This is the third, and final, trinitarian heresy that we’ll look at in this series. Tomorrow, we’ll have a look at simple, concise definition of orthodox trinitarianism. Hopefully, these four posts will help give more definition to your understanding of the Trinity.
Today’s trinitarian heresy is known as binitarianism. Binitarianism, as the name implies (“bini-” vs. “trini-“), is a doctrine that denies the deity (or divinity) of one of the members of the Trinity. Typically, when one person of the Trinity gets the short end of the stick, it’s the Holy Spirit. How often do we addresses prayers of love and adoration to the Holy Spirit, for example, who is constantly at work in us to sanctify and strengthen us?!
Binitarianism denies the divinity of the Holy Spirit by defining him as only an impersonal power of the Father and Son, who together share a single essence or substance. This “impersonal power” can manifest itself as the divine love that flows between the Father and the Son, as the power by which the Father and Son guide and shape the church, and as the force by which the Father and Son created the universe. Initially, this doctrine was based on the close association of God the Father and Jesus the Son in such texts as Romans 4:24 ; 2 Corinthians 4:14 ; and 1 Timothy 2:5–6.
Today, binitarianism is particularly associated with some branches of the demonination known as Church of God, who teach that there was originally two members of the Godhead: The father and the logos (or “word”), who later became the Son.
How would you articulate your opposition to this view? Is there anything intrinsically dangerous or harmful in this view?