Ron Highfield’s new book, Great Is the Lord: Theology for the Praise of God , sketches the “Trinity” as well as I’ve seen for an introductory text but he honestly admits these observations:
1. “Scripture does not teach this doctrine in exactly the same words or in the same compact and dense form as it appears in the creeds” (108).
2. “Scripture never deals with the precise issues that necessitated the doctrine’s formulation in the Nicene Creed” (108).
3. “For Scripture never directly addresses the nature of the immanent relationships among the persons of the Trinity” (108).
4. Yet, “the traditional doctrine has a solid claim to a scriptural warrant” (108).
Does something have to be explicit in the Bible for you to believe it? Where do you get the idea that it has to be explicit? Can we have the Bible and not the Tradition/apostolic deposit that guided the production of the NT? Can we have the NT without the regula fidei? If not, how does that shape our “it has to be explicit”?
Highfield then examines what the Bible says: Trinitarian texts like Matt 28:18-19, 2 Cor 13:14, Matt 3:13-17, Eph 3:14-19; then he looks at Deity-affirming texts for the Father and the Son and the Spirit (and no one can really dispute these). He also examines the “person-distinguishing texts” like John 17:8 or Matt 28:19. Then the texts that unify the persons.
Friday we’ll look at how “Trinity” has been explained theologically.