Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fatal Flaw of the Trinity Doctrine

A couple days ago I was listening to Evangelical Apologeticist Ravi Zacharias explain the incomprehensible mystery of the Trinity using an analogy from CS Lewis. Mr. Zacharias quoted CS Lewis who explained (loosely paraphrasing) that the "1 what and 3 who's" of the trinity were like dimensions of a single object. One dimension would be a line, two dimensions would form a shape, and three dimensions would be a complete and tangible object. Thus the trinity was the complete and perfect expression of deity.

Anyone see the problem here? This means that according to the Trinity; the Eternal Father isn't complete or perfect without Christ or the Holy Ghost. But that isn't what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that the Father is perfect by Himself.

Matt. 5: 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

The Eternal Father does not need Christ or the Holy Ghost to be complete and perfect. It is man who needs Christ and the Holy Ghost to be complete and perfect. Man needs Christ for our prayers to reach the Father, and Man needs the Holy Ghost for man to receive God's answers because of our imperfection (Eph. 2: 18, Eph. 5: 20, Col. 3: 17). Again, the Eternal Father doesn't need Christ to be complete. Mankind needs Christ. Christ was sent by the Father to save man; Christ was not sent to save the Father.

John 3: 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1 Jn 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

I should remind those who are unfamiliar with LDS Doctrine of God that it is very close to the doctrine of the Trinity in that we believe that the 3 persons of the God Head include the Eternal Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. We believe that each of these individuals are Gods and eternal in nature but that they are separate and distinct beings and personages and not just manifestations of the same being (modalism), or parts/aspects of the same God. These 3 separate and distinct individuals represent the 3 divine members of the God Head who are of perfectly unified but distinct wills or self-existences.

The God Head is a community of 3 Divine members; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. But they are 3 distinct beings, 3 distinct but unified wills, who are one in purpose. Christ demonstrates his distinct will from the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. Will is the essential characteristic of self-existence. Therefore, Christ is a distinct but unified being with the Father.

Matt. 26: 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

But God the Father is perfect, and complete and doesn't need the other 2 for His perfection, perfect love, mercy, justice or power. The Bible teaches that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost are One, but it never says that separate they are imperfect and only together are they complete. Mankind needs all three because we need the mediation of Christ and the ministration of the Spirit to come unto and gain access to the Father who is perfect.

1 Tim. 2: 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Some of the confusion with regard to the trinity comes from a change in meaning of the word "one." Some christians have changed the meaning when the Bible teaches that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are "One" to mean "perfect" (1 Jn. 5: 7) LDS Doctrine has restored the original meaning of the word "one" in this context to be "unified in purpose." Remember, according to the Bible, the Father is perfect alone (Matt. 5: 48).

Definition of One: Evangelical = "perfect", LDS = "unified of purpose"
Definition of Perfect: "perfect" = "The Eternal Father"


Why I Blog said...
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Micah Murdock said...

Its nice to see someone on the web that has a sound understanding of doctirne. I have seen too many LDS people attempting to releive some of the bigotry toward the church, but often times it seems to only make it worse due to a shallow understanding of the doctrines they are trying to explain. I appreciate the amount of time you must spend on your posts! My only reccomendation is you need to get this blog out there more!


Clean Cut said...

"This means that according to the Trinity; the Eternal Father isn't complete or perfect without Christ or the Holy Ghost. But that isn't what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that the Father is perfect by Himself."

Interesting point. I wonder if most traditional christians would agree with the analogy or not. Thanks for sharing your insight...

craig said...


I would say that the meaning of "perfect" here means that God the Father is complete because of the Holy Spirit and The Son, perfect without sin (therefore able to be in relationship with each other). The effect of sin is a the chasm in the relationship between God and man (hence the need for Jesus Christ the mediator). Here the call of Christ is calling us to become "perfect" and complete with those around us - our enemies (see the verse in context) in the same manner that God has been completed in Jesus Christ's work on the cross.

BRoz said...

That is just the problem. I do not believe that the trinity doctrine is correct for that very reason.

The Father is complete and perfect without the Son. It is man who is incomplete and imperfect without CHrist, not the Father.

in a more recent post, I make reference to the words of Justin Martyr to Trypho who was a 1st-Century Christian.

The problem with the Nicene Creed is that it says that the FAther and the Son are "One Substance." Many scholars believe this one assertion of the Nicene Creed is not biblical, and was in reaction to Arianism.

Justin Martyr makes a clear case for how God the Father, and Christ can be One God, but 2 seperate persons, beings, intelligences, and substances.

He uses the example of a fire which is able to kindle another exactly like it which can stand separate without diminishing from the first. Also, a word which when spoken can exist without diminishing from the one who spoke it.

Justin also points out to Trypho in Genesis when God says "let us make man in our image" and "man has become as one of us, knowing good and evil" as clear support that there were at least 2 intelligent beings present. Also, Justin specifically says God was talking to himself (No Royal We), not talking to the elements, and not talking to angels.

craig said...

It would help me if you could relate it to my worldview. This is a good article: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/2006/1442_What_is_the_doctrine_of_the_Trinity/

Specifically, if you could jump down to the "Summary" and maybe mention the points where LDS may differ and how that affects the application of the doctrine as compared to the application mentioned above.

I appreciate your honest conversation.

Anonymous said...

I may not be a biblical scholar, but in my studies of the bible it seems clear that the Godhead is indeed 3 distinct individuals in the baptism of Christ. Heavenly Father's voice is heard from the heavens while Christ is in the water, and the Holy Ghosts defends from heaven like a dove. Now for a young man I don't claim to know much about the bible, but that seems pretty darn clear to me that 3 distinct individuals are playing roles in this event.