Ad Gloriam Dei

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corintians 10:31

"Let us pursue the things which make for peace and those by which one may edify another"- Romans 14:19

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17

Friday, April 04, 2008

Against Modalism 2: We Believe in One God

Q. Are there more Gods than one?
A. There is but one only, the living and true God.

— Question 5 of the Shorter Catechism, which Presbyterian children traditionally learn.

In the debate with Modalists and other Unitarians, Trinitarians are often said to believe in three Gods, or they quote passages that state that there is one God as if we did not believe this.

We do not believe in three Gods. We believe in one God and our confessions, creeds, books and articles over millennia make this abundantly clear.

To say that we believe in three Gods, or several, is not merely a misunderstanding, it is an inexcusable misrepresentation, or at best culpable ignorance. To persist in declaring such untruths while conscious of knowledge to the contrary is to wilfully lie.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. (Exodus 20:16)

Furthermore to merely quote passages which affirm a belief in one God is also misleading and distracts from the real point of difference: are the Father, Son and Holy Spirit three distinct persons in the one God, or three manifestations of the one Divine Person?
Continued...

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Polycarp said...

Okay. So you have yet to offer anything substantial, but you don't want us to say that you believe in three Gods. Gotcha. I will not say that, because I fully understand your doctrine; I just know the truth. With that said, allow me to also say that I have met Trinitarians who do see the Godhead as three distinct persons. Some of the songs sons today speak of three, most of the time, two distinct persons walking and talking to each other. If they are that separate, then who could a oneness believer understand anything else about a Trinitarian expect that you believe in 3 gods?

Monday, April 07, 2008 3:02:00 pm  
Blogger Timothy Davis said...

All Trinitarians see the one God as consisting of three distinct persons, but not quite as we normally use the term "person". The Church over time prefers the more correct philosophical definition of three "subsistences", but "person" still speaks more to the ordinary man. It speaks of their distinct personal properties and relations. Does not the Father talk to the Son and vice versa? (As for walking, such is the product of modern hymnody. God is a spirit and does not have legs walk. I follow the Biblical and historical practice of exclusive Psalmody, i.e. Psalms only in worship.)

I'm sorry, but a oneness believer is still inexcusable in not even learning the basics of the Doctrine of the Trinity.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008 10:19:00 pm  
Anonymous Polycarp said...

Philosophy? Should you use philosophy to determine doctrine? Sure, Clement of Alexandria did, among others, but should you? Shouldn't sola scriptura alone decide doctrine?

Does the Father talk to the Son? Where was the Son in the OT? Sure, while clothed in flesh, the Son of God spoke to the Father in Heaven through prayer, but that is part of the limitations imposed by the flesh. The imposition he choose Himself when He choose to tabernacle with men.

Why would a oneness believer be inexcusable for not learning the basic doctrine of the Trinity? Do you know the basic doctrines of Buddhism? Islam? Anything that you consider a false way?

And this oneness believer has learned the basic understanding of your trinity, I just choose to follow the Bible.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 4:45:00 pm  

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