Wednesday, April 07, 2010

What a tangled web we weave...

Handcolored woodcut, ca. 1500, origin unknown

Displayed above is the Shield of the Trinity.[1] What is the Trinity? Trinitarian Kenneth Samples, in typical Trinitarian apologetic fashion, defines it like this:
Unlike traditional Judaism and Islam, the God of Christianity possesses a unique and mysterious plurality of personhood within its single divine essence. In other words, while God is one in being, he nevertheless exists as three distinct persons (or centers of consciousness). One way of expressing this special monotheism is to say that God is "one what and three whos." That is, in terms of what God is, God is one and only one divine being. But in terms of who God is, God is three distinct persons.[2]
What? Such a description tends to turn God into a cold abstraction.[3] The truth is, God is one and only one divine being. He alone is almighty. His Chief Agent[4] though is a separate person, and manifested himself on earth as Jesus. This is very simple and has the ring of truth, unlike the Trinitarian explanation above. The Shield of the Trinity therefore has gaping holes large enough for the spear of truth to pass unhindered.

[1] Also known as the Scutum Fidei (ˈskü-təm ˌfi-de-ˌē or 'skootum fiday') meaning "Shield of the Faith." This particular Shield diagram reads clockwise as: "the Father is not the Son is not the Holy Spirit is not... etc." and each of these labels has a line to "God" labeled "is." The figure holding this Scutum Fidei is called a "Trinidad trificela," or a "three-faced Trinity." Note: while the diagrammatic Scutum Fidei is currently employed in Trinitarian symbology, the iconographic depiction of the Trinidad trificela fell into disuse after being outlawed as heterodox in the wake of the Reformation.

[2] What Makes the Christian God Unique? (italics original) Additionally, please note that declaring that Trinitarianism is "unlike traditional Judaism" is self-damning as the God of Christianity is the same as traditional Judaism (the God of Abraham), and that Jesus himself was a Jew. Therefore, this declaration also unwittingly and ironically separates Trinitarianism from the theology of Jesus Christ.

[3] This makes God an impersonal housing for three people, and thus may be illustrated this way:
As one person explained, either "'God' is an impersonal substance in which three persons subsist," or "if God is not impersonal, then you have a Quaternity." To summarize further: Either the Trinitarian God is impersonal or there is no Trinity but a Quaternity. As there is no Quaternity, then the Trinitarian God is impersonal. (Quote from "More on Sharp's Rule, Trinitarianism and Rob Bowman Part Two: Bowman's A Priori Objections"

[4] Greek arkhegon found in Acts 3:15; 5:31 and Hebrews 2:10; 12:2.

Further Reading:

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