you choose Q: “how can you help someone understand the Trinity?”
Q: How do you help someone understand the Trinity without using the same pat answers? It’s not found in the Bible. I know there are Scriptures that talk about the Three-In-One, but they have not convinced the people I am talking to. —Terri
A: The word “Trinity” means “Tri-unity” or “three-in-oneness.” In one sense, the doctrine of the Trinity is a mystery that we will never be able to understand fully. The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology gives the following definition of the Trinity: “Within the one essence of the Godhead we have to distinguish three ‘persons’ who are neither three Gods on the one side, nor three parts or modes of God on the other, but co-equally and co-eternally God.”
Christians have used various analogies to try to explain this difficult doctrine. For example: a three-leaf clover; a tree with 3 parts—root, trunk and branches; an egg—shell, egg white, and yolk; 3 forms of H2O—steam, water and ice; a man who is both a doctor, a father to his children, and a son to his parents. This last picture leads to a false doctrine (called modalism) which says that the Trinity is really only one person who takes on one of three modes at any given time.
Although “helpful” at an elementary level, these analogies are often inadequate, and some are misleading, inaccurate, and even incorrect. Human reason cannot fathom the Trinity nor logic can fully explain it. But we can try to understand something of its truth by summarizing the doctrine in 3 simple statements:
1. God is 3 Persons.
2. Each Person is fully God.
3. There is One God.
Some Bible teachers say that if we were to use math, it would not be, 1+1+1=3. It would be 1x1x1=1.
In 12th century, an ancient diagram called The Scutum Fidei or The Shield of the Trinity or was used to give a visual representation of the Trinity. You can view it here.
The doctrine of Trinity is not man’s creation, but a truth that has come to us by God’s revelation. And as with all Biblical revelation, we will not be able to fully comprehend it without divine help. We will need the illumination of the Hopirit to help us understand and explain it (John 14:26, 16:13-15). —K.T. Sim
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