Is creation triune?

(George Brooks) #1


Who is “we” ? I certainly say that God is intervening.

That’s what he did when he talked Moses into becoming his champion…

In any case, I am not talking about God’s communications with morally responsible souls… we are discussing ecological factors and DNA molecules… FREE WILL is not at issue when discussing these things.

My ID Challenge
Does the Success of Science Leave God Unemployed? (Part 2)

Intervention does not require absolute transcendence.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #3


You may be right, but it is clear that absolute transcendence does require intervention, and many conservative theologians, @Eddie for one, would say that God is absolute. This is the incoherence that Plantinga was addressing.

Theology also says that God is completely Immanent, which responds to the dilemma, but adds to the incoherence. The best way to resolve this is to follow the Bible which says that God is Relationally both Transcendent and Immanent, not Absolute. This resolves the problem by saying God is Triune, and so is Creation.


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(Roger A. Sawtelle) #5


That statement is clearly not true. The Trinity like all theological doctrine is about one basic thing, which is salvation, or our relationship to God. Since we humans are created beings as the Bible makes very clear, the Trinity is about the relationship of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and not the Godhead [God has no head as God has no body] to created human beings and our world.

“Relationally” and “absolute” simply confuse matters

Whether using the terms absolute and relationally confuses or clarifies, human beings think in these terms. Thus if we are to address the deeper issues inherent in our understanding the science and theology and philosophy, we must address their meaning and use them. In this instance @fmiddel used the term absolute first.

In the past you have defended the view that God is Impassive, which is closely tied to the understanding that God is Absolute. This is the basis of this statement and of course to bring you into the discussion, which it did.

Finally, it does not follow from the fact that God is triune that Creation is triune, for reasons long ago pointed out to you by Jon Garvey and myself, and now again pointed out to you by fmiddel and myself.

Eddie, you seem to have a very selective memory. The first exchange, which was a long time ago or so it seems with you and Jon was the first endless debate that we had which was far from conclusive. It would be interesting to dig that out from the archives, if it is still there to see exactly how it went. It was more about the nature of the Trinity as “egalitarian” as per Augustine, or “hierarchical” as per the Cappadocians and the Eastern Church.

In terms of my exchange with you and fmiddel that was recent and it was concerning humans being created in the Image of God as Trinity. Fmiddel said that this was untrue, because if people were created in the Image of God as Trinity, they would be God, which does not follow. You said that if humans were created in the Image of God, they would not have bodies, because God does not have a body. If this were true, then the Bible would be false…

This is not a simple matter which can be solved by a few proof texts, although I do not dismiss the values of important Biblical to point to the meaning of the Bible, which I why I use important passages to illustrate important points. This said it takes a book to fully clarify a doctrine, which is why Augustine wrote De Trinitate.


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(Roger A. Sawtelle) #7


God created humanity in God’s own Image. God’s Image is the Trinity. Therefore God created humans as Triune beings.

This is my basic starting point which you have no way refuted. Casper tried to refute it by saying humans cannot compare God or the Trinity to “earthly things” including humans who are created in God’s Image. I used Augustine to refute that particular point, and you agreed!

Now you insist that I must prove my point by citing some passage from Augustine or other theologian. Have you forgotten Sola Scriptura? Why do you want to return to the theological tradition as the only true basis of our understanding of God?

My understanding of Reality as Triune is based on Scripture and the understanding of God as Trinity, not as Duality. It is giving the Triune God all the honor and glory that is due God by accepting the fact that God made humans and the rest of the Created Order in God’s Triune Image. Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria.

Maybe I haven’t proven this to you yet, but you have not given me the opportunity to do so either.


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Why Can’t God Intervene?
(Casper Hesp) #10

I have the impression that Roger’s insistence on interpreting almost everything (man, Creation, and even the Bible) as being triune actually does more harm than good to the doctrine of the Trinity. The Church Fathers spent large amounts of ink for distinguishing the Trinity from earthly analogies that give way to modalism, arianism, partialism, or other non-trinitarian beliefs. Earthly images always end up mischaracterizing the doctrine of the Trinity in one way or another.


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(Roger A. Sawtelle) #12


I am interested in the Trinity and I am interested in what the Greek Fathers said. That is why I am skeptical that there is anything new in what Chris has to say, esp. be4cause they are closely tied to tradition which does not change.

In other words it is because I am familiar with this tradition that I am skeptical, but willing to listen, not because I have rejected it without a hearing like some people do.


You need to be careful about leaping to conclusions based on little knowledge of the situation. It appears that you are not familiar with Augustine’s magnificent book, De Trinitate (On the Trinity) which is the basis of the Western model of the Trinity. It is a great piece of theology and any one serious about understanding Christianity and theology should read it.

In this masterpiece Augustine uses a series of “earthly” images to talk about the Trinity, the best know of which is Lover, Beloved, and the Love, which unites them. In addition he used the “psychological trinity” composed of memory, understanding, and will.

It is out of this tradition that I have come. I really do not think that anyone seriously accused Augustine of modalism or other heretical ideas about the Trinity.


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(Roger A. Sawtelle) #14

You left out an important word in your first sentence here. Man [and not just Man, but Man and Woman,] were Created in the Image of God. Gen 1 gives the full creation process in which men [and women] play a unique role, but are still a part of the created order. Gen 2 is a little different, because the role of humanity is highlighted, but it does not contradict Gen 1.

What you have done in your statement is to emphasize our likeness of God at the expense of our created nature. Greek philosophy tended to do this, because for the Greeks matter was inferior to ideas. Since science is the study primarily of the physical universe it rejects this point of view and corrects it, so Darwin reminds us that humans are part of the created universe.

In my dialogue with @fmiddel I pointed out that the Creation pointed out the Power and majesty of God, the wisdom and Logos of God, and the goodness and Love of God. These correspond to the Trinity of God the Father/Creator, God the Son/Logos, and God the Holy Spirit/Love.

We know that God is Good, because God’s Creation is Good. This is also the basis of the Two Books understanding of the Bible and Nature. God does reveal Godself through God’s Creation and if we ignore or deny this, we will be in the same boat as YEC.

Augustine used Platonic models rooted in the Creation to further our understanding of the Triune character of God. Augustine did not make Platonic models of Reality as an End in itself, but combined them with Biblical inspiration to create a new understanding of the nature of the Source of Reality.

I would suggest that we take Augustine’s model of the Trinity and update it as God has revealed Godself anew through the Two Books to develop the deeper understanding of Reality needed to reconcile the science, philosophy, and theology needed for our times.


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(Roger A. Sawtelle) #16

Thank you for the advice.

I have already done this. If you want to help, please read De Trinitate and give me your opinion…


I don’t know why, but some conversations remind me of an Ant Mill


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(Roger A. Sawtelle) #19


I am so sorry that you have not read De Trinitate. Please do yourself a favor and we can talk.


Is it true that anything that reveals God must be “triune”?

And what does that even mean? The derived doctrine of the Trinity says that the three are one and the one three. Is this true of mankind? Of Creation?

If not, is it misleading to use the word “triune”? Is a human being body/soul/spirit “three in one”? I would argue that not only is this not the case, it is not necessary.


I’m sorry…but God is not a Trinity of Power-Majesty/Wisdom-Logos/Goodness-Love. God is a Trinity of Father/Son/Spirit.

The Father is Loving, the Son is Majestic, and the Spirit is Wisdom. The Father is Wise, the Son is Good, the Spirit is Powerful. Etc.

Still further, creation reveals God largely in its diversity and wonder–revealing God’s creativity. God’s sheer artistry and ingenuity are revealed in the universe God has created. Who, never having seen one, would even believe a description of a rainbow? Or a snowflake?

But…somehow, although Creation screams God’s creativity, it is not part of its “triuneness.” Why?