Criticism of Mormonism/Books/Do Christians Believe in Three Gods/Do Christians Believe in Three Gods

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Answering the Question: Do Christians Believe in Three Gods?

A FairMormon Analysis of: Do Christians Believe in Three Gods?, a work by author: RBC Ministries

Claim: [W]e are dealing with a God who is revealed in the Bible as one God, who has existed eternally as three distinct (not separate) Persons.

While Latter-day Saints agree that God has existed eternally, there are no biblical passages that tease out the difference between "distinct" and "separate." Such hair-splitting is philosophical analysis, not biblical. RBC Ministries is welcome to take this approach, but they should be clear that differentiating between "distinct" and "separate" was the work of Nicene theologians and philosophers, not the Bible.

Claim: Jesus affirmed the Trinity when He commanded His disciples to baptize "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt. 28:19)

Jesus affirmed that there are three beings who are properly labeled God. But, as we have seen, there are many ways of understanding "the Trinity." Nicene Trinitarian is only one way, and it requires the addition of extra-biblical information. It was also a relatively late development in Christian thinking.

To assume that Jesus is here teaching Nicene Trinitarianism is circular reasoning, and ignores the clear historical record.

Conclusion

All Christians assert that God is three in some senses, and one in others. Nicene Trinitarians admit that how this can be is a mystery. Other Christians, such as the Latter-day Saints, likewise insist that God can be both three and one, depending on how the terms such as "God" and "one" are used, and what the speaker means to convey.

Understanding these matters requires a review of biblical texts, Jewish and Christian thought, and the historical record. It is also unfair and inaccurate to lump Latter-day Saints with those who deny Christ's Godhood or power as Savior.

Using slogans or polemics to condemn others contributes little to mutual understanding, and does little to honor Him who RBC Ministries and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints praise as Lord, Savior, and God.

Endnotes

None

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