Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A startling admission on Trinitarianism

A leading Trinitarian philosopher and analytic theologian, Dr. Richard Swinburne, made a fascinating yet startling admission about Trinitarian theology, that it ‘cannot be derived from the New Testament’:

It seems to me, although I shall not argue it here, that even if you regard the New Testament as an infallible source of doctrine, you cannot derive from it a doctrine of the Trinity. Although there are many passages in the New Testament which speak of Christ as divine, and passages which speak of the Spirit of God, or of Christ and of the Comforter, there are non-Trinitarian ways of interpreting these later passages, which are just as possible as interpreting them as expressing the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, and so entailing a doctrine of the Trinity. I shall not argue this here, that this is not in the New Testament, but it seems to me that it isn’t.

So unless Christians today either recognize some good a priori argument for a doctrine of the Trinity, or unless they consider that the facts that the subsequent church taught a doctrine of the Trinity, is a significant reason for interpreting the passages in a Trinitarian way—unless they’ve either got an a priori argument or they believe the church’s authority, it seems to me that most Christians today would not be justified in believing that doctrine. Those who do recognize the church’s authority to teach normally regard the Nicene Creed, promulgated by the First Council at Constantinople, as the first binding authoritative statement from which a doctrine of the Trinity can be derived.[1]
[End quote]

He issued these statements, that Trinitarianism is not in the New Testament per se but is first derived from the Ecumenical Councils centuries after the New Testament Canon was closed, in Professor Dale Tuggy’s Podcast 231 – Swinburne’s Social Theory of the Trinity, which I heartily recommend: trinities.org/blog/podcast-231-swinburnes-social-theory-of-the-trinity/

But how can the highly esteemed Theologian get away with saying that? Dale explains how in a cleverly facetious manner in his next podcast #232 – Trinity Club Orientation trinities.org/blog/podcast-232-trinity-club-orientation/. He can get away with saying that because he’s a card-carrying Trinitarian, that’s how.

Lastly, Dale reported on another Trinitarian theologian who made other similar and related comments on his Trinitarian theology, that it is not in the scriptures, which I have presented here:
A theology in crisis? jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2017/12/a-theology-in-crisis.html

Additionally, Dr. Craig has also gone on record as saying that the Trinity is “beyond the Bible.” See: Does Dr. Craig Have an Orthodox Christology? jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2017/07/does-dr-craig-have-orthodox-christology.html

[1] Transcribed by Mark Cain as seen here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/trinities/permalink/2039459139707375/?comment_id=2040331569620132&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R8%22%7D

See also: