Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Trinity Doctrine in the Light of Reason

Okay, let us get down to brass tacks regarding the Trinity doctrine. Both Trinitarians and non-Trinitarians appeal to the Tanakh or Christian-Greek Scriptures (the New Testament) to substantiate their respective beliefs. But one hardly witnesses any gain from such discussions. For instance, it seems that something as simple as examining the Johannine Prologue (Gospel of John 1:1-18) ultimately proves unproductive in debates about the deity of Christ. Does John 1:1c say that the Logos "was God" or "a god" (NWT) or some derivation thereof? And the debate goes on.

Since I do not believe that most Trinitarians in cyberspace, at any rate, will ever cease being Trinitarians based on the preponderance of evidence from Scripture, I would like to put a somewhat basic question to Trinitarians.

In the case of humans, 3 persons = 3 beings or entities. But in the case of the three divine persons, we are led to believe that 3 persons = 1 God (i.e. one divine being or entity). How does this whole process work? How is it possible for 3 persons to equal 1 being?

One explanation that I have found for this question is that God is simple (i.e. God has no parts or composition, that is, God is non-mereological) whereas human persons are complex (i.e. mereological or they have parts). Due to the fact that God is simple, it is said that the only acceptable distinctions in God are the three persons. Yet this defense obviously evokes the question, how do we know that God is simple?

Thomas Aquinas certainly provides a rejoinder to this question in the Summa Theologica. But are his rejoinders satisfactory? Are there valid or sound arguments against divine simplicity? Can we find compelling arguments that seem to refute divine simplicity? I will address these questions in a separate post.

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