God is Not a Man

God is not a man that He should lie, neither the son of man that He should repent.” (Numbers 23:19). This plain spoken scripture  actually contradicts some important dogmas about the trinity! (The church fathers insist that Jesus is God.) It contains a heretical thought and we wonder how trinitarian scholars have managed to ignore it for so long. What was the LORD thinking when He inspired these words? If God was a man this is exactly the kind of talk that would have gotten Him excommunicated! It seems to us God knew full well this verse wouldn’t harmonize with the doctrine of the trinity… but He included it in the scripture anyway.  

Jesus Said “I Am a Man”

Jesus claimed to be a man. “I am a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God, but now you want to kill me.” (John 8:40) He told the truth when He said He was a man and He told the truth when He declared that His accusers wanted to kill Him.  Jesus was born into the world like all men, but God is eternal and was never born. Christ was tempted like all men, but God cannot be tempted.  Finally, Jesus died like all men but God cannot die. It’s clear in the scripture that Jesus claimed to be Christ, the Son of God, but he never claimed to be God Himself. The question we ask is this: Was Jesus God or was He a man?

By One Man’s Obedience

The Apostle Peter preached on the day of Pentecost and called Jesus “a man approved of God among you.” (Acts 2:22) The Apostle Paul declared “There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (I Timothy 2:5) In another place the Bible declares “By one man’s (Adam’s) disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19) It isn’t controversial to say that Jesus was a man, it is simply Biblical. What is truly controversial and unbiblical is the claim that Jesus was God! The overwhelming testimony of scripture is that Jesus was a man. He was one of us. The fact that Christ spoke and acted as only God could speak and act is easily explained by the doctrine of Biblical Agency.

No Man Has Seen God at Any Time

“No man has seen God at any time” (I John 4:12).  “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels…” (Hebrews 2:9) In Jesus we see “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” (Colossians 1:15) Jesus is the image of the invisible God but He is not God, He is the Son of God and men have seen Him. Wise men saw Him in Bethlehem’s manger. Doctors of the Law saw Him in Jerusalem’s temple and the people of Israel saw Him on Calvary’s cross. The Apostle John saw Jesus seated upon a throne at the right hand of God. Someday everyone will see Him and “every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11)

Copyright 2023 by Bob Shutes

PS: We confess that Jesus is the visibly human son of the invisible God. He was crucified, resurrected and glorified and now sits at the right hand of God. He is exalted above all creation and has a name above every name… yet for all that Jesus is a man and He is not God. This dear friend is the message of the Bible.

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

Does the Trinity Mean Anything?

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?

HeeHaw 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.” Should we call this kind of thinking “He Are Theology” or should we call it “HeeHaw Theology”?

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

Is the Trinity God’s Mystery?

Scholars declare the trinity is a mystery that is beyond understanding and we agree! Divine mysteries are spiritual truths that were formerly hidden but are now meant to be understood. Man made mysteries are something else altogether and can be impossible to understand. 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 of All

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 can’t help but  wonder… who owns the trinity? Is the trinity a divine mystery or is it ours?

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 true God known 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