Saturday, April 07, 2012


An atheist though, I am obsessed with the relationship between God the Father and Jesus the Son of God, and the meaning of Trinity.  Is the Son of God begotten or unbegotten?  How can the Son be coeternal and uncreated if his being is from the Father?  How can Jesus be equal with the Father if he specifically announced that the Father was greater than he?  What is Holy Spirit?  How does it relate to the God?  These questions were once the focus of the lively debate between Arius and Athanasius.  The Gospels seemed to be on the side of Arius.  However, since Constantine for political reasons proclaimed at Nicaea that Athanasius was right and his descendant, Theodosius, in 381CE, issued a decree which made it unlawful for everyone to question the state-preferred Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit formula, the debate was brought to an abrupt end.  Still, what does Homoousion in the Decree of Nicaea mean?  Trinity?  How can there be three be one?  If there is only one God, how could the Logos also be divine?  The questions remained.  At one point, Gregory of Nyssai felt compelled to announce that "Every concept of God is a mere simulacrum, a false likeness, an idol: it could not reveal God himself.  The true vision and the knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge and is everywhere cut off from us by the darkness of incomprehensibility."  When I am almost ready to accept that the Christian God is after all completely unspeakable, unnameable and unknowable (the Fathers of Cappadocia who tried to justify the Christian faith said it, not me), an equation that appeared in a recent article in the Hong Kong Economic Journal (which has nothing to do with religions) somehow revives my interest in the matter: + + = .

+ + = ∞.  Doesn't it explain the nature of Trinity?  The problem is, of course, if we take out an from the left side of the equation the end product will remain the same.  It also doesn't matter if we add another to the equation.  But, is God the same God if we take the Son or the Holy Spirit out of the equation?  Does God remain the same if we add say a Holy Daughter to the equation?  Why not?  After all, + + + = .

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