God and Logic (Part 2)

Ken Samples

READ : Job 28:20-28

The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom. (v. 28, NIV)

A student in the logic class that I was teaching said that the Trinity doctrine was clearly contradictory. He argued that since the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all God, and since the Father is not the Son or the Spirit, and the Son is also not the Spirit; then each person of the Trinity is simultaneously God and not God. This, he reasoned, is a violation of the law of noncontradiction.

This argument is a good illustration of why logic – or apparent logic – is not always the best tool for knowing and understanding God. My student was wrong. It is not contradictory to affirm deity of all three members of the Trinity, while simultaneously asserting that they possess distinct personal identities: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The members of the Trinity all share equally in the one divine nature while remaining distinct as persons. But ultimately, God’s nature as one triune being is an unfathomable mystery. If we think we can come to understand who God is by logic, we will be disappointed. But if we are willing to confess the limitations of our thinking and worship the mystery of the Godhead, one day we will know him even as we are known by him.


Lord, may my thinking bring you glory.