More than 100 Things

Next in the "More than 100 things every religious liberal should know"

The “Four Vedas” are sort of like the holy books of Hinduism…only more like an “order of worship” or “common book of prayer.”  Like Christianity, Hinduism has sects (denominations, as a parallel) and like Christianity, the Vedas are considered by different sects has having different levels of authority.

The Sanskrit word “veda” means “knowledge” or “to know” – like our Bible, the Vedas contain the knowledge needed to follow that religion.  Each “Veda” contains a different type of knowledge.

“Rigveda” – “praise or verse” + “knowledge.”  Some of the verses have been recited in worship since they were written, and are still being used today, making it one of the longest running religious texts in history (although not the oldest.)  Unlike Christianity, these Hindu texts are dedicated to various deities, each reflecting the beliefs of what that god has done and how Hindus honor that particular god.

“Yajurveda” – “sacrificial formula” + “knowledge.”  These writings are the “liturgy” or mantras used during sacrificial rituals.

“Samaveda”– “melody” + “knowledge” are the hymns that are sung.  Half (75) are from the Rigveda, the other half are specifically to be sung by priests in rituals were the juice of the soma plant (along with other ingredients) is offered to various deities.

The last Veda, Atharvaveda, is a combination of writings.  Spells and magic, hymns and poetry, rules and regulations.  This work includes healing (physical and spiritual, including diseases via demon possession,) writings on the nature of the universe and humanity, "household codes" (rules for running a smooth home,) marriage and funeral rituals, and more.  This seems to be the "how then shall we live" book of Hinduism.

I'm learning that all religions have a few things in common, yet all are different, and they cannot all be "true."

C.S.Lewis said (paraphrased) - all truth is God's truth.  We should be able to see what is right with other religions, and reject what is wrong with them, in order to embrace our own.

The Trinity; the doctrine of the Trinity is a core Christian belief.  Easy to say, impossible to unpack.  So I'm not doing "research" on for this post, other than what I've done, probably resulting in a "stream of consciousness" sort of thing.

1.  The Trinity is a mystery

Christians worship the Triune God; meaning that one God exists in three "persons.".  Or three distinct persons are one God.

T.D.Jakes (who has been accused of "modalism," an old heresy) dislikes the word "person."  You cannot see God as a "committee of three" - that implies that each member of the Trinity can be independent of the others, as if they are not truly One, but three that get together to be "God."

Yet "person" seems to be the best word that we have.

Each member of the Trinity is distinct, but none of them are EVER out of communion or unity with the others.  Our God is ONE, yet three.  Our God is THREE, yet one.

It is a mystery, and one that we may not fully understand even in heaven.  Maybe the closest I can come (and still a really bad example) is the the three blind women oracles.  They are three, but they function as one.  They share an eye, and what one sees, they all see.  They speak as one.  They see as one, and they cannot function except as one.  Yet the are three.

2.  There is equality in the Trinity

No one in the Trinity is more equal than the others.  The Trinity IS God.  As one, God is complete, no person of the Trinity is more important, no person of the Trinity is more powerful, no person of the Trinity is more holy, no person of the Trinity is more eternal.

For a deeper look, read "The Forgotten Trinity" by James R. White

3. There is a hierarchy within the Trinity

This is hotly debated.

Many Complemetarians use the example of this hierarchy to demonstrate how absolute equals still live out a hierarchy.  We look at the Trinity as an example of what life can look like.  We believe the Trinity is a perfect example of persons who are equal, yet different in authority.

Many Egalitarians reject any notion of hierarchy because they believe it is impossible to ontologically live in submission (or in authority over) to an equal.  In order to have equality, you must also have equality of authority.

But there is, in Scripture, as clear "sentness."

The Father sends the Son, who does not come in His own authority, but on the authority of the Father.  "I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.  What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me..." (John 12:49,50).

The Son petitions the Father to send the Holy Spirit: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever," (John 14:16)
Jesus testifies to the hierarchy: "Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him." (John 13:16)

For more on the different understandings, read "The New Evangelical Subordinationism? : Perspectives on the Equality of God the Father and God the Son"

 4. The Trinity is in "Oneness" - true unity.

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!”

The "one" means a plurality that IS ONE.

5. There is purpose in the Trinity

God's two greatest gifts are creation and salvation - and all three members of the Trinity are involved in both these gifts.

in Creation:

Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? Malachi 2:10

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him Col. 1:16

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2

In salvation, all are present in Ephesians 1.

The Trinity is indeed a mystery.  I cannot explain, but I know that God is not a modalist.  The modern day heresy is known as "Oneness" theology.

The Trinity is a Biblical reality, as impossible to comprehend as eternity - all we can do is fall down and worship Him in His fullness, thanking Him for all good gifts.

For deeper reading: "The Forgotten Trinity" by James White

More than 100 things...

Very short: the Tanakh is the Jewish Scripture; our Old Testament.

Expanded a bit: the Tanakh is divided into three parts:

1- The Law (the five Books of Moses)
2- The Prophets (divided further into the Former Prophets and the Latter Prophets
3- the Writings (Poetry, Wisdom, short stories)

What I learned is that the deuterocanonical books (Apocrypha) are disputed among Christians, and were also disputed among Jews.

The Egyptian Jews accepted the books as canonical; Hebrew Jews did not.

I found that interesting.

More than 100 things...

Yin and Yang is part of an Eastern philosophy that deals with opposites...and balance.


right/left, up/down, dark/light.  One cannot exist without the other.

"Yin and Yang" and Taoism are deeply connected, Taoism is directly anti-Christian.

Yet, we see dichotomies evident in Scripture.

God calls us His slaves...and His sons..  We die, yet we live.  Christ was fully God and fully man.

But we must understand, with "yin and yang" - these two opposite forces exist in balance and neither should have more power.  Indeed, when one is out of balance, illness results.

In Christianity, God wins.  Righteousness prevails.

Death will be no more!

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!


Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead, he's alive! he's alive!

~~Matt Maher

 More than 100 things...


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Enlarged Ayin and Dalet

Parts of the Sh'ma are written on a small scroll which is then rolled up and put inside a mezuzah; when the Bible said to put the Law on their doorposts, they did.  A Mezuzah is a piece of parchment, often in a decorative container, that hangs on a doorpost.  It is a constant reminder of their identity.

Hear O Israel

Pay attention, people!  Witness!  Bear witness to the sovereignty of God.

The Lord Our God, the Lord is One

But...this is more than a declaration of monotheism.  The Trinity is in there!

There is a word for "singular" - and the word here is not that.


  • The two shall become ONE flesh
  • All the parts of the tabernacle would become a SINGLE WHOLE (Ex. 26:6)
  • Two sticks become ONE is the hand of God (Eze. 37:19)

"The Lord is ONE" - three entities that are inseparable in purpose and unity, joined together in One LORD - the Trinity.

More than 100 things every religious liberal should know

I'm not sure how to add a youtube video from my ipad, so...

here's the link


Anyway, I'm going through Advent devotionals, and I'm reminded (again) that we need Christmas, because we need the cross more.

My daily Bible reading was Acts 4. Verses 14 and 15

But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses

Bonhoeffer wrote:

We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us.

Sh'ma tells us to "hear, o Israel, that our God is One" -

Every member of the Trinity is involved in Advent - God the Father, sent God the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit to be born in a manger, in order so that He might die, so that we might live.

Our God is One
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Coming of Jesus in Our Midst”