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Geisler, Norman Systematic Theology II


Syst ema ti c T heol Geis ogy ler, N II orm Chap “God an te r 1 ’s Un 2 ity a nd T pp. 2 riun 69-3 ity” 12

God’s Unity
Definition of God’s Unity: God is one Being, in contrast to many beings. There is one and only one God (monotheism) as opposed to many gods (polytheism). There are three related words that should be distinguished:
1. Unity—There are not two or more gods’ 2. Simplicity—There are not two or more parts in God. 3. Triunity—There are three persons in the one God.

(Geisler, p. 268)

Biblical Basis for God’s Unity
Gen. 1:1 Deut. 6:4 Ex. 20:3 Isa. 44:6; 45:18 Mark 12:29 1 Cor. 8:4 Eph. 4:6 1 Tim. 2:5

God’s Triunity
God is not only a unity, He is a triunity; that is, there is not only one God (monotheism), but there are three persons in that one God. This is the orthodox teaching of the Trinity.
(Geisler, p. 278)

What Trinity is Not
Trinity does not mean that there are three gods

(tritheism), it does not mean that God as three modes of one and the same being (modalism). Tritheism denies the absolute simplicity of God, and modalism denies the plurality of the persons of God. The former claims there are three beings in the Godhead, and the later affirms there are not three persons in God.

What Trinity Is
Trinity means that God is a triunity; He is plurality within unity. God has a pluraity of persons and a unity of essence; God is three persons in one nature. There is only on “What” (essence) in God, but there are three “Whos” (persons) in that one What. God has three “I’s” in His one “It”—there are three Subjects in one Object.
(Gielser, p. 279)

God’s Trinity
Definition of God’s Trinity: The doctrine of the Trinity is based on two basic biblical teachings: 1) There is one and only one God. 2)There are three distinct persons who are God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

In addition to declaring God to be one in nature or essence, the Scriptures affirm that there are three distinct persons who are God. All are called God, and all have the essential characteristics of a person.
(Geisler, p. 279)

Personhood is traditionally understood as one who has intellect, feelings, and will. All three of these characteristics are attributed to all three members of the Trinity in Scripture. Essentially, personhood refers to an “I” a “who,” or a subject. Each I in the Trinity possesses the power to think, feel, and choose.
(Geisler, p. 279)

Biblical Support for Teaching the Trinity

Please look at the biblical support offered by Geisler, pp. 279-290. Also, know the funcitonal order in the Trinity, pp. 290-292.

Poor Illustrations of the Trinity
Know why the following are poor illustrations of the Trinity: Three States of Water Three Links in Chain Human, Body, Soul, and Spirit One Actor Playing Three Roles One Family Member with Three Roles (Father, Son, Husband)

Better Illustrations of the Trinity
Please be familiar with the better illustrations of the Trinity (Geisler, 294) A Triangle One to the Third Power Love is Trifold Mind, Ideas, and Words

Heresies Regarding God and Christ
Know the difference between these heresies (Geisler, p. 295-298):

•Tritheism •Modalism •Arianism •Docetism •Nestorianism •Monophysitism •Patripassionism •Monotholitism

•Apollinarianism •Subordinationism •Monarchianism •Adoptionism •Binitarianism

Syst ema ti c T heo Geis lo g y ler, II Nor ma n Ch a pter “Go 13 d’ s H Righ olines s an te o u sn e s d pp. ” 31 3337

God’s Holiness
The definition of God’s Holiness: Theologically, God’s holiness means that He is totally and utterly set apart from all creation and evil. His holiness is associated with His jealousy, His exaltation, His righteousness, His almightiness, His absolute uniqueness, His moral purity, and His being vexed by evil. His holiness is both a metaphysical and a moral attribute. (Geisler, p. 314)

Biblical Basis for God’s Holiness

Be aware of the biblical basis for God’s holiness as demonstrated by Geisler (pp. 314-315).

God’s Righteousness
Definition of God’s righteousness (Geisler, p. 323): God’s righteousness (or justice) is a moral attribute; as such, it is intrisic to God (and extrinsic to creatures). Literally, the word “righteous” means “to be just” or “right.” Theologically, it refers to the intrinsic characteristic of God wherein He is absolutely just or right and the ultimate standard of justice and rightness.

Biblical Basis for God’s Righteousness

Be aware of the biblical basis for God’s holiness as demonstrated by Geisler (pp. 323-324).