Tuesday, July 02, 2002

"I can Do it with One Book"-"Name that Trinity"-Mark Shea had a post on Reformed theology this morning that linked to a piece he did last year. In that piece, he questioned whether Protestants are really in Solo Scritpura mode when talking about the Trinity.
Take, for instance, the typical non-Catholic Christian who says he accepts only "Scripture Alone", yet stoutly defends Trinitarianism. Such a one actually believes in Sacred Tradition far more deeply than he realizes, for the dogma of the Trinity is not clear in Scripture alone and is only defined by the Church's Magisterium in light of Sacred Tradition.
OK, Mr. Shea, the gauntlet has been picked up. The concept is in the New Testament even if the word Trinity isn't. Here's my quick stab at going after the Trinity by using just the Bible proper. Yes, I will make some inferences, but I'm going to base the inferences on the text. It might not be clear enough in Shea's eyes, but it'll do for me. First, let's make this binary by making Jesus and the Father of one essence. John 10:30 has Jesus stating "I and the Father are one," which got the Jews properly hot and bothered; only the Messiah could make that claim. John 1:1 does it even better-"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This runs sufficiently counter to unitarian theology that the Jehovah's Witnesses had to redo this verse, making it end with "and the Word was a god" to make it fit. These and other versus (John 8:58 & 14:10 come to mind) point to Jesus and God the Father being one in essence with two personalities. Next, lets bring the Holy Spirit into the mix. The best text that supports the Holy Spirit's belonging in the club it is the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." This is a joint name that believers are to be calling upon, thus implying a joint honor and essence that is to be respected. Not only does the Holy Spirit get equal billing there, dissing Him is unforgivable, worse than insulting Jesus in all three of the Synoptic Gospels(Matthew 12:32, Mark 3:9 and Luke 12:10). As we go through Acts and the episiles, it's clear that the Holy Spirit is a person and not some Force. He's has a voice of His own and is an instruction-giver, capable of being lied to, an encourger and strengthener. This isn't God's little gofer. Given the passages I've cited and many others, you can make a solid case for the Trinity with just the Bible and few implications.

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