The Trinity at One


Having recently completed a mini Comparative-Religions offered at my school, I’ve realized that many concepts I had thought to be shared and understood in most, if not all, religions, or at least in the Abrahamic faiths, were in fact unique to Christianity.  In light of this discovery, my next few posts will be dealing with sin, the afterlife, and the nature of God.  And what of God’s nature is more important to Christianity than the Trinity?

To explain the Trinity, I will be borrowing from the content of Vox Dei‘s argument against the Problem of Evil by eliminating Omniderigence (Which is to say, the purported trait of God foreordering all things) This is a brilliant article, which can be found in the fifteenth chapter of his book, “The Irrational Atheist” in which he points out the factual errors found in the “New Atheist’s” books.  The whole thing can be found online for free from his website, but be warned- he doesn’t really get to the point of his book until the fourth chapter.  The first three chapters are really just him patronizing Dawkins (“wrong”), Hitchens (“drunk, and he’s wrong”), and Harris (“so superlatively wrong that it will require the development of esoteric mathematics operating simultaneously in multiple dimensions to fully comprehend the orders of magnitude of his wrongness”).  Once he gets around to it though, the depth of his research is amazing and an invaluable resource to anyone trying to argue with the “new” atheists.  But back to my point…

Imagine that you’re a game designer, creating a virtual world populated with AIs.  You are in complete control of the world- you can read every line of code when ever you want to, see the very “thoughts” of your creations at will.  You create your own AI character in order to change the movements of your programming.  Your avatar is completely digital- it would be ridiculous to assert it’s flesh and blood.  And yet, it is in every sense you, since your will is in control of it’s AI.  You and the avatar act in complete sync.  You are both undeniably distinct, and yourself much “greater” then the avatar, but at the same time you are exactly the same.  You can also act apart from your avatar, whether through subtly tweaking lines of code in the NPCs, influencing the conditions in your virtual world, or by just causing the NPCs to act in accordance with your designs.  Your influence can’t be directly observed or noticed by the NPCs, but it is there.  That is, in a sense, how God works.  He is all at once Heavenly Father, creator of the world, Jesus Christ, God made Man, and the Holy Spirit, acting through believers.  It’s not a perfect metaphor- it can’t account for the Ascension, the Love between the Father and the Son, or the fact that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are each distinct in will.  But at the very least, it’s not the usual heresies (I’m looking at you, water-ice-steam-one-substance and the “I’m a father and a son and a thought but I’m one person” metaphors).



Filed under Doctrine, Trinity

2 responses to “The Trinity at One

  1. Payton

    Well, though this isn’t one of the “usual” heresies, I would still call it a heresy, Sarah.

    What this metaphor fails to describe accurately is how the three Persons of the Trinity have distinct wills. This manifests itself primarily in it’s inability to describe the love between the Father and the Son. How could an avatar love its “player”?

    To understand the major failure of the metaphor, ie the distinction of will, you must notice that all three members of Sarah’s metaphor are actually the same person. The Father is the game-designer, the avatar is the Father in the game world, and what Sarah calls the Holy Spirit, is really just the Father acting through the AIs. Through this clarification, you can see that all three members of this metaphorical trinity are the game designer doing three different jobs.

    This metaphor describes one person, one mind, and three different “faces”. This is Unitarianism. Trinitarianism, the correct view, is its exact opposite. Three persons to one “face”. Three persons, one being.

    But let’s look at the bright side. Sarah’s metaphor does one spectacular thing which I have never seen before. It brilliantly illustrates how the person of Jesus Christ (the avatar, in the metaphor) can be 100% Man AND 100% God. The avatar is surely a part of the game and identical to the AIs, but anyone who’s ever played videogames has probably looked at the avatar or P1 on the screen and honestly said “that’s me”.

  2. Sarah

    *laugh* Yeah yeah, I know. That’s what I get for being a Oneness Trinitarian… I know it’s an imperfect metaphor, but aren’t all metaphors? Nothing can approximate what actually is. The best explanation for the Trinity is the Trinity itself. This is just meant to be a description of one aspect of the Trinity.

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