Why Arguments and Debates on the Trinity are a Waste of Time

by AllTimeJeff 95 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • blond-moment

    Math people also point out. I am not a math person, but it was pointed out to me.

    1 x 1 x 1 = 1

  • designs

    Proton . Nuetron . Electron, is that what the Bishops were shooting for or were they trying to compete with older legends like Perseus.

    At least Jerry Siegel imagined Superman being able to stop spears and bullets from piercing him.

  • PSacramento

    The Trinity is simply a human doctrine of man trying to understand God's nature and putting it into words.

    If there is a math equation for the Trinity it is 1x1x1=1, not the silly one of the WT.

    I am not a trinitarin simply because I don't think that doctrine solves as much problems as it creates, BUT I agree with the Trinitarian view point that God exists as Father, Son and HS, in perfect Harmony and union.

    The original creed is an obsolete mismash of ancient words that have very little, if any, meaning for our day and age.

    It is quite alright to not believe in the trinity if it doesn't make any sense to you at all.

  • wobble

    "It is quite alright to not believe in the Trinity if it doesn't make any sense to you at all " I agree, but I have found active and ex. JW's who do not understand the doctrine at all.

    One of the clearest expositions of the trinity that I found was written many years ago by a CHristadelphian Theologian, which is strange as they don't go along with it. If I can locate it, I will post it.

    A simplistic dismissal of the doctrine just because it developed later in the Church's history is particularly ironic coming from the WT. All their unique doctrines are post 19th Century !

    I do agree with the thread title, as all arguments about fictional characters cannot be resolved.

  • PSacramento

    The Trinity was developed as an "official" response to Aryanisim, that is all it was suppose to be and it was NOT suppose to divide believers but bring them to an understanding that woudl unite them.

    And it worked so well, LOL !
    Best laid plans of mice and men and whatnot.

    The issue for Trinitarian is quite simple, of Jesus is NOT God (in nature) then who and what was he that allowed his sacrifice to atone for all?

    The issue actually goes a bit deeper with theologians because they see in a Trinitarian God the core love-relationship goal for Us to strive for and that God wants for Us. God is NOT a human being of course, but we are made in His Image and our ultimate goal is to be ONE with God as God is ONE withing himself woth His Son and His HS.

    Trinitarians believe that this understanding is crucial for the accepteance of God and Christ.

    I don't think that to be that case since God doesn't NEED ANY human doctrine to make Himself know to those that seek Him willingly and lovingly.

  • AllTimeJeff

    This is for Sulla. (it is sort of funny how a statement can be turned into a revealing look at ourselves)

    AllTimeJeff confuses the observation that the Trinity is a mystery with the idea that it is illogical and then sweeps everything up with the simpleminded mathematical observation that three is not equal to one. Honestly, the temptation is to use the equally empty comparison of water to the Trinity (liquid, solid, gas, yet still h2o!) in reply. Let's take a step back.

    It is only logical if the mystery was written by Arthur Conan Doyle, not "The Apostle John". I didh't attack the trinity, I actually commented how useless it is to talk about it.

    I didn't say the Trinity was illogical. I mean, we have evidence of PEOPLE everywhere who are three in one. Totally proves your point. Also, H2O! Totally logical. I bow to that. It totally proves that if water is liquid, solid, and gas as observable lifeless, and brainless phenomenon, it stand to reason that almighty god, the father, son and holy spirit can be the same way. Thank the Father for water! (or the Son... whatever...)

    That said, there is quite a lot of theological reflection on the meaning of the Trinity, focusing in various ways on, for example, a person and a nature might not be the same thing. It's all interesting and difficult, of course, and not the sort of thing that lends itself to online debate easily.

    Of course. On that we agree. It is interesting and difficult, but not at all enlightening when beliefs are challenged....

    So, the idea that debates on the Trinity are pointless because those who accept the Trinity are illogical is really nothing more than self-flattery. Mental masturbation, I guess.

    Wow, do you have camera's in my computer room??? How did you know?

    Uh, say what you want, the Trinity is illogical, nor proveable because H2O has three phases and yet is still water. Nevertheless, have fun believing in it if you want.

    And it is illogical. To say it isn't is to demean the human experience, and I for one am tired of theories of god trampling down on what we poor creations of god actually get to see.

    Now if you will excuse me, I have to find out if all the kings horses and all the kings men put Humpty Dumpty together again.

  • AllTimeJeff

    Having given my opinion, arguing it doesn't matter. A trintarian will always "see" ways to believe. I honestly don't care anymore. I am just amused that so many still do.

  • Sulla

    While I certainly sympathize with those poor souls who drank so deeply of JW theology that they actually agreed to be missionaries for the cause, and understand striking a pose against Christian orthodoxy as a self-potecting act, I have to point out that AllTimeJeff has spectacularly missed the point.

    For example, while I cleary said that the hoary metaphor likening the Trinity to water was empty, Jeff can't be bothered to grasp that and clearly prefers listening to himself point out how weak the metaphor is. Or, I point out that the question depends on whether we can suppose nature and person are really separable concepts and Jeff gets all geeked out by the idea that, in humans, they are not.

    Finally, Jeff swings for the fences and, no doubt typing with authority, insists that the Trinity is too, illogical!

    While I wouldn't say that there is no such thing as a poor argument for the Trinity, or suggest that some dumb people believe it, I think we can see an interesting inversion of the original post in Jeff's follow-ups. Fact it, Jeff really doesn't know what he is talking about, but is happy in his ignorance to mock the worst arguments of the other side and to congratulate himself on his sophistication. In this, there isn't a bit of difference between Jeff now and Gilead Jeff: both were willing to attack the orthodox Christian belief without bothering to understand it.

    In this way, poor Jeff has failed to progress since leaving the JWs. He is, in his heart and mind, really still a dumb JW: triumphant in his ignorance, sure of his intellectual superiority, completely uninterested in the facts. It's no wonder he was such a great JW, hell, he still is!

  • designs

    Sulla the Barbarian.

    I always like how Trinitarians 'see' the Trinity in Jewish writings....requires Clark Kent glasses

  • botchtowersociety

    What Sulla said. When I broke with JWism, I simply could not accept the Trinity. It didn't help that all I had known about the doctrine was strawman attacks against a caricature of the doctrine. Stuff like 1+1+1=3. Anyway, I was out of the JWs mentally, but I was still a unitarian. A couple of personal experiences made me slowly change my mind.

    Incidentally, I really like how CS Lewis explained it metaphorically in Mere Christianity. Instead of using water as an example, he used multidimensionality. I've excerpted the relevant part:

    You know that in space you can move in three ways-to left or right, backwards or forwards, up or down. Every direction is either one of these three or a compromise between them. They are called the three Dimensions. Now notice this. If you are using only one dimension, you could draw only a straight line. If you are using two, you could draw a figure: say, a square. And a square is made up of four straight lines. Now a step further. If you have three dimensions, you can then build what we call a solid body, say, a cube-a thing like a dice or a lump of sugar. And a cube is made up of six squares.

    Do you see the point? A world of one dimension would be a straight line. In a two-dimensional world, you still get straight lines, but many lines make one figure. In a three-dimensional world, you still get figures but many figures make one solid body. In other words, as you advance to more real and more complicated levels, you do not leave behind you the things you found on the simpler levels: you still have them, but combined in new ways-in ways you could not imagine if you knew only the simpler levels.

    Now the Christian account of God involves just the same principle. The human level is a simple and rather empty level. On the human level one person is one being, and any two persons are two separate beings-just as, in two dimensions (say on a flat sheet of paper) one square is one figure, and any two squares are two separate figures. On the Divine level you still find personalities; but up there you find them combined in new ways which we, who do not live on that level, cannot imagine. In God's dimension, so to speak, you find a being who is three Persons while remaining one Being, just as a cube is six squares while remaining one cube. Of course we cannot fully conceive a Being like that: just as, if we were so made that we perceived only two dimensions in space we could never properly imagine a cube. But we can get a sort of faint notion of it. And when we do, we are then, for the first time in our lives, getting some positive idea, however faint, of something super-personal-something more than a person. It is something we could never have guessed, and yet, once we have been told, one almost feels one ought to have been able to guess it because it fits in so well with all the things we know already.

    You may ask, "If we cannot imagine a three-personal Being, what is the good of talking about Him?" Well, there isn't any good talking about Him. The thing that matters is being actually drawn into that three-personal life, and that may begin any time -tonight, if you like.

    What I mean is this. An ordinary simple Christian kneels down to say his prayers. He is trying to get into touch with God. But if he is a Christian he knows that what is prompting him to pray is also God: God, so to speak, inside him. But he also knows that all his real knowledge of God comes through Christ, the Man who was God-that Christ is standing beside him, helping him to pray, praying for him. You see what is happening. God is the thing to which he is praying-the goal he is trying to reach. God is also the thing inside him which is pushing him on-the motive power. God is also the road or bridge along which he is being pushed to that goal. So that the whole threefold life of the three-personal Being is actually going on in that ordinary little bedroom where an ordinary man is saying his prayers. The man is being caught up into the higher kind of life-what I called Zoe or spiritual life: he is being pulled into God, by God, while still remaining himself.

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