Refining Fire Fellowship: Email copy 24 Feb 2014
Posted: September 19, 2015 Filed under: Uncategorized
This is my first email sent to the elders after my call to Kerrigan Skelly via phone to set up a meeting. I wanted initial objections answered. I wanted them to understand my deepest objections and give them good answers because they had not done so. I had many answers prepared for them and wanted the same to be in kind so my questions wouldn’t sound like they’re coming out of left field.
I have spent the last month just compiling and writing out diagrams… but I realized I’m going to end up having a book by the time I’m done, and it would be months down the line. While this is important and I wish I could have every single objection answered, it’s just not possible in this amount of time… so I’ve decided to email now.
I would personally rather just speak to one of you, preferably you Kerrigan(and that doesn’t mean there cannot be another witness). Not due to any dis-respect to Kevin or Tracy, but because of the nature of 3 persons trying to have a conversation with one person at the same time being rather overwhelming. I’ve dealt with it the last time we talked—and most of the time spent back then in the fall was me only attempting to answer objections. This time we dialogue—will not be that way. I’m going to ask you a number of simple, logical questions in which I will press for answers without letting you move on. We cannot have dialogue if there’s no give and take, you need to answer objections also because there are a number of them. I didn’t receive many answers last time we spoke. Most trinitarians I’ve spoken with in the past month won’t answer questions, I trust to expect much more from you guys. I’ve gained much more understanding of the trinity explanations down now both from Brown, White, and others—and I will press you for consistency in explaining how 3 WHOs are 1 WHAT(and not only because “o theos” is never defined as “essence/nature”). Because I’ve yet to find anyone who can explain the trinity without committing the fallacy of equivocation, or contradicting clear Scripture that the one God is not a WHAT but a WHO… that gap cannot be reached without equivocating. This is not to be taken as an arrogant statement, it’s just the nature of the problem I found with the trinity and no theologian I’ve read with whole books on this topic can get by it. So I will be writing down your responses, and I’ll need time to show you with written text if I must, the issues in your own responses.
Can I show a few examples of this exact issue so you might see it and prepare?
“We must remind ourselves that Christian theology does not believe God to be a person. It believes Him to be such that in Him a trinity of persons is consistent with a unity of Deity” – C.S. Lewis, Christian Reflections, pg.79
Do you agree with this statement?
Or Mr. Fred Sanders, of Biola University who wrote a book entitled Embracing the Trinity,
Who said in a debate, and I quote…
“…I don’t know anyone who is one being in three persons, except for God“
Do you agree with this?
If you don’t see a problem, go back… notice C.S. Lewis says the [one] God is not a person, but then says “It believes Him such that in Him a trinity of persons…” That “Him” is a personal pronoun. Mr. Lewis contradicted himself… he said the one God is not a person(which means he should grammatically say “IT“), then used a personal pronoun to denote the one God. He equivocated, or he’s claiming the one God is a person, but then you have 3 persons in 1 person–which is an outright contradiction, 3=1.
Mr. Sanders has the same problem. He said “I don’t know anyone who…” He called the one being, an ANYONE and a WHO. He mixed up the WHOs and the WHATs. That’s a contradiction, especially since only seconds before in the debate Sanders said:
“If God is one person and three persons, at the same time and in the same sense… that’s just irrational, it doesn’t make any sense. Or if the doctrine of the trinity said God is simultaneously 1 being and yet 3 beings, that doesn’t make sense.
What the doctrine of the trinity teaches is, the 1 God is 3 Persons. The 3 Persons are the 1 God. God is 1 Being, 3 Persons.”
This is clearly a problem if you take the time to analyze their words. They’re trying to bridge the gap, because the Scripture is clear the one God… is a person, a WHO, a He, a Him. (Deut 32:6,39, Mark 12:32). You cannot have 3 persons in 1 person.
This doesn’t get any better when you turn to Michael Brown… who, while he may be very knowledgeable in Jewish matters–he is not arguing the same trinity as most major promoters of this doctrine.
Michael Brown says in the Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Theological Objections on pg.11
“Yes, Jesus himself taught that his Father was the one and only true God!”
But then tries to say on pg.12
“The only true God[Father from above quote] is one, and yet his oneness is complex, unique, and beyond human understanding.”
Brown is saying the Father is a tri-une being… this isn’t the trinity, and it’s a contradiction. The Father is not the tri-une being. The tri-une being is all 3 persons–not one person(the Father). Not to mention, it’s an outright admission that Brown is claiming 3 persons is 1 person. That’s like saying Matthew, Mark and Luke are 1 person. This is illogical.
Brown fumbled over this same issue in the debate when asked if the trinity teaches 1 YHWH or 3 YHWHs in his words calling the one God a “His”(WHO) which consists of 3 persons. Grammar is of utmost importance in dialogue, and this reveals Brown’s not even teaching the same trinity as White sitting next to him.
If you can prepare a consistent answer in writing for that major issue, I would appreciate it. Because I’ve yet to see it–every trinitarian ends up with 3 WHOs in 1 WHO, 3 He’s in 1 He, 3 YHWHs in 1 YHWH by the end of their argument unless they avoid it completely. I did, that’s part of the reason I gave it up.
I hope you all understand. This was not some just swift, “Oh, I changed my mind.” I spent almost the last year on/off looking into these things and thinking deeply about it. I just made it a complete forefront issue again back in December and was faced with many clear Scriptures showing the Father is the only God time and again–I had to repent. Brown’s book only led me to look into more because he doesn’t really do well in explaining the trinity, and he even led me on to search more into the Aramaic Memra, which is also a dead end for him. Other trinitarians have already gone there and recognized the Memra is only an anthropomorphism and a metonym for YHWH(the Father). The Aramaic Targums input “Memra” as a metonym to get around speaking of YHWH’s name when reading, so they spoke of the Word instead. That was the only thing in Brown’s book that really had me tripped up–because I didn’t know Aramaic. But others have done much more research than the 5-10 pages Brown gave to the topic, including trinitarians who revealed it’s not a second person. There really wasn’t much Scriptures left to bolster this doctrine, so the tree had to come down. There was no reason to uphold it, so I let it go, cried out to God, and determined to let you all know.
I am willing to wait another couple weeks if you would like to speak, but we can set up a time to speak any time I have available from work. Right now, I would have Tuesday or Friday afternoon, or Saturday late afternoon/evening. Next week I would only have Tuesday, as we have family visiting the 7th-9th of March. So if you want to wait until Tuesday the 10th of March or soon after, that’s fine. I ask that you would come to our house, since I need my wife to watch Emma. She will only be there initially to stand as a witness… we can record the rest of the conversation if you’d like for witness. I’m hoping you will see some of these issues and be willing to talk more than once because I doubt this will go over in a couple of hours. I’ll leave open an entire afternoon/evening.
I have no problem if you wish to forward this on to the Kevin and Tracy. I just wanted to send it to you first as you asked me to contact you.