Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Christian Apologetics - Revelation in the Trinity

In the first chapter of Christian Apologetics, Van Til outlines the basics of Christian theological studies from a Reformed perspective. Being Reformed soteriologically, I agree with him. As such I agree with his orthodox understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. The only reason I mention this is to discuss an item or two that Van Til doesn’t discuss.

One item is a hermeneutical issue. I wrote an article on this recently where I pointed out the flaw in a principle of hermeneutics used by many preachers. That is that the more something is mentioned, the more important it is. Well, since the doctrine of the Trinity is never explicitly mentioned, then by this principle we must conclude that the doctrine of the Trinity must not be very important. Either that or the hermeneutic principle is flawed.

The fact that the doctrine is integral to the nature of God and foundational in the biblical authors’ thinking, albeit not explicitly handled as a whole, indicates that this is a substantial doctrine, with regard to the revelation of God in particular. That is to say that a fundamental aspect of the deity of Christ is the visible representation of God. The primary work of the Holy Spirit is the life-giving revelation of Truth.

In this, the doctrine of the Trinity is important to apologetical thinking. No matter what method we use or purpose we have for the defense of our faith, we must consider the person of Christ and his work among us as the centermost evidence and the Holy Spirit and his work in us as the centermost presupposition, both bearing the vision of the Father and the fulfillment of his will.

Oh that I could leave off right there with that jewel of an observation. However, I have one more:

The thing that bothers me most about the doctrine of the Trinity, which isn’t that big of a deal, is the lack of analogy in the created world. Every aspect of creation bears some analogy to the nature of God in one way or another. This is the only part of God’s nature that apparently lacks a true analogy in what we know of the universe. The closest one I can think of is in quantum mechanics where extreme temporal displacement gives emitted subatomic entities both the nature of a particle as well as the nature of a wave. Both natures contain the same substance and are manifest in a single temporal frame of reference either nature at any given moment. Well, there are only two natures here that I know of.

Yet this isn’t a perfect analogy as such. So there goes my theory that every aspect of God is represented analogously in creation. How much more of God is there that we know nothing of? I can’t wait to find out!

But inasmuch as the analogies of God as evidence of his hand are infused in every aspect of creation, so we are given a wealth of evidence to present alongside any otherwise good presuppositional line of argumentation.

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