Despite the common use of the phrase Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, many Christians and plenty of nonbelievers lack an understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. This often is a barrier to faith or growth, but one that can be overcome when explored openly and thoroughly. The Trinity has much to teach us about the essence of God and our relationships with one another.
In Making Sense of the Trinity: Three Crucial Questions, Millard J. Erickson demonstrates the biblical foundation, logic, and importance of the Trinity as he answers three questions:
Making Sense of the Trinity is perfect for scholars, pastors, students, and theologians. The Logos edition of this volume is fully searchable and easily accessible. Scripture passages link directly to your preferred translation, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library.
“The church, we noted earlier, drew the inference of the Trinity from two sets of evidence it accepted. On the one hand, the Bible taught that God is one. On the other, there were three persons whom the Bible seemed to identify as being divine.” (Page 18)
“In verse 6, Paul says of Jesus that ‘being in very nature God, [he] did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.’ The word translated ‘in very nature,’ or ‘in the form of,’ is the Greek morphē. It is the word that refers to the full set of characteristics which make something that which it is, as contrasted with the word schēma, which is the external appearance, or facade, which does not necessarily indicate the true nature of the thing.” (Page 20)
“This became the full doctrine of the Trinity, that all three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are divine, but that they are not three Gods, but one. It was deemed essential to the life of the church to hold this doctrine of God’s three-in-oneness.” (Pages 13–14)
“The reality that there is only one God is both taught and presupposed throughout Scripture. Probably the clearest and most direct teaching is the well-known Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.’” (Page 18)
Millard Erickson (b. 1932) is Distinguished Professor of Theology at Western Seminary, Portland, and the author of the widely acclaimed systematics work Christian Theology along with more than twenty other books. He was professor of theology and academic dean at Bethel Seminary for many years. He earned a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, a B.D. from Northern Baptist Seminary, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University.