The Trinity

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Lesson

Dr. Ware discusses the biblical basis for monotheism and trinitarianism. He also gives a brief overview of the history of the doctrine and the heresies that arose concerning the Trinity.

Outline

I. Scriptural Monotheism

A. Old Testament Perspectives on God’s Oneness

B. New Testament Perspectives on God’s Oneness

II. Scriptural Trinitarianism

A. Scriptural Affirmations of the Triune God

1. Passages that suggest more than God’s oneness

2. Passages that support the deity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit

3. Triadic passages

B. A Brief History of the Doctrine of the Trinity

1. The Christological Background

2. Monarchian Heresies

a. Subordinationism (Dynamistic Monarchianism)

b. Modalism (Modalistic Monarchianism)

3. The Church’s Rejection of Monarchianism

a. The Church’s Rejection of Modalism




b. Athanasius’ Opposition to Arianism




c. The Council of Nicea (A.D. 325)



d. The Council of Constantinople (A.D. 451)




4. Augustine on the Trinity

C. The Immanent and Economic Trinities

1. The Immanent Trinity


a. The Issue


b. The Begetting of the Son & Procession of the Spirit


c. Social Relationships in the Trinity

2. 
The Economic Trinity

Reflect

  • What difference does the doctrine of the Trinity make for how we live, worship, and do ministry? In other words, do you think it has significance for everyday life?
  • Why do you think the early church reacted so strongly to different ideas about the Trinity (e.g. modalism)? Why did they think the doctrine of the Trinity was so important?

Engage

  • How important is the doctrine of the Trinity in your spiritual life? What is one thing that you can do this week to make the doctrine of the Trinity more important to you?
  • Most Christians believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is ultimately a ‘mystery’ (that is, we'll never really understand how God can be both one and three). How can thinking about the ‘mystery’ of God help us worship Him more deeply?