explain the objections to those who believe differently, The fact that the traditional view is not that well defined in the edited redacted and compiled gospels.

                            More to follow.
                            But is the traditional view an explanation or simply a statement? Does it really explain anything?

                            I look forward to what follows.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by thormas View Post

                              But is the traditional view an explanation or simply a statement? Does it really explain anything?

                              I look forward to what follows.
                              Well, first I do not believe from the human perspective we can define nor explain God to the degree that the Trinity is traditionally defined as 'three persons.' As a Baha'i I believe that God is unknowable and undefinable. Second, I believe the concept of the Trinity is the spiritual relationship between God, Creation and humanity. Third, The Word of God is the Manifestation of God in Creation and Revelation through the Son of God Jesus Christ.
                              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                              go with the flow the river knows . . .

                              Frank

                              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                              Comment

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