TRINITY 1: Bad maths?
Three-in one, one-in-three? Everyone knows this is simply bad maths. It certainly is an inconvenient doctrine at times. When chatting to interested friends about Christianity perhaps we dread having to explain this strange sum. ‘Shamrocks’ or ‘ice/water/steam’ are pulled out of the hat. And they are indeed helpful in clearing up what the Trinity isn’t! The three persons are not each part of a whole, each are fully God; and nor are three persons different modes of appearance of the same ‘one’. So to what can we compare the Trinity? Isaiah (40.18) asks, “With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him?” The answer is of course there is no-one or any thing like our God! Firstly, that assures me of the truth of the Christian God – no one could make this up, surely! Secondly, it drives me to worship as I consider the uniqueness and glory of our triune God. And lastly, I am compelled to adopt the illustration that scripture uses: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (2 Cor 13.14, Matt 28.19). And as we will see, this is a doorway to glorious news.