It is the position of various denominations that throughout the bible, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are each depicted as God. Their conclusion is thus that God is one, yet has three aspects. Various other denominations believe this is a mistaken view and that only the Father is God, the other two being subordinate entities. This point of disagreement has given rise to significant interdenominational contention, despite in my opinion there being enough common ground to overcome this difficulty. I herein propose a solution that aims to find common ground between the two disparate views.
Proposed Solution to the Trinity Problem:
1. God is love. [1 John 4:8; 16]
2. God never changes. [Malachi 3:6, James 1:17]
3. In the beginning the Logos [the Word] was God. [John 1:1]
4. Therefore the Logos [the Word] was and always is love.
“And the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us… the only begotten of the Father. [John 1:14]” This passage could thus be reworded via substitution as, “And love became flesh and dwelt among us… the only begotten of the Father.” The a-part thus states that Jesus, qua love incarnate, dwelt among us. As the b-part indicates, love is the only begotten of the Father, which makes sense because God is love (i.e. Love only begets love).
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three distinct entities, as exemplified when Jesus was baptized: the Holy Spirit (1) descended on Jesus (2) like a dove, and the Father (3) said, “Behold this is my son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17). Nevertheless the three are unified through love, as each is a full expression of divine and perfect love.
As full expressions of love, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit always act in one accord. This view is further supported by Jesus’ treatment of the indwelling Father when he says, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23), in conjunction with, “as the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:9-10). And of course the overarching commandment Jesus gave was, “that you love one another” (John 15:17).
Love is, in my estimation, the key to overcoming this particular interdenominational tension. The Father is love, the Son is love, and the Holy Spirit is love. Furthermore, Jesus states: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Since we each look to the Bible for guidance, I believe that through our sincere love for God and our mutual desire to walk in a manner consistent with His word, we would do best to make efforts to find common ground whenever possible concerning such doctrinal disputes, so as to better glorify God via showing the world we are His disciples. Let us always remember, “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8) and also, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).
Hi Craig, You just posted your testimony on FB in our vegan page 🙂 And I so enjoyed your Restoring the Garden Paradise Ideal. I love this topic of ‘trinity’. Have you ever considered doing a little algebra? I’m not that great at algebra, geometry is more my thing, but solve for x.
Father + x = Son If you said x= mother, you would be correct. Now go and look at all the scriptures about the Holy Spirit (go to Hebrew translation in Genesis 1) and see if the HS doesn’t resemble a perfect wife and mother? Also read Proverbs 8 out loud and see if you can hear her voice at creation alongside her husband delighting in the creation of mankind. You can also see the ‘trinity’ right in Genesis 1. In the beginning, Father God created the heavens and the earth…… and the Mother God hovered over the waters….and God said, let there be light (Son God). There they are, the first family in the Kingdom of God. From the beginning 🙂 And here we are, on earth as it is in heaven 🙂 Peace and Love
Hi Sheryl, thanks for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed these articles!
Your suggestion that the Holy Spirit is the mother part of the trinity makes sense. It fits with what I say here about all three being love since that is the essence of all three regardless, but what you are suggesting adds something that might additionally give us an even better understanding. I’ll have to look back on all the verses that pertain to the Holy Spirit and see how your reading fits.
The one that jumps out at me first is Genesis 1:27 where it says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” If we read God as the father and the Holy Spirit as the mother, this passage makes more sense. Without conceiving of the Holy Spirit as female, this passage makes less sense. In other words, if we’re created in God’s image and likeness, then how are we male AND female unless there is also a female component to our creator (i.e. the Holy Spirit as mother)?
Like I said, I’ll have to do some more research on this, but my initial reaction is that it helps to make some passages clearer and nothing is jumping out at me right away as not fitting with your reading.
Lastly, you mentioned algebra and geometry. My expertise is in symbolic logic and I think symbolic logic provides the ideal framework for making the claim you’re trying to make. Structurally it would look like this:
If S then F and M (where S=son, F=father, and M=mother)
Or expressed in formal symbolic notation:
S → (F ∧ M)
This statement says that if there is a son, then there is also a father and a mother.
Since we know that there is a son (Jesus), we could logically prove from this beginning axiom that there is also a mother by the following proof:
1. S → (F ∧ M)
3. F ∧ M (via the logical rule “modus ponens” on lines 1 and 2)
4. M (via the logical rule “simplification” on line 3)
Since we’re not just talking about the human form of Jesus, his human mother Mary would not be who we are talking about here. We are talking about the spiritual form of Jesus, the one referred to in John 1:1 as the “Word” or “Logos” by whom all things were created and who became incarnate in the flesh as Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary. So in this case, we would be proving a spiritual mother (i.e. the Holy Spirit as mother).
Thanks again for the insight, Sheryl. Hopefully my comment wasn’t overly complicated and that it provides you with the mathematical framework you were looking for.
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Hi Craig! I just happened to log in to WordPress and got the notification of your response! You took it to the next level with symbolic logic 🙂 I loved your openness to the possibilities. It is past my bedtime here in CA but I will write more later. Take care-
How thrilled I was to see this post with such a title. Never have I yet seen a trinitarian brother willingly looking for “common ground between the two disparate views”. I applaud you.
I am exhausted by the divisiveness & even malice that the trinity as saving doctrine can generate.
I agree with you. All three (Father, Jesus & God’s spirit) are the full & unified expression of love. Well said.
I propose an additional solution. Our Father manifested himself on earth in the life, love & sacrifice of his only begotten son, Jesus & that they both operate on the hearts of men through the agency of the holy spirit, given to Jesus beyond measure.
That is a trinity we can all agree upon.
Again, thankyou for so generous & lovingly intended a post.
[My apologies. I don’t know how but I managed to leave my comment & alter my name at the same time (?). So now I’m not able to edit & clarify my point. So let me add it now,…]
My point is that the Father, the Son & the holy spirit, whether trinitarian or monotarian or not, they all act as one & are in full accord with one another. That is the trinity of being we can all agree upon.
[I’m sorry, Craig. I’m unfamiliar with posting. There is no edit option showing below my posts. If it’s because they need to be approved by you, could you please delete this comment & ‘My apologies’ in square brackets above. Sorry for the mess :0/]