Before I provide you the draft section, perhaps a couple of words for those who have not already seen the paper for context. In the summer of 2015 I wrote a paper that suggested that forced endorsement of a full Trinitarian creed (such as the Niceno-Constantinoplitan Creed) should not be mandatory for followers of Christ who hold to the Bible as superior, more inspired and of greater normative value to all prior and subsequent theological ideas. My three main arguments against this necessity are not equally weighted or explored, but basically:
1. The terminology is so hotly contested and variously interpreted today that it is somewhat meaningless or superficial to require "allegiance" to the words if the words are not understood the same way or even a close way.
2. In the three hundred years separating the first church and the great ecumenical council period, mainstream Christian theology did not especially hold to Divine Essence/Substance theories or One God in Three Persons ideas, and even later had to U-turn on some early "anathemas".
3. The New Testament itself leaves justifiable doubt as to the necessity of stating trinitarianism in any of these ways.
So while I consider all three of these arguments quite compelling (the power of 3 in 1!), the third argument is the one to which most people can relate to, albeit through diverse contemporary lenses. As I re-read through the New Testament myself and also read what various theologians have argued over the centuries, I attempted to categorise all Christological passages into several dozen "suggestive" or "dissuasive" sub-categories. After describing the results in chapter 5, I offer a few sub-chapters on each side of the "suggestive/dissuasive" fence in chapter 6, each one looking at a different sub-category. In the original paper, on the suggestive side, I looked at:
- 6.1 Triadic formulae
- 6.2 Jesus and the Father are "one"
- 6.3 Jesus inciting outrage for blasphemous association with God: the power of rhetoric
- 6.4 Jesus is called “God” directly or possibly referred to as such indirectly