The outline of this theological paper is about Christian Theology according to Trinitarian Theory. The paper starts with Bilezikian’s view of Trinity as an important base of Christian Theology and explores the concepts of Trinity and practices as well to follow it to experience the grace of God. Though the Trinity is proposed long back, the application of the principles in the age of modern science was also been discussed along with the spiritual aspects of the trinity and church practices. In every discussion and analysis of this paper, the inherent point of Omnipresence of God and recognizing him in a community in which the humans are a part is emphasized and at last, it has been concluded that the church practices, faith, and knowledge is necessary to follow Trinity to recognize God and experience his grace.
Theology of Christian Community
The oneness of God is primacy in the Christian community as it believes that God formed the original couple. Gilbert Bilezikian (1997) quotes trinity as an original community of oneness and nature of God as a community of oneness. In this context, he quotes the three verses of Genesis that reveal God as a community of three persons in one being. As God is the grand designer of all the creation, he conceives heavens as well as the earth.
As a result after bringing them into existence, he is termed as the father of creation as everything finds existence in him, thus compelling him to protect the beings and creation as the second in the trinity. The above-mentioned aspect is well observed in the second verse of Genesis that mentions the activity as the spirit of God and even the existence of creation is due to the effort of God. Then the Holy Spirit is the third entity in the community of God after Father and Son. Hence, God can be termed as a tri-unity of divine entities Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The eternal communities draw energy from the holy spirit and thus have the feeling of oneness.
Bilezikian claims that the oneness of God in Christianity is different from that of the oneness in Jews and Muslims as their one God is one person and that results in God being a prisoner of their own limitation. As a result who follows that principle cannot experience God in the community as there is no aspect of the Holy Spirit. By taking the God as three entities in one being, all the entities are claimed above human nature and the concept of the Holy Spirit enables Christians to see God in everyone in the community. 1
Moreover, Bilezikian terms God as a giver and his giving is infinity. In that giving the author brought about oneness claiming that God thought that there is no oneness until there is no company for the man, who was alone in creation. As a result, though his creation is in his image, its oneness is not complete as there is no company as well as plurality that are present in the oneness of God in the form of a trinity. Hence, God created a human community that should be termed as one, still having plurality in it. The first fact of plurality is about woman, the companion to man, and without her, man’s oneness is not complete.
In this context, a man has to emphasize his identity with a woman as they were of the same kind and nature. As both man and woman are the images of God humanity reflects the image of God and hence according to Christian Theology, seeing God in humanity is recognizing the oneness of God. However, in this context, gender differences exist. Bilezikian claims that God is spirit and thus does not have gender differences and he is above those differences.
Consequently, a woman also can be termed as an image of God as well as man and humanity. According to Christian Theology, though man takes materialistic birth from woman, he is coming from God as a woman also an image of God as well as man. Hence, the participation of women cannot be undermined in the creation of humanity that reflects the oneness of God.
Hence, both men and women are images of God that result in humanity. From the above argument, one can understand that according to Christian Theology, women are no lesser than men in the creation of God and according to Genesis, a woman is bone of bones and flesh of the flesh of man. The oneness in this aspect lies in the concept of commonality that is emphasized by men regarding a woman. The above concept can be justified for the purposes of community that represents the oneness of God in the Christian Community.
As the involvement of man and woman in making a community is total, Christian Theology emphasized the importance of women on equal foot with a man in creating a community that represents the oneness concept of God. In addition to that, the relationship between man and woman is an example of mutuality that leads to oneness in a plurality of gender. One more example of the oneness of the man and woman relationship is that their unity is necessary as the latter came out of the man and thus the relationship results in the reunification of the image of God.
Moreover, as the oneness of man and woman has been lost due to sin of rebellion, Bilezikian talks about the innocence of not being ashamed to be naked and being a servant to one another. In the lines of the above aspect, the oneness can be regained due to the relationship between man and woman that has been lost due to wretched coverings emerged due to sin of the rebellion of man and woman against God as well as the loss of submissiveness to each other and the God. In other words, the servant relationship is preserved in the relationship between man and woman, and that results in servant relationship with God when they understand the oneness in plurality that is due to the relationship between them as well as with humanity.
In addition to the above aspects of oneness in plurality, the important theme regarding God is Love in Christian Theology. As God never gives up his love towards humans and his creation, humanity too should respond in the same way as God. As he never chucks out of his creation, humans too should see God in a community in order to reach him and regain the oneness in him. The important way to regain the oneness in God and to experience him is Church ministry and to follow the Theology as a believer.
Bilezikiean’s opinion is that to involve the ministries in the normative methods in legitimate ways that involve the whole community. Collective prayer helps everybody to find a way to experience oneness in God as well as the God himself. The leaders of Christian Theology after Christ; for example, Paul implied leadership functions that enable others to experience God in the congregation that is an example for the community. Moreover, as per the essence of the Bilezikian text in ‘Community 101’, an authentic community is necessary to keep the Church on a true mission that assigns God to human beings.
Christian Theology interrelates community and oneness as biblical foundations. The centrality of community in the sweep of salvation history is a call to the community to evoke Holy Spirit. If the loss in fall is recognized by human beings, the maneuvers to see God in the community, as well as the unification of man and woman, can result in the ultimate realization that comes out from submissiveness as well as the feeling of servant to the community and the life partner. 2
Oneness of God
In the previous Chapter, the oneness of God is emphasized and thus Christian Theology can be termed as Monotheistic that has a belief in only one God. Christianity claims that those who deny being God as one denies the concept of God and calls them atheists. As mentioned earlier in this paper, the oneness of God in Christianity lies in trinitarianism but not tritheism. However, there are some Trinitarians who believe the trinity in God is nearer to tritheistic.
Even Binatiarism is part of Trinitarianism as some of them believe that Holy Spirit is part of Father and Son aspects. However, the majority of monotheists in Christian Theology believe that though God is divided into three, he is absolutely one and humans have to recognize that oneness in trinitarianism. However, there are differences in monotheists also as strict monotheistic believers relegated Jesus to a position of a created God or demiGod.
Unlike other monotheists, who considered Jesus as a part of the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and gave the role of son, the strict monotheistic believers believe in one God and others being demi or created Gods. Moreover, believers of Oneness do not deny father and spirit but see them as the Spirit of Jesus. Hence, even in Oneness of God, there is no one believes that uniquely defines one God, but different people defined it in different ways.
However, the teachings of the Old Testament that emphasize One God are important that paved the way for the belief in one God. In this context, God demands total belief as well as love, which is possible by the concept of only one God. In the absence of the concept of one God, total belief and love are not possible, as the aspect of other God shares the belief as well as love. Hence, according to Deuteronomy, 6:5, Jews believed in one God but in the course of time, in Christian Theology, the monotheists are divided thus giving different definitions to the oneness of God. If one goes back into the pages of the history of the Bible that talked about God, it can be found that Bible called God the Holy One, but not Holy many or other.
Hence, if we take convention to establish the oneness of God, it exists even in plurality though it is opposed to pagan deities. However, the definition of oneness that emphasizes the trinity starts from New Testament teachings, Though it repeats explicitly, the message of the Old Testament. Hence, according to the discussion till now, the whole Bible teaches strict monotheism that gives a one-God message. The New Testament fortifies the concept of Oneness of God by showing that Israel has been chastised every time, it resorted to polytheistic worship. Thus by recognizing the punishment of Israel by God for polytheistic worship, Christian Theology confirms and demands strict monotheistic worship of God, which fortifies itself in the form of the Trinity that helps everybody to see God in the community. 3
As a result, Christians Theology considers the belief regarding God as monotheistic and teachers the existence of one God. Moreover, the one God Yahweh concept is shared by Judaism and Islam. However, the monotheism of Christianity is different from that of the other two religions as it believes in the trinity and conceptualizes God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is absent in Islam. However, the concept of the trinity cannot be seen in Bible but is commonly expressed as one God in the form of three persons. Primitive Christianity does not believe in the trinity as it believed that Jesus is the son of God, but not God himself.
However, in the course of time, Christian Theologists developed the trinity principle and viewed Jesus as one form of the trinity of God. Hence, though Jesus is the Son of God, now the concept is understood as part of God and the Holy Spirit that brought God nearer to human beings. However, the concept of trinity is supported by various statements of the Bible that lead Christian Theologists to develop a theory of trinity based on statements of the Bible.
As Bible explains the divinity of Jesus as well as the concept of the Holy Spirit while affirming the monotheistic theory, the trinity concept is supported by Bible according to various statements made by it. One can understand the authenticity of Trinity theory from the side of the Bible, as the doctrine of Trinity took centuries to develop using the statements and teachings in Bible. However, it can be seen that the foundations for Trinity can be observed in New Testament and are theologically developed later in the form of Father, Son and God. The word of trinity arose after the 1st Century from extra-biblical writer Tertullian as he explained that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one in essence not one in person.
As in the later years, Christian Council led by Bishop Athanasius established the doctrine of Trinity and illustrated Jesus as God of God, Light of Light and thus recognized as part of God, but not his creation. In the later period, the Trinity has been described as the explanation of mind, spirit, and will thus make the concept of God inseparable, as they together constitute a human being. In some orthodox churches, the Holy Spirit has been called as Holy Ghost also.
One significant aspect of the trinity is that it arose not only after Christ but also due to his presence in the history of Christianity. As he has been considered as Son of God and taught about the Holy nature of God, the aspect of Trinity came into existence as his followers have to consider his Father, Christ as well as the Spirit. Though, before and after Christ, Christians believe in the oneness of God, the Trinity occupied the Oneness after Christ.
It does not mean that there are no critics for the trinity concept after Christ. Mostly, monotheistic Jews, who do not accept the trinity, rejected it as well as Islam. As New Testament described Jews as the ones who rejected the claims of Jesus’ divinity, they did not accept the Trinity, which makes Christ part of it. Hence, one can understand that the concept of Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) has been put forth and accepted by Christians as they recognized Jesus as part of God, but not just a creation. Even now, there is a group known as Jehovah’s Witness in the United States of America, which rejects the divinity of Jesus and denies that the Holy Spirit is a person, and considers that it is God’s active force.
Though the Christians think of the Holy Spirit in person, they accept it as in the form of essence also. However, the important difference between Trinitarians and anti-Trinitarians is about the divinity of Jesus. Those who supposed Jesus in the order of Yahweh supported the concept of Trinity and those who did not accept the divinity of Jesus but viewed him as a superior human being rejected, Trinity. Some anti-Trinitarians accept Christ as Spirit but created by God. 4
Trinity in Pope Paul VI View
The Trinity is supported by Pope Paul VI in his writings as he writes the philosophy starting with the trinity concept about the belief in Father, Son and Spirit. In this context, the Father is termed as creator is replaced by Father, Son and Spirit as creator further reinforce the trinity concept in Christian Theology. This is against the concept of belief in only Father as God in Augustine of Hippo’s writings as the trinity theory developed in the later years after he replaced his Father-only theory. The important aspect that caused a shift in the theory is the search for alternative sources of inspiration within the oneness of God that helps to see God in his creation as well. Consequently, the theologists after Augustine accepted Christ as part of God and just not an extra natural human being as their predecessors thought.
Ormerod Neil (2005) quotes Karl Rahner about the expression of preference for the Eastern position that claims Father, Son and Holy Spirit as part of the trinity, and with time Augustine stands condemned for failing to understand and accept about trinity concept.
The trinity emphasizes divine unity that arises from the introspection of psychological comparison that promotes modern individualism. The fact in the above concept is that the Spirit proceeds from Father to Son and everybody who recognizes that spirit and has it is part of the trinity. The prayer and submission to God is the path and the way to make Holy Spirit pass into us as well as to recognize it when it passes in other human beings. The above aspect is part of Christian Theology after Nicene and that resulted in a rejection of Augustine’s concept of oneness God against the oneness in trinity concept. Moreover, the trinity concept enables human beings to see God everywhere, when they are elevated to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.
In this context, one can suggest that the people who recognized Christ as God or son of God, in the days he existed physically on earth are the ones who recognized the Holy Spirit in him. Hence, by accepting the trinity theory, with the understanding of Christian theology, one has to strive to recognize the Holy Spirit as there is a spirit in everybody. The inherent concept in trinity is to make holy the spirit contained by every human being.
When that occurs, every human can recognize God as Omnipresent and can attain the submissive state that is present early in the creation and which was lost after they sinned. The above duty of human beings involves engagement, dialogue and debate about a theological account of the trinity by supporting it. However, the western position of Trinity differs from the Eastern position in that the Christian Trinity defines trinity as God in God’s self according to Ormerod Neil (225).
It does not exclude God by economic trinity and emphasizes the divine economy of salvation. The trinity in Christian Theology rejects the modalism that talks about distinctions we encounter in the economy and believes that God reveals God-self to human beings in a different manner as well as in mask. The above concept does not amount to a three-fold distinction within God’s head and Christian Faith does not claim it. However, the reconnection of human beings’ encounter with the trinity in the economy of salvation with immanent Trinity avoided the removal of theological discourse on Trinity and human encounter with God.
According to Trinity in Christian Theology, it is irrelevant without a human encounter with God. Ormerod Neil quotes Rahner’s intention about an affirmation of the distinctions encountered by humans are the distinctions within God. However, the question of the coherence of belief in an immanent Trinity does not lie in simultaneous brushing aside of intelligibility of faith itself. However, an intellectual struggle is necessary for understanding the immanent trinity and it will be a part of the benefits of the revelation of humans to God and vice versa.
Hence, in the above context, the revelation has a cultural angle that can be understood according to perseverance on the intelligibility of faith and it can be something that can be learned from the Western tradition. The trinity concept that made an expression of God as Father, Son and God is made known to believers when they are defined assertively by scriptures as well as Papal teachings. In the materialistic world, the father can be understood as Substance, the son can be considered as essential and Holy Spirit can be termed as nature. Hence, the assertive framework about trinity indicates the notions of a procession that Son proceeds from father and the Spirit proceeds from Father to Son.
It can be understood that nature proceeds from substance to the essence and this can be indicated as the proceeding of Spirit from Father to Son and then to Community that enables humans to recognize the Holy Spirit that is part of the trinity. 5
Trinity, Nature and Metaphysics
As nature has been discussed as part of an understanding trinity, it is time to travel to metaphysics. This travel can make us encounter the reality that connects the scientific concepts of physics to theological concepts of metaphysics. This is because the understanding of theological issues depends on the contemporary mindset of the people. Trinitarian theology provides a Theory of everything and that makes human beings understand that God’s work of creation is more subtle than anything, which is part of your intelligence. In the above context, the inference of trinity from nature comes to the fore and one can see the Holy Spirit in every entity in the world as God’s creation and work in it is more subtle than the nature of the world as well entities.
Polkinghome John (2004) opines that the scientific understanding of the universe can have a Trinitarian perspective and it would be intelligible. However, the above aspect can be confusing to Christian believers if they did not find any indications of Trinity in an understanding of the Universe. For that purpose, they can think that God’s Holy Spirit is Omnipresent thus making God neither totally hidden nor totally manifested in the works of creation and recognizing him depends on perception and understanding of Trinity. Hence, an exploration of theology is necessary and inference of a divine creator, mentioned here as God can be the best explanation for the Father aspect in Trinity.
However, the developments of modern science and understanding them is making the perspectives of Christians different and making complex the system of combining the Trinitarian aspects with the understanding of the development of modern science. According to modern science, when a human ability is able to understand the universe in a far exceeding manner, it is not impossible to understand the presence of the Holy Spirit in it as it amounts to an understanding of Trinity in modern science.
However, it is not being possible because understanding science and the universe is an evolutionary necessity and it is not in the case of understanding science from the view of Trinity and the presence of the Holy Spirit. However, there is an inherent aspect that makes trinity’s presence in understanding and that is an intuition of scientists in making discoveries and inventions. As the intuition paved way for many new inventions and discoveries, and humans are part of the work of creation of God, one can term that the Holy Spirit is acting in the form of intuition in human beings to understand modern science.
The above aspect makes the understanding of modern science as well as working on it will be a part of the trinity as Holy Spirit has been discovered in it under Trinitarian view. Another point of view is that anything that can be worked for human survival can exceed anything within the limits of a three-dimensional world, which we view as the creation of God. As long as we view the world and universe as the creation of God, everything that is unveiled and invented is part of the Holy Spirit that exists in humans as well as in the Universe. One can understand that without the presence of the Holy Spirit the humans cannot recognize the Father and Son aspects in Trinitarian aspects to understand God.
However, the more we understand about the universe the more we find it to discover or to explore, which eludes us from the intelligibility of the Universe and finding the presence of Holy Spirit in every part of the Universe is capable of giving a Trinitarian view of the Universe as well as modern science. In the above-mentioned view of the Universe and modern science, Polkinghome John, (2004) opines that the equations possessing economy and elegance of the Universe will find the basis for theories that have long-term fruitfulness. In the light of those theories, humans are convinced that the clear-cut descriptions of physical reality can be understood by the concept of the Holy Spirit in Trinity theory.
Hence the discussion leads to the relationship between science and Trinity, which can be termed as Christian Encounter with Reality. One important aspect in science that gives inspiration to the Holy Spirit concept is anti-matter, which is above all the physical equations, and still, the physical equations accept it. Though scientists can detect anti-matter it is not in the control of human beings as the real matter does despite establishing its existence in some radioactive reactions. Still, we do not have it in our control like the matter, which we experience within the three-dimensional limits.
Hence, one can term the Holy Spirit as well as Father and Son concept as same as the antimatter that makes its presence to human beings but still elusive to them. The same is the interaction of human beings with God as many believe in them but cannot recognize them in the precincts of Trinitarian understanding. Hence, even modern science can be termed as an illustration of a Trinitarian concept that talks about God within the creation.
As the world depends on mathematical calculations and humans understand the world according to it, it can be termed that the humans did not make the world according to calculations and the force that made the world like that and the once that gave the mathematics to understand it can be termed as Holy Spirit aspect in modern science. Hence, Polkinghome John (2004) quotes Eugene Wigner who termed mathematics as a gift that is neither deserved nor understood. However, he discovered the power of mathematics and that helps in understanding characteristics of science that explores the universe. Moreover, Eugene did not say whose gift is mathematics and Christian Theologists can consider it as the gift of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that enabled humans to understand about Universe. 6
Discourse About God
In the previous chapter, the theological aspect of understanding modern science is discussed. However, that aspect can be understood clearly when theology, as well as Trinity, is understood as discourse about God. Hence, theology can be considered as a reflection upon God and the aspect of the Trinity. The important aspect in discourse about God from the point of view of the Trinity is that the Christian writers tried to distinguish the definition of Christian God from those of other religions.
The inherent concept in Trinity is to identify the God spoken by Christian theologists. The Trinity emerged from the fact that it is necessary to establish the concept of one God by rejecting polytheism before Christ. Hence, according to Alister Mc.Grath, it can be understood that the Christian theology, as well as the trinity concept, is to prove the existence of God. Hence, Trinity is a result of a systematic analysis of the nature, purposes, and activity of God.
The proponents of the Trinity thus put forth the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to make the humans feel the presence of God in the community as well as external to a person. As theology can be understood as an analysis of nature, processes and activity of God, the understanding of modern science can be done in view of Trinity and theological aspects of Christianity. It is important to understand that the doctrine of God can help in understanding the aspects of the trinity as it leads to an analysis of the definition of God in Christian Theology. The concept if there is any that is difficult to understand in Trinity is that the analysis of God that is beyond human investigation and that can be avoided or removed by understanding modern science according to theology as it is part of human investigation.
The important difference between Christian theology and other religions is that they are polytheist and the former is monotheistic and yet they are differences in monotheism. As there is a need to express Christian theology in a clear and coherent language, the Trinity concept has been evolved to express monotheism of Christian Theology in a way different from other polytheist and monotheist religions.
One more aspect that emphasizes the importance of the Trinity in Christianity is that the term theology is used to refer to Christian truth claims about God. However, the claims and their understanding depend on Trinitarian theory, and that lead to the emergence of different monotheistic theories and concepts that explained trinity in different ways. Hence, Trinity constitutes a major part of Christian Theology and is even synonymous with it. Though in academic aspects, theology can be studied in practical matters, prayer and spirituality were considered as the ones that apply a practical approach to the study. However, they do not have a theoretical base and Trinity provided the much-needed theoretical basis for Christian Theology.
Moreover, arguing on implementation of practical methods for theology cannot be supported as the real practical in Theology as well as in Trinity of Christianity is about recognizing God and when it has been achieved, there is no need for other practices. However, the practical aspects of theology emphasized by different academic thinkers like Bonaventure and Alexander of Hales as well as Martin Luther attempted to rediscover the practical side of theology. Moreover, Alister E. McGrath quotes Thomas a Kempis who felt that the practicality in academic theology encouraged speculation about God rather than the much-needed obedience to recognized God in the community as well as in nature and the Universe.
The main reason that leads to the complexities and ambiguities of God in Theology is due to the ambiguity of the world. Hence, when the ambiguity of the world is minimized, it will be easy to understand Trinity that is the basis as well as an explanation of Christian Theology. However, in the above contexts, the knowledge of God is an important aspect to understand as that is obtained through revelation is due to the willingness of man to know about God. Consequently, the necessity of revelation in Christian Theology is significant as natural knowledge of God is related to the one that is revealed.
Hence, Alister McGrath (2006) quotes John Henry Newman’s doctrine of reserve that emphasizes that there is more remained about God to know even after revelation. The above aspect prompts us to get more revelations about God despite having a substantial amount. The inherent aspect is that the view about God in man changes with the change of time till there is no sin or humans have complete submission towards God.
As long as the complete submission does not occur, there is more to learn about God despite having a lot of revelations. Hence, as long as there is a need for the revelation of God, one has to understand that there is no complete submission of humans towards God. One more aspect in revelation is self-disclosure and Trinity emphasizes the concept of that in the form of Son and Holy Spirit from Father. That self-disclosure that put forth the Christian Theology, as well as Christianity in history, resulted in Trinity and consequently, the incarnation has transformed into revelation and thus Trinitarians viewed Christ as a revelation of God instead of incarnation. Despite the above explanation, revelation is a complex concept to understand as it means to remove the separation between man and God.
Hence, Trinity is a form of explanation of revelation, but not a negation of any other theory. Alister in his book ‘Christian Theology: An Introduction, quotes James I. Packer who writes that God shows his resolve in his love to rescue us from sin and restore us to himself. In the above concept, there lies the aspect of Son and Holy Spirit that enables humans to recognize God and to have restoration in him. 7
Role of Holy Spirit
Girzone Joseph (2004), quotes synoptic gospels that reveal that Jesus was driven by the spirit into the desert. The above aspect indicates that everybody driven by Holy Spirit can be termed as a son, which is the part of the trinity that defines God. The author defines the trinity as the place that can spend time in deep thought and prayer far from the distractions of the human concourse. Hence, the theory of trinity has come into existence to make humans pray that enables them to keep away from human distractions. However, when humans do that, they feel lonely as long as they do not recognize God in the form of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in their community.
Hence, it can be termed that driving by Holy Spirit even while living in community results in revelation and that results in recognizing the Son aspect of God by submitting to father. It is important to understand the sources of knowledge while learning the aspects of the trinity. The most significant aspect in that course of understanding is that the presence of the Holy Spirit provides knowledge as well as understanding. The understanding tells us that the mind of God gave birth to an image that is identical to him and everybody who has a will and ability to love is that image. Hence, one can term it as ‘God is Love’ and see the ‘Father’ aspect in Trinity as a manifestation of love.
If any human who is the manifestation or image of that love can understand the son aspect in Trinity that propagates love in the creation of the world. Hence, it is important to understand that the son aspect in the Trinity is about propagating the love of God in his creation. As the propagation of love needs the presence of love in the proponent, the proponent himself must be the manifestation or revelation of God in one or another form, and hence, the ‘Son’ aspect is part of the Trinity that defines or explains God. Hence, anybody who propagates God’s love is the perfect image of the father and shares the mind of the father as well as will and constitutes divinity.
Hence, one can understand the ‘Son’ aspect or can be the son himself in trinity when he/she experiences God in one or another form. In any form, one can understand the will of God is love and that is a gift of God. However, the above feeling is not possible without the Holy Spirit, the third aspect of the trinity. Hence, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which define God are interrelated and nothing but one. We humans, who are part of the creation of God, just talk about three aspects of God to understand as well as to experience him. However, after experiencing one can recognize that there is no difference between the three aspects.
Once that experience occurs for any human being they start a different life that manifests God and his love in every aspect. Hence, it can be termed that the revelation of God to individual souls is not unique but only a few human beings dispose themselves to accept it. However, if they do not accept it may be due to the failure to recognize it as the call of God or it might be their inability to come out of the chores of the materialistic world. The important aspect in Trinity is to experience the presence of God as three persons as one like Mary Magdalene de Pazzi. Hence, the revelation is possible to anybody as long as they experience ecstasy in feeling God as three persons in one.
However, as the three persons are not seen to the naked eye, it is important to recognize that the presence of God can be felt anywhere according to Trinity as Holy Spirit is the one, which spreads the revelation or the presence of God between the people. The Trinity might have arisen after the resurrection of Christ as Girzone Joseph (2004) quotes that Jesus passed through the solid wall of the room and assured of sending them similar to the sending of him by father. Hence, he created the Father and Son aspects in Trinity and by prompting them to receive Holy Spirit by breathing on them he completed the third aspect of the trinity.
Hence, as we are able to see the Son aspect in Christ, as soon we receive or experience the Holy Spirit, the recognition of God is complete and Father and Son attempt to make humans receive the Holy Spirit. The author quotes another context that Jesus emphasized on Holy Spirit. It is the context of gathering, where Jesus instructed that everything will be determined by his own authority when anybody receives the power when one recognizes or experiences the Holy Spirit. Even the immediate disciples of Jesus are not able to recognize the Holy Spirit as they went into hiding for fear of being arrested.
Hence, there is a need for a force or prompting for them from the side of God to make them recognize the Omnipresent Holy Spirit sent by God to his creation. However, while they are hiding they physically experienced the Holy Spirit that came in the form of flames and then rested in each of them. That Holy Spirit gave them the power of speech and they are able to speak in the language of listeners or listeners listened to them in their own language.
Hence, the spirit in others has been recognized by them and that made them experience Holy Spirit and enabled them to prompt others to do so. Moreover, it is clear from history that miracles by Apostles are the work of the Holy Spirit, and their work them resulted in the establishment of the Trinity in the form of ‘Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The important aspect of the power of the Holy Spirit is the multitude of conversions as the spirit of God working in their hearts. Hence, it is important to know that by understanding everything in the world keeping in view the Holy Spirit of Father and Son can make miracles and positive changes that enable humans to recognize or experience God. 8
Connection Between Trinity and Man
According to the discussion in the previous chapter, humans should not isolate the treatise of Trinity as it talks about the connection between itself and man. Rahner Karl (2001) opines that Trinity is a mystery of salvation and that is the cause for its revelation from God to humans. Knowing the reason for the mystery of salvation from Trinity is the best way of understanding or following Trinity Theory. However, it is important to study the primordial mystery of Christianity to understand the mystery of salvation through Christianity.
The relation between theses of Trinity was overlooked and that might be the reason for the mystery of Salvation. Hence, it is important to notice that the mystery of the Trinity is a mystery of Salvation and one can understand God by solving that mystery. Hence, in reality, Trinity is a mystery of salvation and by solving it one can recognize God and therefore, it is not possible or reasonable to consider it as doctrine or framing it in academic rules and regulations. In the course of solving the mystery of salvation as well as a trinity, the economic trinity comes to the fore. In that way, the doctrine of the trinity is necessary to do justice for the biblical statements.
Hence, in that course of doctrine, the economy of salvation and its threefold structure with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit find a hold and helps humans to understand that the act of faith finds the presence of Trinity in any Christian’s life. In the above context, the doctrine of grace is expressed as without the grace of God, none can understand trinity or solve the mystery of salvation using it. However, one cannot misunderstand grace as a relation and just feel it from God.
In the above perception grace is a mental condition of a Christian that enables him/her to understand the Trinity concept. In that mental state when humans experience that they are the elected ones by God, they experience the divinity and the recipient gets the sanctifying quality with that divinity. Hence, grace leads to divinity and in turn, it leads to sanctifying qualities that enable humans to understand about Trinity and the presence of Spirit.
However, some remarks about the trinity can justify the doctrine of the trinity that enables one to feel the grace of God. The economic aspect is inherent in the trinity and that is the factor that interests humans and leads to the definition of the doctrine of faith. As Christ is Son part of the Trinity, he has the mission that makes the salvation of humans a reality. Being a part of Trinity and thus part of God, it is proper to Christ to take the burden of the salvation of human beings but is not proper to other human beings as they are not the people who recognize the Holy Spirit in them.
As Christ recognized the Holy Spirit in him and talked about that telling that Father has sent him through that spirit, it is important to recognize the Holy Spirit aspect to recognize or feel the grace of Son aspect in Trinity as well as in God, because he is a combination of three. Hence, according to Trinity Three aspects act as one to express God in the world or his creation. As a result, no visible difference can be observed between the doctrine of Trinity and the doctrine of economy of salvation as both are trying to solve a mystery about salvation. When humans think about the hypostatic union of three, they can build a case upon their thoughts based on reality.
Hence, they want to see that union in their community, and that needs a vision of God everywhere and a feeling of spirit that is termed as grace by the doctrine of Trinity. The next aspect in understanding or developing the doctrine of Trinity is regarding the concept of person. In the above context, the terminology and fact about the special importance of the systematization are significant when a person’s faith has to be considered. In the context of a person’s faith, there is no need for a clear-cut distinction between three sub-questions is not too important. However, the faith has no reference to a person or his/her faith.
It is because the Trinity has aspects that generalize the concept of God, which is unique in nature. By accepting the God present in three forms or subsists in three persons, we can see him in different aspects from father to community. As a result, Trinity results in diverse realizations that pave the way for the recognition of the Omnipresence of God. In the above context, Trinity allows humans to recognize God according to different contexts as they are able to realize God in diverse contexts. However, recognition of the equality of the three personalities in Trinity is important as it is not group building multiplication but is a type of monotheism that enables humans to recognize God everywhere.
Unless one can recognize God omnipresent as well as in the community the solution for the mystery of salvation is not possible as that hampers the understanding of trinity as well as experiencing the grace of God. The clarity of the Trinity can be understandable when one thinks about God as a person in the absence of trinity. The establishment of the identity of God in minds of humans, who think in a materialistic way, is difficult without Trinity theory.
However, even the difficulty mentioned above cannot be defined unless one can understand the significance of the Trinity as well as God in Christianity. To understand it, a philosophical view is necessary along with a rational view regarding one’s own intentions about relations towards the community. However, the understanding of the doctrine of Trinity is also important from a rational view as nature is multiplied and it is not easy to discover the experience to be multiplied without the multiplication nature. Hence, Trinity and God depend on understanding nature and its multiplication in a materialistic world. 9
Trinity as Concept of Christian Belief
From the above discussion, it will be clear that the concept of Christian belief lies in Trinity as well as in nature. The theological account of beliefs according to Trinity can give something about the justifications of beliefs but it is far from understanding unless the experience of grace is felt.
Hence, justification and belief lie only in practical accounts of Trinitarian accounts, but the real experience lies in understanding the three in one concept of Trinity and experiencing God in three different ways of interacting with his creation. However, with time, the justification records are being increased instead of the persons who recognized the trinity aspect of God personally. Hence, when humans identify themselves as Christians, some beliefs come to the fore, and accepting them can pave the way to have an idea of the Trinity.
However, to have an understanding of Trinity theory and to experience the grace of God through it, it is important to experience every aspect of Trinity; Father, Son and God. However, it is important that to understand the inherent qualities in Trinity, Christians need to have beliefs according to Trinitarian concepts or monotheism that supports Trinity. The next significant aspect that enables the Christian to have beliefs according to Trinity is the practicing church activities as it is capable of avoiding the danger of idiosyncrasy by making them submissive to an aspect of God and Trinity.
Yet times, the community aspect in church activities is capable of leading the people towards recognizing the importance of the Holy Spirit while living in the world. Moreover, the church activities in a community consolidate the beliefs and thus may help to emphasize the concept of Trinity. However, the Christian belief gets only empirical evidence or record but the way the individual uses it to understand the Trinity decides the course of experiencing grace. The important aspect in emphasizing empirical practice in understanding Trinity is that it fits the actual practice of Trinitarian understanding. Being sure about the concept and clarity regarding understanding it is important and that will be possible with church practices.
The significant aspect that helps an individual to inculcate the values of Trinitarian Theory is public worship that is being practiced in Church. The calls for Jesus while worship should be understood as calls for Son aspect of God in Trinity and when the Holy Spirit is experienced by any individual, the call for Son will be fruitful and one step in the understanding Trinitarian concept of God can be completed. Hence, for every understanding, the role of the Holy Spirit in the form of experiencing the grace of God is necessary, which does not fit into practical practices or that cannot be proved by them as a prerequisite. It is important that the practical instances in the records of the church need not be presented confusingly as it results in a necessity of discrimination in the individual to understand the inherent aspect.
However, when an individual is in a mood to pick the way that distinguishes between community and God or relationship between them, one can pave the way to the realization of grace and in turn the Holy Spirit. The importance of beliefs is that the necessity for believers of a certain religion to make themselves aware of practices that create awareness about the faith and theories that describe God and in this context it is Trinity. Moreover, the coherence the beliefs offer to the individuals in the community results in the sustenance of its existence. Consequently, they give an identity to the community but not to the church as they get identity from it.
Thus the opinions of the individuals of the church community make them compatible with the beliefs and if it is not the case, it is difficult for the community to exist. As there is the existence of Churches and their community, it can be believed that the opinions of the individuals of the church community are compatible with the practices. Consequently, it can be understood that Trinitarian theory resulted in opinions that are compatible within the Christian Community. The above-mentioned compatibility results in faith and understanding about Trinity on a long-term basis and paves way for the experience of the grace of God and recognizing the Holy Spirit.
However, the truth of the opinions cannot be asked for as they are not the facts but only opinions based on practical experiences. The opinions of a community that has different views and beliefs may have different opinions if their practices are not the same as Christian Community. Hence, it is not important to talk about the truth in the opinions but to understand the coherence they offer within a community. 10
Faith and Trinity
In all the discussions and analyses in the previous chapters, an inherent aspect of the Trinity is faith. The foremost quality of an individual having faith in Trinity is to seek God and to express that experience when he/she recognizes him. By recognizing God and experiencing him, the soul can be alive and that individual knows about self as well as God. The faith in Trinity starts to learn and organizing the information about God in an individual and that leads to gaining knowledge, that enables a person to face life face to face as well as God. As all the individuals belong to their minds and think with them, the inclination to seek truth is the basis of faith in Trinity as well as to recognize and experience the grace of God.
Hence, when we believe the Trinitarian aspect of God, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the combination of them is the ruler of all creation. Hence, the Trinitarian aspect is an interrelation between three aspects that rule the creation and expresses them within it. One should understand that a fact, which is suitable to any aspect of the trinity, is suitable to the other two factors, and which is not suitable also has the same effect on the other two aspects. Hence, there is no fact in the creation of God, which can divide and show variation in three aspects of Trinity. That means one cannot understand three aspects of God in Trinity in different kinds of basic qualities.
Moreover, there is no chance to understand one aspect missing the other two. For example, when one says that he/she is able to recognize Holy Spirit but not Father and Son, there is something wrong in his understanding. According to Monotheism of Trinity, when one aspect is understood, the other two aspects also come to the experience of the individual and the practices as well as faith in Christian Theology are framed in that manner. 11
According to the discussion in the paper, the Trinity is the theory that came to the fore after the Jesus era and not a theory that emerged immediately after Christ. In the earlier days after Christ, though many monotheists treated Christ as a divine person but not a part of God, the emergence of Trinitarian theory recognized him as well as the Holy Spirit proposed by him as part of three aspects of God, the first one being the Father.
Though the trinity in Christianity differs from other Trinitarian theories of other religions, the aspect of faith is similar. It means that faith, knowledge as well as church practices are necessary for experiencing the grace of God through Trinitarian theory. However, the church practices are fundamental activities that develop belief and faith in Trinity and from then onwards, the knowledge and faith as well as the quest for experiencing God plays important role in recognizing God through Trinitarian theory.
Gilbert Bilezikian, Community 101, Michigan, US: Zondervan, 1997.
David K. Bernard, The Oneness of God, Hazelwood, US: Pentecostal Publishing House 1993.
Religion Facts, Doctrine of Trinity. Web.
Ormerod, Neil (Author). Trinity: Retrieving the Western Tradition. Milwaukee, WI, USA: Marquette University Press, 2005.
Polkinghorne, John (Author). Science and the Trinity: The Christian Encounter with Reality. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press, 2004.
Alister E. Mc Garth, Christian Theology: An Introduction, Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2006.
Girzone, Joseph F. (Author). Trinity. Westminister, MD, USA: Doubleday Publishing, 2004.
Rahner, Karl (Author). Trinity. London, , GBR: Continuum International Publishing, 2001.
Marshall, Bruce D. (Author). Trinity and Truth. Port Chester, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Mathews, Gareth B. (Editor).Augustine Books 8-15: On the Trinity. Cambridge, GBR: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
- Gilbert Bilezikian, Community 101, Michigan, US: Zondervan, 1997.
- Gilbert Bilezikian, Community 101, Michigan, US: Zondervan, 1997.
- David K. Bernard, The Oneness of God, Hazelwood, US: Pentecostal Publishing House 1993.
- Religion Facts, Doctrine of Trinity. Web.
- Ormerod, Neil (Author). Trinity : Retrieving the Western Tradition. Milwaukee, WI, USA: Marquette University Press, 2005.
- Polkinghorne, John (Author). Science and the Trinity : The Christian Encounter with Reality. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press, 2004.
- Alister E. Mc Grath, Christian Theology: An Introduction, Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2006.
- Girzone, Joseph F. (Author). Trinity. Westminister, MD, USA: Doubleday Publishing, 2004.
- Rahner, Karl (Author). Trinity. London, , GBR: Continuum International Publishing, 2001.
- Marshall, Bruce D. (Author). Trinity and Truth. Port Chester, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
- Matthews, Gareth B. (Editor). Augustine Books 8-15 : On the Trinity. Cambridge, , GBR: Cambridge University Press, 2002.