Sunday, November 08, 2009


I could gladly spend every Sunday, and every conference I go to, listening to sermons about the Trinity.

Here are some helpful thoughts from Bavinck:
For a true understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity three questions must be answered:

What is the meaning of the word "essence"?

What is meant by the word "person"?

And what is the relation between "essence" and "person" and between the persons among themselves?

The divine nature cannot be conceived as an abstract generic concept, nor does it exist as a substance outside of, above, and behind the divine persons. It exists in the divine persons and it totally and quantitatively the same in each person.

The persons, though distinct, are not separate. They are the same in essence, one in essence, and the same being. They are not separated by time or space or anything else. They all share in the same divine nature and perfections. It is one and the same divine nature that exists in each person individually and in all of them collectively.

Consequently, there is in God but one eternal, omnipotent, and omniscient being, having one mind, one will, and one power.
Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics vol. 2 God and Creation, p. 298-300


Zac Wyse said...

A hearty 'Amen' to that!

What do you think the consequence of denying God's essence is? In your opinion, how serious is that denial?

Martin Downes said...

Well, if someone was denying God's essence I would first of all want them to tell me what they understand the word to mean, and then explain why they are denying it. Do they have a problem with the word itself? Or is their problem with what the word signifies?