Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Trinity

The word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible. However, the doctrine is clear since we find the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit as distinct persons (Matt.3:16,17), and each of the persons is called deity without denying the affirmation that God is One (John 1:1; Acts 5:3-4). The word "Trinity" was chosen by Church theologians to distinguish the Christian concept of God from the non-biblical ones.

I. The Doctrine of Trinity
1.  God is One.
2.  There are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
3.  These three don't make three Gods; they are the three persons of the one Godhead.
4.  These three are not different manifestations of one person. They are three persons of the one Godhead.
5.  The three are co-equal, co-eternal, and co-substantial.
6. The oneness of the Triune God is not self-contradictory.

II. Natural Illustrations 1x1x1=1 (Nathan Wood)
1. Length x Breadth x Height = Space
2. Energy x Motion x Phenomenon = Matter
3. Future x Present x Past = Time
4. Space x Matter x Time = Universe
5. Nature x Person x Personality = Man

III. Philosophical Rationality of Trinity
1. Provides the rational-eternal basis for moral categories – If God was a not a Trinity, then categories such as love, joy, and goodness couldn't be absolute.
2. Provides the rational-empirical basis for epistemic categories – if God was not a Trinity, then the knowledge as a subject-object relationship, as analytic-synthetic distinction, and Truth as such couldn’t find an original ground.
3. Provides the relational basis for interpersonal relationships. Therefore, Christ could pray regarding His disciples, “that they may be one, as We are” (Jn. 17:11).
4. Provides the metaphysical ground for a pluralist reality, and unity in diversity of the uni-verse.

IV. Scriptural Proofs
Deut. 6:4; Psa. 2:7; Heb. 1:13; Psa. 68:18; Isa. 6:1-3; Isa. 9:6; Gen. 1:2; 1Ti. 1:17; 1Co. 8:4-6; 1Pe. 1:2; 2Pe.1:1,2; Jn. 1:1,17; Phil. 2:11; Mt. 3:16-17; Acts 5:3-4; 1Jn.5:20

V. False Views of Trinity
1. Unitarianism – Father is creator, Son is creature, Spirit is impersonal.
2. Sabellianism – Modalism, i.e. God appeared historically in three separate modes, as Father in the Old Testament, as Son in the New Testament, and as Spirit now.
3. Tritheism – Father, Son, and H.S. are three distinct gods.

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