The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianitys Self-Inflicted Wound

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Apart from excelling in languages and biblical studies, Anthony also has a love of classical music. He studied at the Royal College of Music , London , where he gained Diplomas in oboe in and piano in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. HuntingRadio Interview". Retrieved 7 December Archived from the original on 7 December Archived from the original on 2 July They see Socinianism as a potentially important and shaping force in the re creation of a new Unitarian theology, one that returns to the old principles and teachings. The authors challenge the notion that biblical monotheism is legitimately represented by a Trinitarian view of God and demonstrate that within the bounds of the canon of Scripture Jesus is confessed as Messiah, Son of God, but not God Himself.

Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound

Later Christological developments beginning in the second century misrepresented the biblical doctrine of God and Christ by altering the terms of the biblical presentation of the Father and Son. This fateful development laid the foundation of a revised, unscriptural creed that needs to be challenged. Pilch and Malina add [Handbook of Biblical Social Values, 19] that change or novelty in religious doctrine or practice met with an especially violent reaction; change or novelty was "a means value which serves to innovate or subvert core and secondary values.

Even Christian eschatology and theology stood against this perception. The idea of sanctification, of an ultimate cleansing and perfecting of the world and each person, stood in opposition to the view that the past was the best of times, and things have gotten worse since then. The Jews, on the other hand, traced their roots back much further, and although some Roman critics did make an effort to "uproot" those roots, others including Tacitus accorded the Jews a degree of respect because of the antiquity of their beliefs.

In light of this we can understand efforts by Christian writers to link Christianity to Judaism as much as possible, and thus attain the same "antiquity" that the Jews were sometimes granted. Of course we would agree that the Christians were right to do this, but that is not how the Romans saw it!

Any novelty Jesus or any Christian taught -- and Buzzard and Hunting can surely not deny that Christianity taught some "novel" ideas in opposition to Judaism -- would have had to be carefully insinuated and linked to older ideas like the Wisdom tradition. We see Jesus doing exactly what we would expect if he had something "new" like the Trinity idea to speak of. We once again remind the reader that in light of the idea of hypostases, the "change" to a Triune perception would not have been anywhere near as "explosive" as Buzzard and Hunting suppose and that they still define "monotheistic" in their own way.

Yet they also fundamentally misapply the point about the Acts conference. This conference was an assembly of the people, a standard means of listening to and considering differing points of view and overcome discord and lack of unity. Such a meeting would only be called on a subject if there was disagreement between members on a broad scale. If all of the assembly agreed that Jesus and the Spirit was God's hypostasis, and a person as well, then there is no need for such an assembly. They would only be in disagreement with non-Christian Jews, who are not a part of their kinship group.

No such discussion would be needed if all accepted the premise in question, which is the very point at issue. Bottom line: Appeal to the lack of an "Acts 15 meeting" on Trinitarianism is a non-argument in context. The idea of a "distinct" person is a "-tarian" question. The idea of "incorporation" is a "-theism" question. The two are separate and should not be illicitly mixed. Buzzard and Hunting also fail to grasp Trinitarianism in this analogy, of comparison to John 's "only true God" profession: "We would be suspicious of anyone who claims that he has 'only one wife' if his household consisted of three separate women, each of whom he claimed was his one wife.

Trinitarianism would say the man has one wife, who has two attributes that are separate centers of consciousness: her thoughts and words, and her ability to act. The latter two, which would be hypostatic entities, would not be called "his one wife" because they do not exhaust the properties of his one wife; they are attributes of his own wife. Only the "source" wife could be called "his one wife" and the hypostatic "wives" would not be called a "wife" by themselves unless informally but would be given titles indicating derivation "word of wife", "finger of wife," etc.

If Buzzard and Hunting do not grasp these distinctions, they are not refuting or arguing with Trinitarianism but with a straw-man version of Trinitarianism. It is notable that Buzzard and Hunting offer a similar misunderstanding of Ps. However, it does not affect our arguments here.

As before we will not engage OT hermeneutical arguments while also not conceding Buzzard and Hunting's exegesis. However, we will agree that Jesus as Messiah was indeed God's agent and representative. This squares with Jesus' function within the Trinity and does not address his ontological relationship with the Father. Chapter 3 -- The focus of this chapter is the question, "Did Jesus' followers think he was God?

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If we ask, "did they think he was a hypostasis or attribute of God, ontologically equal with yet functionally subordinate to God" as the Nicean creed also states , then the answer is YES. For reference we again refer the reader to our essay here.

The Christian Doctrine of the Trinity, the Church’s Self-inflicted Wound - Tovia Singer TV

Without conceding Buzzard and Hunting's arguments, we will not argue the points about John as it does not establish the fundamental differentiation of Trinitarianism even if Jesus is being called "God" it could just as well be used to support modalism. Other points of note:. This and other objections in this chapter rest on a fundamental misapprehension of the purpose of the Gospels as biographies of Jesus -- they are not intended to be theological treatises, and therefore, the comparison of such things missing as being akin to a history of America failing to mention the Civil War is illicit as well as once again assuming that a Trinitarian view was more radical than it really was; see above.

The Gospels also say practically nothing about atonement by the blood of Christ a few words at the Last Supper is all there is to it , but presumably Buzzard and Hunting do not deny this doctrine on that basis. Much of the rest of the chapter focuses on the "silence" of the Gospels on this "radical" notion, and our answer is the same as above.

Do we expect Gabriel to expound on theological concerns, especially before a humble Galileean peasant whose main concern is "where is my next meal coming from"? Surely such expectations are anachronistic. We may also inform Buzzard and Hunting that the same "logic" is used by atheists to doubt such events as Matthew's resurrected saints and various miracles reported in one Gospel but not in others.

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The simple answer is that we do not know, and that it makes no difference, and it is an argument from silence to make an issue of it as Buzzard and Hunting do. Since the disciples also did not expect a resurrection see here or an atoning death, it would be far from the only thing they misunderstood to say nothing of how many times Jesus had to rebuke them for failure to understand something.

Appealing to the apparent ignorance of the disciples is fallacious and irrelevant. It is suggested that "human curiosity at least would have caused [the disciples] to see what was going to happen to their read 'God'. As Pilch and Malina note in the Handbook of Biblical Social Values [48], the Western world holds that defeat is only temporary, until such time as the 'next round' comes along and the loser has a fair chance to improve and try again. No such stratification or mobility was known to the ancients, who regarded defeat as crushing and ultimate.

Peter was behaving exactly as an ancient would in the face of what clearly appeared to be desperate odds The overcautious conclusions of Dunn are used as a battering ram; on Hebrews it is said, "It would certainly go beyond our evidence to conclude that the author has attained to the understanding of God's Son as having had a real personal existence.

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If, as Dunn acknowledges, the view of Christ in Hebrews parallels that of the Alexadrian logos-concept and of Wisdom, then Christ is identified with a hypostatic personification of God and one of God's attributes. Does God ever lack one of His attributes? At best Dunn and Buzzard and Hunting can only claim that there is no evidence of this hypostasis having been a person prior to the Incarnation, and we shall see how they arrive at that later on.

And again, Buzzard and Hunting clearly do not grasp Trinitarianism, or else have no proper idea how to describe it: "Why did the author [of Hebrews] not state plainly that Jesus was the One God? However, Hebrews does identify Jesus as a hypostasis of the One God, which does square with Trinitarianism. Again see link above. Like our previous Unitarian opponent, Buzzard and Hunting bring up Heb. My reply to our earlier opponent suffices: What does it mean when Jesus is said to have expounded "all things" to his disciples?

Does that include the mating habits of sea slugs? Ye say: "If he's actually a hypostatisised "God-man" of "Spirit and flesh", then he is not made like his brethren in every way. Taken so, was Jesus "like his brethren in every way" in terms of eye color? Hardly possible, or did he have a little bit of each color somewhere? Body hair? Female organs, maybe? The shared properties implied by "every way" clearly are not all-inclusive. So you can hardly use this passage for any purpose of your own. You can hardly claim that it excludes God-manhood; the category distinction level is most likely in the area of "spirit-flesh composite".

At the same time, one may ask and my opponent never answered how a non-person can be "behooved" in any way to do anything. A non-person cannot be obligated.

The Human Jesus Documentary by Restoration Fellowship (Anthony Buzzard)

One may as well say that a rock could be "behooved" to fall. In short, Buzzard and Hunting commit the same fallacy of imposing modern anthropological categories on the text without any justification. It must be shown what the NT writers defined as "human being" or "man" -- it cannot be assumed that the modern definitions apply and that a hypostasis of God-man composite would be excluded. Chapter 4 -- This chapter focuses specifically on Paul. Once again we see the same arguments addressed above: the alleged unitary monotheism of Judaism with 1 Cor.

Again we refer to our linked item showing that Paul identified Jesus with the hypostasic Wisdom of God. Here are the three passages dealt with:. Approximately half of Buzzard and Hunting's section devoted to the heading of Phil. Actual counter-arguments to drawing Trinitarian doctrine from this passage amount to the following:.

Buzzard and Hunting's argument is flawed in two ways. First, within an ancient collectivist society, Jesus, as leader of the body of Christ kinship grouping, would indeed be the example to draw from in any relevant scenario. The implied "problem" of lack of relevance is, ironic in light of Buzzard and Hunting's later arguments about Hellenism infecting the church, a product of a Western mindset that sees a vast gulf between the human and the divine.

Second, as Witherington notes [commentary on Philippians, ], there is a similar argument that we cannot imitate Christ by becoming incarnate and dying on a cross, etc.


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Buzzard and Hunting's argument is also an overreaction and a caricature, but in the opposite direction. As Witherington replies, "An analogy involves points of similarity in the midst of obvious differences; in this case a similar attitude and similarly self-sacrificial behavior are being commanded to produce unity in the Philippian congregation. It is said that it seems "strange for Paul to refer to the preexistent Jesus as Jesus, the Messiah, thus reading back into eternity the name and office he received at birth. No effort is made to explain the passage in detail, especially with reference to the key word "form" morphe which has the figurative connotation of "nature" and is so used to refer to Jesus as being in the "form" of a servant; obviously, Jesus did not look outwardly like a slave.

The word here connotes that Christ "manifested a form that truly represented the nature and very being of God. In addition, Buzzard and Hunting do not deal with Phil. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. I have not previously seen this verse used to argue for preexistence of Christ; Buzzard and Hunting read it in terms of as a figure of speech, as in "this cup is my blood".

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