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 →
Charles Taze Russell was nothing if not troubled. Much of his life was motivated by fear. It is said that as a young man he would walk the streets of Pittsburgh, writing “There is no hell!” on the sidewalks in chalk. His fear of hell dominated his thinking and profoundly affected his theology. He was also troubled by what he could not understand. What could not be discerned through human reason was unacceptable to him. For instance, the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity was nonsense to him. It is no surprise then that when he founded the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in Pittsburgh in 1884 that the denial of hell and the rejection of the Trinity became hallmark doctrines of this organization. To this day the Jehovah’s Witnesses reject what they cannot understand or accept as rational. Continue reading →
In Exodus 32 we see a very sad story. In the many, many sad stories of the idolatrous and wayward history of the people of Israel this is surely one of the most tragic. Here we see Israel just six weeks after the awesome display of God’s power in delivering them from Egypt. With that dramatic memory still burning within them, they begin to question Moses and God. In Exodus 32:1 they express wonder that Moses, who is on Mt. Sinai receiving the tables of the Law, has been gone so long. They also have seen God just recently manifest His glory and presence in the fire, smoke, thunder and quaking of the mountain. Yet, despite all this they are questioning not just Moses, but God Himself. And so they demand of Aaron, “make us a god who will go before us!”
So what did poor, foolish Aaron do? He bowed to the will of crowd. He made them an idol, a golden calf. And when they saw it, they declared “This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” Wait a minute… THIS is your god? Yes. They said that this golden calf, this idol made by men’s hands, is nothing less than Jehovah God Himself. They declared that this image was the Lord God, their Deliverer and Savior. Continue reading →
Question: “The Bible doesn’t explicitly teach the Trinity. And there is so much controversy about this. Do you have to believe in the Trinity to be saved? Or isn’t belief in Jesus enough to be a Christian?”
My Answer: Essential Christian doctrines are being questioned more and more frequently. And the biblical doctrine of the Triune God is no different. This is a question of crucial importance.