As Salaam Alaikum I know many of you may not care about this subject but here is a sermon given by a Christian refuting Trinity Analogies.
'The Trinity: Mystery, Not
Mathematics' pt.1 Sermon Text
: Our church Statement of Faith says ' There
is one God-the divine Tri-unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, eternally
co-existing and equal in essence and attributes, yet distinct in office and
This morning I have to confess right up front that I
am beginning what is an impossible task. When we talk about and study the
doctrine of the Trinity we really are moving into the realm of mystery. It is
not that I don't believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is true, I believe it
with great conviction. The doctrine of the Trinity is central to our faith as
Believers, but it is also beyond our human abilities to fully comprehend. For
many, the Trinity is a mathematical impossibility... 1+1+1=3 not 1. And I know
this will be especially hard for you linear thinking engineers out there.
Trying to understand the Trinity is a little like a
story told by Augustine of Hippo. He was struggling with the whole one God in
three persons thing. So he took a walk along the beach, you see, Augustine lived
near the Mediterranean in N. Africa. He saw a little boy digging a hole in the
sand with a sea shell and then running to the ocean to fill up the shell, and
then rushing back to pour the water in the hole he had made. 'What are you
doing my little man' Augustine asked? 'I am trying to put the ocean in this
hole' replied the boy. Peace came to Augustine's soul as he realized that this
was indeed what he had been trying to do...to put the vastness of God into his
mind completely....it's not possible.
Still we try our best to explain and illustrate the
nature of the Trinity. There have been many analogies used to try to explain the
Trinity over the years. Let me share a few with you.
The Trinity: Above, With and In Us
God the Father is God above us...the Creator, sustainer
the Holy Other. We say 'our Father who are in heaven...'
God the Son is God with us...taking on flesh and blood,
experiencing all we experience and more..He is Immanuel, God with us.
God the Spirit is God in us...dwelling in our hearts
and minds, giving us an intimate relationship with God. The Spirit is God in
However, this analogy fails in that while it shows the
distinctiveness of the three persons of the Trinity, it doesn't show how the
three are one.
The story is told of a monk who wanted to illustrate the Trinity. So, he took
some dough and made it into a pretzel shape to show that even though the pretzel
had three parts, it was still one pretzel.
The analogy doesn't really hold up because there is nothing truly distinct about
the 3 parts of the pretzel. I don't know if the story about the monk is true,
but it may help you to think about spiritual things the next time you eat a
rope is made up of three cords, all the same, essentially, all equal in length
and diameter, each equal but separate yet one and the same rope. The rope is
stronger when the cords are woven together.
The problem with this analogy is that when the cords are separated they are not
as strong and they are not the same rope. They are three different, weaker
then there was St. Patrick, who according to legend, wanted to explain the
Trinity to those he felt were the rude inhabitants of Ireland, so he used the
shamrock, which was native to their land. He said that the Trinity is like the
three leaves of the Shamrock, all identical, yet separate but still part of the
whole known as a Shamrock.
The problem with
this analogy is that if one of the leaves were removed it would no longer be a
The Trinity and the family
Consider a family. A nuclear family consists of at least a
Mother, a father and a son or daughter. Although they are a family, yet each
individual is a person. The mother is not the daughter and the Father is not the
son. They are distinct persons yet still a family.
This analogy fails in that while all three individuals are a
family together, they are not a family by themselves, individually.
The psychological model of the Trinity
Augustine of Hippo, one of the early church fathers
who lived from 354-430 AD illustrated the Trinity this way. He said 'if God made
us 'in His image and likeness' then there ought to be an imprint of the divine
Trinity in our human nature.' He found this imprint in the human processes of
memory, intellect and will, reflecting the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The error here is that you can loose your mind,
forget things, have no will power and be mentally incompetent. While you will
still be human, you won't be functioning very well as one.
Trinity and Chemistry
What is the chemical formula for water? H20. What is the
chemical formula for ice? H20. What is the chemical formula for steam? H20. This
should make us think. Here we have three different things yet they are all the
same. The substance is always the same even though the material takes different
This analogy fails in that the three
forms can not exist for long at the same time. At room temperature, ice will
melt and steam will cool down. Besides, even though they are the same substance,
they are only taking on different forms or modes of existence.
As you can
see I have a hard boiled egg because it is easier to demonstrate than with a
regular egg. This egg is made up of three distinct parts; the shell, the white
and the yoke, and all the parts make up the whole.
This analogy fails in that for it to be an egg all parts are
a #2 lead pencil. There are three distinct parts, the eraser, the wood shell and
the lead inside. All three make up what is called a pencil.
Again, the problem here in being an acceptable illustration of
the Trinity is that without the lead or the wood, the pencil ceases to be. They
are only parts of what makes a pencil work. Each piece is not a pencil in its
You see, while these natural analogies succeed in
showing that an entity can embody the ideas of oneness or threeness, they cannot
be pressed beyond this point or they give an inaccurate representation of God's
nature. If pressed too far any natural analogy of the Trinity will either result
in a modalistic or tripartite representation of the Godhead. Modalistic is one
God three forms or manifestations, and tripartite is three different Gods. More
on those terms later next week.
No natural analogy represents the oneness and
threeness the way the Godhead does. And this is as we should expect. God is a
supernatural being and infinite in His nature. All analogies are only natural
and finite and can not truly capture the true essence of the nature of the
: If natural analogies can not teach us about
the fullness of the Trinity, are we doomed to complete ignorance? No. We have
the inspired Word of our Supernatural God to help us to understand, in limited
terms, the nature of the Godhead.
Turn to Ephesians 3:14. Here we will find God's
revelation of the Trinity.
This is Paul well know and passionate prayer for the
people of God. Paul says that he bows his knees in prayer before the Father, the
one who is able to grant Believers the riches of His glory. Here, Paul is
speaking of the creator God, Elohim the God who is in covenant relationship with
His people, also known as Jehovah.
Notice what Paul prays next. That the Believers would
be strengthened, build up, made powerful not through 'a spirit' or even 'the
Spirit' but 'His Spirit'. The word 'His' is connected grammatically with the
word Father. His Spirit is able to give the Believer power from the Father.
Where is His Spirit in relation to the Believer? In the inner man.
Finally, in this text, Paul prays that Christ may
dwell in the hearts of the Believers through faith.
So, the Father grants the Believer the riches of His
glory by the power of His indwelling Spirit through faith in His Son, Jesus
Here we see all three persons of the Godhead, of the
Trinity at work in the life of the Believer. We can see the distinctions made in
the persons of the Trinity but their oneness is not made clear to us in this
text. We will find that in John 10:30 where Jesus says that He and the Father
are one...but in that text there is no mention of the Spirit.
The Mystery revealed in Scripture
In these texts and others like them, we can not completely
grasp the nature of the Trinity. This is why the Trinity is called a great
mystery. It is not a matter of understanding the mathematics of the Trinity, it
is a matter of taking by faith, what the Word of God has to say about it, even
though it seems incomplete and unclear. No human, no finite mortal can
completely comprehend the being of the infinite God.
To teach the doctrine of the Trinity I can not use
the normal expository preaching that I usually do. Expository preaching is where
we go from verse to verse in a passage of Scripture. The reason is, there are
too many texts and none gives the whole explanation.
So, instead we will be searching the Scriptures in
the next couple of weeks, doing what is called Systematic Theology. Seeing how
the doctrine of the Trinity is woven trough all of God's Word. Gathering
evidence from all of Scripture to support this essential doctrine of our
The doctrine of the Trinity is not always accepted,
especially by those outside the household of faith. Couple this with the aspect
of the mystery behind the Trinity and the total otherness of the Godhead, and
there will be many skeptics who will say if I cant understand it I won't believe
Our response to these skeptics ought to be 'would
you deny that the sun shines even though you can't explain or understand why it
does'? Of course not! The truth is we live in a world full of things we don't
know or understand completely and yet we still believe them. I don't understand
how a brown cow can eat green grass and give white milk, but I still drink the
Turn to Isaiah 55:8 Lets get some biblical
: Isa. 55:8-9
I make no pretense at being able to adequately
explain the Trinity. I can not explain to you what I don't fully
Someone has said 'If you try to
explain the Trinity, you will lose your mind. But if you deny it, you will lose
Another has said 'A man is a fool who
denies the doctrine of the Trinity; and he is equally a fool who tries to
It is my only desire to show you that the Word of
our supernatural God teaches this doctrine and that it has practical relevance
for us in our every day lives.
So, over the next two weeks we will
define the Doctrine of the Trinity by first explaining what it is not and then
defining it as I understand it to be. We will then look at the evidence for the
Trinity found in Scripture by attempting to answer the following difficult
Where does Scripture say that God is One and that each
person of the Godhead is absolute deity?
does Scripture show the essential distinctiveness of the three persons of the
Are all three persons of the Trinity
eternal in their existence? Is that important?
And finally, so what? Why is this important and how will
understanding the Trinity, as best we can, help us in our daily walks with
So, don't let all this confuse you. And don't make
the doctrine of the Trinity a matter of mathematics either. It's a holy
mystery, able to be studied through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, by faith
in Christ, to the praise and glory of God the Father.