What is God?

Is God One What and Three Who’s?

We ask the question What is God? because trinitarian scholars tell us that God is “One What and Three Who’s”. To us, describing the God of Israel as “One What seems like a strange and coldly impersonal way to talk about Him. Now we can’t help but wonder about the meaning of One What. Does this odd language reveal anything Biblical or true about God? If God is a divine What” should we speak of divinity as “It” rather than Him? When we say What is God are we asking a question or making a statement? I hope all this is clear, but if not, just watch the classic Abbott and Costello routine called “Who’s on First” and you will see that the logic of the Trinity is comedy of the highest order.

The Holy What of Israel

Trinitarian thinking is like being in a house of mirrors at a carnival sideshow where nothing appears normal. Mirrors and words can both distort reality and make things look other than they really are. Should get rid of the idea that God is The Holy One of Israel and say instead that God is The Holy What of IsraelIf God really is a Holy What  should we even use the word “what” in normal conversation anymore since it no longer means what it used to mean? Trinitarian theology can sure get confusing. Thank goodness we have theologians, scholars and comedians to help us find our way!

One What and Three Who’s Made Clear

(A dialogue between a scholarly theologian and a new disciple.)

Theologian: Do you have any questions?

Disciple: Just one. Can you tell me about God?

Theologian:  Of course. God is one What and three Who’s.

Disciple:  One What?

Theologian:  Yes! That’s right. God is one What.                                                          

Disciple:  Hey! Wait a minute! What are you talking about?

Theologian:  I’m talking about God.  That’s What.

Disciple:  What do you mean?

Theologian:  That’s right! Now you’ve got It!

Disciple: Got What?                                                                                                       

Theologian:  Yes!  You’ve got the One What that is three Who’s. That’s What!

Disciple: So if I want to know Who God is What is the most important thing?

Theologian: That is exactly right! I couldn’t have said it any better. Now you know What’s What. Just remember God is one What and three Who’s.

Disciple:  I don’t think you’re helping me. You’re talking nonsense and I’m getting a headache!

Theologian: Yes, this can sound like nonsense but What doesn’t!

Disciple:  You’re crazy! I don’t think you really know anything about God.

Theologian: Well, all these things make sense to me but Who knows?


Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes

What Exactly is the Hypostatic Union?

Ask the average person on the street about the hypostatic union and you’ll be greeted with a blank stare. Is it a labor union and members pay dues? Perhaps it’s a group of specially trained workers who unionized for better pay and benefits like the AFL-CIO? Do they specialize in something to do with static electricity? Who knows? We scratch our heads and wonder.  Can anyone can understand the hypostatic union? What exactly is the hypostatic union anyway?

The Mysterious Hypostatic Union

If you ask a theologian about the hypostatic union you’ll get an earful! Trinitarian scholars have conjectured that Jesus had two natures! They theorize that Jesus was God and a Man joined into one body by way of the mysterious hypostatic union.  Although he had a human nature it was somehow “impersonal” so He wasn’t really a genuine human being at all even though He seemed to have been formed from a human blueprint. He was “man but not a man”. This theory claims God inhabited a vacant human body! These are novel intellectual gymnastics but scripture does not indulge in this kind of thinking. Not for one minute, not for one second, never.

Jesus Christ is One of Us

Jesus said, “I am a man who has told you the truth I heard from God but now you want to kill me. Abraham wouldn’t have done that.” (John 8:40) The Apostle Peter said Jesus was “a man attested by God to you by miracles wonders and signs  which God did through Him in your midst” (Acts 2:22)  Moses prophecied about Jesus declaring “a prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto thee, from the midst of thee, of your brethren, like unto me”. Now Moses was a great man indeed but he was still a man and Moses claimed this prophet would be like him. (Deureronomy 18:15) These are straightforward and understandable Bible verses. Do you really think we have to believe in a hypostatic union or an impersonal human nature to make sense of them?  We don’t think so either.

Jesus Said “I Am a Man”

Jesus never claimed to be God Himself but He did claim to be the Christ. He told us plainly that he was a man, a human being like us. “I am a man who has told you the truth!” He was a man who came in His Father’s name, did the works His Father showed Him and spoke the words His Father put in His mouth. (John 14:24) Jesus was a perfect man and His courage, compassion and sacrifice on Calvary were all intensely personal.  We declare that anti-scriptural notions like the “hypostatic union” and Jesus’ so-called “impersonal human nature” detract from the beauty and glory of His life.

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes

PS: This is what most Christians believed in the first three centuries of the Christian faith… and what many believers are re-discovering in our times. These are wonderful and ancient beliefs and if you get the chance please share them. God Bless.

Hee Haw Theology

Words Should Mean Something

Words should mean something… unless of course we are talking about the trinity, in which case all bets are off. Hang on tight because here we go! God is One but He is Three. God is one Essence but three Persons and this is not tritheism but is really monotheism. How easy was that? God is one and God is three and that’s all there is to it! All we have to do is agree that words don’t really mean anything. This helps us revere an idea that we can’t even begin to understand in any sensible way. We are left asking the question: Does the trinity mean anything?

Hee Haw Theology

Most of us grew up believing that one means one and three means three and that pretty much settled it. Had it not been for the work of Platonic philosophers who latched onto Christianity with a vengeance we might have continued believing this old fashioned truth in blissful ignorance. But no! When the Bible declares that God is One it doesn’t mean one at all, it means three which now equals one. To believe it all we have to do is dispense with the pesky idea that words actually mean something understandable and sensible. One trinitarian writer even suggests we dispense with grammar altogether and start speaking of God as, “He are and They is.” We could call this kind of thinking “He Are Theology” but “Hee Haw Theology” makes better sense.

If God is Not Someone…What is He?

Classic Trinitarian sleight of hand claims that although God is three persons He (It?) is just one God. C.S Lewis helps us make sense of all this by declaring, “We must remind ourselves that Christian theology does not believe God to be a person.” In simple terms this means that God is not a divine individual at all. He is not really someone, He is something! This lines up perfectly with the oft expressed idea that “God is one what and three who’s“. What’s so hard about that? All we have to do is change our thinking! Instead of asking “Who is God? we should be asking “What is God?”… but somehow that doesn’t seem to reflect Biblical thought at all does it?

Trinitarian Logic

Trinitarian logic would let you claim that although you are married to three different women you have only one wife and are a firm believer in monogamy.  Monotheism with three “persons” is like monogamy with three wives. We say polygamy is not monogamy and the trinity is not monotheism. Simply claiming you believe in monotheism doesn’t make it true. Once you gut words of their meanings you can say anything you like no matter how absurd or illogical it might be. This dear friend is what we are faced with when we consider the most hallowed of all our religious traditions, the trinity.

A More Biblical Approach

A far better and more biblical approach is to simply declare that there is just one God, One Eternal Supreme Being we call the Father. He meant what He said when He declared “I alone am God and there is no other God beside me!” He is the Father of Eternity and the Father of Spirits. He is most assuredly a personal God. Jesus Christ, our Messiah and Savior, is His only begotten Son. These are the words and teachings of scripture and they mean something understandable. Someday these words will judge our beliefs and everyone, including you, will believe they mean what they say.

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes

PS: I would like to thank everyone who visits and takes the time to read the things we post on this website. I know it has been awhile since new posts have been published but now that summer is coming to an end I promise to be much more diligent. God Bless and thanks for your patience.

Has the Church Been Led Astray?

It’s reassuring to be in the majority, especially when it comes to religion. No one wants to be accused of belonging to some heretical cult and our herd instinct is pretty strong. Most people also have a lot of confidence in experts. This is especially true when all the experts seem to agree. Of course, sometimes the experts can be horribly wrong. Like when the chief priests and scribes wanted to kill Jesus and got everyone else to go along with the idea. History is filled with good examples of this! Here’s something to think about… has the Christian church been led astray by her leaders? Could it be the majority been lead down a path of platonic philosophy that has nothing to do with Biblical truth? We think that’s a good question.

An Ancient Gospel That Pre-dates the Trinity

We preach an ancient Gospel that pre-dates the trinity. This Gospel proclaims there is just one God, the Father and Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son. Yahweh is the name of the Father and Jesus of Nazareth is His Christ or Anointed One, the Son of God. The Father is self-existent and eternal while His Son Jesus Christ was miraculously born of a virgin in Bethlehem. Jesus was crucified and then raised from the dead and now He is seated at the right hand of God. This isn’t hard to understand! You can believe it without resorting to the heady intellectualism that Greek philosophy fashioned into the doctrine of the trinity. All you have to resort to is the scriptures.

Modern Christians are Embracing This Ancient Truth

What you just read was the simple faith of most believers in the first three centuries of the Christian religion. This Biblical and understandable faith eventually fell into official disfavor thanks to the efforts and councils of the philosopher/theologians we call the “church fathers”. Fortunately, a growing number of Christians in our time are beginning to ignore the so called “church fathers” and embrace these ancient truths instead! Those of us who believe this Gospel now find ourselves asking a very old question, “Who has believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1) We hope you’ll believe our report… and that God will reveal Himself to you. God bless.

Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes

Who Owns the Trinity?

There is a world of difference between the mysteries of men and the mystery of God. Divine mysteries are spiritual truths that were formerly hidden but are now meant to be understood. Man’s mysteries are something else altogether and can be impossible to understand. Scholars declare the trinity is a mystery that is beyond understanding and we agree! Since the trinity is so incomprehensible we ask ourselves, who owns the trinity? Is the Trinity God’s mystery… or is it ours?

The Greatest Divine Mystery

There’s no doubt that the greatest divine mystery of all is the revelation of God Himself and His plan for the ages in His Son Jesus Christ. This is something we can definitely understand and that God wants us to understand! Our inheritance includes “the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God and of the Father and of Christ.” (Colossians 2:2) God did not leave us in the dark about Himself.  When Christians though are pressed to explain the trinity they usually say,  “It’s a great mystery that no one can understand.” A highly educated orthodox bishop once told me the trinity is “a vague nebulousness” but he believed it anyway. We just can’t help but  wonder… who owns the trinity?

Does Anyone Understand the Trinity?

One of the most peculiar things about the trinity is that even people who claim to believe it wholeheartedly confess they have no idea at all of what it really means. In an effort to explain how God can be one “substance” in three co-equal and co-eternal “persons” some have proclaimed that God is “One What and Three Who’s”. We say “who could fail to love a God like that?” To this day no one can explain precisely what a divine “person”  is and how such a “person” differs from God’s “substance”. Where did men ever get the idea that God is some type of substance anyway? The answer is pretty clear, they got it from Greek philosophy because the Bible never says things like that about God!

How to Explain the Trinity

Common trinitarian illustrations include “God is like an apple with skin, seeds and flesh but it is just one apple.” And let’s not forget other even more well-known explanations of the trinity such as God is like an egg with shell, egg-white and yoke but it’s just one egg!  Or God is like water, steam and ice! Do any of these things reveal God to us? Even more impressive than these examples is that most Christians subscribe to the notion that God is like a triangle!  One modern theologian has stated that “The Trinity reveals God more as a verb than a noun.” Did you notice that none of these illustrations have anything at all to do with scripture? Maybe that’s because the trinity has nothing at all to do with the Biblical mystery of God.

The Trinity is Officially a Mystery

Isaac Newton found the trinity to be “unintelligible, it was not understood at the Council of Nicea… nor ever since”. Newton also wrote that “the debates at Nicea had more to do with Plato and Aristotle than with Jesus.” Thomas Jefferson wrote “The Athanasian paradox that one is three, and three but one is so incomprehensible to the human mind that no candid man can say he has any idea of it.”  We affirm that the trinity is a man-made bafflement and a nonsensical philosophical abstraction. Perhaps the trinity is officially a mystery because it is man-made and doesn’t have much to do with God at all.

The Biblical Mystery of God and Christ

The divine revelation and Biblical mystery and  of God and Christ is both clear and understandable. The One and only God we know as the Father miraculously brought about the birth of His only Son Jesus, who is God’s Christ and our Savior and Messiah. This Jesus was crucified for our sake, rose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God! He has promised to return to earth someday and set up a kingdom that will never end. Believers in every age have looked forward to this blessed hope. Compared to the philosophical abstractions of men, the Biblical mystery of God and Christ reveals divine truths in ways even children can understand… and we like God’s approach a lot better.

Copyright  2022 by Bob Shutes