The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most misinterpreted and controversial aspects of Christianity. Historically, there have been debates surrounding this foundational concept of Christian faith. People often make mistakes trying to understand the nature of God, which stems primarily from their denial they cannot fully grasp the almighty Lord. The concept of the Trinity is not just one of many beliefs about God, but an explanation of who God is. This paper argues that if the postulates of the classic doctrine of the Trinity are negated, it will be impossible to justify the Scripture and rather easy to refute foundational truths at the base of Christianity itself. The alternatives suggested by Modelism, Arianism, and Unitarianism are not consistent with the Biblical text either theologically or philosophically.
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First, it is important to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man. If not, then his sacrifice and atonement would be considered void and stand in opposition to the idea of perfection of Jesus Christ, which is perpetuated by the Scripture (Wainright 123). The Son of God is in the flesh, which makes him human. However, if he were only partly God, the sacrifice would be insufficient. Thus, the classical doctrine of the Trinity implies that the representation of salvation in the Scripture is void of inconsistencies. After all, the belief in the Triune God is what finally brings man to God and allows the path to salvation through the sacrifice of Christ.
Second, the Holy Spirit is God as the only way for the man to be holy is through the Holy Spirit. The Bible notes that only God can do his saving work, which leads to a rational conclusion that the Holy Spirit is God, along with Father and Son (Wainright 122). Therefore, rejecting the concept of the Trinity implies the rejection of God and worship of a completely separate, false divinity. The almighty and internal God must be addressed in fullness, which is why denying the true, eternal nature of God is wrong. It would be a form of sin to not worship a true Triune God, and honor a false deity instead. Those, who choose to deny and reject the Godhead, are not Christian and remain far from salvation.
It is crucial to recognize that faith cannot function without the object of belief. Therefore, denying the full divinity of each of the parts of the Holy Trinity annuls the religion. Mormons or Jehovah’s witnesses worship in vain as they choose to reject the classical doctrine and the belief in three persons as one God. Some individuals’ lack of understanding does not eliminate the truth. After all, the doctrine of the Trinity is complex and nuanced, which often results in misinterpretations and controversies. Despite that, the Scripture confirms the Godhead and provides the only rational explanation and description of God’s nature. Although the concept might be hard to decipher and substantially understand, truth is truth.
Despite that, it is important to recognize examine the relationships between Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Schoonenberg notes that “Jesus Christ and the Father face one another in personal relationship, and the Holy Spirit in us prays to the Father and calls out to the Son” (114). Thus, each part of the Trinity is connected to another one through a personal relationship. Therefore, they face one another in the history of salvation.
Furthermore, no argument about the Trinity cannot be complete without mentioning God’s simplicity. This entails that God has no distinct parts, but either everything, which constitutes God, is God. Even those who reject the majority of Christian doctrines accept the concept of divine simplicity (White 67). Essentially, if any part of God were not fully God, he would depend on it. Thus, if parts of God were not God, God could never exist as an independent and pure being presented in the pages of the Bible. Divine simplicity is a doctrine deeply rooted in the text of the Scripture, which makes it widely acceptable (White 67). There is no denial that if God were comprised of parts that were not God, he would be much like a computer dependent on a motherboard or storage drives.
In conclusion, it is evident that God is Triune, rather than an isolated being, which is a notion popularized by Unitarian theists. If the classical doctrine of the Trinity is rejected, then God cannot be fully perfect and pure. Moreover, the atonement and sacrifice of Jesus Christ could not be considered perfect. Christianity is grounded on the belief that God’s true nature stems from a triad of eternal persons, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Denying the nature of God is to reject the Christian faith entirely and to worship a completely separate, false deity, which is to directly engage in sin. Therefore, the classical doctrine is the only logical and rational one. It is consistent with the Scripture and the concept of divine simplicity, which affirms God’s Oneness and purity.
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Schoonenberg, Peter J. A. M. “Trinity – The Consummated Covenant: Theses on the Doctrine of the Trinitarian God.” Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, vol. 5, no. 2, 1975, pp. 111–116. Web.
Wainwright, Geoffrey. “The Doctrine of the Trinity.” Union Seminary Review, vol. 45, no. 2, 1991, pp. 117–132. Web.
White, Thomas J. “Divine Simplicity and the Holy Trinity.” International Journal of Systematic Theology, vol. 18, no. 1, 2016, pp. 66–93. Web.