Matt DaviesMarch 20, 2009Professor Apel
C.S. Lewis: On the Doctrine of the Trinity
The Doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most important Christian doctrines and would possibly be considered a “protective” doctrine.
Defined by the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, theTrinity consists of three separate species, hupostaseis, who share a common substance, ousia.
Although the Trinity is a complicated doctrine, we can suffice it by saying that the Trinityconsists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, all of whom are equal in power but separatein entity. C.S. Lewis warns that the Trinity works together in ways that we, as humans, couldnever understand. He uses the analogy of a cube: a perfectly three-dimensional object made upof six two-dimensional squares. Each square is unique but remain one cube.
Lewis adopts thetypical evangelical view of the Trinity when it comes to Jesus, as adopted by the NationalAssociation of Evangelicals.The National Association of Evangelicals adopts the following definition for the Trinity:“We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and HolySpirit.”
To begin his defense of the Trinity, Lewis talks about the common problem faced whenusing the words “to create” and “to beget.” The Bible talks about Jesus being the only begottenSon of God. John 3:16 says that God sent his only
Son. John 1:14 says, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One andOnly
, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." But what does "begotten"
1 [Tillich, 1957] 139-140.2 [, 2005]3 [Lewis, 2002] 133.4 [Evangelicals]