Christian Universalism is a school of Christian theology which includes the belief in the doctrine of universal reconciliation, the view that all human beings and fallen angels will ultimately be restored to right relationship with God in Heaven.

The Good News: a Modern Christian Apology

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    #61
    Originally posted by journeyman View Post
    I hope I cleared it up for you. I would like to add I reject the beliefs which have to be known as "Calvinism".
    I appreciate your efforts. And I still think that Calvinism is the least thing you should be emphasizing at the moment in your studies.

    This forum has a vast number of articles from well known theologians which may help you not only understand the Trinity but also articulate the doctrine properly.

    Without orthodoxy we are left with idolatry and blasphemy. Theology and doctrine matter. Heresy contrasts orthodoxy:

    Heresy = Hairesis (Greek) = Choice

    Heresies are incorrect choices, based on some generally accepted authority. From a Christian perspective, heresies are claims contradicting the clear objective truths described in the Bible. Irenaeus (the ancient apologist and disciple of Ignatius and Polycarp) made careful distinctions between heresies and apostolic truth. In “Against Heresies”, Irenaeus laid out the heretical claims of some of his errant contemporaries, and compared these claims to the truths he had been taught by Polycarp (the disciple of the Apostle John). Irenaeus referred to his own beliefs as “orthodox”. This word is derived from two Greek root words:

    Orthodox = Ortho (Right) + Dox (Belief)

    In essence, Irenaeus used the word to describe those beliefs supported by the apostolic, Biblical teaching. The idea of a “right belief” presumes there are objectively accurate Christian truths, and the Bible is the authority upon which we discover these “right beliefs”. Like all humans, Christians ground truths in an authoritative text. We’re not alone in this approach to truth, by the way. As an atheist, I grounded my beliefs in the texts of scientists I accepted as authoritative (even though I had never performed experiments or conducted research on my own). Everyone bases their beliefs in authoritative texts of one kind or another; not every truth can be verified by of some empirical experiment or observation.

    The authoritative text of the Bible is the standard by which Christians must ultimately measure and assess claims about God, Jesus, and Salvation. When our views are aligned with the teaching of Scripture, we are said to be orthodox; we possess “right beliefs”. When we choose options other than those described in Scripture, we are said to be heretical; we’ve chosen heresies. In both cases, our accuracy is determined by the authoritative text of scripture, rather than our own biased opinions.

    Source: What's the Difference Between Heresy and Orthodoxy? | Cold Case Christianity
    I just want to also share my sentiments in hope that you lower your guard down on the board. Staff here is not looking for reasons to ban you. Actually, we are in your corner praying for you.

    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

      #62
      Originally posted by Origen View Post
      That explains nothing.
      That's basically what trinitarianism is, isn't it? God in, or as, or is three People, but one God.

      Originally posted by Origen View Post
      Being fine with a belief is not the standard by which doctrines are to be understood or judged. The only thing that matter is if it is biblical. Anyone and everyone who ever held a heretical doctrine was fine with his\her belief. That is nothing new.
      I don't have a problem with anyone who
      doesn't completely understand the very nature of God, but does believe what Jesus taught, that He gave His life to save us from sin and that we should repent and follow Him.



      Comment>

        #63
        Originally posted by journeyman View Post
        That's basically what trinitarianism is, isn't it? God in, or as, or is three People, but one God.
        Modalism | Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry

        Comment>

          #64
          Originally posted by journeyman View Post
          That's basically what trinitarianism is, isn't it? God in, or as, or is three People, but one God.
          Recommended reading: Louis Berkhof - Systematic Theology - Christforums

          Chapter 8 really is a treasure of knowledge. The entire book is perhaps one of the most widely acclaimed systematic standards.

          You can't go wrong with learning from Louis Berkhof. An example of Berkhof's works:

          3. STATEMENT OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY. The doctrine of the Trinity can best be discussed briefly in connection with various propositions, which constitute an epitome of the faith of the Church on this point.

          a. There is in the Divine Being but one indivisible essence (ousia, essentia). God is one in His essential being or constitutional nature. Some of the early Church Fathers used the term “substantia” as synonymous with “essentia,” but later writers avoided this use of it in view of the fact that in the Latin Church “substantia” was used as a rendering of “hupostasis” as well as of “ousia”, and was therefore ambiguous. At present the two terms “substance” and “essence” are often used interchangeably. There is no objection to this, provided we bear in mind that they have slightly different connotations. Shedd distinguishes them as follows: “Essence is from esse, to be, and denotes energetic being. Substance is from substare, and denotes the latent possibility of being. . . . The term essence describes God as a sum-total of infinite perfections; the term substance describes Him as the underlying ground of infinite activities. The first is, comparatively, an active word; the last, a passive. The first is, comparatively, a spiritual, the last a material term. We speak of material substance rather than of material essence.”[Dogm. Theol., I, p. 271.] Since the unity of God was already discussed in the preceding, it is not necessary to dwell on it in detail in the present connection. This proposition respecting the unity of God is based on such passages as Deut. 6:4; Jas. 2:19, on the self-existence and immutability of God, and on the fact that He is identified with His perfections as when He is called life, light, truth, righteousness, and so on.

          b. In this one Divine Being there are three Persons or individual subsistences, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is proved by the various passages referred to as substantiating the doctrine of the Trinity. To denote these distinctions in the Godhead, Greek writers generally employed the term hupostasis, while Latin authors used the term persona, and sometimes substantia. Because the former was apt to be misleading and the latter was ambiguous, the Schoolmen coined the word subsistentia. The variety of the terms used points to the fact that their inadequacy was always felt. It is generally admitted that the word “person” is but an imperfect expression of the idea. In common parlance it denotes a separate rational and moral individual, possessed of self-consciousness, and conscious of his identity amid all changes. Experience teaches that where you have a person, you also have a distinct individual essence. Every person is a distinct and separate individual, in whom human nature is individualized. But in God there are no three individuals alongside of, and separate from, one another, but only personal self-distinctions within the Divine essence, which is not only generically, but also numerically, one. Consequently many preferred to speak of three hypostases in God, three different modes, not of manifestation, as Sabellius taught, but of existence or subsistence. Thus Calvin says: “By person, then, I mean a subsistence in the Divine essence. — a subsistence which, while related to the other two, is distinguished from them by incommunicable properties.”[Inst. I, XIII, 6] This is perfectly permissible and may ward off misunderstanding, but should not cause us to lose sight of the fact that the self-distinctions in the Divine Being imply an “I” and “Thou” and “He,” in the Being of God, which assume personal relations to one another. Matt. 3:16; 4:1; John 1:18; 3:16; 5:20-22; 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-15.

          c. The whole undivided essence of God belongs equally to each of the three persons. This means that the divine essence is not divided among the three persons, but is wholly with all its perfection in each one of the persons, so that they have a numerical unity of essence. The divine nature is distinguished from the human nature in that it can subsist wholly and indivisibly in more than one person. While three persons among men have only a specific unity of nature or essence, that is, share in the same kind of nature or essence, the persons in the Godhead have a numerical unity of essence, that is, possess the identical essence. Human nature or essence may be regarded as a species, of which each man has an individual part, so that there is a specific (from species) unity; but the divine nature is indivisible and therefore identical in the persons of the Godhead. It is numerically one and the same, and therefore the unity of the essence in the persons is a numerical unity. From this it follows that the divine essence is not an independent existence alongside of the three persons. It has no existence outside of and apart from the three persons. If it did, there would be no true unity, but a division that would lead into tetratheism. The personal distinction is one within the divine essence. This has, as it is usually termed, three modes of subsistence. Another conclusion which follows from the preceding, is that there can be no subordination as to essential being of the one person of the Godhead to the other, and therefore no difference in personal dignity. This must be maintained over against the subordinationism of Origen and other early Church Fathers, and the Arminians, and of Clarke and other Anglican theologians. The only subordination of which we can speak, is a subordination in respect to order and relationship. It is especially when we reflect on the relation of the three persons to the divine essence that all analogies fail us and we become deeply conscious of the fact that the Trinity is a mystery far beyond our comprehension. It is the incomprehensible glory of the Godhead. Just as human nature is too rich and too full to be embodied in a single individual, and comes to its adequate expression only in humanity as a whole so the divine Being unfolds itself in its fulness only in its three fold subsistence of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

          d. The subsistence and operation of the three persons in the divine Being is marked by a certain definite order. There is a certain order in the ontological Trinity. In personal subsistence the Father is first, the Son second, and the Holy Spirit third. It need hardly be said that this order does not pertain to any priority of time or of essential dignity, but only to the logical order of derivation. The Father is neither begotten by, nor proceeds from any other person; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father, and the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son from all eternity. Generation and procession take place within the Divine Being, and imply a certain subordination as to the manner of personal subsistence, but no subordination as far as the possession of the divine essence is concerned. This ontological Trinity and its inherent order is the metaphysical basis of the economical Trinity. It is but natural, therefore, that the order existing in the essential Trinity should be reflected in the opera ad extra that are more particularly ascribed to each one of the persons. Scripture clearly indicates this order in the so-called praepositiones distinctionales, ek, dia, and en, which are used in expressing the idea that all things are out of the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit.

          e. There are certain personal attributes by which the three persons are distinguished. These are also called opera ad intra, because they are works within the Divine Being, which do not terminate on the creature. They are personal operations, which are not performed by the three persons jointly and which are incommunicable. Generation is an act of the Father only; filiation belongs to the Son exclusively; and procession can only be ascribed to the Holy Spirit. As opera ad intra these works are distinguished from the opera ad extra, or those activities and effects by which the Trinity is manifested outwardly. These are never works of one person exclusively, but always works of the Divine Being as a whole. At the same time it is true that in the economical order of God’s works some of the opera ad extra are ascribed more particularly to one person, and some more especially to another. Though they are all works of the three persons jointly, creation is ascribed primarily to the Father, redemption to the Son, and sanctification to the Holy Spirit. This order in the divine operations points back to the essential order in God and forms the basis for what is generally known as the economic Trinity.

          f. The Church confesses the Trinity to be a mystery beyond the comprehension of man. The Trinity is a mystery, not merely in the Biblical sense that it is a truth, which was formerly hidden but is now revealed; but in the sense that man cannot comprehend it and make it intelligible. It is intelligible in some of its relations and modes of manifestation, but unintelligible in its essential nature. The many efforts that were made to explain the mystery were speculative rather than theological. They invariably resulted in the development of tritheistic or modalistic conceptions of God, in the denial of either the unity of the divine essence or the reality of the personal distinctions within the essence. The real difficulty lies in the relation in which the persons in the Godhead stand to the divine essence and to one another; and this is a difficulty which the Church cannot remove, but only try to reduce to its proper proportion by a proper definition of terms. It has never tried to explain the mystery of the Trinity, but only sought to formulate the doctrine of the Trinity in such a manner that the errors which endangered it were warded off.
          God bless,
          William
          Comment>

            #65
            "God in Three Persons". I had searched for the meaning of persons not long ago. Trying to understand persons a little better and to help me articulate the Trinity more clearly. The best way I can explain Persons is that each is distinct, existing apart from one another though not individual enough to have different wills, but individual enough to exists in communion.

            Your thoughts?

            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

              #66
              Originally posted by Faber View Post
              I would be happy in the Lord if you would embrace the Triune God of the Bible.
              I'm sure the others communicating with you now would like to see that as well.
              My belief the person named Jesus, people perceived in 1st century Jerusalem was really God Himself, the Holy Spirt, in human form is not unscriptural. Is that considered Triune in nature?

              The question of my belief about the nature of God began with my assertion in post #40 of this thread that Jesus is the Holy Spirit, because of how the writer of Hebrew explained the flesh of Jesus and His role as High Priest. Nobody refuted my assertion by giving his or her understanding of that passage from Hebrews.
              Comment>

                #67
                Originally posted by journeyman View Post
                Jesus is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God. They didn't recognize Him because He was veiled in flesh:

                "...He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh;" Heb.10:20

                The writer of Hebrews is speaking of the Tabernacle in Heaven, which Moses made a copy of. Behind the veil was the Holiest place, where God was (is.)
                The above is what you're referring to Journeyman?

                I have to ask you to clarify and elaborate more on Hebrews 10:20: "20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,".... Please use the context of Hebrews 10 as necessary. I just ask that you do not go to other Scriptures outside the immediate context. Lets address the verses at hand first.

                You stated that "Jesus is the Holy Spirit". And I am unable to arrive at the same conclusion based on the provided verses. However, I do see that Hebrews 10 is Trinitarian.
                • Hebrews 10:9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second.
                • Hebrews 10:12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
                • Hebrews 10:15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
                It would really help me to understand if you could take your time and clarify to some length how you conclude that Jesus is the Holy Spirit? Walk me through it.

                God bless,
                William
                Comment>

                  #68
                  Originally posted by William View Post
                  You stated that "Jesus is the Holy Spirit". And I am unable to arrive at the same conclusion based on the provided verses. However, I do see that Hebrews 10 is Trinitarian.[Hebrews 10:9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second.
                  Hebrews 10:12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
                  Hebrews 10:15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
                  Excellent!
                  Comment>

                    #69
                    Okay where to start. Well I guess we should start with the Athanasian Creed. So beginning at the beginning.

                    "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep hole and undefiled, without doubt He Shall Perish everlastingly.

                    And the Catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in unity; neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the Majesty Co Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such as the Holy Ghost.The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not 3 eternals, but one Eternal. As there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not 3 almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords, but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian Verity to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the Catholic religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords.

                    The Father is made of none: neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor create, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor be gotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another; but the whole three persons Are co-Eternal together, and co-equal: so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the unity in Trinity and the trinity in unity is to be worshipped. He, therefore, that will be saved must think of the trinity.

                    Furthermore, it is necessary to Everlasting salvation that he also believe Faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man; God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of his mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching his Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching his manhood; who, although he be God and man, yet he is not two, but one Christ: one, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God; one altogether; not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; who suffered for our salvation; descended into Hell, Rose again the Third Day from the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life Everlasting; and they that have done evil, into Everlasting fire.

                    This is the Catholic faith; which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."

                    Okay. I have gone through and I have corrected as many grammatical issues as I needed to to make it make sense. Where the capitalization rules were significant to what was being said, I corrected them. When it wasn't particularly relevant, I left it alone. I read them aloud, directly into the phone. Using Speech-to-Text, so it will cause some issues. But I read it aloud directly from the Book of Concord.

                    Now, where it talks about works at the end of the text, that can be interpreted in the Lutheran way. What that means, is that we have our faith alone our grace alone and our scripture alone. However, after our faith starts us in Christ, we will produce good works as a result thereof. But not in order to save us. But, our works will be looked at as a sign of our faith. We can discuss that more later. Right now I just wanted to get this going on the Trinity.
                    Comment>
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