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Trinity Again

Didn’t think I would be revisiting the Trinity again so soon, but I suppose it can’t be helped if you are trying to understand the nature of God. Got sucked in when YouTube popped up another suggestion of a review of The Shack by Paul Young. I read the Shack and enjoyed its showing God’s incredible love for us. You read Tim Challies review (PDF, sorry) and you’d think Young was the anti-christ. My personal take on the Shack is it is useful to those who worship an angry unforgiving God. And I counter, John 5:42 KJV     But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.  1 John 4:16 KJV   And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (I use the KJV just to frustrate further.)

Challies does point to something Young seems to miss. Their is hierarchy in the relationship between God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It’s pointed out clearly when, in say Luke 22:29   And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me,…  But Challies use of the word ‘person’ just bugged me. He accuses Young of creating graven images of God and then he equates all of God to a person. It just wasn’t working for me in the English he was using.

The following is from Is God a Person? by Charles Welch. Note also is PDF, and two not from the publisher, BEREAN PUBLISHING TRUST.  Fantastic read though he could be stepping into modalism? Jesus became flesh and was a person. But God the Father and the Holy Spirit are spirit. The English word person doesn’t make our understanding easier but complicates.

Welch’s summary (I like this guy and will be reading more. He died in 1967 leaving a legacy.)
`What is God like?’ the Scriptures reply, with one voice `God is Christ-like’.
We summarize what we have seen from the Scriptures:
(1) `It is not God Himself, but the knowledge He has revealed to us concerning Himself which constitutes the
material for theological investigation’ (Dr. Kuyher).
(2) `The whole mystery (of the Trinity) is raised by our bringing them together, and attempting to reconcile … The
Scripture delivers certain separate propositions, and thus it leaves them’ (Dr. Chalmers).
(3) Many `heresies’ may be traced to the misuse or misunderstanding of the word `person’.
(4) The titles `Father’ and `Son’ are relative. The title `The Only begotten Son’ must be taken to mean just exactly
what the words imply.
(5) Those who transfer the title `The Father’ from time and make it the title of the Infinite and Unconditional, are
forced by their very error, to perpetuate even greater errors, by maintaining that the Father is `the proper God';
`Eternally and originally God’, destroy by so saying the very equality of the Son that they seek to establish.
(6) The Trinity is economical i.e. not essential. It describes the assumed relations of God for the purpose of
Creation and Redemption (The Son, The Man), (The Word, The Image).
(7) All the revealed titles of God are facets of the Godhead assumed like the name Jehovah `for the age’ and `unto
all generations’, but like the name Jehovah itself, to be so blessedly fulfilled as to be actually so partly quoted,
as we have seen in Revelation 11:17, the third part of the title `art to come’ being swallowed up in actual
Coming. In like manner will all other titles be fulfilled.
(8) Instead of the expression `The eternal generations of the Son’ fortifying His Deity, it robs Him (if this teaching
be true); for then the Father must for ever have precedence over the Son, and the actual begetting, and
consequently the glorious reality of His Manhood in the fulness of time is imperiled. Such a statement
substitutes mysticism and metaphysics for the sober words of Revelation.
(9) God Who in times past spake to the fathers by the prophets, at the Incarnation of the Saviour spoke unto us `In
Son’. Not `by His Son’, not `In His Son’, but en huioi `in Son'; even as in days of old we read:
`I appeared unto Abraham’ … B’el Shaddai `in God Almighty’ (Exod. 6:3).
(10) We are compelled to believe, by the usage of the title in both Old and New Testaments, that the `one Lord’ of
the New Testament is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. We can and do confess with Thomas, that the
Saviour we have believed is `God’ and `Lord’.
(11) We await the consummation of the ages, when not only shall the name Jehovah be fulfilled, but at long last the
`Son’ Himself shall be subject unto the `Father’, that GOD (not the Father, not the Son, nor the Holy Ghost) but
`that GOD’, as never before, `may be all in all’ (1 Cor. 15:28). We gladly acknowledge the `Mystery of God in
Christ’ (Col. 2:2).

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