Monthly Archives: August 2010

Trinity=Confusing, yet… astoundingly marvelous

The Trinitarian aspect of God has been thought about and discussed since the Early Church, and we still don’t have a very strong grasp on how it works. It’s something I have been thinking about and reading about lately, and this is where I am at now.

First, it follows from the ontological argument. This argument “proves” the greatest of all beings, so omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, etc. But after some thinking and a sociology class, I came to the realization that the trinity would be a necessary attribute of the perfect being. And here is why: The most stable relationship is a three person relationship. This is common knowledge in the field of sociology. This perfect being must be self-sufficient, we all know that a truly lonely person is not very sufficient, is quite lonely, and many times unstable. So it makes perfect sense to see this perfect being as having three major separate, yet connected parts.

Second is on how we can understand the Trinity. Some mistakenly think that it works like the situation of a father with one sibling. He is a son of his parents, a father of his son, and a brother. Three identities, one person. But that is why it is wrong. Still ONE person. We need three. So with the help of C.S. Lewis and a few others, I have a different concept of it. Think of a triangle. Three individual sides, yet one shape. All connected to each other. We can even imagine somewhat the aspect of ourselves in regards to the trinity and why it is so difficult to comprehend. We can imagine ourselves in a one-dimensional world, whereas the triangle is obviously in a two dimensional world. We could try to grasp how this triangle looks, and prove it mathematically to be consistent on some level, but we could never come close to a full comprehension of it. That is the situation we find ourselves in now. God is so other, so infinite the out finite minds can’t comprehend Him, especially not in this life.

Third, how does the Trinity affect us? Well, it shows us that if we are not worshiping the Trinitarian God, we are not worshiping the right God. Which means a lot of people have it wrong. It is one of God’s major attributes that has a huge impact on His reality, and not just ours, so it is a very important doctrine to be preserved. It shows us that God truly IS love, as He demonstrates perfect love and perfect relationship.

Along these lines, I began to realize the answer the my sociology professor’s question to our class in regards to human relations. His question was that if a three person relationship is the best kind, should be practice polygamy? Some people sort of conceded the point, but I knew that that was going to be unstable because there are only two sexes, and the concept of the perfect relationship would be between three DIFFERENT types of persons, not just three different people. You would always end up with 1 male and 2 females or 2 males and 1 female, which are both lopsided in some manner. I brought this up and assumed, correctly, that God was this third person that would make our relationships better. But what I missed out on was how perfect this really was. Who better to have in your marriage than the creator of marriage, of humans, and the perfect lover? He would give the best possible advice, literally. He would be the perfect mediator. And the perfect friend. Not to mention, He is part of His own three person relationship that is perfectly stable, and we all know how we become more like those we are in relationships with. And who better to become more like than God?

In the end, I have been left with this feeling of awe, in how God has made things to work in harmony so perfectly. It’s almost as if He knew exactly what He was doing, almost… Obviously, I am still nowhere near fully understanding Him in this aspect, but I am trying. My way of trying to love Him with all of my mind.

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Why I’m not a Muslim… They can’t be right.

Jesus is pretty much the most polarizing figure in all of human history. Nearly everybody knows about Him, what His followers say He said, and what He claimed to have done. Most people know more about Jesus than any other religious figure like the Buddha, or Zoroaster, or Muhammad. This, to me, seems to attest to something, though what that something is is up for debate.

But in spite of what we are told about Jesus, what are the possibilities of who He really was given our knowledge of Him? I would say we have three options. One, He was who He said He is, viz. God in the flesh, the Son part of the Trinity, the Messiah, and that He did miracles to show God’s glory, including defeating death for our salvation. Two, He was a lunatic that was off his rocker. He made claims, as many have, to be a god, yet like the others, failed to show it. Finally, He could have been the devil, or some demon, who wanted to lead people away from God, doing miracles in the name of the devil, rather than God. Interestingly, the Christians take the first view, many atheists take the second, and often Jews take the third. But notice, the Muslim view, and the popular view are not options! That is, that He was a good moral teacher, with good advice on how to live in harmony with others and how to be a good person, yet that He wasn’t who He said He was.

And that’s the problem. If we accept His moral sayings and life advice, which we find in the Bible, we must accept His other claims as well, which is that He is God, the Messiah, our Savior, etc. I don’t see anyway around this. Even the Jews seem to attest that He made such claims, since they denied His claims and said He was the devil or at least a demon working for the devil. You can’t say He was a great prophet, yet not accept His claims to divinity. You can’t say He was a good teacher, because He taught that He was the only way to heaven, and that He was God.

This is why I could never be a Muslim in the orthodox way. It is also why I could never be the naïve atheist and say that He had some good things to say but that He wasn’t really claiming to be divine. He did not leave those options open to us, and He did not mean to. He wanted to be polarizing, where you were on His side or against it, 100% either way. You can’t accept part of Him and leave the rest.

Where does that leave me? Well, a Christian right now, and probably forever. But I will never be an orthodox Muslim, or follower of the moral Jesus but not the God Jesus. Those options aren’t on the menu, and for some reason, people keep trying to order them anyway.