A couple of months ago, in the middle of a sermon, I spoke for five minutes on the Trinity. This is the doctrine that one God exists in three Persons; there is trinity in the unity and unity in the Trinity. Because the sermon was on another topic, I only spoke for five minutes. Based on some of the confused looks I got from people in the audience, I don’t think five minutes was long enough! So I am going to spend some time over the next few weeks writing on the Trinity. Some people may think this is a waste of time – but hang in there! Keep reading! Good theology can expand your mind, grow your faith, and even bring some delight to your life.
Over the next few weeks, I will write about some of the mistakes people in history have made about the Trinity (most of them considered heresies). I will write about the analogies we use to understand the Trinity, and how every analogy falls short; thinking about the Trinity will stretch the limits of your mind. This does not mean the Trinity is impossible to comprehend, though; it just requires another part of your brain. In fact, we will see that the Trinity is actually the ONLY thing that makes sense of the Divine – God is love, and you can only have love in relationship. You may even want to copy these writings into a document that you could refer to in the future, ready when others ask or questions arise.
So what do you think about the Trinity? Do you ever even think about the Trinity? My suspicion is that most Christians know that God is Trinity: one God existing as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but they have never spent much time thinking about this incredible aspect of God’s nature. Yet God considered us smart enough to think about this; He considered it important enough to reveal this part of His nature to us – so let’s do it! Plus, Christians are the only people on earth who believe this truth about God, so we should understand this unique revelation that God has given us through His word.
For most things about God, figuring out HOW is less important than WHY. Think about creation – no one understands HOW God had enough power to create the universe, including every single planet and star. But it changes everything to know WHY God created us: we are not an accident, and we have a purpose. Similarly, we may not logically comprehend the Trinity, but we can understand why it is important that we know this about God. So focus on the importance of the doctrine more than the logic. It is less important to understand how God is trinity than to understand why it is important that God revealed this about His nature. Logic is great, but it has limits.
In fact, we would expect that God – the center of all existence – would not be fully comprehensible by the (limited) human brain or logic. If everything we know about God could be contained inside of human logic, it would look suspiciously made up by human logic. The fact that it strains the limits of human understanding, points us beyond the limits of our brains and speaks to the veracity of the doctrine.