Debate by noted Christian scholars on the Trinity

Wikipedia has a good introductory summary of how Christians describe the Trinity-

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons (Greek: ὑποστάσεις):the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial (Greek: ὁμοούσιοι). Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being (Greek: οὐσία). The Trinity is considered to be a mystery of Christian faith.

The major difference that divides the 3 major religions- Judaism, Christianity and Islam can also be traced right back to each faith’s particular understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. Three years ago, 4 theologians met and debated, on the outskirts of Chicago at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School  (TEDS for short) of Deerfield,Illinois. They were/are former and current professors of TEDS – Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, Tom McCall, Keith Yandell.

The question the professors debated was-

Do relations of authority and submission exist eternally among the Persons of the Godhead?

Here is the Moderator, Dr. Chris Firestone’s introduction: There’s a real need for the Christian Evangelical community to maintain clarity and precision in its understanding of the doctrine of God, both in terms of its Christology and Trinity. This is where tonight’s debate picks up in earnest. The doctrine of the trinity is most arguably the most central and distinctive feature of the Christian faith. Questions to keep in mind as this debate proceeds-

  1. Which position best reflects the biblical witness?
  2. Which position is the most reasonable and rationally cogent?
  3. Should the biblical witness and rationale cogency be thought to conflict with one another?
  4. Should the Christians just stick with the confessional norms of the Church? If so, which position resonates with the historic position of the Church? If not, how revisionist of these norms should Evangelical Christians be?

Please set aside a good portion of time for this very important debate, as it is 2 1/2 hours long, and very well worth the time, considering the debaters, especially the most well known debater- Wayne Grudem, whose Systematic Theology Textbook sits on all of our shelves. At the introduction Dr. Chris Firestone also mentions several books written by the panelists on the subject of the Trinity that are well worth looking into as well. Enjoy!

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