Damascene Cosmology – Conclusion


We now come to the end St. John’s cosmological argument. We see that all things must either be created or uncreated. There simply is no in-between for them. Something cannot be not created and not uncreated; it must be created or uncreated.

We also know that if something is mutable it is created and if something is immutable then it is uncreated. If it is mutable, it requires a creator because we know that an infinite regress is impossible. The immutable creator, however, is not subject to an infinite regress because he would not be compose of parts or changes and therefore could not be measured by time.

Everything that falls within our experience and all possible objects that could exist that we have yet to experience all require a creator. Such a creator would be, by necessity, God.

But this argument does not leave Christianity void and empty. We know that the Christian God does not change and in being Trinitarian he is the only possible God in existence if God is loving. We know that God did not change in the Incarnation, but rather he changed us.

To the Christians who have read this, I hope that it has strengthened your faith beyond measure. I hope mostly that rather than giving you ammunition to use in some apologetic debate, it has forced you to sit and contemplate on God and grow in him. To those who have sat on the fence, unsure of whether or not God exists, I hope that this removed your intellectual doubts. I hope that it has opened up the path for you to discover Jesus as he is, free from the skepticism of whether or not he existed. I hope you can now embrace that he exists and from there you can discover the beauty that is Christ. To those who remain unconvinced, I hope you at least see that Christianity is reasonable and logically solid. Even if you disagree with my premises, I would hope you see that the argument is sound and would abandon your cries that Christianity is illogical. I hope you have gained a new-found respect for the intellectual capability of Christianity, that we do not accept everything by blind faith, but test all things. To those who are skeptical, hold hostile feelings towards Christianity, and still find Christianity to be stupid, I pray that you will embrace civility and reason. To all, I pray that these arguments either make your current relationship with God deeper or would open you up to have a relationship with him, for intellectual acknowledgement is not enough; we must love him as he has loved us. Continue reading

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Damascene Cosmology – On the Trinity



Before we can understand the Incarnation and how God did not change in the Incarnation, we must first understand the Trinity. This is certainly no easy task for quite a few reasons. First, I am writing in a limited space, so even if we could comprehend God, I would not accomplish this in so few pages.

Secondly, we cannot comprehend God, so I cannot really explain the Trinity. What I can explain is what has been revealed, but I cannot explain the Trinity and how the three persons function. Rationalists need not apply in attempting to understand the Trinity or looking at the Trinity; the Trinity is a mystery and therefore cannot be comprehended.

The third reason this is not an easy task is that while what we can know of the Trinity is substantial, space and time are limited. St. Hilary of Poitiers spent the modern equivalent of 300 pages writing about the Trinity. St. Augustine spent the equivalent of nearly 500 pages writing about the Trinity. Yet both men felt that their works were inadequate. I am using only a fraction of space to write about the Trinity as these two great thinkers did, so I am positive that my explanation will be inadequate.

Regardless of the inadequacies, I will attempt to explain the Trinity to the best of my knowledge. It is my hope that in understanding the Trinity we can gain a better understanding of the Incarnation and in so doing we can understand how Christian theology does not contradict the Damascene Cosmological argument. Continue reading

The Centrality of the Trinity in the Hope of Humanity


Too often in evangelical Christian circles salvation is thought of as a pit stop rather than as an invitation into a relationship with the Triune God; the Bible is quite clear that humanity has salvation from Christ on the cross, who died in order to open a way for humans to be adopted by God. Paul lays out an incredible summary of salvation in Galatians 4:3-7. Paul’s summary shows that without Christ both natural revelation and written revelation were inadequate to open a relationship to God. All either revelation did was open humanity up to condemnation. However, since humanity’s sins were committed against God, He sent His Son to become a human, live under the human curse, and serve as a sacrifice. Once Christ raised from the grave, God then sent His Spirit to indwell the new believers, not so that they would be robots, but instead that they would act like children of God. Paul’s intention in Galatians is to show that salvation is much more than saying a prayer (though a prayer is a beginning), but rather salvation is an invitation into a family.

Paul’s summarization of the Christian faith, found in Galatians 4:3-7, reads as such:

In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.[1]

In order to understand the passage, one must first understand the immediate context of the passage in the book of Galatians. Paul was writing to a diverse group composed of both Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians. Galatians stands out as almost unique among the epistles as it was written to an eclectic congregation made up of both Jewish converts and former pagan.[2] The main theme of Galatians, however, was to combat some who were saying that Christians had to be circumcised in order to truly be saved. These false teachers were saying that one had to obey the Law of Moses even after one came to Christ. Galatians 4 serves to combat the belief that the Law was still necessary for salvation, with Paul using imagery of slavery and sonship, indicating that those under the Law are slaves while those under grace are adopted sons of God.

Paul’s concern for the Galatians is found in the first chapter of Galatians, where he expresses how upset he is that some in the church were already turning away (Galatians 1:3). The entire first chapter of Galatians speaks of the dangers of pursuing a Gospel other than the one taught by the Apostles. He follows his teaching by relating a story in the second chapter of how the Apostles had given him the charge to go to the gentiles. What is interesting is that he points out that when Peter and other prominent Christians began to act superior to the gentiles, Paul chastised them for justifying themselves by works rather than by faith. In the third chapter, Paul puts an emphasis on the fact that Christians are saved by faith and not by the works of the Law, with the fourth chapter serving to show more of the dangers of following the Law. Both the fifth and sixth chapters of Galatians state that Christians live in liberty and that though they struggle against their sinful desires, they should still seek to please God by loving Him, avoiding sin, and doing good to others.

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A New Year’s Resolution…Of Sorts


My goal for this year, or for at least the first half of the year, is to develop more on the theory that a belief in the Trinity is the foundation of a proper spiritual life. For whatever reason (possibly due to Peter Lombard and scholasticism), the doctrine of the Trinity has been treated as something for the intellects. After all, when was the last time you heard a sermon on the Trinity, not just how we describe this aspect of God, but how the Trinity is central to a proper spiritual life?

What bothers me is how often I hear the innumerable analogies shelled out to describe the Trinity (I myself have been guilty of such analogies). There are some who say, “Well, I am a father, brother, and son, but still one person,” but this analogy fails because it describes the heresy of modalism, or that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are simply roles instead of distinct persons. Others try to say, “Well, I am body, soul, and spirit, just like God is Father, Son, and Spirit,” (which, we are not tripartite beings; we are only two substances, material and immaterial, so the analogy fails from the get-go), but this too is a heresy. It teaches that Father, Son, and Spirit are substances of God and not persons of God. No matter how we cut it, any analogy we use will only analogize a heretical view of God, but will never come close to describing what the Trinity is like.

One of the most difficult thing for Westerners to understand is that there is nothing in all of creation that is analogous to God’s essence. The Trinity is truly unique, but He still provides a lesson for us in His nature. Though He is one in essence, He is three in persons, thus God is truly a “He/They” which is a mystery. Being a mystery, however, does not exclude this doctrine from being essential to the Christian life.

I hope to show that our misunderstanding of the Trinity in the modern era is most likely what lies at the root of our problems as a Church. If we were to truly understand the Trinity and the role of the Incarnation in our relationship to the Trinity and then act upon such knowledge, then I believe many problems within the Church would disappear. I believe that it is not only necessary to embrace the Trinity (even in a most primitive teaching) in order to have salvation, I believe one cannot properly live as a Christian without accepting the doctrine of the Trinity.

To ensure I follow through on this resolution, I am currently reading Augustines De Trinitate (“The Trinity”) where he proposes the theory that the Trinity is central to all Christian doctrine; without the Trinity, Christianity begins to fall apart. My hope is that later this year I can post a paper discussing what I have discovered and the conclusions I have come to.