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Trinitarian Crisis in Popular Evangelicalism

brorito's picture

Several years ago I came to the suspicion that the doctrine of the trinity had fallen on hard times. The lack of empirical indicators to prove such a statement left me only with a suspicion. However, it seemed to me that the doctrine of the trinity didn’t quite get the same recognition as some of the popular teachings like prosperity, morality, self-esteem, and relationships. Yet one cannot deny the perennial nature of the trinity and its related teachings. It doesn't take long before one begins to notice that within contemporary evangelicalism discourses seem to emphasize second order discourses and primary order discourses Christology, God, or the trinity were relegated to secondary status. It seems to me that the sentiment today is that the trinity is a doctrine to be believed not understood which I would say is a CRISIS. Any thoughts?

jwmcmac's picture

Dustin said: "In some places

Dustin said:

"In some places Jesus is also called God or Lord: Romans 9:5, Hebrews 1:8, Titus 2:13, II Peter 1:1, John 1:1, John: 1:18, etc. However, please note that Jesus is NEVER called the ONE GOD in Scripture. That phrase is used, but it is only used of the Father."

jwmcmac comments:

I take the Catholic Church's position . . . as best I know or understand it in regards to Faith and Morals.

If you say that is the only place in Scripture where the ONE GOD is used . . . and in reference to the FATHER . . . maybe you are correct . . . I don't know at this moment . . . but as to the Teaching of the Trinity . . . it is the Church which is the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth . . . and I believe that what She has to say comes from Scripture also . . . but She includes both the Written and the Oral Tradition of Faith given from CHRIST to the Apostles . . . so that in regards to what you have said . . .

Well . . . sort of . . . as long as that is not the limiting factor of the Discussion and as long as the Authority of Truth . . . which is the Church . . . is included . . . then I am totally with you . . .

When referring to the Trinity, we are referring to the One GOD . . . Scripture or no Scripture . . . with the FATHER Being in Charge of the Divine Will as regards all Three, just as a Father on earth is supposed to be in charge of the Family . . . so to speak.

Soooo . . . even though I Believe it would be proper to refer to any of the Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity as the One GOD . . . and I Believing that the Church has no problem with this either . . .

. . . still . . . it would seem more natural and perhaps more normal to include the Person of the FATHER in every reference to the One GOD . . . and when I am speaking of the One GOD then I am so speaking of GOD the FATHER as the Head of the Family which is the HOLY TRINITY . . . since this Divine Person is the One in Charge . . . so to speak . . . and the SON and the HOLY SPIRIT Having the exact same Will . . . but a different Role . . . Their Roles being more of a Submissive Will if talking of the HOLY TRINITY . . . but Their Will being the Same Will as that of the FATHER in every regard . . . whether speaking individually and distinctly of each of Their Persons or whether speaking Collectively of all Three as One Indivisible Family under the FATHER.

You are correct that even if we use some semantics that seem to be of a modal nature . . . in order to distinguish our references to the Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity . . . we cannot allow ourselves to stop there or to limit our view to such a limited view.

The Mystery cannot be encapsulated in one description or view . . . but on the other hand . . . each view helps us to 'see' a little more of WHO the Blessed Trinity Is and WHO the Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity Are.

JESUS came to DO the FATHER's Divine Will . . . and the HOLY SPIRIT will bring about the accomplishment of this task and Work also in us . . . and by GOD's Design, we each singularly and all collectively are incorporated into CHRIST by the SPIRIT in order to accomplish this Divine Plan in the whole and entire Universe . . .

. . . 'THY Kingdom come and THY Will be Done on earth as in Heaven' . . . the fulfillment of the Prayer of CHRIST in the Garden on the night before HE Died.

In number 3) of your quote . . . "The SON and the SPIRIT are GOD in a 'derivative' manner . . . I personally don't like that 'semantic' usage . . . as it is incomplete to say the least . . .

. . . However, in searching for a way to say that the SON proceeds from the FATHER and that the HOLY SPIRIT Proceeds mutually from the FATHER and the SON . . . one could use such a word, poorly, but only if qualified by all that the Creed and the Doctrines say following and surrounding these facts.

But then, if one were to understand all the other Facts . . . one could use this word . . . however poorly used and however limiting it may be otherwise.

. . . at least that is my view of this.

There are some things in Scripture which lend themselves to meditation concerning CHRIST being fully GOD and fully Man and that there are distinctions in this Reality which we cannot fully understand . . . as it is difficult to understand . . . and some of those things are these . . .

CHRIST 'emptied' HIMSELF in order to become a Man . . . of what did HE empty HIMSELF . . . of HIS Divine 'prerogatives' . . . did HE empty HIMSELF into someone or something else . . . perhaps into HIS Mother who was 'Full of Grace' from the first moment of Her Immaculate Conception in Her Mother's womb. Much to meditate on . . . without going too far.

CHRIST increased and grew in Age and Wisdom and Grace before both GOD and Man. Did HE increase and grow in the same manner that HE expects for us to do so? . . . by living, Sacrificing, Praying constantly, Obeying . . . Working . . . 'Doing' the FATHER's Will . . .

and . . .

Not even the SON Knows . . . but only the FATHER . . .

CHRIST Being GOD Knew/Knows everything . . . that HE wants to Know . . . so did HE Hide something from HIS Sacred Humanity . . . or is it that it is not Proper for HIM as Man to reveal something that only HE as GOD Knows and in Obedience to the FATHER's WIll and Plan? . . . to me . . . this being the more likely scenario.

Some related thoughts . . . at least to me.

GOD Bless us all.