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Many Athenasian Trinitarians try to claim that their belief is not "modalism" by narrowly defining the modalist view as what is actually the more specific Sabellian Modalism as 'God represented through three identities at separate times.' However, modalism does not actually require that he represents himself at 3 different times. Only Sabellian Modalism has that requirement. Just because the Sabellian form of modalism is the first does not make it the only form. Saying that God is 3 co-equal personages in one substance does nothing to distinguish the Trinity from modalism.
What is rather clumsily labeled "non-modalism non-tritheism" is actually just a merging of modalism and tritheism into what has been dubbed "tri-modalism". The tritheism aspect is to say that there are 3 personages, each called "God". But the so-called "non-modalism non-tritheism" merely adds the words "they are of the same substance". Thus, all you're doing by adding "the three are the same substance" is creating a nonsensical tritheic modalism.
If I create 3 separate clay statues, then they are of the same substance, but the fact is that they remain to be 3 separate clay statues. (Triadic) Or if I shape 3 figures on a single base, they remain one piece of clay with 3 shapes. (Modalism) If I create 3 separate statues that link together, they remain to be 3 separate statues that are merely interlocking. (Triadic)
Likewise, 3 different humans are of the same substance and can even share the same DNA if they are triplets or clones, but they remain to be 3 different humans. If I say that the 3 are Siamese triplets, they are still 3 separate beings whose bodies are fused by a genetic defect. If I say that a being has two arms and a leg, those things remain to be the same being controlled by a central control node, usually a brain. If you say that three have some kind of mental bond, then it is either 3 persons (Triadic) with a psychic connection or one consciousness (Modal) controlling 3 bodies. It can only be one or the other, not both.
Consider the central control node. If the 3 are indeed the same being, then there is a central control node, thus modal. If there is no central control node, then either all 3 are separate control nodes (triadic) that work together equally or they act as 3 distinct central control nodes, thus triadic.
So to say that "the 3 are God" is a modalist statement no matter how you look at it. To say that the 3 are separate is a tritheistic statement no matter how you look at it. Merging them to say that the "3 are God and also separate" merely muddies the issue because they cannot be reconciled without recognizing that they are either modal or tritheistic, not both or neither. If modal, then the Scriptures contradict it. (John 14:28 [par|int]) If tri-theistic, then the Scriptures contradict it. (1 Timothy 2:5 [par|int]) If both, the scriptures contradict both simultaneously. (1 Corinthians 8:5, 6 [par|int]) If neither, then there is no Trinity, but a single God who expresses himself only one way, which the Scriptures do support. (John 17:3 [par|int])
Since Jesus is not God, but a representative of God, and holy spirit is merely a force controlled by God, then there is neither triad nor modal expression. This is the only non-modal non-pantheon that can be.
The Father and Son QuestionAthenasian Trinitarians try to ask: "Do you believe that a human son is less human than his father?" The answer is obviously "No". Then, thinking that they can trap us, they ask, "Then how can Jesus as God’s Son be less God than His Father is God?" Since we do not believe that Jesus is "God", this question is completely meaningless. But in response to the first question, we can simply ask, "Is a human father the same as the Son?" Obviously not. But they are of the same race, but remain to be two distinct persons who can either share the same goals or not, but they are not the same human as Trinitarians try to claim that Jesus and the Father are the same God. Jesus is of the same substance of the Father in the sense that he is spirit, just like all the angels, but he is not the true God.
A Hierarchy or "Co-equal"? — ChooseThese same ones, in order to overcome John 14:28 [par|int], developed the claim that the Trinity is presented as a "hierarchy" with the Father at the top and holy spirit at the bottom. But this presents a substantial problem to the claim that the 3 are one and that the three are "co-equal". This Trinity hierarchy claims that the Father has higher authority than the Son. The nature of a hierarchy is that the one in the ascension has greater authority, and NOT equal to the one over whom they have authority. If they are "co-equal", if they are 3 co-equal identities of one substance as the so-called "non-modal non-tritheistic" Trinitarians believe, then there is no room for there to be a hierarchy as if they are 3 separate and not co-equal personages.
Thus, when Jesus said, "The Father is greater than I am," (John 14:28 [par|int]) he was either stating a fundamental fact about his distinction from the Father as a separate personage, being truly non-modal and non-tritheistic, or he was lying. Which do you think we should believe? Either there is a hierarchy of separate beings or they are "co-equal". You can't have it both ways.
The Non-Infinite God PieAthenasian Trinitarianism causes God to be less than infinite because 3 separate beings cannot all 3 be infinite even and especially if "of the same substance" without being modal expressions of the infinite. As explained in Part 8: Failed Logic of the Trinity, under "Multiplying Errors", there can be only one thing that is infinite. Anything produced from the infinite is by its nature of separation from the infinite both a finite and a created thing. Therefore, what is infinite cannot be divided into 3 parts, nor can 3 infinite things exist simultaneously.
The modalist view is that 1 infinite thing expresses itself in 3 finite representations, which is not beyond the realm of possibility. The tritheistic view is that 3 finite things act in unison. This, of course, is also not impossible. But the so-called "non-modalist non-tritheistic" view is that 3 finite things are together infinite, which is indeed impossible by the math of it.
Can you add 3 numbers up to get an infinite number? Of course not. Thus, inversely, infinity also cannot be divided into 3 equal or "co-equal" parts. Either only one of the 3 is infinite or all 3 are finite. If you divide a pie into 3 parts, you have 3 different pieces of pie that were once a part of a whole, but are no longer such. Also, that pie was finite, not infinite.
Tri-modal NodesThe best logical explanation for the Trinity, though fitting what modern Trinitarians describe is what they reject. What is most often described in the Trinity is not that the 1 is in 3 (modal), but that the 3 are in 1. (Tri-modal) This would indicate a hive mind, which is defined as a collective working together to produce a single consciousness. So let’s say that the Father, Son and holy spirit act with consensus. They each contribute their input and the group agrees on the final action. Or else each one acts independently in accord with the group dynamic. Or they each surrender their consciousnesses as nodes for the greater consciousness. The first two concepts are tri-theistic, and the third is both tri-theistic and modal, exactly the opposite of the description of the Trinity as “non-modal non-tritheism”, contradicting the common claim.
The problem this creates, and likely the reason Trinitarians reject it, is that no individual in the hive is actually the hive. The individuals surrender to the consciousness of the hive, so that there remains to be one consciousness controlling 3 persons, thus becoming modal once again, but at the same time, the consciousness is being controlled by the 3 individuals acting in harmony. If the three decided to stop acting in harmony, the collective consciousness would cease to exist. Thus, it is simply an illusion generated by 3 gods acting in harmony and the hive consciousness is only an illusion reflected by the decisions agreed upon collectively or according to their respective organs.
Even still, this is exactly what is described by modern Trinitarians when they say "the 3 are in 1". If the Trinity were consistently described this way, it would make sense and there would be no question whether the 3 could be counted as a single entity. However, most Trinitarians reject this viewpoint, thus completing the view that the majority view about the Trinity is impossible, illogical and indefensible.
The only defense the Trinity seems to utilize is to not allow it to be clearly defined. Anytime someone comes up with a decent description, they add a rule that makes it elusive in an attempt to impede the ability to dismantle it by faithful monotheists.
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