Friday, July 05, 2013

How well do you know your Triune God?

The following are questions from the midterm review for the Trinitarianism course being posted to my website.  They relate to the definitional and historical sections from the first portion of the course, and also deal with the sanctifying power of knowing the Trinity.  Can you answer these questions?  How well do you know God--do you love Him with all your mind, as well as your soul and the rest of your being?  How does deep knowledge of the Trinity lead to greater holiness of life?  Get answers to these questions by listening to the course lectures and reading the course handouts here.

1.) What is the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton, and why?

2.) Why is it important to believe in the Trinity?

3.) You should be able to know the definitions of the Trinity given in your handouts well enough that you can see if any of them have been altered, and should understand all the central terms in them;  that is, you should be able to recognize and understand key information about the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, the Nicene Creed, the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed (including the Filioque added at the Council of Toledo), the Chalcedonian Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.  You should have the short definition memorized:  “One God in essence who eternally exists in three distinct Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

4.) Which of these terms pertain to the oneness of God, and which to the threeness of God?  Essence; substance; person; nature; being; ousia; subsistence; hupostasis; Godhead; incarnation

5.) Defend the use of the terms in the above question Biblically.

6.) What does mia ousia, tres hupostaseis mean?

7.) Define and explain the significance of the terms homoousios, homoiousios, and heteroousios, and state who believes in which term(s), and which one is the correct one.

8.) The Personal distinction in God is greater than the distinction of ___________ but less than the distinction of __________.

9.) What are the identifying particularities, personal properties, and/or personal relations of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit?

10.) In what context did the doctrine of the Trinity develop?

11.) Define the following terms and state their significance in church history: Arianism;  Sabellianism; dyophisitism; monarchianism; modalism; subordinationism; dyothelitism; Nestorianism; Apollinarianism; monophysitism; monothelitism; Unitarianism;  Patripassianism.

12.) Give three passages where Jesus Christ is worshipped in the New Testament.

13.) Give a passage where the unity of the three Persons of the Trinity is defined as greater than that of mere agreement.

14.) Name some of the key modern advocates of the two major anti-Trinitarian heresies.  What imbalance leads advocates of these heresies into their false doctrines?

15.) Do most orthodox, Bible-believing Trinitarians place a high value on illustrations of the Trinity from things in this world?  Why or why not?

16.) Do the Father, Son, and Spirit each possess 1/3 of the Divine essence?  Why or why not?

17.) Can Trinitarian terminology that is not explicitly found in the text of Scripture be defended?  Why or why not?

18.) Define the economic and the ontological Trinity.  Is there subordination in the economic or ontological Trinity?  What is the connection between the manner of working of the Trinity in the economic Trinity and the order of Persons in the ontological Trinity?

19.) Provide some basic information about Origen.  How was he significant in the history of the doctrine of the Trinity?

20.) What did Arius believe about Jesus Christ’s Deity and humanity?

21.) What is the level of unity in Christ as the God-Man, and what is the level of distinction?

22.) Define communicatio idiomatum or the “Communication of Properties” in Jesus Christ, and provide Biblical support for this truth.

23.) Is there a distinction between the terms Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit?

24.) What is the difference between a Logos-sarx and a Logos-anthropos (Word-flesh & Word-man) Christology?  Which is Biblical, and why?

25.) What is the hypostatic union?

26.) What is the Trinitarian perichoresis or circumincession?

27.) Is Mary the mother of God?  Why or why not?  How was this question played out in church history?

28.) Were the ancient Trinitarian creeds made by true churches, and if so/if not, what is the significance of this fact for the authority of the creeds?

29.) What is the difference between ad intra and ad extra distinctions in the Trinity?

30.) What is spiration as it pertains to the Trinity?

31.) What do the writings of the Apostle John reveal about knowing, understanding, and believing in the ontological and economic Trinity and sanctification?  Provide texts from the writings of John to support your position.

32.) What is the difference between successive and simultaneous modalism?

33.) Who says Jesus Christ is Michael the Archangel?  Why is this false?

34.) What is the problem modern Seventh Day Adventists have on the Trinity?

35.) Did the Trinity come from paganism?  What sort of evidence is advanced for this idea, and why is it false?

36.) How can you respond to those who say that the Trinity came from Platonism?

37.) What are some of the problems with the historical analysis in the Watchtower Society’s Should You Believe in the Trinity?

38.)  What are the dates of the Council of Nicea, the Council of Constantinople, the Council of Chalcedon, and the Council of Toledo?  Approximately when was the Athanasian Creed written?

39.) Prove from the Scripture that Jesus Christ is prayed to and explain why that requires His Deity.

40.) Prove from the Scripture that when Jesus Christ is called “the Son of God” the Bible is teaching that Christ is equal in nature to the Father, not teaching that Jesus Christ is created by God.

41.) What do Oneness Pentecostals believe the term “Son of God” refers to?

42.) What historical facts prove that the ante-Nicene patristics were Trinitarians, rather than Arians or Sabellians?

43.) What was Origen willing to call the Father but not the Son—an error that was picked up by the Arians?

44.) Anti-Trinitarians charge that the Trinity was a late doctrine because the detailed Trinitarian creeds were written centuries after the composition of the New Testament.  How can a Trinitarian respond to this argument?

45.) What is the difference between the doctrine of the ancient modalists and the modern United Pentecostal Church?

46.) What was the key term in the Nicene Creed?  Why was it necessary to use that term?

47.) Is the Person or the essence of the Son and Spirit respectively generated and proceeding?  Is this generation/procession an optional act of the Father’s will or a necessary act of His nature (with which His will certainly concurs)?  Why does this question matter?

48.) What is the difference between the way a believer is a son of God and the way Jesus Christ is the Son of God?

49.) Did both the Arians and the Trinitarians in the State “Church” which developed after the days of Constantine use the power of the State to persecute those who disagreed with them?

50.) Who were the Pneumatomachians?

51.) Name two key doctrinal slogans of the Arians.

52.) Who were the Socinians?

53.) What are the four key elements necessary to an accurate doctrine of Christ?  How are these four elements explained and set forth in the Creed of Chalcedon?

54.) What are the necessary consequences of a Chalcedonian doctrine of the Person of Christ?

Can you answer all these questions?  Get the answers here.


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