Answers to Quiz on Trinity

Let's start with a few definitions of the Trinity that may be helpful in explaining the correct answers to the quiz.
The doctrine of the Trinity is simply that there is one eternal being of God - indivisible, infinite. This one being of God is shared by three co-equal, co-eternal persons, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. 
The source for this definition is James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries. (The whole of the linked article may be helpful as well.)

Wayne Grudem gives three statements that summarize the biblical teaching on the Trinity in his Systematic Theology.
  1. God is three persons
  2. Each person is fully God.
  3. There is one God.1
And for good measure, John Frame gives us five summary assertions on the Trinity in Salvation Belongs to the Lord:
(1) God is one; (2) God is three; (3) the three persons are each fully God; (4) each of the persons is distinct from the others; and (5) the three persons are eternally related as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.2
Here's the section pertaining to the Trinity in the Athanasian creed.  (The statements are not numbered in the original, but I've numbered them to make referencing in the answers them simpler.):
  1. Now the catholic faith is that we worship 
  2. One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, 
  3. neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. 
  4. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. 
  5. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. 
  6. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; 
  7. the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; 
  8. the father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; 
  9. the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. 
  10. And yet not three eternals but one eternal, 
  11. as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one infinite. 
  12. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; 
  13. and yet not three almighties but one almighty. 
  14. So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; 
  15. and yet not three Gods but one God. 
  16. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; 
  17. and yet not three Lords but one Lord. 
  18. For like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord; 
  19. so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords. 
  20. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. 
  21. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten. 
  22. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. 
  23. So there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and one Holy Spirit not three Holy Spirits. 
  24. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less, 
  25. but the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal. 
  26. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped. 
  27. He therefore who wills to be in a state of salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity.
Here are the answers. I’ve given short explanations of some of them.
  1. There is one God. True. 
  2. God is one person. False. See statement 4 Athanasian creed. 
  3. God is one being. True. See James White’s definition of the Trinity. 
  4. There are three persons in the Godhead. True.  See statement 4, Athanasian creed. 
  5. The three persons in the Godhead are eternally related  as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  True. Statement 5, John Frame’s five assertions. 
  6. Each of the three persons of the Godhead is one-third of God. FalseEach person is fully God; the Trinity is indivisible. 
  7. The Father is fully God. True. 
  8. The Father has the whole fullness of God’s being in himself. True. 
  9. The Father is eternal. True. 
  10. The Father is not the Son. True. The persons are distinct and not confounded. 
  11. The Father is not the Holy Spirit. True. 
  12. The Son is fully God. True. 
  13. The Son has the whole fullness of God’s being in himself. True. 
  14. The Son came into being at the time of the incarnation.  False. The Son is eternal and uncreated according to statements 7 and 9 of the Athanasian Creed. And of course, we have the scriptural statements that say that the Son was the agent of the creation of everything as proof that he existed eternally. He is not a created being, but the Creator. 
  15. The Son was brought into being in eternity past. False. That Christ was created by the Father before the rest of creation is one of the doctrines of Arianism, a heresy denounced by both the Council of Nicea and the Council of Constantanople, but which nonetheless still exists today, for instance, in the teaching of the Jehovah’s witnesses. 
  16. The Son is eternal. True. 
  17. The Son is not the Father. True. 
  18. The Son is not the Holy Spirit. True. 
  19. The Holy Spirit is fully God. True
  20. The Holy Spirit has the whole fullness of God’s being in himself. True
  21. The Holy Spirit is eternal. True
  22. The Holy Spirit is not the Father. True
  23. The Holy Spirit is not the Son. True
  24. The persons of the Trinity are distinct. True. 
  25. In their nature, the Son and the Holy Spirit are co-equal and co-eternal with the Father.  True. See statement 26 of the Athansian Creed. 
  26. The Son and the Spirit are subordinate to the Father in their essence or nature. False. In essence and nature they are all equal—equal majesty and glory; all three uncreated, eternal, infinite, etc. This false statement is one affirming a form of subordinationism, a heresy rejected by the early church. 
  27. The Trinity is unique. True. 
  28. There is both unity and diversity in the being of God. True. 
  29. The persons of the Trinity have distinct roles. True.  Although all three persons are involved in all of God’s work, there are distinctions in their focus. We might summarize their roles in redemption, for instance, like this: the Father planned, the Son accomplished, the Spirit applies. 
  30. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are simply different names for the one person of God showing himself to us in three distinct roles. False.  Since the Trinity consist of three persons (not one) who exist co-eternally, God cannot be just one person manifesting himself in different roles. This false statement is a modalistic one, and modalism (or Sabellianism) is a heresy that has always been condemned within Christianity, but one that also continues to exist. The United Pentecostal Church (Jesus-onlyism), for example, affirms a form of modalism. 
  31. A right understanding of the Trinity is vital to right worship of God. True. An accurate view of God as Trinity is the foundation upon which we can worship each of the three persons in the Godhead. For instance, if the Son were not fully God, and a created being subordinate to the Father, we would have no justification for worshipping him. 
  32. A right understanding of the Trinity is vital to a right understanding of redemption. True. For one thing, in order for the Father to pour out his wrath on his Son and for the Father to accept Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, the persons must be distinct. That the Son is infinite God also explains how his death can infinitely valuable and thus able to pay the just penalty of eternity in hell for all those he redeems. 
  33. Any analogy used to explain the Trinity will not represent it completely accurately. True. Nothing else is like the Trinity, so there is no good analogy for it. Most analogies used to explain the Trinity do a better job explaining a heretical view of God than the orthodox Trinitarian one. 
  34. The doctrine of the Trinity cannot be derived from the Biblical text. False. The word “Trinity” is not in scripture, but the doctrine of the trinity comes directly from all the statements made about God and the persons of the Godhead in scripture.
There you go. For those keeping count, there were 7 false statements. 2, 6, 14, 15, 26, 30, and 34.

1] Page 231.
2] Page 30.

1 comment:

  1. Appreciate this post, as the waters seem to be getting murky regarding the Trinity. Very clear!