by Eusebio Tanicala
(Note: I’m presenting a series of articles to help increase our knowledge about the Holy Trinity which in turn would improve our understanding on Tritheism and Unitarianism. Weak arguments make apologists of the other side sneer at us and make them continue to believe what they presently promote. Young preachers who repeat wrong arguments could be discouraged when confronted by those who spot the fallacies in the weak evidences that they are initially taught to employ in teaching basic doctrines. This is series #1).
Trinitarians are monotheists. Trinitarians believe there’s one true God. However, some who say they are Trinitarian in belief talk and interpret some Bible passages that reveal Tritheism (belief in three Gods). They say they are monotheistic but their terminologies are Tritheistic.
Some preachers who struggle to explain their monotheism try to demonstrate their belief via the mathematical operation of “one times one times one equals one God OR 1 x 1 x 1 = 1 God.” But this statement is not logical. It is not mathematics either because the subject matter is God. Trinitarians believe that there are three persons in the one Godhead. So what some misinformed preachers are actually saying is “one person times one person times one person equals one God OR 1 person x 1 person x 1 person = 1 God.”
Because the answer in their equation is “God” it is understood that these preachers want to discuss about God. If the three one’s are 1 God x 1 God x 1 God = 1 God, then they are saying there are three Gods. Another thing that comes out from their terminologies is that they want to say that “the Father is one God and the Son is one God and the Holy Spirit is one God.” This is Tritheism no matter how much they would deny. What they want to say is 1 person x 1 person x 1 person = 1 God. But this is not consistent because the nature or description of the multiplicand should be the nature of the result.
Applying the mathematical operation of multiplication or division also reveals an act of dividing or individualizing or separating the persons of the Godhead. Dogmatic Theology states that “God is indivisible.” Furthermore, Trinitarian theologians advise us to say that the persons of the Godhead are distinct persons but not separate persons. God is omnipresent. The Father being God is omnipresent; the Son being God is also omnipresent. To separate the two persons means to create a dividing gulf between them. That dividing gulf would become a space where God is not. That would make the gulf a vacuum where God is not present. The three persons always co-exist in harmony and are always congruent in their presence.
Trinitarian terminology, on the other hand, goes this way: “The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. There are three persons in one God.” Multiplication or division is not employed. To arrive at the oneness of God’s being is to employ well researched knowledge on language by consulting your lexicon, thesaurus or unabridged dictionary. The word “one” is used in various ways. The cardinal numeral one (1) is not limited to pointing to a single, solitary, separate, solid object. One other meaning, among several meanings, is unity.
I appeal to aging preachers and Bible College instructors to stop using the above “1 x 1 x 1= 1 God bluff.” It is not dogmatically correct, not mathematically correct, not an approved Trinitarian formula.
(Note: A second articles makes a follow-up on this issue.- ET)