No Good Reason to Believe in the Trinity
I think I have a serious beer deficiency. I have been writing and thinking theology, but I haven’t had any beer for probably several months. No beer makes for bad theology. So I’m sitting here drinking a Leinenkugel’s Red as I type this post. It’s making me feel a lot better about theology, and life in general for that matter. Old Ben Franklin once said that beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Amen to that.
So I am coming at this whole Trinity subject one more time. Please understand that I’m not really prepared to defend anything I’m writing here. This is not an article in an academic journal. Imagine we’re sitting around a table drinking beer and talking about God. That’s the kind of vibe I’m looking for right now.
So the main thing I’m trying to do here is work through the various theological issues that bother me. In general, most of my doubts about my evangelical theology have not come because I think there are good reasons for doubting this or that doctrine. Those are all the kinds of questions the apologetic books handle. My doubts tend to come because I haven’t found a good reason to hold the doctrine in the first place.
This all started with scripture. Several years ago, I started asking why we believe the Bible is scripture at all. I searched my personal library pretty much in vain for an answer. Or the answers given were not satisfying. But that’s not where the battle is. The battle is in people saying, “You can’t believe the Bible because it’s a translation of a translation of a translation,” or some other such garbage. It was Peter Jenson’s The Revelation of God that got me to start thinking covenantally. I don’t agree with Jenson on everything, e.g. his rejection of modern day prophecy, but I basically like the way he put the doctrine of scripture together from a covenantal perspective. In this way, I can do justice to the experiences I and others have had with God through or on the basis of scripture. One way to say it is that it seems that God honors the covenant offered through the Bible even if the Bible is not actually revelation.
Right now, I guess I am thinking that, based on this understanding of scripture, I do not have a good reason to hold the doctrine of the Trinity. So again, it’s not that I think the doctrine of the Trinity is incoherent or something. I actually think it’s very coherent, and I’m somewhat amazed at the various ways that the doctrine of the trinity comes into play in relation to other doctrines. It’s a pretty amazing doctrine. I’m just trying to figure out what grounds we have to know it’s true. As it stands, it seems that the doctrine of the Trinity requires me either to find a stronger doctrine of scripture or to find stronger reasons to hold to a high Christology.
I’m sure at some point I’ll finally have a chance to dig into Barth and he will revolutionize my whole world. But in the meantime, I’m just plugging away, drinking my Leinies and thinking about God.