Trinitarians, an Observation on the Ice, Liquid and Gas Illustration? >_>?

I have often observed that Trinitarians, in their zealously to defend their beliefs, will resort to the illustration of:

"Water can have three different states: solid, liquid and gas"

This leads to my question:

Is or is not the applying of this illustration of water to God MODALISM (heresy), and NOT Trinitarianism?


That is my point Selar, but reworded.

Did you not just describe to me Modalism and not Trinitarianism?

You are saying that one person can exist in three different modes (father, son, and friend). This is Modalism is it not? You are also denying the Trinitarian position that there is not just 1 person, but that there are 3 distinct persons of the Godhead.

Actualización 2:

Thank you for your answer Preggo, but that leads to another point.

Trinitarianism states that each person of the Godhead is FULLY and WHOLLY God, and not just derivatives of God.

The egg shell is not the whole egg, it is only a part. The white is not the whole egg, and the yoke is not the whole egg.

This is not Trinitarism.

So then....would an illustration more in line with Trinity be:

The egg shell is the whole egg, the yoke is the whole egg, and the white is the whole egg. They are three distinct parts and yet they are all fully, equally egg, not divided and no part being any less than the other.

Please feel free to "tweak" my illustration :)

21 respuestas

  • hace 1 década
    Respuesta preferida

    Just as you say, Tears . . . I have made these points several times in my responses to questions concerning the Trinity on this site for the past few years.

    It is well-established that the doctrine of the Trinity was defined by the Roman Catholic Church. According to that official doctrine, the father, the son and the Holy Ghost EACH has ALWAYS BEEN God and always is God. Thus the official doctrine states, in pertinent part:

    “. . . one God in Trinity . . . one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost . . . the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal . . . The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Ghost Uncreate. The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal . . . the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty . . . the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God . . . every Person by Himself to be God and Lord . . . none is afore or after Other . . . none is greater or less than Another . . . furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting Salvation that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man."

    People tend to use these illustrations repeatedly but these illustrations - the egg, the apple, the three leaf clover and so on - do not illustrate the Trinity at all - such illustrations as father, husband and friend or mother, wife and sister do not rise to the level of explanation because a mother has not always been a mother. She had to get pregnant at some point. A wife has not always been a wife . . . she had to get married at some point. A sister was not such until the sibling was born. But the Trinity doctrine states that Jesus has ALWAYS been God.

    Not one of these illustrations even comes close to explaining this “incomprehensible” doctrine. The illustration with the egg is fine until you want to prepare an omelet for someone using fried shells only. The illustration with the apple is fine until you want to bake someone an apple pie using baked apple cores only.

    Some say these are just ways to explain incomprehensible things in human terms. Well, God does that too. He speaks of his throne and crowns although there are no such things as physical thrones or crowns in the heavens. But the idea is perfectly logical to us so we get the sense of royalty. However, what is logical about frying up shells for breakfast? Or baking apple cores in a pie?

    Hannah J Paul

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  • Dust
    Lv 6
    hace 1 década

    Thank you for bringing this up. The reason you mentioned is exactly why I don't like to use this illustration, because it fits Modalism more closely than Trinitarianism. There are much better illustrations that Trinitarians can use to talk about the Trinity, but all of them are ultimately inadequate for describing God.

    "I prefer the analogy of:

    a man-he is one person, however he is three different things in that one person. He could be a father, a son, and a friend. Three different 'labels' yet one single person. All three may do different things but the man is still the same man."

    Don't you think that you run into EXACTLY the same problem as you do with the water illustration? This STILL implies that God is only one person.

    Fuente(s): Trinitarian
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  • hace 1 década

    As was stated in one comment -

    "The Bible clearly speaks of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.."

    If it "clearly" states this, may I have book, chapter, and verse?

    Personally I can only find God the Father.

    Concerning water as solid, liquid, and gas -

    Water can only be one state at a time. And whatever state it is in does not allow the other two to exist at the same time.

    So if the liquid is existing, there is no solid or gas.

    So when the liquid (Jesus) is praying to the solid (Father), the Father does not exist.

    Therefore the fallacy of trying to use the "water" concept to explain the trinity. But since the trinity in itself does not exist, there is no analogy that can be used.

    It isn't a case of the "unexplainable". It is a case of the non-existant.

    Fuente(s): One of Jehovah's Witnesses
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  • Anónimo
    hace 1 década

    They all seem to step on their toes with the examples.

    Height, Width, Length, that's not one thing, it's 3. That's why measurements including them are 3 dimensional.

    Another good one is an egg with a shell, white, and yoke. Those are 3 parts of an egg, not 1 thing in 3 manifestations but 1 group made up of 3 things.

    I've yet to see an explanation of the trinity that doesn't make me say "and you think that's logical being that God expressly tells us that we should come to know Him".

    How should we come to know what is defined as undefinable?

    For me God is definable. God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost - one in every way, except physically.

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  • hace 1 década

    The false doctrine of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit has no scriptural foundation and is found nowhere in the entire Bible. Tertullian (210 AD) taught that God was a trinity of three persons and he was denounced and excommunicated from the Church by the true Christians of his day. Origen (230 AD) taught that God the Father and God the Son were co-eternal, and that the (Logos) Son was eternally generated. His teachings were also denounced and he too was declared a heretic by the true Christians of his day. The Apostate ‘Christian Church’ at the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 AD at the urging of the Roman emperor formulated the first trinitarian creed, after almost 50 years of Arian (modern JW’s and Mormons) teaching, but the current doctrine of the trinity which the vast majority of ‘christian’ churches teach only came into being at the end of the 8th century and was written by John of Damascus. This creed is known as the Athanasian Creed.

    The trinitarian baptismal formula (In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost) was adopted by the council of 381 AD, and was as a direct result of the teachings of Athanasius (circa 300 – 373 AD) the earlier writings of Tertullian (150 – 225 AD) and the writings of Origen (185 – 254 AD). Tertullian was the first trinitarian theologian and was the first to write that persons were to be baptised three times; once for each person of the Godhead.

    The apostate ‘christian church’ ecumenical council of 335 AD, held at Tyre, reversed the council of Nicea (325 AD) and officially proclaimed the teachings of Arius, Eusebius, and Justin Martyr to be the official and proper teachings of Christ. The Emperor Constantine was baptised on his death bed (337 AD), by the Arian Bishop Eusebius. The teachings of Arius, Eusebius, and Justin Martyr became the official teaching of the apostate ‘christian church’, including the church in Rome, until 381 AD, when the apostate ‘christian church’ officially adopted the doctrine of the trinity of God. Apostate Christianity was made the official religion of the Roman Empire in 325 AD, but it took more than 500 years to develop the concept of the trinity. From 381 AD, only Bishops and Pastors which taught the official Christianity of the Roman Empire (the Apostles Creed – written in 381 AD) were allowed to continue in their pastorates; everyone else was either: exiled, tortured, or killed, and their writings were either burned, re-interpreted, or re-written.

    The false doctrine of the trinity continues to this day, but so do the false teachings of Arius and those who came before and after him.

    but really god is one jesus is god in the flesh and the holy spirit is the power of god all together it equals only one god

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  • s D
    Lv 5
    hace 1 década

    I would never compare the states of Water to the trinity. I agree I think this is wrong although I do believe the father, son and holy spirit are God and together are one just as a man has a body, soul and spirit and is created in God's image as a trinity.

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  • Anónimo
    hace 1 década

    Regardless of what illustrations people use, if it's really that difficult and time-consuming to understanding something illogical and does not make any sense, then why would people believe in it in the first place? If God really wanted us to understand this whole trinity doctrine, he would have made it simple and easy to undersatnd for his followers.

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  • hace 1 década

    I think you're right. That illustration is more triad than anything. The closest comparison I've heard is past, present, and future. Each dimension working in unison; however, you can't take one away and have the one dimension called time. But even that falls short of explaining the depth of the divine Godhead.

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  • ra
    Lv 4
    hace 1 década

    "Trinity" is a term that is not found in the Bible but a word used to describe what is apparent about God in the Scriptures. The Bible clearly speaks of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit...and also clearly presents that there is only one God. Thus the term: "Tri" meaning three, and "Unity" meaning one, Tri+Unity = Trinity. It is a way of acknowledging what the Bible reveals to us about God, that God is yet three "Persons" who have the same essence of deity.

    You are correct, some have tried to give human illustrations for the Trinity, such as H2O being water, ice and steam (all different forms, but all are H2O). Another illustration is an egg having a shell, egg yolk and egg white, but this egg illustration shows that there would be "parts" to God, which isn't the case.

    God the Son (Jesus) is fully, completely God. God the Father is fully, completely God. And God the Holy Spirit is fully, completely God. Yet there is only one God. In our world, with our limited human experience, it's tough to understand the Trinity. But from the beginning we see God this way in Scripture. Notice the plural pronouns "us" and "our" in Genesis 1:26 -- Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

    Though not a complete list, here is some other Scripture that shows God is one, in Trinity:

    "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!" (Deut. 6:4)

    "I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God." (Isa. 45:5)

    There is no God but one. (1Cor. 8:4)

    And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." (Matt. 3:16-17)

    "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." (Matt. 28:19)

    Jesus said: "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)

    "He who has seen Me has seen the Father." (John 14:9)

    "He who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me." (John 12:45)

    If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (Rom. 8:9)

    "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." (Matt. 1:20)

    And the angel answered and said to her [Mary], "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:35)

    [Jesus speaking to His disciples] "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you." ... "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him." (John 14:16-17, 23)

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  • Kerry
    Lv 7
    hace 1 década

    In our world that has is susceptible to the laws of physics, that example given by trinitarians amazes me also. Physics tells us that matter cannot exist as all three states at once. It exists as only one. Therefore, when that explanation is used, they are actually saying that the trinity cannot exist.

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