Skip to comments.Why Do We Believe in the Trinity?
Posted on 06/14/2006 8:05:55 AM PDT by NYer
We believe in the Blessed Trinity because we believe in Jesus, Who revealed the Trinity. God had prepared the Jews not only to welcome the Messiah, but to recognize through revelation what philosophers like Aristotle achieved through reason: that there is a God and there can only be one God.
Moses said to the Jews, Acknowledge today and take to heart that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other but to believe in God Who is the only God. When the Messiah finally came, He revealed a huge mystery that went far beyond what the Jews were expecting: that the one God in Whom they believe is not solitary, but a unity, a communion of three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and that the Messiah is the Son.
He told them explicitly that the Father and He are one (Jn 10:30). He told them that He and the Father would send the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26, Jn 15:26). And when He sent them out to baptize in the name of God, He didnt give them instructions to baptize in the names of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as if they were three different gods but in the name, for they are fundamentally a union of three persons. This is what the term Trinity means. It was devised by the early Church apologist Tertullian around the year 200 from the Latin words unitas and trinus, literally unity and three. It signifies that there is a unity of three persons in one God.
Since the beginning of the Church, theologians have spent their lives trying to penetrate this mystery and explain it to others. St. Patrick used the image of a three-leaf clover. St. Augustine used the image of the mind, with memory, reason and will. More recent minds have used the image of H20, which can exist as ice, water, or steam. But none of these analogies though interesting and somewhat helpful do justice to the reality of the mystery of how three persons can exist in the one God.
When St. Augustine was in the middle of his voluminous and classic study of the Blessed Trinity, he took a walk along the beach in northern Africa to try to clear his head and pray. He saw a young girl repeatedly filling a scallop shell with sea water and emptying it into a hole she had dug in the sand. What are you doing? Augustine tenderly asked. I'm trying to empty the sea into this hole, the child replied. How do you think that with a little shell, Augustine retorted, you can possibly empty this immense ocean into a tiny hole? The little girl countered, And how do you, with your small head, think you can comprehend the immensity of God? As soon as the girl said this, she disappeared, convincing Augustine that she had been an angel sent to teach him an important lesson: No matter how gifted God had made him, he would never be able to comprehend fully the mystery of the Trinity.
This, of course, does not mean we cannot understand anything. If we want to get to the heart of the mystery of the Trinity, we can turn to the most theological of the Apostles, who meditated deeply on all that Jesus had revealed and, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said simply and synthetically, God is love (1 Jn 4:16). For God to be love, He has to love someone. None of us can love in a vacuum; there must always be an object of our love. Who is the object of Gods love? It cannot be man, or the created world, or the universe, because all of these existed in time and God is eternal and therefore existed before time.
Its also impossible to say that God merely loved Himself in a solitary way, because this would not really be love but a form of egotism and narcissism. For God to be love, there needed to be an eternal relationship of love, with one who loves, one who is loved, and the love that unites them. This is what exists in the Blessed Trinity: The Father loved His image, the Son, so much that their mutual and eternal love spirated or generated the Holy Spirit. They exist in a communion of love. The three persons of the Blessed Trinity are united in absolutely everything except, as the early Church councils said, their relations of origin, what it means to be Father, what it means to be Son of the Father, and what it means to proceed from the Father and the Son.
These theological insights about the blessed Trinity may seem theoretical, but they become highly practical when we reflect on the fact that we have been made in the image and likeness of God and called to communion with God. To be in the image and likeness of God means to be created in the image and likeness of a communion of persons in love. Our belief in the Trinity the central teaching of the Catholic faith has given the Church the deepest understanding available to human beings of the nature of man, the meaning of human life, and what it means to love.
You didn't, but you complained at 595 that the conversation was headed in that direction. Therefore, I pinged you, so you would know that I am paying attention.
I see. I wanted to be sure I had not committed an infraction of the rules somehow. I didn't think I had, but sometimes we can't see our own errors. Thank you for the response.
"[W]e too would observe the fleshly circumcision, and the Sabbaths, and in short all the feasts, if we did not know for what reason they were enjoined [on] younamely, on account of your transgressions and the hardness of your heart. . . . [H]ow is it, Trypho, that we would not observe those rites which do not harm usI speak of fleshly circumcision and Sabbaths and feasts? . . . God enjoined you to keep the Sabbath, and imposed on you other precepts for a sign, as I have already said, on account of your unrighteousness and that of your fathers . . ." (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 18, 21 [A.D. 155]). Justin Martyr
"But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead" (First Apology 67 [A.D. 155]). Justin Martyr
Tell me again that Constantine was the originator of Sunday being the new day of worship for Christians? Compare the date that you gave of 321 C.E.(which should rightfully be A.D.)with the Early Church Fathers that I gave. It doesn't mesh does it? Proving that the early Christians celebrated Sunday worship before this "decree" of Constantine's.
579 posted on 06/20/2006 5:54:18 PM MDT by FJ290
Do you follow the will of the L-rd G-d, creator of the universe or mere men ? b'shem Y'shua
There is no "ramping" up in my mind. We are all sinners unworthy of our calling. It is ONLY because of the righteousness of Christ and God's gracious mercy is any of us are worthy. None of us is any better or any worst than anyone else in our congregation. If a poor man comes into the assembly, they carry equal weight as an elder of the church except in authority. Billy Graham is no more "spiritual" than Joe Smythley who God is using in a very nominal way. Fact is, if Billy Graham and Joe Smythley walked in through the door of your church, who do you think most people would rush over to greet? This is completely against what James was talking about.
Joe may spend years and years in very little external spiritual growth. Perhaps that's is God's will who is responsible for giving the growth. But while Joe might not grow very much throughout his life, there is no way Joe, if he is a true believer, will continue to live in sin-especially the sin of homosexuality. It will not happen. The Holy Spirit will convict Joe's heart-not because of anything that you or I say but because this is the working of the Spirit.
Paul makes it very clear that the ONE thing a person could be excommunicated for is unrepentant sin as in the case of the man sleeping with his mother. People who continue to live in sin are suppose to be put out of the church. They are to be reinstated upon signs of true repentance.
Where I would agree is the church is suppose to set forth an example to the world in conduct. We are to be on our "best" behavior. That doesn't mean living by the law but walking in the Spirit giving no way to the indulgences of the flesh.
If you want to think that a gay man has extra hurdles try the "love of money is the root of all evil". Boy, that one should make us all think in our capitalistic society. Do you think a gay man has more hurdles than someone who lust after a 60" HDTV Plasma TV with a home theater surround sound system?
Now wait a minute. I will respectfully answer your question, but is it right to disregard mine to you? I showed where early Christians were worshiping on Sunday way before Constantine's time. You claimed it was because of Constantine that we now worship on Sunday. The dates didn't mesh did they?
I do believe that I follow the will of the Lord. After all, it is He that came to earth and chose the Apostles that would carry on in His name. They celebrated on Sunday, He rose on Sunday, and that's the completion of the New Covenant.
Historical evidence proves that early Christians were worshiping on Sunday. St. Ignatius was the Bishop of Antioch and it is said he was a disciple of St. John. He said in his Letter to the Magnesians that the Jews no longer observed the Sabbath, but observed the Lord's Day which is the day that the Lord rose from the dead. Why would the Bishop of a very early Christian church lie?
Here's an interesting article by a Protestant Professor of Theology. Maybe you will listen to him:
One more question. If you believe that I am breaking the law by worshiping on Sunday, would you hold to the Torah law that I be stoned to death for violating the Sabbath? Often I have to do business on Saturday, I do yard work, I travel on that day, all prohibited in the Torah. According to Torah, it is the will of God that someone like me be stoned to death. Would you follow the will of the Lord God on that law?
The NT permits us to worship whenever we wish, Saturday worshippers notwithstanding.
We're not to be judged on "sabbaths" per the book of Colossians.
Col 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. 20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
We're not to be judged on "sabbaths" per the book of Colossians.
Col 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Hmm.. then why did you ask me "Do you follow the will of the L-rd G-d, creator of the universe or mere men ?" if we're not to be judged? Weren't you just judging me for not following a Saturday Sabbath?
I'm glad you picked those particular verses for I put them up yesterday. Notice how verse 17 says that eating, drinking, religious festivals, new moon festivals and sabbaths were shadows of things to come? Have you ever wondered why St. Paul was telling them to let no man judge them on keeping these things? Who would have been judging them on such matters? Certainly it wouldn't be the Colossian Gentiles, it would have been the Jews judging them for keeping another day of worship, etc.
You must be using a newer translation Bible for all of the older ones I've seen say sabbaths instead of Sabbath day.
You've got the wrong guy. I didn't write the above.
I think it's an internet copy of the NIV.
You could do a day of rest on Tuesday and it wouldn't matter. I do, however, think the early gentile church gradually developed a Sunday service due to Sunday being resurrection day + Saturday evening was considered Sunday
Moreover, the child inherits his corrupt nature from the father, not the mother.
In Adam, all die. (1Cor.15:22)
Pardon me! I should have looked at the ID more carefully. Must have looked at the beginning letters, saw that X, and assumed wrongly.
Hmm.. maybe I need a day of rest, LOL!
Amen. Moreover, the child inherits his corrupt nature from the father, not the mother.(Forthedeclaration)
It is ridiculous to call Catholics idolators because of what we believe about the Blessed Mother. Christ has taken up residence in us metaphorically, not physically as He did with Mary.
Where did you get that people inherit corrupt natures from their father only?
I am enjoying the discourse as well.
I'm glad. Sorry I've not gotten back to you today. My boss dumped a big ASAP-type editing project on my desk this morning. Hopefully, I'll be able to get back to you either late tonight (when I get home) or tomorrow.
Until then, Shalom.
Don't worry about it. Work comes first as it pays the bills so I understand. Take care.
Here we go again. Joseph and Mary had other children. It's definitely mentioned: James (of the Epistle of James), Joseph, Simon, Jude (of the Epistle of Jude), and unnamed sisters. It mentioned that Joseph did not "have union" with Mary until after Jesus was born. Matthew 1:25
Matthew 13:55-56 "...Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers, James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us?"
First, Christ left Mary when He was born.
He never leaves a believer today.
Second, Christ has an active relationship with the believer He indwells.(Jn.15)
As a fetus inside of Mary, Christ did not have any active relationship.
Third, you make Mary, a sinning human being, as co-equal with Christ, who is God, and have prayers to her.
That is idolatry.
Mary is not God, as Christ is and she was born needing a saviour and calls Christ her saviour.(Lk.1:47)
Christ was born sinless, not needing a saviour, and that is why he had to born of a woman (truly human), but not of the seed of a man (not having Adam's sin passed to him)
Nor is Mary a mediator between God and man, since only Christ does that (1Tim.2:5)
Where did you get that people inherit corrupt natures from their father only?
Because the scriptures tells us that all die in Adam.
Christ is called the second Adam, since in Him there is only life (Rom.5:14-21)
The woman is only the carrier of orignal sin (being corrupted herself) but not the transmitter of it.
Neither James nor Jude ever identify themselves as the Lord's sibling, though Jude does say that he is James' brother and a "servant" of our Lord. No person is identified as a son of Joseph or Mary (the tradition of the time was "bar" which means son of). The term brother is often used to describe a relative Abraham's nephew Lot is called a brother.
The word "til" does not mean that the next event ever happens. In the OT it says that the tomb of Moses has not been found "til" this day, and we still don't know where it is.
As far as I can tell, the insistence that Mary bore other children is nothing more than a ploy to diminish Her importance.
Matthew 13:55 (KJV)
55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
So Jesus had 4 brothers. Why would you say that Mary didn’t have any more kids afterwards?