Friday, September 23, 2022

The Trinity

The next core doctrine that we will discuss is the doctrine of the Trinity. The Trinity is easily the most complicated of Christianity’s doctrines, but one cannot be a Christian if he does not understand the Trinity.

Before I explain, I would like to show an excellent diagram of the Trinity. This diagram will be referenced later in this essay.

As we can see, the diagram has three interconnected points, with all three points being connected to a single point in the center of the diagram. The simple explanation of what is being shown in this diagram is that God exists in three distinct Persons. These Persons are known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (or the Holy Ghost). These are three separate Persons, existing at the same time. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Father, but all three Persons are God.

There is a difference between “little-g god”, and God. All three Persons are God, as in the one true God (see the previous part of this series for more information). The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God.

I can write more about how the Bible supports the doctrine of the Trinity, but this is supposed to be an introduction to Christanity’s doctrines, not an in-depth essay about the Trinity in Scripture, so I will leave that subject for a separate discussion.

The Persons of the Trinity are equally God. All three Persons of the Trinity have always existed.

The word “heresy” is used to describe beliefs that contradict the core doctrines of Christianity. To believe in a heretical doctrine would be to reject Christianity. In order to better understand the Trinity, let us examine two heresies that are fairly easy to fall into:

  1. Tritheism

Tritheism is the belief that each Person of the Trinity is a god, rather than the Persons of the Trinity being God. The prefix “tri” means three, while “theism” describes the belief in a god. In other words, tritheism means, “belief in three gods”. The reason why tritheism is heresy is that it rejects the Christian doctrine of their being one God. Three Persons, one God, not three gods.

  1. Modalism

Modalism is the belief that there is one God, and God “transforms” into one of the three Persons of the Trinity. As previously discussed, the Trinity consists of three coequal, coexisting Persons. A modalist would assert that God turned into Jesus, then turned into the Holy Spirit. Such an assertion would be false, and would be a rejection of the existence of our triune God.

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