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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Trinity
Tortuf
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Richard Rohr suggests that we consider the Trinity to be a Divine Dance.

Rowan Williams discusses the dynamic nature of Trinitarian theology in his book On Christian Theology.

To be frank, for a long time I viewed the Trinity as an embarrassing departure from monotheism. Even Rowan Williams didn't make much of a dent in my ego driven theological armor. Father Rohr is changing that.

The Trinity is central to the Christian faith in many people's minds. What do you perceive to be the nature of the Trinity?

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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Relationship. 'God is in Himself a sweet society,' as I think Wesley put it.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Anglican_Brat
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I found it helpful to distinguish between God the Son and Jesus Christ the human being. Before you accuse me of Nestorianism, let me explain, I don't think the Jesus as a physical being pre-existed Christmas. Rather, God the Word, who like God the Father and God the Spirit, should not be literally understood as a physical creature, took on human nature in the person of Jesus Christ.

Understanding this made me move from thinking of the Trinity as three men to the Trinity, as three energies, activities, that are mystically one God.

The Father, being the activity of originating, of giving life and energy and love, both within the Godhead, and outward, through the act of creation.

The Son, being the activity of reception, of receiving life and energy and love within the Godhead, and being the active means by which the Father accomplishes the act of creation,

The Spirit, being the activity of uniting, of uniting Father and Son, and sustaining creation.

In my view, this way of thinking, (an interpretation of Augustine's Trinitarian theology), is helpful.

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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Oscar the Grouch

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Relationship. 'God is in Himself a sweet society,' as I think Wesley put it.

Nailed it!

Whatever image you want to use, in the end it comes down to a relationship of mutually giving and receiving love, into which all of Creation is invited to join.

I agree that the Trinity can be a rather embarrassing doctrine to defend. it isn't in any way "logical" and all attempts to make a logical explanation tend to get confused and confusing. But I am aware that the early Church didn't go down this route because they thought it was a "Good Idea"; they experienced God as Creator, Saviour and Spirit and tried to make some sort of sense of that experience.

I have never "understood" the doctrine of the Trinity. But once or twice, I have caught out of the corner of my eye a glimpse of the reality of the bonds of love flowing between Father, Son and Spirit and surrounding me (and all that exists).

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Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

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leo
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The Trinity is the core of Christianity. Without the Trinity, no incarnation, no atonement, no salvation.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Gramps49
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I will take God as God comes.
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churchgeek

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To add to the idea of God as relationship in Godself: We Christians believe, in the words of St. John, that "God is love." If God is a unitarian being, one Person - then who does God love? That would be fine if you believe creation to be necessary and eternal, but Christians don't believe that. If God is trinitarian - three Persons - then God can be love even before creating a world to love. The world becomes an expression of the sheer joy and extravagance of God's love, but it isn't necessary.

As for the difficulty we have understanding the Trinity: If we could understand it, it wouldn't be God, frankly. Which sounds dismissive, but I don't mean it to be. We can't understand it fully in our minds, but I believe we can, in a sense, in our hearts. In other words, we can know God as Trinity, even if we can't understand what that means.

We don't understand what it could mean to be tripersonal, because in our experience, there's a one-to-one ratio of person:being. We tend to understand things by comparing them to other things. But there literally is no other trinity. The term was coined to describe God. People misuse the word all the time (when they really mean "triad"), but we have nothing to compare the idea of one God in three Persons with. Nothing like that exists. So we do the best we can with our metaphors and analogies, and, I repeat, our hearts.

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I reserve the right to change my mind.

My article on the Virgin of Vladimir

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W Hyatt
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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:
To be frank, for a long time I viewed the Trinity as an embarrassing departure from monotheism.

If you are interested in an alternative to mainstream Christianity, Swedenborg offers a different view which is easier to reconcile with Old Testament monotheism and which I personally subscribe to. Based on what I understand of traditional Christianity, I think that Swedenborg argues for something analogous to traditional belief about the incarnation of God the Son, but applies it to God as a single whole.

In summary, Swedenborg argues that Jesus Christ is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

[ 19. November 2017, 03:10: Message edited by: W Hyatt ]

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A new church and a new earth, with Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life.

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Gramps49
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I think the problem we have with the Trinity is we think of each person as a noun. I think it is best to think of each person as verb: creator, redeemer, sanctifier.
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Garasu
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I suspect that the doctrine of the trinity exists so as to create heretics!

Which is one way of excluding the people you don't like from the community, I suppose.

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"Could I believe in the doctrine without believing in the deity?". - Modesitt, L. E., Jr., 1943- Imager.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
I think the problem we have with the Trinity is we think of each person as a noun. I think it is best to think of each person as verb: creator, redeemer, sanctifier.

Far too limiting and in danger of being heretical.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Gamaliel
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To 'create heretics', Garasu, or to guard against heresy?

I'm not sure it was a matter of a bunch of blokes sat in a board room thinking, 'We don't we like, who can we exclude?'

If likes and dislikes came into it, I'd exclude plenty of Trinitarian Christians I dislike and include Arians or Unitarians or or other non-Trinitarians that I do like or might like.

On the Swedenborg thing, yes, an interesting fella and an interesting take on things but I couldn't see myself signing up for it. Nothing against those who do.

I know someone who grew up Swedenborgian and then became a Methodist because she preferred the singing. She is now an Anglican choir director but retains a soft spot for Swedenborg himself.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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hatless

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I find good Trinitarian theology like Rohr’s and Williams’ (and Zizioulas’ and Fiddes’) very exciting. It is creative and stimulating to thought and living. But two questions.

Does Trinitarian thinking help or hinder dialogue with Islam? My instinct is that the Trinity affirms the unity of God but in an open way, so from the Christian end it will help: but how will it be received?

My second question relates to churchgeek’s post. That explains the Trinity as a way of doing justice to underlying beliefs in the character of God (love) and creation (gift not necessity). A theology is good if it enables us to say the things we believe. I like this. However it might seem that theology is a variable tactic to produce or explain certain conclusions, or a form of storytelling that we adapt as desired in order to have a narrative that works - explanatory but not descriptive. Theology could be characterised as more like fiction than reportage.

Sounds fine to me, but if I am putting it correctly, theology is then seen to be not something we believe in or that is true in itself, but a way of expressing deeper things; grace, love, relationship. It’s not that God really is three persons, but that if we think and speak of God in this way we can say things that matter deeply about the world, us and our getting along.

Does that word ‘really’ in my last sentence make sense? Is being able to say things all that ‘really’ means? Is this setting theology free, or is it breaking something?

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Tortuf
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If I properly understood Rowan Williams his point was that because of the dynamic nature of the Trinity, the "Church" (that assembly of believers, past, present and future) cannot be understood as a whole. We see some of the past and we see the present, while we do not see how the Church will develop moving forward. If we cannot fully comprehend the "truth" of our church, because we don't know all of it, how can we judge other religion? If we cannot judge other religion, we may find ourselves accepting some of the truth we can find in other religions.

If I got it wrong, my apologies to the good Archbishop (ret.)

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hatless

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That’s good.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Tortuf
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I have been dwelling on my notion of the Trinity independent of RW and RR.

I think the idea of the Trinity is true in that God is not a static creature. In fact, I do not think God is anything like we can even remotely imagine. So, God the Father, Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit are images to which we can relate as a way of seeing God. Because God is dynamic - a moving force in creation in general and our lives in particular - our images of God (the Trinity) are also dynamic.

God the Father - and Mother - because that image is of a loving being, who loves us not because we are good, but because God is good.

Jesus the Christ because we can all find God within ourselves and experience that God nature within. Once that God nature within is experienced, our views and interactions with the material world within which we live are changed.

The Holy Spirit because we can see God at work everywhere as long as we are present, and not distracted by all of our ego driven thoughts.

Lame, I suspect. It is my idea anyway.

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Gamaliel
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I find Trinitarian theology exciting too. I remember a very stimulating conversation with a US PhD student who was using the Orthodox view of the Trinity to explore issues of social justice, social cohesion and an holistic approach to social work, for instance.

However, I'm also conscious of the point Garasu raises, of notions of heresy being deployed to exclude and punish - hence Servetus being burned in Geneva.

As an aside, even The Friends have ways of determining who is 'in' or 'out'. There was a thread a while back where I gave the instance of two Anglican women who were fellow travelers with the Quakers but debarred from full membership because they were still receiving communion occasionally in Anglican churches.

Of course, that's more a praxis that my, but even so ...

Whether we can 'really' say anything about God in any way whatsoever, depends on how we frame things in our respective traditions. It all boils down to faith in the end and that includes the possibility of all of being wrong ...

Yes, I chose to operate within the context of a traditional Trinitarian understanding of the Christian faith. I know all the arguments against that but have to ally myself somewhere. So, warts and all, I'm going with mainstream Trinitarianism.

That doesn't mean I despise or reject those who chose to follow different paths.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Jengie jon

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There is more, it is not just relationship but communion that is experienced in the Godhead. We are invited to participate.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

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Jay-Emm
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I've generally gained the impression that attempts to build-on/explain/replace/omit/deny the Trinity (beyond The father is God ..., the Son is not the Father...) generally quickly have unbiblical logical or practical consequences.

But that examining where they are is interesting and relevant. It's just that it will always be a 'compare and contrast' job.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
I think the problem we have with the Trinity is we think of each person as a noun. I think it is best to think of each person as verb: creator, redeemer, sanctifier.

Far too limiting and in danger of being heretical.
I would have to agree. The problem is that all three “persons” of the Trinity participate in creating, redeeming and sanctifying. I understand the issues some have with the traditional terms, particularly “Father.” But the value of those terms, aside from the weight of two millennia of usage, is that they primarily describe relationships, not functions.

Which takes us back to the OP.

I think the problem is not so much that we think of each person as a noun, but that the English word “person” carries connotations that don’t necessarily apply here. It’s the limitation of language to describe a mystery.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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mousethief

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No need to use misguided and potentially heretical verbs for the Persons of the Trinity. The Trinity historically comes with its own set of verbs.

Begets
Is begotten
Proceeds

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Gramps49
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I see how some people may think I am verging on the heretical when I say we need to consider each person of God as verb. Drop the each person comment and just say God is verb--which is what I was trying to say. It is not a new thought Not even heretical. It is rooted in Judaism, see Kabbalah Judaism; affirmed in Roman Catholicism, see Catholic Theological Union and Anglicanism, this blog..

God is constantly creating, God is constantly redeeming, God is constantly sanctifying.

I stand behind what I wrote.

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Gamaliel
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@Jengie, yes, indeed ...

@Mousethief, yes, indeed ...

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Gramps49
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This affirmation of faith is from the United Church of Canada. We have been using it for nearly five years now:

We are not alone,
we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.

Thanks be to God.

We have also been using this Hymn of Praise in our worship. (Includes Kyrie--hymn of praise begins at about 2 minute mark.)

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
I see how some people may think I am verging on the heretical when I say we need to consider each person of God as verb. Drop the each person comment and just say God is verb--which is what I was trying to say. It is not a new thought Not even heretical. It is rooted in Judaism, see Kabbalah Judaism; affirmed in Roman Catholicism, see Catholic Theological Union and Anglicanism, this blog..

God is constantly creating, God is constantly redeeming, God is constantly sanctifying.

I stand behind what I wrote.

But then this has nothing whatever to do with the Trinity, as an idea or doctrine. Interesting but a tangent to this thread.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mousethief

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As a member of the church that wrote the Creed, I may be biased, but I fail to see the need or value of every denomination or congregation redefining Christianity every 5 years. What is wrong with the older formulae? What is gained by ever new ones? It's not like a translation issue; I understand the need to retranslate as the target language changes. But this is more a need to reformulate. Why?

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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churchgeek

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
My second question relates to churchgeek’s post. That explains the Trinity as a way of doing justice to underlying beliefs in the character of God (love) and creation (gift not necessity). A theology is good if it enables us to say the things we believe. I like this. However it might seem that theology is a variable tactic to produce or explain certain conclusions, or a form of storytelling that we adapt as desired in order to have a narrative that works - explanatory but not descriptive. Theology could be characterised as more like fiction than reportage.

Sounds fine to me, but if I am putting it correctly, theology is then seen to be not something we believe in or that is true in itself, but a way of expressing deeper things; grace, love, relationship. It’s not that God really is three persons, but that if we think and speak of God in this way we can say things that matter deeply about the world, us and our getting along.

Does that word ‘really’ in my last sentence make sense? Is being able to say things all that ‘really’ means? Is this setting theology free, or is it breaking something?

I see your point. I think what I'm getting at is more about our ability to "understand" God as Trinity. I think we can't really understand God as God is, and that's OK. My concern is more with people who say they reject the idea of the Trinity because it doesn't make any sense. I'm hoping to offer an inroad into some kind of understanding - showing it not to be unreasonable.

It's a good challenge to me, though, to also think about your question of whether this is actually saying anything about God, or just using the symbol of God to say something about our world. I suppose part of my problem is I don't think there's a lot we can say about God in Godself; only about the way God has interacted with our world - which, in fact, is where the doctrine of the Trinity as such came from: people's experience of God's interactions and revelations in our world.

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I reserve the right to change my mind.

My article on the Virgin of Vladimir

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
As a member of the church that wrote the Creed, I may be biased, but I fail to see the need or value of every denomination or congregation redefining Christianity every 5 years. What is wrong with the older formulae? What is gained by ever new ones? It's not like a translation issue; I understand the need to retranslate as the target language changes. But this is more a need to reformulate. Why?

Because it comes from Europe, in a particular cultural milieu and is imposed on others often with arrogance. There is an element of cultural imperialism to suggest that every cultural must accept something put together centuries ago by the Greeks, Romans, Russians, English, whomever from there.

One of the things I'm told by some indigenous people is that we think everything is dead, and that we think other living things are unworthy of the same respect we have for human beings. Then they shake their heads when what they've said about it is interpreted as animist, pantheist, panentheist etc. They see the contempt that this represents, as if their cultures are less developed and less sophisticated than the European-derived ones.

They tell me that there is a deep geographical and spiritual restlessness embodied in the story of Genesis, where humans are supposed to dominate the land and world and each other, whereas they see a profound attachment to the place and ways of their ancestors with distinctive expression in thought, language, and behaviour; that they are part of a web of relationships in the natural and spiritual worlds. Which is a strong identification with Holy Spirit, which I've been told is warped by the perception of things as all dead.

[ 20. November 2017, 01:33: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Because it comes from Europe, in a particular cultural milieu and is imposed on others often with arrogance. There is an element of cultural imperialism to suggest that every cultural must accept something put together centuries ago by the Greeks, Romans, Russians, English, whomever from there.

Russians didn't even exist in the 4th century. Are you at all familiar with the history of the Creed? Or indeed of European nations and ethnicities?

You want to take the imposed religion but not the religion's imposed self-definition. I find myself just as vexed as before.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Because it comes from Europe, in a particular cultural milieu and is imposed on others often with arrogance. There is an element of cultural imperialism to suggest that every cultural must accept something put together centuries ago by the Greeks, Romans, Russians, English, whomever from there.

Yes, the churches represented at the council of Nicaea were more uniform in culture than the entirety of contemporary worldwide culture. Also, the culture in which Christ Himself lived and died was more uniform than the entirety of contemporary worldwide culture.

But God, and His church, is universal. We can certainly have different ways of describing and thinking about God, and perhaps my way misses something that your way captures.

But should we not build on what we have? If there is something in the ancient creeds of the Church that you think is wrong, then, well, you're probably wrong. But by all means explain what you think is wrong, and we can have a discussion. If there's something that you think should be a universal credal belief that isn't in there, bring it on. Propose a clause that you'd like to add.

quote:
One of the things I'm told by some indigenous people is that we think everything is dead,
You're going to have to translate that, because on the surface, in English, it's obvious nonsense. You apparently intend it to have some spiritual meaning, but it's not clear to me exactly what you mean.

quote:

They tell me that there is a deep geographical and spiritual restlessness embodied in the story of Genesis, where humans are supposed to dominate the land and world and each other, whereas they see a profound attachment to the place and ways of their ancestors with distinctive expression in thought, language, and behaviour;

Their ancestors migrated to the place that they currently live the same as everyone else's ancestors. In their case, about 15,000 years ago, to my best understanding.

[ 20. November 2017, 04:24: Message edited by: Leorning Cniht ]

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Enoch
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I'm with Mousethief and Leorning Cniht on this one.

Besides,

1. If we have to talk about cultural arrogance, the late classical era is sufficiently remote from our own that there's a thoroughly wholesome cultural humility about submitting to the wisdom of the Fathers rather than assuming that we, with our somewhat trite re-formulations, somehow know better than they did. And

2. For all the way they are now admired for being more green etc, isn't it now thought from the fossil etc record that the arrival of the First Nations in North America coincides so markedly with the widespread extinction of species of large, indigenous and edible wildlife as lead to the conclusion that the one ate the other?

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anteater

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quote:
What do you perceive to be the nature of the Trinity?
I don't think I do since I have insufficient faith in our ability to understand the true nature of God, that I don't try much.

But most Christians I know just think that:

The Father is about God being beyond all that we know and not limited by our senses.

The Son meaning that God and Man are one so we can truly know God in People.

The Spirit is about God being found within us, and is the basis for meditation and prayer, equating God with what New Age teachers tend to call Our Higher Self.

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
As a member of the church that wrote the Creed, I may be biased, but I fail to see the need or value of every denomination or congregation redefining Christianity every 5 years. What is wrong with the older formulae? What is gained by ever new ones? It's not like a translation issue; I understand the need to retranslate as the target language changes. But this is more a need to reformulate. Why?

When the Creeds were written (note the plural - I have the Apostles and the Nicene in mind, but of course there are plenty of extras) Baptists and Orthodox did not exist, we were just one big squabbly family. Our lineages did not pop into existence; we all split or were kicked out or cut off by geography and wars. We have roots in the same history. So I think everyone here can reasonably claim to be a member of the church that wrote the creeds.

Is there a line between retranslating and reformulating? When Enoch talks about “submitting to the wisdom of the Fathers” I find the word patriarchy coming to mind. This isn’t just a matter of vocabulary or capitalisation. The Creeds and the Fathers are closely associated in our minds today. Back in the day it was, I’m sure, more complicated than I appreciate, but there seems to have been a mix of power, councils, patronage, bullying, prestige and a desire to achieve control and consistency. I’m sure it grieved my Baptisty ancestors at the time.

Our day is not just coining the odd word or grammatical innovation, we are looking hard at gender, sex and power. We are thinking about security based on risk rather than control, and community that affirms diversity, not similarity. Patriarchy, or the patriarchy, is not a term that I love to use, but it does give a handle on some connected themes that I think are far more than translation issues.

I don’t think the Trinity is part of this male power tangle, but it does get dragged in when the idea of heresy gets coupled to it. Trinity then becomes part of that which is enforced, a policing of the perimeter.

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Tortuf
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"Heresy" on the Ship seems to mean a number of different things depending on who is using it and the circumstances.

It might be part of male dominance. It might also be a quick I win, now let's talk why I'm right. It might be a I'm uncomfortable with this topic, so I want to shut down discussion.

I fail to see it as a discussion enhancement. Perhaps I am too judgmental.

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Higgs Bosun
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I have been reminded of the excellent post by Ben Meyers. I particularly like
quote:

#16. Ancients: the word "Father" must be stripped of all connotations except mere relation. Moderns: those ancients thought God was male!

#17. Ancients: the doctrine is a tonic against idolatry (since it names an undepictable mystery). Moderns: the doctrine depicts God as an advocate of my social cause

#61. So can we speak of God? Yes! (because of revelation). Do we know what we mean? No! (because what's revealed is a mystery)

I would also mention this, which points out that a common linguistic basis for associating the Trinity with dancing is fallacious.
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Gamaliel
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Meanwhile, I can see what No Prophet is getting at, but I can't see why the Creeds (plural) are necessarily incompatible with a more panentheistic take on things (although not a pantheist one).

Remember, it's the Orthodox who have the liturgical formulary about God being present everywhere and filling all things ...

However, it is a strange thing, isn't it, how we've allowed/are allowing 11th century and 16th century spats within Euroasian Christianity to shape and determine how things develop outwith the Eurasian landbloc and into the Americas and the Antipodes and Africa and Polynesia and ...

Of course, we are all the sum total of all that has gone before, so we can't conveniently drop the Creeds, forget the Schism (and the earlier splits between the Orthodox/Catholics when the terms were coterminous and the Oriental Orthodox etc) ...

I'm not so sure that all developments are attempts to redefine and reformulate, so much as to reapply things to changing circumstances.

Arguably, the Orthodox are in an unusual position compared to everyone else as they were effectively stuck in aspic and 'fossilised' (and I don't use the term in a loaded way) for many centuries under Ottoman rule.

Had they not been then who knows what may have happened and whether they might have 'gone every which way' as Western Christianity did?

But that's all speculation.

We all are where we are.

And it can be quite schizophrenic for some of us, trying to balance what we perceive to be received wisdom with innovation.

I don't know what the answer is, but I don't think anyone's come up with anything 'better' than the Creeds.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Thank-you for that Gamaliel.
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Barnabas62
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Higgs Bosun

Nice to see you here again. Thanks for the excellent link. An antidote to idolatry indeed. Maybe human pride also?

Funny how easy it is to fall into idolatry.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
This affirmation of faith is from the United Church of Canada. We have been using it for nearly five years now:

We are not alone,
we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.

Thanks be to God.

We have also been using this Hymn of Praise in our worship. (Includes Kyrie--hymn of praise begins at about 2 minute mark.)

The Holy Spirit doesn't get much of a look in.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Twangist
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quote:
The Holy Spirit doesn't get much of a look in.
There are some who would argue that Leo has just summed up many years of Church history [Biased]
What Gamaliel and Jengie have said already about relationship and communion. [Overused]
What Mousethief has said about historic verbs. [Overused]
I would add that the "dance" and fullness of delight within the Trinity is what has "overflowed" to create and redeem.

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Eutychus
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Nice to see you, Twangist [Smile]

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churchgeek

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quote:
Originally posted by Higgs Bosun:
I have been reminded of the excellent post by Ben Meyers. I particularly like
quote:

#16. Ancients: the word "Father" must be stripped of all connotations except mere relation. Moderns: those ancients thought God was male!

#17. Ancients: the doctrine is a tonic against idolatry (since it names an undepictable mystery). Moderns: the doctrine depicts God as an advocate of my social cause

#61. So can we speak of God? Yes! (because of revelation). Do we know what we mean? No! (because what's revealed is a mystery)

I would also mention this, which points out that a common linguistic basis for associating the Trinity with dancing is fallacious.
Cool! Thank you for that link. It seems quite helpful.

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I reserve the right to change my mind.

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Twangist
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Nice to see you, Twangist [Smile]

Thanks chap, I've been lurking for a bit. Lost my login and normal crazy life stuff. You know how it goes [Big Grin]

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JJ
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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
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This is not a formal post or arguing a point. It is me writing out for the first time a prayer I use most mornings.

Praise to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Glorious Trinity, perfect in unity
Praise be to the Father
The source and ground of all creation
Praise be to the Son
All things came into being through him,
and without him, not one thing came into being
Praise to the Spirit
who brings all creation to completeness
Lord God Creator of All
have mercy on me.

Praise to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Glorious Trinity, perfect in unity
Praise to the Father
who when the time was ripe brought salvation to the world
Praise to the son
who was born, lived, taught, crucified among us
and yet on the third day rose again
Praise to the Spirit
who testifies to salvation in our lives
Lord God Saviour of All
have mercy on me.

Praise to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Glorious Trinity, perfect in unity
Praise be to the Father
who searches the hearts and minds of all
Praise to the son
ascended and sitting at the right hand of the father
who shall come again to judge the living and the dead
Praise to the Spirit
who will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
Lord God Judge of all
have mercy on me.

It is repetitive deliberately as I do it from memory and that helps me recall it. However, the repetition and structure allow a fairly simple interweaving.

Jengie

--------------------
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Enoch
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Jengie, where does that come from? I really like it.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
This affirmation of faith is from the United Church of Canada. We have been using it for nearly five years now:

We are not alone,
we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.

Thanks be to God.

We have also been using this Hymn of Praise in our worship. (Includes Kyrie--hymn of praise begins at about 2 minute mark.)

The Holy Spirit doesn't get much of a look in.
"I have, in consultation with the Lord God, his son Jesus Christ, and their insubstantial friend the Holy Ghost..." (King Richard IV, announcing the new Archbishop, Edmund the Unwilling)

[ 20. November 2017, 22:22: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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mousethief

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Hatless, you don't answer the question. Which item in the Creed (I refer to the Nicene, for the hard-of-thinking) do you think should be expunged, and why? What item or items would you have added, and why?

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mousethief

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Hatless, you don't answer the question. Which item in the Creed (I refer to the Nicene, for the hard-of-thinking) do you think should be expunged, and why? What item or items would you have added, and why?

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Hatless, you don't answer the question. Which item in the Creed (I refer to the Nicene, for the hard-of-thinking) do you think should be expunged, and why? What item or items would you have added, and why?

Is that really the question? I ask because I hadn’t noticed that anyone had asked this question up thread, but also because it sounds like the sort of question a lawyer with a contract and a signature would ask.

I don’t want to add or expunge any elements in the Nicene Creed, but nor do I particularly want to use it. In an age where ‘believe’ is understood to mean ‘think’ or ‘hold this opinion’ rather than ‘trust in’ or ‘live and die by’ I think it shifts Christianity unhelpfully in the direction of an intellectual world view. I suspect that the men who thought it up would also be concerned about this.

I think it ties us unhelpfully to a particular moment in history. It tries to be general, but it still reflects concerns with certain doctrines rather than others. And it is decidedly about church teachings, passing over those of Jesus.

I say the Creed when asked for the sake of ecumenical friendship, but I feel an incongruity as I do so. Offering a Creed in worship seems to base our unity in conformity to a central agreement. I am not a Brexiteer, but I would agree that it is a mistake to want to nail things down and tie people’s hands. I favour a looser, more relational basis for unity. If I had to have a Creed I would prefer the Apostles’ which doesn’t have the same feeling of looking over its shoulder at ‘wrong’ alternatives.

On balance I would like to treasure the Nicene Creed as a profound theological document containing guidance we still need today, but to firmly reject the mindset that freedom of thought is a danger to be managed. For me, as a wriggled-to-freedom-from-under-a-rock Baptist, that currently means not much liking creeds.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Jengie, where does that come from? I really like it.

It is my own work in that it arose from my own prayer time with me moving beads between my fingers and watching the breath. I am trying to focus on God.

Jengie

[ 21. November 2017, 08:38: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

--------------------
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