The Triune God does all this through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit To avert the erroneous idea of having triple gods, some have appropriately placed a “u” in the midst of the word, making it Triunity. Others like to consider themselves simply as followers of Jesus. They are products of disciplined reflection, yet are vivid and rooted in Scripture. . Anchored by these ancient words, we are liberated to interpret, amplify and expand upon the ways of naming the Triune God most familiar to the church, rather than simply repeating the word “God” in prayer and liturgy. This is seen in the confusion that the Nicene formulation attempted to eliminate. They will sniff out our not-so-well-disguised implicit Trinitarianism, even while we think we are all talking about the same idea of God. It cannot substitute for personal language. The Trinity – God exists in the trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Consider the several roles that an individual can play on the stage of life: In relation to our parents we are a son or a daughter; in relation to our boss or teacher we are an employee or student; in relation to our spouse we are a husband or a wife. We believe that the Bible tells the story – both past, present and future – of the never-ending journey of God and God’s people in the world. In the Middle Ages, baptism came to be an increasingly private, family affair, separated from worship. Christians can sing: ‘Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.’” Baillie integrates the devotional life of a Christian into a satisfying intellectual treatment of the church’s basic doctrine of the Trinity. The longest season of the church year, Trinity begins eight weeks after Easter and continues for about half of the calendar year. An African Muslim once said that the main difference between his religion and Christianity was that he had several wives and one God, while Christians had one wife and several gods. This liberating approach also demands discipline. When we see the doctrine of the Trinity as an expression of our deepest beliefs, the best account of the reality of God revealed in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will begin to teach it, express it and live it. Often the Trinity is taught in confirmation c… 41: 35 What do we mean by original sin? 'God in three persons, blessed Trinity' is one way of speaking about the several ways we experience God." The Holy Spirit not only makes a child of sin to become a child of God, He also leads the new believer into a new way of life which is in conformity to the will of God; into holiness of life and Sanctification. And if that’s true, how is there any room for human free will? He had become a Christian in the hope that Christianity would help to unite his Roman government, which was disintegrating from civil wars. What Do Presbyterians Believe? Here are examples of ways to amplify and enrich our language of the Triune God. Are not all of these expressions simultaneous? We cannot dispose of the Trinity any more easily than we can dispose of our confession of God as the author of life. Presbyterians believe that the Bible is an inspired record of the revelation of God to all. He did not realize that monotheism is basic to the Christian statement of belief, the Nicene Creed. The disregard of this season may be due to the difficulty of harmonizing a reasonable faith with what appears to be an irrational doctrine, the doctrine of the Trinity. “The doctrine has often confused the thinking of the individual Christian as much as it has clarified and strengthened it,” she observes. Five Key Tenets of Reformed Theology. When we are god, we certainly do not need the mediation of the Son or the continuing work of the Spirit to connect to the divine presence. The solar disk, rays and heat also offer a helpful analogy: There is the transcendent God over us who is too brilliant to be gazed at directly; there is Jesus who is “God with us” (“Emmanuel” in Hebrew); and there is the warmth of the Holy Spirit within us. Presbyterians believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is important for a number of reasons. There is, however, a distinct deficiency in comparing God to the sun or to electricity; a personal analogy is needed to point to our personal God. “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” is a root out of which grows an even richer vocabulary of praise. In an effort to settle this matter, in A.D. 325 he asked the bishops from the entire church to come together at Nicaea to discuss and agree on a creed. What are Trinity's sources of inspiration? Thus, the liturgies produced by many within the church abandon traditional Trinitarian language and substitute frequent repetition of an undifferentiated God. Majority Rule: When Presbyterians have a policy or an action to consider, they pray, they talk, and then they vote. They believe that the Holy Spirit lives in individuals but works through the community. Presbyterians believe in Trinitarian baptism. They deny the divinity of Jesus, believing he is fully human and separate from God. This article originally appeared in the May 1994 edition of Presbyterian Survey (now Presbyterians Today). Later in the fourth century a second ecumenical council met in Constantinople to deal with the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son. To be fair, I often hear Presbyterians talk about “following Jesus” and “listening to the Spirit.” But far rarer are references to all three persons of the Trinity in an integrated way. In many Presbyterian churches, elders are chosen from among the congregation or elected. Often the Trinity is taught in confirmation class or in Sunday school (for children and adults) more as a mathematical problem to be solved than the living reality of God. Other helpful illustrations have been proposed. The “Gracious God” we address in prayer is all we need. And it is one and the same God who created us, who saves us and who continues to live with us. A common Trinitarian substitute, Creator/Christ/Spirit, fails the first two tests. Volunteer with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Volunteer for Elected Service at the General Assembly Level. Another impulse toward functional Unitarianism draws from our growing realization of religious pluralism. This article originally appeared in the May 2005 issue of Presbyterians Today. Presbyterians stand for the majesty, praise, and sovereignty of God, and so . Presbyterians interpret the Bible very much like other protestants do. 42: 36 Do we have free will? What do we really believe? I listened to the mp3 version of the book, courtesy of the Trinity Foundation (yes, I note the irony). Creator/Redeemer/Sustainer is a wonderful description of the work of God on our behalf. Undisciplined use of any three words to refer to the Trinity is a “rock, paper, scissors” theology — three, any three, will do. “Creator” is a functional description of the Godhead, one in which all three persons of the Trinity participate, yet Christ and Spirit are personal designations. Muhammad thought Christians believed in three different deities, one of them the goddess Mary, who was impregnated by intercourse with the father God. The doctrine expresses genuine monotheism. Muslims and Jews have presumed, as have some Christians, that Christians worship three separate gods. Although Muhammad held Jesus in high regard, he rejected Christianity because he thought it contained polytheistic paganism. In a similar manner the one invisible God is experienced in various modes. Harry Truman said, “I’m a Baptist because I think that sect gives the common man the shortest and most direct approach to God.” We are Harry Trumans run amok. The Westminster Confession: Yesterday and Today' written by Gordon H. Clark and read by a professional reader. Usually the church takes up a theological issue only when there is great controversy — a time when a lack of consensus on an issue embroils the church in an intractable debate. Read 7 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Volunteer with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Volunteer for Elected Service at the General Assembly Level. Presbyterians have come to make a lot of Advent and they occasionally observe Lent, but they usually overlook the Trinity season of the church year. What Do Presbyterians Believe? We believe that the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ and the sanctifying and healing work of the Holy Spirit are necessary for us to be reconciled to God. This is quite different from seeing it as light in a light bulb or feeling it as heat from a stove. The cover says, "What Presbyterians Believe." Presbyterian interactions with saints pretty much ends there. Do Presbyterians believe in the Trinity? . Although humans do not have a full understanding of God, there is a reasonable basis for belief in the triune God. God is indeed closer to us than our skin — the three-in-one and the one-in-three. “Ruling elders are so named not because they ‘lord it over’ the congregation, but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern,” says the Presbyterian Book of Order, which guides the structure of the church. The longest season of the church year, Trinity begins eight weeks after Easter and continues for about half of the calendar year. We haven’t rejected the Trinity outright; we simply do not seem to need it any more. When dramatic events occur in our lives, we find out what we really believe. Wouldn’t we be one step closer to a unity with others who worship God? Bible Presbyterians believe that God exists and that God has been revealed to humanity. The Trinity is too vital to our faith for such laziness. One group maintained that the Son and the Father were of the same substance (Greek homo-ousion), while another group argued that they were of a similar substance (homoi-ousion). It is essential that we work through the issues that threaten to rob us of Biblical faith. Given its centrality in all the creeds and in the faith of the church, how could we ignore the Trinity? 45: 38 In what ways does the Holy Spirit work in the church? These objections can lead to bland liturgical compromises that rob Scripture and tradition of their richness. It is Trinitarian in the sense that each person of the Trinity is involved in the functions of creation, redemption and sustaining us. Register to join beta. We believe in the Triune God – God who creates, Jesus who redeems, and the Holy Spirit who sustains us. The terms must either be personal or functional — the two should not be mixed. A medieval diagram often found in European cathedral windows expresses the gist of the Nicene formulation. This symbol also conveys the idea that there are three simultaneous expressions of the divine substance. We are “spiritual, but not religious,” finding God within ourselves. Christ – Presbyterians believe that Christ is the Son of God, the revealer of God, and the Savior of humanity. What is a Cumberland Presbyterian and what do they believe? We recognize that we share much with Jews and Muslims. Presbyterians have come to make a lot of Advent and they occasionally observe Lent, but they usually overlook the Trinity season of the church year. This creates a theological error that violates the first rule: Is the first person the “Creator” of the second and third persons? Even when we speak about “the Spirit,” we are using an alternative term for our generalized understanding of God. Was the God of law separate from the God of grace? Do Presbyterians believe in the holy trinity? Yes. Well, when it comes to most of these issues, the simple truth is that Presbyterians believe many things. The subheading reads: The Trinity is not an optional 'extra' to God; it is the very nature of God as revealed to us in Scripture. Chapter 2 of 'What Do Presbyterians Believe? Presbyterians believe in voting and elections to make decisions. . Pretty much every church in the world embraces the Nicene Creed. 24: ... 34 Do Presbyterians believe that humans are totally evil? Note the inner relationships between the terms: Can you envision them being used in your prayer life and in worship? But it cannot be understood to claim that one person of the Trinity is creator, a second redeemer and the third sustainer. The three terms must have an inner relationship. No, Presbyterians believe that Christ is spiritually present in the Lord’s Supper. What is called the Nicene Creed contains an additional paragraph about the Holy Spirit that was added in 381. John Calvin might have said: “Christ is not only the pledge of our adoption, but God also gives us the Holy Spirit as a witness to this adoption, through whom we may freely cry aloud, ‘Abba, Father.’ Whenever we are distressed, remember to ask for the presence of the Spirit who will enable us to pray boldly” (Institutes, III.20.37). (2 Corinthians 13:14). This is especially true regarding baptism in the name of the Triune God, one of the few things that connects Christian believers around the world. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. In costly grace the Lord Jesus Christ ministered among us and was crucified and raised for us and for our salvation. A central belief of those who were the founders of our church was that Christ died for all persons, and that all people are included within God’s love for the world. Misrepresentations by outsiders of the Christian doctrine of God may have arisen from the bewilderment of many church members from the first century onward. In classical drama an actor often wore different masks to play several roles. Lifting up a sprig of shamrock, Saint Patrick said: “Here is a perfect leaf with three perfect parts.” The shamrock became a well-known symbol of the Holy Trinity. While understandable, this impulse does not serve us well. . It is the very nature of God as revealed to us in Scripture. Consider the process involved in an experience of art: First there is the initial idea in the creator’s mind. Reflecting on the historical experiences of the early Christians, he writes: “The doctrine of the Trinity sums up the gospel by telling us that the God of grace, who was revealed through the Incarnation and Pentecost as the One who paradoxically works in us what he demands of us, is the same from all eternity and for ever more; so . Electromagnetic force provides a similar analogy: No one has seen this basic energy of the universe, and yet we witness electricity in distinct ways: We experience it as shock if we put our finger in an outlet. They do not believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, but merely a force—the "unseen power" from God. Presbyterians do not believe in the saints in the same way that Catholics do. Taken from the Latin tria, threefold, and unus, one, this preserves the oneness notion intended by the ecumenical councils of the fourth century that included the Trinity in their creeds. Be the first to answer this question. Belief in the Trinity and a closed canon are the two main markers of mainstream Christianity, held in common by Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestant churches. Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, decided that the question of the relationship between the Creator and Jesus must be resolved. Just as there is a threefold aspect of art as idea, expression and effect, so there is a three-in-one revelation of God. Presbyterians celebrate baptism as a communal act of public worship. Given the time, energy and controversy devoted to the Trinity in the church’s history, how could we let it slip away? The doctrine of the Trinity is a pressing issue for contemporary Presbyterians for precisely the opposite reason: we are losing the Biblical account of God without controversy, without debate. What Do Presbyterians Believe? 23: 19 What are some practical results of believing in the Trinity? Asked by Wiki User. 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