Friday, July 1, 2011

The Perils of the Path People, Part 2



Next up for our look at the weed-choked Path that needs to be beaten, we have a survey of passages on the Trinity, used by gotquestions.org, and how the Path People respond. I’ll have to say that I wouldn’t use nearly all of the OT passages gotquestions does in support of the Trinity, so I won’t be defending them on those points. Proverbs 8 along with a couple of verses from Isaiah are really all that are on point for a solid defense of the doctrine, and gotquestions doesn’t use these.

One point I would not argue is that gotquestions says, “The Hebrew word for God, Elohim, definitely allows for the Trinity.” I’ll allow that the Path People are right that this is not an open declaration of the Trinity, since it does not specify three. But where they really get funny is when they try to answer the point that the “im” ending in Elohim indicates plurality:

Did you know, dear reader, that the Hebrew words for “water” and “Heaven,” both singular nouns, also end in “im” – “mayim” and “shemayim”? The plural form of a noun in Hebrew does not automatically mean there is more than one.

Sorry, yes it does, unless scholars of Hebrew have, as of late, changed their minds. But hello? “Waters” and “skies”…does that mean there’s more than one water, more than one sky? Not exactly. These plurals are collective in nature—get that? Their excuse is:

This is the case with “Elohim,” which, when referring to God, is not plural, but singular, denoting great distinction.

Really? “Great distinction?” What Hebrew grammar says that? None! The problem is that the Path People don’t understand the notion of plurality of power indicated by the word elohim (link below, which is why they also fail to grasp the importance of verbs and adjectives with elohim being used in the singular).

There’s a good deal of modalistic babbling after this which doesn’t interest me; especially since the Path People think Matthew 3:16-17 (the baptism of Jesus) is a key proof text for the Trinity. It isn’t, exactly; it’s also compatible with tritheism (Mormons) and Arianism (JWs). Modalists alone have a hard time with that one, but the Path People (evidently modalists in training) assure us that’s only “proof of man’s lack of understanding”—our lack apparently being that God appeared in three forms at one time, yes, but He’s still just one guy in reality, showing off three “functions” simultaneously. Put simply, modalists like the Path People have to strain the most to make this fit with their theology, and we end up with the spectre of God as a schizophrenic who talks with his own sock puppets and also uses the same terminology and concepts as a paradigm in Judaism that matched up with Trinitarianism. How convenient.

Then we get to the NT passages used by gotquestions.org, and here again, there’s a whole bunch I wouldn’t use at all. None of my useful proof texts make an appearance, except a couple of fragments of John 1, which are not used as I would use them, and needless to say, neither side has any notion of the relevance of texts like Sirach (which I expect the Path People would just mouth-foamingly wave off as “works of men” or some nonsense like that). It just goes like this, basically: Gotquestions points to a verse that calls Father, Son, or Spirit God; the Path People have a temper tantrum and scream back, “Of course that’s true, but in a modalist sense, not in a wicked, evil, carnal, ungodly trinitarian sense!” It gets dull after a while, but simple minds like these folks tend to enjoy repetitive motions. It amuses them and keeps them from the dangers of original thought.

So that’s all I can really say; the Path People haven’t got a clue about these things beyond kindergarten theology, which is no doubt why, in the end, the old “you’re gonna burn in hell heathen” warnings round off all their commentary as the example below shows:

GotQuestions presents itself as the one-stop shop for answers to all your questions about God and the Bible, from a Christian perspective. We show that this is not true - their perspective is their own, one born of flesh, not the Spirit of God. His thoughts and ways are not men’s, and men’s are not His, no matter if they claim to represent Him.

Awwww…cry me a river, cult babies.

I sure hope that I too make it on their not the Spirit of God list for this!
[Edited by PML on 08-29-2014]
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Elohim

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