In Defense of the Trinity


Someone asked me how Jesus could be God when Jesus said that He doesn’t even know when He is returning. He said that such a thing was a contradiction – how can God not know the future and yet know the future? This was my response (much thanks to Michael Rudy, Quincy Jones, and Rollyvic Tira for helping me hash this out):

Let me see if this is what you’re saying:

(1) The Trinity is one being (God) and three Persons (Father, Son, and Spirit).

(2) The Father knows the future while the Son does not in at least one instance of Scripture

(3) The Spirit also seems to not know the future, even though the Father does

The above can be called {Group A}. I don’t see how there is a necessary or even implicit contradiction within this syllogism. The problem is that (2) comes with an inherent assumption:

(2′) Knowledge, including knowledge of the future, is known through being

If this is true, then the Trinity would be a contradiction. However, (2′) doesn’t seem to be true. Consider the following, we’ll label it {Group B}:

(4) Granite has being, but has no person

(5) A human has being and has one person

(6) Not all things with being have to have personhood
(6′) There is no conceivable limit to the number of persons in being x

When I say “person” I am using Boethius’ summarization of what “person” is in his Consolation of Philosophy

Person – an individual substance of a rational nature

So I am relying on the ancient understanding of “personhood.” We don’t consider animals to be “persons” (unless we’re PETA, Hindus, or ill-informed) because they lack intelligence. Though they have personality and show emotions, they are not “persons” because they don’t have intellect. 

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