The Trinity

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity has been a difficult and contentious doctrine since the word Trinity was first used.  It is a word that does not appear in the Bible but has been used to state the idea that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are God.

 It is a concept that is difficult to cope with because it is so contrary to our normal experiences and for most people it is unhelpful. 

It is offensive to a person who can only believe in one God, not many. A monotheist, such as a Muslim or a Jew believes there is only one God and so do Christians, but Christians have been accused of worshipping three gods, something which is blasphemous to a monotheist.

There have been some Christians who have avoided the perceived difficulties the teaching of the Trinity produces by denying it.  Some insist that Jesus was only and merely a man and never had any qualities of a deity. Some amend this idea by suggesting he was given special god-like powers on occasions such as when he performed miracles.

To further avoid the doctrine of the Trinity it is also necessary to believe that the Holy Spirit is not a person or individual nor God but simply the power or force by which God exerts himself.

The original source of Christian teaching of Jesus and his disciples is in the Bible and the New Testament in particular and it is this teaching which has led to most Christian theologians to use the doctrine of the Trinity.

The first and clearest teaching is that God exists.  He is the creator and supreme authority and offers to his followers the relationship of adoption as his children.

There is historical evidence that Jesus lived, died and reportedly rose again. The New Testament asserts these things and it is difficult to avoid the teaching that Jesus was God in human form (God incarnate) while he was on the earth and that he returned to God the Father after his death and resurrection. (For example, see Why did they kill Jesus? and Jesus the Creator)

Similarly, it is clear that the Holy Spirit is the person, the spirit, of both God the Father and Jesus the Son. (For example, see The Comforter. and Is the Holy Spirit God? )

There have been many analogies proposed which were intended to help people understand what this teaching means, how it works, what it is like but none of them are of any help. There is no analogy for the reality that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are God.

1672 Modified: 29-05-2024
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