The trinity is the view that there is one God, who is eternally present in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Some people will reply, but if God is a trinity, and man is made in his image, why are there not three of you? If man is made in God’s image, after all, we should reflect who he is. Thus, if God is a trinity, man should be able to reflect the trinity. We should expect there to three of each man.
People like to come up with little quips such as this that oppose biblical truths, as though somehow, their common sense outweighed the word of God. The problem is that common sense has a bad track record. Common sense will look out at the horizon and determine that the earth is flat. Common sense will tell you that if you drop a heavy object and a light object from the same distance, the heavy object will fall faster. Common sense is often wrong with regard to worldly things, yet we see it as an authority with regard to the things of God. Many aspects of reality are counter-intuitive, perhaps some aspects of God are counter-intuitive.
What does the Bible reveal? The Bible reveals three truths that seem counter-intuitive, and thus, people will try to alter them to fit into their common sense. These truths are: there is one God. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are each God. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are each distinct persons. Therefore, there is one God, who is eternally present in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This may seem counter-intuitive, but so what? Counter-intuitive does not mean incorrect. We do not base beliefs on little quips and one-liners that we can come up with.
We base our beliefs on the biblical data. If the word of God reveals these three truths (notice, that is an if statement. The point of this article is not to argue that the trinity is true), what value do our little slogans have? We reduce ourselves to the position of the atheist, who, rather than arguing from the authority of Scripture, will poke fun at those who do argue from the authority of the Scripture. If I am to say that the Scripture teaches some truth, it does not advance the discussion at all to recite little one-liners making fun of scriptural conclusions.
When people ask, ‘if God is a trinity, and man is made in his image, why are there not three of you?’ they are really just trying to avoid thinking about the issue. Rather than seriously engaging the argument, they just hold on to a little one-liner and use it as a shield against biblical truths. So what is wrong with the argument?
If God is omnipotent, why is man not omnipotent, if man is made in God’s image? Just because God has some attribute, it does not follow that man has the same attribute. A parallel argument could be mounted against any of God’s attributes that man does not have. God is eternal, why is man not eternal? God is omnipotent, why is man not omnipotent? God is omniscient, why is man not omniscient? God is without sin, why is man not without sin? Thus this question, ‘if God is a trinity, and man is made in his image, why are there not three of you?’ seems to reduce God to level of men.
If we follow this reasoning to its’ conclusion, we are left to blaspheme God by declaring that he is not all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal, and that he is a sinner, since he is just like man. We are left with a God who is indistinguishable from man. That is why I compared this argument to that of the atheist, because the atheist will blaspheme God, by saying something like, “If man is made in God’s image, does God go to the bathroom like man?” This argument severs the glory of God by reducing him down to the position of man. God is not identical to man. That is not what it means to be made in the image of God.
Man does reflect the trinity, because he is relational. God created man as a relational being, and that is one of the ways in which he is made in God’s image. Man inherently wants to relate to other people. That is why Adam spent so much time searching for Eve, and when he finally found her, cried out, “at long last!” (Genesis 2:23). Man is relational, and in that way, directly reflects the trinitarian nature of God. Which raises my point, that in and of himself, God is relational, just as we are relational.
But the difference between God and man is that man needs another. Adam needed Eve. But God is self-sufficient (Acts 17:25). Since he does not change (Malachi 3:6), he has been relational from eternity. Before God created men and before he created the angels, he was relational. Therefore, there must have been sufficient conditions within the Godhead for God to be relational. There must be more than one person in the Godhead. God must be a trinity. If God is a trinity, and man is made in his image, why are there not three of you? Because we reflect his trinitarian nature through our relationships.
If God is a trinity, and man is made in his image, why are there not three of you? This question attempts to override the authority of Scripture by assuming that our common sense weighs more than the biblical data. Maybe the Creator of the cosmos and all there ever was, or will be, knows more than you do and you should just listen to his word, rather than assuming that you know more. Assuming that you know more than God and his revelation leaves you asking questions identical to, “Does God go to the bathroom?” It is just a mockery of God and his word. Especially since man does reflect God’s trinitarian nature by being relational.
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