Doctrine of Trinity not a Contradiction to Reason
Job 11:7
Can you by searching find out God? can you find out the Almighty to perfection?

The doctrine of the Trinity is not at all more incomprehensible than others to which no opposition is offered. A man can comprehend the Trinity as well as he can the eternity of God, or the omnipresence of God.

1. Certain considerations from which you will infer the presumption of expecting that the nature of God should be either discernible or demonstrable by reason. If we would but observe how little way our reason can make when labouring amongst things with which we are every day conversant, we should be prepared to expect that when applied to the nature of the Deity, it would be found altogether incompetent to the unravelling and comprehending of it. We are to ourselves a mystery. There is a presumption which outweighs language in expecting that we can apprehend what is God, and how He subsists. A revelation from God may be expected to contain much which must overmatch all but the faith of mankind. We are continually in the habit of admitting things on the testimony of experience, which without such experience we should reject as incredible. We may assert this in respect to many of those operations of nature which are going on daily and hourly around us, e.g., husbandry. We do not, in regard of the things of this lower creation, measure what we believe by what we can demonstrate. Where then is the justice and the reasonableness of our carrying up to the highest investigations of God a rule which, if applied to the facts or phenomena of nature, would make us doubt the one half, and disbelieve the other? If we reject one property of God, because incomprehensible, we must, if consistent, reject almost every other. This is not sufficiently observed. It is customary to fasten on the mystery of the Trinity as the great incomprehensible in God, and to speak of it as tasking our reason in a measure far higher than the rest. We admit that whilst the whole of a revelation may be above our reason, there may be parts which seem contrary to it; and if there exists a repugnance between reason and revelation, we do right in withholding our assent. If it could be shown that the received doctrine of the Trinity did violence to the conclusions of reason, there would be good ground for rejecting that doctrine and regarding the Bible as wrongly interpreted.

2. There is no repugnance to reason in the doctrine of the Trinity. It is above reason, but not contrary to reason. The sense in which God is three, is not the sense in which God is one. The doctrine stated with simplicity, the doctrine that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are so distinct as not to be one with the other, and so united as to be one God, carries nothing on its front to convict it of absurdity. There is no contradiction in three being one, unless it be said that the three are one in the same respect. We are not now endeavouring to establish the fact that Scripture teaches the doctrine of the Trinity; we only show that there is nothing in the doctrine which reason can prove impossible. The testimonies of Scripture to the Divinity of Father, Son, and Spirit, are numerous and explicit; the declarations that there is only one God rival these in amount and clearness. You will be told that this doctrine is a speculative thing; that even if it is true, it is not fundamental; and that, whatsoever place it may fill in scholastic theology, it is of little or no worth in practical Christianity. Remember one truth. If the doctrine of the Trinity be a false doctrine, your Redeemer, Jesus Christ, was nothing more than a man. The Divinity of Christ stands or falls with the Trinity or Unity.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?

WEB: "Can you fathom the mystery of God? Or can you probe the limits of the Almighty?

Difficulties Concerning God's Providence
Top of Page
Top of Page