let's look at the biblical evidence for the trinity
concept of the Trinity is another of the paradoxical doctrines within
Christianity. By definition, a paradox can be something that
is understandable yet not understandable at the same time. Is
this a problem? No - especially when something finite (us) is
trying to understand the infinite (God), we should in fact EXPECT
paradoxes! Personally I would be concerned with any
explanation of the infinite that made sense!
Isn't Three-In-One A Logical Impossibility? If the doctrine proclaimed that three Gods were one God, or that three persons were one person, that would be a logical impossibility. But that is not what the doctrine of the Trinity claims. The doctrine says that there is one God in essence, represented in three distinct people. While it is practically impossible to comprehend, it is not illogical. Sometimes people try to use analogies to describe the relationship. They may help understand concepts, but they are not quite valid. For instance, some liken the Trinity to water, which can be a liquid, ice, and steam. The difference is of course with God, He is all three at once.
Mathematically it is easier to understand, in two concepts. First, while 1 + 1 + 1 = 3, it is also true that 1 x 1 x 1 = 1. In addition, there is the matter of infinity to consider. We know the concept of an infinite God is difficult for finite minds to understand, it is similarly difficult to understand the mathematical concepts of infinity. It is no coincidence that the two difficult concepts are related, since we can understand God as an infinity. There is a paradox within mathematics that is called Zeno's Paradox, named after the ancient Greek mathematician. Let's say a runner completes a race. We know that to complete the race, he had to pass through the half way mark. Divide that in two, and we know he had to pass through the one-quarter mark. Divide that in two, ad infinitum, and it seems that the runner had to pass through an infinite set of marks, so he could never finish the race. But we know that he did finish the race! So, we know that 'infinity' is theoretically possible, just as we know that God is theoretically possible. "Whenever I come across a counterintuitive result, an apparent contradiction, or paradox, infinity lurks somewhere in the equation" (John Noonan, Infinity and Deity, Mars Hill Review, no. 20, pg. 41.)
But The Word 'Trinity' Is Never Mentioned In The Bible! This is correct, however that does not necessarily mean that it is not a Biblical concept. The word 'Trinity' is a term that is used to describe a Biblical concept that IS routinely expressed throughout the Bible. Many Bible passages express the Trinity concept, and the word was used by some of the earliest Church's. The Bible, in many many instances, make reference to the three distinct persons. In fact, there are over 60 verses that mention the three persons together!
Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 28:19)
"And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: And lo a voice from heaven saying, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' " (Matthew 3:16-17)
"I urge you brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me." Romans 15:30
Again, it does not follow that simply because the word is not mentioned in the Bible, that it is not a Biblical concept. Indeed the word 'Bible' is not mentioned in the Bible either!
Doesn't This Mean Christian's Believe In Three Gods? No. While the above discussions indicate that there are three different persons, Christian doctrine clearly proclaim only one God in essence.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one." (Deuteronomy 6:4)
"Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior." (Isaiah 43:10b-11)
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." (Mark 1:1)
One God in nature, three persons in essence. This concept is clearly and repeatedly clarified throughout the Bible. Again, in describing God's infinite nature to a finite mind, I would personally be concerned if we DID understand it perfectly!