Thursday, July 28, 2005

Trinity, Flinity, what's the big?

It really bothers William Dicks that so many Christians uncritically accept popular pastors or musicians who deny the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity. If they can speak in tongues and/or have large followings, they get a "pass" not generally extended to Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Unitarians, Moslems, or any other assorted non-Christian cultist. He finds this indifference to a fundamental, core doctrine troubling.

And well he should. It is troubling. As Dicks correctly notes (and as I have often insisted), anything anyone says about God is doctrine. We have no choice as to whether or not we'll involve ourselves in doctrine and theology. Whether it is good or bad doctrine -- that is our inevitable choice.

Anyone who thinks that the doctrine of the Trinity is a minor issue either has been subjected tp appallingly wretched teaching from the pulpit, or hasn't been paying attention.

I've used this comparison. Suppose someone asks me if I am a Sean Connery fan.

"Love her!" I say.

Puzzled, the other asks me to describe Sean Connery.

"Oh, she's a young Jamaican Country-Western singer, about 25, five foot five, braided hair, with a pegleg and a parrot on her shoulder."

Obviously, we're not talking about the same Sean Connery.

And so, if two people claim to love "God," but one says that He is a single solitary person who sometimes adopts the guise of Father, sometimes Son, or sometimes Holy Spirit; and the other says He is one Being who has eternally existed in three distinct Persons -- they are not talking about the same God. Theoretically, either may be right, or both may be wrong; but they cannot both be right. And it matters, given God's hatred for false worship (Exodus 20:3; Leviticus 10; etc.).

If Christians can't muster the spine and brains to care about such fundamental doctrines, we might as well chuck the label and call ourselves kumquats or Martians.

(If this bothers brother Dicks, I imagine that Eerdmans' preaching a Mormon Jesus must have really churned his gut, as it did ours.)

Blindingly Tangential (Be Warned!) Update: odd I'd have used Sean Connery as my example. Just now I find an article saying he's through making movies. As Connery is probably my favorite living actor, that's not happy news to me. I might summarize this news to my wife, but I won't show her the article. She has a wise policy of not wanting to know anything about the private lives of actors she enjoys. This article would be a perfect example of why: he comes off as a cranky, money-grubbing idiot.

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