podcast 276 – How is the Trinity Central to the Gospel? Or: How The Gospel Coalition Prioritizes Speculation over Scripture
Manage episode 246025820 series 1250744
In this short video, Drs. Ligon Duncan, Scott Swain, and Gavin Ortlund tell us how “the doctrine of the Trinity” is central to the good news.
Of course, asking how “the doctrine of the Trinity” is central to the good news is to assume that (1) there is one such doctrine, and (2) obviously this doctrine is central to the gospel, so that any gospel that doesn’t include it is incomplete.
Unfortunately, we know that (1) is false, and (2) seems to lack any actual New Testament basis. For instance, the author Luke, in presenting gospel sermons in Acts, never mentions, implies, or assumes any doctrine of a tripersonal God. Not only is “the Trinity” not essential to the New Testament gospel, any Trinity theory conflicts with the clear New Testament teaching that the one just is the Father himself.
Oblivious to the Protestant concern held by countless laypeople today, that “the Trinity” is a later development that misfits the Bible, not an actual teaching of the Bible, these Reformed theologians offer half-baked philosophical speculations deriving from the high middle ages, to the effect that divine perfection somehow requires that God is not unipersonal, not a single self. I critique these arguments, including some slightly fuller versions put out there by Dr. Timothy Keller in other videos.
Along the way I briefly discuss how some, like Keller, project a desired, much later sort of argument on to this brief passage by Augustine, which actually concerns “eternal generation:”
Since God could not beget something better than himself (for nothing is better than God), then the one whom he did beget he had to beget as his equal. For if he had the desire and not the power, then he is weak; if he had the power and not the desire, then he is envious. From this it follows that God has begotten the Son as his equal.
Augustine, Eighty-Three Different Questions, translated by David Mosher (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1982), p. 84)
Links for this episode:
- Videos discussed in this episode: How is the Trinity Central to the Gospel? Only the Triune God Is Love Q&A: How can Christianity be both Monotheistic and Trinitarian? Tim Keller
- What is the Trinity?
- John 17:1-3 (post); 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 (podcast); 1 Timothy 2:5; John 14:9; John 17:20-21 (compare John 10:30-39 and 1 Corinthians 3:8 – see the Greek); Ephesians 3:14-19.
- Jesus’s argument in John 10
- podcast 192 – Review of Sanders’s The Deep Things of God – Part 1
- podcast 252 – Fred Sanders on Seeing the Trinity in Scripture, and his Secret
- Dan Gill: From Oneness to One – a pastor realizes that Oneness Pentecostal theology misfits scripture, and discovers the truth of biblical unitarianism
- podcast 145 – ‘Tis Mystery All: the Immortal dies!
- “On the Possibility of a Single Perfect Person”
- new co-authored paper: “Dormant Dispositions, Agent Value, and the Trinity”
- podcast 58 – We can’t prove the Trinity by reason alone
- podcast 231 – Swinburne’s Social Theory of the Trinity
- podcast 230 – The Failure of Fashionable Antiunitarian Arguments
- podcast 146 – Jesus as an Exemplar of Faith in the New Testament
- What is essential to the gospel, according to Luke?
- The Tuggy-Brown debate: Dale’s opening statement – a summary of my case that New Testament theology is unitarian, not trinitarian
- Tuggy vs. Date Debate
- Chandler, The God of Jesus in Light of Christian Dogma
- Buzzard and Hunting, The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s Self-Inflicted Wound
- 10 steps towards getting less confused about the Trinity – #6 get a date – part 2
- 10 steps towards getting less confused about the Trinity – #8 – trinity vs. Trinity
- podcast 15 – Are Paul’s “one God” and “one Lord” one and the same?
- podcast 189 – The unfinished business of the Reformation
- podcast 260 – How to Argue that the Bible is Trinitarian
- This week’s thinking music is “Pillow Tree: Version 2” by UncleBibby.