Almighty, Triune God
If we take a look at the statements of faith regarding the triune nature of God, most Protestant denominations we likely see something like the following:
“The God who is holy love and light is Triune in essential being, revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
— Church of the Nazarene “Articles of Faith”
Nabeel Qureshi, in his book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus tells of his journey to Christ and the nearly insurmountable mountain of questions that stood in his way. It was impossible for a man to be God, he told himself, yet that is exactly what Christians taught… and with great enthusiasm! The idea of God being made up of three separate entities – God, Son, and Spirit – all existing as one was simply impossible.
Then, one day while sitting while sitting in a undergraduate chemistry class staring at a diagram of a nitrate, the professor ended her lesson by saying:
“These drawings are just the best way to represent resonance structures on paper, but it’s actually much more complicated. Technically, a molecule with resonance is every one of its structures at every point in time, yet no single one of its structures at any point in time…it’s all the structures all the time, never just one of them.”
— Nabeel Qureshi, “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”
Before that moment the very idea of a Trinitarian God—three persons simultaneously existing as one God—was a “ridiculous doctrine that merited divine retribution,” Qureshi told himself. But now, having realized that such a things exists in nature—in the very building blocks of creation—suddenly made the whole notion of a triune God became a possibility, though the journey to a full embrace of the doctrine was still a long journey away.
It should be no surprise that the image of a Triune God is difficult to understand. When we live as though God sits far away on a heavenly throne, disconnected from our daily lives, all that can be seen from such a distance is a vague silhouette of oneness. But when God is Emmanuel—with us, connected, personal, unafraid to get his hands a feet dirty by walking with us in the scruffiness of our lives—we can begin to see more of God’s true identity as:
- Father…and also Shepherd (Ps 23:1) and Daddy (Mk 14:36; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6);
- Son…and also Brother (Mt 12:48-50; Rom 8:29) and Friend (Jn 15:15; Mat 26:17-30);
- Spirit…and also Bringer of New Life (Jn 3:8, Ez 37:1-14), Companion and Guide (Jn 16:13), Power-giver (Acts 1:4), and Fruit-bearer (Gal 5:16-26)