History has produced reams of books attempting to explain the doctrine of the Trinity. It is a difficult doctrine to grasp, because it endeavours to describe the infinite God in finite terms. Our efforts will be weak at best. That being said, Scripture demonstrates that God has revealed himself to us (through who he is and what he does) as Father, Son, and Spirit: eternally one God and only one God, and eternally three Persons who are fully and equally one God. The Trinity is simply who God is, and the doctrine is a central tenet to Christian faith. There is no God but Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.[i]
Allow me to end this series with a gentle encouragement. Trying to explain and comprehend the Trinity can become very “heady” and diagnostic. However, let us remind ourselves that God is not a mystery to be solved. He is not simply an object of discussion. He is the glorious, awesome, gracious, compassionate, faithful, holy, just creator of the universe and lover of our soul. Rather than “solving” God, we are invited to enjoy him as he is and glorify him.
In the end, as Hilary of Poitiers says, “God can only be known by devotion.”[ii] Understanding the doctrine of the Trinity is not simply to be another badge on the “theology sash.” It is an invitation to know God more fully, more deeply, and more intimately, and as a result be transformed. As Robert Wilken writes, “Finding means more than simply getting things right… There can be no finding without a change in the seeker.”[iii] May this series take you to a place of deeper relationship with and transformation by the One who has revealed himself to you as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
[i] Wolfhart Pannenberg, quoted in Grenz, p.65.
[ii] Wilken, p.88