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"God is One, Not Three" Print E-mail

Many questions remain unanswered [concerning the article "What Difference Does the Trinity Make?"]. Why just three? Is not three not big enough also according to your own logic to contain all that God is? Is he not only Father, Son, Spirit as well as healer, brother, provider, salvation etc.? The list goes on as you well know. Consider this--that it pleased the Father that the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in him (Jesus) bodily. Again your logic would say that Jesus would not be big enough to contain all that God is. Why bring human logic into this at all? It is human logic that cannot contain all that God is. The Father of Jesus is the Spirit since it was the Spirit that overshadowed Mary. God is a spirit according to Jesus himself. All things were created by Jesus according to Colossians. God robed himself in flesh according to John 1:14. Why do you have a problem believing that Jesus is God? Jesus told Peter to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in Matthew. Peter then according to his instruction baptized in Jesus' name on the day of Pentecost. You are mistaking all the attributes of God for persons of God. There is no scripture to justify you claim that God is more than one person. You quoted "Hear ye O Israel the Lord our God the Lord is one." There are no other Gods besides me. there is none like me. I alone created the heavens and the earth. Do not let logic cloud your reasoning. God is not logical in human terms. His ways are above our ways. God/Jesus both said I am alpha and omega. Once you get a revelation of who God is and the duality of the man/God Jesus you will understand that God cannot be relegated to any number of persons but one.

Thanks for your patience in waiting for me to reply to your email regarding my article on the Trinity.

Many questions remain unanswered [concerning the article "What Difference Does the Trinity Make?"]. Why just three? Is not three not big enough also according to your own logic to contain all that God is? Is he not only Father, Son, Spirit as well as healer, brother, provider, salvation etc.? The list goes on as you well know. Consider this--that it pleased the Father that the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in him (Jesus) bodily. Again your logic would say that Jesus would not be big enough to contain all that God is.

With regard to, Why just three? I'll have to say, because that is all that biblical revelation gives us. Your question centers on a confusion between the ontological Trinity (who God is) and the economic Trinity (what God does). The orthodox formulation of the Trinity is concerned with who God is, not what he does. Therefore, your categories of healer, brother, provider, salavation, etc. could not be designations of the persons within the Trinity, for to an extent all of the Godhead is involved in all that the Godhead does.

Why bring human logic into this at all? It is human logic that cannot contain all that God is. The Father of Jesus is the Spirit since it was the Spirit that overshadowed Mary. God is a spirit according to Jesus himself. All things were created by Jesus according to Colossians. God robed himself in flesh according to John 1:14. Why do you have a problem believing that Jesus is God?

I agree with you that human logic cannot contain all that God is. We are dependent, created creatures and His ways are indeed higher than ours. I wouldn't exactly say that the Spirit is the Father of God, but that the entire Trinity participated in the Incarnation. And finally, I don't have any problem believng that Jesus is God. He is God. The Scriptures plainly teach this and it is one of the most important aspects that motivated the development of the doctrine of the Trinity.

Jesus told Peter to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit in Matthew. Peter then according to his instruction baptized in Jesus' name on the day of Pentecost. You are mistaking all the attributes of God for persons of God.

If you are arguing against the Trinity based on Peter's call, that would be insufficient evidence. Granted, Matthew's formulation is unique, but its uniqueness in no way disqualifies the Trinity. Early in the same speech Peter says, "God has raised this Jesus to life and we are witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he (Jesus) has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear." Peter clearly had more than Jesus only in mind on the day of Pentecost.

There is no scripture to justify you claim that God is more than one person. You quoted "Hear ye O Israel the Lord our God the Lord is one." There are no other Gods besides me. there is none like me. I alone created the heavens and the earth.

If by this you mean that there is no single Scripture that says, "God exists in Trinity: one God, three persons who are coequal and coeternal," you are exactly right. There is also no Scripture in which Jesus says, in as many words, "I am God." However there are clearly passages where Jesus claims to do things that only God can do. Likewise with the Trinity, we are collecting Scriptural "data" by which we can conclude that the Father is God, the Son (Jesus) is God, the Holy Spirit is God, yet God is One (Deut. 6:4). That's just doing theology, an inescapable process for anyone who reads the Bible.

Do not let logic cloud your reasoning. God is not logical in human terms. His ways are above our ways. God/Jesus both said I am alpha and omega. Once you get a revelation of who God is and the duality of the man/God Jesus you will understand that God cannot be relegated to any number of persons but one.

I disagree with you. While God is not reducible to the point where we can understand Him, He does "make sense" or "make Himself known to us." He is, to some degree, understandable and we know this because He has condescended to make Himself known. We understand things through our rational faculties. This does not give us comprehensive knowledge of God, but it does give us intelligible knowledge of God. As far as your conclusion goes, the two natures of Christ are precisely what motivated the kind of theological reflection that lead to the doctrine of the Trinity. Finally, God is not relegated to anything. God has revealed Himself and we must respond to what He has said. If you're holding to a mono-personal God, the burden of proof is on your side. The church as confessed the trinity for over 1500 years and it has done so for good reason.

Thanks for your interest in dialogue, and thank you for reading the article. I hope that this has been of some help or interest to you. Feel free to write back. Keep reading and thinking.

Greg Crosthwait

© 1999 Probe Ministries


About the Author

Fr. Gregory L. Crosthwait, former part-time editor with Probe, is a husband, father, and Anglican priest. He is a graduate of The University of Texas at Dallas (B.A.) and Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.).

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Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

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