Monday, August 06, 2007

Vestiges of the Trinity?

Our Sunday lesson about the doctrine of God went well, I think. There’s not that much discussion about models, illustrations and analogies for the Trinity, which I thought will give me headache. But the guys were all behaved and Kuya Mar, one of the seekers (term I used for people who ask a lot of questions about God) in the class was quiet. (Kuya Mar and our Senior Pastor and my uncle Tito Danny has this running debates about doctrines. They liked throwing verses at each other and sometimes, though I tried very hard to keep away from these guys, I join in the battle of the verses. Know what…hmmm…The image that comes into my mind whenever I see these two kind hearted, good Christians discussing doctrines is Dumbledore battling it out with one of the Hobbits in a friendly practice spell casting fight… "John Chapter one million verse three thousand” shouted Dumbledore. “Oh yeah, take this! Mark chapter thirty three billion verse one!” The Hobbit shouted back…)

I was reading an article about the existence of a Trinitarian concept of deity in other world religion and I had an…hmmm…I had a theory.

All Pagan religions from the time of Babylon, have adopted in one form or another a trinity doctrine or a triad or trinity of gods. In Babylon it was Nimrod, Semiramas, and Tammuz; In Egypt it was Osiris, Isis, and Horus; within Israel pagan gnosticism it was Kether, Hokhmah, and Binah; In Plato's philosophy it was the Unknown Father, Nous/Logos, and the world soul.
Of course most Christian would be offended if the Christian Trinity is compared to other trinities. They would categorically deny any relation or connection of the Christian Trinity with the other world religion’s trinity. It is blasphemy. Religion besides Christianity is Satan’s religion; their trinity is the devils trinity.

Of course this thinking smack of dualism, the thinking that there are two equal opposing forces that controls the cosmos. This thinking is not Biblical (Gen. 1:1). God is unique and God is sovereign, God does not have any equal. Anyway, Christian’s attitude towards other religions will determine their behavior with people of other religion. Negative thinking and attitude begets negative behavior. So it’s wrong to think of other religions (or faiths) in satanic terms. There are truths and beauty in other religions, and though difficult to admit, Christianity does not have the monopoly on truths and ethics. Even the Bible recognized general revelation when Paul spoke of the conscience as revealing the law (Rom. 2:12)

I think the better explanation for the existence of trinities in other world religions is that these world religion caught glimpses of God’s revelation as the trinity, an imperfect revelation may I add. Augustine has this idea that there are vestiges (fingerprint) of the trinity in creation. May I ask, why not vestiges of the Trinity in other religions?

General revelation points to it, if General revelation explains religion, and if biblical and Christian revelation is the perfection of general revelation, then isn’t it only right to think that there are general truths that general revelation revealed that the Christian revelation cannot deny.

Now instead of thinking of the existence of trinities in other religions as negating and discrediting to Christian Trinity, isn’t it possible to think otherwise—the existence of trinity in other religion proves the validity of the Christian Triune God.

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