God Manifestation in a Unitarian Framework
God Manifestation in a Unitarian Framework is a huge topic and I can’t do it justice in just 750 words. I will do my best to sum it up. That’s going to be difficult because, in my former life, I would have considered myself a well versed scholar of this doctrine.
Underpinning Structure of God Manifestation
The doctrine of God manifestation for non-trinitarians can be a truly beautiful picture. In essence, as Jesus manifest perfectly his Father in heaven and appeared as “God” to those around him, so too can we manifest Jesus (and by extension, God) to those around us.
The foundation of this doctrine is found in 1 Tim 3:16 and 1 John 1:2.
In essence, I haven’t completely abandoned this doctrine, but plainly, I need to think about it differently in light of my acceptance of the deity of Jesus. God Manifestation is a biblical doctrine and can’t be ignored. God is Light (1 Jn 1:5) and we are the light of the world (Matt 5:14-16).
By manifesting or showing the light of God to the surrounding world, we manifest God Himself. We manifest the beauty of our God to a darkening world.
God Manifestation in the Trinity
God has manifest Himself in many different ways throughout the bible. Firstly and most obviously, God manifests Himself in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He manifest Himself in the Burning Bush (Exod 3:2-6). He manifest Himself in a cloud by day and fire by night (Exod 13:21-22; 33:9-11 etc). God chooses to be manifest in whomever and whatever He chooses to be manifest in. That’s the essence of ehyer asher ehyer (Exod 3:14) or Yahweh.
Imitators of God
We are called to imitate God. In Ephesians 5:1, the writer of the epistle calls on us to imitate our dear Father as dearly loved children. Jesus says that this is how we can be recognised as his disciples – “by this shall all know that you are my disciples…” (Jn 13:35) We will be known by the ethereal, otherworldly love of God, manifest by us towards all those around us.
Jesus was the pure manifestation of God – you couldn’t look at him and doubt it. (Jn 14:9) Jesus manifest the light of God (1 Jn 1:1-5). We are the light of God in a dark world. (Matt 5:14-16), therefore we manifest God to the world around us.
The Doctrine of God Manifestation is not therefore a refutation of the doctrine of the Trinity. It still holds very sound.