Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Trinity: Belief Essential for Salvation?

Here's a question for you -

Can someone who is decidedly non-trinitarian (i.e., one who claims there is no Trinity - no Father, Son and Holy Spirit - but only Jesus) be a Christian? How essential for true, effectual salvation is belief in the Trinity?

Note that I'm not asking whether a correct understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity is essential for salvation (I doubt the thief on the cross had time to formulate his doctrine of the Trinity prior to Christ's telling him that "today you will be with me in Paradise" [Luke 23:43]).

Love to hear your answer or thoughts on this.

"All non-Trinitarian formulations of the Christian message are by biblical standards inadequate and indeed fundamentally false, and will naturally tend to pull Christian lives out of shape." Excerpt from J.I. Packer's Concise Theology (Tyndale House 2001)

More on the Trinity from Monergism.


At 11/30/2008 7:39 PM, Blogger doug said...

To your question "Can someone who is decidedly non-trinitarian be a Christian", the answer is "No". I appeal to the testimony of Jesus (John 5:19-24):

"Jesus said to them, 'Truly, Truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; ... that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.'"

Jesus says here (1) that he was sent by the Father, (2) the Father show him (Jesus) all that he (the Father) is doing, (3) that he (Jesus) can do nothing on his own accord but only what he sees the Father doing, and (4) he who receives my (Jesus') word and believes him (the Father) who sent me (Jesus), [note: both are required] has eternal life.

So what if one receives the word Jesus delivered but does not believe the Father who sent him. Your question seems to ask, what of him? I would argue that they do not have eternal life.

He who accepts Jesus as God will accept Jesus' testimony. If one does not accept Jesus' testimony re the Father (as evidenced in the above passage, as well as many others) then that person does not honor Jesus as God.

At 12/01/2008 7:41 AM, Blogger Puritan Lad said...

I would say that this is an essential doctrine, and those who explicity deny it are not saved. If one denies either the full humanity or the full Divinity of Christ, or denies the separate Divine personhood of the Father, then they are left with an inadequate sacrifice for their sins, and thus will die in their sins.

I'm working on a post on the Incarnation as we speak.

At 7/21/2012 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When we look at the Gospel accounts we do not find any such trinitarian dogma. The disciples of Jesus believed in God(Yahweh/Jehovah)and in His Son:

Jesus asked His disciples, saying, Who do men say Me to be, the Son of Man? And they said, Some say, John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He said to them, But who do you say I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
(Matthew 16:13-16 MKJV)

No hint of a Trinity here.

Jesus went on to say: You are blessed, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father in Heaven.
(Matthew 16:17 MKJV).

Surely, if the Trinity was a true and vital doctrine, the Father would have revealed this to Peter at this time.


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