The Trinity and the Christian -- By: Kenneth Daughters

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 14:1 (Summer 2005)
Article: The Trinity and the Christian
Author: Kenneth Daughters


The Trinity and the Christian

Kenneth Daughters

Introduction

When the average Christian is asked about the Trinity, he is content to quote a brief definition. Were he challenged to contemplate the meaning of the Trinity, he would quickly struggle. Few Christians have ever taken the time or trouble to think deeply on the subject. To most it is as abstract as a complicated mathematical expression. How sad! Actually, the Trinity is God’s highest revelation of himself. Far from being a subject that is too deep to be relevant, God intended for man to order his world in light of it. All forms of unity and diversity in the universe find their source in the nature of God as triune.

It is impossible to adequately understand God without understanding him as triune. To try to relate to God as a mono-personal being is to ignore his revelation to us and to deny his beauty. Some consider the concept of the Trinity too difficult to comprehend, so they operate in a functional denial of God’s Trinitarian nature. Others attempt to understand the Trinity but fall short, conceiving him in a modalistic or tritheistic form. Not only have they failed to understand God and relate to him properly but they also have no basis for accurately balancing the unity and diversity all about them.

We should not be surprised that God’s nature and being is different than what we would expect. Did he not say, “‘To whom then will you liken Me that I would be his equal?’ says the Holy One” (Isaiah 40:25). And again, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isa. 55:8–9). We have no right to expect God’s nature to match our preconceived notions. He is far more complex than we realize.

We should accept God’s revelation of himself. Since he has revealed himself as triune, we are responsible to understand and relate to him in such a manner. We must learn to appreciate and worship him as triune. It should affect how we receive and express love back to him. It should affect how we serve him. A major problem is that we do not understand this doctrine well enough to apply it practically. Most of us are too complacent in our immature understanding of God’s Trinitarian nature. We need to think more deeply on this subject.

One of the best simple definitions of the Trinity is given by James R. White: “Within the one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal Persons, namely ...

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