The Trinity: God is Not an Undifferentiated Monad

The God of Scripture is Triune: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is a Triunity.

“To put it another way, God’s unity is ontological and not just ethical. God’s unity is not the result of a harmonious unanimous vote within the Godhead. The three persons do not form a committee. God’s unity just is the complete and whole interpenetration of the three persons of Father, Son, and Spirit.”   Some... Continue Reading

The Trinity-Subordinationism Debate and the Opportunity Before Us

If the current trinitarian debate over a version of complementarianism was inevitable, what does this mean for the next stage of faithful thinking and practice?

It also means more hopefully that, despite our anxiety and listlessness in the midst of this contemporary sexual revolution, the Church, dutifully sanctified and reformed by and according to Holy Scripture, may in fact be in a position to survive this cultural upheaval with something to say, both to it and to herself, as the Church. She may yet... Continue Reading

What I Can’t Know If I Don’t Know the Trinity

When you don’t know God as Trinity, there’s not much you can know about the Gospel

Without a knowledge that God is eternally Father to the Son, we will not understand the marvel of that highest privilege of the gospel: the adoption unto Sonship into which are admitted in union with Christ by which we can cry “Abba, Father!”   I’ve already written of the recent controversy over the Trinity and... Continue Reading

Barnes and Ayres Weigh In on the Debate on the Relationships Within the Trinity

Michael Barnes and Lewis Ayres weigh in on the current debate on the current debate over the eternal generation and eternal subordination of the Son.

To be honest, I mean Bruce Ware and friends no ill, I think they are sincere, they’re trying their best to be faithful theologians and readers of Scripture, and wanting to pursue practical applications. But I just don’t know if it is possible to salvage the subordinationist argument for marital submission after Lewis Ayres and... Continue Reading

Tor and the Trinity

It started with a hijab during Advent, and ends with a foundational lesson in the Trinity

The Second Vatican Council declared that Muslims profess “to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God.” Later: “Muslims worship God, who is one, the Creator of heaven and earth,” and said that the “Muslim religion” is “deserving of our admiration for all that is good and true... Continue Reading

The Mystery of the Trinity

There are several monotheistic religions and even more polytheistic religions, but the witness of the Scripture and the Christian faith is that God is both one and three.

As Berkhof explains, if we depart from the specific teachings of Scripture and begin to speculate about the nature of the Trinity, it is very easy to fall into error. If one denies the unified essence of being of the three Persons, it will inevitably lead to tritheism (the belief in three separate and distinct... Continue Reading

The Primacy of the Trinity in Theology and Apologetics: Herman Bavinck on Trinitarian Dogma

The pursuit of a faithful systematic theology begins and ends with the doctrine of the Trinity.

The orthodox doctrine of the Trinity is a package deal for Bavinck, it must come as a whole or not be useful to us at all. It also connects for us dots from theology proper to the other loci of systematic theology, including the doctrines of revelation and creation. For these reasons, indeed, it is... Continue Reading

The Fourth Person of the Trinity?

“Don’t try to stand in the place of God and do what only God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit can do in someone’s life.”

While we want to be faithful as pastors and spiritually fruitful congregants to help those entrusted to our care–as well as members of the same body, we must ever guard against allowing ourselves to slide into a role that God hasn’t given to us–a role that only He possesses.   When I was an intern... Continue Reading

The Trinity Is Not a Contradiction

Classically the Trinity was defined in these terms: God is one in essence, and three in person.

The formula is not meant to say that essence and person are the same things. Essence refers to the being of God, while person is used here as substance within being. Essence is primary and persona is secondary. Essence is the similarity, while personal is the dissimilarity in the nature of God. He is unified in... Continue Reading

Delighting in the Trinity

The Trinity is not some awkward add-on to God, the optional extra nobody should want

“John Calvin once wrote that if we try to think about God without thinking about the Father, Son, and Spirit, then “only the bare and empty name of God flits about in our brains, to the exclusion of the true God.” Quite so, and that means that if we content ourselves with speaking of God... Continue Reading