The Trinity Is Biblical

By Gregory Koukl

The Trinity Is BiblicalNow I’m going to take a minute to walk through some important things with you folks. It’s very important that you understand how to resolve a tricky issue that was raised about the Trinity. I’m going to walk through it very clearly so you can understand what I’m trying to do. The particular question that came up was that my view, or the Christian view, of the Trinity is inconsistent with the Scripture. That was the objection. That’s why John 20 was raised as a verse and a number of other verses were raised as contradicting the orthodox notion of the Trinity. In fact, it was questioned as whether such a thing could be an orthodox notion because Jesus Himself didn’t teach it.

Now it’s clear that Jesus did not teach the Trinity as I would teach the Trinity because it’s synthetic in that it’s taking a number of different things and synthesizing them into a doctrine. But the synthesis is legitimate if each of those things is actually taught in the Scripture. In fact, in the case of the hypostatic union the full humanness and the full divinity of Jesus Christ were both taught by Him.

Now, if the objection is against my view or the Christian view, and the objection is that it doesn’t fit the Scripture, you have to have two things before you resolve this. First of all, you must have a clear understanding of what my view is that you say is contradictory. The second thing you must have is you must work with the Scripture. That’s where you must start and that’s where you must end if the objection is that the view is not Scriptural. Do you follow that? That’s why you start with the Bible and you end with the Bible and not with Joseph Smith or anyone else for that matter. That’s not what the question is about. We’re not talking about Joseph Smith’s view of God. We’re talking about whether the Bible teaches a particular thing so we go to the Bible. We take this definition that we have that allegedly is not Biblical, and we attempt to see whether anything in the Bible conflicts with the definition as we hold it.

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The definition of the Trinity is this: there is one God, one Being who is God and only God; yet that one God has three different Persons, separate personas , the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Son is referred to as the Word in John 1. That’s our view. Our view is not that the Father is the same as the Son. Our view is that the Father is not the Son. Our view is that the Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son. But that all are equally God. They possess everything that makes God God. They have God’s nature and can be called God, yet there is only one God.

Some people might say that this doesn’t make sense. It depends entirely on what you mean when you say it doesn’t make sense. It’s not that it’s irrational. There is nothing contradictory by the laws of reason in the Trinity. Absolutely not. Now it may not make sense because you have a hard time picturing this. Is this some kind of three-headed beast? I can’t picture it in my mind.

Why is it that you can’t accept the truthfulness of something if you can’t image it in your mind? Tell me what love looks like. Tell me what God looks like. You can’t image God in your mind. In fact, you are prohibited from trying to do so. The First Commandment, by the way. You can’t image God. You can’t image love. You can’t image justice. But we have good reason to believe they are real things and we know that. So it is not a liability because we can’t image the Trinity in our mind. What we need to find out is if it is taught. And the teaching of the Trinity is there is one God and there are three Persons. And Jesus Christ is the second Person, fully human and fully divineā€¦

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