Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Confession

On two other blogs (here and here) I made the following confession (slightly edited):

Not that anyone should care about my personal beliefs or history, I nevertheless want to confess something that might be of help to some people.

For the first few years of being a believer in the Bible I was anti-Trinitarian (c. 1988-1993). So, I can understand and sympathize with Unitarians and Semi-Arians (and to a lesser degree with Arians). Honestly, I sometimes have my Trinitarian doubts. Especially since the arguments that various anti-Trinitarians are using nowadays are much better than in the past. Whenever I do experience doubt, I do two things:

1. I re-examine the Biblical evidence for plurality in the Godhead along with

2. re-examining the evidence for Jesus being identified as YHWH in ways which cannot be accommodated or explained away by a representational or agentival understanding of Jesus' "godhood."

After doing both of those things, the standard evidence and arguments for the doctrine of the Trinity and for the personality and full deity of the Holy Spirit seem once again to make A LOT of sense. The doctrine of the Trinity really does seem to have the greatest explanatory power and scope. It can explain and accommodate all of the data (rather than just "some" or "most") in a way that's mutually supportive and consistent rather than contradictory.

So, with respect to #1, one of the resources I repeatedly return to is John Gill's book, "The Doctrine Of The Trinity Stated And Vindicated." Especially chapter 2 titled, "2. Proving That There Is A Plurality In The Godhead" ( and to a lesser degree chapter 3).

Gill has a similar chapter in his book "A Body of Doctrinal Divinity"

Book 1—Chapter 27 is titled, "Of A Plurality In The Godhead". All of chapter 26-31 are helpful. The main weakness of Gill's books is that he sometimes appeals to textual variants which modern conservative scholars wouldn't (e.g. the Comma Johanneum etc.). However, even if you discount those passages and some of his weaker arguments, Gill nevertheless makes an overall strong case for the doctrine of the Trinity. The same pros and cons can be said of John Owen's classic "A Brief Declaration and Vindication of The Doctrine of the Trinity"

With respect to #2, I re-read/browse books like Putting Jesus in His Place by Bowman & Komoszewski (et al.)

Here's a link to my blog:
Resources in Defense of Trinitarianism

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