Posts Tagged ‘Trinity’

(The following article was written by Brother Nathan Albright, a very meticulous writer whose writings have captured my attention for some time now. He covers a wide spectrum of topics from the casual update concerning “What’s happening in the life of Nathan,” to very thorough topical studies to a continue flow of book reviews. His blog is Edge Induced Cohesion.)

What’s In A Greeting?: The Epistles of Paul

Posted on February 23, 2012

What information is conveyed in a greeting? Greetings are usually fairly short, but even though short and often conventional, there are important bits of information that filter through simply because of what those conventions are. Let us examine, for example, the extant letters of Paul, to see what conventions he used and what information he conveyed. We know of the greetings for thirteen letters of his [1]. Let us compare the letters in roughly chronological order and then see what sort of connections we can draw from them.

The Greetings Of Paul

Let us turn to the thirteen books of Paul and look at their greetings in a roughly chronological order. We will look at Galatians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, 1 Timothy, Titus, and 2 Timothy. The greetings for these thirteen books are as follows:

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This is not intended to be a debate or a refutation of anything per se; it is simply an effort to share some facts about certain points of scripture that are aggressively used in debates regarding the nature of God and the divinity of Jesus Christ. It is a long post, but still one I feel worthy of the consideration of others who are prayerfully laboring through these issues. However, before getting into the topics, I would like to start by sharing a quote by John H. Leith, who compiled a book concerning Christian doctrine from the Bible days to the present entitled “Creeds of the Churches”

 “. . . the nature of man is an intelligent being. Just because of intelligence the Christian, of all men, has to learn to discern with agonizing clarity what is conceivable by him about God Himself. What cannot be thought through critically and expressed with reasonable clarity cannot demand the allegiance of man’s whole being. Understanding is necessary for man’s full commitment. Hence faith must be spoken and made intelligible. That is not to say faith must be enclosed within the limits of reason, but it does mean that faith must never require neither the closing of the mind nor the sacrifice of the integrity of the mind.”

This statement is one that has probably influenced me more than any other man’s words of wisdom, compelling me to always try my best to understand every man’s profession of faith and in turn to share mine as simply and clearly as possible. That is why before I present the following information; I would like to clarify that I am not what most Trinitarians would readily call an “Oneness” believer, at least not in the sense that they would define it. For those who do not understand what “Oneness” supposedly is according to the Trinitarian definition, it is the heretical belief where one denies the coexistence of three “persons” of the “Godhead.” Be assured, I absolutely believe we all have but one Creator and Father who sent His only begotten Son Jesus, The Christ, as a sin-offering for the sins of the world. Who having returned back to heaven has sent to His Church the Comforter, the Holy Spirit of Truth to guide them into all truth . . . if they would but follow.

There are those on the Oneness side who aggressively assert the biblical truth that there is only one God as expressed in the verse below to the point of denying any distinction between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.

Some oneness believers even go so far trying to defend and explain their position to the point of saying that when the voice from heaven came testifying that Jesus was in fact God’s Son in whom He was well pleased that Jesus was actually throwing His voice back up into heaven. I would quickly assert they “do err not knowing,” as Jesus said “the scriptures or the power of God.

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