Apologetics Index: Information about cults, sects, movements, doctrines, apologetics and counter-cult ministry.  Also: daily religion news, articles on Christian life and ministry, editorials, daily cartoon.
Quotes On The Doctrine Of The Trinity
Religious cults, sects, and alternative religions Home PageSpacer Rainbow
Home
A-Z Index

How To Use
About AI
Contact Us

Quotes On The Doctrine Of The Trinity

More on The Trinity      Back to A-Z Index       Color Key  About The Color Key
line

Robert Drummond
Now that doctrine of the Trinity often seems a very perplexing subject. And no wonder; I for one should be very much surprised if when the truth about God is reached we should not find something which is very perplexing to human minds and something which betrays the poverty of human speech. I expect the truth about the infinite God will always tax the fullest resources of finite minds and tongues and still leave men wondering, pondering and adoring.
Robert Drummond, Faith's Perplexities (New York: American Tract Society), pp. 283-285
Ignatius
There is then one God the Father, and not two or three; one who is; and there is no other beside Him, the only true God. 'hath not one God created us? Have we not all one Father?' And there is only one Son, God the Word, 'The only-begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father.' And again, 'One Lord Jesus Christ.' And there is also one Paraclete. 'For there is one Spirit since we have been called in one hope of our calling.' And again 'We have drunk of one Spirit.' ... And it is manifest that all these gifts possessed by believers worketh one and the self-same Spirit. There are not then either three Fathers or three Sons or three Paracletes but one Father, one Son, and one Paraclete. Wherefore also the Lord, when He sent forth the apostles to make disciples of all nations, commanded them to baptize in the 'name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost' (Matt. 28:19), not unto one person having three names, nor unto three persons who became incarnate, but into three possessed of equal honor.
Ignatius, "To the Philippians," Ante-Nicene Fathers, Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961), vol. 1, p. 116
J.I. Packer
God is Triune; there are within the Godhead three Persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; and the work of salvation is one in which all three act together, the Father purposing redemption, the Son securing it, and the Spirit applying it.

The Son is subject to the Father, for the Son is sent by the Father in the Father's Name. The Spirit is subject to the Father for the Spirit is sent by the Father in the Son's name. The Spirit is subject to the Son as well as to the Father, for the Spirit is sent by the Son as well as by the Father.
J.I. Packer, Knowing God (Downers Grove, Ill: Inter-Varsity Press, 1973), p. 70

Klaas Runia
The Biblical roots of this doctrine had nothing to do with philosophical speculation: it was born out of the heart of the Christian faith - what was believed about Jesus Christ. It was the coming of Jesus which set in motion the transformation of Jewish monotheism into the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The same is true of the way this belief developed in history. The church of the first three centuries did not engage in controversies about the Trinity because it was fond of speculation...

The basic issue was: Is Jesus Christ God, is He really and fully God? If so, what does this tell us about the being of God? At a later stage the same question was asked about the Holy Spirit... The controversy about the divinity and personality of the Holy Spirit was more in the nature of a consequence. The core of the doctrine of the Trinity was and is the divinity of Christ...

How then can we describe the New Testament picture of God? On the one hand God is one, truly and absolutely one. On the other hand this one God exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This threefoldness is present throughout the whole New Testament not as a formal statement but as a pattern to be seen everywhere.
Klaas Runia, "The Trinity," Eerdman's Handbook to Christian Belief, Robin Keeley, ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982), pp. 165, 169

Precisely in this doctrine it becomes clear that God is truly the living God, the God who has life in himself, literally full of life. Some of the early church father used a remarkable expression. They said God is 'fertile.' Within the three-in-one God are all the possibilities of person-to-person communication. God in no way needed His creation... The doctrine of the Trinity is the end of all pantheism. If in the depth of His own being God is three-in-one He does not need this world in order to come to his full potential.

In the revelation of the Father through the Son by the Spirit we not only receive some external information about God but we have the guarantee that God himself is speaking to us and opening his divine heart to us. Revelation is really and fully self-explanation.

But above all the doctrine of the Trinity is of important for our salvation. It is the answer to our question whether or not our salvation is really God's work. In the final analysis this is the reason why the church is so vitally interested in the divinity of Jesus Christ and the divinity of the Holy Spirit. The vital question to ask about the nature of Jesus Christ is 'In Jesus, do we really meet with God himself?'

None of this is bald theory. It is echoed in the Christian personal experience. The believer knows by experience that he is a child of the father, that his is redeemed by the Son and that the Holy Spirit is in his life. And he knows that in all three relationships he has to with the one and the same God.
Klaas Runia, "The Trinity," Eerdman's Handbook to Christian Belief, Robin Keeley, ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982), pp. 174-175

Dorothy Sayers
These three are one, each equally in itself the whole work whereof none can exist without the other... If you were to ask a writer which is the 'real book' - his idea of it, his activity in writing it or its return to himself in power, he would be at loss to tell you. Each of them is the complete book separately; yet in the complete book all of them exist together. He can be an act of intellect 'distinguish the persons' but he cannot by any means 'divide the substance.' How could he? He cannot know the idea except by the power interpreting his own activity to him; he knows the activity only as it reveals the idea in power; he knows the power only as the revelation of the idea in the activity. All he can say is that these three are equally and eternally present in his own act of creation, and at every moment of it, whether or not the act ever becomes manifest in the form of a written or printed book. These things are not confined to material manifestations; they exist in - they are - the creative mind itself.
Dorothy Sayers, "Idea, Energy, Power," The Mind of the Maker (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1970) p. 41
Francis Schaeffer
Every once in a while in my discussions someone asks me how I can believe in the Trinity. My answer is always the same. I would still be an agnostic if there were no Trinity, because there would be no answers. Without the high order of personal unity and diversity as given in the Trinity, there are no answers.

The Persons of the Trinity communicated with each other and loved each other before the creation of the world. This is not only an answer to the acute philosophical need of unity in diversity, but of personal unity and diversity... We must appreciate that our Christian forefathers understood this very well in A.D. 325 when they stressed the three persons in the Trinity as the Bible had clearly set this forth. Let us notice that it is not that they invented the Trinity in order to give an answer to the philosophical questions which the Greeks had at that time understood. It is quite the contrary... The Christians realized that in the Trinity, as it had been taught in the Bible, they had an answer that no one else had. They did not invent the Trinity to meet the need; the Trinity was already there and it met the needs.

Let us notice again that this is not the best answer; it is the only answer. Nobody else, no philosophy has ever given us an answer to unity and diversity.
Francis A. Schaeffer, "He Is There and He Is Not Silent," The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer (Westchester, Ill.: Crossway, 1985), vol 1, pp. 288-289

Dr. George Smeaton
The doctrine of the Trinity is not so much a point among many as the very essence and compendium of Christianity itself. It not only presents a lofty and sublime subject of contemplation to the intellect, but furnishes repose and peace to the heart and conscience. To explain this mystery is not our province. All true theologians ... have universally accepted it as their highest function simply to 'conserve the mystery'...

As this doctrine is believed on the one hand or challenged on the other, Christian life is found to be affected at its roots and over all its extent. Every doctrine is run up to it; every privilege and duty hangs on it... However a man may begin his career of error, the general issue is that the doctrine of the Trinity, proving an unexpected check or insurmountable obstacle in the carrying out of his opinions, has to be modified or pushed aside; and he comes to be against the Trinity because he has found it was against him.
George Smeaton, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (Carlisle, Pa.: The Banner of Truth, 1980), p.5

Tertullian
In that all are of one unity [that is] of substance; while the mystery of the dispensation is still guarded which distributes the unity into a Trinity, placing in their order the three persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; three, however, not in condition, but in degree; not in substance, but in form; not in power, but in aspect; yet of one substance, and of one condition and of one power inasmuch as He is one God from whom these degrees and forms and aspects are reckoned under the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost....
Tertullian, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961), vol. 1, p. 223
Dr. Nathan Wood
Did the NT writers get the triunity from the universe? Is it a conscious speculation? ... There is no evidence for such an origin... There is no attempt in any way to compare the triunity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with space or matter or time or anything in man... Indeed there is no theoretical triunity in the New Testament. The presentation of the Trinity is simple, natural, matter-of-course, a phrase here, an allusion there, now a characteristic, now a relationship as it happens in connection with other things and topics. Indeed the Trinity there occurs largely in the sayings of Jesus and in His simplest, most personal talk about his Father and Himself and about the Holy Spirit... This triunity of the Bible evidently did not come by human speculation to be so exactly what the universe requires.
Dr. Nathan Wood, The Trinity in the Universe (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1984), pp. 97-98
Back To Top


Looking for more information?
Home | How To Use | About | Contact