The Doctrine of God for Apologetics, Part 1

Written by Mark Farnham

On June 10, 2016

triune godNow that we have established the authority of the Scriptures to reveal God to us, we move on to what God tells us about himself and ourselves. Sadly, the doctrine of God is one of the most ignored subjects for many Christians. The very God we are defending is virtually unknown to us. As we said in the previous lesson theology is the study of God. But we don’t study God like we study bacteria under a microscope. Rather, we study God as finite, fallen creatures learning about an infinitely greater being who has revealed himself to us for the purpose of relationship. We study God as desperate, needy people who receive a message of peace and blessing from a benevolent king who has showered us with grace upon grace.

Yet, we are unique from all the rest of creation by being made in the image of God. We are not like animals or angels because we were created to reflect the glory and image of God. Humans, alone in creation are made in God’s image and likeness. This partly explains why all people are without excuse before God—their very purpose is to be in relation to God. To deny God when we are designed to reflect his glory is to rebel against everything that we are. To deny the existence of God is to deny our very humanity.

Since this is a blog and not a full-length book, we can only touch on a few points about God and man. We will focus on the theological truths that serve as the foundation for our apologetic endeavors.

The Triunity of God

Most Asian religions, animism, and the ancient Greek, Roman and Babylonian religions taught polytheism, the existence of many gods. Judaism, Islam, and Mormonism, on the other hand teach that God is one without distinctions. The God of the Bible, Yahweh (Jehovah), on the other hand, is both one and three. This is what we call the triunity of God, or the Trinity. This is one of the most difficult concepts to grasp for anyone, because there is nothing in our world to which we can compare this doctrine.

There is no human analogy that adequately pictures the relationship between God’s oneness and threeness. Analogies such as the three states of water (liquid, gas, and solid) or the three parts of an egg (shell, white, and yolk, yet one egg) fail to properly picture the triunity of God. It is something we believe because Scripture teaches it, not because we can fully understand it. Because we are creaturely, finite and fallen, we should expect that some attributes of God will be beyond our ability to comprehend. Our minds are similar to a calculator, and God’s nature is like a supercomputer operating system. We can’t download and run the operating system because we simply do not have the capacity. If God did not exceed out ability to comprehend, how would he be worthy of our worship? Therefore, we accept the Bible’s teaching on the Trinity and explore its depths as much as we can, but we realize at some point, our ability to comprehend it fully falls short.

In the next post we will look at some of the specifics of the triune God that are unique to Christianity.

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