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Outgoing 4B – The Triune God part two


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Outgoing – Session 4 – 29 September 2011

The Triune God - part two

Compare and contrast the omnibeing with the trinity.

How do these different gods lead to different gospels?


What is our big problem with the Trinity?

We try to reconcile the omnibeing with the Trinity.


We need to replace the omnibeing with the Trinity.



How is God Three?


Eternally distinct Persons.




How is God One? 


Eternally united in love

Deuteronomy 6:4




Use of “one” in the Bible:  Genesis 2:24; 11:6; 34:16; Exodus 24:3; 26:6; Deuteronomy 6:4; Joshua 9:2; 10:42; 2 Samuel 2:25; 2 Chronicles 5:12; 30:12; Ezra 6:24; John 17:11,20-21




God is one the way a married couple or a united church is one.



Perichoresis – the round dance of the Three!






Arianism:  Jesus is not as God as God is God!  (JWs)

Modalism: There’s one Person wearing 3 masks (TD Jakes)

Tritheism: There are three Gods doings their own thing.




Almost all analogies are rubbish.  But....


Humanity is in the image of God!  Genesis 1:26ff.




The Roles of the Persons


2 Corinthians 13:14
Isaiah 11:1-5; Is 42:1-4; Is 48:12-16; Is 61:1-3


The Father is the Loving Sender / Initiator


John 3:16, 35; 1John 4:8-9


The Son is the Beloved and Obedient Sent-One / Executor


Psalm 40:7-8: John 5:30


The Spirit is the Personal Empowerer / Perfector / Applier


Acts 10:38; Romans 8:14-16




All things are FROM the Father,


and BY THE POWER OF the Spirit.




What are the benefits of being explicitly Trinitarian?







Common Objection: “What’s all this nonsense about a trinity? Isn’t it easier to stick to the one God?”





Recommended Reading: 1 John. What does it mean that God is love?




0 thoughts on “Outgoing 4B – The Triune God part two

  1. Pingback: Evangelism Training Course Outline « Christ the Truth

  2. Dave K

    Hi Glen,

    Another great talk.

    however, a few more questions and half-formed thoughts hung over me after some of your brief points on this one.

    One is posted here, but here are the rest. Perhaps you could clarify whether I misunderstood, am incorrect, or I'm barking up the wrong tree.

    In your discussion of whether Jesus is of a lesser being than the Father or not, do you think that you lapsed into 'being'='stuff' or at least didn't make clear that it wasn't? If their being is their relationship and they need each other to exist then one's being is Father, one's being is Son. Their being isn't 'God', like your being is 'human'.

    Why the image of the otherwise invisible God? If Jesus is the image of the Father, and the Father remains invisible, then the paradox does not need to be resolved by adding the word 'otherwise'.

    You floated the idea that the Son was more glorious because he laid down his life. That seemed to suggest that the glory was something that was inherent to Jesus or belonged to him as right. But what does he have that he didn't receive? All his glory is something he is given by the Father - even the mission of the cross. And then the Son glorifies the Father. So one can only be more glorious than the other if one holds back some glory from the other, when actually they give themselves wholly to the other.

    Many thanks

  3. Glen

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for feedback.

    Yes I sometimes slip into talking like "love" is a fourth thing. Mustn't do that. Love is the way in which the Three are. It's not the glue in between the Persons. It's a description of the way they are "in" one another. What I want to say is that the being of God is, without remainder, these Persons in their mutually-constituting relationships. And, in a deep sense, you don't strictly need to say "mutually constituting relationships" because those relationships are not a thing or a stuff that adds to the Three. You only say "mutually constituting relationships" in order to make clear that there are not three gods here - the three exist in unloseable relations.

    "Otherwise" is just another way of stressing "THE". Not trying to resolve the paradox just trying to emphasize Christ ALONE. It is certainly redundant in the sentence. But then much a preacher's repetition is ;-)

    They certainly do share their glory but, for instance, the glory of the cross belongs to each in a different mode. The Father setting forth Christ, the Son offering up Himself by the power of the Spirit. The question which prompted me floating this idea was about the economy: If the Father is always sender and never sent, doesn't that make Him greater? The answer to that is not, I think, to say that the Father shares the glory of sending with the Son - not at the brass tacks level at which the question was asked. Because the Son never does send the Father. I agree that there's a single glory to this economic movement (from the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit) and it is shared between the Persons, but each Person owns that glory in a distinct way. Therefore when I floated the idea of sent one being "even more" glorious, it was a provocative way of getting us to think of the distinct experience of the Son as Sent One.

    Before I waffle on any more, I'll leave it there and see if I'm on the right track...?

  4. Dave K

    Hi Glen,

    Thanks for your reply. Now I've listened to part 5 I see you clarify a few of the points I raised anyway. Besides, they were very half-formed and there isn't really one track that they were on.

    I wasn't really thinking of you saying 'love' was a fourth thing actually. I had in mind how you discussed your conversation with the JWs in particular. Having said that I do wonder whether we too quickly say that God is love and not first make love 'Jesus-shaped'. We assume people know what love is in much the same way you ably criticise people who assume that people know who God is.

    Thanks for pointing out that glory does belong to each in a different way. That's true and I forgot that. However, where does "the glory of sending the son" come from? I would say that it comes from Christ (John 17:1), and through him from the church (Rom 15:6). Does that make any difference or am I on the wrong track?

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