This scientist discovered gravity, the light spectrum, and calculus. He also discovered that the doctrine of the ‘Eternal Son’ could not be found or supported by scripture. He openly declared his discoveries in physics, but hid his theological discoveries, fearing for his life.
Sir Isaac Newton singlehandedly contributed more to the development of science than any other individual in history. He surpassed all the gains brought about by the great scientific minds of antiquity, producing a scheme of the universe which was more consistent, elegant, and intuitive than any proposed before. Newton stated explicit principles of scientific methods which applied universally to all branches of science. This was in sharp contradistinction to the earlier methodologies of Aristotle and Aquinas, which had outlined separate methods for different disciplines.
Although earlier philosophers such as Galileo and John Philoponus had used experimental procedures, Newton was the first to explicitly define and systematize their use. His methodology produced a neat balance between theoretical and experimental inquiry and between the mathematical and mechanical approaches. Newton mathematized all of the physical sciences, reducing their study to a rigorous, universal, and rational procedure which marked the ushering in of the Age of Reason. Thus, the basic principles of investigation set down by Newton have persisted virtually without alteration until modern times. In the years since Newton’s death, they have borne fruit far exceeding anything even Newton could have imagined. They form the foundation on which the technological civilization of today rests. The principles expounded by Newton were even applied to the social sciences, influencing the economic theories of Adam Smith and the decision to make the United States legislature bicameral. These latter applications, however, pale in contrast to Newton’s scientific contributions.
Newton invented a scientific method which was truly universal in its scope. Newton presented his methodology as a set of four rules for scientific reasoning. These rules were stated in the Principia (his greatest scientific manuscript). Although his methodology was strictly logical, Newton still believed deeply in the necessity of God. His theological views are characterized by his belief that the beauty and regularity of the natural world could only “proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” He felt that “the Supreme God exists necessarily, and by the same necessity he exists always and everywhere.” Newton believed that God periodically intervened to keep the universe going on track.
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Fearfully, the theological world likes to hide the fact that Newton rejected the philosophical notion of the
‘Eternal Son of God’ as articulated at the Nicaea council of 325 AD and by subsequent theologians. His research told him the ‘Eternal Son’ was a creation of metaphysics, not OT scripture.
Newton became a fellow (paid professorship) at Trinity College of Cambridge University and was asked to accept the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics. Newton however, would not take ‘holy orders’ as an Anglican Priest, a requirement to occupy the Chair, as he did not agree with the theology behind the oath of ordination. By 1675, after Newton’s exhaustive study of Church doctrines and history, King Charles II gave Newton an exemption of the ordination requirement. Newton took the job.
Professor Steven D. Snoblen of Kings College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, said it this way in 1999 when he published “Isaac Newton, heretic: the strategies of a Nicodemite” in ‘The British Journal for the History of Science 32′ (December 1999): pg. 381-419:
“Newton and other 17th century antitrinitarians involved themselves in a sustained endeavor to dismantle the history of the Trinitarian victors and replace it with … primitive Christianity … derived solely from a right reading of Scripture. This pure faith, however, was corrupted through the obtrusion of Greek philosophy, metaphysics and the creedal tradition; the prophesied apostasy. All unscriptural, post-creedal and philosophically articulated dogma was thus suspect.”
Newton could not accept the doctrine created by the Athanasius group of Bishops at the Nicaea council, that Jesus sonship was of a second Spirit, beside God the Father, from before the beginning, eternal.
Was Newton right? It seems the ‘Eternal Sonship’ of Jesus that he questioned deserves a modern examination.
Is the concept of ETERNAL SONSHIP rooted in Philosophy (Greek metaphysics)?
Yes, if you understand this concept in a metaphysical way. Note that there are two ways to understand the ‘Sonship’ of Jesus:
1. The simple idea that the ONE GOD (the fullness of the Father, the Word) fused Himself with a human offspring [Son of God] and that this idea (Word) was hidden in the ONE God’s mind until spoken (uttered, Amar, Genesis 1:3) at the beginning. Although this plan was uttered at the beginning (Chronos, sequential time) it did not arrive until later during the appearing (Kairos, visitation time). God’s prime motive for creating the universe and the physical time reality was His plan to fuse Himself with the flesh of His Son, a human being. This is the monotheistic Jewish explanation.
2. There is a second entity, apart from the Father, beside Him, yet sharing in the same substance with the Father and the Holy Ghost. This is the co-eternal co-equal Son who came to dwell in the physical human ‘Son of the Father‘. Thus, we have two sons: one eternal and a Spiritual entity, another a physical human entity, both united with the name Jesus. Two Sons united in one body; one a person and thus a separate entity within a plural God (elohim). This concept is similar to Brahmanism, creating a multiplicity of gods united in a council of heaven. Further, it is obviously firmly rooted in Greek metaphysical language, not biblical language. Therefore, a vocabulary had to be created by the Greek metaphysicians, not found in scripture (God the son, eternal son, co-equal, co-eternal, trinity, 3 persons in the Godhead).
The logos philosophy that invaded the Church beginning with Justin Martyr and evolving through Tertullian and Athanasius is wrapped in the metaphysical language of Stoicism and Neo-Platonism. The Gentile Greek Apologists were trained in the culture and paedeia of metaphysical thought and this was their cultural paradigm. Using the ‘Theory of Forms’, the ‘Seminal Word’ and the ‘Emanation from the Monad’ concepts, these new breed of Christians introduced metaphysics (esoteric language) and removed the simple Jewish monotheism of the Apostles (as the doctors of philosophy entered the Church). This robbed the Church of it’s Old Testament hermeneutic.
Greek metaphysical ideas were syncretically mixed together with Jewish thought, a worldview that brought Christianity down into apostasy, just as Newton discerned from the prophecies of the OT and the book of Revelation (Newton saw the fall of Christianity as a prophesied event, irreversibly occurring after the Council of Constantinople in 380AD).
Here is a brief definition of the 3 key paedeia ideas of metaphysics (philosophical enquiry into the nature of existence) that removed the Jewish landmarks of interpretation.
1 Theory of Forms
(Plato, Allegory of the Cave, ‘Republic’): States that an idea of the mind (a Word, a Form, a Thought) that manifests is the phenomena of mere shadows mimicking the Form; that is, momentary portrayals of the Form under different circumstances. Thus, Jesus is a temporary appearance of God, a visible shadow of God’s reality, less than Fully the Father.
2 Seminal Word
(Stoicism): States that a Word is a subordinate entity with the same will as God, but was breathed (one breath, one word of many), only a portion of the full Word, not the one true God. Thus, Jesus being the ‘Word that was with God’, is not the same Full Word as God (All Domain) but a subordinate Word, like an Angel or Apostle. Thus, the eternal son appears as an entity of LIFE, but not the entity of Original Creator. In Justin’s mind, Jesus is a God (an Elohim as Angels and men are Elohim of limited domain) but not as great as his Father. He is an eternal entity that co-resides with the Father God, but less than the Father. Justin’s ideas were flawed and future doctors of philosophy arrived to help them evolve into a final trinity notion.
3 Emanation from the Monad
(Plotinus, Neoplatonism): Plotinus taught that there is a supreme, totally transcendent “One”, an essence, containing no division, multiplicity or distinction; beyond all categories of being and non-being. The “One”, the Monad, “cannot be from any existing thing” nor is it merely the sum of all things. The ONE, the source of all emanations, first emanates as the Nous (Divine Mind, logos or order, Thought, Reason) in the beginning. This Nous, due to its having been emanated from the ONE, cannot be the Supreme ONE, but is a subset of the ONE.
Devastating Fallout of Philosophy on John Chapter 1
When these metaphysical ideas entered the dictionary and are used to interpret John chapter one, the result is devastating. Here is the fallout.
- Jesus is not God the Father manifest in flesh. He is a subordinate emanation, less than the one true God, a manifestation of emanation from God. Did not Jesus say, “My father is greater than I?” (John 14:28) [The confusion here is that Jesus was referring to his humanity in John 14:28, not the Word Incarnation of the Father in His flesh.]
- When ‘the Word’ was made flesh, it was a ‘seminal Word’, less than the one who spoke (the Father) but unified in will with the Father. (John 1:14) [This is the err of Justin Martyr that caught fire among Greek metaphysical intellectuals who entered the Church]
- The WORD was with God, thus, it is eternal as a Form (sub-entity of existing word) that always has and always will co-reside with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. (John 17:5). [Imagine Peter using metaphysical explanations such as this in his Acts 2 sermon on Pentecost versus the plain language of scripture]
- Elohim is a plural and thus, ‘Let us make man in our image’ proves that three entities or essences co-exist and co-reside next to each other, reigning together in unity, sharing substance. (Genesis 1:26). [From Moses to Maimonides, no Jewish theologian has ever interpreted this scripture this way. All have interpreted the plural ‘us’ to refer to the ‘Sons of God’, the angelic council referred to in Job 38:4-7 who rejoiced during creation]
The error from philosophical metaphysics as it concerns Jesus is ‘subordinationism‘. This idea says that Jesus is an ‘essence co-eternal with two other essences’ but less than the Father essence he co-resides with when he manifests as a human. Otherwise, he is co-equal with the other two essences. Note that these are not Jewish concepts rooted in monotheism nor the plain words of the Old Testament scriptures.
What about Hebrew Monotheist Thought?
- In Hebrew thought, the ONE God does create other gods (subordinate Elohim of lesser domain, strength and wisdom). God cannot be co-equal with other elohim because He states that there is no other God beside Him (Isaiah 44:8, 45:5). If there is an eternal Son, it cannot be proven by Old Testament scripture, language or descriptions?
- For Hebrews, God is a ‘Rock’ and is unchangeable and indivisible (1 Samuel 2:2), not capable of being divided into a Co-Equal triad of elohim, each distinct as if a different thought Form. And as to sharing the same substance (nature), no scripture states anything close to this. These concepts are clearly metaphysical and the ‘way of the heathen’ (Jeremiah 10:2)
- The Jews understood Jesus statement “I and my Father are One” as Jesus way of declaring that he was the “One God of the Old Testament”. Thus, he used the Hebrew word ‘echad‘, one (Deuteronomy 6:4). The Jews did not have the concept of subordinationism in their mindset (John 10:30-39) when they responded to Jesus statement. Jesus explanation of ‘gods many’ or subordinate elohim was directed and in reference to his humanity, not his Divinity. When the Jews declared that Jesus had made himself equal to God (being a man), Jesus response was to admit that he had said that he was the ‘Son of God’, an appearance of God (manifest presence) they had never considered before. In other words, in Jewish theology, if God had a begotten (sired) son (Psalm 2:7) and if that son was ‘echad’ with the Father, then that man must be the ONE GOD appearing as a man. If Jesus was the appearance and fullest revelation of the ONE God of Israel YHWH, then to the Jews his speech is blasphemy because he had lowered God into the human form (anthropomorphism). Now we know why they tried to stone Jesus for blasphemy!
The Revolutionary Thinkers who discredited Metaphysics
Immanuel Kant was the 18th century philosopher of Europe who was the son of a German Pietist Pastor born near the time of the death of Isaac Newton. His ideas prove the uselessness of metaphysics to describe Christology.
A large part of Kant’s work addresses the question “What can we know?” The answer, if it can be stated simply, is that our knowledge is constrained to mathematics and the science of the natural, physical, empirically observed and measured world. It is impossible, Kant argued, to extend knowledge to the supersensible realm of speculative metaphysics. The reason that knowledge has these constraints, Kant argues, is that the mind plays an active role in constituting the features of experience. The rational reasoning of the human mind is limited and formed by the empirical realm of space and time. Metaphysical perception is an impossible obtainment due to the minds lack of existence and empirical observation in the ontological (Spiritual) realm.
Said another way, Kant argues that the human mind itself influences and limits our ability to correctly perceive truth (knowledge) because it cannot empirically sense and describe anything beyond the physical realm of space and time. Unfortunately, the human mind has it’s own hermeneutical bias created by the experiential physical realm of space and time which place a limit of observation upon it. Thus, metaphysical concepts are really not metaphysical at all. Metaphysical language is really just esoteric language that is based on the realm of physical experience and observation.
Note that this Kantian concept actually agrees with scripture. The incarnation is a scriptural mystery (1 Timothy 3:16) and as such, if we attempt to use non-scriptural language and metaphysical models to describe it, we will divide the Christian Kingdom. Those insisting on using metaphysical speculations to describe the Godhead or ‘Who Jesus is’ (Christology) do so either out of ignorance or intellectual pride. Only Jesus can reveal the
Father to a believer and speculative metaphysical explanations of the incarnation will only weaken the body of Christ as the prideful insist they ‘know’. This was the ‘sin of Athanasius’ at Nicaea in 325 AD which Sir Isaac Newton discovered.
Dr. Jack Mezirow, retired Columbia University professor, pioneered the Transformational Learning theory. His research confirms Immanuel Kant’s question about ‘What we can know and what we can describe through language’. Mezirow’s research discovered that ‘past experience’ creates a ‘biased hermeneutic’. Further, that experiences themselves do not accurately portray the past because they are colored and internalized not just on rational empiricism, but volatile human emotions. People tend to accept new information that is only congruent with past experiences (paradigm, values, beliefs, tradition) and disregard new information that is contrary to their tradition. Mezirow discovered that his students construct a personal version of reality that he or she then uses to cope with new experiences. This is exactly what Immanuel Kant theorized.
Now Christians should agree with the above and throw out metaphysical speculation as a futile and baseless definition of something that cannot be described: Christology. We should say it this way; “Man is dependent upon God to receive revelation about God’s ontological nature and existence.“ This revelation is personal and can only be communicated to the believer by Jesus himself, the Spirit of Truth. Therefore, it’s not possible for human models of explanation to describe the incarnation! Why? Because our language and descriptive speculations are limited to the physical human domain empirically observed and unfortunately, tainted with bias (paradigm). Also, we are not authorized to take Jesus’ place and give this kind of revelation.
Nicaea, the Dragon’s Triumph
At Nicaea in 325 AD, Athanasius and his supporters issued ‘a Christological creed‘ in a misguided mission to describe the incarnation in terms of metaphysical language:
“the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten (γεννηθέντα), not made, being of one substance
(ὁμοούσιον, consubstantialem) with the Father.”
These speculations of subordinated essences are metaphysical and thus, are in themselves (according to Kant) not a real explanation of the ontological. 55 years later after these speculations became doctrine in the Western Churches, the ‘Council of Constantinople’ was convened to institutionalize these ideas in the Eastern Church, where separation from the West had already occurred after the Christological narrative of Nicaea. This particular council resulted in a continuation of the Nicaea Jihad against dissenters of the Athanasius (Apostle’s) Creed. Another Roman Emperor, Theodosius, attempted to bring unity to his empire through his Constantinian power to confirm the appointment of Bishops in the cities of his realm (Simony).
After the incarnation was formalized in metaphysical creeds and canons of the 4 ecumenical councils (Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, Chalcedon), the hunt and burning of heretics gained conforming traction. Christianity was transformed from a peaceful tolerant religion of love into a prideful intolerant religion of polemics dominated by secular rulers, scholastics, theologians, and apologetical jihadists who took up the sword and destroyed nonconforming believers books, properties, even executing them for wrong thinking (thought crimes).
To conclude, the philosopher of Germany has told the philosophers of Greece that their metaphysical language is just NONSENSE, a babble of speculative deception, the root of Christian division. I find this obviously ridiculous, but at the same time, distressing. No wonder Paul warned the Church in Colosse about Philosophy (Colossians 2:8) and why he marveled about the ‘superstition’ of the Greeks in Athens
as he stood upon Mars Hill.
Paul clearly said “your metaphysics is a superstition and has created the Unknown God” (Acts 17:22-23).
One last thing about Isaac Newton’s biblical research. He saw the book of Revelation as primarily God’s foreknowledge and communication method to Christians, that the Church would fall into gross apostasy. He considered Nicaea and Athanasius as the instruments of systemizing this apostasy. Further, he foresaw a ‘time of Restoration’ near the end where the Old Monotheist truths of the Jewish Apostles would be restored.
Constantine and the 3 Frogs
Now consider the strange unscriptural ideas that entered Christianity both before and after the creedal creation of metaphysical logos theology that was facilitated by the Roman Emperor Constantine:
1. God is a triad or trinity, an alien concept in monotheistic Judaism. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
2. Three entities, essences, co-exist and are united in one substance. This is the One God. 3=1. Again, an idea alien to monotheistic Judaism and an error in mathematics.
3. Jesus is 2 sons: One an Eternal Spirit being regenerated from the beginning, yet co-equal with God the Father; another is a human being known as the ‘Son of God’, begotten in time. These 2 Sons are united in some fashion but only the Eternal Spiritual essence is united to the Father Spirit. This is the eternal Son manifest in flesh. Note, this idea disagrees with the scriptural language of 1 Timothy 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:19 and Colossians 2:9.
4. The Holy Spirit is a 3rd entity, essence, that yet is part of the substance of the Divinity. However, the Holy Spirit is never seen in the book of Revelation on the throne with the Father and the Lamb. Also, we break Greek language rules when we refer to a gender neutral object such as the Holy Spirit, and call ‘it’ a person, with male genitive antecedents.
5. The orthodoxy of Athanasius is preferred over Arius and Nestor due to the fact that 316 out of 318 Bishops signed on to the Nicene Creed at Nicaea, pressured by Augustus Constantine. These people were right to fear Constantine for immediately after the council hammered out their 20 Canons and the Nicene Creed, the Emperor sent letters to all cities in the Empire denouncing non-conforming Bishops. He ordered the dissenters be prohibited from ‘house Church meetings’ through threat of confiscation of property and even threatened ‘capital punishment’ to those voicing views different from the Nicene edicts. Clearly, the head of the Nicene Church organization at this moment was a ‘secular Emperor’ with sycophantic Pastors conforming to un-biblical ‘articles of faith’, afraid of facing a roaring lion.
As the greatest discoverer of science showed us, the three frogs were hopping from city to city under the financing and fear of the Roman Emperor, using the apologetics written by Athanasius. The Church was subdued.