Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: Trinitarian Comprehension: Why the early Church leaders deserve respect.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Trinitarian Comprehension: Why the early Church leaders deserve respect.

One of the many reasons we should be thankful and in awe of the providential hand of God that brought about the leaders of the early Christian church is through their willingness to wrestle with the new and mind-boggling concept of the Trinity. Consider with me these brief points:

The Trinity was a entirely new concept. It was only after the life of Christ and the understanding of the Holy Spirit did church leaders begin to wrestle with the truth that God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit were all one God in nature and three in person. Even with such proclamations as Thomas who responds to Jesus with "My Lord and my God," we come away with an understanding that Thomas, although speaking a glorious truth, was probably not even aware himself of the depth and magnitude of his own statement. In other words, Thomas believed, rightfully so, that Christ was God, but was not aware of the Trinitarian underpinnings that would ultimately be a distinguishing mark for Christianity.

Secondly, since the earliest Christian leaders were coming from a background steeped in Judaism, the concept of monotheism was of the utmost importance. One of the key elements that set Judaism apart from other religions was the declaration of only one true God, the God of Abraham and Moses, the "I AM." Since these early Christians were breaking away from Judaism and uniting with Christ as Savior and Lord, it would have been all too easy to slip Christianity into a polytheistic religion. In is in areas like this that we must be thankful to God and to our predecessors who have been unwilling to take the "easy way out" and wrestle with the teaching of Scripture to the glory of God. At this point in Church history, Christian leaders could have taken key verses that proclaim Christ as God, ignoring some of the more subtle verses that maintain a monotheistic approach, and simply pronounce that although the God of the OT was a monotheistic God, things have changed with Christ and we now have two or three Gods to whom we will serve.

We have not arrived where we are by chance. The determination of those who have gone before us in standing firm on truth and God's word must be exampled in our own lives today. Most of the early church councils dealt with the issue of how Christ relates to God and how the Holy Spirit fits into all of that. By the grace of God, we still serve one God today. We must continue to read, to study and to defend our faith, even in the realm of a post-modern society.


Blogger Barry said...

Are there any other religions in world history that are even close to this model of a polytheistic-but-not-really-polytheistic God?

The Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Mayans, American Indians, etc, had fairly well delineated polytheistic religions that didn't require much soul-searching to understand.

Christianity does, thank God. :) You have to think to be understand it.

November 06, 2006 11:41 PM  

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