Chris Gore: Christianity: How could the Trinity be true?
One of the more confusing parts of Christianity is the doctrine of the Trinity. In short, there is one and only one God. But, God is God the Father (Jehovah/Yahweh), and God is God the Son (Jesus), and God is God the Holy Spirit, and all three are distinct and separate. We are stating the following:
- There is only one God.
- God the Father is God (Jehovah/Yahweh).
- God the Son is God (Jesus).
- God the Holy Spirit is God.
- The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct and unique, meaning:
- God the Father is not God the Son.
- God the Father is not God the Holy Spirit.
- God the Son is not God the Father.
- God the Son is not God the Holy Spirit.
- God the Holy Spirit is not God the Father.
- God the Holy Spirit is not God the Son.
They are all three God, they are not the same, yet there is somehow only one God. Yes, this can be confusing. The following is the traditional diagram:
This causes problems for a lot of people, and it really shouldn't. The explaination is simple, if we look at the statement itself. God is one being and is comprised of three persons. This is only a problem if we confuse the words being and person.
What is a being? Well, a human is a being, a human being. And a human is a person. So you are exactly one being and exactly one person. But are there any beings that aren't persons? Of course there are, just consider insects, or cats and dogs, or other animals: they are beings, but they aren't persons. If you kill a spider you aren't commiting murder, but if you kill your neighbor then you are. That is the easy answer. In the eyes of the courts corporations are distinct and unique persons of their own, separate from their shareholders; this has its good points and its bad points, probably more bad than good.
Are there any beings that are more than one person? Yes. The easiest example are conjoined, or siamese, twins. That is, twins that were born attached to each other, a somewhat rare but well-known situation. If they have seperate brains and heads, we would definitely consider them two persons, but they are one being, at least they are as long as they aren't surgically seperated. I'm not implying that God is a siamese triplet, but this does prove by example that there can be one being that is several persons, which is the sticking point people typically have with the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.