The Trinity

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by In His Grace, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. In His Grace

    In His Grace
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    Give me your best way (or should I say the best way) of explaining the trinity.

    I seem to have a hard time explaining this to muslims.
     
  2. tinytim

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    The following is How I defined the Trinity in my doctrinal statement:

    The Trinity:

    God exists as a Trinity, One God in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All attributes are shared equally by all three. while they are three separate persons, they still are one. One substance in three persons. Each have a separate and distinguishable function in the salvation and redemption of man. God the Father authored the plan of salvation, God the Son fulfilled the plan of salvation, and God the Holy Spirit carries out the plan of salvation. Because God’s ways and thoughts are above ours, we cannot completely define the Trinity in human language, thus all analogies are incomplete and become illogical when illustrated.
    Notwithstanding, my favorite illustration is the three dimensional rationalization. In this illustration, the three dimensions each represent 1/3 of the Godhead. God the Father is the height, God the Son is the width, and God the Holy Spirit is the depth. All dimensions are equal, and required to make a three dimensional object.

    # Genesis 1:26; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 3:22; John 1:1-14; Some manuscripts, 1 John 5:7;
    # John 10:30
    # Luke 3:22
    # 1 Peter 1:2
    # Isaiah 55:9


    I hope this can help.
     
  3. webdog

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    I like the analogy that Barbara Bush is:

    The First Lady
    Wife
    Mother

    Three separate roles...but the same person.
     
  4. natters

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    Here's a simple one I've heard that I kinda like: fold a piece of paper into thirds. The paper represents God. The thirds are inseperable, and of the same essence. No matter which third you point to, you are pointing to the one God.
     
  5. Brother Ian

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    Another one is th eegg. It is an egg, but it is the white, the yolk, and the shell. Each is one aspect of the egg yet all are one. Take any one part away and it is not the egg.

    The Trinity is very difficult to explain and understand.

    Blessings in your evangelism.
     
  6. Snitzelhoff

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    My personal favorite is this:

    The Father is the ocean.

    The Son is the rivers coming off the ocean and going back to it.

    The Holy Spirit is the water flowing through it all.
     
  7. Humblesmith

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    There is one and only one God: Isaiah 43:10; Deut.6:4

    The Father is God: many sources in OT & NT
    The Son is God: John 1:1; 8:58
    The Holy Spirit is God: Acts 5:3-4
    They speak to one another: John 17

    Conclusion: The three persons are the one God.

    This is no contradiction. As humans we only have the perspective that one being equals one person. But we are finite, God is infinite, so He can have 3 persons in one being.

    Most analogies break down and shouldn't be used, such as ice/water/steam. Even the best analogies don't work exactly, since nothing is like God. But, you can use a triangle, with three corners being the one triangle, or the mind, with ideas, thoughts, and words being the one mind.

    BTW, the trinity was taught from the very beginning, much prior to when many think of it. It was taught clearly and consistently in the 200's, with allusions going back to the first century.
     
  8. nate

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    "There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being."
    From the Baptist Message and Faith
     
  9. Johnv

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    Slice an apple down the center, and you see the skin, the pulp, and the seed. They're all parts of the apple, yet when you look at the whole, you see an apple. Same with the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
     
  10. Gold Dragon

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    I agree that most analogies when taken to logical conclusions are incorrect analogies of the Trinity bordering on heresy. However, they are useful as small glimpses into the mystery of the Trinity.
     
  11. Dunamis XX

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    The Athanasian Creed expresses the Trinitarian belief as: "We worship one God in trinity, and trinity in unity, neither confounding the persons, nor separating the substance."

    The trinity is not triplex (1+1+1=1), but triune (1x1x1=1).

    The best illustration that I've heard to go with this is what is called the triple point of water: in a laboratory, it is possible to have one substance and three things at the same time, by using water. You take a vacuum tube and put in water, pump out the air and put the tube under 230 milimeters of gas pressure, reduce the temperature to zero degrees and as the thermometer hits zero, the bottom of the tube instantly freezes, the center of the tube remains liquid, and the top of the tube puffs into gas. In that one tube, at that given micro-second, takes place what every chemist knows as the triple point of water - H2O - is solid, liquid, and gas simultaneously.

    If water, which is the simpliest of all elements, can be three-in-one at the same moment, then the Creator of water and the Universe can be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the same time with no problem at all!

    We may not fully understand this side of heaven what the nature of God is, because in order to do that, I believe we would have to share that nature. But one thing that we do know, is that, there are Persons mentioned in the Scriptures: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit - each one is called God and yet the Scriptures say in Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD."
     
  12. cojosh

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    How about a family. There's a father, a mother, and a child. Three personalities, yet only one family.
     
  13. Humblesmith

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    Most of the analogies break down because they list three "parts" that add up to a whole. This is an incorrect view of God, who does not have parts. Rather than use illustrations that will later have to be corrected, why not use ones that will hold up? Why not state the scriptural proofs and draw the logical conclusion, which is a necessary conclusion?
     
  14. richard n koustas

    richard n koustas
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    i agree that most analogies fall apart and i have given up trying to 'understand' the trinity many years ago. two illustrations i have heard that have not been mentioned yet:

    Father is 100% God
    Son is 100% God
    Spirit is 100% God

    but it doesn't work the other way around,

    100% of God is not the Father, Son OR the Holy Spirit. (this is much easier to see with a blackboard and chalk and a diagram of a triangle...)

    The other is (that I have seen in various forms) is the comparison with a human having body, soul, spirit.

    body = Son, physical, has to die
    soul = Holy Spirit, personal, feelings...
    Spirit = Father, cannot be seen, out there, kind of abstract.
     
  15. chipsgirl

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    God is the whole, the Holy Spirit is the spirit of him he sends to you (us) and Jesus is God in the human form. It's a generic answer but it seemed to work when I explained it to a friend when she asked me how they are all the same. From there you can get more detailed.
     
  16. Humblesmith

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    God does not have parts. He cannot be partly over here, and partly over there. He is not partly Father, partly son, and partly HS. You can't "add up" the three persons to make the one God, therefore 100% of God is in the Father, is in the Son, and is in the HS.

    The reason we struggle is because we are finite, and He is infinite.
     
  17. tinytim

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    I think that the reason we cannot understand the Trinity is because we live in a diminsion that has both space and time. God created them, so He can exist without both.

    The properties of time are that things happen in sequence. There is past, present, and future. God exists in eternity where time does not. Therefore God transcends past, present, and future.

    Combine with this the properties of space where matter and anti-matter is needed. God does not need space to exist. He existed before He created space. Therefore He can be 3 persons while at the same time 1 person.

    oops, I used a property of time, I said "same time" .

    Ok, I give up, He just is!!!

    [ December 08, 2005, 12:09 AM: Message edited by: tinytim ]
     
  18. ituttut

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    Believing God is a God of division I believe the equation of One divided by One divided by One = One could fit. I cannot find where God will add to Himself or multiply, but He has divided Himself for us. And the Word became flesh. The “Comforter” is sent.

    Paul shows us the function (make up of God), i.e. as much as our understanding will allow. I Corinthians 12:4-6, ”Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” Spirit
    5. ”And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.” Son
    6. ”And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” Father
     
  19. Humblesmith

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. Faith alone

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    It is easy to follow, but we have anotehr problem. The biblical idea of the trinity is that there are 3 distinct Persons while there is one God in essence/substance. Modalism says that God just "appears" in different modes/roles. So the trinty has a bit more to it than just that.

    FA
     

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