“The Trinity is either the most farcical doctrine invented by the early disciples or the most profound and thrilling mystery revealed by the Creator Himself” – CS Lewis
Over the last year or so, I have been wrestling with the doctrine of the Trinity, much because my skepticism precludes me from becoming a bona fide Christian. I want to believe because the denominations toward whom I have respect are believers, and because I feel at least some disdain for the anti-Trinity religion and most sects.
Another motivation pertains to the code at least tangentially, which is the reason I am posting this piece here, but this won’t come until later when addressing specific problems I have with the doctrine. Before proceeding I should clarify that one problem isn’t regarding the 3 entities in question as being holy.
The first problem arises from the doctrine’s traditional symbol. In artifice and nature, the triangle poses the simplest structure of stability. But when used to represent the Name of Love – God – it immediately comes off as being both divisive and restrictive. But believers who look to the symbol readily concede it doesn’t express all key aspects of the Trinity, and my “restrictive” first impression is easily dissolved by simply observing the “is not” labels to infer that the restricting lines do not really exist.
The main problem I have with the symbol speaks to the doctrine’s prime scriptural justification – that found in the “The Great Commission” of the Resurrected Jesus Christ at the end of Matthew: “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”. In my view the order and direction of these most powerful words are of upmost importance, but left out of the symbol make it more target than an aid.
The sequence (of the 3 principals) could easily be included in a line (Holy Spirit) extending from a point of origin (Father) and through a humbly situated middle (the Son) to potentially be the third and last experienced by those to whom the statement is addressed. In the distinctiveness of the 3 geometric entities’ correspondence to the distinctiveness of the 3 Entities they signify, note that no single one is describable without invoking the other(s). For a bonus, the symbol oriented vertically corresponds with the all but universal glyph for the number one.
Notwithstanding the above elaboration, the line symbol obviously lacks the visual impact of the triangle. But upon reflection some of the former’s limitations speak to other key realities. If one is contemplating the symbol, one is not partaking of what it represents and to do so one must get in line. This one is straight and narrow, an attribute specified by Christ for those who follow Him; and if the delineating points scale to the line’s narrowness, such can aptly signify the eye of the needle a soul of rich self regard must eventually pass through to avoid eternal separation from God.
As the Holy Spirit paradoxically poses both a nebulous and an impossibly narrow entity in the proverbial haystack of infinite paths, to partake of it necessarily requires one to first meet the Son heart to heart, a prospect entirely within the reach of anyone. As promised, He does live and awaits your acceptance to share that life of boundless capacity throughout eternity.
This brings me to the matter of “persons”. The only “Person” I see in the Trinity is The Son, with application of the word’s origin to Christ literally making Him the Face of God. He certainly won the title in choosing to suffer red hot iron agony and humiliation in utter black interstellar cold alone – for others. As a flat plane, the triangle tends to lose the face by the relative indistinguishability of its 3 points, a factor that may have influenced the 3 persons idea. I cannot grasp a 3 person Trinity without a mother being one of them. In that light, it would seem the doctrinal concept of 3 Who’s in one What should be reversed with God being the general and Christ the specific Who, with the Father metaphorically so by His creative power.
Much of this may be semantics, but if my skepticism of the doctrine arises from valid grounds, the object of such might very well be yet another example of the time proven pitfall of symbols tending to replace that which they serve, which brings me to the third reason I want to believe the doctrine of the Trinity to be true.
In conjunction with the 12-around-1 and omnipresent cross geometry of the code’s geometric foundation, the traditional symbol of the Trinity would lend a more sublime meaning to the form’s triangles. As tempting as this is however, I have to say no. Even if not a misfit, the 3-dimensionality of it would pose an even more powerful usurping tendency as described in a this previous post.
Finally, there is the pro-doctrine argument that God is Love (no dispute) and because love is relational, He must have an attribute of eternal plurality which scripture suggests by the use of Us. But in reading these passages over and over, I am inclined to tentatively conclude that the plurality refers to the angels of God, the spiritual beings of every possible good quality, who knew pride (and his allies) before their ejection, and who bowed to the essence of Love ruling supreme.
In a debate between christian Nabeel Qureshi and muslim Shakir Ally, the latter slices up the doctrine pretty well with his arguments until it comes to the love argument. Although I believe Dr Qureshi misapplies love to the doctrine to prove it, the passion of his assertion that God is LOVE draws a telling response from Dr Ally in which he (perhaps disingenuously) concedes love as a quality – just enough for him to avoid losing the battle on the matter of the Trinity, but far short of what would be required to win the war on what God is really like.
My views on all the above have been evolving and await a sound argument against them (perhaps from reading more CS Lewis). So at this juncture I cannot say with absolute certainty who doctors the Holy Trinity – early church thinkers, or me. However that may be, by their insistence I credit them for my having come to this point: That for us mortal human beings these 3 entities or aspects of the One God are the minimal essentials for our understanding of, and how we are to have a relationship with, Him.
As the 4th of July is upon us, I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for being able to express views that would have got me totally ostracized, tortured or killed in past societies. In expressing my appreciation by using the freedom afforded me responsibly, the worst that can happen is to be labeled a cult (of one) by those I otherwise look up to – and I can live with that.