Three things worth noting:

First, we are joined this week by our first guest! Fred Sanders is doubtlessly known to many people on this blog, given my constant flogging of his work.  You can read my review of his excellent book The Deep Things of God here, and check out his work at Scriptorium Daily.

Full disclosure:  I’m currently employed by Torrey Honors. But I am not hyperbolizing when I say that Scriptorium Daily has been one of the sanest and most refreshing places in the Christian blogging world the past three months.

Mere FidelitySecond, our sincere apologies for the sound quality.  We’ve been talking about how best to do this and we hope to have a better solution in place by next week.  Pray for us, now and in the hour of our technical difficulties.

Finally, next week we’re going to be taking up the first chapter of Oliver O’Donovan’s Begotten or Made?  You won’t have to buy or read the book for the discussion to be interesting, but it would obviously enhance and deepen your experience.  In case you’re not quite convinced, I’ll note that the book has the single best chapter ever written from a theological standpoint on transgender questions. We’ll be taking that up in a few weeks.

Thanks for listening, as always.

Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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  • nbraithwaite

    Good luck trying to prove the trinity from scripture. In every case, trinitarians presumptuously read their doctrine “into” the scripture. The best thing going for 99.9% of “Christian” churches is that the sheeple believe what they are taught and rarely ever question anything for themselves. Thus, the money keeps flowing and the unbiblical corporate divisions in the ekklesia called denominations can continue to grow and prosper. Sad.

    • Alastair J Roberts

      I confess to being rather curious about the Trinitarian scholarship with which you are familiar.

  • nbraithwaite

    Trinitarian scholarship is an oxymoron. Those who believe it try their best to find it in the scripture but it is not there to be found. Their “scholarship” is nothing more than distortion and manipulation of scripture to find that which was never there.

    Those of us who don’t believe in the trinity consider it a blessing to be persecuted by “Christians” for teaching the truth and exposing the false doctrines of organized “Christian church.” Remember, it was the Jewish leaders and Jews that persecuted Yahshua (and his disciples) for teaching Yahweh’s truth and exposing the worldly corruption, false doctrines and traditions that had crept into the Jewish faith – not those people outside the Jewish faith. Likewise today, Christians who are exposing the worldly corruption, false doctrines and traditions of today’s “Christian Church” are persecuted by their leaders and their Church “members” for teaching the truth of Yahweh’s word – not those outside of organized churches.

    The trinity doctrine is also used by the “church” to help keep people controlled by the “enlightened” leaders. The propaganda about the trinity being some sort of mystery that only “true” Christians understand makes people feel special and a part of something bigger than they are and makes them want to retain that sense of belonging and superiority. There is also a huge element of fear of not believing in the trinity, no matter how confusing it seems, which also helps not only to keep people in the church, but also keeps them defending the trinity at all costs. It’s a cult type of practice to hold people using fear through unexplainable doctrines.

    If you don’t believe in the trinity then you will be looked down on by the “enlightened” leaders of organized church as gullible and not so bright. They will also make sure to tell you that your salvation is in question if you don’t believe what they have taught you. And always remember, the pastors you confront have been
    taught their doctrines in “Christian” institutions of higher learning which also teach them that they are immune to correction.

    You can find my writings on the trinity here: http://trinitylies.blogspot.com/

    And on other issues regarding corporate church here: http://trinitylies.blogspot.com/

    • Alastair J Roberts

      Interesting that you took so many words to avoid speaking to the point I raised in a single sentence. Are you speaking out of ignorance and theological prejudice, or have you read widely in Trinitarian scholarship? If you have read widely, I would be interested to hear about the Trinitarian scholars with which you are familiar.

      • nbraithwaite

        I rely only on the Hebrew Scripture and what is referred to as the New Testament for the truth. However, I have yet to find just one “trinitarian” scholar in those works.

        If you are concerned that I am ignorant of this matter you are greatly mistaken. If you think I hold theological prejudice on the matter you are correct. My prejudice lies with Yahweh’s truth as put forth in the Hebrew Scriptures and His words as spoken through His Messiah in New Testament writings. I do not rely on the religious philosophy or ideology of man.

        If you are asking for a list of men who defend the trinity doctrine as it is defined today, I suppose James White would be one who’s works I have read and heard – there are many more. Or maybe you would like a run-down of those men who began philosophizing about Yahshua’s divinity after the Apostolic age? In which case, many of their ideas diverge from the trinity doctrine of today.

        I find it hard to apply the term “scholar” to anyone who defends a doctrine that divides Yahweh into three co-equal persons.

        1“The doctrine of the trinity was formulated (Logical Conclusion) by followers of Jesus… The doctrine of the trinity was developed out of respect for God’s revelation of Himself… 2“Trinitarians are willing to live with a god they cannot fully comprehend.”

        1(Robert M. Bowman – Why you should believe in the trinity)
        2(James White – The Forgotten Trinity)

        Simply put; White and Boman’s god is a result of their “logical” conclusions which they readily admit can’t be humanly comprehended. They defend their three-person god from their philosophy and tell everyone that god is a “mystery!” Fortunately for those who seek the truth 1 Cor. 2 says we can all know the very depths of Yahweh. As for these men and their trinitarian followers, their “god” IS their doctrine.

        YAHWEH said: “I am Yahweh, that is My name; I will not give My
        glory to another” (Isaiah 42:8) “I am the first, and I am the last; and
        besides me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6) “I am Yahweh, and there is no
        one else. Besides me, there is no other God. There is no one besides
        me. I am Yahweh, and there is no one else.” (Isaiah 45:5-6)

        YAHSHUA
        said: “This is eternal life, that they should know you (Yahweh), the ONE
        (mono) true God, AND him whom you sent, Yahshua Messiah.” (John 17:3)

        28 One of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together. Knowing that
        he had answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the greatest
        of all?” 29 Yahshua answered, “The greatest is, ‘Hear, Israel, Yahweh our God, Yahweh is ONE…’

        • Alastair J Roberts

          I’ll leave you to your prejudices. However, from what you are saying here, it really doesn’t seem as though you are that well acquainted with the position that you are arguing against.

          • nbraithwaite

            You sure can read a lot into my few comments. I suppose that skill is of great value for reading the trinity into scripture. Pompous is as pompous does I guess.

          • nbraithwaite

            Since the New Testament contains no explicit trinitarian doctrine, how is it that Christian theologians, apologists, and philosophers hold that the
            doctrine can be inferred from what the New Testament teaches about
            God? And exactly how may it be inferred? Is the inference deductive, or is it an inference to the best explanation? And is it based on what is
            implicitly taught there, or on what is merely assumed there?

          • Alastair J Roberts

            There is an abundance of theological and exegetical work answering these precise questions.

          • nbraithwaite

            I am aware of that, but would you give this answer to me if I told you I believed in God and Jesus but wasn’t sure how they were connected and hadn’t yet made a decision regarding my faith? Would you tell me that I needed to study “an abundance of theological and exegetical work,” or would you try and explain it to me simply so I might understand it; with a hope that I might be saved?

          • Alastair J Roberts

            The approach that I would take with someone who is unlearned and looking for understanding in such matters is a very different one from the approach I take with people who presume to dismiss vast swathes of careful and orthodox theological and biblical scholarship—scholarship with which they give little proof of their acquaintance—on the basis of their personal reading of the Scriptures.

          • nbraithwaite

            I guess that’s the same reason that in the OT and NT neither Yahweh or His Messiah and his Apostles never specifically explained the trinity to anyone; and that it took close to four centuries after the Apostolic era before the Catholic Church finally rendered a definition of the trinity for all of mankind to embrace as “revealed” truth.

          • nbraithwaite

            Trinitarians have quite a time trying to explain a doctrine that was never taught in either the OT or NT, and was only contrived hundreds of years after the apostolic age. Interestingly, protestant churches cry blasphemy when the Catholic Church speaks of the “ex cathedra” of the reigning Pope, yet these same protestant churches guard their trinity doctrine as if it was set in stone by Yahweh Himself.

            It seems that their true “God” is the trinity doctrine.