Trinitarianism Part 3 -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 097:387 (Jul 1940)
Article: Trinitarianism Part 3
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


Trinitarianism
Part 3

Lewis Sperry Chafer

II: God the Father

Introduction.

Proceeding to a more comprehensive investigation into that which Revelation discloses as to the individual characteristics and relationships of each of the Blessed Three, that which is peculiar to the First Person, known as The Father, is foremost in order. First, it is essential to observe the difference between that notion concerning God which is advanced by the monotheists of the Unitarian class and the Biblical representation of the Father. It has too often been assumed that all systems which recognize God at all, agree with the Christian system to the extent that the First Person is shared by all; that is, the Christian belief is satisfied if two other Persons are added to the One God whom all are supposed to acknowledge alike. The error of this assumption is made evident when it is seen that the Christian’s conception, based on the teaching of the Scriptures, is not that the One God of the Unitarian is the First Person plus two more who sustain doubtful titles to the honors of Deity; but that the One God is that whole Essence which subsists as Father, Son, and Spirit, and that if any one of these three Persons is to be designated as a representative of the Unitarian idea of God to whom the Christian would add two more, any one of the Three, they being absolutely equal in every particular, might be drafted with impartial propriety for such fancied discrimination. The monotheistic notion, as voiced by Jews, Mohammedans, and Unitarians, is of a God who is one Person; while the Christian’s idea is of One God who answers every claim of Biblical monotheism, yet subsists in three

equal Persons. The Father is not the One God of the Bible any more than is the Son or the Spirit. The Three are One God. It is recognized that, for the purposes of manifestation and redemption, the Son has voluntarily elected to do the will of the Father and to do that will in dependence upon the Spirit. To the same end, the Holy Spirit has voluntarily chosen not to speak from Himself as the Author of what He says, but to speak whatsoever He hears. It is unscriptural, shallow, and a dishonor to both the Son and the Spirit to assume that these voluntary subjections are due to inherent inferiority. Such a claim robs these two Persons of one of their great glories-that of voluntary subjection to the end that worthy objectives may be realized. Unitarianism, so far as it concerns itself with the Scriptures at all, lays hold of those passages wherein this voluntary subjection is asserted and by these passages seeks to prove that the Scriptures declare an inherent inferiority of the Son and of the Spirit. To reach these conclusions, t...

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