I am convinced that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is foundational to all Christian truth. This is a rather bold statement. Indeed, it is rather controversial. There are some Christian teachers who would adamantly disagree with this. They may accept the Trinity as a biblical doctrine, but they argue that acceptance of the Trinity is not essential in order to be a Christian. While I honor their privilege to believe as they do, I must differ with this position most stringently.
I have dealt with this issue in an earlier post. You can read for yourself regarding the question of the necessity of belief in the Trinity. Allow me to summarize my argument for you. First of all, we understand that salvation is experienced in a person’s life by that person repenting of sin, accepting Christ, and coming into a personal relationship with the Lord God. Thus, relationship is at the heart of the Christian experience. In this light, it is important to note the words of Christ in John 17:3, where He declares that eternal life consists of knowing the true God and the true Son of God. In other words, without a relationship with the true God, there is no eternal life. And thus, whether or not God is triune in His nature is necessary for salvation. You cannot have a relationship with a false god and have eternal life. If God is a monarchial, monolithic deity—one God, one Person—then to assert that you have a relationship with a triune God is a false premise. You cannot have eternal life if you have a relationship with a deity that doesn’t exist. Continue reading →
In the history of religion Judaism, Christianity and Islam are considered the three Abrahamic faiths. The idea is that there is a continuity between the three different religions that can be traced back to the legacy of Abraham and the early Hebrews. For this reason, so the argument goes, all three religions are basically differing expressions of the same faith. So this means that all three religions actually worship the same God. The Yahweh of the Jews is really the same deity as the God/Jehovah of the Christians, who is in turn no different than the Allah of the Muslims. But is this really true? Continue reading →
Today is the first day of the 12 Days of Christmas. Even though in the eyes of the world Christmas is over, we understand that Christmas is a season, not day. So we continue to celebrate. We continue to rejoice. We continue to celebrate the miracle of God coming to us in the form of a Babe in a manger. We continue to wonder at the awesome truth of the Incarnation–that God took on human flesh and became Man. Continue reading →
I have been reading a book lately about the history of Christian doctrine. In this work, the author comments on the differences between the Gospel of John and the other three Gospel writers. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are often called the Synoptic Gospels. The world “synoptic” basically means “seeing together.” You may have noticed that these three Gospels present a great deal of similar material in a roughly parallel format. So these Gospel writers often share the same material but with their individual perspectives and approaches. The Gospel of John, however, is dramatically different from the Synoptics.
One of the chief differences is that John’s Gospel is very explicit in presenting Christ as divine. The deity of our Lord is most clear in John. The author of the book I am reading emphasizes this. Yet, he goes beyond this, and states that it is only in John that we see Christ’s deity. According to him, the Synoptics present Jesus as merely a man, Messiah perhaps, but certainly not divine. Continue reading →
The roots of the Unitarian Universalist Association are somewhat varied. Early in the history of the Reformation there arose a move toward heretical teachings about the nature of Jesus Christ, especially regarding his deity. Faustus Socinus (1539-1604) was an Italian who moved to Poland and there became the spokesman for a Unitarian view of God. That is to say, he rejected the idea of the Trinity and the deity of Christ. Socinus and his “Polish Brethren” considered themselves the defenders of the true Christian faith. Continue reading →