(WARNING: 800+ words long, but very well composed post follows!)
For those who don’t know, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is the Christian belief that God exists as three distinct personalities – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But they exist as only ONE God, not as three. Nor are they all 1/3 of God. Each is fully God, yet it takes all three to be God in full.
Confusing? This teaching is probably the one that causes the most headaches among believers while receiving quick criticism from non-Christians. It even caused a certain prophet to misunderstand it as meaning three ‘gods’ with Father God, Mother Mary and Son Jesus forming the Trinity.
Basically, the problem with the Trinity is simply, HOW CAN BE??!! Tak logik lah ini! But hey, we’re talking about God the Almighty Creator here. He invented logic and reason. And you know what? I’m going to present to you several REAL LIFE examples of ‘3 in 1’ (and I’m not talking packet Milo either!).
B) Commonly encountered analogies
TIME is past, present and future.
WATER and other matter is solid, liquid and gas.
LIGHT exists as waves and discrete particles (my contribution, but no, I don’t understand it either – go ask a quantum physics grad).
THE SUN: God the Father is the sun, the rays that radiate from the sun is Jesus, and the warmth we feel on us is the Holy Spirit.
MATHEMATICS: The equation for the Trinity is not 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, where they all just add together. The correct equation is 1 x 1 x 1 = 1, where they each multiply each other. If you doubt the maths, try calculating the volume of a cube with each side 1cm long. (Answer: You’ll get 1cm³)
C) My own take on it:
SPACE is height, width and depth. That is, x-axis, y-axis and z-axis on a graph.
Now then fellow learners, follow these 4 points…
1. What is Height? (Answer: It is space.)
2. What is Width? (Answer: It is also space.)
3. What is Depth? (Answer: It is space too! Wow!)
4. What is SPACE? (Answer: Space is not just Height. Space is not just Width. Space is not just Depth. Space is ALL THREE TOGETHER – Height, Width and Depth.)
Now let’s use that example with the Holy Trinity…
1. Who is the Father? (Answer: He is God.)
2. Who is Jesus the Son? (Answer: He is also God.)
3. Who is the Holy Spirit? (Answer: He is God too! Wow!)
4. Who is GOD? (Answer: God is not just the Father. God is not just the Son. God is not just the Holy Spirit. God is ALL THREE TOGETHER – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.)
D) My 100% Original, Scott-brand™ take on it:
Resonance Structures And here is an interesting example I realized of ‘three existing as one’ that is completely accepted in science today. For non-Science majors, this may be really complex. So then, Kimia and Farmasi students, lend us a hand! Tell us that what follows is TRUE! Help us to say, “OH WOW! This is so choon!”
HYPOTHETICAL INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTING STRUCTURES
If only one formula for the carbonate ion (CO³-) were correct and accurate, then the double bond to oxygen would be shorter and stronger than the single bonds. The angles between the arms would also be unequal.
But! Experimental evidence indicates that this molecule’s arms are bent at equal angles of 120º, and all of the carbon : oxygen bonds are of equal length. A single formula is thus inadequate, and the actual structure must resemble an average of the three formulas. This averaging of electron distribution over two or more hypothetical contributing structures (canonical forms) to produce a hybrid electronic structure is called resonance.
SIMPLY PUT, the carbonate ion exists as ALL THREE forms simultaneously! In other words, three can exist as one in accepted science. So can it not also be accepted in theology? Especially since our God is the Creator of all things, including tertiary-education level chemistry!
So there you have it. The ‘paradox’ can actually be found quite often in real life, if you know where to look. Just like irreducible complexity in Biology, or the Anthropic Principle in Physics, or the Chemical conundrum of DNA and life itself forming, and countless other wonders in nature – the Original Great Scientist has placed lots of cute clues to His existence for us little scientists to discover.
F) Oh, and PS…
A final point. Think of it this way: If Christianity were all made up (rather than being based on revelation from God), it would be much easier NOT to include such a difficult doctrine! It can be inferred then that Christianity really IS all about the truth, no matter how difficult to ‘get’. Thank you for completing the material for this course, SCA 101. Questions and flames welcome!
PS. See how the concept of the Trinity is present even in the Old Testament, The Christian Trinity in the Old Testament – God is I, Us and He.
See why the Holy Spirit and Jesus are considered God in Why the Holy Spirit is Considered God (and So is Jesus).