Your input needed on the Trinity

Hi All,

A Christian living in the ME has been thinking a lot about the Trinity lately. He has questions, and I am sure you all (with your excellent theological training and grasp of tradition) can make a great contribution to the quality of his witness.

He writes:

Lately I've been spending a lot of time talking about the Trinity (explicitly or implicitly) to close friends around me. Most people try to avoid this conversation by saying, "You just have to believe it. There's no real way to explain it." Unfortunately, I have a hard time accepting that method. I believe that if the Trinity is true, then what makes it true must be comprehensible. I admit that it might not be comprehensible to an unredeemed mind. Yet, to the redeemed He reveals mysteries.

I want to open this posting up to anyone who wants to take a stab at this question: What is the Trinity?


So what do you think? CLick your way over there and give him your input. Rainthinker.

Comments

Don said…
Over ten years ago I put something together largely to answer the issue of the deity of Christ for Jehovah's Witnesses. That is My Lord and My God, which you can download from here. So perhaps this is helpful.

The key issue here is that Islam gives no clear path--or motivation--for a transcendent God to connect in any way with humanity. The ante-Nicene Logos theology did but a good deal of it got lost in the Arian controversy.
BillyHW said…
Hi Rainmaker and Abu Daoud,

This book contains the best and most lucid explanation of the Trinity I've ever enountered. The same author wrote a condensed version here. (The first link goes to a free full copy, the second only to a "preview", but both books are only $10-$15 on Amazon if you want a real copy.)

If someone could condense it even further to the length of a tract and translate it into Arabic, I think it could go a long way in helping Muslims understand that the Trinity, properly understood, is compatible with monotheism. I don't think you can get anyone to accept the Trinity without first conversion and acceptance of Christianity/Jesus, but you can show them that it doesn't contradict monotheism first, and then this might open up their hearts to considering Christianity further, or the very least they might hate it less.

The key is to first explain what we mean by person and nature in as clear and simple a way as possible. If you read the links I've posted, you'll see that Frank Sheed does this very well.

I think it's easier to explain and understand how the Divine Thinker and his Divine Thought are co-equal, co-eternal, inseperable, yet distinct and personal. I find it more difficult when you get to the God is love part. And it's best not to engage in information overload, lest they absorb nothing of what you're saying.

The irony is that Muslim rejection of the Trinity is based on an anthropomorphic projection of mankind's uni-personal nature onto an unfathomable infinite God, of whom we are but a pale and incomplete image. And they condemn us for worshipping a man as God!
Anonymous said…
Precursor to accept the Trinity is that one needs to understand the divinity of Christ. "Trinity" is just a definition for loving God Almighty.

According to Christianity Jesus Christ has two character in a perfect union - one is his humanity (or character of man) and anther divinity (character of God). Jesus Christ gave life to the dead, raised himself from bodily being dead, performed miraculous acts - these all through His God character while everything else like he is born, died bodily, slept, ate due to his human character.

Because of His Divine Character or God character, Jesus Christ is called the Son of God. Not the physical son though. Therefore the divinity of Christ is the Sonship of God or the Power of God, also called the Word of God because God does everything through His Word or command according the Holy Bible.

The Wisdom or Inspiration or Guidance of God is referred as the Holy Spirit.

God exists with His Word (Power) and His Wisdom or Inspiration (Spirit). This is all about existence of one God. God’s Word (Power) and His Inspiration (Spirit) is not separate from Him or His existence. Christians believe God exists in three eternal (not physical) persons (characters) in a union as - God with His Power and Inspiration or God with His Word and Spirit.

Father - God who exists everywhere.

Son - God exists as divine character of Jesus Christ while existing everywhere at the same time.

Holy Spirit - God resides inside every human as guide or inspiration while existing everywhere.

Now for the respected Muslim readers, in Christianity Holy Spirit does not mean 'angel gibreel' as it is in Islam. Holy Spirit in Christianity means God Himself through His Inspiration.

Holy Bible from the beginning mentions that God exists forever and did everything by His Word (Power) and has inspiration over His people through His Spirit. Bible says, Word of God (Power of God) manifested as human in Jesus Christ. Therefore according to Christianity Jesus Christ is divine (full Power of God) while he is a human.

Hope this helps. Anyone interested more in details should watch the videos by Father Zakara Botros which explains scriptures better and more in details.
Anonymous said…
Also, Christ forgave sins, accepted worship by His God character (or divinity). [forgot to mention that in my last post]
Anonymous said…
Therefore according to my above post Father, Son and Holy Spirit (in other words, God, His Word/Power and His Inspiration/Wisdom) represents Him (One God) - which is called the Trinity.
Anonymous said…
Scriptural reference for Trinity in the Holy Bible

Job 33:4
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Genesis 15:1
[ God's Covenant With Abram ] After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. "

John 1:1
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14
14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,[a] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Matthew 1:18
[ The Birth of Jesus Christ ] This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 28:19
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Anonymous said…
Precursor to accept the Trinity is that one needs to understand the divinity of Christ. "Trinity" is just a definition for loving God Almighty.

According to Christianity Jesus Christ has two character in a perfect union - one is his humanity (or character of man) and anther divinity (character of God). Jesus Christ gave life to the dead, raised himself from bodily being dead, performed miraculous acts - these all through His God character while everything else like he is born, died bodily, slept, ate due to his human character.

Because of His Divine Character or God character, Jesus Christ is called the Son of God. Not the physical son though. Therefore the divinity of Christ is the Sonship of God or the Power of God, also called the Word of God because God does everything through His Word or command according the Holy Bible.

The Wisdom or Inspiration or Guidance of God is referred as the Holy Spirit.

God exists with His Word (Power) and His Wisdom or Inspiration (Spirit). This is all about existence of one God. God’s Word (Power) and His Inspiration (Spirit) is not separate from Him or His existence. Christians believe God exists in three eternal (not physical) persons (characters) in a union as - God with His Power and Inspiration or God with His Word and Spirit.

Father - God who exists everywhere.

Son - God exists as divine character of Jesus Christ while existing everywhere at the same time.

Holy Spirit - God resides inside every human as guide or inspiration while existing everywhere.

Now for the respected Muslim readers, in Christianity Holy Spirit does not mean 'angel gibreel' as it is in Islam. Holy Spirit in Christianity means God Himself through His Inspiration.

Holy Bible from the beginning mentions that God exists forever and did everything by His Word (Power) and has inspiration over His people through His Spirit. Bible says, Word of God (Power of God) manifested as human in Jesus Christ. Therefore according to Christianity Jesus Christ is divine (full Power of God) while he is a human.

Hope this helps. Anyone interested more in details should watch the videos by Father Zakara Botros which explains scriptures better and more in details.



Therefore according to my above post Father, Son and Holy Spirit (in other words, God, His Word/Power and His Inspiration/Wisdom) represents Him (One God) - which is called the Trinity.



Scriptural reference for Trinity in the Holy Bible

Job 33:4
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Genesis 15:1
[ God's Covenant With Abram ] After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. "

John 1:1
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14
14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,[a] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Matthew 1:18
[ The Birth of Jesus Christ ] This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 28:19
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,


To my respected Muslim readers I should make on last post clarifying some misconceptions -

1. Virgin Mary is NOT in Trinity definition of One God.

2. Holy Spirit means God Himself in Christianity, not angel Gibreel.

3. Word of God (or the Power of God) manifested in body of Jesus Christ, therefore UNSEEN Power of God is God, NOT the body of Christ.

4. When Jesus died bodily, his Sonship (God character) did not die. His Spirit continued. Therefore God did not die on cross, human Jesus did.

5. Son of God does not mean biological son or offspring. It means Full Power and Glory of God.

6. Begotten does not mean biological procreation in Biblical context for Jesus; it means "continuation" of Spirit of God in Christ. In Spirit, Jesus and God are same; in body he is different because body is not God.
Anonymous said…
Anyone can get Flashing Quran with English Translation from http://flashingquran.blogspot.com
Tessa said…
I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ruth

http://besttoddler.com
Anonymous said…
Fr. Daniel Byantoro has a very, very good explanation about the Trinity. Not sure if this explanation is available on the internet, though.

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