On the surface, these analogies do seem to help. Just as water can be in the form of a solid, a liquid, and a gas, God is in three forms: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All attempts to equate the Trinity with some analogy will miserably fail. Why Analogies for the Trinity All Fail Consider the list (states of water, shamrock, 1x1x1=1, etc.) This includes trying to compare the Trinity to a human being who has intellect, feeling, and will. The introduction to this Creed states: That we worship one God in Trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither blending their persons nor dividing their essence. It is either liquid or steam or solid ice. In discussing analogies for the Trinity you will almost immediately get to the most common mistakes people will make in their understanding of the Trinity. Even the best metaphors fail to capture the complexities of God’s being. Maybe It Is Time To Think About About Planting Churches There Too? Our professor asked if we had any great ways to explain the concept of the Trinity – a word picture we might use when teaching a class. All exist simultaneously (particularly in the scientific understanding of space-time). Just as importantly, I am also hoping to model the humility of understanding that is required in the Christian faith. You’re right, Dr Clark … Analogies do *not* work for the Trinity …(!). beings. All analogies fall short and are insufficient in different ways. By far the best of these analogies is one consisting of ice, water and vapor. It seems to be an unwritten rule that whenever an analogy for the Trinity is given, one must begin with the disclaimer that “all analogies break down.” The reason, though, that all analogies break down is simply because analogies compare things that are not exactly alike (if they were, it would not be an analogy!). Any analogy will compromise the Biblical vision of God, so I stay clear of these. It just doesn't compare to the complexities of the Trinity.---So what's the point in these illustrations? God the Son is the rays of sunshine. Why Analogies for the Trinity All Fail Consider the list (states of water, shamrock, 1x1x1=1, etc.) To say that is rationalism (reason over Scripture) and eventually to universalism. Louis Berkhof explains it this way: “The Trinity is a mystery… It is especially when we reflect on the relation of the three persons to the divine essence that all analogies fail us and we become deeply conscious of the fact that the Trinity is a mystery far beyond our comprehension. But the problem with all three analogies is they very easily fall into one of the ancient heresies that the church fathers and writers of the Athanasian Creed were so keen to distance themselves from. of well-intended analogies that have been used to help us understand the doctrine of the Trinity. Christians believe that God is a Trinity of Persons, each omnipotent, omniscient and wholly benevolent, co-equal and fully divine. There is no best analogy to explain the Trinity. The problem with the leaf, triangle or wicket examples is similar, but different. That is the most important thing to explain to them - that there are mysteries of the faith that God alone can fully understand. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! As a result, this analogy can easily lead to tritheism in which there are three different gods which might share some like substance. Without committing heresy. Analogies often fall short. God is infinitely greater than we are, so it should not surprise us when we are unable to fully understand Him. Time is past, present and future. You can almost bank on the fact that they will think of the Trinity as modalism or partialism. But God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all co-exist, at the same time. Americans Are Going Home. 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