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Why the Trinity Matters- Part 2

Steve Bauer


Steve Bauer

Professor, School of Religion, Southern Adventist University


  • April 7, 2018
    4:30 PM
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Now I'm taking a different track to address more directly the issues I see with the Holy Spirit and that is basically denial of the person good of the Holy Spirit and so. I will likely come around to the deity of the Holy Spirit but I seem that's that's more obvious it's the personhood that's the area of contention. What was interesting is with this major linchpin with his websites and everything in Georgia a few years ago. As we dialogue in you know I believe the father I believe the son business but the Holy Spirit is not a person I joked with him I said so you're really a been a Tarion not a Trinitarian. And once you know it by his website about a year later and he had a little article in which he described himself as a been a Tarion so I coined a word which he adopted. That way so. I'm focusing again on the personhood and I'm going about it again with the biblical theology with evidence is found by examining personal functions performed by the Holy Spirit I don't have time to deal with Old Testament roots when I've done this for Kant meetings and the like. I start with Old Testament examples of personal functionalities of the Holy Spirit and then I show the matching New Testament one so we're just going to give you the matching New Testament without the Old Testament for the sake of time today Ephesians four verse thirty eight this is the one I will give you the Old Testament parallel both tell us not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God This is an emotional word so the Holy Spirit is ascribed as having some kind of emotional response and emotions are the function of a person out of an impersonal entity. Matthew twelve thirty one and thirty two The Holy Spirit can be blasphemy MD and sinned against just as Christ can be blasphemy MD and sinned against blasphemy A gives always against a person. Whether divine person or Also when you ridicule other people in the Bible that's also blasphemy Oh. Well they blast seemed the Apostles and so forth trying to discredit them. It has the technical term that when you claim divine attributes when you're not God That's a fundamental slap in the face of God and hence the technical theological concept of blasphemy. But in the Greek New Testament it is any kind of disrespectful slap in the face to anybody the point is blasphemy happens to a person I know if I know where in the Bible where it happens to a donkey or to a rock or or if somebody has to be intelligent enough to understand they're being insulted OK And likewise to sin against him and the parallelism is juxtaposing with blaspheming Christ who is a person and he's a divine person and so the parallelism of an if Christ as a person and divine is strongly implying that the Holy Spirit has to be a person and divine to be blasphemed and sinned against in the same way as Christ and so I think that's evidence of personhood and divinity of the Holy Spirit especially the personhood Holy Spirit intercedes him pleads for us in Romans eight pleading for us this is courtroom type language intercession is done by people not by forces likewise the same passage Paul talks about the mind the noose of the spirit in Greek thinking nooses a human quality of human or divine quality animals really don't have nooses such this is persons have minds forces don't Acts thirteen and first Corinthians twelve Holy Spirit is a causal agent making administrative decisions so first Corinthians twelve it's the Holy Spirit who decides who gets which spiritual gifts administrative decision making function of a person not a force acts thirteen the Holy Spirit calls and sets I need to put an S in there sets apart Paul in Barnabas to work. And he says set them apart to me the Holy Spirit uses a personal pronoun from the the data form of a go. For himself personal pronoun plus the function of calling the making in ministry of decision plus the fact that he's in conversation with the church and using language OK you find the Holy Spirit using language several times right comes to Paul in the green you know etc Old Testament is E.Q. has a conversation with the Spirit of God lifts them up and says things to him is ecosystems back Holy Spirit's a conversationalist he uses language. That's what people do that's what person I say people in the sense of person not in the sense of human let me clarify one thing right here some of our non entire Trinitarians feel that calling the Holy Spirit a person is somehow humanizing and turning him into a creature so understand that the word person doesn't necessarily mean human OK we have human persons angelic persons Divine persons person is someone who has this ability to think and reason and relate and love and so forth and so on. So we have different kinds of persons divine angelic human and cetera OK. Cherubim and Sarah femur types of persons so person does not imply creation it's just that you have these abilities to interact and relate this way Matthew twenty eight Holy Spirit shares a name with the father in the Son Now we've already seen the Father in the Son sharing the name you know way in Hebrews among other places interestingly in Hebrews I admit it's the only place in the New Testament but Hebrews three seven he says the Holy Spirit is speaking but when you look at some what is it ninety five that is that is being quoted in the psalm it's he always who speaking. So suddenly what psalm says is ya way speaking is now the Holy Spirit speaking so Hebrews three now ties the Holy Spirit to yah way this is why the three of them share one name. Again some would cite the greetings from I recognize there's a challenge with the seven Spirits not everybody agrees that's the Holy Spirit. But many do and so once you accept this is the Holy Spirit you have the triune greeting but I recognize there's more debate over this this is not so debatable to me I think it's pretty slam dunk OK John sixteen eight the Holy Spirit convicts of sin which is related to that pleading and intercessory type function more so the Holy Spirit or promise is going to teach. And to guide. This is the Book of Acts right where the Holy Spirit guides them go here don't go there and so forth. Back to those administrative functions and so forth. I will pray the Father said Jesus and He will give you another Counselor or comforter depending on your English translation to be with you for ever now I want to start with the word Another We have two possible Greek words we got heteros which is another a different kind difficult example Paul complains that there's another gospel of a different kind that's a false gospel floating around and he wrote to go away sions to counter that another of a different kind gospel OK if we were to make an analogy let's say we had a fruit bar up here and you went up and you got a banana and you eat your banana and you come back up to deposit the skin and get some more fruit and if you asked the server for a header Ross piece of fruit you'll get something other than a banana see it another of a different kind of fruit OK then there's also this another of the same kind for example here another parable in this change on or I'm talking with or in our fruit analogy if you come up with a banana peel you say give me an piece of fruit you would get another been in. So which one of these is the another counselor. It's alts. Now the lexicons do know that there are a few places where these two words get blurred and get used interchangeably but I see nothing in John fourteen that would allow that interchange ability and so I'm confident that our loss' another of the same kind this way now before I finish on Alice I want to look a comforter for a moment John fourteen this word is para clay toss a helper or an intercessor or an advocate this is another legal term the one who advocates for you in court. John fourteen and sixteen the comforter is the Holy Spirit the character a toss is the Holy Spirit but in first John two one I write these things to you that you may not sin but if we sin we have a what an advocate a parasite tossed same words. Jesus is parents like tossed to but because our English translates one as comforter or counselor in the others advocate you don't see it follow me OK. By the way I see a couple in spirit people who may have gotten here late this is being recorded by audio verse and they will also have the Power Point P.D.F. to go with it so if you came in late that will all be taken care of eventually back to business so both Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Para clay toss shared title scared function hint hint if Jesus is divine etc What does that tell you about the Holy Spirit. Her clay toss is a role held by a person impersonal forces are not advocates in court so with both as para clay toss Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit being an alos that is another one of the same kind as Christ if Christ is a pair of clay toss who is a person for the Holy Spirit to be a clay toss was a person of the same kind he's got to be a personal entity as well if Christ is a divine Parent Clay tell us to be another of the same kind the Holy Spirit has to be a divine and this is why Jesus says don't worry that I'm going away because he's basically saying I'm sending you my mirror image another one just like me that can be different but the point that it's another these are two separate entities. OK We have a form of modalism coming into our anti Trinitarians for their kindness some of them are saying that Jesus correction the Holy Spirit is simply Jesus returning and incarnated. With his humanity removed but that would not be another that would just be the same guy repackaged. But I will pray the Father and he's going to send this over. I one being will pray the Father second being who will send this other who will represent me third being. Right I'll take care of it he says and then he comes to us to the Holy Spirit. So some challenging tech So what's the point then I think we got overwhelming evidence that the Holy Spirit's a personal beam I don't have time for the all in white quotes where she says things like the Holy Spirit is as much a person as God is a person. She wrote to of and Dale and said that the Holy Spirit who is a person as much as God is a person is walking around the grounds observing what's going on and you find out all of the short versions in evangelism as I recall like six fifteen sixteen area. The longer versions extended out that way also by the way just as a quick aside you've got a whole bunch of Ellen White quotes where she says there are three persons the heavenly trio three persons she names him Father Son and Holy Ghost the Holy Spirit etc and when I hence an e-mail exchanges and you give them these three person quotes they just are pulling these odd quotes and throwing match to and what it is is it reminds me when I'm dealing with a non administers trying to prove the immortality of the soul and so you give your Bible study on the mortality of the soul well what do you do with absent from the body you know what do you do with the spirit returning him to the boy with with the birth there who can take it who wasn't Rachel as I recall when she was dying and or you know her spirit left her you know and then of the SOON I'M woman son the Spirit came in and so you get all these little objections with these texts right. And what's our answer. Outside of that we say we have to look at the larger political picture and then figure out how these challenging techs fit into the larger picture right he got to do the same with them in white and she paints a very trying human god she doesn't use the term Trinity because of the precision we talked about but there's no question she says three persons three persons divine trio three powers of heaven if there's a third issue and by the way she always calls the Holy Spirit the third person of the Godhead So if there's a third it's got to be two others right it's all over her see ology So whatever these other unique quotes are that might be leverage a bow we have to take in the larger picture for example. There are quotes for Ellen White says that Christ died for those who believe in him. If I take that quote out of her larger theology I can make her into a Calvinist who says Christ only dies for the elect but he did not die for everyone. So what do I have to do I go all over again white and discover so many places where she's clearly Armenian Christ died for everyone so I'm understanding that her comment about Christ dying for those who believed in him is not a restrictive comment but she's focusing on Christ relationship with his believers. Kind of thing right so we got the same issue with Trinity I'm going to say one more thing I'm ad libbing for a moment but I feel moved by the Spirit to say this. I have run into anti trinitarians who allege that the trinitarian statements in White's writings were added by the white est to be fashionable with the modern administrators a number of years ago I was doing this topic at a big A.T.'s conference in Monterey los. Mexico a couple thousand away maybe packed the place from all over Mexico and one of the representatives of the white estate I think was Marilyn Byrd. Had a Power Point from him Coyer that he presented in which they started with photograph of a quote from say desire of Ages that's Trinitarian and then the next photo was the final approved manuscript with her signature on it and showing where that quote was in the manuscript and so forth and then the pre manuscript and then the pencil on paper handwriting of Ellen White with the exact words and over and over again fifteen or twenty different Trinitarian statements they took us back literally to the hand writing of Ellen White a few others when she wrote it out by hand a secretary would transcribe it then they threw out the handwriting but then Ellen White would start editing on the secretarial typed copy and he would see her changing wording all around this Trinitarian statement and then signing off I approve this page for publication on the top or the bottom and when presented with that evidence they just tend in my and my experience to fall back and say well all that's a fabrication of the white estate and so at some point. But the white estate can definitively prove these are not additions these are in our own handwriting. So any makes sense she was a good Methodist All right couple of challenging text and then we'll wrap it up here I want to focus on model good race and the only begun issue. I did not put the firstborn in here so that could come up in Q. and A followed by the verb. And possibly basically update to in Proverbs eight very briefly. Munna going to use and touch Unitarians him heavily influenced by the King James translation only begun the assertion is that money is a compound from Monaco and the verb Oh but this is not defendable I'll tell you why in a minute the actual roots are mano which is soul only or alone and from give no mind to be or to become and hence mano being one of a kind unique the anti Trinitarians interpret. As if be gotten is the core focus or meaning see only be gotten up here and it's to be gotten to see the Bible says the sun was begun but all depends on what model going to means OK. And so I've been told that since we have to believe quote in the Only Begotten Son in order to have eternal life that if you deny the eternal be gotten this then you don't believe in the big gotten a sort of the sun and that's a salvation issue and that's why they harp on this OK because you're denying the be gotten a sieve the sun while I am denying the eternal be gotten this but not to be gotten us of the Incarnation OK which is when we get back to that so the old Latin prior to Jerome all Monell going to Isa's whether of Jesus or anybody else who are always translated with the law in eunuch us or however you say that in Latin I'm taking my best guess I have no guess I have no training but possibly uniqueness and this is the root of our word unique and means that OK So it's interesting that the early Latin fathers all understood this as the concept of unique not the concept of any kind of originating or begetting very interesting. It's Jerome who modifies mano going to ace but he only modifies it in reference to Christ all the other mano going to Ace's in the New Testament he translates with uniqueness but as soon as it's of Christ he changes it to the last and he couldn't of the Greek MUNNELL get not only be gotten but I smell a little fishing us here because he published his in eighty thirty two which is the calendar year after the final cradle form and the eternal bed and the eternal begetting is now create allies and once the eternal begetting is now create allies suddenly Jerome changes the translation from unique to only be gotten so that it reflects the creed so it's to Rome's fault that the King James says only be gotten because they took it from the Texas Receptus which is Jerome's basically manuscript outside of Jerome there is no linguistic basis for mano can ace to be connected to get. So in my thinking I think it's highly probable that Jerome alters the translation to fit the creed and that's where we get this idea of the eternal begetting it's from the Greek philosophy not from the Bible but what's interesting is our anti Trinitarians are picking up this philosophical change from the Neo-Platonists and they're calling it Biblical. If we go to the Bible the Septuagint translators only use for Time is money going to ace in the Old Testament. And they use it each time to translate the Hebrew word to go he'd which is to be unique or alone or solitary alone etc so that yeah he does always this four times they use money going east to translate you he'd However they use other words also translate your heat in other passages I want to look at the for very quickly in judges the story of just his daughter that he's about to sack or that he vows you know that he has to sacrifice in fulfillment of his vow was his only child his he he'd child. He had neither son or daughter the focus is on the solitary unique nature not that she was sired by Jep that because the word daughter and child would automatically cover the sighted The point is she's the only one he cited She's the unique one he sired because he has no others. It's verses numbers two and three the Septuagint chapters compared to our chapter in versing are different. It's saving my personal life from the dogs and the lions as metaphors of my enemies so it's a way of saying myself the money going east now becomes my self Certainly I do not beget myself with a problem here right and some twenty five I am alone or desolate and afflicted so it's not even related to the issue that's the four Old Testament uses in the New Testament Luke has three uses like chip for all of only children he was the sole child of the family so the focus is again on the uniqueness and the only miss not on the begetting in the origins Hebrews uses it of Isaac right Isaac is Abraham's mano. Son and you have to stop and say Isaac was not Abraham's only child right he had seven other sons that we know of Ishmael and six sons buckets or so what is model going nice telling us about Isaac is not telling us about who his father is the word son takes care of that the point is it's telling us that Isaac was the one of a kind unique son for two reasons his miraculous nature of his birth that the others were not someone at miraculously burst and I sick is the one through whom the promise goes which sets him apart from the seven brothers that the promise does not go through the focus is on the uniqueness of Isaac we all know he's Abraham's son the one of a kind. So when I've done this the editors to tears a comeback and focus on that only child a child but yet the word child has the beginning but not the only part where is the money going a cyst focusing on the only not the child we got another word for child my response again as we get to the term begetting from the child I've already said that. This is pretty much refreshing and again we don't begin ourselves like in the Psalms I think the overwhelming evidence if you have any kind of open mind at all model going Ace is not about getting in Origins it's about uniqueness and being one of a kind in short John No uses it five times of Christ two in John one two in John three three and one in first John in all five of these Injun are dealing with the birth and incarnate Christ where the Word became flesh and dwelt among us he's been gotten of a woman and setter in this way why is Christ unique He's the only god man virgin birth etc No one else like that so in the Bible model going to use focuses on uniqueness not origins the only miss of a child the uniqueness of a child we have good reason to think that the Christological checks are focusing on the concept of unique the one and only the one of a kind Son of God because he's sired by supernatural means without a human father which makes him literally the Son of God etc etc Oh I'm so because of the wrongful linking of Monel going east to begetting we need to have a look at all this I repeat myself some of the Guinn church fathers leverage this. Good not always a temporal or eternal beginning of the Son we talk about that and we have a singular act to be getting into and it Unitarians hence the one guy who is very blunt that the father preceded son in existence you know the masculine form is a man siring a child basically a man got a woman pregnant and babies on the way. When used in the feminine form is the woman giving birth. So it's the other end of the pregnancy. When used in the past a form that's the person being born or bursts. New Testament only uses Canano of Christ in two ways this list is dealing with him being born of a woman born of Mary being burst as a human incarnation and he were born of fornication right you know it's that or the other two three times he was quoting some to verse seven As for me this is the first line of verse six is God speaking verse seven is the Kings response to God But as for me I've set my king on Zion my holy hill I will tell of the decree the Lord said to me you are my son today I have be gotten you know these folks are asserting that this is a clear biblical reference that Christ was begun in eternity way back there somewhere and the fact that this is a coronation song that was read it every Jewish kings coronation seems to be minimized or bypassed in the process so the question is Is this a literal be getting in eternity Well if we look first of all this is a coronation song The king is being installed into office and in classic Old Testament era idea you have a superior King installing a live asshole king into office so God is the supreme king David is the vassal king to rule Israel for God Nebuchadnezzar is the supreme king he installs Jehoiakim or somebody OK And so in here God is the suzerain King is let me rephrase so whenever in in that culture you had a sovereign King installing a vassal King they always used the language of begetting and that the king is the vassal King is now becoming the son of the sovereign King it's a metaphor for being born or installed into your office OK. And so please notice that even in some two seven The king priest seeds the king being coronated preceded his begetting by the superior King he preexist his begetting has to be metaphoric he already exists and then he's he's told you're being begun. He preexist his own begetting has to be metaphor it's insulation into office it's not. A literal begetting and so some too is not dealing with the literal physical begetting of anyone three times in the New Testament we have a direct quote of this song Acts thirteen Paul's talking we bring good news that what God promised to the fathers This is Phil to us to our children by raising Jesus noticed the timing raising Jesus as also it is written in the second song You Are My son today I have begun a new so here Paul quotes song to seven and applies it to the risen Christ aka like Hebrews he's not applying it backwards in eternity he's applying it to the installation of Christ after the resurrection so again Paul is picking up the metaphoric coronation installation theology right in harmony with the song the other two texts are in Hebrews. Four to which of the angels did God ever say you are my son today I have begun a new organ I will be to him a father remember the context this is when after Christ made purification for sins and sat down so this is the same as X. This is what God is saying at the coronation of Christ into his post-resurrection kingly office so we have a two thirds majority already applying some to seven after the resurrection not a long time ago. Likewise in Hebrews five so also Christ did not exalt themselves to be made high priest but was appointed by him who said to him You are my son today I have begun you notice that the BE gotten is the equivalent of being appointed again when is this this is the post resurrection installation as the milk has a deck and High Priest exactly as per the metaphoric use in some two seven we even have the language of appointment again which is interesting because in Romans one the son is designated or appointed as such at the resurrection ironically in Romans one what's the point then let's keep going all the New Testament uses of song to all the inspired uses of some to that quote it fully always apply it to the Ascension of Christ never back in eternity that should give us a hint if we're going to follow the Bible and let it interpret itself none of them go backwards into eternity I have a whole article on this in perspective digest that we mention that expands this a little further so feel free to have at it however it's very clear from Gabriel why Jesus gets the title of Son of God Mary asked Gabriel how many going to have a baby if I haven't known the man and the A Gabriel answers the Holy Spirit will come upon you the power of the most time will overshadow if you there for the child will be point he will be called an installation naming type language holy in the Son of God another it's because this child that's God man is sired by the Holy Spirit literally be gotten by the Holy Spirit that's why he's going to be called Son of God and therefore here is Deo which is a strong inferential for this reason. Etc language. So I kind of tend to have a tendency to trust Gabriel on this one I think he might know what he's talking about. In this way so let me just come back. This way the reason Christ is called the Son of God is he's the only member of the deity who became a human Son It's the Incarnation that's going to give him this title however I want to contend from Proverbs eight that in anticipation of the Incarnation right we know the plan of salvation was made before the world was made God already had the blueprint in mind and in that blueprint Christ is going to incarnate become a baby live a human life etc etc And so in anticipation of this Proverbs eight shows us Christ back in eternity taking on those offices of the media Tauriel one and he begins to function in anticipation in this specialized role but he takes the honorific in anticipation this is why he's called son says the angel So let's go to Proverbs eight very briefly in short this is another coronation installation into office like Psalm two. First of all the irony here is that while we're talking about Christ wisdom is the symbol here and wisdom in Proverbs eight is a woman and yet symbolizing Christ verse twenty two his sister back to the English standard did a good job the Lord possessed me in the beginning so this is the equivalent of the word being with God in the beginning and when white uses this verse for the preexistence of Christ before creation. This way the word come not to acquire or possess but because theologians are struggling with this for some reason a number of your translates translations try to go with the word created but nowhere else in the Bible disk cannot connote the idea of creating. The point is that wisdom was part of who God was before he started to make anything. These people will try to connect it to Eve because she said she acquired Kanaka manchild because the name came comes from can I acquired she thinks Cain is the one she's acquired who will defeat the serpent and and so they try to make this birthing through Cain but the point of Kanada with Cain is not the birthing or begetting the point is she thinks that she has received God's promise of the seed that she's acquired the promise of the seed who will crush the head of the serpent. This way now versus twenty four and twenty five do use the Hebrew language of berthing you. Cannot open the Septuagint translated as brought forth but this is in parallel ism to the verse for the installation language in verse twenty three with the language of set up and here we have the new Fall of not suck where he is set up or installed this is the same verb in twenty six where God installs in some to the king on the throne so this is very clearly again installation language unlike some to the birthing languages metaphor for the installation and so the being born or be gotten into your office like some two is insulation However this seems to be at or before the creation and that's why saying this is showing us in that pre creation plan of salvation that's where Christ took all this Roland and mission upon himself and that's indicated by some Proverbs eight Richard Davidson has an excellent paper on this it may be in perspective Di just almost certainly on the A.T.'s site. This way but the short version is Proverbs eight is coronation it's not literal begetting and we can make a good case for it just like Psalm two so. Why are we arguing about this the theological purpose of the Trinity in my view is the same as the Second Commandment both are designed to remind us that God is not knowable through philosophy God is not knowable through reason God is too big for you to figure out God is too mysterious for you to figure out so the point of these to the actors are to humble us and say you've got to receive God as revealed and whether it makes sense to you or not doesn't matter you have to humble yourself and say I know this about God to be true but I can't understand how all these pieces fit together I find God A father got a son got a Holy Spirit I have no idea how to explain how it's one God. And if you tell me you have the answer then I know you don't know what you're talking about. Humans have always wanted to demystify God because a demystified God is a God who can control I would suggest and I'm working in my sabbatical in a book that involves the commandments and in the second commandment I'm arguing that it protects God's right to mystery and humans have wanted to violate God's right to Mystery by demystifying in making him understandable and packages and he end up like the little gods we used to have downstairs before we went to the coins little idols of people worship that I could fit in the shirt pocket. Trinity reminds us that God is a mystery you can't understand it and you just gotta accept it even though not everything makes sense to you it's a great humbling be careful that when we start defining God that's idolatry that's the image that we carve folks Idolatries alive and well. We just carve our guns out of ideas now instead of out of wood and stone. Number two. We know God through His roles God reveals Himself through how he relates to us he has not revealed Himself in His fullness to us we won't be able to stand we need to be careful not to confuse God's roles to us as his roles to each other and let me make a crude analogy the five year old child constructs a serial marriage by watching Mommy and Daddy in the kitchen and in the living room and in the car and actually grandma's house and in Walmart etc right. And they may even have some Fieri about behind the shut door of the bedroom but I'll guarantee you the five year old has no clue about the fullness of the bedroom. Right. But they formed a series by how mommy and daddy relate to them and we form a theory about how God relates to us and my counsel to you is we need to stay out of the bedroom and let God be God Otherwise it becomes a form of idolatry need to know our limits what's interesting to me is if I take the if each is fully independently etc God That means that any one of the three could do any of the other three days roll to us interesting quote from Ellen White had God the Father come to our world and wealth among us failing his glory and humbling him self that he minute he might look upon him the history that we have in the life of Christ would not have been changed in unfolding its record of his own condescending Grace she seems indicate that God the Father could have just as easily been the one and. So any of them are qualified to do anybody else's job somehow between the three of them they come up Hugo will stay and will take on these roles I think folks without the Trinity we end up with too simplistic a view of God because solace isn't tends to focus on the father and if you focus only on that side of God God becomes high mighty shocking on fearful eyes they are right I saw God on the throne both help me. Protestantism focuses on Jesus the warm intimate personal Jesus to the point they forget about the judgment of God and the sovereign aspects by the father even though Jesus in Revelation exercises those fatherly attributes he comes with swords and so bright charismatics focus on the Holy Spirit in the mystery in power of God and by focusing on one third of the Trinity they end up with a warped view of God by taking those specialties each member of the Trinity helps us see a particular dimension of God so we can put the three together and have a balanced holistic picture of God and not fall into one of those three ditches. That diminishes the Gospel in my view because if Christ is a divine son who was always under the authority of the Father sent by the father on a mission under orders he now becomes the hireling sent by God to save us instead to God of God Himself coming to save us but the glory of the Gospel in Philippines two is that Christ who in very nature is God who was equal with God gave up the rights and he qualities of deities and took the form of a servant to save people who would hate him and crucify him what more glorious story is there then an all powerful God who never has to face a no in his life whatever he wants he has a legal right and yet this god. Said no to himself and emptied himself of his sovereignty to take the lowest position to teach us about who he is but if Christ is not the highest God but as a subordinate it diminishes the glory of that story diminishes the glory right Emmanuel God we've got us. The way became flesh and dwelt among us and in personal Holy Spirit first of all I got to deal the lot of problem text in a lot of Ellen white text and if I can somehow talk myself out of I can make the Bibles and Ellen White say whatever I want them to say and I'm a sitting duck for deception if the Holy Spirit is impersonal that all that work on the Holy Spirit in me very easily starts to convert into more of a working in my substance in the Greek style and that moves us toward the pantheism of Kellogg and Wagner and so forth where Christ works literally in my flesh and being through an impersonal Holy Spirit as opposed to person to person. Mysie ology if God sends an impersonal force to me to convict me of sin and stuff then I send out impersonal evangelism to missionize the world but if the Holy Spirit late Christ is a person who comes to me personally then I model that by going out personally and meeting people personally. And I'm finally it distracts the church from its mission we're here the end of the world where everything is breaking loose marriage and sexuality is going haywire. Legal and spiritual issues all over the place and we're so narrow minded that all we can do is argue about the administers fathers in the Trinity God help us we got more important things to be about. Going to ad lib a final comment. Not on the slides as the last line. This is my nineteenth year at Southern for the last seventeen to eighteen years I've been going out regularly around the Southern Union to churches to a system with this issue most of the nun or anti Trinitarians that I have encountered tend to be older and I say that with care because I'm realizing in the mirror that I'm a lot of kids view me now as older you know the big six zero is not far away. But a lot of these people are gray haired sixty seventy fifty sixty seventy a lot of these people are long term Adventists again not all but a lot of our long term madness but a lot of them were brought into the church when I was a kid and the way we brought people in the church was to tell everything we opposed we oppose pork. We oppose the pope. We oppose Sunday we oppose alcohol right and our identity spiritually was formed our spirituality tended to be oppositional list and we defined ourselves by what we opposed more than by what we stood for. OK And some of us old heads know what I'm talking about right and the problem is it's become out of fashion to bash the pope and a lot of these people have been avenues so long they have known and haven't his friends but their spirituality requires that they oppose something and find something wrong with something and that opposition to the spirituality is turned nihilistic against their own church and it's possible that there may be an element of pride that my great intelligence I'm going to figure got out once and for all I'm going to be the right one against the majority who are wrong and I think it's this I'm the right part of this little elite against the majority. Is a key spirituality that I find repeatedly in this movement we should be defined by following Christ not by what we oppose now because I follow a Christ I'm going to oppose some things right but the point is my definition should be from following Christ not from opposing I can oppose without Christ I can oppose him be spiritually dead Paul right and he said I had to give up all that stuff in order to find Christ in His righteousness and for me to fit into that new model let's be careful that we know who we are in positive terms instead of defining ourselves in opposition to his terms it's the oppositional is terms that distract us from our mission because it will always turn nihilistic when we have no where outside enemy to oppose. And it's this nihilism that's erupting all over the church to. 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