Trinitarian Art [HD]


Graceful Threads said...

That was spooky......

Michael said...

This nonsense is clearly not indicative of the broadband of historic Trinitarianism. Perhaps I should compile a video of the theological novelties and rantings of TD Jakes and Kim Clement on TBN. Perhaps I'll name it "Oneness Pentecostal preaching." I honestly thought better of you JN.

JN Anderson said...

Not the one you subscribe to for sure Michael. lol You could waste your time with Jakes and Clement but we are not saying those guys are persons in the godhead. Neither are we saying they are "Oneness Pentecostals". In one hand you have an apple, in the other you have a bag of rocks.

Anonymous said...

I'm not an artist but I do appreciate this very old art (though I just don't get "modern art" and never will). I'm not sure of the fascination Oneness Pentecostals have with Trinitarian art (I have seen things like this on no less than 4 other occasions). Never once have I read a Oneness Pentecostal discuss what the particular artist was trying to capture or communicate. If you see three individual persons, as you do in the first picture, they will usually be identical (the artist is trying to communicate that idea that there is no substantive difference in the persons) but you will see a difference in clothing, or markings, indicating who they are (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and the marking itself will have meaning. Sometimes you will see them sitting next to each other one a single throne, indicating the triunity and single rule. Other pictures had one "head" that was three, but it looked like it had 3 noses and 4 eyes. To me, in that picture the artist is again attempting to communicate the idea of a triunity, three that are one in being, with one mind, but distinct.

Several of the paintings were an artists rendition of Luke 3:22. I honestly find it strange that anyone would take issue with this.

A couple of the other painting look as if they may be an artist's rendering of Heb. 9:12 and/or John 3:16.

I'm sorry, but this is the language of the New Testament, so I don't see what the issue is the artists. And as I have said in the past to others, I certainly hope you are taking an artists painting as a theological treatise, I mean get serious. These are artists trying to communicate ideas about an infinite God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in single pictures that only a human mind could design and that a human mind can comprehend. What I find unfortunate is that the church today is not rich with these types of artists and paintings.


JN Anderson said...

Mark, do you feel these pictures accurately represent your view of the Trinity?

Anonymous said...

It isn't possible for a picture to represent my theology since my theology involves the existence of an infinite immaterial God. That said, I appreciate that an artist tries to capture elements of theology in a painting, so in the paintings I will try to understand what the artist is communicating. Like I said, I'm not an artist, I don't think like an artist, but I can appreciate art.

And what I think these painting represent, or may represent without looking at them closely, is what I outlined in my previous response. I don't believe one of these artists thought they were literally painting God in any of these paintings any more than I could explain everything in Theology proper and Christology in one paper. A problem arises when you try to read a painting like a theology book instead of like an artist. You know, if you have the name of specific paintings I'll bet you can google it and find out what the author was trying to communicate through a particular painting (though some of the ones presented were pretty obvious).


JN Anderson said...


Yes, God is transcendent but He is to our surprise also immanent. The problem I see with the paintings is the theology itself, i.e. Trinitarian theology. When one seeks to put it into an image the perception becomes reality. Some of those photos indicate separate, distinct, persons with some having human bodies. The Trinity if fundamentally flawed and the contradictions and mystery is therefore necessary.

As the video showed us it is rather easy to see that all the fullness of deity dwells in Jesus Christ. He is the one who will be upon the Throne in glory.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I see, so Jesus wasn't really "praying to someone other than Himself in the garden when He prayed to His Father?" Scripture disagrees (and so does Jason Dulle). How does Oneness paint that?

Maybe you disagree with the picture Scripture presents in Luke 3:22; John 6:38,62; John 16:5-11; 16:28; 17:5; Heb. 1:1-4, 9:11-15.

And as I keep repeating, I'm not an artist, but you keep trying to read something into art that even the artist did not intend rather than trying to understand what the artist with a picture is trying to communicate. I can't stop you are anyone else from doing that, I think it is ridiculous, but to each his own.

This probably isn't a good place to get into a debate but the doctrine of the Trinity offers no contradiction nor have you. However, your theology/Christology proffers them in never ending supplies. Feel free to check the "Oneness are really Twoness" or "the Incoherency Problem of Oneness" threads at CARM.

Once again, I don't get my theology from paintings. And when looking at any painting I know that one needs to try to figure out what the painter is trying to communicate with a single picture. But that's just me.

If the point of showing the art is to argue against the Doctrine of the Trinity then I'll just end by stating it is a ridiculous form of argumentation.


JN Anderson said...

Mark, yes you do see. We are looking at the same thing from two different perspectives. You also misunderstand. We see it the same way you do when you kneel to pray to your Father in heaven. Unless you would like to contend Christ was not an authentic human being. I am quite sure I do not expect you to agree with much on a Oneness blog. Maybe this is new to you. I am not reading the painting. I am reading what it is saying not what it is not. Either there are three human individuals on the canvas or it isn't. If it is and that is NOT the way to accurately represent the Trinity then you need to concede that instead of trying to put a band-aid on a cancerous sore. Instead, you just appeal to the transcendence of God. If that is the case then you need to drop the distinction/person argument because you know the ontological Trinity is not a perfect mirror of the economic Trinity.

You must be naive or mistakenly think I am naive to believe this video is the only argument in the accumulative case against the Trinity.

Anonymous said...

Wow James, this has certainly taken on an unfriendly tone. You said: "I am reading what it is saying not what it is not. Either there are three human individuals on the canvas or it isn't." Really? So you are saying that the artists of these paintings actually intended to communicate that God is three human individuals? If that is the case then I would conclude that you are not someone to discuss art with, just my opinion but you aren't changing it.

James, I have not "appealed" to anything other than the fact that these are paintings wherein an artist is trying to communicate some thought or idea in a single picture. The very idea of having a theological debate regarding art is in my mind a nonsensical proposition through and through.

With regard to Jesus praying to His Father in the garden you said: "We see it the same way you do when you kneel to pray to your Father in heaven." When I kneel and pray to the Father and see that as two persons, me and the one I'm praying to. Like I said, Oneness are really Twoness. But this is not the place for that and certainly not over paintings. That's counterproductive.


JN Anderson said...

Mark, I just find it amazing you are defending the paintings in one breath and denouncing them in another in the name of me misunderstanding the idea of art. Not so. I understand the symbolism and metaphor in art and that there are secondary meanings or etc. However, my point is that the Trinity in no way makes sense or is intelligible as artwork. You conceded this already.

I don't know the mind of the artists so obviously I can't say that either. The perception however is a reality. The use of Trinitarian art in this manner only points to the inherent contradictions. Necessary ones btw.

Yes, myself and Dulle have answered your ridiculous assertion of binitarianism. The simple fact is that if we are biniatarian then you are quadritarian. The question of one divine person being becoming a man is what we both must deal with. You continue to point this out to your own chagrin IMHO.

Anonymous said...

James, you said: "However, my point is that the Trinity in no way makes sense or is intelligible as artwork. You conceded this already." James, I said no such thing. In fact, if you are sincere then I would say that not only are you not understanding the artwork, you aren't understanding me. One of the problems in our discussion is that you are attempting to have some sort of debate regarding artwork and I'm not debating at all. I understand what the artists were trying to convey (and as I said, in several instances such as Luke 3:22, that's pretty easy) and what they weren't trying to convey (such as the idea that the persons of the Trinity are three human persons). If you don't understand then you don't understand and I won't make you try to understand. If you are being an art critic and don't like the paintings I'm not going to try to change you mind, "art" is truly in the eye of the beholder. And I still haven't heard a single contradiction. Feel free to email me as I refuse to have a ridiculous argument about theology over artwork.

James, as you take that unfriendly tone again you say: "Yes, myself and Dulle have answered your ridiculous assertion of binitarianism. The simple fact is that if we are biniatarian then you are quadritarian." Well, I have used the word "Twoness" rather than binatarian with regard to Oneness first of all. Secondly, Dulle has never responded to anything I have said on the matter and neither have you. And your "then your quadritarian" assertion is non-sequitur (please see the thread I began at CARM titled, "Jason Dulle's Christology is not Chalcedonian.") I address this false assertion of Dulle in some detail. With regard to the prayers of Jesus, you might also look at the thread I began which critiques one of Dulle's article's from start to finish that is titled, "An analysis of Dulle's explanation of Jesus Prayers." It is unfortunate that this conversation has become unfriendly as I have enjoyed the friendly tone of our email conversation much more.


JN Anderson said...

Mark, I apologize if you think I wanna debate Trinitarian art. That wasn't the intent of the video per se. It is though an example of, at the very least, dogmatic development of the Trinity. I don't suspect you will ever get my point here though since you continue to say you are not debating them but continue to do so, even implicitly. (Luke 3:22, suggesting the were/weren't) I seem to recall a previous email of yours that may have mentioned the term "binitarian". I am not sure of the context off hand. If not, it is implied IMHO. Obviously I have discussed this issue with you before and so as Jason. Unless you are calling he or I a liar then I would simply say you need to check your inbox. I am waiting for you to reply to an email currently, btw. Concerning Chalcedon, it is significant but is not the terminal stopping point of Christology.

JN Anderson said...

Mark, I am not interested in debating you in the comment section of my blog. You know my email address. You haven't replied to my second email I sent you concerning Isa. 48:16. I also replied to your Chalcedon thoughts on Tue, Sep 21, 2010 at 10:22 AM - subject Re: Hello James. I apologize but my impression is that your mind is made up about what we believe, so no amount of clarification or explanation will change your mind. You act as if you know what we really believe, even if we won't be honest about it, or lack the intellectual ability to see it!

I would encourage you to check you inbox better though. I am looking forward to your response on Isa. 48:16.

Adversus Trinitas

"...unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 ESV)