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The Trinity Statement: Some Evangelicals re-defining the Trinity?

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Here's some Sabellianism in "mainstream protestantism" for you.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelicals-take-stand-on-trinity-63436/

What was that about most Christians being able to recite the creed and mean it?

Shamelessly stolen from Father Anastasios.
 

Volnutt

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I agree their language is garbled but so is that employed by someone like St. Leo.

This is the thrust of their movement. http://www.trinitystatement.com/popular-statement/

Each Person is distinct, yet there is only one essence or Being who is God, not three separate Gods. Each Person of the One Triune God shares equally in honor, glory, worship, power, authority, and rank. The Bible never suggests that any one Person of the Trinity has eternal superiority or authority over the others, or that one is in eternal subordination to another. The Son’s submission and obedience to the Father were voluntary and related specifically to the time during which he humbled himself, took on human nature, and dwelled among us as a servant.
Despite the problematic usage of terms, I don't see a denial of the separateness of the Persons, only of their function hierarchy. Not quite Orthodox, I realize, but not Sabellian as far I can see.

Basically they believe that for Jesus to have a functional subordination makes Him somehow less God than the Father. They then go on to tie this into gender equality views somehow. I think that they're nuts but not heretical.

And furthermore, how many Orthodox hold errant views like this? Are they now heretics?
 

Achronos

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Volnutt said:
Basically they believe that for Jesus to have a functional subordination makes Him somehow less God than the Father.
Umm how is that not heretical?
 

Ortho_cat

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It's good that Christians are finally getting around to figuring this out after 2000 years...took them long enough!  ::)
 

Volnutt

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Achronos said:
Volnutt said:
Basically they believe that for Jesus to have a functional subordination makes Him somehow less God than the Father.
Umm how is that not heretical?
I was not aware that having a false estimation of the consequences of beliefs was itself heretical.
 

dzheremi

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"Aspects"? Hmmm...so Jesus is like the Father's nice and gentle side or something?  ??? (I'm thinking of comedian Lewis Black here: "I don't know what was going on with the Old Testament God...maybe having a Son calmed Him down...")

Also what does "false estimation of the consequences" mean? The consequences of Christ's incarnation? If they believe that Christ is somehow "less God" than the Father, no matter what the reason, that sounds like heresy to me. Am I missing something?
 

Volnutt

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dzheremi said:
"Aspects"? Hmmm...so Jesus is like the Father's nice and gentle side or something?  ??? (I'm thinking of comedian Lewis Black here: "I don't know what was going on with the Old Testament God...maybe having a Son calmed Him down...")
What aspects?
dzheremi said:
Also what does "false estimation of the consequences" mean? The consequences of Christ's incarnation? If they believe that Christ is somehow "less God" than the Father, no matter what the reason, that sounds like heresy to me. Am I missing something?
No, they think having Jesus functionally subordinate to the Father would make him less God than the Father. The reject functional subordination.
 

dzheremi

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What aspects?
Sorry, I should have specified that this is the word that they used in the article, that the Trinity is three "aspects" of one God.

dzheremi said:
No, they think having Jesus functionally subordinate to the Father would make him less God than the Father. The reject functional subordination.
I don't know that I like the term "functional subordination" either, as I've always thought that Christ's position relative to the Father (if it is safe to speculate about such things, just for the sake of explanation) has to do with the Father being the origin of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
 

Volnutt

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dzheremi said:
Sorry, I should have specified that this is the word that they used in the article, that the Trinity is three "aspects" of one God.
I didn't see that. They don't seem to speak of the Persons as only being modes of the Father, at any rate.

dzheremi said:
I don't know that I like the term "functional subordination" either, as I've always thought that Christ's position relative to the Father (if it is safe to speculate about such things, just for the sake of explanation) has to do with the Father being the origin of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
True, but the Father also sends the Son.
 

Volnutt

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NicholasMyra said:
Volnutt, it's typically called "relational subordination" not "functional subordination."
Noted.
 
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"Spencer added that such an approach most often stemmed from the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. By dividing the two, he said Jesus' sacrifice on the cross would count for less given he wasn't the entirety of God when he gave his life."

Sounds like patripassianism to me.
 

orthonorm

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akimori makoto said:
"Spencer added that such an approach most often stemmed from the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. By dividing the two, he said Jesus' sacrifice on the cross would count for less given he wasn't the entirety of God when he gave his life."

Sounds like patripassianism to me.
I am trying to come up with a new heresy, perhaps one I can be the eponymous founder of.

Thanks.
 

Apples

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akimori makoto said:
"Spencer added that such an approach most often stemmed from the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. By dividing the two, he said Jesus' sacrifice on the cross would count for less given he wasn't the entirety of God when he gave his life."

Sounds like patripassianism to me.
It does sound a bit like they're confusing the divine essence and the hypostasis of the Father.
 

orthonorm

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William said:
akimori makoto said:
"Spencer added that such an approach most often stemmed from the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. By dividing the two, he said Jesus' sacrifice on the cross would count for less given he wasn't the entirety of God when he gave his life."

Sounds like patripassianism to me.
It does sound a bit like they're confusing the divine essence and the hypostasis of the Father.
I think Orthodox do that as well.

Who is the second Person of the Trinity?

Does it matter which Person I answer?

If so, why?
 

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orthonorm said:
William said:
akimori makoto said:
"Spencer added that such an approach most often stemmed from the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. By dividing the two, he said Jesus' sacrifice on the cross would count for less given he wasn't the entirety of God when he gave his life."

Sounds like patripassianism to me.
It does sound a bit like they're confusing the divine essence and the hypostasis of the Father.
I think Orthodox do that as well.

Who is the second Person of the Trinity?

Does it matter which Person I answer?

If so, why?
The second is the Son by convention, i don't think it matter's which order they are in... ???
 

orthonorm

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Ortho_cat said:
orthonorm said:
William said:
akimori makoto said:
"Spencer added that such an approach most often stemmed from the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. By dividing the two, he said Jesus' sacrifice on the cross would count for less given he wasn't the entirety of God when he gave his life."

Sounds like patripassianism to me.
It does sound a bit like they're confusing the divine essence and the hypostasis of the Father.
I think Orthodox do that as well.

Who is the second Person of the Trinity?

Does it matter which Person I answer?

If so, why?
The second is the Son by convention, i don't think it matter's which order they are in... ???
Convention = tradition. So why does this tradition exist?

I ask any Orthodox that question, I am going to get that answer.

There are reasons for this. Reasons that ought to make Orthodox a little less enthusiastic to wave their All Understanding of the Trinitarian Banner.

The first Person of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit.

You OK with that?
 

Apples

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orthonorm said:
William said:
akimori makoto said:
"Spencer added that such an approach most often stemmed from the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. By dividing the two, he said Jesus' sacrifice on the cross would count for less given he wasn't the entirety of God when he gave his life."

Sounds like patripassianism to me.
It does sound a bit like they're confusing the divine essence and the hypostasis of the Father.
I think Orthodox do that as well.
In the pews, probably (although I've never encountered any Orthodox who confused the two). I'd hope, though, that 73 assembled Orthodox theologians wouldn't make such an egregious mistake.

Why do my posts seem to bother you so often? Should you really be concerned that I believe that Orthodox Triadology is right and that Evangelical Triadology is wrong?

Who is the second Person of the Trinity?
Jesus Christ.

Does it matter which Person I answer?

If so, why?
It's a revealed doctrine on the All-holy Trinity. You shouldn't be meddling with them.
 

Apples

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orthonorm said:
There are reasons for this. Reasons that ought to make Orthodox a little less enthusiastic to wave their All Understanding of the Trinitarian Banner.
Sigh...

Can you please stop seeing triumphalism everywhere? It is not wrong to see the Orthodox Church as the only Church holding the fullness of true Trinitarian doctrine. Please stop acting like it is.

The first Person of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit.

You OK with that?
Not at all. It threatens the Monarchy of the Father.
 

orthonorm

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William said:
orthonorm said:
William said:
akimori makoto said:
"Spencer added that such an approach most often stemmed from the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. By dividing the two, he said Jesus' sacrifice on the cross would count for less given he wasn't the entirety of God when he gave his life."

Sounds like patripassianism to me.
It does sound a bit like they're confusing the divine essence and the hypostasis of the Father.
I think Orthodox do that as well.
In the pews, probably (although I've never encountered any Orthodox who confused the two). I'd hope, though, that 73 assembled Orthodox theologians wouldn't make such an egregious mistake.

Why do my posts seem to bother you so often? Should you really be concerned that I believe that Orthodox Triadology is right and that Evangelical Triadology is wrong?

Who is the second Person of the Trinity?
Jesus Christ.

Does it matter which Person I answer?

If so, why?
It's a revealed doctrine on the All-holy Trinity. You shouldn't be meddling with them.
You need not to read in my posts much of what I think about you personally. Best not to do that in general.

I respond to a string of characters posted on this board. Because your strings might catch my attention in a specific way overtime has more to do with their consistency than you as a person. I actually wasn't even responding to you in particular.

I didn't even know you were in the discussion.

If you caught my attention and get my attention personally, it will be clear.

And your answer on the why is weak. That is not personal no matter how consistent it might be.

 

Apples

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orthonorm said:
You need not to read in my posts much of what I think about you personally. Best not to do that in general.

I respond to a string of characters posted on this board. Because your strings might catch my attention in a specific way overtime has more to do with their consistency than you as a person. I actually wasn't even responding to you in particular.

I didn't even know you were in the discussion.

If you caught my attention and get my attention personally, it will be clear.
Okay, sorry for the confusion.

And your answer on the why is weak. That is not personal no matter how consistent it might be.
I know that "Ours is not to question why" is very unpopular when it comes to the Western rationalistic mentality, but sometimes we just need to accept it. God is supralogical, beyond any knowledge or reason we can ever attain. And dogmas about the Trinity are among the most important in the faith. If a certain way of expressing said dogmas has been revealed, it is not to be changed or meddled with lightly.
 

Volnutt

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akimori makoto said:
Volnutt said:
And furthermore, how many Orthodox hold errant views like this? Are they now heretics?
If they insist upon them after being corrected, yes.
Fair enough.

I don't think they're saying the entire Godhead was on the Cross, only that the Son must have completely, egalitarian, equality with the Father or else He is by definition less divine than the Father. These are the differences they seek to eliminate, not the distinction between Persons. I agree it's a doomed endeavor, but that doesn't mean it maps to one of the ancient heresies.

My brain is kind of fried right now, sorry. I'll take a second look at the statement in a while.
 

orthonorm

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William said:
orthonorm said:
There are reasons for this. Reasons that ought to make Orthodox a little less enthusiastic to wave their All Understanding of the Trinitarian Banner.
Sigh...

Can you please stop seeing triumphalism everywhere? It is not wrong to see the Orthodox Church as the only Church holding the fullness of true Trinitarian doctrine. Please stop acting like it is.

The first Person of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit.

You OK with that?
Not at all. It threatens the Monarchy of the Father.
I don't see triumphalism everywhere. If the Orthodox Church has the full of Trinitarian doctrine and you believe this to be the case enough to get into a discussion about it, you better be able to defend it.

Accepting the teaching per teaching (which I am not sure you even understand, since you don't quite get the problem I think) is fine. Just don't expect to convince too many others of it.

Triumphalism is when someone trumpets that Orthodoxy is the fullness of the faith vis a vis another without much ability to offer an persuasive argument than: it's Orthodox.

How does claiming that the Holy Spirit is the first person of the Trinity threaten the Monarchy of the Father? What of the Monarchy of the Son?

In virtue of what is the Father the first Person of the Trinity?

Why do you think in the Creed, we actually say:

I believe in:

One God, the Father.
One Lord, Jesus Christ
The Holy Spirit.

In that order. With those names?
 

orthonorm

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William said:
I know that "Ours is not to question why" is very unpopular when it comes to the Western rationalistic mentality, but sometimes we just need to accept it. God is supralogical, beyond any knowledge or reason we can ever attain. And dogmas about the Trinity are among the most important in the faith. If a certain way of expressing said dogmas has been revealed, it is not to be changed or meddled with lightly.
For the first bolded passage take three drinks. One for each buzzword.

In the second bolded passage, all of Scripture would disagree with you from. From Adam to Moses to Christ to St. Paul. And beyond Scripture to St. Gregory of Palamas to most people I know, who claim to know God.

If you don't know God, then you can't be a Christian.

Seriously.

You are aping an esoteric, (neo)Platonic, Eastern phronema. Now I will drink at least three drinks.

EDIT: To amplify and consolidate my comments from above posts. It is fine to accept the teachings as teachings based on the Church's authority. Just be careful if you get caught up in discussions where that dog won't hunt.

Nothing wrong with belief in virtue of authority.
 

Apples

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orthonorm said:
William said:
I know that "Ours is not to question why" is very unpopular when it comes to the Western rationalistic mentality, but sometimes we just need to accept it. God is supralogical, beyond any knowledge or reason we can ever attain. And dogmas about the Trinity are among the most important in the faith. If a certain way of expressing said dogmas has been revealed, it is not to be changed or meddled with lightly.
For the first bolded passage take three drinks. One for each buzzword.
Your point being...?

In the second bolded passage, all of Scripture would disagree with you from. From Adam to Moses to Christ to St. Paul. And beyond Scripture to St. Gregory of Palamas to most people I know, who claim to know God.
I doubt that, considering I pretty much lifted it straight from St. Gregory Palamas. The idea of God's ultimate incomprehensibility (in His essence) is also found in the Cappadocians and in St. John Chrysostom.

I'll admit that I don't know too many Scripture passages that'd be relevant, though.

If you don't know God, then you can't be a Christian.

Seriously.
But I was talking about comprehending Him, not experiencing Him.

You are aping an esoteric,
I don't see how that'd be the case even if I was saying what you think I'm saying.

(neo)Platonic,
Well that's okay, considering Platonism ultimately comes from Moses.  ;)

Eastern phronema.
I'm not sure why this one would be problematic.

Now I will drink at least three drinks.

EDIT: To amplify and consolidate my comments from above posts. It is fine to accept the teachings as teachings based on the Church's authority. Just be careful if you get caught up in discussions where that dog won't hunt.

Nothing wrong with belief in virtue of authority.
If the dog won't hunt, what are we supposed to do? Pretend that we fully comprehend the Trinity when we clearly don't? If someone has a problem with Christianity's admittance of limited knowledge, oh well.
 

Apples

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orthonorm said:
Triumphalism is when someone trumpets that Orthodoxy is the fullness of the faith vis a vis another without much ability to offer an persuasive argument than: it's Orthodox.
Triumphalism is when someone proclaims the truth so polemically that it is at the expense of charity. It doesn't really have anything to do with justification or a lack thereof, imo.

How does claiming that the Holy Spirit is the first person of the Trinity threaten the Monarchy of the Father? What of the Monarchy of the Son?
The Monarchy of the Father is the doctrine that the Father is the origin of the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Son is not the origin of any other hypostasis of the Trinity, so He does not have a "Monarchy" in the same sense.

Naming the Spirit before the Father implies that the Father is not the ultimate source of the Trinity.

In virtue of what is the Father the first Person of the Trinity?

Why do you think in the Creed, we actually say:

I believe in:

One God, the Father.
One Lord, Jesus Christ
The Holy Spirit.

In that order. With those names?
The Monarchy of the Father. If that's not it, then please enlighten me.
 

orthonorm

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akimori makoto said:
Would it be fair to say God is not entirely unknowable, but he is unknowable entirely?
Of course.

It seems to me that this find it most elaborate and systematic working out and probably the height and thus end of the engagement of Christian thought with (neo)Platonic thought in St. Gregory of Palamas.

Where else are you going to go or have to "fine tune"?

I also think such an understanding can seen in Scripture or Liturgy. I think taking specific theological arguments held in specific historical and theological contexts and reading them outside that context ain't very profitable.

EOs seem to really clasp onto this "mysticism" or at least folks here or folks I see who talk theologically. They love the ineffable God stuff so much they forget they are constantly naming him. (I use a ribald pun here usually, use your imagination).

Father.
Jesus Christ
Holy Spirit.

Now add every title and adjective that is not "apophatic" we use.

We approach the Living God with the audacity to call Him: Father, Daddy, Papa, however you like to gloss that.

St. Gregory of Palamas is awesome.

But we get all that "understanding" in the Liturgy and the Scriptures.

Oh yeah, we all also make of images of God.

Really, the bulk of Orthodoxy is radically Incarnational. It is good to remember the radical Holiness of God (here meaning unapproachability in its variety of contexts). Orthodoxy does a fine job of that.

I think perhaps in a place, America, where Jesus is often your BBF, the over emphasis on the Holiness of God (again in terms of unapproachability) is understandable, but I believe lamentable.

From the Lord's Prayer, to the Creed, the Jesus Prayer, we name God, approach God in a personal manner. We as persons with unique namable and (humanly) inexhaustible characteristics attempting to find Communion with God, Persons with unique namable and (humanly) inexhaustible characteristics, in perfect Communion with One Another.





 

orthonorm

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William said:
orthonorm said:
William said:
I know that "Ours is not to question why" is very unpopular when it comes to the Western rationalistic mentality, but sometimes we just need to accept it. God is supralogical, beyond any knowledge or reason we can ever attain. And dogmas about the Trinity are among the most important in the faith. If a certain way of expressing said dogmas has been revealed, it is not to be changed or meddled with lightly.
For the first bolded passage take three drinks. One for each buzzword.
Your point being...?

In the second bolded passage, all of Scripture would disagree with you from. From Adam to Moses to Christ to St. Paul. And beyond Scripture to St. Gregory of Palamas to most people I know, who claim to know God.
I doubt that, considering I pretty much lifted it straight from St. Gregory Palamas. The idea of God's ultimate incomprehensibility (in His essence) is also found in the Cappadocians and in St. John Chrysostom.

I'll admit that I don't know too many Scripture passages that'd be relevant, though.

If you don't know God, then you can't be a Christian.

Seriously.
But I was talking about comprehending Him, not experiencing Him.

You are aping an esoteric,
I don't see how that'd be the case even if I was saying what you think I'm saying.

(neo)Platonic,
Well that's okay, considering Platonism ultimately comes from Moses.  ;)

Eastern phronema.
I'm not sure why this one would be problematic.

Now I will drink at least three drinks.

EDIT: To amplify and consolidate my comments from above posts. It is fine to accept the teachings as teachings based on the Church's authority. Just be careful if you get caught up in discussions where that dog won't hunt.

Nothing wrong with belief in virtue of authority.
If the dog won't hunt, what are we supposed to do? Pretend that we fully comprehend the Trinity when we clearly don't? If someone has a problem with Christianity's admittance of limited knowledge, oh well.
I am not going to go back and forth much more.

I've already addressed the problems of taking theological language violently out of context.

We are obviously in more agreement than disagreement.

We know God. Experience, comprehend, etc. Well, you do, if you are a Christian.

If you want to carry around words theologically well minced, that is fine, I can liquify them if you would like. Just don't expect it to be to persuasive to people who don't care, need, nor have the time to parse all that out.

Always remember St. Paul and in Athens. What we preach and profess and what the Athenians worshipped.

Does our God look more like St. Paul's? Or the Athenians'?

When we speak to folks talking about the Trinity, do you think it helpful to start with St. Gregory of Palamas or St. Paul?

 

orthonorm

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William said:
orthonorm said:
Triumphalism is when someone trumpets that Orthodoxy is the fullness of the faith vis a vis another without much ability to offer an persuasive argument than: it's Orthodox.
Triumphalism is when someone proclaims the truth so polemically that it is at the expense of charity. It doesn't really have anything to do with justification or a lack thereof, imo.

How does claiming that the Holy Spirit is the first person of the Trinity threaten the Monarchy of the Father? What of the Monarchy of the Son?
The Monarchy of the Father is the doctrine that the Father is the origin of the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Son is not the origin of any other hypostasis of the Trinity, so He does not have a "Monarchy" in the same sense.

Naming the Spirit before the Father implies that the Father is not the ultimate source of the Trinity.

In virtue of what is the Father the first Person of the Trinity?

Why do you think in the Creed, we actually say:

I believe in:

One God, the Father.
One Lord, Jesus Christ
The Holy Spirit.

In that order. With those names?
The Monarchy of the Father. If that's not it, then please enlighten me.
How did we get here? To this question?

How did the Church (here I mean in terms of its human beginnings in the Garden, not from the moment of the creation of the noetic realm) come to know God as explicitly Trinitarian?

In what order?

 

PeterTheAleut

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I can't really see what, if anything, is all that heretical in these theologians' definition of the Trinity. I just don't understand why they think they need to rewrite tradition. Haven't we had a functional dogma of the Trinity since A.D. 325? ???
 

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Ortho_cat said:
i really don't see the purpose of this thread anymore...
I think Akimori still wants me to take me to task.
 
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Volnutt said:
Ortho_cat said:
i really don't see the purpose of this thread anymore...
I think Akimori still wants me to take me to task.
I'm a bit upset by that characterisation.

I just think your conviction that all the non-Mormon and non-JW Christians essentially agree on the fundamentals of the faith doesn't stand up to scrutiny. I also thought the topic would yield some interesting discussion, which it largely has.

I care about you and in no way wish to carry on any discussion with you for the purpose of putting you in your place or giving you grief.
 

Volnutt

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akimori makoto said:
Volnutt said:
Ortho_cat said:
i really don't see the purpose of this thread anymore...
I think Akimori still wants me to take me to task.
I'm a bit upset by that characterisation.

I just think your conviction that all the non-Mormon and non-JW Christians essentially agree on the fundamentals of the faith doesn't stand up to scrutiny. I also thought the topic would yield some interesting discussion, which it largely has.

I care about you and in no way wish to carry on any discussion with you for the purpose of putting you in your place or giving you grief.
I'm sorry :( It was not meant negatively.


If I'm wrong about something, I deserve to be pwned. I welcome it.
 
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