How a Triangle Will Condemn You

I know, right?  How can a shape condemn me?

Within orthodox Christianity there is a doctrine called the “Doctrine of The Trinity”.  This doctrine teaches that Christians worship one God, who is at the same time three persons.  A christian holds that to say God is Trinitarian does not cancel out his oneness. He is one essence made up of three persons whom fully partake the same essence. There is God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit.  Furthermore, according to this doctrine, the Father is neither the Son nor the Holy Sprit. No member of the Trinity ever morphs into one of the other members.  Each member is distinct, obtaining his own thoughts and emotions.  Yet, Each member shares the fullness of the same essence perfectly.  Does your brain hurt yet?  Let me try to help you grasp this.

– Suppose that I told you that I am three persons –

You: If you are three persons, where are the other two of you?

Me: They are inside of me, I am them and they are me.

You:  Then show me the other two persons.

Me:  I am. All three of us are in front of you right now.  We are all the same body you see, just different persons. 

You would quickly begin to realize that I had lost mind.  How can I possibly have 3 different persons partaking of one being?  It’s impossible.  This is where christians turn to better visual examples of what the Trinity is; hence the triangle. 

– Suppose I told you that the Trinity is like a triangle –

You:  How is the Trinity like a triangle?

Me:  Well a triangle is one shape just like God is one essence , but it has three different points; Just like God is three different persons.

You:  But if God is one essence, wouldn’t he consist of all 3 points? 

I am so glad that you asked.  The implication you just gave is the answer to the dilemma of the damnable assimilation of the Trinity to a Triangle.  The reason that it is important to believe “orthodox” doctrine (what the church has biblically posited to be the undeniable biblical truth about God and the Bible) is that if we do not exactly believe in the God that the Bible reveals, then we don’t actually believe in the God that the Bible reveals.  If we think that the Trinity is a Triangle, then we are wrong about who God is essentially.  To be wrong about who God is means that we will be wrong about knowing the right God.  Consequently if we are wrong about knowing the right God, then we will be damned.  Granted there have been many many ways that orthodox christians have ignorantly explained the Trinitarian unity and it does not mean that they are eternally damned, but those examples will never come close to a fully orthodox consistency.  So what is the answer to this theological dilemma? 

I would suggest that the answer lies in the lack of answers. 

To this effect William C. Placher writes, “Simply put, anything whose existence we can prove would not be God, but some sort of idol.  Proof involves defining, and thus understanding,  all the relevant terms, and, as Augustine said, ‘if you can grasp it, it isn’t God’.”

We are not called to explain God, for then we ourselves would be God.  Rather, we are invited to believe in a deep and inexplicable mystery, God Himself.

“to deny the trinity is to lose your soul; try to understand it and you will lose your mind” – Augustine


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