The false doctrine of the Trinity

The eighth point in Jamsco’s attempted summary of my doctrinal beliefs is a succinct one. “8. The Trinity is obvious BS. It’s easily proved. [Direct quote from a comment here].” As it happens, he got that one entirely correct, which is not the case in two of the other ten points.

Now, the falsity of the doctrine can be proved in a variety of ways, but since we’re dealing with mainstream Churchianity here, I’ll utilize the easiest and most obvious because those who subscribe to the doctrine of the Trinity also subscribe to the doctrine of divine omniscience. Note that since I am skeptical of both doctrines, this argument obviously does not reflect my own theological beliefs. Let’s follow the logic:

1. The Trinity is God as three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial. These three divine persons are combined in one being we call God.

2. This one being is omniscient, and therefore knows everything.

3. It is written, in Matthew 24:36: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Therefore, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not omniscient, and furthermore, do not possess the same knowledge as the Father.

4. Therefore, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not co-equal and consubstantial with the Father. They may or may not be co-eternal.

5. Being neither co-equal nor consubstantial, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not one being with the Father.

6. Therefore, God is one person, the Father. The doctrine of the Trinity is a false one.

I further note that we can branch from (3) and prove the falsehood of the Trinity in a slightly different manner.

4b. Since God is omniscient and the Son and the Holy Spirit are not, neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit are God.

5b. Therefore, God is one person, the Father. The doctrine of the Trinity is a false one.

It should not escape one’s attention that if one insists on clinging to the doctrine of the Trinity, it is necessary to abandon the doctrine of divine omniscience. Obviously, I subscribe to neither, but it is not possible to subscribe to both. My perspective is that divinity can be most usefully understood in a manner akin to human royalty. Prince Harry may be royal, but no one is under the impression that he is co-equal and consubstantial with his grandmother, the sovereign Queen Elizabeth. This is in keeping with the idea that both Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are Man’s advocates, they are not his judge.

And for another perspective from one with doubts about the Trinity doctrine, this is an interesting summary of Isaac Newton’s studies of the subject. Another one can be found here.

In one notebook it is clear that, already in the early 1670’s, Newton was absorbed by the doctrine of the Trinity. On this topic he studied extensively not only the Bible, but also much of the Church Fathers. Newton traced the doctrine of the trinity back to Athanasius (298- 373); he became convinced that before Athanasius the Church had no trinitarian doctrine. In the early 4th century Athanasius was opposed by Arius (256-336), who affirmed that God the Father had primacy over Christ. In 325 the Council of Nicea condemned as heretical the views of Arius. Thus, as viewed by Newton, Athanasius triumphed over Arius in imposing the false doctrine of the trinity on Christianity.