A Review of, “God The Trinity” by Malcom B. Yarnell the III.

yarnelltrinity

Today on SnydersSoapbox we will be reviewing a book dealing with the Trinity.  I know that as Christians we desire to understand the Trinity better.  It is a topic that is often speculated on, and many times people just give up.  Don’t feel too bad.  The book and the works of the men cited by the author are all very scholarly.  Some very intelligent men have been contemplating the Trinity for a very long time, and haven’t really come up with any better explanations or understandings than many of us.  They just sound a lot more intelligent when they talk about it 🙂
In the field of Christian books, I am always looking for books that will add value to my library, books that will not be a waste of my time to read.  This was a pretty good book overall.  It was definitely NOT for laymen.  It was a scholastic work.  The author assumes that the reader has read, or is familiar with the works of the other men he has cited in this book.  If you are not familiar with those works you can still read this book and get something out of it.  It is well bibliographed, and indexed.  The author throws in some Greek, not to worry, he explains what it says.  He also uses several big words that you might need to grab a dictionary and look up.  Do not be afraid of heady books.  These things help you learn and grow.  Don’t run from the challenge of education.
As far as the content of the book goes, I appreciated his explanation of the economic Trinity.  This helped me understand how we are in Christ, He is in the Father, and He is in us, as well as the Holy Spirit indwelling us.  It is one thing to know the words, it is another to get a better grasp on the mechanics of how that works.  If you are like me, you are not satisfied until you can see all the steps, or processes of the behind the scenes workings of something.  He also delved into the ontology of the Trinity.  I might not of understood everything he wrote when dealing with this topic, or maybe I did, and just disagreed with him on one of his conclusions.  Even so, If you are patient, and willing to do some work, I think you could learn from this book.
Yarnell also explains some non-Trinitarian heresies, defends the orthodox trinity, deals with some of the concepts of being eternally begotten, and what that looks like.  He explains how Christ accepted worship from people, and he demonstrates how the Bible equates Christ with God the Father.  If you take the time, this will help you with your apologetics when talking with non-Trinitarian heretics.

You can pick up your copy from Christianbook.com, Amazon.com, or Lifeway.com.

ISBN-13: 978-1433680748

The Holy Trinity.

trinity-1

God is triune.  He is one being, in trinity.  This means, one being, three persons.  Father, (πατήρ) Son, (υἱός) and Holy Spirit. (πνευματι αγιω) God is eternal.  He has always existed just as He is.  He has never, not existed.  Everything that is, has been made by Him.  Everything is sustained by Him.  All persons of the Trinity have likewise always existed, as one being, one God.  God’s nature/attributes are immutable.  This means He never changes.  He has never changed.  He has always been as He is.  He has always been the Trinity.  The incarnation at advent did not change His nature.  The hypostatic union did not change the deific nature of God, as the two natures were perfectly joined without mixing.  A human is one being, in one person.  A dog is not a person at all, but is one being.  We don’t have any trouble believing in a being that isn’t a person at all, like the dog, but when it comes to God as one being, and three persons we stumble.  God is omnipresent.  God is in all places, during all times, and times without time.  He is in the future, present, and the past.  He exists in the in between spaces we now call hyperdimensional space.  To be in all places includes hyperdimensional space.  If you think about it, that almost necessitates a being who is more than one person.  Here is a short video that attempts to explain the Trinity.  It does a pretty decent job, but some of course it can’t do a perfect job.

It is amazing to me how accurate the men were who composed this creed considering the time that it was written in.  Remember, the word, “catholic” here does not have anything to do with the Roman Catholic Church.  It is from the Greek word, “katholikos” and means universal.

Athanasian Creed


1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;

2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.

5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.

8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.

14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;

16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;

18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;

20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.

21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.

23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.

26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.

27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.

32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.

36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;

39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;

40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;

42. and shall give account of their own works.

43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

So to sum things up, if you don’t believe and worship the Triune God, you’ve made an idol to worship.  If you find that you, in your ignorance had been worshipping a god that is not the God of the Bible, please repent.  The true God of scripture is faithful and just to forgive you if you come to Him in faith and repentance.  Jesus, the Eternal Son paid the price for all of your sins on the cross, including wrong beliefs about Him.  Confess, and ask forgiveness.  If you are one of His sheep, He will be your Lord and Master.  He will be your good shepherd.  By the will of the Father in election, and the regenerating, convicting work of the Holy Spirit as your seal for redemption, and the justifying work of the Son on the cross, all three persons are at work in the gospel justifying sinners to Himself.

NO OTHER GODS!!! REPENT OF YOUR HERESY!!!

trinity-1

There are no other true gods anywhere. There are none in other solar systems. There are none on any other planets. There is no true god except for the God of the Bible, and He is triune. If you deny these truths, you are not Christian, but an idolator! You have made up a god to believe in, and you are in a very very very bad sin. Believing in the wrong god will not save you. It will damn you to Hell! Please repent of your Mormon beliefs! I love my LDS friends, and desperately don’t want you to go to Hell. Some of you, who I maintain ties with, are exceedingly nice people. I’d love for you to become true brothers in Christ.

Mormonism teaches that there are potentially an infinite number of gods, and currently there are countless ones ruling countless solar systems/planets.  Mormonism teaches that the only eternal things are matter and intellect.  It claims that its people worship only the god of this world/solar system.

The Bible says the god of this world is Satan.  The Bible is clear that there is only one true God.  He created everything.  That includes all solar systems and worlds.  Logic dictates that there would have to be one original originator.  If there were many gods there would be no true god among them.  God cannot share His power with other gods, nor can He be known as many gods.  He is one God in trinity.

For the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Assemblies of Yahweh cult members, repent of your Aryanism! You and the Mormons share this in common.  You believe that Christ is not the second personage of the Trinity, but rather a created being. You believe in a lie. You must repent! Read the Old Testament, keeping an eye out for the Christophanies. If you do that, you will see Christ from the beginning. Read John 1:1-14. How can you study the Bible and believe such lies about Christ our God, Saviour, Lord/Master κῦρος, Prophet, Priest, Prince, and King?

“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. ‘Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.'”

What is Meant by the Aseity of God?

 The word aseity is an archaic English word that comes from the Latin words, “a” which means, “from” and, “se” which means, “one’s self.” The definition of the English word, “aseity” means, “Existence originating from and having no source other than itself.” Simply put when we ascribe this word to our theology we mean that God has no creator or other source for His being. We know that in God’s word He says that He is the only God and there are none before Him or to come after Him. There are no Gods anywhere besides Him. He is omnipresent, so if there were He would be with them. He is omniscient, so if there were He would know of them. 1

God made everything there is and has perfect knowledge of all He has made.2 He was not diminished through or by creating. If He created everything and has perfect knowledge of all He created then He would know if He had created another being like Himself. An eternal being that is the source of all things could not create another like itself because the created thing lacks aseity, thus rendering it a mere creation rather than the truth. God has always existed in trinity, complete and holy, in perfect communion with Himself.

Tozer quotes Novatian, “”God has no origin,” said Novatian and it is precisely this concept of no-origin which distinguishes That-which-is-God from whatever is not God.” A. W. Tozer. This notion means that God is holy. He is completely transcendent or, “other than.” It is understandable that we would wrestle with this idea. It is contra mundum, in the sense that nature does not function this way. We observe causation for everything. To have an uncaused causation or an original originator sends us into a loop of, “How can it be?” However, if we are logical we must admit that this is the only way that it could be. This one original originator started the entirety of creation in motion and keeps it moving by the power of His sovereign decree. In this we should take comfort that He is God and we are not. We require and depend wholly and completely on His aseity and providence for our existence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Deut 32:39, 1 Tim 1:17, 2:5, Isa 40:28, 43:11, 44:6, Jude 1:25, Col 1:16,

2. 1 John 3:20, Matt 10:29-30, Psalm 139:4,

What does the Bible mean when it calls Jesus the Son of God?

trinity-1

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, what does it all mean?  I had trouble with this when I was younger, but over the years good teachers and wiser men informed by God’s word have been able to help me.  I would like to help those of you who might be having some difficulties with the titles.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are titles of roles that each one of the personages of the trinity are.  Jesus isn’t literally the offspring produced by sexual copulation like the Mormons believe.  He isn’t a created being made from the essence of God or brought forth from it like the Arians believe. (Assemblies of Yahweh, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mormons)  Jesus is co-eternal along with the other two personages of the trinity.  The title of, “Son” explains the eternal purpose of His role.  Jesus before His incarnation as the hypostatic union existed.  We know that everything was made by Him.  Before God made anything, He had a plan to save us from sin.  He had a plan to demonstrate His longsuffering and loving kindness.  We are part of that plan.  He, as the Son would provide our propitiation.  He as the Father would require it.  The Spirit would enable us to see and hear.  The Father is the ultimate authority.  His will is the will of the trinity.  The Son obeys the Fathers will and seeks to bring glory to the Father.  The Spirit is subordinate to the Son and the Father.  He glorifies the Son and enables us. This is not to say that He is literally a child of the Father.  He was not brought forth out of the essence of God as a lower god.  Jesus fulfills the role of the Son.  He is eternally the Son. 

God is eternal and unchanging.

Biblical ignorance is one of the biggest obstacles for the evangelist to overcome. There are many false doctrines and misconceptions being propagated in society today. We have to answer so many false claims while practicing apologetics. Hopefully we can fix one of those problems today with this article.

God is eternal and unchanging. God has always existed just as He is. He has never existed not, or existed in any different state.   He does not change. The nature of being uncaused and eternal is what we call, “the aseity of God.” The nature of not changing is what we call, “the immutability of God.” Both of these qualities are important when understanding God’s eternality and many of His other attributes. For today we are going to focus on His eternality, aseity, and immutability.

How do we answer, “If God is unchanging, didn’t He change when He turned into Jesus?” This demonstrates a woeful ignorance of theology. Children in the Puritan era might have asked this, but certainly not adults. It is true that if God’s nature changed during the incarnation we would have a problem. An eternal Creator that was not immutable could not be counted on to always be just, or good. So the fact that God is immutable is a blessing for us. God did not turn into Jesus at the incarnation. God was always as He is, Triune. He is one being in three personages. At the advent of Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity joined Himself to human nature without mixing, or mingling His deity with His humanity. This is what we call the hypostatic union. It means that the incarnate God is 100% God and 100% man, joined together perfectly in accordance with the will of God. The incarnation did not change God. This misinformed idea reveals how little we are trained in theology and Biblical truths.

The Mormons say that God was once a man, who was created by a father and mother god, who themselves were once mere humans, who were created by a father and mother, and on and on perpetually. This is how they understand their god to be eternal. How does our God differ? Our God is explained by His word. We know that He created everything. We know He didn’t just move matter around to form some things on this planet. If He created everything, and is the source of all then He would have no pre-existence as a man. He would not have been created by other gods, who were once human. He would be eternal all in and of Himself. I would ask the Mormons, “Who was the first god who made the first man, who later would become a god? Why wouldn’t you worship this first god who supposedly made the first man? Why would you worship a being who is not the creator of everything?” The God of the Bible is truly a transcendent being. He is above and beyond any imaginings a person would have in conceiving a false god. That is why when you encounter a false religion it is easy to spot problems. Of course this is only true if you are a person who has been saved and knows the true God. Once you know Him you can spot a fake. How could anyone worship suck limited beings as the ones they imagine? It should blow us away when we hear some of these descriptions.

The God of the Bible created everything there is without diminishing Himself. He created it out of nothing. There was nothing there for Him to build things out of versus the god of Mormonism who just reformed matter and was the great great great great great great great great grandson of some other little god.   The winner is, the God of the Bible. This is one of the many reason that Mormons are not Christians. They might claim to be, but if they believe the doctrines of their cult, then they are not Christian. We obviously worship a different God than they do. Their god is a finite creature, created by others.

hulk

Ours is NOT! We need to be happy about this and correct them when they publically claim to worship the same being. They cause confusion and draw support when we don’t explain the differences.   A god who was created is not a god at all. Only a God who is outside of creation, who made everything without diminishing himself, who made everything from nothing makes sense.

What does it mean to be, “eternal?” Have you ever thought about this? Most of us have thought about what it would be like to live forever, but all we can really conceive of is living a very long time. We can’t imagine what it would be like to have no beginning or end. It is something that only God can understand fully. We might as, “Is it possible for any other being to be eternal outside of God?” The Bible says we will live forever with God if we are saved, but that isn’t being eternal. That is just being resurrected to everlasting life. We had a beginning. God created us, and He keeps us alive.

It doesn’t it make sense to have another eternal being outside of God. If there was then God would not be alone and unique in His deity. There would be other Gods with separate wills and equal power. We know that God says in His word that He is the only one and that He is not a liar.

What about the gods of other faiths, are they eternal? This is simple, they don’t exist. They can’t be. For something to be eternal it would have to exist.

If they are false, because they are not eternal or actual then what is going to happen to their worshippers and why? If they never repent and put their faith in Christ then they are under the condemnation of their sin. They will die and be found guilty of their sins. They will be in Hell suffering the torment of God’s wrath being poured out on them, not because they believed different or because they didn’t grow up here, but because they are guilty sinners just like us.

How can they be saved? We must preach the gospel of Christ to them. They must come to salvific repentance and faith in Christ. When they find out that they are sinners, their hearts must be convicted of this. They must be humbled and become penitent. Then they must confess their sinfulness to God and ask Him to forgive them. They must submit to God as their new master. They need to accept that they cannot earn favor with God. They need to rely and fully trust in the finished, perfect, and atoning work of Christ on the cross.

I’m a mormon now! Yep, just call me LDS.

     I’ve decided to be a mormon now. I am LDS. I don’t believe Joseph Smith was a prophet. I don’t believe the book of mormon. I don’t believe that I need to be baptized into the mormon cult. I don’t believe that God was once just a man.  I don’t believe that Jesus and satan are brothers.  I believe in the Triune God of the Bible. I believe in His word, the Bible, as being infallible and inerrant.  I believe that the 2nd person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, is God incarnate, and that He lived a perfectly sinless life, obeying all the laws to earn righteousness.  I believe He obeyed the will of the 1st person of the Trinity, God the Father, and went up on a cross to bear the sins of all who would be saved.  Their debt was imputed to Him, and His righteousness was imputed to them, so that they could be justified in the sight of God, thus glorifying God through the salvation of sinners.  I believe that God, being just, will pour out His wrath on those who have not been granted repenctance and faith.  He will be glorified in the damnation of sinners, by demonstrating His justice.

     So as you can see, I’m not really mormon.  I talked with a mormon man yesterday.  He insisted he was a Christian.  I asked him, “Are you a Baptist?”  He said, “No, I’m a mormon.”  I said, “Then you are NOT A CHRISTIAN!!!” 
nochristian
He looked very perplexed.  He didn’t understand why I was so offended.  I think he believed he was the one who should be offended.  I explained to him, “If you are a Christian then I am LDS.”  Then I told him the things that I mentioned previously in the first paragraph of this article.  To which he uttered a firm, “You can’t be a mormon if you don’t get baptized into the church!”  I then said, “Exaclty my point.  Thank you.  So then, ipso facto you are not a Christian.”  I was going to explain that if there are in fact, doctrines that make one mormon or not, then there are also doctrines that must be affirmed by a believer to verify that they are Christian, but alas the lad stormed off in a huff.

     So my mormon friends, I emplore you, please stop telling your people to declare, “I’m a Christian!”  When in fact they are not.  If you are so pleased with being LDS, just declare that you are LDS, but don’t insult, and offend me by blaspheming the one true God, whom I, and all true Christians serve.  We are not fooled, and neither is God.  Truly, we find it quite disturbing that you would consider them to be compatible, and obviously, so do you when confronted with the doctrinal differences.