Love and the Trinity

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darinhouston
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by darinhouston » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:15 am

Yes, it looks like she figured out the podcast title -- I'm enjoying the sermon on patience, but haven't finished it yet.

Publishing on iTunes looks easy -- I just haven't done it before. Here's what they say to do... There is an editorial unit that must approve them (I think mainly to ensure the podcast is properly formatted with author, genre, and other meta data, so it can take a few weeks I think to appear.

1.Open iTunes.
2.Click the iTunes Store icon in the Source list.
3.From the Choose Genre pop-up menu, choose Podcasts.
4.Click the big "Publish a Podcast" button in the middle of the screen

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mattrose
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by mattrose » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:58 pm

I just went through and typed out my favorite quotes from Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves. So, I thought I'd share them:

Delighting in the Trinity

Intro
“God is love because God is a Trinity.”

“If the Trinity were something we could shave off God, we would not be relieiving him of some irksome weight; we would be shearing him of precisely what is so delightful about him. For God is triune, and it is as triune that he is so good and desirable.”

“Knowing the love of God is the very thing that makes us loving.”

“This triune God has revealed himself to us. Thus the Trinity is not some piece of inexplicable apparent nonsense… Rather, because the triune God has revealed himself, we can understand the Trinity.”

“The Trinity is not a problem.”

“What makes Christianity absolutely distinct is the identity of our God… because the Christian God is triune, the Trinity is the governing center of all Christian belief, the truth that shapes and beautifies all others.”

Chapter 1

“I can never really love the God who is essentially just The Ruler. And that, ironically, means I can never keep the greatest command: to love the Lord my God.”

“Before he ever created, before he ever ruled the world, before anything else, this God was a Father loving his son” [John 17:24].

“The most foundational thing in God is not some abstract quality, but the fact that he is Father. Again and again, the Scriptures equate the terms God and Father.”

“When John writes ‘God is love’… he is clearly referring to the Father… God could not be love if there were nobody to love. He could not be a Father without a child.”

“It is important to note that the Son is the eternal Son. There was never a time when he didn’t exist. If there were, then God is a completely different sort of being. If there were once a time when the Son didn’t exist, then there was once a time when the Father was not yet a Father. And if that is the case, then once upon a time God was not loving since all by himself he would have had nobody to love.”

Chapter 2

“Of course, the Qur’an speaks of Allah’s love and of creation, but it is hard to see quite how those things can be.”

“To hear a tuneful harmony can be one of the most intoxicatingly beautiful experiences. And no wonder: as in heaven, so on earth. The Father, Son and Spirit have always been in delicious harmony, and thus they create a world where harmonies—distinct beings, persons or notes working in unity—are good, mirroring the very being of the triune God.”

Chapter 3

“What, then, went wrong? It was not that Adam and Eve stopped loving. They were created as lovers in the image of God, and they could not undo that. Instead, their love turned. When the apostle Paul writes of sinners, he describes them as ‘lovers of themselves, lovers of money,… lover of pleasure rather than lovers of God’ (2 Tim 3:2-4). Lovers we remain, but twisted, our love misdirected and perverted.”

“If God is a single person, and has always been alone, why should he speak?... The habit of keeping himself to himself would run deep. Such a God would be far more likely to remain unknown.”

“What is so significant is the fact that Allah’s word is a book, not a true companion for him. And it is a book that is only about him. Thus when Allah gives us his Qur’an, he gives us some thing, a deposit of information about himself and how he likes things. However, when the triune God gives us his Word, he gives us his very self.”

“If he [Jesus] were not truly God, of the very being of the Father, he could not truly reveal God and we would be left wondering if the God he represented is really as good as he.”

Chapter 4

“By the Spirit I (slowly!) begin to love as God loves, with his own generous, overflowing, self-giving love for others.”

“We cannot choose what we love, but always love what seems desirable to us. Thus we will only change what we love when something proves itself to be more desirable to us than what we already love. I will, then, always love sin and the world until I truly sense that Christ is better. And this is what the Spirit does in us: he makes us taste and see that the Lord is good.”

“Oneness for the single-person God would mean sameness… oneness for the triune God means unity.”

“We become like what we worship.”

“If I don’t enjoy Christ, I won’t speak of him. Or, perhaps worse, I will, but without love and enjoyment—and if my mouth does give away my heart, people will hear of an unwanted Christ. And who would want that?”

Chapter 5

“The atheist’s problem is not so much with the existence of God as with the character of God… but the triune God is not that God… Is it too much of a coincidence that the advance of atheism parallels the retreat of the church on the Trinity?”

“The triune, living God of the Bible is beauty. Here is a God we can really want, and whose sovereignty we can wholeheartedly rejoice in.”

“People eve say things like, ‘Yes, God is loving, but he is also holy’—as if holiness is an unloving thing, the cold side of God that stops God from being too loving. Balderdash! Poppycock!”

“What we think godliness is reveals what we think of God.”

“But with this God, no wonder the two greatest commandments are ‘love the Lord your God’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ For that is being like this God.”

“God isn’t wrathful in spite of being love. God is wrathful because God is love.”

“Other gods need worship and service and sustenance. But this God needs nothing. He has life in himself—and so much so that he is brimming over.”

“’God is dead’ is where true faith begins. For, on the cross, Christ the glory puts to death all false ideas of God.”

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jriccitelli
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by jriccitelli » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:22 am

“God is dead’ is where true faith begins. For, on the cross, Christ the glory puts to death all false ideas of God” (above)
Obviously this caught my attention, so I had to look through this thread. I still don't know how 'God is dead'... 'puts to death all false ideas of God'? Or what Michael Reeves meant by God is dead. You could say all 'other' gods are false, or dead.
I guess I've never heard anyone wax poetic so much in conjecture of how the godhead might relate and converse and enjoy each other and the like as separate persons. They talked about the holy family and so personified God that it made me very uncomfortable. I think that's at the core of my concern in this area and I think we have become much too willing to try and personify God and put Him in terms we can understand and relate to as it pertains to human emotion and interaction. I think we tread on the commandment not to have a graven image and the like if we try too hard to "picture" God and equate Him with our reality. I am comfortable knowing that in a sense that we need to understand that He "is Love" without needing to ascribe to Him the need to "express Love" in eternity in the same way we might express love to others.
At times, it sounded like they were referring to a "burning in the bosom" of sorts as they considered the Trinity and almost gave that evidentiary support for the proposition based on how good they felt when they contemplated it. (Darin, Dec 6)
Have to agree with all of this Darin. Especially the last part, being very familiar with this Mormon way of determining truth.
No need to aplologize for the confusion, er, trinitarianism, Matt.... :lol: (Brenden, Dec 24)
Brenden, I have seen you add this into the Trinitarian discussions more than a few times, and we discussed it. I 'could' also add that same kind of quip to any discussion about anything. But is that fair or true? Do you know what love is Brenden? Do you know what God is Brenden? Do you know what spirit is Brenden? If you are so confident to know all there is about each of these things, then I guess we could not accuse you of being confused about them. I see this as a 'effort' to make people 'sound' confused, when they are not. Note, that most all the Google/yahoo searches on confused/Trinity come from non-Trinitarians. Because someone does not believe something, does not mean others are confused :lol:

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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by jriccitelli » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:42 am

Note I am not arguing with Matt here, as I did not even read through this whole thread, nor do I disagree with anything in particular, but I strung this list together just as an exercise at one time. Never the less, I don’t know if I would go so far as to say: “Indeed, all other 'attributes' of God are simply His love playing out in context” simply because the bible does not explicitly say that. I don’t know how immortality, Omniscience, Omnipotence, Holiness, Wisdom, wrath, light and fire etc. all can be poured into one word or English definition and understanding of ‘love’ (note even the word 'love' has a variety of definitions, and by nature difficult to define). I don’t think making God love, as we know it, is possible or necessary to do so. Albeit, I do believe that I could 'try' and make love fit into all Gods other attributes, just not dogmatically.

God is One. Mark 12:29
God is mighty. Job 36:5
God is great, and greater than we can understand Job 36:26
God is Holy. Psalm 99:9
God is Wise. Job 9:4
God is Light. 1John 1:5
God is the Word. John 1
God is near. Duet 4:7
God is a Rock. Psalm 18:31
God is fire. Duet. 4:24
God is jealous. Duet 6:15
God is avenging and wrathful. Nahum 1:2
God is righteous. Daniel 9:14
God is known. Romans 1:19
God is the watchman. Hosea 9:8
God is God of gods and Lord of lords. Daniel 2:47
God is Salvation. Isaiah 12:2
God is Immortal. Romans 1:23
God is Invisible. 1Tim.1:17
God is able. 2 Cor.9:8
God is just. 2 Thes.1:6
God is a revealer of mysteries. Daniel 2:47
God is coming Col.3:6
God is all this and more than we can imagine. Job 36:26

Trying to argue that any, or all, of these can, or cannot, be strictly nouns, pronouns, verbs, or adjectives would take forever. And just as it is difficult to say God is a proverb, if we substitute: The Father is Love, or Jesus is Love, or The Lord is Love, it changes the context. If God is Light and a Consuming Fire, then can we say: Light is Love, Consuming Fire is love? Maybe, but I don't know. Can we say Jesus is Light, or Jesus is Consuming Fire? God is One, and all these attributes are just as much Him, as they are verbs and adjectives to describe Him. But good Hermeneutics would not allow us to define something as complex as God with One word alone, and I don’t think God does either.

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TheEditor
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by TheEditor » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:22 am

Hi JR,

Actually, that quote was from Feb. not Dec. so almost a year now.

To quote a judge, "I may not know how to define pornography, but I know it when I see it." I suppose the same could be said for love, or any number of things. As far as the theological words you raised, "spirit", "God", etc. No, I don't suppose I could adequately define those. However, I can accept them if I believe they exist and that they are the only way certain truths can be described. However, to say the same is true of the trinity, is a stretch. The problem for me is not the trinitarian that says they can accept on faith that which they cannot explain. The problem for me is the trinitarian that says every Christian MUST accept on faith that which they cannot understand, and to go a step further, pretend the biggest charade in the world that there does exist intelligable language for us to qualify such mental contortions. That's about the difference I'd say. I'm fine with saying I cannot explain or apprehend God. It seems trinitarians need to define Him

Regards, Brenden.
[color=#0000FF][b]"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."[/b][/color]

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Paidion
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by Paidion » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:59 am

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Paidion

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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by jriccitelli » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:50 pm

The problem for me is the trinitarian that says every Christian MUST accept on faith that which they cannot understand...
I notice you changed this from 'confused' to 'cannot understand'. Are you confused? You are confused to think Trinitarians all say they cannot understand. No one in the bible studies I attend say they are confused, nor would any say they cannot understand the Trinity. Maybe you could find a better study group. Where is this creed or confession to which you are presuming Christians must accept, I have never seen it. The oldest creed the Church knows though, seems is to be 'Jesus is Lord' and with it the famous Shema "Hear O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one'
... and to go a step further, pretend the biggest charade in the world that there does exist intelligable language for us to qualify such mental contortions. That's about the difference I'd say. I'm fine with saying I cannot explain or apprehend God. It seems trinitarians need to define Him' (Brenden)
I think God defined Himself; there is One God and One Lord, and Jesus is Lord. It seems you are confused, and not those who believe Jesus is Yahweh.

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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by Paidion » Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:36 pm

You made some keen observations there, Brenden. And from JR's response, it looks like he is on his soapbox again.

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Same old arguments. Jesus is Lord, and Yahweh is Lord, so Jesus is Yahweh, and therefore Jesus is God. Yet Jesus and the Father are two different Persons.
You are perfectly right, Brenden, about Trinitarian confusion.
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by TheEditor » Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:39 pm

Hi Paidion,

Thanks for the kind remarks. I'm afraid to some it will merely be seen as the "amen corner". ;)

JR, I was using a bit of good-natured teasing to Matt in that post 11 months ago. Are things so boring for you that you need to take umbrage to something I said to someone else?

I am not changing from using the term "confusion" to "cannot understand". I have always felt that any honest trinitarian will admit they "cannot understand" it. But if you spent enough years as I did with the express purpose of seeking such discussion/debate with the average church-goer (and frankly, even Evangelical) you will find after about 5 minutes of conversation that they haven't even doped out the teaching for themselves enough to know what the definitions of the creed are, let alone be able to explain it. And at that point you can see the confusion written all over their faces. So for you to say there is no "confusion" among trinitarians is to view the church with rose-colored glasses.

My point about the trinity has always been whether or not there is sufficient Scriptural support to warrant the kind of codified definitions that have been given it throughout the centuries and more importantly, if said creedal definitions are the crux of Christian fellowship. If you believe they are, then you should view me as anathema and have no further conversations with me.

Regards, Brenden.
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by jriccitelli » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:49 am

'Same old arguments. Jesus is Lord, and Yahweh is Lord, so Jesus is Yahweh, and therefore Jesus is God. Yet Jesus and the Father are two different Persons' (Paidion)
Exactly, same Old bible, same Old Commandments and truths, same Old God.
JR, I was using a bit of good-natured teasing to Matt in that post 11 months ago. Are things so boring for you that you need to take umbrage to something I said to someone else? (Brenden)
Good natured or not, like you said: I know it when we see it. I never had a chance to read through this thread before, and I noticed you used the word confused of Trinitarians, again, just like you did in other threads, and I pointed it out. I have been around long enough to see and point out that: ‘this as a 'effort' to make people 'sound' confused, when they are not’ (long enough in life, not just here). And since this is about learning to determine biblical truth and God, we should be able to recognize speech patterns, and know it when we see it.
'... I have always felt that any honest trinitarian will admit they "cannot understand" it' (Brenden)
Many Christians have only a third grade ability to back up 'any' doctrine, but it is most likely true that many humans have only a third grade ability to back up ‘anything’ they say or believe. Not being able to initially back up what you believe with a verse or argument, is not the same as 'cannot' understand it, or being confused.
But if you spent enough years as I did with the express purpose of seeking such discussion/debate with the average church-goer (and frankly, even Evangelical) you will find after about 5 minutes of conversation that they haven't even doped out the teaching for themselves enough to know what the definitions of the creed are, let alone be able to explain it’ (Brenden)
Exactly, they go door to door, month after month, with the same well-rehearsed rebuke of Biblical theology from their patented formula and defamation of the Godhead. JWs go door to door ready with a distorted theological argument, and wonder why an average person who was doing laundry, and in the middle of making lunch, a minute earlier, is confused by these two people who believe there are two gods, do not recognize it, and then go about to try and theorize it. If anything, Christians are confused to ‘why’ one would even ‘have’ to explain to someone in a western civilization that there is only One God. And why would someone standing on their porch, who purports to believe the bible, would even argue otherwise. Like when someone tells you ‘the lunar landing was a fake’ what do you say to that? It is the same initial feeling.

What you often witnessed is the initial ‘amazement and shock’ that Evangelicals have upon hearing the JWs explanation and beliefs about scripture. Especially the look Evangelicals get when they hear a JW read from John 1 and have them tell us “and the Word was a god!” It is hard for Evangelicals to hide their facial expression, and not drop their jaw, when hearing someone with a bible open in their hands, say that.

If someone believes: there is ‘Only One God, who is: The One Lord’, and they believe ‘Jesus is The Lordthey are not confused. God said there is The One true God, and that 'all' other gods and deities are false, this is 'the' biblical premise.

For example: If someone says they believe Jesus is the Messiah, yet they are challenged on giving the specific prophecies or reasons for why they believe, they are not confused any more than the person who denies Jesus is the Messiah. What can be said of one would apply to the other then. It is a fallacy to call either party confused simply because they can’t explain something well.

It must be true that only one is correct though, as the Bibles overwhelming emphasis is: who and what God is, and what God is not. God did not feel we could understand everything about God, or need to, but God made it clear that He gave us enough information about Himself to know Him well enough, and recognize Him when we see Him. We are ‘commanded to believe and trust’ in this revealed knowledge of Him. God spent quite abit of time defining who and what He was. Don't you agree? :|
Last edited by jriccitelli on Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:48 am, edited 3 times in total.

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