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ONE ONLY BUT NOT ALONE
THE HOLY TRINITY
Rev. Dr. Robert E. Donaldson
Published by World Wide Web Witness Inc.
With all the treatments of the trinity that appear in these 166 volumes that comprise the theological set, In Praise of Christ Jesus, there has developed a composure, with various stresses here and there on different aspects of this glorious reality which is the nature of the God of creation and redemption. How wonderful that HE on whom all depends and from whom all has come, is never alone, for in the infinitude of His intimacies in His own Being, there is companionship such as you often see echoed in the biblical depiction (cf. Zechariah 13:6-7, 11:11ff., Psalm 2, 40, John 10:30, 5:19ff., 1:1ff., Habakkuk 3:13, John 5:29 ...)! In fact, that is just what Christ SAID (as in 8:29). The Father, said Christ, has not left Me alone", and "He who sent Me is with Me," this in perfect concourse with the trinitarian excursion shown in Isaiah 48:16.
It seems therefore good to collect, extend or adjust slightly perhaps here or there, or excise some parts in a treatment, some surrounds which are not necessary for our present purpose, add some small point or aspect to a treatment, and in general make the whole more of a composition.
It is this which is now presented, a convenient module for this magnificent topic, such because of the magnificent and only God to whom it refers.
Chapter 1 is new. In all Chapters, revision or adaptation to our present purpose may occur, and this may be, and sometimes is quite substantial. Although links are supplied to original forms, this Volume includes only the links provided on the Chapters on the left side of the page.
On the Trinity, see for example, the following, and the references incorporated in them:
Chapter 1 The Witness, Work and Way of the Trinity in Love and Salvation
Chapter 2 The True God has Go, Gives Growth and Glory Ch. 5;
Chapter 3 All This Rot About Not Believing the Gospel,
Chapter 4 The Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4;
Chapter 5 Answers to Questions Ch. 3, (only the part on the Trinity)
Chapter 6 Christ, the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 3;
Chapter 7 Of the Earth, Earthy or Celestial in Christ Ch. 6.
Chapter 8 Dastardly Dynamics, Delirious
Daubs, Wandering Woes, Bleary Theories
and Immovable Faith Ch. 3
Chapter 9 Barbs, Arrows and Balms Ch. 14
Chapter 10 Barb, Arrows and Balms Ch. 17
Chapter 11 Barbs, Arrows and Balms Ch 23
Chapter 12 SMR Ch. 7, Section 4
Biblical Blessings Ch. 15,
Chapter 14 Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium Ch. 15
(this Chapter is closely associated with the Appendix below).
Chapter 15 The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch. 10
Appendix Repent or Perish Ch. 7
The Holy Trinity is not anomaly, but both logically refreshing and penetrating, a joy to the heart and the basis of all. It is source and centre of the whole of salvation issuing in Jesus Christ.
On Chapter 1 above:
This is an introduction to the Trinity in terms of its persons, who each Person is, the nature and the salvation as which the Second Person is sent, and in which the Spirit of God is intensely, immensely and intimately active. As to that salvation, the theme proceeds to how it is obtained, or neglected, and how this relates to the nature of Deity Himself.
On Chapter 2 above:
In this Chapter, there is a concentrated coverage of what the Trinity is and is not, and the categories of thought are refined and reduced to what is required by such a singularity as the trinity: for of a truth, there is nothing like it, nor should one expect there to be, since it is the God of creation in parallel with His creation, the Almighty with the midgets, who is in view.
Nevertheless, SINCE He made them, there are muted if crucial relationships. Man in his mind, spirit and body is a trilogy of the most remarkable character; and what he does with his mind and applies to his body, in terms of the purposes and imaginations of his spirit leads him to be where he ought not to be, indeed to a spiritual site where action is needed if he is to be salvaged. The Trinity is able to act in this way, and did so; and indeed, if He had not been a Trinity this would not have been possible; and for that matter, if He had not been who He is - I AM WHO I AM - He would not have made what He did in the way that He did, and so the issue would never have arisen.
On Chapter 3 above:
Einstein and unity, truth and necessity, divine intimation and its certainty, personality and its genesis, sin and its exodus, truth and creation, calamity and desecration, deity and deliverance: such are some of the ingredients in this Chapter. It supplies an analogy, a mini-parable if you will, an illustration if you won't, which is found useful in conveying the nub of the matter.
On Chapter 4 above:
God is one, in peace, in righteousness, nor is it possible that other should be the case, and thus we find in Titus 1, that it is impossible for Him to lie. This is not an extraneous necessity laid upon Him, but an intrinsic necessity such that this is the case: if He were not thus, it would be a self-contradiction that He should be the Creator of all, dependent on none, which is another way of saying the same thing.
Of Chapter 5 above:
You take God as He is or not at all: but WHO is He and how may He be found! This is the topic that truth demands.
Of Chapter 6 above:
CWCP Ch 3 is supplied because it gives the sense of the majesty, beauty, glory of works and intimacy of power of God, and explores the congregation of redemption and creation, sending and sent, word and speaker, including Isaiah 48:16 in a rondeau which awakens one to the sense of the impending majesty of God, alerts to sin and to judgment, and provides a biblical perspective helpful to the lost, encouraging to the found, with the tang of truth. Read with the preceding chapters, it provides an deepening of the envisagement, as we seek to comprehend the marvel of the infinite God, by His revelation, the basis, while in attendance, showing the intense reasonableness of these things; for reason, made by God, is captive to truth when it is used in accord with its own premises.
God made us (the premises for reason, and much more), human reason (an occupant in us), the universe (using reason in so doing), the correlativity (allowing us to reason about a universe moulded with the same reason as we are). This is the issuance from Himself, according to His own purpose, this being a necessary consequence, since there is nothing and no one else for this aggregation which is a multi-functional compilation in one mental-material-spiritual congregation, involving man and his inward and outward view, as he is and as he is placed.
Of Chapter 7 above:
Of the Earth, Earthy or Celestial in Christ ... Ch. 6 moves towards God from man, man the sinner and sees the operation of the trinity towards man and what it meant for Him to become man, so making it fitting that He be the Captain of salvation..
Of Chapter 8 above:
Dastardly Dynamics ... Ch. 3 focuses on the servant and virgin-born aspects of the Messiah who is yet God, who becomes exposed in, manifest through and expressed in flesh: even He who is the very definitive expression of God. Thus the WORD speaks in Him, He through that Word, each in perfection of blending without amending, through a concurrence without divergence and grace without mere singularity, and authority without duplication. Hence comes salvation, wrought by love, bought by blood and planned in eternal counsel. The Word of God, Jesus Christ, speaks as commanded in His humble role on this earth, and yet as the Lord, and thus to His word-contrived creation He speaks, and for it He acts. As many are found in His grace, are His, known from the first, kept to the last.
Of Chapter 9 above:
Barbs, Arrows and Balms Ch.14 provides an existential approach in which the glory of the triune deity is seen in an impelling context for a would-be mutant, post-modern man, all but irresistibly clad in complacency. It is a a dialogue leading to faith. It is not philosophically existential, but rather allows the desires and movements, the lusts or disdains, the hopes and driving spiritual appetites of man to find their home, meaningful, rational, revelatory, the Word who is truth providing both love and mercy, reason and knowledge from His divine glory, mixed with a love that goes, and does not merely suppose or consider or meditate or wonder or wander. With Him, it is command and when it is to Himself (as in Psalm 40), He heeds, going about His Father's business on earth for which He was sent (cf. John 12:48-50, John 8:29).
Of Chapter 10 above:
Barbs ... Ch. 17 focusses faith, redemption, the GOSPEL, and what the deity of Christ manifests, in the Bible, MEANS for the eternity and singularity of redemption, its everlasting efficacy and irreducible splendour.
On Chapter 11 above:
The teacher of righteousness is seen in Joel, in a way that Keil in his Old Testament Commentaries (with Delitzsch) presents, and more is given to confirm this, which makes a marvellous medley of coherence. It is one which moreover has a parallel then in Habakkuk 3:12-13 and Psalm 2, where the divine Messiah is seen in the midst of the judgments (as also in Revelation 19). Parallel is Joel3:14ff.,which then has the teacher of righteousness in the midst of these developments as they accrue, like "His Messiah" with whom the Lord works in Habakkuk 3:12-13. Further, Joel 3:16 like John 3:16 and Joel 2:28ff., gives a medley of compassion and protection, with judgment, salvation and depredation.
The teacher of righteousness, the Messiah, is thus seen in His two roles: saviour and judge in both. There is an irrepressible combination of judgment and mercy, and even in the judgment a it moves on THIS earth, there is that latent sense of mercy for man, as indeed in Isaiah 6 with 32, where the sense of fellowship and salvation is intense, as the salvation finds itself secure in Man for man: God as man becoming man, secures the help His compassion constantly calls for, which none else can give, and into the very fires of judgment He moves, to rescue, to redeem.
There is therefore no frustration in God. His INTENSE yearnings and INTEGRAL desires where His emotions are vast and spectacular is His desire to redeem and to save, these do not loom like the thoughts of a poet in a garret. Rather as a conqueror, yet in kindness, He comes, the teacher of righteousness, the incarnate, whose kingdom shall know no end,who gives to the history of this world its come-uppance, and yet in the very midst of it, just as incarnate He actually WAS in the midst of it, He is yet offering mercy.
It is as in Revelation 22:17, where a mere 5 verses from the end of the Book of the Lord, you see the offer: THIRSTY ? then DRINK. It is not some absconding deity, but one incarnate; it is not some merely emotional deity, but a warrior for truth, a worker for salvation, a denizen of this earth in the Messiah who before there is any thought of judgment brings knowledge of righteousness; and this (Isaiah 50 specialises here), not in a dignified mission of majesty, but in a gross defilement by mockery and assault, leading to the very death in substitution. The trinity is not at a loss: HE expresses His thoughts but also sends them in Man to suffer; and more than that, He sends as His only begotten SON, this His eternal word, and so seals salvation.
It is then in view of the Teacher of Righteousness that the Lord is sending such abundant blessedness, for He is the criterion of mercy, and in Him there are prevenient mercies, moving on to the meaning latent in calling on the name of the Lord. Indeed, in Joel 2:23-27, there is emphasis on the entire proceeding moving to three outcomes. 'My people shall never be put to shame', 'then shall you know that I am in the midst of Israel', and that "I am the LORD your God and there is no other.' To say no more, this is a perfect outcome from His placing the Teacher of Righteousness as the topmost sprig in their midst, and leads at ONCE into the outpouring of the Spirit, which we see at Pentecost, is given citation by Peter as what is NEXT to be, as he exhibits that the Christ has in fact already COME!
On Chapter 12 above:
Here in SMR the scriptural FACT of the Trinity is reviewed in considerable breadth, so that the systematics resulting and the necessity impelling are in glorious array, the one insisting and the other assisting.
On Chapter 13 above:
Here is an approach to man in terms of what he is and where he is and what he comprises, leading to whose he is and what the Maker wrought in view of all this, and how it comes to fruition in the action of the trinity.
On Chapter 14 above:
In this Chapter, the reality of God and the derivative and emblematic character of man, in his broadest horizons, are seen in parallel, and the needs of the latter are discernibly met in toto in the feeing of the former, and in no other way; for just as it is reasonable to look from the source to the situation, so it is remedy that is needed and supplied with an astonishing precision and the utmost protestation in the Bible of that fact. To disbelief it is to become a spiritual waif by desire alone. Further, it becomes a blasphemy in passing, as if the sublime creator were defective, if not deficient, when in all things He has attested the opposite, even being most proficient in the sentence on sin which so many seem to confuse with the character of creation, as if their own roots in reason were in fact fabrications of fancy, and what then for their own validity.
This Chapter is closely associated with the Appendix below, following Chapter 15.
On Chapter 15 above:
John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1 are compared and the translation is given attention. Here is the clear-cut combination which shows the trinity with Genesis 1:2. This ever-continuing movement in the Bible to what one has termed 'resonance' is a crucial exhibit of its power and of its impact. Whatever you might hope for in any authentic document, here has in addition that pure genius of delicacy and dexterity of mind, which has continual resonances, correlations and parallels, unexpected developments here confirming presentations elsewhere, so that it is a marvel, in this very like the many-faceted jewels which gleam in their unity and glitter in their diversity, and yet, the more you examine their diversity, the more you see through their sparkles clearly to the heart of all, in the unity of the crystal itself, filled with light.
On the Appendix:
While no great part of this section is on the trinity, nevertheless there is towards its end, a significant development in this field; and the prelude is becoming to such a thrust as it comes. Materialism is seen in its crucifixion of logic aspect, as are many things of like kind, and the nature and thrust of spirituality being seen, is applied and discriminated so that the negative kind of discrimination may being justly rebuked, yield rather to a spirit of enquiry and felicity that is functionally related, not merely an expression of a priori rejection. It is, in a sense, gravely amusing, that our current world is becoming so materialistic that its very nostrums fail it because they DO not because they CANNOT minister to what man is, but only to what he has.
As to the latter, it is like the top of an ice-berg, and as to that, if the Titanic had had to deal only with that, it might still be afloat.