Since some have asked what I think about the unseen aspects of life, here it is. I would appreciate hearing from you whether or not you agree.
He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it. Titus 1:9 (NRSV)
First, let me ask you a few questions:
So here is where I stand among my Christian friends on controversial issues:
I don't feel that I have a confident grasp of the trinity. Lewis Sperry Chafer's book "Systematic Theology," which discuss doctrines in detail, calls the concept of a trinity
This is such a difficult issue that I've heard Billy Graham, TD Jakes, and others have been criticized for explaining the Trinity as different "manifestations" like ice, water, and steam. Orthodox Christians say that this "modalism" is wrong because all three "persons" of the trinity are at work at the same time. Bible scholars say such thinking is "heretical" because it "creates God in their own image", and call it "Sebellianism" because this "heresay" was first identified by Sabellius (around 200 AD).
The late Dr. Walter Martin points out (Walter Martin, Essential Christianity, Vision House, Santa Anna, 1975, p. 21):
In the Old Testament, the "m" ending in the Hebrew word "Elohim" in Deut. 6:4, 1st Kings 8:60, Isaiah 44:6 and elsewhere refers to God in a plural form just as we add "s" to the word "car" to refer to several cars. But this plurality is more about intensification of majesty & creative power. Genesis 1:26 reads "And God said, Let us make man in our image."
In Deuteronomy 6:4, Moses quotes God as saying, "Hear O Israel, the Lord Our God, the Lord is One." That "One" is translated from the Hebrew word "Echad", which means "united One".
The doctrine of the trinity is implied in passages such as
Matthew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"
This passage, called "The Great Commission," was among the last words spoken by Christ
before he went up to heaven. Also, 1 John 5:7-8 (KJV)
says "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
However, Romans 1:20 reads For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Freeman Dyson (in Infinite in All Directions, Harper & Row, 1988) comments that "God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension".
Maybe God intends that one must recognize the humbleness of his/her own intelligence before being able to listen to Godís greater wisdom. Jesus alluded to this when He said to God
Some "New agers" believe that the human mind has infinite capabilities, yet disbelieve that God can know and help billions of living entities at the same time.
I think that the basic problem people have about the concept of a trinity reflects several basic questions about Christian faith:
I (and, according to Barna, most Christian "fundamentalists") say "yes" to these questions.
It takes faith to know God. Jesus said to Thomas in John 20:29 "blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
I think that the complexities of the Trinity is God's way of inviting us to look at His character and to trust His plan. C. S. Lewis is quoted as saying of the Trinity
In John 17:5, when Jesus prayed to God, he said "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began."
Hebrews 1:3 states "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."
This is perhaps one of the most hotly debated aspects of the bible.
Arguments for the deity of Jesus lies in that the Bible describes
Cults (such as Jehovah's Witnesses) that don't believe that Jesus Christ is God may point to the "and" in the phrase "God and our saviour, Jesus Christ" within the King James Version of 2 Peter 1:1 and Titus 2:13. "our God and saviour, Jesus Christ" would be a better translation of the original Greek according to the Granville Sharpe Rule of Greek grammar discovered after the KJV was translated, which prove that "God" and "Jesus Christ" both refer to the same person.
In Acts 5:3-4, Peter refers to the Holy Spirit and God synonymously when he said "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."
This is because Jesus IS the "Godhead"
Jesus is the son (Mark 1:1) Here begins the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.
Jesus is the Holy Ghost (John 14:18) ?
By the way, no one in the Old Testament called God "father". That's because people were not adopted as "co-heirs" until Christ took our place on the cross.
Borrowing from 2 Corinthians 13:14, may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.
Unlike Catholics, most Christians in Protestant denominations focus less on religious ceremony and more on the message of the Bible.
Unlike Buddhists, Christian gratefulness is based on what Jesus Christ did, not what we ourselves do. This is the essence of why Christianity is a "faith" rather than a religion.
Christian faith is so dependent on what God does that faith itself is from God.
Christian faith is based on belief that Jesus represents mankind as Adam (with Eve) represented mankind. By allowing himself to die on the cross despite having committed no sin, Jesus (because he is also God) somehow "paid" for the psychic "debt" that we and all our forefathers incurred.
I personally don't understand why such a big deal was made with what Adam did and why I'm blamed for it. But my guess is it had to do with his rebellion toward God that Jesus, by his submission, justified. But I was nevertheless "born-again" when I recognized that Jesus hung on that cross partly for me individually.
I found peace when I submitted to Jesus as my representative and caretaker of my future.
So I look forward to talking with you now via email or in heavenly eternity.
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