Saturday, 23 May 2009

The Trinity: unbiblical, illogical, irrelevant?

I had the privilege and opportunity to speak on a lunchbar with the above title at Lancaster University last week.

As part of the lunchbar, I stated that I believed that any religion based upon a singular god shows itself (at least in part) in works. After all, this god might demand obedience and religious service and sacrifice and prayer and elaborate worship. If it's going to come from anyone, it has to come from humans. Religion is about humans paying all of this to a god. (This contrasts to Biblical Christianity, in which the Son makes forgiveness possible, and whose righteousness is credited to those who trust in him).

I had an interesting conversation afterwards with a Christadelphian. I have to admit that I didn't know very much about Christadelphian doctrine, beyond the fact that they denied the Trinity. But the girl I met was adamant that works have no part in salvation in the Christadelphian view.

However, as the conversation continued, I think my original statement was endorsed. Christadelphians believe that humans are separated from God because of their sins, and can be reconciled to him by becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. This comes through faith, confession and it seems baptism (although the girl wasn't completely sure on this point). But, above all, she explained that salvation comes as a result of making a commitment to follow the commands of God. The work, it seems, is a commitment to obedience.

I left the conversation sad, because we seemed to get nowhere. But then I got to reflect again on the amazing Trinitarian God - a plurality that offers all those who trust in Christ forgiveness in full as a gift of grace, the reputation and righteousness of Christ, the very status of Christ, adoption as heirs and the gift of the Holy Spirit. What a God!

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