The Trinity is hard to understand, and that's a good thing.

by Jul 13, 2012

This Sunday at Harbor we’ll continue our exploration of the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives, taking a few minutes to explore the relationship between the three members of the Trinity. Anyone who’s ever tried to explain the Trinity has come up short. Anyone who’s ever tried to come up with an analogy has ended up way off-base (“It’s like an egg! No, it’s like water!”)

Fred Sanders, author of a stellar book on the Trinity, The Deep Things of God, explains why the complexity of the Trinity is actually a good thing:

The Trinity is a biblical doctrine, but let’s admit it: There’s something annoying about how hard it is to put your finger on a verse that states the whole doctrine.

The Bible presents the elements of the doctrine in numerous passages, of course: that there is only one God; that the Father is God; that the Son is God; and that the Spirit is God. We can also tell easily enough that the Father, Son and Spirit are really distinct from one another, and are not just three names for one person. If you hold all those clear teachings of Scripture in your mind at one time and think through them together, the doctrine of the Trinity is inevitable. Trinitarianism is a biblical doctrine and all the ingredients are given to us there: Just add thought and you have the classic doctrine.

Like most evangelicals, though, I would prefer to have a doctrine be stated clearly and concisely in one place. I like my doctrines verse-sized. I sometimes wish there were one verse that said, “God is one being in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” The doctrine of the Trinity, though, is simply not verse-sized. Sometimes that feels like a disadvantage, but in fact it’s an advantage. The doctrine of the Trinity is a massive, comprehensive, full-Bible doctrine that serves to expand our minds as readers of Scripture. In Scripture, God is leading his people to understand who he is as Father, Son and Spirit.

Read more here.