Marilyn Sewell, a Unitarian minister, made the following statement while interviewing Christopher Hitchens, a well-known atheist:
“The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the Scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement 1 (that Jesus died for our sins, for example).”2
Wait! What? How is that possible? I mean, either you believe that Jesus died for your sins and you’re a [...]
In Luke 1:26-38, the angel Gabriel appears to Mary and tells her that she is going to be the mother of the Messiah. In verse 30, Gabriel tells her not to be afraid.
In Matthew 1:19-25, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream and tells him not to be afraid to marry Mary.
In Luke 2:8-20, an angel appears to shepherds and tells them not to be afraid because of the good news the angel is bringing.
So why does the angel [...]
Many, even among those who call themselves Adventists, question the true origin of the Sabbath and of the 7-day weekly cycle. Of course, the Bible claims that God instituted both during the Creation Week described in Genesis. However, critics of the biblical account claim that the seven-day week was actually invented by the Assyrians, or by Sargon I (King of Akkad at around 2350 B.C.), passed on to the Babylonians, who then passed it on to the Jews during their [...]
In the doctrine of the Trinity, we do not find three different divine roles displayed by one Person (that is modalism). Nor are there three gods in a cluster (that is tritheism orpolytheism). The one God (“He”) is also, and equally, “They,” and “They” are always together, always closely cooperating. The Holy Spirit executes the will of both Father and Son, which is also His will. This is the truth that God reveals about Himself all through the Bible.
Some people struggle with the [...]
Joe Manning, the Bible teacher, decided he would ask his tenth grade class to come up with a visible object lesson to explain the concept of the Trinity. He gave them three days to submit their contributions. Then he collected the fifteen papers and carefully studied them at home, hoping to give some recognition to the winner.[1. Jesus at His baptism Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com]
The first paper said, “It’s like a family. All the Johnsons, for example. Same family, [...]
Key Thought: The doctrine of the Trinity is a Scriptural truth that God exists in three distinct persons with different functions, yet they work together as One..
[Teaching Pan for "The Triune God" January 4, 2012]
1. Have a volunteer read Deuteronomy 6:4.
A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. Since this text emphasizes one God, how does this text indicate the Trinitarian teaching?
(Note: The Hebrew word for “one” used [...]
The Gospel of John gives direct and conscious attention to the unique nature of God. John seems to be fully aware of the oneness, yet “threeness,” of God. 1
Read Christ’s words in John 14–16 and count the number of references to the three Persons of God. How do these passages help us understand the reality of this important truth?
This passage in the Gospel of John is the most extensive concentration of references to the coequal, three-Person God. Here the inter-dynamics among the Trinity [...]
However clear the Bible is that God is one (echad), the Bible also talks about the plurality of Persons. Scholars and Bible students through the millennia have seen in many Old Testament texts powerful evidence of the plural nature of God. This truth, as with many others, is more fully revealed in the New Testament.
Read Genesis 1:26, 27. How is God’s plurality revealed here?
This pairing of plural and singular when referring to God also occurs in Genesis 11:7, 8 at the building of the tower [...]
If God can be “one,” with the two Persons of the Father and the Son, adding a third Person to the Godhead should not particularly add more difficulty. We are talking here about the Holy Spirit.1
Read Genesis 1:2. What does this tell us about the role of the Holy Spirit, who appears so early in the biblical record?
How does Matthew 28:19 draw attention to the three members of the Godhead?
Three Persons of the Godhead are mentioned when Jesus instructs how new believers are to [...]
The deity of the Father is scarcely, if ever, in dispute. Those who question the Trinity often challenge the deity of Christ. Were Christ anything but eternal and fully divine, the plan of salvation would be seriously compromised (see Thursday’s lesson). 1
How does Paul, once a rigid Pharisee, talk about the deity of Christ? Phil. 2:6.
For a Pharisee grounded in the Old Testament teaching of the Oneness of God, this is an astonishing statement, because it reveals Paul’s deep commitment to the [...]