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 →
There are numerous ways in which Christianity differs from many other world religions, and from ancient mythologies. One of the most significant is the concept of creation ex nihilo. Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase that means “out of nothing.” The doctrine of creation ex nihilo asserts that before the creation of the cosmos, nothing existed but God alone. No thing at all. Then God spoke into existence the material universe. It was created by divine fiat, by the order of God. The universe was not created out of any kind of preexisting material, for nothing existed before the creation. Continue reading →
Does theology matter? If you listen to some people, you would have to say, “No!”
For example, a few weeks ago I was talking with a friend who is taking some classes in theology. He told me how excited he was in his studies. He also told me that he shared his excitement with a friend of his. His friend commented positively, but then said, “But really, in the grand scheme of things, what does all that matter? In our everyday lives, what good is theology?”
My friend was telling me this to make the point that theology is okay for theologians, philosophers, and academicians. But for the common man, living in the real world, it has no value. Continue reading →
Question: If God is really a Trinity, then why is the word “trinity” not found in the Bible?
Answer: A common argument against the doctrine of the Trinity is that the very word “trinity” is not found in the Bible. This is often used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yet they are not alone. You hear this line of reasoning quite often from various sources.
Now we admit that the word “trinity” is not found in the Bible. It is a post-biblical word coined by Christian writers. However, the concept of the Trinity is definitely found in Scripture. In fact, a careful study of both Old and New Testaments reveals a wealth of Bible passages that present the Trinity to us. It is a solidly biblical concept.
Using a term such as “Trinity” for describing the Godhead came about because as the early followers of Christ examined the Scriptures, they were confronted with the reality that God is both One and Three. For centuries they struggled with how to understand this truth. In their attempts to discuss and explain the nature of the Deity, they developed a vocabulary that while not found in the Bible is still firmly rooted in the Sacred Writings. Continue reading →