Among Christians, the Trinity is under appreciated and rarely taught. Meanwhile, atheists, Muslims, New Agers, and sub-Christians cults claim that Trinity is contradictory concept. But this is untrue. It would be a contradiction to say there is one God and three Gods, or one person and three persons. Following the biblical evidence, theologians say God is three persons in one divine essence. This has been the accepted view for almost 2,000 years. Admittedly, though it is a dif cult concept, it is by no means incoherent or contradictory.
Inadequate ways of illustrating the Trinity include triangle diagrams and the phases of water (solid, liquid, gas). The best approach is to look at God’s revelation of Himself in the Bible. There is only one God (Dt 6:4; Jms 2:19); the Father, Son, and Spirit each are divine (Mt 28:19; Rm 8:11); and the Father, Son, and Spirit are not the same persons, as was powerfully demonstrated at Jesus’ baptism when Father, Son, and Spirit were present yet distinct from one another (Mt 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-22). So central is the doctrine of the Trinity that you’ve swept away Christianity if you deny it!
Without the Trinity, God is only a self-existent monad; but with the Trinity, love and communication between the Father, Son, and Spirit have eternally existed—and despite our sin we are invited into that fellowship and love!
In short, the Trinity is the crown jewel of Christian theology. It is a profound mystery but an even more profound truth. Two principles must be kept in mind. First, we have nothing to be ashamed of, because God has revealed Himself as Trinity. Second, the Trinity is holy ground. We are trying to put finite brains around a reality that is deep and beautiful beyond description. We will never understand the ultimate mystery of God’s essential nature; but we can truly know and love the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Check out the Apologetics Study Bible for Students on page 1046 or visit ApologeticsBible.com.