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A Trinity Analogy: the Computer

A couple days ago I suggested that the Trinity is like a family: even if there are multiple members, there is only one family; and even if there are three members of the Trinity, there is only one God.

The problem with the analogy is that the members of the Trinity mutually indwell one another.  When you look at Jesus, you are viewing the Godhead in its entirety.  Jesus said, “If you have seen the Father, you have seen Me.” (John 14.7 and the surrounding section)

Bryan proposed that maybe an analogy for the Godhead could be a machine, whose components all work together.  I had thought something similar myself, along the line of a computer.  The RAM, Processor, and Hard Drive all work in perfect unity and you really have no computer without them.  (Maybe not the Hard Drive, but it was the best I had come up with.)

After more reflection, I think we can tweak the analogy and make it work.  ne instead the Trinity being represented by the Processor, the electricity, and the data.  All three mutually indwell one another.  The processor is not a computer without the electricity or the data.  All three could make the claim to be what the computer is really about.  The analogy does not run the risk of modalism: the three are unique and separate.  It doesn’t run the risk of tri-theism: no one would say the electricity is a “second computer”.  The only real problem with it I can see is that the three are made up of different substances, whereas we affirm that the three members of the Trinity are homoousios, of the same essence or substance.

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  1. trung
    January 13, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I have the same ideal but a little different: the best computer analogy is Memory (RAM, ROM, and hard-dives, keyboard, monitor), Processor (CPU) and operation(electricity, software…)

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