St Augustine of Hippo was a theologian and philosopher in the early Church. Then took a breath and followed with, “Why do you ask?” “My friend said we worship three gods, because we say ‘Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.’” Aha. That's a heresy called Tritheism. However, since analogies of the Trinity are seeking to help us understand the very nature of God, faulty analogies are going to result in faulty knowledge of God. Yet other passages clearly indicate that the Father is fully God (Eph 4:6), Jesus is fully God (John 1:1-4) and the Holy Spirit is fully God (Acts 5:3-4). Since our discipleship rests on our growing knowledge and love of God, it seems to me that we have to be particularly wary of using these poor understandings of God in the way we … When I taught the doctrine of God course I used to keep a list. How to explain the Trinity to a bright-but-still-concrete young teen. ), could we not infer that natural revelation would also, in some sense or to some degree, “declare” the Divine plurality as well? Here is a simple and Biblical way to explain the Trinity. Then there is St. Patrick’s use of the shamrock. Christians believe that there are three persons in the Godhead, and yet we are not polytheists (believing in three gods). Yet most Christians have difficulty explaining the Trinity clearly. But God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all co-exist, at the same time. Could we not say that on a created level this reflects or bears testimony to the Unity and Diversity within the Godhead?). God is kind of like a man who is a father, a son and an uncle, God is kind of like a three-leaf clover, or a triangle; one object, but three different, identifiable leaves, or sides*. All attempts to equate the Trinity with some analogy will miserably fail. How does that fit with the egg analogy? Again, both ancients and moderns have been tempted to take this path at times but the church universal has always rejected it because it is not taught in Scripture nor confessed in the catholic creeds (Nicene, Athanasian, Apostles’) and Reformed confessions. We see in Colossians 2:9: However, Jesus is not the Father or the Holy Spirit—see also the ancient Trinity diagram. The reason why the Trinity is such a hard concept to grasp is because it doesn’t make since logically to our brains. To put it simply, “The problem with using analogies to explain the Holy Trinity is that you always end up confessing some ancient heresy.” I have found that analogies of the Trinity are a normal reaction from Christians who find themselves defensive about a complicated doctrine. Below is the easiest way that I have ever heard it explained: God the Father is the sun. Water is still water no matter what form it takes, even though it is called by other names. This page explains more fully why it is not a contradiction to say that three persons share the same divine essence. Of particular concern is trying to explain God by use of analogy, ... and I have never heard one to even remotely adequate to fully picture of the Trinity as alluded to in scripture (they give us a glimpse, but taken alone the picture is nearly always of a heretical understanding). Dr. Clark wrote: “The Trinity, as such, isn’t like anything in creation. God is infinite. However, analogies are not truly “broken” unless they are “false analogies“- that is, they purport to compare two things in a way that they do not actually compare. According to Holmes, absolutely not. They reason that if Jesus were truly God, then He would be completely equal to God the Father in all areas and would not, therefore, be subordinate to the Father in any way; but this objection is not logical. Children’s ministry leaders know all too well the difficulty of having to work hard with language in order to communicate to our youngest sisters and brothers in the faith. Well the issue is, the water analogy is akin to the heresy of Modalism. There are not three gods, however, but one God in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But the problem with all three analogies is they very easily fall into one of the ancient heresies that the church fathers and writers of the Athanasian Creed were so keen to distance themselves from. This is especially true of believers who are unfamiliar with or have never really thought about the Trinity. St. Augustine searches for an analogy to help his listeners comprehend the oneness of the Trinity but the distinct works of each Person (though it’s important to remember that all Trinitarian analogies fall short). 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