PDA

View Full Version : Books on the Trinity?


Crisco
10-30-2009, 08:39 PM
Can anyone recommend a book that better explains the trinity in detail?

Or perhaps a book, chapter and verse of the bible I should pay special attention too.

I'm looking to learn more about the trinity because I have difficulty explaining to others exactly how it works.

Or perhaps one of you would like to take a stab at it and help a brother out :)

Play The Man
10-30-2009, 11:27 PM
On The Incarnation by St. Athanasius. Get the edition with an introduction by C.S. Lewis.

http://www.amazon.com/Incarnation-Incarnatione-Verbi-Popular-Patristics/dp/0913836400

"This is a good translation of a very great book.

"St Athanasius stood contra mundum for the Trinitarian doctrine 'whole and undefiled,' when it looked as if all the civilized world was slipping back from Christianity into the religion of Arius, into one of those 'sensible' synthetic religions which are so strongly recommended today and which then, as now, included among their devotees many highly cultivated clergymen. The glory of St Athanasius is that he did not move with the times; it is his reward that he now remains when those times, like all others, have passed away.

"When I first opened De Incarnatione I soon discovered by a very simple test that I was reading a masterpiece, for only a mastermind could have written so deeply on such a subject with such classical simplicity"
- C. S. Lewis, from the Introduction

I believe the Introduction by Lewis is published elsewhere (the book God In The Dock, I believe) as the essay "On The Reading Of Old Books". So with this edition you kill two birds with one stone.

I will post a copy of the Athanasian Creed for you.

If money is tight, I could mail you my copy of the book.

Play The Man
10-30-2009, 11:29 PM
http://www.crcna.org/pages/athanasian_creed.cfm

The Athanasian Creed . . .

Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold to the catholic faith.

Anyone who does not keep it whole and unbroken will doubtless perish eternally.

Now this is the catholic faith:

That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity,
neither blending their persons
nor dividing their essence.
For the person of the Father is a distinct person,
the person of the Son is another,
and that of the Holy Spirit still another.
But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one,
their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.

What quality the Father has, the Son has, and the Holy Spirit has.
The Father is uncreated,
the Son is uncreated,
the Holy Spirit is uncreated.

The Father is immeasurable,
the Son is immeasurable,
the Holy Spirit is immeasurable.

The Father is eternal,
the Son is eternal,
the Holy Spirit is eternal.

And yet there are not three eternal beings;
there is but one eternal being.
So too there are not three uncreated or immeasurable beings;
there is but one uncreated and immeasurable being.

Similarly, the Father is almighty,
the Son is almighty,
the Holy Spirit is almighty.
Yet there are not three almighty beings;
there is but one almighty being.

Thus the Father is God,
the Son is God,
the Holy Spirit is God.
Yet there are not three gods;
there is but one God.

Thus the Father is Lord,
the Son is Lord,
the Holy Spirit is Lord.
Yet there are not three lords;
there is but one Lord.

Just as Christian truth compels us
to confess each person individually
as both God and Lord,
so catholic religion forbids us
to say that there are three gods or lords.

The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten from anyone.
The Son was neither made nor created;
he was begotten from the Father alone.
The Holy Spirit was neither made nor created nor begotten;
he proceeds from the Father and the Son.

Accordingly there is one Father, not three fathers;
there is one Son, not three sons;
there is one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.

Nothing in this trinity is before or after,
nothing is greater or smaller;
in their entirety the three persons
are coeternal and coequal with each other.

So in everything, as was said earlier,
we must worship their trinity in their unity
and their unity in their trinity.

Anyone then who desires to be saved
should think thus about the trinity.

But it is necessary for eternal salvation
that one also believe in the incarnation
of our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully.

Now this is the true faith:

That we believe and confess
that our Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son,
is both God and human, equally.

He is God from the essence of the Father,
begotten before time;
and he is human from the essence of his mother,
born in time;
completely God, completely human,
with a rational soul and human flesh;
equal to the Father as regards divinity,
less than the Father as regards humanity.

Although he is God and human,
yet Christ is not two, but one.
He is one, however,
not by his divinity being turned into flesh,
but by God's taking humanity to himself.
He is one,
certainly not by the blending of his essence,
but by the unity of his person.
For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh,
so too the one Christ is both God and human.

He suffered for our salvation;
he descended to hell;
he arose from the dead;
he ascended to heaven;
he is seated at the Father's right hand;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people will arise bodily
and give an accounting of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
and those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.

This is the catholic faith:
one cannot be saved without believing it firmly and faithfully.

Play The Man
10-31-2009, 12:52 AM
America's Greatest Theologian, Jonathan Edwards, "An Unpublished Essay On The Trinity"

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards/trinity/files/trinity.html

Play The Man
10-31-2009, 12:57 AM
On The Incarnation by St. Athanasius. Get the edition with an introduction by C.S. Lewis.

http://www.amazon.com/Incarnation-Incarnatione-Verbi-Popular-Patristics/dp/0913836400



I believe the Introduction by Lewis is published elsewhere (the book God In The Dock, I believe) as the essay "On The Reading Of Old Books". So with this edition you kill two birds with one stone.

I will post a copy of the Athanasian Creed for you.

If money is tight, I could mail you my copy of the book.

This book, and a huge number of old Christian books are available free on-line at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
http://www.ccel.org/

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.html

cubsfan47
10-31-2009, 01:12 PM
The CCEL also has several apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch, Downloading the Confession of St. Augustine as I post this.:cool:

warriorlion
10-31-2009, 09:29 PM
you have genesis 1 - the spirit of God hovered over the water.

you have john 1:1 in the beginning was the word, and the was was with God and the word was God followed by john 1:14 and the word became flesh.

just two off the top of my head, biblically speaking, the previous posts all say a great deal too

how I always explain it is that it is one person with three distinct roles.

like me.

I am a father to my daugther

A husband to my wife

and a son to my father

yet I am one man, but all three aspect of me are different, I cant be the son to my wife, or daugther. nor the other things to either of the other people.
each role is diferent but I am one man, three roles

Chuck
10-31-2009, 11:31 PM
you have genesis 1 - the spirit of God hovered over the water.

you have john 1:1 in the beginning was the word, and the was was with God and the word was God followed by john 1:14 and the word became flesh.

just two off the top of my head, biblically speaking, the previous posts all say a great deal too

how I always explain it is that it is one person with three distinct roles.

like me.

I am a father to my daugther

A husband to my wife

and a son to my father

yet I am one man, but all three aspect of me are different, I cant be the son to my wife, or daugther. nor the other things to either of the other people.
each role is diferent but I am one man, three roles


Excellent answer. I always used the example of water with my kids...

Ice
Liquid
vapor (steam)

All three are 100% water but they serve different roles and accomplish different things...

surveyorshawn
11-01-2009, 01:53 AM
Excellent answer. I always used the example of water with my kids...

Ice
Liquid
vapor (steam)

All three are 100% water but they serve different roles and accomplish different things...

Awesome example, never thought of that one!

Play The Man
11-01-2009, 01:58 AM
Chuck and Warriorlion, I don't want to pick a fight with either of you, but wouldn't those be examples of modalism rather than trinitarianism? Perhaps Rev or NateR could weigh in on this. I'm not trying to kick off a long thread argument, just trying to clarify.:)

Play The Man
11-01-2009, 01:23 AM
Perhaps when I have some time I'll hit a theological dictionary. It is a complex topic.

Rev
11-01-2009, 01:53 AM
Trying to understand this is not something that you can just "do".
You have to look at the way each part works and relates.
How many times is the trinity talked about in the Bible? Other than being baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
How many times are those "Characters" used together outside of that context?

First think on that and then compare what labels you have heard men put on the "trinity"

Then look at what Jesus himself said about the Holy Spirit, I believe it is in John 16 or 15 I cant recall right off hand. What does Jesus say that the Holy Spirit will do?

I have said before that they are all God and the ways that he relates to us or maybe a better word is interact, the way God interacts with us. If you try and understand all of this you will fail because God is to big for our tiny brains to figure out and we cant put him in a box to observe. I do believe in the Trinity but I get nervous when people start throwing the title around because everyone thinks they have it figured out and the others are wrong. I will go ahead and tell you that some people are going to disagree with me but they will not be able to disprove me with the word of God( the Bible). I know that you wanted more info and something in black and white but the reality is, it doesnt exist. I know there will be a debate with this so I will just have to wait and see what comes up next.:mischievous:

As far as good books on the subject, I cant recomend any that I have read because they are not as theologically soud as I would like and I WILL NOT put my name with anything that I cant stand behind wholehearted.

Playtheman said something about Johnathan Edwards', An Unpublished Essay On The Trinity, Edwards is as sound on things of the Bible as you will ever find in and genaration. Check that out.

Josh
11-01-2009, 02:12 AM
You have in Genesis "Let Us make man in Our image". That can only be God since angels are not in the image of God. I would suggest you pick up a good systematic theology since it has a lot more things that may be helpful and you can look them up by topic. Ryrie has an excellent one called Basic Theology. Hodge's is considered one of the best as well as Berkhof. If you want you can PM me your address and I can send you one.

Conrad
11-01-2009, 02:22 AM
Old books are great (hat tip to play the man).

There's also chapter 5 from John MacArthur's The Truth War. Our pastor just borrowed my copy (which is a reversal, :laugh:). Otherwise I'd have a better reference for you. Chapter 5 is mostly about the issue of Arianism, if I have the -ism title correct, which had to do with the combined diety/human natures of Jesus. He goes in to explain how the Council of Nicea was convened to address this split in the church. In the longer scheme of the book, it's used as an example of how Arim's tactics at propogandizing his teaching (denying Christ's deity) are similar to the cheap logic and tactics we see today from the emergent church. There are other parts in the book that touch on trinity, but they're less direct. It's an easy read, as I'm a slow reader.

If you order from Amazon, be careful not to mistake the study guide for the regular book, unless you wanted it too.

Tyburn
11-01-2009, 12:03 PM
Can anyone recommend a book that better explains the trinity in detail?

Or perhaps a book, chapter and verse of the bible I should pay special attention too.

I'm looking to learn more about the trinity because I have difficulty explaining to others exactly how it works.

Or perhaps one of you would like to take a stab at it and help a brother out :)

The Trinity is a Mystery, it cant really be explained at all.

Maglorius
11-02-2009, 05:55 PM
Any example we use to try and explain the trinity will always fall short of what the trinity is. We can apprehend the trinity but our human minds cannot comprehend the trinity. The use of water - Ice, Liquid, Vapor may seem like a good example to try and explain the trinity but it falls short in that those things exist in different stages but not at the same time separate and distinct of each other.

Tyburn
11-02-2009, 07:08 PM
Any example we use to try and explain the trinity will always fall short of what the trinity is. We can apprehend the trinity but our human minds cannot comprehend the trinity. The use of water - Ice, Liquid, Vapor may seem like a good example to try and explain the trinity but it falls short in that those things exist in different stages but not at the same time separate and distinct of each other.
You know something I find Fascinating is the similarity between how certain parts of the Bible Describe some kind of Spiritual Entourage when GOD himself steps down onto Earth....and a lot of Hindu type Iconography.

Its in Ezekiel that it says that whenever GOD appears on Earth he is accompanied by some form of Angelic Host that almost carry him as if he were seated on a Sedan Chair, and these Creatures have multiples of what we would think were normal, I think they have about Four Faces, and it doesnt matter which direction you look at them from, they appear exactly the same. There is some High Form of Host, I think they are Thrones you know, but they have more then one Face...notice, not more then one head...but one head with many faces...I think that some of the Hindu iconography is possibly a form of missplaced worship towards these kinds of Host.

Now, what made me say this hear, was that its not just GOD that seems to hold impossible qualities, a lot of very high forms of Creation also seem to share a quality of a whole, subdivided into parts also.

Think about some of the monstrosities outlined in Revelation, again, those apear to be in the form of animals. I think there was a leopard made entirely of eyes of something in the throne room.

warriorlion
11-02-2009, 09:23 PM
Any example we use to try and explain the trinity will always fall short of what the trinity is. We can apprehend the trinity but our human minds cannot comprehend the trinity. The use of water - Ice, Liquid, Vapor may seem like a good example to try and explain the trinity but it falls short in that those things exist in different stages but not at the same time separate and distinct of each other.

thats partly why I use my example, since I am all three things at the same time, each part co exists as one whole, but at seperate in their functions, but can function together at the same time

but I do like the water example also

Play The Man
11-02-2009, 09:26 PM
thats partly why I use my example, since I am all three things at the same time, each part co exists as one whole, but at seperate in their functions, but can function together at the same time

but I do like the water example also


Warriorlion, please do a google search with the term "modalism" or "modalism water ice vapor".

Tyburn
11-02-2009, 10:47 PM
thats partly why I use my example, since I am all three things at the same time, each part co exists as one whole, but at seperate in their functions, but can function together at the same time

but I do like the water example also

:w00t: HEY!!!! :w00t:

Chuck
11-03-2009, 05:10 AM
Excellent answer. I always used the example of water with my kids...

Ice
Liquid
vapor (steam)

All three are 100% water but they serve different roles and accomplish different things...
The 3 words to focus on in that post aren't "ice, liquid & vapor" but "with my kids"..... if you can think of a better way to explain the Trinity to children I'm all ears :D

Chuck and Warriorlion, I don't want to pick a fight with either of you, but wouldn't those be examples of modalism rather than trinitarianism? Perhaps Rev or NateR could weigh in on this. I'm not trying to kick off a long thread argument, just trying to clarify.:)
I do think it could be an example of modalism PTM but I'm fine with that. :wink:


Any example we use to try and explain the trinity will always fall short of what the trinity is. We can apprehend the trinity but our human minds cannot comprehend the trinity. The use of water - Ice, Liquid, Vapor may seem like a good example to try and explain the trinity but it falls short in that those things exist in different stages but not at the same time separate and distinct of each other.

What's a better example? What about identical triplets? All the same via their DNA but all uniquely different?????

Warriorlion, please do a google search with the term "modalism" or "modalism water ice vapor".

LOL.... you're excited about this aren't you brother!!! :D

It'll be ok..... trust me :wink: