Once again, I am indebted to the wisdom and knowledge of Wayne Grudem.
This past week I had the opportunity to sit down with a student at Bowie who threw out some questions about the Trinity that I had a hard time answering. Honestly, I am okay with my faith not being rational, I don’t believe that any worldview is completely rational (people who think that you are completely rational – keep asking “Why?” to your belief system and you will eventually get to circular reasoning), but at the same time I want to be fully informed in my faith and have a need for it to be completely internally consistent.
There are things that I’ve pondered deep in the recesses of my ENTP brain that have never completely come together that reading the chapter on the Trinity in Grudem’s Systematic Theology has helped me more fully synthesize (my brain really is like a computer that is doing something on the screen, but running programs in the background – it’s constantly working on something even if it’s not apparent).
When we realize that the New Testament authors generally use the name â€œGodâ€ (Gk. theos) to refer to God the Father and the name â€œLordâ€ (Gk. kyrios) to refer to God the Son, then it is clear that there is another trinitarian expression in 1 Corinthians 12:4â€“6: â€œNow there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.â€
Similarly, the last verse of 2 Corinthians is trinitarian in its expression: â€œThe grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you allâ€ (2 Cor. 13:14). We see the three persons
mentioned separately in Ephesians 4:4â€“6 as well: â€œThere is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.â€
All three persons of the Trinity are mentioned together in the opening sentence of 1 Peter: â€œAccording to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be
sprinkled with his bloodâ€ (1 Peter 1:2 NASB). And in Jude 20â€“21, we read: â€œBut you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.â€
I have, for a long time, wondered if the New Testament writers (particularly Paul) were purposeful in that way of speaking of the Divinity. It has seemed to me that in contemporary Christan culture (whether it’s “Christian” at a heart level or in some nominal way) is specifically referring to God the Father when they say “God” even when God is all three persons of the Trinity in orthodox Christian doctrine. Even in my own prayers (verbally, in my journal and even in my silent prayers) I feel that I am addressing different members of the Trinity when I use “Lord”, “God”, and “LORD” – Jesus, the Father, and the whole of the Trinity in that order.
Thanks Wayne, for helping me understand more… again.