Theology and Practice: The Trinity

Short answer: Our Radix Fidem covenant is neutral on the doctrine of the Trinity. We are neither for it nor against it.

This requires I remind everyone that our covenant is openly anti-western. We don’t believe there is such a thing as objective truth, nor that Scripture contains propositional truth. Granted, it would take a good bit of writing and references to literature from the Ancient Near East, but if you wanted proof, we could prove that the Hebrew intellectual traditions would scoff at the notion of propositional truth. If you really want to read up on that, you can get a bare introduction in my book, A Course in Biblical Mysticism — and it’s a pretty long read just outlining it.

Further, we regard human nature as entirely fallen, intellect and all. You cannot trust the intellect to answer anything of significance in serving Christ. It will at best help you organize and implement what your faith tells you through your convictions. The Bible says your convictions reside in your heart, so we talk about heart-led faith that must rule over the intellect. The New Testament speaks of this world as one giant deception, and only the heart can see through it. In the heart is where the Holy Spirit speaks, not in the fallen intellect. The mind cannot hear the voice of God except as it bows the knee to the heart.

So it should be obvious that the Trinity is a theory of Western minds, neither supported nor denied in Scripture. When the Bible refers to God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, it speaks of each in terms of human experience. It’s not meant to be regarded as somehow factual. That is, we are flatly told we cannot intellectually comprehend the Father and the Holy Spirit, and we know Christ only from the testimony of trustworthy followers. But we can know God in terms of all three in our hearts in ways that neither the mind can fully grasp nor words can tell.

If the doctrine of the Trinity helps you keep things organized, fine. If it only seems to confuse things, ignore it. There is no one right “orthodox” answer for us. Remember: When you share things, all you can offer is what you have. One of the greatest sins is to believe your answers are the only answers God approves. We each stand before God as individuals He made, and you cannot pretend to speak for God’s other servants. This is particularly true of things that are clearly your preferred intellectual construct. God does not conform Himself to your reasonings about Him.

In this, we establish the pattern for dealing with a lot of other historical doctrines found in the academic discipline of theology.

About Ed Hurst

Avid cyclist, Disabled Veteran, Bible History teacher, and wannabe writer; retired.
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2 Responses to Theology and Practice: The Trinity

  1. Jay DiNitto says:

    My thoughts are in line with this. The concept of the Trinity is most likely the product of a group of people’s intellects in the far past, though some of them may have genuinely perceived it as their personal heart_
    -led “mental” model of how God is/works. I’ve read one or two theologians, I think pre-Medieval, that believed in the idea but with the disclaimer that it’s basically an intellectually useless conceit. It’s telling that the concept is so closely held as distinctive for major denominations.


  2. Ed Hurst says:

    The doctrine arose on the tail end of a fierce controversy denying that Jesus was divine. The response to prevent further questions was to nail things down more than necessary.


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