As this grassroots Arian or anti-Trinitarian movement gains ground, local churches increasingly find themselves drawn into debate over the issues.
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Though Adventists have been careful and deliberate in their study of many biblical doctrines—for example the doctrines of last-day events, justification by faith, the sanctuary, and the atonement—other doctrines have been neglected. One of them is the biblical doctrine of the Godhead. And perhaps we are now seeing the results of this neglect. Likely it is here that the difficulties with the doctrine of the Trinity begin for some people, and some Adventists in particular. First, we have a term that is not found in Scripture, and Adventists are determined to base their doctrines on Scripture only.
Trinitarian Perspectives: Toward Doctrinal Agreement: Thomas F. Torrance: T&T Clark
Second, to our modern, analytical, and mathematical minds, the Trinity is a hard concept to understand. How can three equal one, or one equal three? Although the Old Testament emphasizes the exclusive unity of God Deut. Of all allusions to this plurality of God in the Old Testament, Isaiah and come very close to a Trinitarian formulation. The New Testament does not have any explicit statement on the Trinity—apart from 1 John , which has been rejected as a medieval addition to the text—but the Trinitarian evidence is overwhelming.
Jesus is clearly described as divine in the Gospel of John John ; , and He himself proclaims His own divinity In the New Testament we find also clear references to the three persons of the Godhead. All three are mentioned at the baptism of Jesus Matt.
The Book of Revelation also presents three persons involved in the final events of this world Rev. But all these biblical evidences to the triune God become somewhat ambivalent for some people because the Holy Spirit is often referred to with metaphors of objects: a dove Matt. But the history of the development of the doctrine of the Trinity also brings up some issues.
Modern Trinitarian Perspectives
Historically, it can be argued that the development of the doctrine of the Trinity is closely connected with the Christological disputes the early church struggled with. When the early church through a series of councils confirmed the eternal divinity of Jesus, it opened the way for a clarification of the relationship between God the Father and Jesus. Nontrinitarians deny that the Bible ever states the existence of the Trinity and feel certain passages contradict the idea.
This includes that fact that Jesus always refers to God in the third person and states there are things that God knows and he does not, such as the date of the end times Matthew Some nontrinitarians believe the Trinity was originally a pagan belief that was fused with Christianity via syncretism.
Groups such as Osiris, Iris, and Horus are a group of three gods, not three gods in one.
go No one worshiped those gods as if they were ultimately only one being. Throughout history, multiple nontrinitarian groups have developed.
For many centuries, they were condemned as heretics by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and in places where they were a minority, they were often executed if they did not conform to the wider trinitarian view. These include Arians, who followed the beliefs of Arius, who refused to accept the trinitarian view at the Council of Nicaea in Various Gnostic groups, including the Cathars of the 12th century, were also anti-trinitarian, although they held numerous additional heretical views, including reincarnation.
- Modern Trinitarian Perspectives by John Thompson.
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