Denying that God is triune puts you outside orthodox Christian teaching?

Dear Mitchell,
This is in conflict to what @Christy says above, which I totally agree with. It is not the church’s interpretation which Christy refers to because the Bible tells us how often the priests have corrupted the Word. The only reason for modern prophets is therefore to correct the false interpretations of the Words of Jesus made by men.

The portion you quoted

Was to underline Christy’s words…

Though to be sure, there is technically a dispute between Catholicism and Protestantism. The former giving authority to the church and the latter to the Bible alone. I have also made it clear elsewhere that I do not think the Bible is sufficient for the definition of “Christianity” but for that there is also the decision of the ecumenical council of Nicea 325 AD.

As for “corrections” to the interpretation of the Bible by modern day “prophets” like you have in the LDS and JW, that is what puts them outside of Christianity. If these were simply how they chose to understand the Bible and the Nicean creed instead of as a correction to them then I don’t think there would be any separation. This is not to say they would not be criticized as the denominations of Christianity do criticize each other.

But to be Christian, the Bible has to be accepted as the word of God requiring no corrections whether you call them “correct interpretations” or additional revelations and scriptures. In Christianity (defined by the early ecumenical councils), the only thing with authority for the teaching of Christian beliefs is the text of the Bible alone.

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So it seems that this has all been a charade. You don’t really care what the Bible says, just what your mythology claims.

Thanks alot.

Roger, this comment came after the 14 verses that I posted that show Jesus is not God and was given no biblical proof of the trinity. Also, 7 and 12 are the perfect numbers, not three. Three is a pagan number. That is where the comment came from.
Best wishes, Shawn

I teach math at a Christian school, and I was never warned about this! I may have to revise my curriculum now. What about ten? I’ve heard it said that the metric system is from Satan; but on the other hand … there are the ten commandments. There should be an indexable handbook of all this for future reference.

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More seriously, though, I’m curious what the more orthodox-minded readers here think of Richard Rohr’s view of the “Cosmic Christ” as he describes in this 30-minute youtube interview. Science (and the age of universe question) come up tangentially, which is frosting on the cake; but the main reason this connects in here for me is Rohr’s insistence that there is nothing that is not under Christ’s Lordship. “Everything belongs”, so to speak. Leaving theodicy issues around that to the side, it seems to me to be a solid answer to the nonsense of thinking that some numbers are special, others pagan, or that any kind of group is some how excluded from this universal reach.

But what do all of you think? Does Rohr miss the mark on how you view Christ or “Trinity”?

10 is the number of horns on the great dragon, the 10 fallen Elders and the 10 ribs we have not connected with the sternum (Jesus).

I knew it! And Dewey was a godless man too from what I hear - this explains his use of the decimal system. It’s all beginning to make sense.

If you do not understand the context then the answer would be no. But I think the truth is that this and the Catholic church in general is a great example of the freedom of personal diversity of thought within a fixed authoritative theological framework. This in particular is part of the more mystical traditions in Catholicism and the Franciscans in particular. There are a couple of parts which sound quite heretical…

  1. The idea of Christ incarnate in the cosmos from the big bang sounds an awful lot like a kind of Christianized pantheism. Though this isn’t the only line of thought in Christianity which goes in this direction. There is also the idea from scripture that God sustains our existence which puts us in mind of everything being a dream in the mind of a dreamer God. Perhaps we would need to ask Rohr directly to be sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a way of conforming what he says to orthodox doctrine and thus distinguishing what he means from pantheism which has some severe difficulties when it comes to theodicy.
  2. When Rohr said Jesus became the Christ, which sounds an awful lot like the adoptionism of the Moonies. But we must remember this is spoken rather than written and so that may not have been meant quite like that… not that Jesus changed at some point of His life to become God but that in being born the babe became that same Christ that Rohr sees incarnate in the cosmos.

On the whole there is much in what Rohr says which is very attractive to me, especially this idea of the universe being our first revelation from God. Though there is a couple of scientific inaccuracies such as a universe which is 14.5 billion years old rather than 13.8 billion – but this may simply be out of date information on his part. And there is the claim that the speed of light is the only physical constant which certainly isn’t correct. But perhaps you can say this just proves that science has issues with an orthodoxy of own too.

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I’m not sure about that. Christ is a Messianic term. Jesus, God incarnate, had to step into and fulfill the role of Messiah that he was born to fulfill. Peter says God made Jesus Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36) The anointing of Jesus as the Messiah was an event in history tied to Jewish prophesy and history, not an ontological reality related to his divinity.

It doesn’t sound like a role or messianic when Rohr talks of Christ incarnate in the universe from the big bang. And even as a role, it still sounds funny to say that Jesus becomes the messiah, doesn’t it? Especially since Rohr contrasts Jesus as historical human rather than the always existing person of God.

I didn’t watch the clip, but Jesus is a historical person. Don’t you agree? The world was created through the Son, not through Jesus, if you want to be technical about it. Christ did not become incarnate, the Son did. As Jesus. Who was identified as the Christ. And who became Lord and Savior.

The reality here is that the early Church fathers, as well as the Church itself throughout its entire history and the Ecumenical Councils, held to the belief in the Trinity. The notion of the Trinity is found in the New Testament, albeit not literally written out. People have already allude to this verses in the thread here.

This is sort of the problem with sola scritura concept (disclaimer: I am Orthodox Christian), it holds that if something is not written in the New Testament canon, it does not exist. John makes it very clear that there is a lot more to our Faith than what is written in the Bible explicitly. The traditions of the early Church fathers and the way we worshipped, and the way the Trinity was understood should be considered. Of course, let me make clear, if any of the scriptures said the Trinity did not exist, and for some reason the Church practiced it, of course I would be against that.

Sorry about my English,God Bless all of you here on the forum.


I can’t remember if it was this video clip or not, but Rohr did seem eager to highlight a distinction between pantheism and panentheism. I can’t remember if he then adopted the latter term approvingly of his own views. But even if so, the latter is also not generally considered within orthodoxy I think.

But I generally have the same reaction that I think you express … of thinking that a few things sound a bit funny or more clarification would be needed, and yet I appreciate much of his critique of organized Christian religion as a much needed message.

Some of this also reminded me a bit of George Murphy and his book “Cosmos in the Light of the Cross”. I don’t remember Murphy striking me as particularly mystical when I read that work, and yet I think there may have been some commonalities.

And there is the assertion in Hebrews about Him being perfected:

2:10 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Dear Christy,
I great historian once said, “After a careful study of history, we see that man has rarely learned from studying history.” (Jacob Burckhardt) Origen was such a significant scholar 300 years after his death that it was impossible for Justinian to destroy his entire body of work. But since Origen analyzed every conceivable Christian theory using his scientific method, you can find supporting arguments for each of them. Destroy his conclusion and you can prove he supported anything. This was the job of Rufinus, which you can read out of his apology. It took the church 10 years to ratify the emperor’s declaration against Origen, and how would I have loved to have been a fly on the way during that time as the scribes went about their work.
Best Wishes, Shawn

Three is not a pagan number. Numbers are not pagan or Christian. Christianity is not based on numerology, but on the good news of Jesus Christ.

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The most enlightened society that gave us Euclidian geometry, the Pythagorean theorem, Aesop’s fables, logic, democracy, the Hippocratic Oath and Plato’s dialogs left us with this image of the ruler of the bitter sea (Satan). He is depicted with a fish at his feet, where Jonah was once trapped.

Which is the principle problem right there, since I was just talking about the content of the clip.

Sure. I have little doubt that the name “Jesus” came from Mary. But the person didn’t begin with the name, right?

Yep, sometimes also referred to as the Word, or Logos. But along with Jesus, these are referents to the same person – correct?

Yes I would agree with that usage of the word “Christ.” But it is not how Rohr used the term. He spoke of Christ first being incarnated in the universe at the big bang and then being incarnated as a man named Jesus.

Christ means anointed after the example of Saul, David, and Solomon. But while this is an event in the lives of these three, this is not the case with Jesus. Was he not annointed from before his birth and some would say even at the foundation of the world? This is not my particular theology, to be sure, since I do not believe that the fall of man and thus the need for a savior was foreordained.

“Savior” is usually considered synonymous with “Christ” but the word “Lord” is more complicated. To some it might seem that it refers to salvation accomplished but to others it refers to power and authority which the Son always had and thus identify the use of “Lord” throughout the Bible with Jesus. Sounds to me like we are getting lost in empty semantics at this point.

Yes the dreamer God idea is closer to panentheism. And while I usually stick the (en) in the word, like “pan(en)theism,” I didn’t do that this time. It is a pet peeve of mine that a real creation of the universe is the creation of something that stands on its own rather than needing to be held together. And indeed that is the whole point of the laws of nature as an embodiment of automation so that the universe exists and operates on its own. I certainly tend to think of the universe embodying God in the sense that it reflects His motivation and purpose, rather than anything like an incarnation – which is far too pan(en)theistic for my taste. And yet there is room for poetry and metaphor in this for it is probably a mistake to treat theology like it is a mathematical science with the same kind of technical precision.

I am not clear on how you would classify the council in 325. It wouldn’t fit to say it is “the text of the Bible alone.” And I don’t think you are willing to say that it is an additional revelation or correction. But the decisions made there are something it appears that you place with equal authority with scripture. Is that how you see it?

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