A Critique Of Trinity Monotheism -- By: Brian Huffling
CAJ 10:1 (Spring 2012) p. 79
A Critique Of Trinity Monotheism
For millennia, the doctrine of the Trinity has been a subject of great debate for theologians and philosophers. Skeptics have used it to ridicule the faith by calling its veracity into question. The coherence and truth of Christianity are thus intimately tied to this doctrine. Therefore, philosophical theologians should take great care in addressing it.
In this work the author will explicate the logical problem that the Trinity poses and examine the normal models that scholars present in attempting to defend the doctrine, such as Latin (psychological) models and Greek (social) models. Special attention will be given to Trinity monotheism, particularly understood by J. P. Moreland and William Lane Craig. This view will be evaluated to see if it can explain the Trinity while remaining orthodox.
The doctrine of the Trinity states there is one God that exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person is just as
CAJ 10:1 (Spring 2012) p. 80
fully God as the next; one person is not more God than the others. This is a difficult concept, and the problem for theologians is to give an orthodox explanation of the Trinity. Scripture, for Protestants, is the ultimate standard for matters of doctrine and orthodoxy. However, the creeds, such as the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, are greatly important as well. In order to be considered orthodox, one must adhere to both a scriptural and creedal view of the Trinity. The Nicene Creed reads thus:
We believe in one God, the Father, the almighty [pantocrator], the maker of all things seen and unseen.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God; begotten from the Father; only –begotten –that is, from the substance of the Father; God from God; light from light; true God from true God; begotten not made; being of one substance with the Father [homoousion tō patri]; through whom all things in heaven and on earth came into being; who on account of us human beings and our salvation came down and took flesh, becoming a human being [sarkōthenta, enanthrōpōsanta]; he suffered and rose again on the third day, ascended into the heavens; and will come again to judge the living and the dead.
And in the Holy Spirit.
As for those who say that “there was when he was not,” and “before being born he was not,” and “he came into existence out of nothing,” or who declare that the Son of God is of a different substance or nature, or is subject to alteration or change –the catholic and apolostolic church condemns these.1
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