Help me argue AGAINST the trinity


#1

… in a recent debate on baptism, i brought out the didache and the early church fathers to shut down some heretic saying that baptism was not necessary for salvation and that it is merely a symbol. they’ve given me really terrible arguments, but it’s hard to get it through their heads (one said that baptism doesn’t have anything to do with water and is just a profession of faith … even though the word comes from the greek that MEANS to immerse … he ignored that part.

so he did as i expected and said that anything that isn’t in the bible shouldn’t be used to determine theological truths. so i whipped out the “well show me where the trinity is explicitly defined and explained in the bible.” no one has responded yet. what am i going to look forward too? i know it’s vaguely alluded to twice or so, but never really defined clearly as one god in three persons. so in this case i’m playing the devil’s advocate and arguing against the trinity in the bible, but to prove that early christian tradition carries just as much weight in truth. any help?

thanks guys. god bless.


#2

Any good Jehovah’s Witness site will hook you right up. :rotfl:

Here’s their book on it.
It’s easy for us to refute but if those you are dealing with are no better than you say they’ll have a duck.


#3

These are Evangelicals. Their beliefs go back to about 1890 or so. Karl Keating wrote an excellent book on the subject. Available here: shop.catholic.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/online-store/scstore/p-B0121.html?L+scstore+hhpg0298fff05cf0+1212684632

Let them try to prove any authority for their teaching and beliefs. Books by Mark P. Shea, particularly By What Authority and This is My Body are excellent. Get them here: mark-shea.com/

Otherwise, in almost all discussions with “bible” Christians, you are: :banghead:

Merry Christmas and a Blessed new year.


#4

in a recent debate on baptism, i brought out the didache and the early church fathers to shut down some heretic saying that baptism was not necessary for salvation and that it is merely a symbol. they’ve given me really terrible arguments, but it’s hard to get it through their heads (one said that baptism doesn’t have anything to do with water and is just a profession of faith … even though the word comes from the greek that MEANS to immerse … he ignored that part.

For the Baptism question, arguing from the Bible, this CA tract is probably most helpful: ***Are Catholics Born Again***?

For early church fathers, you can flood 'em with quotes from these articles: Baptismal Grace - Born Again in Baptism - Necessity of Baptism - but they might reject them out of hand. Then just explain you understand the Bible the way the Church always has since day one, and that their interpretation is a “tradition of man” that sprung more than a millenia after Christ established His Church on earth.

… so i whipped out the “well show me where the trinity is explicitly defined and explained in the bible.” no one has responded yet. what am i going to look forward too?

Ah, don’t let yourself get too sidetracked - you’ll find yourself debating numerous arguments all at once.

But since this one’s already in the works, make sure they understand that you do believe in the Trinity - that while it’s not explicitly called “Trinity” in Scripture, it is implicit there…

Explain that this teaching is clear to them now precisely because the Catholic Church fought against this particular heresy centuries and centuries and centuries ago…that it’s one of the truths of the Church that their paticular sect has not rejected.

Peace in Christ,

DustinsDad


#5

You don’t want to argue against the Trinity, you are just asserting that the Trinity is explicitly taught in the Bible. If your respondents say “anything that isn’t in the bible shouldn’t be used to determine theological truths”, then they have three options:

  1. They can try to show you that the Trinity is explicitly taught in the Bible, or

  2. They can deny the Trinity, or

  3. They can ignore you.

Either way, the ball is in their court.


#6

they started out saying “well nothing is every that cut and dry in the bible” … then they quoted genesis 1:26 to say the trinity was prefigured even though i shot that down because that’s an argument very few theologians would actually use in a legitimate debate.

then they used jesus’ baptism when he sends down the spirit of god and god says this is my son. well that was easy, i just said nowhere does it say the spirit of god is the same thing as god and it could be an angel. and then for the last part i said, exactly, he says it’s his son, not himself. then i quoted john 14:28 where he says the father is greater than i.

and this is having no effect on me. i’m a firm believer in one god in three persons. i don’t expect them to deny the trinity though either, i expect them to start to give credence apostolic fathers and tradition.


#7

If you want arguments against the Trinity, try any Islamic site. They are jam-packed with anti-Trinitarian arguments…

Prayers and petitions,
Alexius:cool:


#8

Be warned: This could backfire and cause them to deny the Holy Trinity. You don’t want that to happen.


#9

It depends on what translation of 1 John their Bible uses I suppose as sometimes that has a clear Trinity expression and sometimes not, I don’t know enough about that verse to know whether it’s original. I suppose there’s also the baptismal formula in Matthew.

A more fun game is ask someone to say where sola scriptura is in the Bible, though people somewhat absurdly try to use 2 Timothy 3:16 which merely says the Bible is inspired and useful which I would hope all Christians believed regardless


#10

The Biblical Basis of the Doctrine of the Trinity: An Outline …By Robert M. Bowman, Jr. spotlightministries.org.uk/bowmanonthetrinity.htm


#11

Sorry mate, can’t help you. Catholic doctrine does not contradict Scripture.


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.