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God is Love and the Trinity

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God is Love and the Trinity

Postby Homer » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:44 pm

If God the Father, God the Word/Son, and God the Holy Sprit have not eternally co-existed then it would seem necessary to say that God was not always love as the word translated love, agape, in "God is Love", speaks of an attitude of one being toward another. If there was ever not another then during that state of being God was not love.
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Re: God is Love and the Trinity

Postby mattrose » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:07 pm

I totally agree with this... but it has not been convincing to others when I've shared it :)
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Re: God is Love and the Trinity

Postby steve7150 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:36 pm

If God the Father, God the Word/Son, and God the Holy Sprit have not eternally co-existed then it would seem necessary to say that God was not always love as the word translated love, agape, in "God is Love", speaks of an attitude of one being toward another. If there was ever not another then during that state of being God was not love.








Paul said that God speaks of things that are not yet as though they are, so God can have a love attitude toward something foreseen IMO. Also not to muddy the waters but as i've said before i can't reconcile how there can be three eternal divine beings yet one God. The math doesn't seem to work.
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Re: God is Love and the Trinity

Postby psimmond » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:56 pm

You could probably say that many of the things we say about God come from his dealings with his creation. "God is love" may make sense because God loves. Likewise, it probably makes no sense to say God is omniscient if only God exists. What would it mean? That he knows all of his thoughts?
Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.
~Garry Friesen
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Re: God is Love and the Trinity

Postby mattrose » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:31 am

I continue to insist that the moment we step toward a unitarian view of God, we step away from the phrase 'God is love'

Yes, it could be that God's love is based on knowledge of his future relationship with creation, but that (to my mind) makes God's love dependent on God's creation.

To me, if 'God is love' then God's love is not dependent on anything. It's just essential to God. God is light. God is Spirit. God is love. These are all essential aspects of God and are not dependent on creation to any degree. They are who God is.
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Re: God is Love and the Trinity

Postby Timios » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:38 pm

Didn't Jesus Himself indicate a unitarian view of God when He called His Father the "only true God" in His prayer in John 17:3?
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Re: God is Love and the Trinity

Postby psimmond » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:35 pm

I agree with Timios. If you start with the assumption that late second century - early third century church fathers were correct in their trinity formulation, then it makes perfect sense to understand "God is love" the way mattrose does. But if you just go from the words of Jesus, I think it makes more sense to view this statement as characterizing God's relationship to his creation.
Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.
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Re: God is Love and the Trinity

Postby Homer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:31 pm

Didn't Jesus Himself indicate a unitarian view of God when He called His Father the "only true God" in His prayer in John 17:3?


But when Jesus "emptied Himself" he gave up what He was, and was not what He was before. I think we make too little of His taking on flesh. If He was fully God while here on earth what did He give up? We could say He was still fully God and additionally fully man, while here on earth, but that would be addition, not subtraction. He was fully dependent on His father while here on earth, it seems to me from the scriptures. Did He not thank God that God always heard Him? Why the need to appeal to God for anything?
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Re: God is Love and the Trinity

Postby mattrose » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:33 pm

Timios wrote:Didn't Jesus Himself indicate a unitarian view of God when He called His Father the "only true God" in His prayer in John 17:3?


Well all of us admit that there are unitarian sounding verses and binitarian sounding verses and trinitarian sounding verses, right?

So I don't think the resolves the issue.
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Re: God is Love and the Trinity

Postby Singalphile » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:51 pm

I don't have any problem with trinitarianism (I agree with it, more or less) nor with the idea that love is an important characteristic of God, but it seems possible that "God is love" (1 John 4:8) could be understood in the same way as "I know that His command is everlasting life" (John 12:50) and "this is eternal life, that they may know You" (John 17:3).

Jesus and John are not defining those terms. Rather, they are telling us how eternal life and love are acquired. In other words, it's not that knowing and obeying God and His commands are equal to eternal life or that God is equal to love in some way, but rather that eternal life and love are the result of knowing and obeying God. Several translations interpret the above verses that way, but not 1 John 4:8, though the wording is the same or similar.

But aside from that, why would three people be necessary to exhibit love? Wouldn't two be enough?
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23
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