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The Trinity, Three States of Water, Bill Maher, Religulous, Other Questions Concerning the Trinity

The Trinity

Just as water can be in three forms, liquid, steam, ice, so the Trinity can be one, yet in three forms.
A Christian in the film Religulous explaining to Bill Maher how the idea of a Triune God can make rational sense.

One shortcoming of the above analogy that even some Christian apologists recognize (like C. Michael Patton at Parchment and Pen), is that the above view constitutes an understanding of the Trinity called Modalism that was condemned as heresy in the third century at the council of Antioch. To quote Michael, “God is not one God in three forms, but one Good in three persons… Furthermore, in modalistic terms, ice, steam, and liquid are examples of the same nature which at one time or another has a particular mode of existence. Sometimes it is liquid, sometimes it is ice, and sometimes it is steam. But Christians do not believe God is sometimes Son, sometimes Father, and sometimes Spirit. God is eternally each, always at the same time.”

So if someone attempts such an explanation of the Trinity, keep a canister handy full of water and ice (and point out that thereʼs also an invisible layer of water vapor near the liquidʼs surface), and hold it up to demonstrate how one person of the Trinity freezes, melts, and evaporates to form other members of the Trinity. And make sure you have multiple ice cubes in the canister so you can point to extra members of the Trinity (chips off the old “Son”) floating around in one member of the Trinity.

And point out that water is not one thing in and of itself but consists of two types of atoms, and atoms consist of smaller parts (protons, electrons and neutrons), and those can be broken down into even smaller parts (quarks, leptons, and sub-atomic energy-particles). There are plenty of bits of things, of all different numbers, depending where you look and at what level of observation.

And where does the “God-Man” notion of Jesus fit into discussions of The Trinity? If one person in the Trinity is also a full and complete human being, doesnʼt that introduce a fourth state to the Trinity, that of “humanity?” Jesus is the God-Man, fully God and fully Man, but since heʼs also part of a Trinity, he introduces his full manhood into the Trinity, a trinity with a little extra something, a fourth something, making it what, a Quaternity?

The “three states of water” analogy is also the result of picking and choosing because there are other types of molecules that exist in more than just three states. In fact looking at matter as a whole, it has been found to exist in FIVE states, namely, solids, liquids, gases, plasmas, and Bose-Einstein condensates.

Also, the Trinity is a metaphysical puzzler with different “persons” proceeding from and/or through each other. Catholics and Orthodox Christians still canʼt agree on whether the Holy Spirit proceeds from just the Father, or, from both the Father and the Son.

“Scripture reveals that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The external relationships of the persons of the Trinity mirror their internal relationships. Just as the Father externally sent the Son into the world in time, the Son internally proceeds from the Father in the Trinity. Just as the Spirit is externally sent into the world by the Son as well as the Father (John 15:26, Acts 2:33), he internally proceeds from both Father and Son in the Trinity. This is why the Spirit is referred to as the Spirit of the Son (Gal. 4:6) and not just the Spirit of the Father (Matt. 10:20). The quotations below show that the early Church Fathers, both Latin and Greek, recognized the same thing, saying that the Spirit proceeds ‘from the Father and the Son’ or ‘from the Father through the Son.’ These expressions mean the same thing because everything the Son has is from the Father. The proceeding of the Spirit from the Son is something the Son himself received from the Father. The procession of the Spirit is therefore ultimately rooted in the Father but goes through the Son. However, some Eastern Orthodox insist that to equate ‘through the Son’ with ‘from the Son’ is a departure from the true faith.“

Some Bible-revering theists reject the Trinity—from the Arian churches of early Christianity, to Reformation era Socians, to 1700-1800 Unitarian-Universalist churches that continue today, to Oneness Pentecostals (presently over 2 million worldwide), some Messianic Jewish groups, some primitive Baptist groups, some ‘cults,’ etc. And letʼs not forget Judaism, Godʼs chosen people, who were taught “The Lord Your God is One God.”

Edward T. Babinski

Condemnations of Non-Trinitarians by Two Rulers of the Roman Empire, Both Christian Rulers, Theodosius & Justinian. These Condemnations Appear at the Very Beginning of the Famed “Law Code of Justinian” That Was Carried Along With the “Holy Scriptures” Throughout Europe, Even After the Fall of Rome”

We desire that all peoples subject to Our benign Empire shall live under the same religion… we should believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constitute a single Deity, endowed with equal majesty, and united in the Holy Trinity… considering others as demented and insane, We order that they shall bear the infamy of heresy; and when the Divine vengeance which they merit has been appeased, they shall afterwards be punished in accordance with Our resentment, which we have acquired from the judgment of Heaven.
Dated at Thessalonica, on the third of the Kalends of March, during the Consulate of Gratian, Consul for the fifth time, and Theodosius, 380 C.E.

Let no place be afforded to heretics for the conduct of their ceremonies, and let no occasion be offered for them to display the insanity of their obstinate minds… He who is a… true believer… believes that Almighty God and Christ, the son of God, are one person… and let no one, by rejection, dishonor the… belief in the undivided substance of a Holy Trinity, which true believers indicate by the Greek word These things, indeed do not require further proof, and should be respected… Let those who do not accept those doctrines… be branded with their open crimes, and, be utterly excluded from churches, as We forbid all heretics to hold unlawful assemblies within cities. If, however, any seditious outbreak should be attempted, We order them to be driven outside the walls of the City, with relentless violence, and We direct that all Catholic Churches, throughout the entire world, shall be placed under the control of the orthodox bishops who have embraced the Nicene Creed.
Given at Constantinople, on the fourth of the ides of January, under the Consulate of Flavius Eucharius and Flavius Syagrius. Source: Corpus Juris Civilis (The Civil Law, the Code of Justinian), by S.P. Scott, A.M., published by the Central Trust Company, Cincinnati, copyright 1932, Volume 12 [of 17], pages 9-12, 125.

Any person who blasphemes God, denies that Jesus was the Savior and Son of God, denies the Trinity, or utters “reproachful” words concerning the Trinity “or any of the three persons therein,” shall be executed and forfeit their estates.

Colonial Marylandʼs “Act Concerning Religion,” passed in 1649, which supposedly instituted “freedom of religion” for the first time in an American colony, freedom at least for Trinitarian Christians of different denominations.

They say that when god was in Jerusalem he forgave his murderers, but now he will not forgive an honest man for differing with him on the subject of the Trinity.

Robert Ingersoll

Further Quotations & Questions Regarding the Trinity

“Christ, according to the faith, is the second person in the Trinity, the Father being the first and the Holy Ghost third. Each of these persons is God. Christ is his own father and his own son. The Holy Ghost is neither father nor son, but both. The son was begotten by the father, but existed before he was begotten—just the same before as after. Christ is just as old as his father, and the father is just as young as his son. The Holy Ghost proceeded from the Father and Son, but was equal to the Father and Son before he proceeded, that is to say, before he existed, but he is of the same age as the other two. So it is declared that the Father is God, and the Son and the Holy Ghost God, and these three Gods make one God. According to the celestial multiplication table, one times one is three, and three times one is one, and according to heavenly subtraction if we take two from three, three are left. The addition is equally peculiar: if we add two to one we have but one, each one equal to himself and to the other two.”

Robert Ingersoll, Ingersollʼs Works, Vol. 4, p. 266-67

The Trinitarian believes a virgin to be the mother of a son who is her maker.

Francis Bacon

People who do not live in Rome
but pretend to
are called Roman Catholics.

And they have a great many fathers
who dress like ladies
and do not have children.

This is so that ladies who have children
without a father
can call them God.

Edwin Brock, Paroxisms: A Guide to the Isms

Reason, observation, and experience; the holy trinity of science.

Robert Ingersoll

Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything… just give him time to rationalize it.

Robert A. Heinlein, JOB: A Comedy of Justice

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