Thursday, August 12, 2010

Seven Marks of Being Trinitarian

The first doctrine of Christianity, whatever other nuances is surely this:
"There is one God in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." (For example, UCCF's Doctrinal Basis of Fellowship, point 1)
There's a lot more to being a Christian but this is surely fairly key. Strange thing is that this is often considered fairly incidental rather than central and defining. CS Lewis famously called "grace" the defining mark, but grace is really an implication of being Trinitarian isn't it?

Ron Frost reflects on the marks of being truly Trinitarian.
1. Starting point, Trinity is key rather than just a secondary point about God. That means Trinity is on page 1 of your Systematic Theology rather than page 226 (as in Grudem's Systematic Theology.....). That God is Triune isn't the wierd mystery we leave for the theology freaks it's who God is, and turns out he is able to reveal himself.
2. Christology, Christ is key. The centre of the Father's revelation and relationship with us is in the Son who is our bridegroom and the one in whom we're adopted.
3. Pneumatology, the Spirit is personal not a force, and is the person who brings us into the fugue of Triune life.
4. Love of God, is to be experienced.
5. Sin,  "is a relational violation rooted in absolute disaffection (“hatred”) that Jesus overcomes by his own loving atonement."
6. Revelation "is no longer seen as merely contractual and rational but as the passionate and compelling disclosures of the Triune God’s love for us."
7. What else?


  1. All this 'Trinitarian' talk seems to be very popular at the moment! Why is it that commentators (yourself included)are stressing its importance now more than ever?

    Whilst its important check and affirm correct doctrine, don't you think all this 'Trinitarian' talk will soon become another arduous label Christians will have to add for clarity's sake?

    "Hi, I'm Leroy and I'm a reformed evangelical *Trinitarian* Christian" etc

  2. Seems to be more talked about online, but not so sure it's particularly "new". I'm hoping we can just be Christians... but inevitably that is a coded word... you'd hope that believing in Christ means you believe in the Trinity.... which doctrines we choose to emphasise is probably a mark of the age we're in. I'm not sure in the days of Nicea people had to say much about being Bible-believing but today that's possibly important, but they invested a lot in their doctrine of Christ since that was under-threat and the key doctrine of debate then.

    I think we're not clear enough on Trinity today, buying the lie that the core doctrine of our faith is incomprehensible, and in an age where Antitheism and Islam are widespread it matters which God we say we believe in.