Monday, October 20, 2008

Trinitarian Joke

I had to borrow this joke from Logan's blog, cause it really sums up how I have felt about trinitarianism the past few years (He has more, so head on over). I will probably detail my present views in a blog sometime, but suffice to say that I would have been hard pressed to develop any of the common explanations of the Trinity through simple scripture reading.

Jesus said, Whom do men say that I am?

And his disciples answered and said, Some say you are John the Baptist returned from the dead; others say Elias, or other of the old prophets.

And Jesus answered and said, But whom do you say that I am?

Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Logos, existing in the Father as His rationality and then, by an act of His will, being generated, in consideration of the various functions by which God is related to his creation, but only on the fact that Scripture speaks of a Father, and a Son, and a Holy Spirit, each member of the Trinity being coequal with every other member, and each acting inseparably with and interpenetrating every other member, with only an economic subordination within God, but causing no division which would make the substance no longer simple."

And Jesus answering, said, "What?"


Brook said...

You're a Universalist who doesn't believe in the Trinity?? Dude, you are SO going to hell!

Adam Gonnerman said...

I hold to a trinitarian position, but because I find it Biblical. The explanations of the first few centuries of the church can be useful, but not on "street level. I think I saw this joke somewhere befoer.

Redlefty said...

I miss Mr. Deity!

Logan said...

I think this joke exposes how incredibly foreign the philosophical/theological explanation of the Trinity would have sounded to Jesus-its a lot of metaphysical gooblygoodook (as a Biblical professor I once had noted) read back into the Scriptures some time later. There is an experiential reality behind the idea of the Trinity, but I think the whole doctrine buried it.

Steve H. said...

I never understood the speed bump this question causes to so many Christians. Somehow a single God is represented in 3 distict persons. Jesus was praying to the Father...he said He's leaving and sending the Comforter (Holy Spirit)...Jesus tells Philip, "hey, when you see me, you see the Father".
Do I pretend to understand this entirely? Not remotely. We're like cavemen sitting and trying wrap pur minds around the space shuttle.
The are multiple persona within the Godhead. I mean was Jesus going through the motions and not praying to anyone? And when Hebrews mentions for a time the Jesus emptied himself and became lower than the angels, who was upstairs minding the store? Whether you call that one God or the trinity...TOMATO...Taamaato

Andrew said...

"Do I pretend to understand this entirely? Not remotely."

Yes, no one seems to understand it. However, we are required to believe something we don't understand nor seem to be able to consistently articulate. I have no problem with someone holding a Trinitarian position, I just find I can make a stronger scriptural argument against it than for it.

To be honest, I think our insistance to other Christians that one must accept a trinity is an example of "nullifying the word of God for the sake of our tradition". We seem to make a Creedal leap of logic, then try to justify a Creedal belief scripturally, rather than the other way around. Walter Brueggemann (who was not referencing this point at the time) talks about our being so immersed in Creedal theology that we sometimes fail to see what is being said in the text.

I will give my reasons for a non trinitarian position in a future blog. My overall problem with Trinitarianism is not that people believe it, but rather that they feel they HAVE to believe it. In many Christian circles, saying with Peter "Jesus is the Christ, the son of the Living God" is not enough.

Andrew said...

By the Way Red, I was reading that Mr. Deity might have an HBO deal in the works.... that would be too cool. I had a short email correspondence with him once. Good guy that Mr. Deity.

Steve H. said...

I guess that is why this has never been a stumbling block for me. Its not a creed, its just the way it is. I'm curious by what your statement "I just find I can make a stronger scriptural argument against it than for it."

I think we need to clarify terms: What do you see as a Trinitarian position? What is a non-Trinitarian position?

Andrew said...

I am going to dedicate a post to my views on that soon, and we can pick up this convo then. :)

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