Posts Tagged With: Trinity

Reflecting on the truths of the Nicene Creed Today

Christmas is historically about affirming the truths expressed in the Nicene creed about the person of Christ, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary.  As we enjoy this festival, let us reflect on these words:

The Nicene Creed (325 AD)

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

(text from http://www.reformed.org)

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Unmasking Corporate Election

Unmasking “Corporate Election”

February 23, 2010

 “Corporate Election” has been gaining in popularity among some biblical scholars in recent decades.  It purports to offer an alternative framework to understand passages that deal with the topic of election such as Romans chapter 9 and Ephesians chapter 1.  “Corporate Election”, (as presented by its proponents,) denies the traditional Reformed or Calvinistic doctrine of unconditional election.  That is, it claims that these passages do not teach that God has chosen a fixed number of humans for salvation not based on any choice or will of theirs[i].  Its main arguments are as follows:  Both the historic background and Old Testament context of the New Testament epistles indicate that election needs to be understood in a group vs. individual context.  In other words both Jews and Greeks in the first century A.D. would have understood “he predestined us[ii]” as speaking about the group having been predestined.  Each person’s individual chosen status depends on whether or not he or she is part of the group or not.  It is by being part of the elected group that ones election is determined.  One becomes elect by joining the group, and if one leaves the group, one is no longer elect.  In the teaching of the New Testament, it is said, individuals join the group of God’s elect people by exercising faith in Christ, and therefore, it is not necessary to interpret these particular New Testament passages (Romans 9 and Ephesians 1) as ruling out human choice as the original distinguishing factor between those who are saved in Christ and those who are not.  If Christians join the body of Christ by exercising faith in him, and then become “elect” by virtue of their membership in the “elect” group, then, goes the argument, there is no need for us to think that God has determined who will be saved and who will not be saved with no regard to their own independent “free will” choice.  I will attempt to show that this idea of “Corporate Election” misses the point of the New Testament teaching on election.  I will do this by making especial use of the epistle to the Ephesians, and also show why this issue matters to the body of Christ. Ephesians chapter 1:3-14 presents a flowing summary of God’s plan to save “us” in Christ, from his predestination of “us” before the foundation of the world, to redemption, adoption, inheritance, holiness, and the sealing of the Holy Spirit[iii].  Its major theme is God’s grace shining in this whole plan from start to finish, and the scope of the whole is God’s glory.  The reference to God’s plan being “in Christ” is repeated eleven times in these eleven verses!  Obviously Christ is central in this whole plan of salvation from start to finish, (from election through the obtainment of the promised possession.)  Commenting on this passage, Dr. Brian Abasciano writes, “the idea is not that God’s choice was based on our foreseen faith per se. It is that the Church’s election is intrinsic to the election of Christ[iv]”.  A proponent of “Corporate Election”, Dr. Abasciano argues that Christ is the primary object of election, the original “Elect One” and that secondarily those who unite themselves to him by faith become members of his body, and therefore, they are elect in Christ and individually.  Dr. Abasciano is an Arminian theologian, but his take on “Corporate Election” presents a nuanced argument that differs somewhat from the traditional Arminian argument:  that predestination is based on God’s foresight of individual faith.  However, Abasciano’s argument fails to take into account the place of Christ in God’s plan as revealed by God in the New Testament.  God the Son became man and undertook the office of Christ the Mediator not simply to be the object of the Father’s choosing, (as he had no need of being chosen, himself being God from all eternity,) but to save a people.  Without an elect people having been loved and chosen by God from all eternity, and a plan to save them by means of Christ, there would have been no need for an incarnation, no Savior.  From the announcement of the angel that Christ would be born to “save his people from their sins[v]” to Jesus statement that “the Son of Man came to give his life a ransom for many[vi]”, to Paul’s statement that God the Father “predestined us to adoption through Jesus Christ to himself[vii]”, the place of Christ in God’s eternal plan of salvation is that he is the means of accomplishing the objective of God’s whole plan, which is the salvation of God’s elect, to the praise of his glory.  From our perspective, then, as Paul shows us in Ephesians chapter 1, it is in union with Christ that we receive all the blessings and benefits that God’s grace has bestowed on us in the New Covenant.  He is the means to every spiritual blessing for us as we have been united to him.  However from the divine perspective of God’s plan, Christ is the means to saving God’s elect people whom he loved before the foundation of the world.  The Savior presupposes a beloved people whom God intended to save.  And this is the teaching of Paul in Ephesians chapter 1, that before the foundation of the world, God predestined his elect to adoption “through Christ” (1:5.) “Corporate Election” ignores Paul’s description in Ephesians of God’s plan as incorporating individuals who are not part of Christ into him.  In other words Paul does not merely present an elect group who are viewed as already having been united to an elect head; rather he presents God’s work of gathering disparate persons into one group under one head.  Paul describes the “summing up” of all things to Christ.  Ephesians 1:10 says, “in order to the administration of the fullness of time, when he will sum up[viii] all things in Christ, whether things in heaven or things on the earth.[ix]”  Paul is not only describing a fixed group united to Christ which existed in the mind of God before the foundation of the world, but individual disunified parts and how he would gather or “sum” them up unto him.  Persons who were not part of a group and not under any one head are brought together by God’s sovereign working under one head, that is, Christ, and only then do they belong to the group.  Therefore, the election of the group necessarily presupposes the election of individuals.  Those who were not a people have now become a people, taken out (selected!) from out of the great mass of sinners in the world.  And this gathering is presented as God’s own work from start to finish. In chapter 2:1-3 of Ephesians Paul makes reference to the former state of those who are now united to Christ, having been by nature deserving of God’s wrath and conducting themselves after the course of the whole mass of sinners in the world.  But how had they become part of Christ?  Paul addresses this in chapters 1 and 2, and ascribes all to God.  For example, the apostle speaks of the believers’ first exercise of faith in Christ (1:11-14), ascribing even this “first hoping in Christ” to God!  He says, “according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, in order that you might be to the praise of his glory, who first hoped in Christ.”  And, “In which also when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in which also, believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the earnest of our inheritance, to the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.”  Notice the apostle’s reference to God’s sovereign working of all things according to the counsel of his will (1:11) as if to say, “not only did God choose us, he worked it all out in time, uniting us to Christ, just as he works his will in everything else.  What he had planned he also brought to fruition.”  Notice in verse 14 the ascribing of glory to God for the faith of God’s people in Christ, in particular for their first “believing” on him.  If this faith which unites them to Christ were not a work of God in them as part of his sovereign and immutable plan to save his elect people and draw them individually out of the whole mass of sinners, gathering them unto one head, that is Christ, Paul could not have praised God’s glory for their first exercise of faith as he does in verses 1:12 and 1:14.  “to the praise of his glory.”  It is not only election of a group that is in view, but the election of sinners who are not yet part of a group (2:1-3) and the means by which God planned to gather them together under one head, that is, by working faith in them (1:12, 14; 2:5-8.) I believe that I have shown that “Corporate Election” ignores major parts of God’s plan of salvation based on what is presented in the epistle to the Ephesians, particularly how God planned to gather individuals from a common sinful mass into a new group united to Christ by granting them faith on him.  But “Corporate Election” does not only ignore this part of God’s plan, it inserts an element quite foreign to the sweeping theme of Paul in this epistle, which is God’s glory.  It ignores the parts of the plan I have discussed in order to make room for the Arminian idea of a “free will” choice of sinners to believe in Christ.  By denying that God intended to save a fixed set of individuals by union with Christ in his election of him, and by asserting furthermore, that sinners unite themselves to Christ by exercising an autonomous choice to believe in him, and that they become “elect” because of their resulting union with him, the proponents of “Corporate Election” introduce a break in God’s plan of salvation.  The plan that was for Paul one sweeping crescendo of praise to God now acquires gaps.  There is a link in the chain which we must supply ourselves, one which cannot be ascribed to God’s glory.  But force of many, many passages in the Scriptures presents an unbroken chain of blessed acts and workings of God, for which he gets all the glory and the individual Christian gets absolutely none, especially Ephesians 1 and 2 but also Romans 8, 9, 1 Corinthians 1, etc.  The idea that the individual believer has supplied some part in his own salvation which cannot in itself be ascribed to God as a matter of praise is quite far from the whole point of Ephesians 1, and the apostle leaves absolutely no room for such an idea.  Not only does he ascribe all praise to God for every part of the salvation of Christ’s body, including the first believing of sinners in Christ, he also describes their former state as having been “dead in trespasses and sins.”  The Apostle describes our former state as death and service to sin as a natural state of enmity to God both in our conduct and in our “minds” (2:3).  The human mind is the source of all human will and choices.  Therefore those who are in such a spiritually dead state of mind are naturally unable to exercise faith in Christ while they remain in that state according to Paul’s teaching.  For this reason the apostle highlights the sovereign power of God to raise the spiritually dead to spiritual life (2:5).  And this involves the work of the Holy Spirit to produce faith in them, as we also saw in chapter 1. For this reason in 1:15 Paul says, “having heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”  Paul is giving thanks to God for the Ephesian believers’ faith in Christ.  Certainly Paul would not have been able to give thanks to God for the Ephesians having believed in the Lord Jesus unless it were God’s work.  One does not receive thanks for things that one did not do.  If it were the Ephesians who had first exercised faith in Christ independently of God, or even with his help but with them completing the act of faith independently, Paul would be thanking the Ephesians for believing in Christ and not thanking God that they had believed in Christ.  The fact that the giving of thanks to people for believing in Christ is so foreign to the New Testament is not merely a matter of style; it is because God has actually performed every part of salvation from start to finish, including the ends and the means.  That is the reason why God always gets all the thanks, all the glory, and Christians never get any, as we see here. Having shown how the idea of “Corporate Election” conflicts with Paul’s teaching, I would like to answer the “So what?” question.  Is this not a subject on which genuine Christians may safely disagree?  I submit that this topic bears significant implications for the sanctification of believers, and it bears on both doctrine and practice of the people of God.  It is a matter of holiness and godliness to have the correct view on this topic.  For it is a question of whether or not God gets all the glory for our salvation.  In speaking of the doctrine of election, Paul says, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise” so that no man may boast before God[x].” and elsewhere, “you are saved by grace through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, in order that no one may boast[xi].”  The point of Paul’s teaching on election is that Christians may ascribe all glory to God for their salvation and none to themselves.  The reference to “boasting” occurs not merely to prevent boasting, but makes a larger point.  It is that we cannot think that we contributed anything to our salvation.  We must give all the glory to God. Why then is it important that this topic be decided in the minds of Christians and in the teaching of the Church?  Certainly there are dear brothers and sisters in Christ who take the wrong view on this topic, who would never claim to have any reason to boast of their salvation, not the least of whom is my professor Dr. Abasciano.  But the point is not whether or not they are boasting.  The issue of the question is whether there is room left in the still-sinful hearts of Christians who are being sanctified for them to secretly and quietly think of themselves as wiser or smarter than those who have not made a decision to follow Christ.  The Arminian idea that humans may make a “free will” choice to believe in Christ without complete dependence on God’s grace for this choice does mitigate God’s glory in salvation and leaves a little boasting room in the still-sinful hearts of believers.  This boasting room the apostle is careful to exclude.  But why is boasting excluded?  Not just because boasting is immoral but because in fact Christians have nothing in salvation to take credit for, not even one little decision.  And so the great plan of salvation from start to finish and all means occurring in between is a subject for the praise of God’s glorious grace.  For this reason “Corporate Election” must be tossed in the trash with all other doctrines that rob God of any part of his glory in salvation.


[i] Cf. Klyne Snodgrass, Ephesians, The NIV Application Commentary, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, p.49ff.
[ii] Cf. Ephesians 1:4, 5.
[iii] There is much debate as to what the logical ordering of the verses in this passage are, since in the original Greek it is one long flowing sentence with many dependent clauses.  In any case the order is not strictly chronological.
[iv] Brian J. Abasciano, “Corporate Election in Romans 9:  A Reply to Thomas Schreiner, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 49/2 June 2006, pp. 351-71, p. 17.
[v] Matthew 1:21.
[vi] Matthew 20:28
[vii] Ephesians 1:5
[viii] Gr. ανακεφαλαιωσασθαι – For a derivation of this word’s meaning as “summing up”, see Peter T. O’Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians, The Pillar New Testament Commentary, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999, pp. 111.
[ix] Translations used in this article are mine.
[x] 1 Corinthians 1:27-29.
[xi] Ephesians 2:8.
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Pastoral Letter 12/1/13

Greetings in the name of Him who came to save His people from their sins!

This is Pastor Riley Fraas.  As I type I can feel the leftover turkey and yams churning in my stomach.  We have much to be thankful for, and the upcoming Advent season gives us even more reason to be thankful, for it is this time of year that we pause to remember God’s gift of His Son Jesus Christ, God from all eternity, conceived and born in due time, predestined before the foundation of the world to come as the Savior of Sinners.

Although the Bible does not fix for us the date of the birth of Christ, Christmas is an ancient tradition in the Christian Church.  The date of December 25th began to be observed in Rome in the 4th century.  (The 4th century church father John Chrysostom notes that there was a longstanding tradition already in the Church that Jesus was born during the winter time dating back long before this time.)  Around the same period, in the Eastern churches of Greece and Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), Epiphany was starting to become a popular festival on January 6th celebrating Jesus’ birth, the visit of the wise men, and baptism by John in the Jordan River.  While the celebration of Epiphany spread westward, the celebration of Christmas spread eastward and southward to the churches.

nicholas   strikes arius detail

Nicholas of Myra strikes Arius at the Council of Nicaea; Fresco in the Soumela monastery, Turkey

In this period of time there was a great controversy in the Christian church due to a teaching of a preacher in Alexandria, Egypt named Arius that from all eternity “the Son was not.”  He taught that only the Father was the eternal God and that Jesus the son was a lesser god who had been created by the Father at a point in time prior to creation.  (This doctrine is similar to the teaching of some modern groups, for example the “Jehovah’s Witnesses.”)  Arius’ teaching caught on like wildfire because many people found it easier to understand and accept than the biblical teaching on the Trinity: One God in Three Persons (cf. Matthew 28:19.)  But God in His providence raised up great preachers to oppose this teaching, men like the Greek fathers Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzus, Basil the Great, and John “golden mouth” Chrysostom.  They knew that without a Savior who is both fully God and fully man, with two distinct natures in one person, there could be no reconciliation of a holy God with sinful man, and there would be no salvation.  These church fathers thought that a new festival on December 25th would provide a valuable opportunity to proclaim the truth about the person of Christ, that God the Son, being fully God from all eternity with the Father and the Spirit, took to Himself a full yet previously un-impersonated human nature, and became man, in the womb of the virgin Mary.  They used Christmas as a defense against Arius and his false teaching about Christ.  It was Gregory Nazianzus who said in reference to John 1:1, “What better way to celebrate Him who is the Word, than by preaching the word?”  Christmas caught on in churches all over the world as a time to hear sermons on the incarnation of Christ, and in the end, it was probably one of the great influences which wound up leading to the decision of the Council of Nicaea in favor of the biblical teaching on who Christ is.  (At the council, according to tradition, there was one minister from the city of Myra in Asia Minor named Nicholas, who is said to have struck Arius in the face during a council session when he said, “The Son was not” in an attempt to knock some sense into him.  Nicholas was defending the biblical doctrine of Christ being fully God, and was also known for being generous to the poor.  He is the origin of the “Santa Claus” stories.)  The results of this council were encodified in the Nicene Creed, an important and historical statement of the doctrine of Christ and the Trinity.

As we reflect on Christ during this season, let us be thankful to God for leading His Church to the truth about who He is, guiding her through history, and remember that salvation is only in Him who being God from all eternity, became man in the womb of the virgin Mary, was born in a stable, and continues to be God and man, in one person, with two distinct natures forever, the Mediator between God and sinful man.

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Dubbed “Heretic” on Twitter by Rachel Held Evans

I had an interesting exchange today on Twitter with popular blogger and non-divisiveness guru Rachel Held Evans.

twitter2

Now, let’s lay aside the fact that the eternal economic subordination of Christ to the Father has been recognized by all orthodox theologians since the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A. D.  My first thought at being called heretic on Twitter by Rachel Held Evans was confusion.  I mean, I thought we were just supposed to love and not divide over doctrine?  It’s only angry, conservative, evangelical, racist, misogynist, homophobic white men with entitlement complexes who throw around the “H” bomb!   (She has since tweeted me to the effect that she did not call me a heretic.  She only said that I was communicating heresy.  OK, semantics.)  “Dude”, certainly not something you would expect from the post-evangelical, progressive, millenial spokeswoman.

Moral of the story?  Snarky rebel bloggers like Rachel Held Evans should leave theologizing to the theologians, and they just might learn something.  (Yes, even complementarianism.)

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The Most Helpful Statement of the Trinity and the Person of Christ

[1] Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith; [2] Which faith unless every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

[3] And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; [4] Neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance. [5] For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. [6] But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
[7] Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. [8] The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated. [9] The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible. [10] The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. [11] And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal. [12] As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensibles, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible. [13] So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; [14] And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
[15] So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God; [16] And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. [17] So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; [18] And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord. [19] For like as we are compelled by the Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; [20] So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say: There are three Gods or three Lords.
[21] The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. [22] The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten. [23] The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. [24] So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. [25] And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. [26] But the whole three persons are co-eternal, and co-equal. [27] So that in all things, as said before, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped. [28] He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

[29] Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. [30] For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man. 

[31] God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of His mother, born in the world. [32] Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. [33] Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

[34] Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ. [35] One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God. [36] One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. [37] For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; [38] Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; [39] He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; [40] From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. [41] At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies; [42] And shall give account of their own works. [43] And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
[44] This is the catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.
Amen.

The Athanasian Creed, early 6th century.

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Why Our World Cannot Be Explained Without the Trinity

Human philosophy is at a loss when it comes to explaining the world we live in.  As human beings, we experience both unity and diversity in our world.  Unity is observed in what we all have in common as humans: in common dreams, hopes, fears, struggles.  Our brains tend to follow similar patterns of logic.  We can read a news report about a person from an entirely different culture, who speaks a different language, and sense a commonality with that person.  We can even empathize with her if her parents have been ruthlessly murdered in cold blood, or be happy for her if she wins a prize.  This commonality bespeaks an underlying unity to mankind.  There is an underlying unity between human beings, and this also allows for communication from one person to another.  The English language, for example, works as a way for me to convey the ideas I am now expressing because there is enough unity among human beings that we can assign common definitions to words and convey meaning to one another.  I can type in a way that the reader can understand, and this points to an essential unity in human existence.  Although English is only one of many human languages, any human can learn English with enough practice. This unity between human beings is also seen in many ways in the world around us, like when a bird helps pick insects from a rhino, an act of mutual cooperation which benefits both, and when ants communicate with each other to alert the colony of an approaching green lizard.  Diversity is seen in the multiplicity of all that exists in our world.  The many stars in their own different solar systems, the diversity of lifeforms on earth from infectious bacteria to wrinkled Grey Elephants, and the diversity of human races, languages, and individual opinions are all manifestations of diversity in our world.  What are we to make of the fact that the world is unified and that it is diverse at the same time?

Human philosophy, which tries to make sense of the universe around us, has attempted to explain, account for, or understand how our world can be both unified and diverse, as shown in the examples described.  After all, if the world were only unity, how could we have so many different dog species, or flavors of barbecue sauce?  If it were only diversity, we could not even have a discussion because there would be no common understandings of words or their meanings.  How are we to make sense of all this?  As human beings we see diversity all around us in the world we inhabit, but we have an intuitive sense of an underlying unity which is behind it all. The great Greek philosopher of the ancient world, Plato, tried different methods of thinking in attempts to explain the unity and diversity in the world. But each time he failed, because the diversity that we experience in the world around us would not give him any clues as to where the perceived unity has its foundation. Modern thinking has not been able to get any farther in solving the problem of the unity and diversity in the universe than Plato did. If only the material world exists, and the supernatural is a fiction, as some today would say, then where does the underlying unity, that we perceive intuitively, come from? Universal laws of human behavior, the laws of physics, laws of grammar, etc. point to a unity underlying them all. The modern thinker just can’t explain this other than just to shrug and say it must exist somehowi.

The riddle of the unity and diversity in our world is only solvable by the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Since the Creator of the Universe is a Trinity, that is, one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, from all eternity, He is the root of the unity and diversity that exists in our world. Since our world is a reflection of Him, and He is one God in three Persons, therefore it is easy to see how our world can exhibit such unity and diversity at the same time. Conceptions of God like that of Islam, which teaches that God is only one person, not three, cannot account for the wide diversity in the world that we experience. How could such a diverse world be created by a monolithic god? Materialism, which takes all its cues from the physical world around us, cannot explain the unity which under-girds us. Only the Bible with its teaching of a God who is One in Three can make sense of the world that we live in. And although we cannot fully understand the Trinity, yet we can see that the unity of essence and diversity of persons in God is the root of the unity and diversity that we experience here below.

i  I am indebted in my thinking on this topic to the published works of Conelius Van Til, 1885-1987.

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