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A short review of THE TRINITY, Whidden, Moon, & Reeve "In the spirit of the pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist church, the authors of this book firmly hold the following conviction: if we cannot support any teaching biblically, we do not want it" (The Trinity pg. 10) "We will be very candid with our readers--if it is not biblical we do not want it, even if the vast majority of authorities in the religious world endorse it (including Adventist pioneers and the theologians of 'Babylon')." (The Trinity pg.11) "The only way for the pioneers in their context to effectively separate Scripture from tradition was to abandon every doctrine not clearly supported from the Bible alone. Thus they initially rejected the traditional doctrine of the Trinity, which clearly contained elements not evident in Scripture." (The Trinity pg. 202) "To whom should we direct our petitions and adoration in personal devotions and corporate worship?...But what about direct prayer to the Holy Spirit? While we have no clear example of or direct command to pray to the Spirit in Scripture, doing so does have, in principle, some implicit biblical support. If the Spirit is indeed divine and personal and He interacts in all sorts of direct personal ways (bringing conviction, healing, transforming grace, granting gifts, etc.), it only seems logical that God's people can pray directly to and worship the Holy Spirit..."In sum--if the persons of the Godhead are truly one in nature, character, and purpose, then it seems only logical and practical to address appropriate petitions and praises to any one of the heavenly Trio at any given time and situation." (The Trinity pg. 272, 273 emphasis supplied). I read this book with eager excitement, yet was sadly disappointed. The writers of this book seem disingenuous at least, or outright dishonest at worst. Is it really possible to claim strict Biblical "proof" of the modern Adventist version of the Trinity doctrine, while at the same time candidly admitting there is "no example of" anyone in the bible ever praying to or worshipping the Holy Spirit? Nor, is there any "direct command" anywhere in Scripture that we should worship or pray to the Holy Spirit! In other words no one in the entire Bible ever worshiped or prayed to the Holy Spirit, but we are all told to do it anyway! For many people, praying to and worshipping the Holy Spirit "seems logical and practical." Yet, praying to Mary and worshipping dead saints seems very logical and practical for over a billion people. Now, everyone is entitled to their own belief or opinion, but why try to cram this new speculative opinion about the Trinity down our throats? Some may say, "the writers of this book are not being dogmatic about their opinions and speculations, they are just trying to make sense of all the Trinity confusion." Yet, the practical definition of dogmatic dogmatism is when Pastors are fired, and laypersons disfellowshipped from Adventist churches because of variant interpretations of the "Trinity" as defined by the 28 Fundamental beliefs. If Adventist's are not required to strictly adhere to only one interpretation of the Trinity doctrine, then why make it a test of fellowship in the first place? In fact, the greatest irony of all is that "The Trinity" book belittles the early Adventist pioneer's non-trinitarian views while praising the development of modern Adventist trinitarianism as the only Biblical and legitimate form of the doctrine. Did you catch that? Modern Adventism claims that all Christian trinitarian creeds contain elements of "Greek philosophy," unbiblical speculation and human tradition. Therefore, modern Adventism cannot subscribe or endorse ANY Christian Trinity creed, and by definition, would be classified as non-Trinitarian by them all. Now that's irony. Even though modern Adventism has repudiated the non-trinitarian teachings of her founding fathers and evolved its own unique "Trinitarian" perspective, the Adventist church has always been non-Trinitarian. COMMENT BY MODERATOR: While the substance of the questions raised in this post are generally fair, and will be responded to very shortly, we encourage those leaving comments not to gratuitously call into question the integrity and honesty of those with whom they disagree. Charges of being "dishonest," "disingenuous" or cramming opinions "down throats" are intemperate and not welcome on this site. This is a warning that any such future language will be edited, or the post taken down altogether.
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May 4, 2010