Monday, 10 August 2009

Trinity is not a New Testament U Turn

Most Christians I meet have an essentially unitarian view of the Old Testament (OT) and that it's only in the New Testament (NT) that we really get the trinitarian party started. Or to put it in simple terms, they would say we meet the Father (as creator) in the Old Testament and he then introduces us to the Son (as redeemer) and the Holy Spirit (as helper) in the New. This song I stumbled across recently, whether intentionally or not, exemplifies this perfectly.

Here are three starter-for-10 objections I have with this interpretation of the OT:

1. The Father doesn't rock up at the beginning of the Gospels and hold a press conference to apologise for misleading everyone and then announce that God is not actually one but ...err (cough) three in one. Moreover, the gospel writers seem to be at no pains to explain or elucidate this apparently new teaching to their hearers. The reason they aren't is because it is not new. They are simply continuing the NT on in the OT trinitarian vein in which it was started.

2. Paul himself, another NT writer, says that God's trinitarian nature has been on display for all to see since the dawn of creation. In fact, he goes further and says that if we don't see it in creation, we have no excuse! This is important, because if trinity is clearly on display in creation, then to say that it is obscured or not on display in the OT is to admit or even claim that creation is a better revelation of God than the bible is. What card-carrying, fish-sporting, WWJD-wearing Christian would seriously want to claim that?

3. John 1:18 states that no one has ever seen the Father. So the question has to be answered, who were they seeing when they saw the LORD in the Old Testament? Who did Isaiah see? (Answer here.)

The New Testament is neither U-turn nor new turn in the revelation of the nature and character of the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Those Israelites who were true believers in the time of the OT consciously worshipped the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

For those who have eyes to see, the Bible is a trinitarian revelation... from "the Beginning."

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