25 replies

  1. Yes, because the New Testament ascribes consciousness to at least two of God’s attributes, namely, the Word and the Spirit.

    God’s attributes are numerically but not ontologically distinct from God — they are within the being of God, not outside of it.

    So, if God (the Father) is conscious, and his Word and his Spirit are also conscious, it would seem to follow that there are three subjects of consciousness within the one God.

    Liked by 1 person

    • so there are three centers of consciousness: God the Son, God the Father, God the Spirit. Each is fully God.

      This is polytheism.

      The problem is not solved by just saying, “No, these three divitines are one God.”

      This is contradictory and meaningless.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “This is polytheism.”

        Only on the assumption that a single God cannot be constituted by more than one conscious subject.

        You need to motivate this assumption. I have yet to see a good argument for it.

        “The problem is not solved by just saying, “No, these three divitines are one God.”

        Agreed. Rather, the problem is solved by trying to understand what Ancient Jews meant when they claimed that there is ‘only one God’.

        Top Jewish scholars have convincingly shown that the idea of a personal plurality within the One God was consistent with ‘monotheism’, as they understood it:

        ““The ideas of Trinity and incarnation, or certainly the germs of those ideas, were already present among Jewish believers well before Jesus came on the scene to incarnate in himself, as it were, those theological notions and to take up his messianic calling.” (Daniel Boyarin, ‘The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ’, 2012)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul, you confuse categories.
        One God by nature, substance, essence, being (ontology)
        three persons, three centers of consciousness within the One God, three eternal personal relationships of pure (holy, clean) spiritual love from eternity past.

        Like

      • Chris,

        1) you cite Daniel Boyarin claiming: “The ideas of Trinity and incarnation..were already present among Jewish believers well before Jesus came on the scene”.

        Can you give me a relevant citation from the Tanakh to prove this claim?

        2) consider this thought experiment: Fred follows a religion that believes in one thousand deities but insists he is a true monotheist because they are “one God”. I say he is a polytheist. Am I wrong?

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Can you give me a relevant citation from the Tanakh to prove this claim?”

        We could start with Genesis 16:

        “The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur.
        (…)
        She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

        Hagar sees the Angel of Yahweh. She then claims to have seen Yahweh who saw her. So, the angel of Yahweh somehow is and isn’t Yahweh. How to solve this paradox? The angel of Yahweh is within the being of Yahweh.

        There are many more examples.

        Boyarin on the Angel of Yahweh:

        “It is important to add, however, that angel is not necessarily such a degradation, but perhaps precisely the point of a tension or ambiguity about monotheism at the heart of Israel’s religion (this is more an explication of Emerton than a correction of him). Throughout the Hebrew Bible there is confusion between YHVH himself, as it were, and his Mal’akh, the single, unnamed angel of the Lord, precisely in theophanies. (…) There is, indeed, no clear distinction between YHVH and this special Mal’akh; they are two aspects of one divinity” (166 -167, ‘The Jewish Gospels’

        “Fred follows a religion that believes in one thousand deities but insists he is a true monotheist because they are “one God”. I say he is a polytheist. Am I wrong?”

        Not necessarily wrong, but sloppy. I would first ask Fred to clarify the sense in which they are all ‘one God’.

        Like

      • So Fred is a monotheist? Hmm. If you can’t see how believing in 1000 deities is polytheistic I don’t know what will.

        Like

      • Ken

        you speak of “three persons, three centers of consciousness within the One God”.

        My friend Fred follows a religion that believes in one thousand deities but insists he is a true monotheist because they are “one God”.

        I say he is a polytheist. Am I wrong?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Chris,

        Genesis 16 does not mention a Trinity at all.

        Remember, you are giving me examples from the Tanakh of the Trinity and incarnation..

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Genesis 16 does not mention a Trinity at all.

        Remember, you are giving me examples from the Tanakh of the Trinity and incarnation.”

        Not quite. I am substantiating Boyarin’s claim that “The ideas of Trinity and incarnation, or certainly the germs of those ideas , were already present among Jewish believers well before Jesus came on the scene”

        Recall, you are specifically taking issue with the idea of more than one subjects of consciousness constituting one God. To the contrary I argue, in agreement with Boyarin (and various others), that this idea is very much present in the Tanakh. I take this to be good evidence that, as per Boyarin, the ‘germs’ of Trinitarian theism are present in the Tanakh.

        Like

  2. Jesus is a Spirit from God. روح من الله
    same spiritual essence

    even the Qur’an agrees with that aspect

    also calling Jesus “the word” demonstrates this also.

    کلمه الله

    Like

    • We are all a “spirit (ruh) from God”. When we are created, our spirit enters our bodies. Adam’s creation was the same:

      فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ

      And when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration. (15:29)

      Instead of repeating the same debunked argument over and over again, why don’t you actually educate yourself for once?

      Jesus being called a “spirit from God” does not make him divine, especially since the Quran clearly says that was created by God, as all things are:

      “Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was.” (3:59)

      Ken gets nuked again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The breath of God in giving us life – as in Genesis 2:7 –
        “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” we can agree on that as is, that God gives life and breath, etc.

        This is different than the actual same essence of Spirit that is the shared Divine nature of the Father, the eternal Son, and the Holy Spirit.

        I can see why you argue the way you do, based on that verse in Surah 3:59, which I also have heard that same Islamic explanation since 1983, when I first started reaching out to Muslims.

        (so you are just repeating Islamic arguments also)

        Still, the combination of “a spirit from Allah” and “his word” give an extra amount of indication that the sources that Islam was getting about Jesus had roots in the teachings of His Deity, which was established for 600 years before the false religion of Islam started. By affirming Jesus’ birth of the virgin Mary, and that He is the Al Masih المسیح and that He is “a spirit from Allah” and the “Kalimat’Allah” کلمه الله
        the Qur’an is unwittingly admitting the truth of the NT, even though the info that Mohammad got was by oral traditions and he is “hearing things”, since he could not read and the NT was not translated into Arabic yet; yet they got bits and pieces from heretical apocryphal sources like the Arabic infancy gospels, etc.

        Like

      • Unbelievable! So you acknowledge that the concept of God breathing every created soul is a biblical concept, which disproves your silly assertion that Jesus was something more! This concept predates your pagan understanding. Islam renewed this understanding and refuted the satanic corruption of Christianity. You have no way of responding other than to repeat the same nonsense and then try desperately to insert your pagan understanding into the mix.

        Liked by 2 people

      • The human soul / spirit is different than the Spiritual essence of God. “God is Spirit” John 4:23-24. The Holy Spirit = God, the 3rd person of the Trinity. Luke 1:34-35 – Jesus’ essence in the womb of Mary is the same essence as God – with John 1:1-5, 1:14; John 17:5 (eternal past glory with the Father); Philippians 2:5-8 – existed in the form of God (Spirit, God in essence) and became a human. Mary provided the human nature to Jesus in the womb. Islam has not answer as to why Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and why He is called “The Word of God” کلمه الله
        It is not pagan at all, both OT and NT give the data that points to the Deity of Christ and the Trinity. Christianity has ALWAYS maintained monotheism, so I don’t understand why you keep repeating the words “pagan”, etc. into the discussion.

        Like

      • Believing in a mangod is a pagan belief. You have been brainwashed into thinking it’s not.

        The point is that your pagan understanding is irrelevant when interpreting the Quran, so keep your satanic beliefs out. God created Jesus, just like He created everything else.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Man-made religions try to make God more understandable. Like Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Arians, modern Unitarians, Modalism, etc.

    https://apologeticsandagape.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/man-made-religion-tries-to-make-god-more-understandable/

    Like

  4. My friend Fred follows a religion that believes in one thousand deities but insists he is a true monotheist because they are “one God”.

    I say he is a polytheist. Am I wrong?

    Fred is a polytheist because he believes in “one thousand deities”, yes.

    But Christians are not polytheists because One God in three persons is not “three deities”, but ONE God, in three persons.

    Christianity has NEVER taught “three gods”.

    the 3 persons share in the essence / spirit / nature / substance – One substance ذات، جوهر

    God is One. الله واحد

    Mark 12:29
    I Timothy 2:5

    God is Trinity:

    2 Corinthians 13:14
    Matthew 28:19
    Matthew 3:16-17
    1 Peter 1:1-2
    Ephesians 1:3-14
    2 Thessalonians 2:13
    John 1:1-5; 1:14; 20:28
    Philippians 2:5-8
    Colossians 1:15-20
    Hebrews 1:3, 6, 8, 10-12

    Trinitas Unitas = three in One
    Unitas Trinitas = One in three

    Like

    • Ken your ignorance of Christian tradition is shocking. Go read the Athanasian creed. It explicitly says each person of the trinity is fully God. Ergo there are three gods.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Athanasian Creed. Yes I have read it many times before. Yes, each person of the Trinity is fully God (by substance), but it also says many times, “yet there is only One God”. So your “Ergo. . . ” is ignorant of Christian tradition.

        The Athanasian Creed: (Based on Athanasius’ and Augustine’s theology, written around 500 AD)

        Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold to the catholic (Universal) faith.

        Anyone who does not keep it whole and unbroken will doubtless perish eternally.

        Now this is the catholic (Universal) faith:

        That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity,
        neither blending their persons
        nor dividing their essence.
        For the person of the Father is a distinct person,
        the person of the Son is another,
        and that of the Holy Spirit still another.
        But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one,
        their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.

        What quality the Father has, the Son has, and the Holy Spirit has.
        The Father is uncreated,
        the Son is uncreated,
        the Holy Spirit is uncreated.

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

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

        And yet there are not three eternal beings;
        there is but one eternal being.
        So too there are not three uncreated or immeasurable beings;
        there is but one uncreated and immeasurable being.

        Similarly, the Father is almighty,
        the Son is almighty,
        the Holy Spirit is almighty.
        Yet there are not three almighty beings;
        there is but one almighty being.

        Thus the Father is God,
        the Son is God,
        the Holy Spirit is God.
        Yet there are not three gods;
        there is but one God.

        Thus the Father is Lord,
        the Son is Lord,
        the Holy Spirit is Lord.
        Yet there are not three lords;
        there is but one Lord.

        Just as Christian truth compels us
        to confess each person individually
        as both God and Lord,
        so catholic (Universal) religion forbids us
        to say that there are three gods or lords.

        The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten from anyone.
        The Son was neither made nor created;
        he was begotten from the Father alone.
        The Holy Spirit was neither made nor created nor begotten;
        he proceeds from the Father and the Son.

        Accordingly there is one Father, not three fathers;
        there is one Son, not three sons;
        there is one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.

        Nothing in this trinity is before or after,
        nothing is greater or smaller;
        in their entirety the three persons
        are coeternal and coequal with each other.

        So in everything, as was said earlier,
        we must worship their trinity in their unity
        and their unity in their trinity.

        Anyone then who desires to be saved
        should think thus about the trinity.

        But it is necessary for eternal salvation
        that one also believe in the incarnation
        of our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully.

        Now this is the true faith:

        That we believe and confess
        that our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son,
        is both God and human, equally.

        He is God from the essence of the Father,
        begotten before time;
        and he is human from the essence of his mother,
        born in time;
        completely God, completely human,
        with a rational soul and human flesh;
        equal to the Father as regards divinity,
        less than the Father as regards humanity.

        Although he is God and human,
        yet Christ is not two, but one.
        He is one, however,
        not by his divinity being turned into flesh,
        but by God’s taking humanity to himself.
        He is one,
        certainly not by the blending of his essence,
        but by the unity of his person.
        For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh,
        so too the one Christ is both God and human.

        He suffered for our salvation;
        he descended to hell;
        he arose from the dead;
        he ascended to heaven;
        he is seated at the Father’s right hand;
        from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
        At his coming all people will arise bodily
        and give an accounting of their own deeds.
        Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
        and those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.

        This is the catholic (Universal) faith:
        one cannot be saved without believing it firmly and faithfully.

        Like

  5. @ Paul

    Indeed, I thought that was the weirdest argument he’s ever brought lol.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: