Understanding the Trinity


Paul D. Molnar, "Understanding the Trinity: Occasion for Unity or Division?" Colloquium 49, 2 (2017): 36-54


Molnar, Paul D. "Understanding the Trinity: Occasion for Unity or Division?" Colloquium 49, 2 (2017): 36-54

Main Title

Understanding the Trinity: Occasion for Unity or Division?

Publication life cycle / General notes

While most theologians (both Catholic and Protestant) today agree that the best way to think about the Christian God is by beginning with God’s economic trinitarian self-revelation, thefact is that in practice very many theologians (Catholic and Protestant) do not actually begin there. Many tend to think symbolically by describing the content of their religious experience, with the result that they think that there is no “literal” or “objective” knowledge of God. In this article, I propose to explain how and why a properly understood doctrine of the Trinity may lead both Catholics and Protestants into unity, a unity enabled and maintained by God himself in the person of his Son Jesus Christ and through the power of his Holy Spirit. This is a unity of faith as it has been confessed by the Church since the Council of Nicaea in 325and that is embodied in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. I will argue that whenever theologians do not unequivocally allow God as he meets us in his Word and Spirit to shape what we think and say about him, then and to that extent, the doctrine of the Trinity will become an occasion of division rather than an occasion of unity among Christians.