Jehovah`s Witness/Trinity defined
Like you I find disturbing the unnecessary mud slinging and unfounded/uninformed/misleading statements being made at time by some experts. So I thank you for the clarification and the manner in which it was done. As well, pointing out where there are agreements with JWs in interpretation.
The issue I think that remains however is that many Trinity believers aren't even sure what their doctrine of the trinity is. I would venture to say that for varying reasons, even in the same congregation of different Christian religions you would find differing if not sometimes conflicting definitions/doctrines. Would you agree with this? Can you succinctly for the readers outline the definition/understanding of the trinity doctrine that you referred to. Would you say it is the globally accepted definition/use? Depending on definition used some could actually be trinitarians while saying otherwise and vice versa.
Thank you for your letter. I think too often there is a stigma of "us against them" between JWs and mainstream Christians. There is a surprising amount of agreement between the two, and it is unfortunate that it is not recognized more often.
You are spot on in your assessment that many Trinity believers aren't even sure what their doctrine really is. From my own observations I believe this is because most mainstream churches focus on teaching the concept of salvation and how to apply bible concepts in their lives via intrinsic motivation. It is a rare event that churches as a whole delve into deep doctrinal study, and it is very unfortunate. In the same breath, I compliment JWs on their focus on doctrinal study. However I feel that they miss the mark on salvation, and I feel they tend to apply bible concepts in their lives via extrinsic motivation.
I also agree with your statement that one would find conflicting definitions/doctrines of the Trinity within the same group of people. What this demonstrates to me is that some people have simply taken what they grew up "knowing" in church and ran with it without ever delving deeper into the biblical text for better understanding. This fact is truly sad.
Here is what I have found though. The people who have deeply studied this concept and still believe in the Trinity agree on some fundamental things.
1) There is one being who is God. The name of this being is YHWH.
2) YHWH is revealed as three separate and distinct persons.
3) Each of these separate and distinct persons share the same nature, a nature that is completely different than any other beings in the world. It is the nature of God.
4) The Son is subject to the Father, and the Holy Spirit is subject to both the Father and the Son.
While I am hesitant to say that this is a universally accepted definition, I am not familiar with any well-versed Trinitarians who would disagree with these comments.
If anyone has any interest, I have developed a study on the Trinity. I give it as a class at our church. There are a series of class discussions as well as corresponding worksheets that I have designed. They acknowledge the arguments against the Trinity, answer them, and then methodically build the concept from the ground up using only Scripture. I will be happy to send anyone these worksheets and will make myself available to answer any questions on them.
Simply e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request it. If I do not reply in an adequate amount of time, please send me a private message here at allexperts to let me know.
Thank you for your time,