The World of Trinity

UNIVERSE: ATOM: SPACE: TIME: PHASE: NUMBER: MATTER: ENERGY: SPHERE: MOTION: INFERENCE: CREATURES: GENDER: BEING: Mass-Space-Time Proton-Electron-Neutron Length-Breadth-Height Present -Past-Future Solid -Liquid-Gas Positive-Zero-Negative Energy-Motion-Phenomena Sound-Heat-Light Lithosphere-Hydrosphere-Atmosphere Law of Inertia-Law of interaction-Law of Momentum Inductive-Deductive-Abductive Terrestrial-Aquatic-Aerial Masculine-Neuter-Feminine Material-Psychological-Spiritual

EXPRESSION: Art-Literature-Music FAMILY: POWER: REALM: LOVE: MAN: SOUL: VIRTUE: Hamite-Japhetite-Shemite Ability-Capacity-Agility Physical-Intellectual-Spiritual Eros (Sexual)-Philos (Filial)-Agape (Sacrificial) Body-Soul-Spirit Emotion-Cognition-Volition Faith –Hope-Love

Do Christians really worship three god's as many claim?

Is the Trinity a fact or is it fiction? Do Christians really worship three god's as many claim? The Trinity is one of the most frequently attacked doctrines by the cults and false religions. Is the Trinity a blatant contradiction? The fact is, creation is filled with illustrations of spiritual truths that reveal the many attributes of God, not the least of which is the Trinity! Einstein's theory of relativity revealed the fact that life as we know it consists of three things, time, space, and matter (which is energy). Interestingly, the Bible starts with, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." In the beginning, that's time, God created, that's energy, the heavens, that's space, and the earth, that's matter! We live in time: Time has three elements, the past, the present and the future. The past is not the present, the present is not the future and the future is not the past. One in not the other, all are part of the same, none can exist without the other, and yet each is distinct! Space: We live in a three dimensional world, Height, width and depth. Height is not width, width is not depth and depth is not height. One in not the other, all are part of the same, none can exist without the other, and yet each is distinct! Matter: All Matter is made up of atoms. All atoms consist of three basic components, protons, neutrons and electrons. A proton is not a neutron, a neutron is not an electron, and an electron is not a proton. One is not the other, all are part of the same, none can exist without the other (and still remain a complete atom), and yet each is distinct! Two thousand years after the New Testament was written, we still cannot see an atom! Heb. 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. Interesting too is the fact that protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charged. Like trying to stick two magnets together, these two components repel each other. Theoretically, atoms should explode and scientists cannot figure out what holds them together. Col. 1: 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. The Bible says man is made in the image of God. I Thess. 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to this verse, you have a triune nature. You have a body, a soul and a spirit. In the Greek of the New Testament, the word body is soma, soul is Psuche, and spirit is pneuma.

One is not the other, all are part of the same, none can exist without the other, and yet each is distinct! How about the human mind? Scientists tell us that the human mind is the most complex thing in the universe. The is also a trinity. The mind, the will, and the emotions. Your mind, (intellect) is not the same as your emotions. Your emotions are not the same as your will. One is not the other, all are part of the same, none can exist without the other, and yet each is distinct! Earth, wind and fire! Earth itself has three layers. The crust, mantle of rock, and the core which is molten. How about the wind? You can live for thirty days without food, you can go three days without water, but you can't go three minutes without air! The air you breath is 78.1 % Nitrogen, 20.9% oxygen, 1% water vapor. What about fire? Take a close look at a campfire. It is blue at the bottom, orange in the middle and white at the top. How about Water? The world is two thirds water. Your body is two thirds water. One molecule of water consists of two hydrogen atoms and one atom of oxygen. Hydrogen by itself is flammable. Oxygen by itself is flammable. But, if you put them both together in a two to one ratio you have a third substance with which you can use to extinguish a fire! Can you rationally understand that? The combination of three atoms makes one molecule of water. What about light? When Einstein discovered the theory of relativity he was trying to answer the question, "What is light?" Interestingly, the Bible says, "God is light." Today we know, there is invisible light, visible light and the heat associated with light. Invisible light such as Micro Waves, Radio Waves, X-Rays, Gamma Rays etc., are invisible. They are neither seen nor felt. 1 Timothy 1:17, says God the Father is invisible. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, {be} honor and glory forever and ever. The same idea is found in John 4:24. God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. Then we have visible light which is both seen and felt. The same is true of Jesus.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:14 And the word became flesh, and we beheld His glory! I John 1:1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life -And the Heat that is associated with Light parallels the heat associated with the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:11 says, As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. John 16:8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment. The word translated "Convict" in the original Greek means: To expose the hidden things, to chastise moral sense. When you get convicted of sin, you get hot! As you can see, weather or not you can rationally understand something does not preclude you from believing it! Do you understand atomic theory? I do not. But, that does not prevent me from enjoying the benefits of electricity coming from our atomic power plants. I have demonstrated that the Trinity is not illogical, irrational, or contradictory. Anyone have eggs for breakfast this morning? It consists of the shell, the white and the yoke. Were you eating three eggs? Even a chicken can answer that one! If you are still adamant, that God cannot be a Trinity, I'll ask you the same question God asked Job. Job 38: "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding." There are 100, billion stars in our galaxy, and a hundred billion galaxies in the known universe. God created all of them, He holds them all in place, and calls them all by name! For a mortal man who has never seen God to state emphatically that God cannot be in heaven, come to earth as a man, and be in all places at the same time is to me, a greater mystery than the Trinity!

I. Biblical references to "trinity" A. There are no references to the word "trinity" in the Bible. B. Development of the word "trinity" in reference to God. 1. Greek word trias a. Means "threefold" or "threesome" b. Used by Theophilus of Antioch c. 175 A.D. 2. Latin word trinitas a. tri means three; unitas means unity b. Used by Tertullian c. 210 A.D. c. Root of English word "trinity" 3. The word was employed in attempt to correlate and integrate the revelation of God as singular, yet functionally diverse in three distinct personages. a. necessity of correlating oneness and threeness of God b. concept of "trinity" inherent in Scripture "in solution" C. References to the oneness or unity of God 1. Old Testament Deut. 6:4 - "The Lord our God, the Lord is one!" Deut. 32:39 - "I am He, and there is no god besides Me" Isa. 43:10 - "Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me" Isa. 46:9 - "I am God and there is no other; there is no one like Me" 2. New Testament I Cor. 8:4-6 - "there is no God but one. ...there is but one God, the Father...; and one Lord, Jesus Christ..." Gal. 3:20 - "God is only one" D. References to the diversity of God 1. Old Testament Gen. 1:1 - "In the beginning God (Elohim - plural) created..." Gen. 1:26 - "Let Us (plural) make man in Our (plural) image" Isa. 6:8 - "Who will go for Us (plural)?" Isa. 9:6 - (Messianic) "Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace" 2. New Testament Matt. 3:16,17 - "being baptized, Jesus...saw the Spirit of God descending...and a voice, saying, 'This is My beloved Son...'" Matt. 28:19 - "baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" II Cor. 13:14 - "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all" Gal. 4:6 - "God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts..." Eph. 4:4-6 - "one God and Father of all..." I Pet. 1:2 - "foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ..." I Jn. 5:7 (KJV) - (without adequate MSS evidence; interpolation) a. Father as God Jn. 6:27 - "the Father, God, has set His seal" Eph. 4:6 - "one God and Father" I Pet. 1:2 - "God the Father..." b. Son as God - (cf. I Jn. 5:20; Phil. 2:6

Jn. 1:1 - "the Word was God" Jn. 20:28 - "My Lord and my God" Titus 2:13 - "our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus" Heb. 1:8 - "of the Son, 'Thy throne, O God, is forever..." II Pet. 1:1 - "God and Savior, Jesus Christ" c. Holy Spirit as God Acts 5:3,4 - "lie to Holy have lied to God" Rom. 8:9 - "the Spirit...Spirit of God...Spirit of Christ I Cor. 6:11 - "the Spirit of our God" II Cor. 3:17,18 - "the Lord is the Spirit" II. A brief history of Christian discussion concerning the "trinity" A. Justin Martyr (100-165) - while arguing for monotheism, refers to Jesus as "a second God in number" B. Theophilus of Antioch (c. 175) - first to use Greek trias for "threesomeness" of God. C. Tertullian (160-220) - first to use Latin terms: trinitas explained as 3 personae in one substantia. D. Origen (c. 182-251) - subordinated Jesus and Spirit to the Father; Father is God in Himself, Son is image of Father, Spirit is image of Son. E. Arius (c. 250-336) - Son brought into being by God, and thus made God. F. Athanasius (296-373) - first to employ Greek homoousion as explanation of trinity. G. Council of Nicea (325) - accepted Athanasius' homoousion explanation as orthodox Christian teaching. Some wanted homoiousion. H. Cappadocian theologians (4th century), Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus Settled on 3 hypostaseis in 1 ousia. I. Augustine (354-430) - Three persons in 1 nature or essence. Many psychological analogies (ex. mind, knowledge, love) J. Eastern Orthodox Church (1054) - rejected filoque concept of Spirit generated from Father "and the Son"; division from Western Latin Church K. Richard of St. Victor (c. 1120-1173) - God as love demands a plurality of persons. L. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) - three subsistences in one God. M. John Calvin (1509-1564) - made more distinction between Son and Spirit. N. Karl Barth (1886-1968) - three modes of being in one God, who is both I and Thou. III. Issues of consideration concerning the "trinity" A. Identifying the Oneness 1. Being 2. Essence 3. Substance 4. 5. 6. 7. Nature Reality Person Godhead

B. Identifying the Threeness 1. Persons a. psychologically - personalities, self-conscious beings b. sociologically - interrelational, interpersonal c. distinct agents 2. Individualities

3. Identities 4. Roles of activity 5. Modes of expression 6. Entities 7. Emanations C. Interrelational factors of threeness 1. Father, Son, Holy Spirit a. paternity, filiation, procession b. unbegotten, begotten, procession 2. Priority and subordination a. in relational function, but not essential being b. eternality of such 3. Eternal interpersonal relations a. God is Person b. God is Love c. God is Faithful d. Dynamic Being e. Fellowship D. The tension or dialectic between 1. Oneness and threeness 2. Unity and diversity 3. Indivisibility and distinctness 4. Coinherence and community E. Avoidance of extremes 1. Unitarianism, monad 2. Tritheism, polytheism 3. Modalism, Monarchianism 4. Subordinationism F. Inadequacy of all human analogies 1. father, son, husband 2. 3. 4. 5. water: liquid, gas, solid music: 3 notes, 1 chord light: 3 bulbs, 1 lumination atom: neutron, electron, proton

6. space, matter, time a. space: length, width, height b. matter: energy, motion, phenomenon c. time: past, present, future 7. source, manifestation, meaning 8. cause, event, consequence 9. spirit, soul, body G. Necessary balance 1. Ontological trinitarianism 2. Operational trinitarianism a. relational trinitarianism b. administrative trinitarianism c. economic trinitarianism d. sociological trinitarianism e. ergonomic trinitarianism f. synergistic trinitarianism

g. functional trinitarianism IV. Implications of attempting to understand the "trinity" of God A. Correlates with age old philosophical question of one and many 1. Emphasis on one a. monism b. unity c. singularity d. simplicity 2. Emphasis on many a. complexity b. diversity c. relativity d. random 3. Einstein's "theory of relativity" and "unified field theory" were attempts to explain that the diversities relate to a constant and a singularity. B. Three alternatives of response to Scriptural teaching of oneness/threeness 1. Reject as incompatible with human reason - absurdity 2. Reduce to human reason - emphasize oneness or threeness 3. Accept the revelation of God - hold in balance/tension of dialectic or antinomy. a. Natural reason will never arrive at trinitarian understanding of God. b. Must accept God in the manner He has revealed Himself c. Failure to do so is deification of human reason C. Centrality of trinitarian understanding to all Christian teaching 1. Pervades every doctrinal category a. Christology (1) Incarnation - Jesus as God-man (2) Redemptive efficacy b. Pneumatology c. Soteriology d. Sanctification e. Ecclesiology 2. Necessity of trinitarian assent for Christian belief a. God has revealed Himself in His Son, by the Spirit (1) He cannot be known in any other way, except through the Son, by the Spirit Jn 14:6,7 (2) The gospel of salvation/sanctification requires the persons and work of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit b. Must allow for latitude of differentiation in human struggle to understand and express the tension between oneness and threeness (1) Can never adequately express in human thought or words (2) Point out dangers and fallacies of overemphases 3. Gregory of Nazianzen (c. 329-389 A.D.) - "I cannot think of the One, but I am immediately surrounded with the glory of the Three; nor can I clearly discover the Three, but I am suddenly carried back to the One."