Exploring the Trinity: A New Book by Pastor Doug Batchelor

By Pastor Doug Batchelor

In 2004, researchers pointed the famed Hubble Space Telescope toward a seemingly empty spot in the constellation Orion. To the human eye, the little patch of sky seemed no bigger than a grain of rice held out at arm’s length. Yet there, in the "blackness” of space, known as the Ultra Deep Field, the Hubble’s ultra-sensitive lens spotted a staggering 10,000 galaxies. It was the farthest into space that humans had peered, and it astounded and confounded astronomers.

One of the galaxies they found—called Sombrero—is more than 31,100,100 light years away. That means that traveling at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), it would take 31,100,100 years to get there. Sombrero itself is 50,000 light years across, meaning that it would take 50,000 years to go from one end of the galaxy to the other at the speed of light.

How do we wrap our minds around sizes and distances like these? It’s simply beyond our comprehension! But, if all this weren’t mind-boggling enough, astronomers now tell us that the vast universe we can see is only four percent of what is actually out there. We still understand so little about the cosmos!

Think about this: With all the amazing breakthroughs in technology and space exploration over the past two centuries, the universe is still full of mysteries, of things humans cannot see and cannot fully understand. How much more so would that be true about God, the one who created the universe? If we can’t fully understand the nature of our own universe, how can we expect to fully understand the nature of the God who made it?

Click here to get your copy of Exploring the Trinity

The Mysteries of the Maker

The simple answer is that we can’t, which is why perplexity over God’s nature is nothing new. Since the Creation, people have sought to fully understand and explain Him, yet we are finite beings with sin-infected minds trying to picture the infinite and the perfect.

Still, God has given us the Bible, and in it He has revealed to us truth that He has not revealed elsewhere. And it’s to the Bible that we must turn—as peering through a magnificent telescope of truth—to explore the greatest, deepest mystery there could ever be: the nature of the God who created all that is.

For example, one of the most important scenes in the Bible is found in Matthew chapter 28. Jesus had just risen from the dead and was now giving His disciples a “great commission,” saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (vv. 19, 20).

Now, my question to you is: Do these verses teach us something about the nature of God?

The leaders of the early church were to go to the whole world and baptize people in the “name” of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Converts were not to be baptized in the name of the Father only. Nor in the name of the Son only. Nor in the name of the Holy Spirit only. No, they were to baptize in “the name,” the singular name for all three; the Greek word for “name” here, onoma, appears in the singular.

All three under a singular name? This text shows a close relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Age-Old Questions

But what is the nature of that close relationship?

Is God the Father the only “one God”—or is the Son, Jesus, God too? If so, do Christians worship more than one God? Is that not polytheism, as some suggest? Is God the Father superior to Jesus? Did Jesus come after the Father? Was there a time when the Father but not Jesus existed?

And what about the Holy Spirit? Is He God too? If so, do Christians worship three gods, as some claim we do? And just what or who is the Holy Spirit? How are we to understand the Holy Spirit in relationship to the Father and the Son? Is the Holy Spirit divine, or merely an impersonal force emanating from God?

From the early days of the Christian church to this very day, the subject of the Trinity has caused contention in the church. And no wonder, the church is made up of fallen, finite beings trying to grasp the nature of a perfect and eternal God. Even if God weren’t a triune being, it would be difficult to understand the full nature of God, a being who “spoke” the world into existence. How do we even begin to grasp His power and personhood, Trinity or no Trinity?

This is a deep and important subject, but by laying aside preconceived ideas, opinions, and training, we can go directly to God’s Word and learn what He has revealed about Himself. Even though we may not be able to comprehend all aspects of this topic, we should try to understand the scriptural teaching regarding it.

After all, the Bible has spoken to us directly on the nature of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe this means that God does, indeed, want us to understand what He has revealed to us in His Word. Otherwise, why put it in the Bible?

Thousands of years after Jesus left the planet, Christians are still asking questions and disagreeing about the topic of the Trinity. For instance, some Christians take what is known as an “Arian” position regarding the Trinity. This view claims that Christ hasn’t always existed; after He was brought forth, however, His divinity was given to Him by the Father. If this view were true, it would mean that Jesus is inferior to the Father. Many today are now trying to resurrect these views, arguing that the doctrine of the Trinity comes from pagan Rome, an example of how Protestant churches have been infected by Roman Catholicism. Hence, all the more reason we need to reject, they argue, the Trinity.

To help work through these issues and disagreements and in an attempt to find some clarity without subjecting you to three volumes of books, I’ve written a brief and, I hope, a thought-provoking book called Exploring the Trinity. I hope and pray you’ll check it out and share it with a friend. It’s also a great resource for churches with members struggling with this issue.

Click here to get your copy today.

And remember, whatever your views on the Trinity, it's important to be civil to those with whom you disagree. May God bless you.


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