My roommate and I recently had several visits from Mormons on a weekly basis. There’s something really nice we all seem to like about Mormons. While I disagree with their doctrine, in many ways, they do put us to shame. They do try to be morally upright people and they do place a good emphasis on the family and I’m pleased to fight alongside them on political issues like abortion.
I have to disagree though on their doctrine. Explaining why would be another blog. It’s just a system that I can’t really agree with on theological, biblical, and philosophical grounds. It doesn’t help that there’s no historical or archaeological backing that I see either. I just don’t have any grounds whatsoever to be a Mormon.
Yet as we talked one day recently, one topic came up. The Trinity. (By the way, the Mormons had to go back home so they’re no longer visiting. If you guys ever read this, I do miss you and I hope that I can see you again. You really are great guys.) It came down to the Mormon view of the Trinity vs. the Christian view.
Keep in mind something. The Trinity is one of those ideas that gets me going. I could sit and talk for hours on the Trinity. As I was talking to these Mormons, I was getting excited. It’s entering a hyper-mode. This head Mormon that was doing most of the talking was smiling either. Whether it was because he understood what I was saying or because of my excitement, I don’t know.
For the record, he did say he was understanding it. That’s when I said that that wasn’t the best thing to say. The best thing to say is that he is grasping it. We are fleas trying to figure out the elephant that is God. It is as if we are approaching the sea with a teaspoon and thinking that we are really understanding it with our knowledge being the teaspoon and the Trinity being the sea.
I discussed this later with another student here at the Seminary. This student told me that the Trinity was what really set us apart. I had to agree with that as this was what I emphasized to my roommate. If we get them close to the Trinity, we get them close to an understanding of God as he has really revealed himself.
That student’s point should not be ignored and this is a concern for the Christian church. The Christian church has long lost an interest in the Trinity. The Trinity is just this idea that Christians keep and they use it whenever Jehovah’s Witnesses knock at the door. Do we really see any day to day ramifications of the Trinity? Does it affect us in our lives?
Every Christian needs a defense of the Trinity. They need to be able to go to the New Testament AND THE Old Testament and show that the Trinity is there. It needs to be more than one verse as well. You need to be able to go all over the Bible and show them the Trinity in several places. Can you pull out verses from Zechariah and Isaiah and Genesis to show the Trinity? What about the Angel of the Lord?
Many of us could go to the New Testament, but we need to be able to go to both testaments. We also need to be able to explain this in a philosophical way. If we show that the supposed Trinity is true, but then have it being one person and three persons, then we haven’t shown the biblical Trinity. We’ve shown a false idea and are getting into heresy.
The Trinity needs to be accurately explained. We need to know what is meant by person and what is meant by being and what is meant by nature. Are the persons one in nature or just one in purpose? Does it matter? Do the persons differ in any way? What does it mean that the Son is Begotten and not made? What do the creeds say about the Trinity?
I could go on and give my answers, but I write this tonight simply to encourage readers to learn for themselves as well. The doctrine of the Trinity is our friend. It’s what sets us apart from the other worldviews. No other system has anything like the Trinity. It’s also the key in explaining the world as it is. The world created by a monad god would be different from that created by a Triune God.
Let’s return to the Trinity. It’s our heritage after all. It’s how God has revealed himself, and if he has revealed himself in some way, we need to know about it.