Friday, April 03, 2015

The Trinity: How Well Do You Know the true God?

Some time ago, I stated the following here at the What is Truth blog: 

 As a believer, you are to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ, and of the Triune God revealed through Christ (2 Peter 3:18, etc.)  You are to love your God with all your mind, as well as all your soul and all your strength.  How well do you know the Triune God?  The following review questions, part of the students’ preparation for the final exam in the course I (relatively) recently finished teaching on the Trinity may give you a sense of your knowledge of God the Trinity.  For answers to these questions, watch or listen to the class audio or video, and examine the linked and uploaded class materials, here.

I then asked a series of questions that believers, and in particular those who are involved in the ministry, ought to be able to answer.  The following are the rest of the questions.  Can you answer them?  If not, I encourage you to learn of the true God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, by listening to the lectures from the college course on Trinitarianism here; consider reading the textbooks also.  Your mind, your evangelism, and your devotional life just might be changed for the better.

27.) Exposit the New Testament passages (other than the texts corrupted by the Greek critical text) where Jesus Christ is called “God.”  Explain and refute Arian attempts to escape the significance of these passages.  Give significant detail on each of these passages.

28.) Refute both Arianism and modalism and prove Trinitarianism from Matthew 28:18-20.

29.) Explain the pervasive character of the NT witness to the Deity of Christ.  Give examples.

30.) Give at least five examples of texts that deal with Christ’s attributes, that deal with Christ’s works, and that deal with descriptions of Christ, that prove His Deity.

31.) State the major Arian categories of argument against the Deity of Christ, and refute their arguments.

32.) Explain in detail why each of the key Arian proof-texts against the Deity of Christ fail to establish Arianism.

33.) Prove, with at least seven lines of evidence, the Personality of the Holy Spirit, against Unitarianism.  Then prove, with multiple lines of evidence, His Deity.  Refute Arian objections and attempts to escape the validity of these conclusions.  Include texts that deal with His attributes, texts that deal with His works, and texts that deal with descriptions of Him.  Passages that prove both His Personality and Deity can be employed in relation to the proof of both truths.  Do not use texts employed in other related questions of similar character.

34.) “Since the Holy Spirit can be ‘poured out,’ the Spirit is not a Person.”  Refute this argument with at least one specific counter-example.

35.) How do modern Arians argue against the Personality and Deity of the Spirit?  Why are their arguments invalid?  Give and refute specific examples of anti-Trinitarian argumentation.  Do not include the immediately preceding argument as an example for this question.

36.) Reproduce Owen’s definition of communion with God.

37.) Is prayer addressed directly to the Person of the Holy Spirit the model for prayer in Scripture?  Is it lawful?  In answering this question, explain Owen’s position and argument.

38.) What is Luke 11:13 talking about in relation to the believer’s fellowship with the Holy Spirit?  How is this passage misused—including by Owen?

39.) Explain why a non-Trinitarian piety is sub-Christian.  How close should the Trinity be to the center of a believer’s devotional life?  How does a Trinitarian piety protect the believer from dry rationalism and fanatical or pantheistic mysticism?

40.) Explain the connection between the revelation of Trinitarian ontology in Scripture and the revelation of Trinitarian economy in Scripture for Christian piety.

41.) Prove from Scripture that the believer has distinct communion with all three Persons of the Trinity.

42.) What is the classical doctrine of Appropriations? How do the distinct roles of the Persons in the economic Trinity relate to distinct communion?

43.) What is the difference between affirming that the believer has distinct communion with the Trinitarian Persons and affirming that the believer has exclusive communion with any one of the Three?  Which position is true, and why?

44.) How does the believer hold distinct communion with the Father?  Explain both the distinct ways in which the Father reveals Himself to the believer and the believer’s distinct return to Him.  Prove your position from Scripture.

45.) What are four distinguishing qualities in the attribute wherein Owen affirms the believer has distinct communion with the Father?  What are the specific ways in which Owen breaks down the believer’s return to the Father of what the Father holds out to him?

46.) How does the believer hold distinct communion with the Son? Explain both the distinct ways in which the Son reveals Himself to the believer and the believer’s distinct return to Him. Prove your position from Scripture.

47.) What are the two main divisions into which Owen divides the way the believer holds distinct communion with the Son?  What two things in Christ are focused upon in these two main divisions?  Break down, within these two main divisions, what the Son distinctly holds out to the believer and what the believer returns to the Son.

48.) What type of unity is unveiled, according to Owen, in John 17:20-23?  What significance does this have for Christian living?

49.) How does the believer hold distinct communion with the Holy Ghost?  Explain both the distinct ways in which the Holy Spirit reveals Himself to the believer and the believer’s distinct return to Him.  Prove your position from Scripture.


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