Dear Editor Walker:
The recent August issue of the Christian Life Magazine carries the first part of a series, an article entitled, “The Key to Everything,” by Norman Grubb. The title struck my curiosity, as to most people, the key to anything is of rather vital interest. Titles such as “The Key to Success,” or “The Key to Will Power,” or “The Key to Hypnotism” are attracting thousands today. Another “key,” “Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures,” has attracted its ten thousands. Keys there are, and “keys.” But some “keys” are to doors which open only into a yawning chasm.
But the “key to everything!” It seemed almost too pretentious, as at first I thought I was going to read that this key was within man, something he had, or could get. But in this I was happily disappointed when it was stated that sinful self is “extremely unimportant,” that man of himself is nothing, has nothing and can get nothing; and that this “key to everything” is not in man, nor in anything he can attain, nor in any part of the creation. The key is God Himself. He is the key to everything. This was good. This the Christian can believe.
But then the article seems to present a “God-is-everything and “everything-is-God” philosophy. At least the idea of God presented is not the God of the Christian faith. For on p. 12 we read “Love is exclusively a characteristic of one Person only-.” If love is the characteristic of one Person only, to the exclusion of all other Persons, then the Person of the Father and Person of the Spirit are excluded from this attribute. Love is here limited to only the second Person of the Godhead.
However, we read, “He that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him…My Father will love him, and we will come unto him” (John 14:21, 23). This proves that the Person of the Father is distinct from the Person of the Son, and that the Father is love in and of Himself, even as the Son is love in and of Himself. There is also proof that the Person of the Holy Spirit is Himself love: “The fruit of the Spirit is love” (Galatians 5:22). “I beseech you… for the love of the Spirit” (Romans 15:30). which shows that love is of (out of) the Spirit, as is clear from Romans 5:5, “the love of God hath been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is a distinct Person in the Godhead, clearly distinguished from the Person of the Father and the Person of the Son (John 14:16, 17; 15:26; 16:13-15). Love, then, cannot be exclusively a characteristic of “one Person, and one Person only,” since there are three Persons in the Godhead, and They all equally possess all the attributes of God.
On p. 13 it is stated that “there’s only one Person in the universe who ever said “I am.” This is not true, for it is the Triune God who says, “I am that I am,” and not merely one of the persons of the Trinity. It was the first Person of the Trinity who said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). The opinion that “there is only one Self in the universe” cannot, therefore be correct. For there is not only one Serf (Ego), but three in the one Divine Being. There are three Persons in God, three eternal Egos who say “I.”
To say “there is only one Self in the universe who is really important,” (p.13) is either to regard the other two Persons of the Godhead as unimportant, or to turn the three distinct Persons of the Trinity into simply three manifestations of one sole person. The latter seems to be intended in the words, “It is exclusively Christ Who is God; it doesn’t matter whether you call Him (Christ) Father, Son or Holy Spirit.” For according to this view, since there is only one solitary person in the one Divine being that you could call God, you could, then, call Christ not only Son, but Father and Holy Spirit; and in doing so, you would be correct, because according to this Unitarian economic “trinity” God revealed himself in the Old economy as Father, in the economy as Son, and shall in the future economy as Holy Spirit.
This is further brought out in the author’s word, “There is only one person, and the human creation is brought into a living relationship with this One…” Is not this the ancient philosophy of the model “trinity,” where one person acts in three different modes or manners? God merely assumes three modes of action or manifestation. The divinity of Christ, we note, is acknowledged, but any personal distinctions in the Godhead are denied. The same one Person is at once Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is no essential Trinity. The Father and the Spirit are not distinct Persons who ought to be worshipped by every believer, because “there is only one Person who is really important (existent).”
This one Person is said to have a “perfection of life and love,” but, for a solitary “God” (one in person as well as one in being), this would be impossible, at least before creation, which means that in eternity, before the foundation of the world, it was impossible for “Him “to have fellowship, as there were no other persons with who to fellowship. He could neither know himself, nor love himself. Unitarian philosophy is contradictory to God’s perfect intertheistic, Trinitarian, covenant life.
Besides denying the ontological trinity, the author seems to hold a kind of pantheism that everything is God and God is everything. “The rest of creation can contain manifestations of God; we can contain as Person (ital. RCH). A person cannot manifest himself as a person through anything else than a person.” Pantheism teaches that in the process of evolutionary development, God was originally very impersonal, and had to, by a process of “being and becoming,” go through the stages of inanimate matter, to animal, to man. It was in mankind that God became personalized. Inanimate creatures are manifestations of God, but He becomes personalized in the human race.
The pantheistic implication is suggested to the reader when the writer makes the finite creation the necessary material body of the Infinite God. The whole creation exists because the Spirit must have a body in which to manifest Himself.” This denies the absolute independence of God, making Him dependent upon His own creation. That is God had to (of necessity) create in order to have a place to dwell, and to improve Himself over His pre-creation condition of a disembodied Spirit. The statement is a denial of the eternal self-sufficiency of God.
The author’s thoughts ought to be more carefully worded, if he does not intend Unitarianism and pantheism, and should be expressed in harmony with all Scripture and the historic, Protestant, Christian faith. For the statements as indicated in the above quotations present a “God” who cannot be the “key to everything,” but only the key to the Pandora box of errors.