Christian “Trinity” Explained in 3 Minutes

In the Trinity there is said to be three distinct persons the Father Son and Holy Spirit and each of the persons is fully God. Now stopping there it would appear that Christians actually worship three gods. However nowhere in the Bible or Christian tradition does the Trinitarian concept become a “tri-theism” meaning three gods. God has always declared as one which turns this doctrine into quite a mind bender. The Father the Son and the Holy Spirit are sent to share one nature but the father is not the same person as the son who is not the same person as the Holy Spirit who is not the same person as the Father. There are three distinct persons in one substance essence or nature.

Chronicles of Narnia author CS Lewis suggests that humans shouldn’t be able to fully grasp a being that is beyond our three-dimensional world and uses this following example. If you are using only one dimension you can draw only a straight line. If you are using two you could draw a figure say a square and a square is made up of four straight lines now is step further. If you have three dimensions you can then build what we call a solid body say a cube. A thing like a dice or a lump of sugar and a cube is made up of six squares. He’s making the point that a world of one dimension would be a straight line. In a two-dimensional world you still get straight lines but many lines make one figure and in a three-dimensional world you still get figures but many figures make one solid body. In other words as you advance to more real and more complicated levels you do not leave behind you the things you found on the simpler levels. You still have them but combined in new ways. In ways you could not imagine if you knew only the simpler levels.

Now the Christian account of God involves just the same principle. The human level is a simple and rather empty level. On the human level one person is one being any two persons are two separate beings just as in two dimensions one square is one figure and any two squares are two separate figures. On the divine level you still find personalities but up there you find them combined in new ways which we who do not live on that level cannot imagine. In God’s dimensions so to speak you find a being who is three persons while remaining one being just as a cube is six squares while remaining one cube. Of course Lewis admits we cannot fully conceive a being like that just as if we were so made that we perceived only two dimensions in space we could never properly imagine a cube but we can get a sort of faint notion of it and when we do we are then for the first time in our lives getting some positive idea however faint of something super personal, something more than a person. It is something we could never have guessed and yet once we have been told one almost feels one ought to have been able to guess it because it fits in so well with all the things we know already. The doctrine of the Trinity is the most difficult idea in Christianity and yet one of the most fundamental it instructs Christians on who God is how he is to be worshipped and how God interacts with humanity.