Skip to content

The Broader Issue of the Godhead

The mistaken application of the dependence of the Son on the Father for being the Fountain of Life is just one of many interpretational discrepancies for those espousing an alternative view of the Fountain of Life and the Godhead.

There are two questions that seem to be at the heart of the matter for most people for whom this site is relevant:

  1. Did Christ have a beginning?  Was there some point in the remote past when he was literally “begotten” from the Father?
  2. Is the Holy Spirit a Person in the sense of an individual being, distinct from the Father and the Son?

The arguments for and against the possible answers to these questions are briefly summarised in the following table:

Proposition Arguments For Arguments Against
Co-equal, Co-eternal Son Bible: Clear statements of eternal Divinity such as Is 9:6, Mic 5:2, Jn 8:58, etc

EGW: Clear statements of eternal self-existence and Divinity such as “original, unborrowed, underived” (DA 530), “self-existent” (DA 469), etc
Bible: (i) Various statements of subordination and dependence, particularly associated with the Incarnation (which have been interpreted ontologically – i.e., relating to nature, as opposed to functionally, to be able to employ these statements for the case ‘against’); (ii) Misinterpretation of monogenes.

EGW: Similar to (i) above
Distinct Divine Personhood of Holy Spirit Bible: (i) Personal characteristics ascribed; (ii) the pronoun “he”; (iii) various succinct references to three members of Godhead

EGW: Numerous direct, clear and specific statements that the Holy Spirit is the “third person of the Godhead” (DA 671) or similar
Bible: (i) Lack of detail; (ii) mysterious nature; (iii) the pronoun “it”; (iv) some non-personal ascriptions

EGW: primarily arguments from silence
Meta-Narrative Arguments for Co-eternal, Triune Godhead Nothing additional. Life-source comes from a single authoritative head Being (the Father), from which all life (including that of any other Divine Being/s) is subsequently derived. (No fundamental sources for this exist in Inspiration.)

Emotional attachment to the single life-source meta-narrative argument “against”, and philosophical arguments (e.g., value based on performance vs relationship) that are only loosely attached to Scripture, may create blindness to the evidence that disproves that case. When the blinkers of this unbiblical (and contrary to Ellen White) meta-narrative are removed, it is very rare for someone to settle on accepting only one of the two key propositions (co-eternal, co-equal nature of the Son, and distinct Divine Personhood of the Holy Spirit).

There is no textual basis for this single life-source meta-narrative argument. There are passages in the Bible and EGW that suggest all life comes from God, and at times specifically either the Father or Jesus (or even the Holy Spirit). But it is impossible to make a case for a lone Divine-Person source on which the Second (and also Third) divine Persons are dependant for enabling Them also to be each known as the Fountain of Life.

While it is semi-plausible to interpret texts/passages referring to Christ’s Incarnation or functional subordination as suggesting His life originates from the Father (notwithstanding the clear contradiction this poses to other texts/passages), there is no plausible way to escape the Holy Spirit’s distinct personhood without total abuse of language, particularly if Ellen White’s writings are considered inspired.

Thus one has to ask, which side is more guilty of imposing a pre-determined theory (or meta-narrative) onto the reading and interpretation of all other material?

This site does not intend to cover all the issues, or even to present a systematic defence of a Triune view of God. Others have done that well elsewhere.

Most who oppose a Triune understanding of God tend to make this a test issue, even going so far as to say “we worship different Gods.” For some reason, this single doctrinal issue seems to occupy a very large percentage of the thoughts and communication of those who adopt a non-triune position.

I have observed this issue to have had what I believe to be very sad consequences for several close friends. For this reason, it is my desire to keep friendships and dialogue open, engaging on the substantive issues and questions. I also acknowledge my humanness, the limits of my knowledge, and my God-given responsibility to limit the time I spend on this in light of my other responsibilities in life.

This site intends only to quickly touch on some other areas of clear and repeated misinterpretation, outside of the Fountain of Life metaphor. These additional areas are also, as yet, unanswered. The information here is provided so that the honest searcher can have a basis for thorough research, and, ultimately, sound decision-making.