After a week spent considering some of the more infamous ways in which the natures of, and the relationships between, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have been misunderstood, it is only fitting for us to consider a clear statement of orthodox trinitarianism, and allow theology to lead us into doxology.
I love the simplicity of Wayne Grudem’s statement on the Trinity: “God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God.”
This is a plain and simple statement of orthodox trinitarianism that denies modalism (see Monday’s post), in that it affirms the eternal, not temporary, existence of all three persons of the trinity. It denies adoptionism (see Wednesday’s post), in that it affirms that the Son has existed eternally, rather than being adopted or possessed by the Word toward the beginning of his ministry. And it denies binitarianism (see yesterday’s post), in that it affirms that the Father, Son, and Spirit are all fully God, rather than only the Father and the Son, with the Spirit being a sort of impersonal power or force.
Still, I must say that while much can be said for the conciseness, simplicity, and precision of Grudem’s definition, I think less can be said for its eloquence. I’ve adopted this definition, heavily indebted to his, that I tend to think rolls off the tongue a little sweeter:
There is one God, existing eternally as three persons,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each of whom are fully God.
The (fully trinitarian) Doxology
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.