Dear friends,

When I was in university I met a fairly knowledgeable person who claimed to believe the Bible but did not believe that Jesus was divine. She also did not believe that the Bible taught the Trinity. I must confess that her arguments shook me. I had not realized that the word “trinity” is not found in the Bible. In fact, when she told me this I did not believe her. As well, when I first looked at the verses to support the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity, I was underwhelmed and disappointed.

For the record, the word “trinity” is not in the Bible – but this is irrelevant. As well, the problem I had back then was not with the Bible but with my expectations and “demands” of what the Bible should say and how it should say it. I had to acknowledge my mistake, and take a breath, and look more carefully at what the Bible did and did not say. Throughout these days and months of argument and attack and searching, on a human level, my help came from a surprising place – tradition and authority. I knew that Christians had long believed the Bible taught the Trinity. I also knew that well-thought-out Christians that I knew through their writings also believed in the Trinity. So I continued to look for books and articles to read and I continued to read the Bible and to pray. I wanted to know the truth and I had respect for these authorities and traditions – so I did not cave. I read.
Eventually, the doctrine became clearer as did the Bible texts. As an aside, as our conversations continued, she did not accept what the Bible said, but eventually did not want to talk about it anymore. When she could not win the “arguments” she had no interest in talking at all.

I would encourage you to look up The Athanasian Creed. It is a great simple (and ancient) statement of some right and wrong ways to understand the Trinity. Of course, The Apostle’s Creed and The Nicene Creed are also good to read. Finally, in terms of “ancient” sources, read The 39 Articles of Religion (especially numbers 1-5) and The Heidelberg Catechism.

A great book with a great section on God and the Trinity is C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. As well, James R. White’s The Forgotten Trinity is a modern classic. Kreeft and Tacelli have written a good book on apologetics, Handbook of Christian Apologetics. This book, like many books of apologetics, has a discussion on God and the Trinity.

Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, three Persons, one God, as it was in the beginning is now, and evermore will be. Amen.

George