An Important Question for Trinitarians
Here I am going to respond to selections of Kel’s article. The selections I have chosen are the ones I regard as embodying Kel’s main arguments; I have left out what I regard as repetitious or off the point. If I have missed or misunderstood Kel’s arguments, anyone who reads this – including Kel – is welcome to bring that to my attention.
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“Trinitarians should be able to answer simple questions about their doctrine without resorting to evasion or denial. The following is one important question you can ask a Trinitarian.
Are both of the following statements true? YES or NO.
For Christians, there is one God, the Triune God.
For Christians, there is one God, the Father.
1. If YES, then please explain how the one God of Christians is both a three person being and a one person being.
2. If NO, then please identify which of the two above statements is true.”
“For us there is one God, the Father” – (1 Corinthians 8:6).
Yes, both are true. All (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are identified as God in the Bible. All that is in God is Father to everything and everyone in creation. Scripture is full of examples where God is called Father: for example, in 1 Chronicles 29:10 king David prays, “Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever.”
Within God, however, there is an internal Personal relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This further definition of Father God was not fully revealed until the New Testament. We have two senses for the word “Father” here. One denotes God as a whole and the other denotes a specific Person within God that relates to the Son and the Spirit, also Persons within God, as a Father.
My answer to question 1: The one God of Christians is not both a three person being and a one person being. Kel has misunderstood 1 Corinthians 1 8:6, and I explain what I think it means in my response to his article on that verse. A summary of what I say is this:
What the verse actually says is
“For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.” – (1 Corinthians 8:6).
I believe that “one God” and “one Lord” are two different ways of saying the same thing and are talking about one and the same Divine Being; just as the pledge of allegiance could be worded a little differently to describe “one nation, under God; and one nation, indivisible” with no confusion about the fact that only one nation is the subject.
The “Important Question for Trinitarians” touches on one aspect of the Trinity that is hard to understand. However something like what I have stated above must be true if indeed it is true that there is only one God who often is identified as our Father, and yet within that one God there is that which is Father, that which is Son, and that which is designated the Holy Spirit.
Kel asks, “Should not the identity of our God be just a little more simple than this?” To which I would answer, how do you know how simple God’s identity should be? How can the One who created the vast mystery we call the universe be easier to understand the than the things he has made? If we believe that the Bible reveals the truth, we should let it tell us what God is like, even if what we it gives us is not easy to understand.