Posts Tagged ‘Should You Believe In The Trinity?’

God’s Submissive Servant

March 9, 2011

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve been going through lately the Watchtower booklet of “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” Currently, the Watchtower in our study is presenting arguments against the Trinity. Tonight, we’re going to look at the case of Jesus being God’s submissive servant.

To begin with, it’s important to note that a believer in the Trinity does believe that Jesus was a submissive servant to God. Thus, if the Watchtower wants to present this as evidence prima facie that Jesus is not ontologically equal to the Father, then it falls flat with just that statement. They do want to do a bit more as they want to show why that should be a problem for Trinitarianism. Let’s see if it is.

We are given a verse like John 5:19 where Jesus says he only does what he sees the Father doing. The Watchtower presents verses like this as if it would be a problem. What do they expect we think they should say if Jesus was ontologically equal to God?

“I do what I want and if the Father doesn’t want to do it, I do it anyway.”

“I come to teach my doctrine. What the Father teaches does not have to agree.”

“I did not come to do the will of my Father. I came to do my own will.”

Each of these would be highly contrary statements to both the doctrine of the Watchtower and Trinitarianism. They are not a problem for us however, nor do I think in themselves they would be one for the Watchtower. Trinitarians have never had a problem with Jesus doing the will of the Father and submitting to that perfectly in every angle. That’s what he was supposed to do in the life of a perfect man.

The Watchtower asks if the one who sends is superior to the one who is sent, but there is an equivocation here. When the centurion sends his servants to Jesus to ask him to come heal his sick servant, surely the centurion was superior to the servants, but in what way? Was the centurion superior in humanity or was he higher in rank? When a wife submits to her husband in a biblical way, is she doing so because she is inferior to her husband? (I would love to have a husband and wife couple use a superiority type argument like this and then get to ask the wife how inferior she is in humanity to her husband.)

The Watchtower assumes that lower in rank means lower in nature. That does not follow. The example that we have shown demonstrate that. Now to be fair, it could mean that. God is superior to the angels and the angels are described as servants. (Note that Jesus is also described as superior) That one has to submit to another is necessary to show superiority of essence, but it is not sufficient. Because there is submission, that does not prove that there is superiority of essence.

Because the followers of Jesus viewed him as God’s submissive servant, it does not rule out their viewing him as deity.

We shall continue next time.

Jesus Distinguished From God

March 8, 2011

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’re going to continue our study tonight of the Watchtower booklet “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” We’re right now looking at the objections that the Watchtower raises and tonight we’re going to discuss how the Watchtower says Jesus is distinguished from God.

The problem the Watchtower has is similar to one addressed earlier. The Watchtower does not realize that generally in New Testament usage, God was used to refer to the Father and Lord was used to refer to Jesus Christ. One could say that God is distinguished from the Lord in the New Testament, therefore God must not be the Lord. This is fallacious, but it’s the same kind of argument that the Watchtower is presenting.

Thus, we do not expect to find Jesus referred to as God explicitly many times as that would have led to confusion. Why call two persons within the same sentence God? There are other ways to say that Jesus has ontological equality with the Father and I believe that those have been done. However, this is not the place for that as we are here simply examining the arguments the Watchtower puts forward.

The Watchtower states that Paul had no problem speaking of God and Jesus as separate and cites 1 Cor. 8:6. Indeed, this is the kind of example I am speaking about. By their standard, God is separate from the Lord and therefore God cannot be said to be the Lord.

What’s more problematic however is the scholarly work of Richard Bauckham in “God Crucified” where he argues persuasively that what Paul is doing in a text like this is in fact Christianizing the great Shema of Israel. Lord and God were both referred to and Paul is making a strong statement of monotheism. If Bauckham is correct, and I think he is, then Paul is not arguing against Jesus being ontologically equal with God, but is rather going to great lengths to show that Jesus fits into the divine identity.

The Watchtower also gives us John 8:17-18 which has Jesus saying that he is one witness and the Father is another. How could this be unless they were two separate entities? The irony I find in this is that this is a passage that I regularly use when I argue against modalists and point to this passage to show that Jesus and the Father are two separate persons. Indeed, this is what Jesus says. He says his Father is one witness and He is another. He does not say God.

Finally, Mark 10:18 has the rich young ruler referring to Jesus as good teacher and Jesus says “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” The Watchtower says Jesus is denying that He is as good as God. Where is the denial? Jesus is just stating that only God is truly good. He is not saying outright that he himself is. Note also that in the ancient world, one would not answer this question saying “Yep! You’d better say I’m good!” That would be seen as trying to claim honor unjustly for oneself. Jesus gave a humble answer and left it to the man to work out the implications.

Again, I am not convinced by anything the Watchtower has said so far. It’s also worth noting that so far no Trinitarians have been cited in these arguments.

We shall continue later.

Was Jesus Considered To Be God?

March 7, 2011

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve been going through lately the Watchtower booklet “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” Thus far, our conclusion has been that the Watchtower has not given us a reason to not believe in it. This is not so much about giving evidence for the Trinity but rather answering the “arguments” as to why we shouldn’t.

Today, we’re going to look at the question of if Jesus was considered to be God. The Watchtower states that Son of God did not mean that Jesus was God, or as we would say, God the Son. In itself, they are correct in this. Others were also called sons of God. The question however is if Jesus was one son among many or if there was something different about him.

It is true that ones like the centurion at the cross said that Jesus was the son of God, but what would this mean? For a Roman, it would not be monotheism, but at least the recognition that Jesus was a divine being. He was no ordinary man. His death and what happened would have shown that Jesus was to be seen as a king. If we take all the events as literal, that is fine. If we take them as apocalyptic, then that does not damage the belief that Jesus is seen as a king.

The Watchtower says that Jesus was seen as the Son of God and that there is only one God. They are correct, but the problem is they are assuming unipersonalism. God is one and the Father is God therefore the Father alone is God. If by one, it means one person, then they would be correct. They have not shown that this is what it means. For Jesus, it would mean that He is the Son of the Father, not the Son of Himself as some, including atheistic critics, would say.

The Watchtower tells us that Jesus is the mediator between God and men. They tell us that a mediator must be other than the parties they represent, so Jesus could not be God. Well if that’s the case, then why should I believe that he can in fact be man? By that standard, Jesus could not have been a man to be our mediator. Of course, it could be that if they are consistent with their beliefs on Jesus being Michael, they will deny the humanity of Christ, however the text itself says that there is one mediator, the MAN Christ Jesus.

A Trinitarian however can say that the mediator between the Father and men is the man Jesus Christ. He can mediate because he is both God and man. There can be no better mediator. The Son can mediate because He is not sinful humanity, though He is human, and He is not the Father, though He has ontological equality with the Father.

Thus, is there a distinction between the Father and the Son in Scripture? Absolutely. That is essential for Trinitarianism. There is a distinction between Peter and Paul in Scripture, yet both are fully human. The Watchtower is just making the assumption of unipersonalism, probably the #1 mistake critics of the Trinity make.

We shall continue next time.

Jesus A Separate Creation?

March 1, 2011

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. Tonight, we’re continuing our look at the Watchtower booklet of “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” We’re finally coming to the topic of Jesus, which when the Witnesses visit me and want to go through “What Does The Bible Really Teach?”, I always want to skip ahead to the chapter on who is Jesus. Well let’s see what the Watchtower says.

We agree with the Watchtower that Jesus’s existence did not begin with the conception in Mary. The Watchtower says Jesus’s life force was transferred to the womb of Mary. (Again, note that such terminology you don’t see in the Bible. It’s wrong when it’s the Trinity you don’t see explicitly stated, but when it comes to life force being transferred, which in this case is that of the archangel Michael, it’s okay) Of course, we don’t hold to such a position here.

The Watchtower asks if his existence was as a person of an eternal triune Godhead. They answer no. The Bible plainly states that Jesus in his prehuman existence was a created spirit being.

Plainly states of course meaning “We teach that and even if we don’t have explicit chapter and verse, it’s okay anyway because we teach it, unlike those Trinitarians.”

Of course, we see Colossians 1:15 used. What the Witnesses miss is that this is a verse describing ontology and not chronology. Technically, if Jesus was the firstborn of creation, then it would really mean creation produced Jesus. What it really is doing is describing Jesus’s relation to the creation. Jesus is the Lord over all of creation. I have dealt more with this objection here.

Of course, that’s followed with Revelation 3:14. The Watchtower says John uses the word “Arche” for beginning several times and it always means a beginning. Of course, word usage is not determined by how often a word is used one way, but how it is used in the sentence it is used. In this case, it refers to the origin due to the other statements of deity in John and that John is likely using wisdom theology to show that Jesus is the means of the creation of God.

Speaking of wisdom, the Watchtower goes there immediately. They want to say Wisdom in Proverbs 8 is Jesus. Good! I agree! Unfortunately, if they really read the passage the way they intend to, they have a problem. Question to my Witness friends! When was God ever unwise? Did God create wisdom and then add wisdom to His nature? Was He an unwise God prior? Did He change to become wise even though Scripture tells us that He does not change?

More of my thoughts on that can be found here.

In fact, the very verses they use are central to the idea of Wisdom sharing in the divine identity. In the New Testament consistently, Jesus is seen as the means for God creating and the Father is seen as the source, the creator. This is not a problem. Unknowingly, the Watchtower has actually created a wonderful Trinitarian argument.

Next time, we’ll look further at some “objections” the Watchtower raises.

Not A Plural God?

February 27, 2011

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. Lately, we’ve been going through the Watchtower booklet of “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” Finally, the Watchtower has got to the topic of what the Bible itself says about the doctrine. We shall continue that tonight.

Of course, the Watchtower brings out John 17:3 (Sometimes I wonder if they know there are other verses in the Bible.) which is not a problem for a Trinitarian. The Son and the Spirit would be subsumed under the identity of the Father and thus would also be included as the only true God.

The Watchtower makes a big deal about no one else being called Almighty. While I think this is an important point, it is also not a problem for Trinitarians either. Jesus would be included in the identity of the Father. That does not mean He is the Father of course, but He would have been seen as included in the divine identity.

There is also the point that plural forms are used for God in the Old Testament in his name, but the Watchtower dismisses this saying most would see it as the plural of majesty and not as teaching the Trinity. Again, what’s the difficulty? I would have no problem with a plural of majesty, but it is interesting that plural nouns are used so often whereas in pagan literature, one god is not normally referred to as plural.

Also, God is referred to doing activities in the singular. Again, this is not a problem for a Trinitarian but more of a problem for those who approach it from a fully Western perspective. Since there is one God with more than one persons in that identity, there is still a singular being acting and of course the actions will be expressed in the singular.

Why would it be used for other gods? This would be an exception but would also be comparing the Elohim of Israel to a supposed Elohim outside of Israel. The Watchtower says also that this would mean that we have to be guilty of worshiping three gods and that most Trinitarian supporters reject the view that the Trinity is made up of three gods.

Most?

Could the Watchtower point to the Trinitarian supporter who says that the Trinity consists of three gods?

Also, other beings are called gods. Yes. This is not a problem. Moses could be seen as a god because he was functionally acting as a god. The Watchtower is again doing an all-or-nothing game. One wonders if we can say “Moses is called God, but that’s insufficient for him to be God,” if that would mean that since YHWH is called Almighty, that that’s insufficient to say that He is Almighty. Is it even sufficient to show that He is God?

Again, I find the Watchtower extremely lacking. There is no interaction with other scholarship and as has been said before, “Beware the sound of one hand clapping.” Unfortunately, most Witnesses only get one side of the story. Will you make sure they get the other side?

“God is One, Not Three.”

February 26, 2011

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’re continuing tonight our look at the Watchtower booklet of “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” Tonight, we’re finally going to start getting into discussing the Bible. Let’s see what the Watchtower has to say.

To begin with, the Watchtower has a little bit before their first point on God being one and not three that no one reading the Bible through would come to the concept of the Trinity.

No one, that is, except the early church.

To get to the Scriptures, the Watchtower begins quoting an authority again, L.L. Paine who says:

“The Old Testament is strictly monotheistic. God is a single personal being. The idea that a trinity is to be found there . . . is utterly without foundation.”

To begin with, I as a Trinitarian agree. The Old Testament is monotheistic as is Trinitarianism. God is a single personal being. I also agree that the Trinity is not found in the Old Testament in the sense that it is explicitly taught, although I do think the seeds of the doctrine are there.

But of course, the Watchtower wants to give the impression that all Trinitarians teach that the Old Testament explicitly teaches the Trinity.

We are told that Jesus affirmed the tradition of Jews that “Hear O Israel, The Lord your God is one.”

It’s a good thing Trinitarians affirm that too. Does the Watchtower tell its readers that? Nope.

We are told the word “one” has no plural modifiers to indicate it refers to one individual. This does not follow. The word for one itself is a word that leaves room open for plurality. Also, one individual and one being are not necessarily the same. The term individual is to be equated with persons so that the Watchtower is wanting to stack the deck without coming out and blatantly doing so.

We are told Paul affirmed that God is one in Galatians 3:20 and 1 Cor. 8:4-6.

Okay. Are we supposed to disagree with this sometime along the way? In fact, I would begin a teaching of the Trinity by affirming that God is one.

We are then told:

Thousands of times throughout the Bible, God is spoken of as one person. When he speaks, it is as one undivided individual. The Bible could not be any clearer on this. As God states: “I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory.” (Isaiah 42:8) “I am Yahweh your God . . . You shall have no gods except me.” (Italics ours.)—Exodus 20:2, 3, JB.

Note there are times he speaks in the plural, such as Genesis 1 and Genesis 11. That God uses terms like “me, my, I, etc.” does not go against Trinitarianism. In the Trinity, the Son and the Spirit would be subsumed under the identity of the Father. An excellent reference on this would be Richard Bauckham’s “God Crucified.”

The Watchtower says that surely this would be made clear. We argue that it was. One wonders if the Watchtower would hold that the condemnation of homosexuality is clear for instance, but there are some who deny the Bible explicitly teaches a condemnation of homosexual practice.

However, to say that God being one goes against the Trinity is completely false since we do affirm the oneness of God. The Watchtower is mistakingly making the case that God is one means that God is one person.

The question to ask is “God is one what?”

Do try to find a verse that explicitly says one person as well.

After all, this needs to be explicitly taught.

Why Did God’s Prophets Not Teach It?

February 24, 2011

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve lately been going through the Watchtower booklet of “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” We’ve been going through the section on the development of the doctrine of the Trinity and tonight, we’re going to look at the Watchtower question of why did God’s prophets not teach it?

The Watchtower begins saying this:

WHY, for thousands of years, did none of God’s prophets teach his people about the Trinity? At the latest, would Jesus not use his ability as the Great Teacher to make the Trinity clear to his followers? Would God inspire hundreds of pages of Scripture and yet not use any of this instruction to teach the Trinity if it were the “central doctrine” of faith?

You know what? These are great questions. I have some of my own to ask.

Why did God’s prophets not teach that the Messiah would have to be crucified?

Why did God’s prophets not teach that he would be raised from the dead?

Why did God’s prophets not teach about the practice of baptism?

Why did God’s prophets not teach about the New Testament church?

Why did God’s prophets not teach about the New Testament?

Why did God’s prophets not teach about the return of the Messiah after his leaving?

Why did God’s prophets not teach about the Watchtower’s 1914 generation?

We can imagine the Watchtower saying “Well these things were hinted at in the Old Testament but not explicitly taught.”

Well we can say the same thing about the Trinity.

In fact, it makes sense seeing as the Watchtower misunderstands the Trinity to be polytheistic. Israel’s great danger in the past was polytheism. What does the Watchtower expect? Was God supposed to say “Abraham. I am your friend. By the way, I’m also one God in three persons.”

To which Abraham would say “Um. What?”

Looking on it as a whole, God’s way of revealing it was best. Had he announced that he was going to come down Himself one day explicitly, then history would be quite different. Would the true followers have known Christ? Would they not have been instead trying to understand who the Son is in light of the Father instead of focusing on his ministry?

Remember, Jesus did not come to teach the Trinity. He came to bring God to the people and He did that in His own person. The Watchtower thinks that if something is to believed, it must be taught explicitly in both testaments.

That is, unless they believe it.

Are Christians to believe that centuries after Christ and after having inspired the writing of the Bible, God would back the formulation of a doctrine that was unknown to his servants for thousands of years, one that is an “inscrutable mystery” “beyond the grasp of human reason,” one that admittedly had a pagan background and was “largely a matter of church politics”?

Note how much language is loaded. We’ve already seen that this was not centuries after the coming of Christ. The church fathers have done that. Now have we seen Scripture yet? No. To be fair however, the reason we haven’t is because the Watchtower hasn’t even brought forward a single verse of Scripture to make their case.

One wonders also if the Watchtower thinks they have a complete handle on God seeing as since something is a mystery, it must not be true. Is their God also fully understandable by human reason? Well that must be a small God.

And as for admittedly pagan, note the admittedly part. Ripping quotations out of context is not an admission. This is especially so in light of the fact that some who are “admitting” this are anti-trinitarians. It would be like saying I’m admitting the new atheists have terrible arguments. Of course I am. However, what does that prove? Nothing in itself. Now if Richard Dawkins said it, that would be something.

The Watchtower is ready to say that it’s clear that the Trinity is a deviation. Amazingly, they did this without once looking at the Bible itself!

Well they’re finally getting ready to. We’ll be ready to engage them also.

Platonism and the Trinity

February 23, 2011

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve been going through the Watchtower booklet called “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” and looking at the question of how the Trinity developed according to the Watchtower. Tonight, we’re going to be looking at the influence of Plato on the Trinity.

Something consistent with the Watchtower is that they think a triad is the same as a Trinity. It’s not. The triads have three separate beings, whereas in the Trinity, there is only one being who is revealed in three persons. (I find it extremely important to watch terminology when discussing the Trinity. We do not believe in three beings in one being for instance.)

The New Universal Dictionary is cited saying that the Platonic trinity appears to be what gave birth to the Christian idea. The problem is that for one, the Watchtower does not state what this Platonic trinity is. All that is asserted is that there is one. As for Plato’s God, Plato says very little about him. Timaeus is the dialogue that describes him the most and he is described as a demiurge that works with pre-existing matter.

Second, the Watchtower is citing a possible connection as if it must be actual. For those of us however that like our beliefs backed by evidence, we prefer to see how you get from A to B. It would be good to ask the average Jehovah’s Witness what the Trinity is in Plato and how that became the Christian Trinity.

Third, if we talk about triads, then the Watchtower is just as pagan! The Watchtower has the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as well. True, they’re not a Trinity of course, but they are a triad. By the standards they cite then, they are pagan, unless they want to admit that triads are not a problem and then when they say how the Trinity differs from a triad, we don’t have a problem either.

The Watchtower then says:

The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge shows the influence of this Greek philosophy: “The doctrines of the Logos and the Trinity received their shape from Greek Fathers, who . . . were much influenced, directly or indirectly, by the Platonic philosophy . . . That errors and corruptions crept into the Church from this source can not be denied.”

Yet when one goes to Schaff’s “History of the Christian Church” one finds nothing like this. Rather, Schaff says on page 282 that the doctrine arose from a Scriptural basis. On the very next page it says “The Socinian and rationalistic opinion, that the church doctrine of the Trinity sprang from Platonism and Neo-Platonism is radically false.”

Does the average follower of the Watchtower know this? Probably not. We could always say Schaff was wrong in what he said, but we cannot be wrong in that he believed what he said was true.

The next book cited is “The Church of the First Three Centuries” by Alvan Lamson. Again, what we have is an assertion and keep in mind that Lamson was a unitarian. The Watchtower does not mention this. It does not mean he is wrong, but the Watchtower shows no discrimination in sources. The same applies to Andrew Norton cited later also as he was a unitarian.

As for Harnack’s quote, it comes from page 194 of Harnack’s book “Outlines of the History of Dogma.” Unfortunately for the Watchtower, on the page before, Harnack says that the Christian church made no compromises with pagan religion. The doctrine not understood is not the Trinity but the Logos-Christology, which the Watchtower should hold to some form of since they believe that in the beginning was the Logos. There is no doubt Greek thought played some part, but only as an aid in understanding Scripture. It did not in any way act as the source of the doctrine.

We shall conclude this section tomorrow.

What Influenced It?

February 22, 2011

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth! We’ve been looking lately at the booklet of the Watchtower called “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” We’re right not discussing the doctrine of the Trinity and how the Watchtower says it came to be. Let’s go to what they say now.

The Watchtower goes with scholarship of a past era asserting that Christianity copied the Trinity from pagan religions. (Not letting their readers know that the same theory holds that the entire Christian story was copied from pagan religions, including beliefs that the Watchtower holds to like the virgin birth.) Let’s look at some of their claims.

For instance, consider what they say Will Durant says.

“Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. . . . From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity.”

This is one of the worst deceptions in the whole book. Fortunately, this was also one of the books I managed to find at my local library. What is horrible about this is that the Watchtower puts a period after “trinity” in this quote. There is no period. There is a comma and Durant lists beliefs of “The Last Judgment” and “reward and punishment.” That the Watchtower did not use an ellipsis here is shameful and if you can get your hands on this book, show it to your Witness friends.

The next quote is from Morenz. I urge the reader to look up in Google Books the book “Egyptian Religion” and see what else he says is of Egyptian origin. The story of the rich man and Lazarus is one. Also, the association between a ship rudder and the tongue. Also, a Pauline formula on the supremacy of the creator. These can be found on page 254.

The next source is Gibbon and again, the Watchtower does not mention that Gibbon thinks other beliefs are pagan, like the virgin birth. Once again, the Watchtower is willing to embrace the opinions of scholars and show them, but they selectively show them. If they say the Trinity is pagan, well the Trinity is pagan. If they say the virgin birth is, well we need to step back some.

The reality is that this kind of idea while popular on the internet today is not seriously discussed in academic circles. Scholars of Mithraism today for instance know that Christ is not meant to be seen as a copycat of Mithras. If anything, the reverse is true. The believers of Mithraism copied from Christianity.

There are several sources one can go to to verify these points. The chief one I’d point to is that of my ministry partner, J.P. Holding, at tektonics.org. There, he has a page with copycat Messiah figures demonstrating that these are not valid copies. There’s also Ronald Nash’s book “The Gospel and the Greeks.” Finally, Lee Strobel’s book “The Case for the Real Jesus” has a short interview with Mike Licona on this topic as well as a longer one with Edwin Yamauchi. The interested reader is encouraged to go there for more information.

We shall continue tomorrow.

Further Development

February 20, 2011

Welcome everyone to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’ve been spending a lot of time lately looking at the Watchtower booklet called “Should You Believe In The Trinity?” We’re on the section now about how the doctrine of the Trinity developed and tonight, we’re going to be looking at the section called “Further Development.”

The Watchtower is correct that Nicea did not end the debate. Indeed, you could often tell how the debate was doing just by looking at where Athanasius was at the time. If he was in exile, then the Arians were winning the day. Arianism has not died out of course and there were pockets of it throughout the Medieval period up to today when we have groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, our modern-day Arians. Of course, they’re not the only ones, but they’re the most well-known.

The Watchtower however is leaving much out. For instance, the booklet talks briefly about the Council of Constantinople in 381. What is not mentioned at all is that the teaching of Apollinarianism was under discussion. This was the belief that Jesus did not have a human rational mind, but that the divine logos took the place of that mind. This would have called into question the full humanity of Christ. To be sure, while we should rightly condemn Arianism, we also need to realize that it is in fact just as much a heresy to deny Christ’s humanity as it is to deny his deity, and implicitly many of us might do that in the church today.

The Watchtower does not mention this at all and one would think it would be important to state that about the Council. The Watchtower does say that this doctrine was further developed throughout the medieval period. With this, we have no qualm. Of course it was developed. So was our doctrine of God concerning any of his attributes. There has not been a point for instance where it has been said “Okay! Now we know about omnipotence! There’s no need to study that any further!”

In fact, we should still be studying this. We should still be studying the doctrine of the Trinity further today and developing it. If our doctrine of God ever ceases to develop, and I don’t mean in our personal theologies but in our theology in general, then we are in a sad case. Who are we to say we have plumbed the depths of the knowledge of God and have reached the point where we can know no more? Of course, some knowledge of God will always be beyond us, but we don’t stop reaching. Sinless perfection is beyond us in this lifetime, but we don’t stop reaching.

I recommend for those interested in this time period reading works like Harold O.J. Brown’s book “Heresies.” For those who are interested in the development of the doctrine, an excellent example of a fine work on it in the medieval period would be Augustine’s “On The Trinity.”

We shall continue tomorrow.