The God Above the Father?

 

Here I am going to respond to selections of Kel’s article.  The selections I have chosen are the ones I regard as embodying Kel’s main arguments; I have left out what I regard as repetitious or off the point.  If I have missed or misunderstood Kel’s arguments, anyone who reads this – including Kel – is welcome to bring that to my attention.

. . .

Argument:

“In the doctrine of the Trinity, the three person God is a singular identity, the Triune being is a singular ‘I.’ Whenever the one God of the Bible is indicating there is no other God besides He Himself, Trinitarians insist, by an act of their own will, that this is the Triune God speaking.  In effect, this means there is a God above the Father . . . in the doctrine of the Trinity, the Father is only a ‘subset’ of the greater Triune God . . . . If we think this through, this means there is an identity greater than God the Father, the Triune God.”

Response:

First of all, you cannot apply the same math that works on finite things to the infinite God.  Three times infinity is still infinity.  Infinity cannot be increased.  Since you have to apply finite math to the infinite God to get these alleged Trinitarian contradictions to make any sense, Kel’s argument does not prove anything except that finite man cannot fully understand infinities.

Second, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three separate Beings but one and the same Being.  Thus, the greatness of one is the greatness of all; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three great things added together but one great thing.  Add them all together and you have the same greatness that exists in any one of them, no more and no less.

Space as an image of God

A faint and negative image of this exists as space.  Space requires three dimensions in order to exist: height, breadth, and depth, or put another way, up-down, right-left, and forward-backward.

Think of up-down; we know it exists, and yet there can be no such thing as an infinitely thin line that goes up and down.  If the line had any thickness to it, it would also include the other dimensions.  Even if we throw in a second dimension, that of right-left, there is still no such thing as an infinitely thin plane.  Again, if the plane had any thickness at all, it would have to include the third dimension of forward-backward.  But if you throw in that third dimension, now you have space.

The three dimensions are all necessary; take away any one and you have none.  Yet these dimensions are not three spaces but one space.  The greatness of each is the greatness of all; none of them even exist without the others.  All of them exist in and through each other, distinguishable only in terms of direction.

In a way this reflects the Trinity.  The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit exist in and through each other*, all aspects of the one God, distinguishable only in terms of Person.

The conclusion of this matter is that finite man cannot fully understand the infinite God, because the gulf between that which is finite and that which is infinite is . . . well, infinite.  Not understanding how something works is not the same thing as understanding that it can’t work.  You cannot disprove the Trinity doctrine by proving that men don’t fully understand it.

Ephesians 4:6

The other question Kel has for the Trinitarian in this section is that if we have one God and Father who is above all as it says in Ephesians 4:6, how can the Father be only one of the Persons in a trinity of Persons who are all God?  My short answer is that all that is in God is Father to anything that is in creation, but within the one God, there are Personal relationships.  That is, all the Persons of the Trinity or any of the Persons of the Trinity are in a real sense the source and sustainer (Father) of any created thing. But, there is also something in God that relates to something else in God as a Father to a Son.

In my opinion Kel is confusing these two meanings if he thinks passages like Ephesians 4:6 contradict the Trinity doctrine.  Kel is right in saying that Trinity believers had different definitions of the term “Father” as it applies to God, but they derive those definitions from Scripture.  Scripture might be easier to understand if every word in it had only one meaning, or if all the meanings were easily distinguished from other meanings, but that is not what we find there.

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*  “In and through each other . . .” two examples of Scriptures that show that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in and through each other are John 14:11, where the Son says “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me,” showing mutual indwelling at least of the Father and the Son, and 1 Corinthians 2:11, “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God,” which shows the Spirit inside of the mind of the Father (and in my view, the Son as well).