The Divine Genius of the Trinity

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Re: The Divine Genius of the Trinity

Post by Otherness » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:51 pm

Happy Father’s Day to our Wonderful Everlasting Father!!!

“Letting” Him take the world out of us has almost as much to do with “seeing” the natural world according to the special revelation of scripture as it does with the traditional understanding of the mortifying of the flesh in the pursuit of holiness. We are bombarded by the popular culture in so many ways, not the least of which is the idolatrous origin myth of the religion of secularism, viz., cosmic and biological evolution. Until relatively recently it has been very difficult to use the “evidence” amassed by scientific naturalism to counter the basic presuppositions upon which this myth is built. Fortuitously, to use its own jargon, we live at a time when “this system of knowledge” is actually deconstructing itself : witness (via voluminous web resources, e.g., The World Science Festival / or The Foundational Questions Institute) “hard science” seriously discussing the Holographic Universe and / or the Simulation Hypothesis. The phenomenal world of our natural experience and intuition is actually being theorized (by some hard physical scientists and other informed intellectuals) to be a non-material – information based – (mental?) construct with “consciousness” as a (thee) fundamental element (even, agent). Again, these types of hypotheses are forcing their way into rational secular discussions because they are being driven by the discoveries of hard physical science, not, as in days of old, philosophical or metaphysical speculations. Humanity, from the ground up, is being forced to consider that the phenomenal world of our senses and experiences simply is not “real” in the sense that is intuitively taken for granted.

Scripture (Genesis) has, of course, been right all along : the “World (Cosmos)” emerges from and exists within Consciousness (I AM). God is present everywhere because “everywhere” is located within His Being. Moreover, it is only in the Trinitarian understanding of His Being that there can be found a “place” where Creation is both “(potentially) as real as He is” while objectively it is “other” than Him – that is, ontologically not Him. There is a “nothing-ness,” a “void,” a “separation,” an empty-ness” in the Being of God which exists because of the Way that He exists in His “Other-ness” (Trinitarian) State. Into this void He pours His thoughts - speaks the words – that form the world of our experience. Do we not testify that He created the world “ex nihilo,” out of nothing! Did He not, when He appeared amongst us, manipulate it with the same power and authority with which He originated it? He spoke and water became wine, fish and bread appeared spontaneously, and the roaring waves responded to Him just as our own thoughts direct our words. From instant to instant He sustains it and holds it together by His own sovereign will – this alone is the “solidness” and “permanence” that we experience. The obvious “hardness” of the world around us is, TO GOD, no “harder” than the “stuff” in our dreams is to us. Truly, He is the only Rock!

As His return draws nearer He is weakening the strength with which this world holds us in bondage to itself. The true nature of the substance of which it is made is beginning to expose itself even to those who do not know Him, do not believe in Him, do not love Him – the very thing for which they are created. In more than one way God is showing that the wisdom of the world (e.g., evolution) is foolishness and that because humanity has chosen its own way He has chosen the delusions which entrap it (Isaiah 66:3-4). But even this entrapment is an act of kindness because it restrains the puffed-up mind in its mad dash to the only end to which its pride leads : nothingness.

Glory is to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

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Re: The Divine Genius of the Trinity

Post by Paidion » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:22 pm

Otherness, as I understand it, many people who THINK they are Trinitarians actually Modalists, or believers in "Oneness." They believe that God is ONE person who expresses Himself in three modes, and not THREE divine persons who are closely united into one. The United Pentecostal Church, and various types of "Apostolic" churches take this position, though people from those traditions understand that they are not Trinitarians, whereas many (and I think Homer is one of them) believe their Oneness view is expressive of genuine Trinitarianism, whereas they regard regular Trinitarians such as Baptists, Pentecostals, Lutherans, etc. as being actually Tri-theists.

As for me, I am not a Trinitarian, a Modalist OR a Tritheist. I believe in one true God, and one divine Son of God. As Jesus prayed:
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:3)

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Re: The Divine Genius of the Trinity

Post by MMathis » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:17 pm

My wife called in to the show one day and mentioned that I didn't think Jesus existed before he was born on earth. Steve said, "well where did he think he was?"

I grew up believing that God came to earth as Jesus and Jesus has existed since then. If he had come as God, it would have been too much, so as a man, he would be able to walk on earth as we do.

The "Word" is the voice in your head. Referring to it in the movie K-pax, Kevin Spacy told the doctor "everyone in the universe knows right from wrong". I don't recall his character's exact words, but to me, that's the "Word" showing up.

So, that leaves us with God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost/Spirit. What else but the Trinity would you call it?
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Re: The Divine Genius of the Trinity

Post by Otherness » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:02 pm

Hello Paidion

Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post. I am aware of the distinctive views of the Godhead, and I know that there are hearty disagreements that “perturb” His Body. This is perfectly understandable because we are presented with a mystery that is not anywhere near fully “fleshed-out” for us. We remember that even though the Word of God was perfectly fleshed-out for us in (with) Jesus, yet the church struggled to understand His own true Nature. I doubt the thief on the cross had a detailed (accurate?) Christology, but he did recognize and accept that this Person next to him was the promised Savior : thus was he saved. Yes, there is - of course - an accurate understanding of just Who Jesus is, and it is this : if we drill down to the deepest recess of any other (self-conscious) being (human or angelic) - besides Jesus - we will bottom out on a created reality : a created “i am.” Not so with Jesus, in Him – and Him alone in all Creation - will we find the very “I AM” Who is God – we will bottom out upon God. It is down here, in the identity of Who (and the Nature of what) “I AM” is, that I find the coherency and cogency that has the explanatory power to comprehend - not just apprehend - the Godhead.

I am neither a modalist, nor a tri-theist. I hold that there is one “I AM” Who WILLFULLY Self-Exists in a state of “Otherness” such that there is a REAL and DISTINCT “separation” in His Being that makes possible, and provides for, a “place” in His Being for a Creation that is truly other than Him. Again, by sovereignly existing in this state of Being He provides a “womb” for a truly objectively real Creation : that is, we are not just thoughts in His Mind, but ontologically distinct beings created in the midst of His very Being.

When Adam sinned in the Garden humanity lost subjective (person-to-person) intimacy with the only Life that could (through that personal intimacy) make him what he was intended to be. His inchoate “i am” was left all but adrift in a mysterious milieu having consigned itself to figuring out what was right and wrong, good and evil. This “i am” became what it was not intended to be : centered upon itself. In our natural state we live in, and with, his legacy. This is why the created “i am” struggles with the mystery of the Being of I AM. It instantly, continuously, refers itself to itself in explaining I AM to itself.

So…the difficulty we have with this is that we, by default, reference our own (created) i am-ness when we try to explain to ourselves how one I AM can exist as I AM Father, I AM Son, I AM Holy Spirit. We invariably delimit I AM by our own sense of what an I am is. We must let go of this bias (prejudice?) and simply behold I AM in His revelation of Himself. In the Father, Son, Holy Spirit dynamic of His Being we have I AM existing in His creative state : this is I AM – (as) the Creator. As Creator He is the Father creating children in His own image - the Son, and He does not cease to be simply I AM, the Holy Spirit.

The Being of God is the very Alpha and Omega of Creation because I AM exists as its Source (Father) and its Purpose (Son) : its teleology is rooted in the very Being of God : thus is it sovereignly pre-determined : creation must produce its intended fruit : sons (and daughters) in the Son : the Body of Christ.

John 17:3 is saying that the created “i am” (in its corrupt state) needs (first) the restoration of the intimacy that was lost so that Who GOD truly IS can be truly (experientially) known. Jesus is I AM who has done all that man needs to do to be one with the only true God. In Jesus I have I AM Himself giving Himself to me! My created “i am” (even in it its sinful state) is now centered on I AM, and not on self. Thus am I continuously made free to live, by faith, in the Presence of God so that I may be transformed into His image and likeness. It is His Presence that transforms my nature so that my created “i am” is wholly other-centered (on the true God).
Last edited by Otherness on Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The Divine Genius of the Trinity

Post by Otherness » Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:24 pm

Greetings MMathis,

I appreciate your taking time to reply to my post. Steve’s reply was precipitated by the very words of Scripture – the very words of Jesus (for example) – “And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.” (John 17:5).

It’s good that you grew up believing in Jesus, and I trust that you are allowing His Spirit to use this faith to ground you in the Scriptures. I grew up under the “indoctrination” – not intended (only) pejoratively – of 12 years of Catholic School, but within a year or two after finishing high school I was practically and functionally an atheist. I’m thankful that it was Christianity that I was exposed to, but I had a whole lot to unlearn – and even more to learn. My simplistic critique of Catholicism is that it is an (exceedingly) terribly cluttered house – like the house of a hoarder : Jesus is in there, but…finding Him has been made unnecessarily difficult (to say the least).

The Scripture makes it quite clear, especially in the Gospel of John, that we have the very Presence of God in the Person of Jesus. God was obviously fully capable of living amongst us in the way that accomplished His creative purpose, that is, in just that perfect way that is the Life of Jesus.

MMathis>>>The “Word” is the voice in your head…everyone in the universe knows right from wrong<<<

Please bear with me, for I must, just on their face value, disagree with these assertions. The “Word” – to begin with – is the voice of God in the Scriptures, and even more precisely the Word is the living message of the Life of Jesus : the Person of Jesus. Certainly not “everyone in the universe knows right from wrong,” rather about all that can be said is that (practically) everyone in the universe knows that there is right and wrong. The problem, though, is that this judgement is made self-referentially. This is why there are so many at each other’s throats over whose “right and wrong” is true.

MMathis>>>So, that leaves us with God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost/Spirit. What else but the Trinity would you call it?<<<

The problem is that the word “Trinity” denotes the simultaneous co-existence of both diversity and unity. The harshest criticism of this concept is that this seems to describe God illogically - as both “One Being and not One Being.” Certainly there is a linear logic to this critique, but this approach “forgets” that both biblical and secular cosmology present reality to us as consisting of more than 4 dimensions. The aforementioned critique may be consistent in a 4-D logic stream, but it is critically weakened in higher dimensional thinking, For instance, in 4-D General Relativity logic nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, but in higher dimensional Quantum Theory (say, String Theory) faster than light phenomena present themselves. There are hints even in just natural phenomena that we can observe : (weak) analogies that have some transference potential, such as the “triple point” phenomenon of a pure substance. Under specific conditions (of temperature and pressure) a pure substance can co-exist as a solid, liquid, and gas : all 3 distinct states occupying the same place and time. Again…just a (not without problems) hint.

Yes…this is secular thinking, but the Bible also shows us extra dimensions in such experiences as Moses seeing (the impossibility of) a bush unaffected by a fire burning in its midst, the servant of Elisha having his eyes opened (2 Kings 6:17), and an axe head floating in water (again, 2 Kings 6). In the New Testament obviously Jesus wasn’t locked into 4-D reality when He walked on water, calmed the storm, spontaneously produced bread and fish, etc., etc.

Any who…there’s more than meets the eye here, and a commitment to deep thought about our faith must be embraced so that we come up with reasonable answers that edify our faith in God while we continue to work this out together.

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Re: The Divine Genius of the Trinity

Post by Otherness » Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:21 pm

Happy Birthday to our beloved Jesus!

This is a continuation of this present apologetic for the Trinity. It is “inspired” by, and grounded in, the special revelation of Scripture and attested to by current general revelation discoveries about the natural world. It is an organic view of I AM’s Trinitarian state of Being, and of His creation of the world and us in it.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning (John 1:1-2).

This is an explicit declaration that (ontological) “Otherness” is a quality of, and a reality in, that One Being Who Is God. The “Oneness” quality of God’s Being is declared by the statement the Word was God, while the reality of the “Otherness” quality of God’s Being is declared by the statements the Word was with God, and He was with God. This Oneness / Otherness quality of God’s Being is ontologically foreign to created beings just as are, for example, self-existence, omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. The condition of “otherness vis-à-vis self” within a created being is a pathological state, a psychosis -- that is, it is not a true state of being, but a corruption (and dysfunction) of being.

Within God this state of Being is a free-will “choice” – [He has (IS) the power To Be Who (What) He IS (only…He cannot deny Himself)] -- made to provide (Him)Self a “dimension” within His own Being that is other than (Him)self – that is not Him. We know this because we know that “in Him we live, and move, and have our being” (in that dimension within Himself that is not Him, Acts 17:28), and that we are (absolutely) not (ontologically) Him, that is, our being is created while He is Uncreated Being (the Father, Son, Holy Spirit).

It is in this “understanding” of His Being that we can (come to) “understand” (be able to simply accept) the special creation narrative of Genesis. This world around us (in which we are embedded) can analogically be thought of as a “virtual reality” framed by His expressed thoughts (words) within that “other” dimension within Him that is “generated” by His Trinitarian state of Being. Of course, it is not a “virtual reality” because this is a man-made phenomenon -- an artifice -- with no substance to it, but it is a “hint” of how God creates.

It is no “older” than the mature fish and finished bread that Jesus spoke instantly into existence in communion with our Father. The claim that the Cosmos is “old” and slowly evolved arises out of the created mind that is alienated from (dead to) the Life of God. We are not “things” surrounded by, and embedded in, a vast material Cosmos; rather we are living beings living in a Living Being – think…kind of like a baby living in a living womb. In our natural state we are dead to His Presence (His Life), and it is (only) in Jesus that we become (re)sensitized (resurrected) to His Living Presence.

Science, rightly understood, does – of course – witness to the glory of His Being and the way He brings forth His Creation. In our times He is reclaiming the evidence that the natural world presents to our inquiry of it. For instance, we have moved beyond seeing the world around us as made of, in the classical sense, physical matter. We “understand” that ALL “matter” is not only reducible to primarily (only) electrons and 2 types of quarks, but that these 3 “particles” are themselves but non-material “vortices” in an underlying (non-material) “fluid-like” vibrating FIELD (quantum field theory). In other words, we are embedded in a, apparently unbounded, FIELD of “something” that is not anything that can be described as “matter” (Hebrews 11:3), and we see it as we do because our (corrupted) consciousness is conditioned (designed) to see it as it appears.

The “absence” of God, to our senses, in our reality can be “understood” in the context of the Trinity. The ontological “Otherness” of His Being makes possible an “absence of His Being” in His Being. It is in this “absence,” this “void” in His Being, that the Cosmos, and our beings, are “spoken,” by Him, into existence. We, and our world, are an entirely “other” reality located within the Being of God.

We are dead to the reality of His Being because we alienated ourselves – were unfaithful -- in Adam, and have subsequently come to believe our own invented (imagined – idolatrous) narratives about what we are as beings and what the world around us is. It is in our repentance toward God (in this) and turning to faith in Jesus that we begin to grow from faith to faith (being transformed by the renewing of our minds -- Romans 12:2), thus becoming ever increasingly sensitive of (alive to) God our Father, the only True God.

May our Father fill us with His Holy Spirit to an ever constant overflow of the name of Jesus!

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Re: The Divine Genius of the Trinity

Post by Otherness » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:46 pm

Happy Father’s Day to our Wonderful Creator!

When we (can) see just how it is that our reality is both “within” and yet “other” than God we have a framework in which (some of) our “difficulties” can resolve themselves. Because the Being of our Sovereign God willfully self-exists in His triune state there exists within Him a “generated” creative dimension (SPACE) that is, organically, other than Him. In that this dimension is truly other than Him the (self-conscious) beings that come to be (that are brought forth) in it have wills that are able, organically, to will other than He wills, that is, they are (have) truly “other” wills that co-exist with His. In other words, not only does the will that is God’s will exist, but there are other wills that exist that can (may) -- but by no means, must -- will other than He does. God loves the reality of this, despite the risk.

Our Sovereign God sovereignly exists in His triune state so that this very kind of -- this quality of -- created reality can even exist. This is what is most important to Him in His creative schema, and everything else is designed around it. That is, the seed of the Body of Christ is in this : beings who are truly other than Him who can choose (to turn their otherness to) the love of Him (to put Him first, and above all that is “other”), viz., free to “fall in love with Him.” This is truly “a falling” experience because the “weight” of His Glory in Christ (crucified and resurrected) is the densest (and, therefore, the most attractive) of all realities (John 12: 32). This is where He lavishes His sovereignty upon His creation, and then He sovereignly “interfaces” (minimally?) with(in) this “other” reality to direct (draw along) its “otherness” according to His own (foreordained / sovereign) teleology.

His sovereign PLAN makes Otherness (Objective Reality) possible (in the first place), and then He interacts with this reality such that its sacrosanct otherness is preserved unto its intended end. The “myopia” of Calvinism is that it mistakes God’s sovereign dealings within this “other” reality -- which we ARE -- as the fullness of what His sovereign-ness is. Rather, He sovereignly “comes into” (visits) our reality -- here and there (now and then) – to direct its “otherness” to His desired purpose. For instance, the life of Saul / Paul was sovereignly intruded upon so that others within his sphere of influence (including us) might be drawn to choose Him (that is, to become partakers of the grace bestowed upon him). This “way of doing things” is in keeping with (maintaining) the quality of otherness that is inherent in the very being-ness of creation.

Calvinists “obsess” over God’s obvious sovereign dealings with(in) His creation and “miss” that this palpable sovereign-ness is only the tip of the iceberg (intruding into our reality). The great mass of His sovereign-ness has been spent elsewhere before (and undergirding) creation : i.e., the Logos [the Alpha/Omega Reason (Plan / Teleology) of (for) creation – the SON (bearing sons and daughters)]. Calvinists are dutiful in recognizing that salvation depends 100% on the sovereign-ness of God, but they are remiss in limiting the influence (power) of this (intruding) sovereign-ness to only those who personally (subjectively) experience it (first hand). Rather, whoever recognizes and accepts that this is the sovereign-ness of God on display may come.

His Sovereign-ness is on full display in the revelation of His Trinitarian State, thereby baptizing (immersing) us in(to) the (cleansing) Life (relationship) of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit. It is our prayer that He will lavishly pour out His Spirit, increasing our love for each other, such that that which He has made obvious is (becomes) obvious to all – so that all may come (John 17: 20-23).


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Re: The Divine Genius of the Trinity

Post by BrotherAlan » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:00 am

Yes, as Otherness most fittingly said: Happy Father's Day to Our Most Loving Heavenly Father (He who is our one true Father, the source of all fatherhood)! And blessed Trinity Sunday to all my fellow Trinitarians!

In Christ, the Son of the Father, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity,
"Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and always, and unto the ages of ages. Amen."

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