If Jesus is the Son of God, who is the Father of God?
Hi desib, nice to see you again.
I must have said it several times already, but what struck me when I left the JWs is that the Trinity doctrine did make a lot of sense from an insider's perspective. From within the Trinity itself.
As a mere description of a "God out there" it seems like arbitrary technicality.
When you consider it from the believers' perspective it simply means the oneness of "God" above you as the source of your being (the Father), before you as the "icon" of Christ (the Son), in and between you (the Holy Spirit). Mysterious of course but quite simple actually.
Most of the NT "prooftexts" (esp. the Gospel of John) which were used to back up the later Nicene synthesis were written from a similar perspective. Most later mystics came back to something close to it, instead of the "outward," "ontological" Trinity meant to describe God's being in se.
Welcome to the debate, one that has been going on, quite literally, for nearly 2 milennia.
My conclusion? If the issue were all that important, if one's very salvation hinged on a proper understanding of God's nature, if belief or disbelief on that single issue was the fulcrum between a life of bliss or unending pain & torment....
...Wouldn't God have made it a bit clearer for us? Why give mankind an enigma that would lead to thousands of years of debate & would at times cost people their lives? Why give, to any objective observer, clearly contradictory statements in his one direct message to mankind?
Personally, I don't think one's belief or disbelief in "a trinity" would make much difference to God anyway.
As Balian the blacksmith said, "If he is God, he will understand. And if he does not, then he is not God, and we need not worry."
Sir82 that is also my position, the trinity is not a salvation issue and the church better focus on the more mundane and practical issues of christianising and spiritualising society that remain unresolved for 2000 years and let God be whatever He is.
I agree with other posters. I don't feel this is a 'critical' belief, but I have researched it. I found this book particularly helpful.
When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome (Paperback) by Richard E. Rubenstein
Thanks for all of the opinions. I guess it is important to me because when I pray I think of one God and I just can't picture it any other way. I thought maybe I was just so set in the JW viewpoint that I wasn't allowing myself to be open to the Trinity idea. I know I will never really know but it makes me feel better that I'm not the only one that has not completely rejected all JW beliefs.
Thank you for all of the thoughts. It is nice to be back.