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Trinity: three or one?

Re: Christ on a cross

Postby Jack Burton » 29 Aug 2008, 11:46

KingZog wrote:I reckon Christianity would make more sense if they adopted The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe as their official text.

Aslan is a God/Jesus figure. He gives everyone a lesson in self sacrifice by dying to save a weasel traitor, who actually becomes a better person later. He also comes back to life to prove his existence to the doubters but before he leaves he gnaws the face off of the White Witch, i.e. solves the problem of evil using his Modmin powers.

Even better, later on, In the Last Battle he says that everyone who has been serving Satan who did good stuff will go to heaven, which discourages religious wars. Mind you as an interventionist God, you get the impression that he'd just gnaw the face off anyone who started a holy war in his name.


That's not a coincidence. C.S. Lewis was a devout Anglican. His Narnia books purposefully have Christian metaphors and allusions, etc.
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Re: Christ on a cross

Postby KingZog » 29 Aug 2008, 11:54

Puppet wrote:King-

Quite off subject, but I have always loved your profile avatar. What does it say in Chinese? Any idea? My Chinese is very limited.

I don't know actually. I'm much too lazy to learn Chinese myself, and in any case I suspect that the characters are unreadable because they are so small - if you split the animated gif into frames with IrfanView they are only 8 pixels square, which I think makes them unreadable*.

Shame really, it would be good to be able to track down where it comes from.

* Actually if you knew Chinese and had lots of time and computer skills you could render all possible Chinese characters as 8x8 bitmaps and work out the best matches for each character. That wouldn't solve the problem since 8x8 isn't high enough resolution, but it would give you a list of likely characters for each blur in the gif. You could use Google to search for all the possible combinations of short sequences and find which ones meaningful/most likely and gradually piece together the Chinese.
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Re: Christ on a cross

Postby KingZog » 29 Aug 2008, 12:07

Jack Burton wrote:That's not a coincidence. C.S. Lewis was a devout Anglican. His Narnia books purposefully have Christian metaphors and allusions, etc.

Yeah, I know. My point was that the theology in the Narnia books is in many ways superior than what it's based on. It doesn't have The Problem of Evil for example, and it doesn't encourage sectarianism or intolerance of homosexuals and doesn't apologise for slavery or genocide. In fact I can't think of a single criticism of the Bible which would apply to the Narnia books, but that's because C S Lewis was a much more sophisticated and enlightened thinker than the people who wrote the bible and actually understood all these issues.

So if religious belief is based on faith rather than evidence and it's all a metaphor anyway rather than something which is literally true, why not believe in Aslan and Narnia rather than Jesus?
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Re: Christ on a cross

Postby Screaming Jesus » 29 Aug 2008, 12:15

Or Tashlan?

The Hindus speak of the "personalities of Godhead".


Them there's Hairy Krishner talk! "Personality of Godhead" is Sri-la Prabhupada's rendering of Bhagavan ("Lord"). But in their Gaudiya Vaisnava theology, the Trimuri are interpreted as gunavatars--i.e., each of the three corresponds with one of the gunas, with Krishna as sattva ("purity") of course.

Always liked that Madonna song--"the gunas are good enough, yeah yeah yeah yeah..."
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Re: Trinity: three or one?

Postby urodacus » 29 Aug 2008, 14:22

modnote: thread split from Christ on a cross.
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Re: Trinity: three or one?

Postby KingZog » 29 Aug 2008, 14:35

urodacus wrote:modnote: thread split from Christ on a cross.

The thread is not split, it has just added the attribute of 'twoness' to its former attribute of 'oneness'. It still retains its former attribute of oneness. Suggesting there are now two threads would be Binitarianism, which was condemned as a heresy by the Council of Taipei.
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Re: Christ on a cross

Postby MikeN » 06 Sep 2008, 13:51

Dr. McCoy wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:You looked up the definition of the trinity on a trinitarian site. The answer you received was predictable, but does not address the textual and socio-religious evidence. An overwhelming number of secular and religious scholars (including many trinitarians), have acknowledged that Jesus made no claim to be God, and nor did his followers allege that he was. The doctrine emerged much later, starting in the mid- to late 2nd century.

I never heard of trinitarians.
Many Baptists will tell you the same thing.
Jesus had to be man so that He could die - and had to be God so that His death would pay for our sins.

http://www.firstbaptistmidway.org/theology.html


By "trinitarians" Fortigurn was referring to believers in the Holy Trinity, the (small 'o') orthodox version of Christianity, those who acept the Nicene Creed -basically any church you've ever heard of- Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox....
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Re: Trinity: three or one?

Postby MikeN » 06 Sep 2008, 13:55

Fortigurn, what is your position on the Divinity ( or otherwise) of Jesus?
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Re: Trinity: three or one?

Postby Quentin » 07 Sep 2008, 01:31

As someone who has actually read up on the history of early Christianity, I had hoped that after all this discussion, at least one person would mention the Council of Nicaea, the Arian Heresy, and the Monophysites. The fact is that this controversy wasn't settled until 5 centuries into the establishment of Christianity. From a modern viewpoint, it looks like so much angels dancing upon pinheads. But it was serious to the decaying Roman Empire. The first major pogrom against heretics was against the Arians in southern Gaul -- hundreds of thousands were slaughtered for believing that Jehovah, Christ, and the Holy Ghost were three separate entitities. There are actually still several sects of Christianity that have survived since Roman times that are Monophysites -- the Armenian Church, for starts, and also (I think so, not sure) the Copts in Egypt, along with the not-so-mythical followers of Prester John in India that have established a Christian church for a couple of millenia there.
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Re: Trinity: three or one?

Postby Screaming Jesus » 07 Sep 2008, 06:45

I would say that 1st Nicea was primarily about the Incarnation (well okay, they also decided a bunch of other stuff, such as whether it was okay to cut one's manhood off on purpose), and only secondarily involved the Trinity. The problem is easy to see: If Christ is the son of God, does that mean God created him? The correct answer, apparently, is no--he is rather "eternally begotten of the Father."

While this does impact upon the doctrine of the Trinity, 1st Nicea was rather uninterested in the Holy Spirit, and the existence of the Trinity seems to have been widely assumed. The doctrine goes back to the second or at least third century AD (unless one insists on the Johannine comma), and makes sense if you consider that all three elements of it were objects of worship--in a religion which claimed to be monotheistic. The point of Nicea was to establish what this means exactly. (You can still confuse people by asking them whether Christ is the Son of God, or God himself!)

The "rules of order" were real vague, and it is apparently Orthodox doctrine that a council is invalid if the people rise up and oppose it--for example, by rioting in Byzantium.

The so-called Nestorian (split off after the second ecumenical council, opposing the third) and non-Chalcedonian churches (this is the fourth council) are still around, and it is the last group which is historically (but no longer) identified with monophysite belief. They include the Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopian (and Eritrean!), Syriac, and in India, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church / Church of the East.

Prester John is indeed a myth--he was supposed to represent a faraway Christian kingdom that offered Europe hope against the Mongols--but might have been based on dim historical memories of Nestorianism. The group in India you're thinking of is probably the St. Thomas Christians of Malabar, who are divided into the Oriental Orthodox group mentioned above, a Uniate group (in communion with the Roman Catholic Church), and a Protestant group which belongs to the Anglican Communion. They claim that St. Thomas voyaged to India and founded their church, and they do seem to be almost that old. Various external powers persuaded some of them to make alliances, resulting in all these contradictory identities.
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