ESSAYS, ISLAM, RELIGION

TRINITY. [guest post: D. Marwick]

The First Cause is a Trinity: no more, no less.

Most of us have been exposed to an image of “God” as a stern old man with flowing white hair and beard, sitting in a flash chair in the clouds, presumably tone deaf because of all the naked babies blaring trumpets all around.

How terribly difficult it is to create a visual image to represent an incomprehensible “Isness”. Who can draw a picture of I AM WHO AM? Sure, there are pictures representing God the creator, God the Redeemer, God the Judge…. and all that, still incomprehensible to the worldly-wise who assume that “God” is ‘becoming’ according to their fancies.

I start from pure logic: “A thing that does not exist cannot cause itself to exist”: and its corollary “an effect cannot be greater than its cause(s)”. Things (like you and I) obviously exist and we cannot cause ourselves. The Sun and all the stars do not cause themselves; indeed, they would not be stars if they weren’t dissipating themselves by pumping prodigious amounts of matter and energy into cold Space.

Everything that is changing or is changeable that exists must have an anterior cause that is greater than itself……… except the Uncaused First Cause. Anything else is logically absurd and scientifically impossible according to all the relevant Laws of Nature.

As we well know from bitter experience in the cruel physical world entropy runs the show. Every physical ‘happening’ dissipates energy and order.

For example:
The best (most succinct and precise) definition (description) of entropy is as it occurs in the “Second Law of Thermodynamics”; “All ordered systems, left to themselves, tend toward maximum randomness and lowest energy (potential or differential)”. That means that order naturally tends to degenerate into randomness (disorder) and energy potential tends to dissipate into a uniformity without potential because there’s nowhere of lower potential left to go to…

Because energy must be dissipated in the establishment and maintenance, or sustaining, of an orderly system some con men with an ideology to sell will try to pretend that the energy consumed in the process creates the order. A sly mental trick.

Let’s propose some practical examples to illustrate the process.

Most mothers like to have an orderly home. Order in her home requires:
1. An intellect to conceive the order.
2. The will to want the order.
3. The capacity, or power, to implement or bring about the order.

Now, that poor Mum who has been toiling away for years to install and maintain the order suddenly finds herself confronted by a clever-dick progeny who’s been to school and learned that energy spontaneously creates order. Smarty tries to convince Mum that letting off a bomb (great release of energy) in the middle of her expertly managed domain, will spontaneously create order and she’ll never have to tidy up again. Good luck with that one Smarty.

Or let’s lift great weights to great heights. An intellect comes up with an idea of a crane to do the job. Skilled minds and hands divert energy and materials to make the machine using entropy in every step of the process. Smarty, with the benefit of his recently acquired great insights, comes along and proclaims that –  because the energy to build and operate the crane comes, ultimately, from the Sun then –  the Sun built the crane. Now, I just happen to know for sure that Central Australia gets lots and lots of solar energy but not one giant crane has ever spontaneously appeared in the desert.

“Oh well”, counters Smarty, “that only applies to non-biological systems. Energy applied to biological systems creates an increase in order and complexity opposed to entropy”. Smarty has never heard of the “Law of Morphology” (which is really only entropy applied to biological systems) which says, simply, that “the more complex an organism and the more often it is reproduced, the more likely it is that something will go wrong in the process”.

So, the thousands of generations of drosophila (fruit flies) that have been subjected to every imaginable radiation ‘stimulus’ to produce ‘sped up’ ‘evolution’ have only ever produced some wreckage of their DNA or genome… not one super-human spaceman.

Ultimately, untold thousands of generations of diligent and wise housekeeping Mums are in tune with reality… the Smarties are not.

Order is a product of Intellect, Will, and Life.

So whence come this Life, Intellect and Will? We all know from simple observation that all these metaphysical ‘things’ or ‘stuff’ exist because we all have them and they order dumb physics and chemistry into live bodies, magnificent corals and cathedrals… none of which can create itself out of nothing.

Enter the Uncaused First Cause… that is, the ultimate cause of everything but Himself. He must be eternal because (by definition) He has no cause. He must be unchangeable because there’s nothing “big” enough to cause a change. He must be infinite because, outside, or beyond Him and His Work there is no more of anything.

This great Power (Life) must also be the great Intellect because “things” are carefully crafted to “work” as they do, and He must be the great Will because without the “I want it” there is no action, or result.

Most of us have some “idea” of who and what we are and, for most of us (diabolical narcissists excepted), our “idea” of ourselves bears some resemblance to the “fact” of self.

The infinite Being with the infinite Intellect, however, has an “idea” of Himself that is precisely what He is… no glitch or error. Everything the same. The Second Person; distinct but inseparably integral.
The First Person knows exactly Who He is and that knowledge is the Second Person, or “the Word” as sometimes called in Scripture.

So God “knows” the absolute perfection of everything which is Himself… and He loves that perfection that is the very definition of “goodness”. The greatest act of love is the gift of self. We see it in very muted form here on Earth with the gift of self in spouses and parents, and patriots. A gift must have a receiver of the gift and the receiver must be able to accept the gift. The First Person gifts Himself as does the Second Person and that gift of self to each other with no reservations or glitches or blips is precisely God in every sense. The Third Person.

There can be no more and there can be no less.

Any “God” that is not a Trinity, that is, the “God” of Jews and Muslims is a Satan pretending to be God. There is no possibility that a Supreme Being could not know and love goodness.

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7 thoughts on “TRINITY. [guest post: D. Marwick]

  1. All but the last, I can understand and accept. The God of the Jews is God the Father. Before He manifested His only begotten Son, He was the only part of the Trinity that was known. And only to the Jews. It is a great sadness that the Jewish People did not accept the Messiah. We should pray for them too. It was He, the Son, who revealed the Holy Spirit to us.

    While the Trinity ‘was’, is and always will be, before our knowledge of the Trinity, the knowledge amongst men was not complete. It still isn’t We too develop our knowledge and understanding as we progress through God’s plan for the redemption not just of mankind but of His entire creation.

    As for the mohammedans, they are in thrall to satan. They are born into slavery and have only those human failing emotions useful to satan of hatred, anger, envy and spite. For these poor folk Jesus came too. While we must fight them on the battlefield of the soul, we must not give in to hatred or anger. There is only their action to hate. There is nothing about them to envy. We are required to love them. Pass the ammunition and pray for their souls.

    And our own.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oldavid says:

    Very well said, Amfortas. However, I think that the Trinity, although not explicitly stated in the OT is certainly implied. I will also contend that, even if it were not proclaimed in Revelation, the wise and holy would have deduced it anyhow.

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  3. Quite understandable that, over a 2000 year history of encounters with God, the chosen people gave no recognition to the Holy Spirit as a separate entity. But they recognized something, for they wrote of Him a multitude of times. Sometimes the Breath [Ruah] of God, but oftimes sent [permitted] by God for negative purposes [e.g. upon Saul]. Sometimes the Spirit was ‘of’ YHWH, other times He was ‘from’ YHWH.

    From Genesis to Judges[3.10] and Kings [1Sam] and Prophets [Is 61], It remained a charismatic Force, with no substance of personhood. Seemingly, the best they could reasonably accept was that a distinct Spirit existed but was yet to come with the Messiah: “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him [Is 9]”.

    Christ Himself spoke definitively of the individuality and separateness of the Holy Spirit, yet even His followers could not absorb this. Perhaps they didn’t until Pentecost. However, to hold to the claim that the Spirit was not revealed as Separateness until Jesus revealed Him is to forget that 30 years before Christ’s birth came those words that the most average Catholic recognizes: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you”…..now getting impregnated by an entity is pretty personal and Mary chose freely to accept this awe-ful two-person act. Not so for our first ‘reasonable and wise’ leaders for it was only a promise for them that, “I will pray the Father and He will give you another Counselor [Jn 14]”.

    Thus, the ‘wise and holy’ for so long did not recognize the Third Divine Person even with existential Revelation. Reasonableness doesn’t cut it – and since we humans are so thick the LORD has understood our feeble mindedness and given us the Gift of Faith, Revelation, the Sacraments, Redemption, the Church, and Sanctifying Grace. The Apostles had to be awakened to the Personhood of the Spirit with Tongues Of Fire. The only one who accepted the LORD’S Will with scant evidence was Our Blessed Lady and it was She who first revealed the Truth of the Holy Spirit’s Personhood.

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  4. Oldavid says:

    John,
    There is no way that the Persons of the Trinity can be described as separate or separable. Distinct, yes. The Knowledge of Self and the Gift of Self are of the one Nature and integral to the Self known and gifted. One Being, three Persons. It can only be “realised” in the infinite perfection of Life, Truth and Love, although we see dim shadows of it in Man created in His image and likeness.

    If we start to think of any kind of “separateness” we lapse into the Eastern Orthodox absurdity that the Father gifts Himself to the Son and that gift of Self is not reciprocated in the Son. In other words, the Father does what the Son cannot do (gift Himself) and the Son does what the Father cannot do (receive the gift) and the Gift is neither the “spiration” of the Father nor the Son. From there it is only a short step to the blasphemous scoffing of the Jews and Muslims and non-theists where you have a grotesque caricature of a “thing” with three heads, or something similar.

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  5. David,

    If my comment were an expression of dogma it would be heretical. I did not write in the vein of dogmatic hermeneutics. Nowhere do I claim that……”The Church teaches…..”.

    My own usage of ‘separateness’ has the intention of re-enforcing ‘distinctness’ [which term I use] and makes no reference to the property Divine Nature. Albeit, that I do not use Catechism terminology. I am aware of Trinitarian dogma and use arbitrary descriptiveness unintended as dogmatic definition.

    Any language used which is not the Church’s Latin is problematic, especially English which contains so many synonyms. I use ‘separateness’ not as ‘apartness’ but as ‘distinctness’. One is entitled to ask me what I mean, but not to tell me what I mean.

    The Latin ‘separare’ has the English synonymous meaning ‘make distinct’ as well as ‘take apart’ and it is the former term I intended. In fact, etymologically, the expression ‘to get ready’ has the Latin root of ‘se-parare’, which example is problematic of interpretation.

    Further, the Latin ‘distinctus’ is etymologically the synonymous root of ‘separate, apart, not alike’, but I have not used it as such, just as you wouldn’t to define ‘Distinct’. Rather, I intend it as ‘difference’, another valid synonym over which an argument can be mounted.

    My comment is not a dogmatic interpretation of the Trinity but a “commentary” addressing the issue of the patriarchal and apostolic encounter and recognition of the Holy Spirit.

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  6. Oldavid says:

    Good! We got that sorted then.
    I prefer to try and use descriptions and terminology that does not easily lend itself to “reinterpretation”.

    Getting bogged in Latin derivatives only tends to reinforce the common view that philosophy is esoteric mumbo-jumbo that is practically meaningless to real people in the real world.

    I certainly agree, though, with your insinuation that the real meaning of the ideas is best preserved in a “dead” language like Latin where the meaning is “frozen” in words that are not constantly changing with colloquial use and misuse.

    Perhaps we could have a ding-dong row over how (or if) those ideas should be translated into the vernacular but I can’t see much point in that. We’ve already had much fun in arguing over which words of the vernacular are appropriate.

    I don’t like the term “difference” being applied to the Persons of the Trinity either. It implies a kind of difference like a man and woman. Both Mankind alright but, woo-hoo! they sure are different! (and I’m glad for that).

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