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Trinitarian Crisis in Popular Evangelicalism

brorito's picture

Several years ago I came to the suspicion that the doctrine of the trinity had fallen on hard times. The lack of empirical indicators to prove such a statement left me only with a suspicion. However, it seemed to me that the doctrine of the trinity didn’t quite get the same recognition as some of the popular teachings like prosperity, morality, self-esteem, and relationships. Yet one cannot deny the perennial nature of the trinity and its related teachings. It doesn't take long before one begins to notice that within contemporary evangelicalism discourses seem to emphasize second order discourses and primary order discourses Christology, God, or the trinity were relegated to secondary status. It seems to me that the sentiment today is that the trinity is a doctrine to be believed not understood which I would say is a CRISIS. Any thoughts?

dmlq48's picture

Trinity Clarification


Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!

I just want to make one thing clearer. You said, "Each the One GOD in HIMSELF, Individually Distinct." This isn't true.

Properly speaking there is ONE GOD, who is the FATHER.

Therefore, properly speaking, Jesus is the ONE LORD (I Cor. 12:3), who is the Son of God; and the Holy Ghost is the ONE SPIRIT, who proceeds from the Father and is sent by the Son.

They are all divine and share the same essence: the Son (who is begotten, unlike us who are made) is divine because his origin is from the Father (who is unbegotten), the Spirit is divine because he proceeds from the Father.

But we must be careful not to say that each person is the ONE God, because the ONE God is the Father alone. We can get into all sorts of problems saying that each person is the ONE God, because it reduces God into thirds, and we begin to think of the Trinity, not in terms of persons, but in terms of quantity (1/3 Father, 1/3 Son, 1/3 Spirit). So we must be VERY CAREFUL with our terminology.

For reference, I refer you to the way St. Paul spoke of Christ (I Cor. 8:6), and the way in which the Nicene Creeds speaks of the Trinity.

I also refer you to Fr. John Behr's book: The Nicene Faith, part 1, Formation of Christian Theology, vol. 2 (Crestwood: SVS Press, 2002), pg. 2-8.



"Blessed art You O Christ Our God
You have revealed the fishermen as most wise
By sending down upon them the Holy Spirit
Through them You drew the world into Your net
O Lover of Man, Glory to You!" -Pentecost Troparion