Can we summarize the Trinity?

Since we are talking about the Trinity, some have asked if it’s possible to succinctly summarize the biblical teaching about the Trinity. Admittedly, such a task would be akin to summarizing the differences between the various movements of Handel’s Water Music…only infinitely so. However, when asked I have followed the lead of many other theologians who give the following three points which allow for plenty of expansion and textual argument:

  1. God is three persons
  2. Each person is fully God
  3. There is only one God

How we articulate this in our preaching is of first-rate importance which has implications for how we communicate as well as for what we communicate when we stand behind the pulpit.  Again quoting Bavinck who wrote, “Christianity stands or falls with the confession of the deity of Christ and of the Trinity.” My question:  is there any way to improve upon this distillation and/or should anything be added?

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I don’t really know how to articulate it, but I would like to have some reference to the unity of purpose of God. God is three persons who are in community. I also would like to somehow refer to the different works of the three persons all working towards the unified Goal.

  2. Posted by Steve Drake on October 22, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    John Frame, in The Doctrine of God (pp. 621-622), lists the following basic assertions about the Trinity:
    (1) God is one.
    (2) God is three.
    (3) The three persons are each fully God.
    (4) Each of the three persons is distinct from the others.
    (5) The three persons are related to one another eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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