We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Trinity - Proven By Logic

There many cults who teach against the idea of a Triune God, often claiming the idea originated with the Nicene Creed. However, the Trinity is really mentioned often in the Bible, even though the term “Trinity” isn’t.

Several years ago I read a book (I don’t remember which one) in which a short logic exercise was used to demonstrate the truth of the Trinity. I thought it was such a good idea that I came up with my own logic exercise, which I am now posting here.

This exercise in logic is to determine the truthfulness or falseness of the conclusions in the following five syllogisms. The approach to this exercise is to assume that the first premise in each syllogism is true. Sometimes scripture will be given as evidence to demonstrate the veracity of the first premise in each syllogism, regardless of the assumption given. The next step will be to use scripture to demonstrate whether or not the second premise of each syllogism is true. By the rules of logic, if the second premise is false, the conclusion must be false; but if the second premise is true, the conclusion must be true also. (The sixth item is only a hypothesis, and so does not need to be true to start with - it must be proven by scripture to be either true or false). The only reference source used is the Holy Bible, and I will just cite the verses and let you look them up.  Okay, here are my syllogisms. Are you ready to review the passages?

Syllogism Number 1
Premise: Personal attributes define a person. (assumed)
Premise: The Holy Spirit has personal attributes.
1. Personal pronoun assigned (he or I): John 16:8, 13; Acts 13:2; many others
2. Communicates: John 16: 8, 13, Acts 13:2: as above
3. Has learned: John 16:13
4. Consoles/comforts: John 16:17; Acts 9:31
5. Helps us in our weakness: Romans 8:26
6. Forbids: Acts 16:6,7
7. Can be lied to: Acts 5:3
8. Can be grieved: Eph. 4:30
9. Can be insulted: Heb. 10:29
10. Has a will: 1 Cor. 12:11.
11. Bears witness: Rom. 8:16
12. Makes intercession: Rom. 8:26, 27
13. Has a mind: Rom. 8:27
14. He lives in you. Rom. 8:9
15. He teaches: John. 14:26; John. 16:13-14; 1 Cor. 2:13
16. He loves. Rom. 15:30
17. He is vexed. Isaiah 63:10
18. He hears. John. 16:13
19. He knows the future. Acts 21:11
20. He has knowledge: Isaiah 11:2; 1 Cor. 2:10-11
21. He calls to service. Acts 13:4
Conclusion: The Holy Spirit is a person.

Syllogism Number 2
Premise: There is only one God.
1. Deut. 6:4
2. Deut. 32:39
3. Psalm 86:10
4. Isaiah 37:16, 20
5. Isaiah 43:10b-11
6. Is. 44:6, 8
7. Is. 45:5, 21,22
8. Is. 46:9
9. Jer. 10:10
10. Mark 12:29, 32
11. John 17:3
12. 1 Cor. 8:6
13. Eph. 4:6
14. 1 Tim. 2:5
15. Jas. 2:19
Premise: There are three Persons called God.
1. The Father is called God.
a. Ps. 68:5
b. Mal. 2:10
c. Mat. 11:25
d. John 8:41
e. Rom. 1:7
f. Rom. 8: 15-17
g. Rom. 15:6
h. 1 Cor. 1:3
i. 1 Cor. 8:6
j. Gal. 1:1-4
k. Gal 3:26: to be his children, he must be our father
l. Gal. 4:6
m. Php. 4:20
n. 1 Thes. 1:1
o. 1 Thes. 3:11, 13
p. Titus 1:4
q. 1 Pet. 1:2,3
r. 2 Pet. 1:17
2. The Son is called God.
a. Is. 9:6
b. Mat. 1:23
c. Mk. 2:5-7
d. John 1:1
e. John 8:56-59: compare with Exodus 3:14 where God says His name is I AM. vs. 59 demonstrates that the Jews knew what Jesus meant.

f. John 10:30-33
g. John 20:28-29
h. Rom. 9:5.
i. Php. 2:6-8
j. Col. 2:9
k. Tit. 2:13
l. Heb. 1:8-10
m. Acts 2:30-32, 10:40 and 17:30-31, 1 Thes. 1:10, 1 Pet. 1:21 say God raised Jesus from the dead vs. John 2:19-22 where Jesus said He would raise himself. This implies he is called God.

n. He receives worship, but men or angels can't. This implies he is God. Matt. 2:11, 8:2, 9:18, 14:33, 15:25, 28:9,17; Lk. 24:52; John 9:38; Acts 10:25, 26; Php. 2:10; Rev. 19:10, 22:8,9
3. The Holy Spirit is called God.
1. Acts 5:3,4: Peter said Ananias lied to the Holy Ghost, then said it was God he lied to.

2. II Cor. 3. This chapter discusses the Spirit and his activities, and in verses 16, and 17 we find that the Lord (God) 'is that Spirit'.

3. Is. 6:8,9 God (Jehovah) is talking to Isaiah. In Acts 28:25, 26 Paul refers to that passage in Isaiah and says it was the Holy Spirit that was talking!

4. Ex. 17:2 Moses says that Israel is tempting God (Jehovah). In Hebrews 3:7-9 it says the Holy Spirit was the one being tempted.

5. Jer. 31:33 states God (Jehovah) is talking. Hebrews 10:15-17 refers to this passage and states the Holy Spirit is talking. The individual talking is making a covenant with Israel! Are two making the covenant?

6. 1 Cor. 3:16 says we are the temple of God. 1 Cor. 6:19 says we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Temples are for gods.

7. 1 Pet. 3:18 says the Holy Spirit raised Christ. Compare with above that says God raised Christ.
Conclusion: The three Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - are the one God.

Syllogism Number 3
Premise: There is no Savior except God.
1. Is. 43:11: I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior
2. Hos. 13:4: I am the LORD thy God…there is no savior beside me
Premise: There are two persons called the Savior
a. God is called the Savior
1. 2 Sam. 22:47
2. 1 Chron. 16:35
3. Ps. 18:46; 24:5; 25:5; 27:9; 38:22; 42:5; 42:11; 43:5; 65:5; 68:19; 79:9; 85:4; 89:26
4. Isa. 17:10; 43:3; 45:15; 45:21; 49:26; 60:16
5. Jer. 14:8
6. Mic. 7:7
7. Hab. 3:18
8. Lk. 1:47
9. 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3;
10. Tit. 1:3; 2:13; 3:4
11. Jude 1:25
b. Jesus is called the Savior.
1. Lk. 2:11
2. John 4:42
3. Acts 5:31; 13:23
4. Eph. 5:23
5. Php. 3:20
6. 2 Tim. 1:10
7. Titus 1:4; 2:13; 3:6 (Titus calls both Jesus and God the Savior)
8. 2 Pet. 1:1; 1:11; 2:20; 3:2; 3:18
9. 1 John 4:14
Conclusion: Jesus and God are the one Savior, i.e. Jesus is God.

Syllogism Number 4
Premise: There is only one creator. (assumed)
Premise: There are two persons called the creator.
a. God is called the Creator.
1. Gen. 1:1
2. Gen. 14:22
3. Job 38
4. Is. 37:16
5. Is. 44:24
6. Is. 45:18
7. Is. 48:13
8. Jer. 32:17
9. Acts 17:24
10. 1 Cor. 8:6
11. Rev. 4:11
b. Jesus is called the Creator.
1. John 1:3, 10
2. 1 Cor. 8:6
3. Col. 1:16-17
Conclusion: Jesus and God are the one Creator, i.e., Jesus is God

Syllogism Number 5
Premise: There can be only one "First and Last". (If there were more, who would be the first "First" and who would be the last "Last"?)
Premise: There are two persons called "the First and the Last".
a. God is called "the First and the Last".
b. Jesus is called "the First and the Last".
Argument: Revelation 1:7 says the one who is coming is the one who is pierced (Jesus). Verse 8 says the one who is coming is the "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending" and it quotes the "Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty" (the Lord Almighty is God). Are two coming? Verse 11 says the one speaking to John was "Alpha and Omega, the first and the last", and the conversation continues at verse 17 where the person talking to John says, "I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth, and was dead [who has to be Jesus]; and behold I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Chapter 2:8 again identifies the speaker as "the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive". Chapter 22:12, 13 again has this person calling himself "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last", and verse 16 identifies this person as Jesus. Now, take this and compare it to information from Isaiah 43:10 and 48:12,13. In 43:10 God says, "Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." This is sort of like saying "I am the first and the last". In 48:12,13 God actually says, "I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth..." So God is using the same identity that Jesus uses in Revelation, and further identifies himself as the one who "laid the foundation", i.e. made the creation. Do we then have two "Alpha and Omega" and two "first and last"?
Conclusion: Jesus and God are the one "First and Last", i.e., Jesus is God.

Hypothesis: God is a multiple personality.
Evidences:
1. Genesis 1:1. The Hebrew word for God here is Elohim. It is a plural word and is repeated 32 times in this chapter; each time it is followed by a singular verb. Why would Moses choose a plural word for God, especially with a singular verb, if that wasn't what Moses meant?

2. Gen. 1:26, 27. God says, “Let us make...in our image, after our likeness.” Then it says God (Elohim) created man in his own image,” singular. Who is this plurality?

3. Hebrew uses two words meaning “one.” Yachid means absolute mathematical oneness (an example is Gen 22:2 when God tells Abraham to take his “only son”). Echad means unity or united one. Echad is used in Gen. 1:5 with the evening and morning as one day, and in Gen 2:24 where a man and a woman become one flesh. In Deut. 6:4 the word used to describe “one Lord” is Echad - united one. It is obvious the writer meant more than one person in God.

4. Matt. 28:19. The Greek word used for name (onoma) is singular, and there are definite articles (the) before Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, emphasizing distinct persons. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit all have one name.

5. Trinity is implied in Luke 1:35; Mat. 3:16, 17; 2 Cor.13:14; John 14:26; and John 15:26.
Conclusion: God is indeed a multiple personality.

Well, there you have it. I believe it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that God is a Trinity.

11 comments:

Steve Bricker said...

Thanks, Glenn. This is quite good.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Thank you, Steve. Like I said, it wasn't an original idea - I just improved on it.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any suggestions on witnessing to the "Twelve Tribes"?
They showed up in our town here in upstate NY about 2 years ago, and now have a thriving Cafe' on main street.
My daughter's "Ty Kwan Do" + P.E. teacher (at a local Christian School) almost got sucked in, which almost got her as well, because of the sponsoring Churches' high emphasis on "activities" and LOW emphasis on the WORD!
The '12 Tribes' (TT) are very diligent in Bible reading, but seem to have gleaned some of the worst teachings from the JW's and Mormons, and are totally convinced that THEY are GOD's ONLY CHOSEN PEOPLE - that GOD's people DisAppeared with the founding of the ROMAN Empire in 325 A.D. - and did Not RE-Appear until "Yoneq" (the Founder of TT) Re-Introduced 'GOD's TRUE religion' around 1977. (I Believe that's when they started!)
They also believe that the name "JESUS" is actually a *demon* - with the TRUE name of GOD's Savior being 'Yashua'. Disciples are encouraged (required?) to turn over all major Assets to the headquarters and come live 'In Community' as the NT Church did.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

I never heard of this organization - doesn't sound good. I just don't understand why people get involved with these things. I guess that's a new one I have to research!

Adam Pastor said...

Greetings Glenn E. Chatfield

On the subject of the Trinity,
I recommend this video:
The Human Jesus

Take a couple of hours to watch it; and prayerfully it will aid you to reconsider "The Trinity"

Yours In Messiah
Adam Pastor

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hello Adam,

I am not going to watch two hours of a video telling me nothing new. Your intro was as follows:

This theological documentary, produced by Restoration Fellowship, filmed by Mark Dockery, edited by Paul Millunzi and Danny Dixon. It answers, very frankly, the difficult theological question: "Is Jesus of Nazareth Human or Divine?" The video features world-recognized scholars, as well as some unknown skilled examiners of biblical theology and Christology. Even so, Dockery's video retains a "man on the street" simplicity to retain the interest of those who view the presentation. Dockery includes significant ecumenical material, with a view to erasing lines of hostility that separate Christians from the Jewish and Islamic communities. While there is a long way to go to accomplish this, the presentation is a necessary first step in accomplishing that goal. Some people in the video: Dr. Colin Brown, colbrn@fuller.edu, Professor, Fuller Theological Seminary Sir Anthony Buzzard, anthonybuzzard@mindspring.com, Author of THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY: CHRISTIANITY'S SELF-INFLICTED WOUND and JESUS WAS NOT A TRINITARIAN (http://restorationfellowship.org) F. Paul Haney, minister/lecturer on strict siblical Monotheism. "Chuck" Jones, pastor, The Church of the Bible, carolsguy@dslextreme.com Daniel Mages, HungerTruth@yahoo.com, debater, lecturer, and founder of California-based Hunger Truth (http://HungerTruth.com) Lee F. Greer Danny Dixon, DixonDA@gmail.com, Moderator, Disciples for One God (http://4OneGod.net and http://4OneGod.org)

Now I'll tell you my interpretation: World-recognized liberal scholars and unknown liberals who adhere to ancient heresies, supported by the liberal Fuller Theological Theological Seminary and other liberals claiming to be Christians, have produced a video propagating heresies and liberal interpretations of Scripture.

Sorry, pal, it is nothing new. I have better things to do with my time.

Yvonne said...

Glenn,

My son is studying logic this year so I copied this to use in his course. Hopefully, he will be able to noodle it through.

Thanks!
Yvonne

Xavier Onassis said...

WOW! You went to all that trouble just to demonstrate that you have no idea what logic really is or how to use it to reach a conclusion.

That was amazing.

You might try another approach. It's called the Scientific Method.

What you do is, you form a hypothesis that you believe explains an observable phenomena.

Then you construct some tests designed to prove or disprove your hypothesis.

Whatever the results of those tests are, whether you like them or not, represent a thing we call TRUTH.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

X.O.

You statement demonstrates YOU have no understanding of logic.

And, by the way, science can't examine the metaphysical or spiritual realm.

Too bad you don't know what truth is.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

For my readers,

X.O. has been a regular antagonist on a few other blogs I follow. He is a very staunch atheist and evolutionist and really hates everything conservatives stand for. Which is why the short and curt answer here.

Ron Livesay said...

I would really like to see X.O. demonstrate how the scientific method can be applied to evolution.