Sunday, January 29, 2012

Great mysteries

C Michael Patton gives us "The Doctrine of the Trinity in a Nutshell," affirming the importance of the doctrine and explaining why it should be believed. From the essay:
Christians do not believe in contradictions or logical fallacies. Rational thinking and harmony of truth are found in the essence of God’s being, therefore, God cannot exist as a contradiction. Christians do not believe in three God’s for reasons spoken of above. However, we do believe that Scripture has revealed that God, who is one in essence, is three in person. We often talk about this as “one what, three whos.” While this is a great mystery in the Christian faith, there are many mysteries that we are compelled to believe due to necessity and what has been revealed in Scripture. For example, we believe that God created all things out of nothing (Heb. 11:3; doctrine of creation ex nihilo). We believe that God is the sovereign first cause of all things, yet man is morally responsible for his actions. We believe that while Christ was complete in his humanity, he also remained complete in his deity (often called the “hypostatic union”). We believe that the Bible is the product of humans and the product of God. None of these, including the doctrine of the Trinity, are contradictions, but they are great mysteries.
His final paragraph:
No Christian understands the doctrine of the Trinity fully. In fact, if people are not confused to some degree by this doctrine, if someone says, “Ohhhh, now I understand,” it probably means that they have slipped into heresy in their thinking. If we think about it too long, try to solve it, or nuance it according to our desire to comprehend things, we will find ourselves refusing the hand of God who has given the mysterious Trinity to us a description of Himself. While it is impossible that finite beings can fully comprehend an infinite God, we can understand him truly. The doctrine of the Trinity does not give us the full understanding of God, but it does give us a true understanding of God.
The Doctrineof the Trinity in a Nutshell | Parchment and Pen