Muslims often state that the Trinity doctrine lacks both common sense and logic. Additionally, they sometimes accuse the Christians of being polytheists by saying that the Trinity teaches three gods. Other times they state that it is illogical for three gods to be one god; and for that reason, the Trinity can't be true. Their objections need to be addressed. But, before we do, we need to understand what the Trinity is and what it is not.
The doctrine of the Trinity is this: there is one God who exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person is not the same as the other person; that is, the Father is not the same person as the Son who is not the same person as the Holy Spirit. But, each is fully divine in nature. Each person is not a god which would make three gods. Instead, the totality of all three persons comprises the one God. Again, the Trinity does not teach that there are three gods. The Trinity is monotheistic since it is the doctrine that only one God exists in all space and time. Christians believe there are no partners with God because we believe there is only one God in all existence.
At first, some may look at this teaching and be confused by it. How can God be three persons in one God? This is a good question because it is a bit difficult to grasp. But that is what we would expect, isn't it, when we encounter God? Would we not expect to find some things about God's infinite nature a bit beyond our comprehension? This is not unreasonable. However, we must not make the mistake of saying something as ridiculous as, "It doesn't make sense. Therefore it is true."
Following is a brief chart that helps clarify how the doctrine of the Trinity is arrived at through the Bible.
|T R I N I T Y|
|Called God||Phil. 1:2||John 1:1. 14; Col. 2:9||Acts 5:3-4|
|Creator||Isaiah 64:8; 44:24||John 1:3; Col. 1:15-17||Job 33:4; 26:13|
|Indwells||2 Cor. 6:16||Col. 1:27||John 14:17|
|Everywhere||1 Kings 8:27||Matt. 28:20||Psalm 139:7-10|
|All-knowing||1 John 3:20||John 16:30; 21:17||1 Cor. 2:10-11|
The above chart is representative and not complete, but it shows that there is scriptural support for the doctrine. We see that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each are called God, each are called creator, each indwells, etc. We know that the Father speaks to the Son, and the Holy Spirit speaks as well. So, there are three persons--not three gods. Following is another way of illustrating the Trinity.
The Trinities in Nature
People already believe in trinities. They just don't know they do. Here is how. Basically, the universe consists of three elements: Time, Space, and Matter. Each of these is comprised of three 'components.'
As the Trinitarian doctrine maintains, each of the persons of the Godhead is distinct; yet they are all each, by nature, divine. The same idea can be presented in the above examples. With time, for example, the past is not the same as the present, which is not the same as the future. Each is simultaneous (according to some time theorists). Yet, they are not three 'times' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: time.
With space, height is distinct from width, which is not the same as depth, which is is not the same as height. Yet, they are not three 'spaces' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: space.
With matter, solid is not the same as liquid, which is not the same as gas, which is not the same as solid. Yet, they are not three 'matters' but one. That is, they all share the same nature: matter.
Note that there are three sets of threes. In other words, there is a trinity of trinities. If we were to look at the universe and notice these qualities within it, is it really so difficult to imagine that God can be a Trinity of persons? Furthermore, is it fair to say that this "trinity of trinities" are the fingerprints of God upon His creation? I think so.
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse," (Romans 1:20).
Of course, there are always people who will say that this is ridiculous. Perhaps it is. But if it is, it is up to them to demonstrate why it cannot be true. If we see the analogy of the Trinity within nature, why is it so difficult to believe that God could be the Trinity as well?
Demonstrate that it is illogical
One of the questions I ask the anti-Trinitarians is "Can you please show me how the Trinity is illogical??" Usually, they respond with something like, "It just doesn't make sense," or "It simply can't be." But making such statements doesn't prove or disprove anything. The question is "How is it illogical?" I have yet to hear a logical explanation.
It isn't against logic for God to be three persons. It may be difficult to understand, and some may not like it; but it isn't illogical. For it to be illogical, there must be some rule of logic that is violated that makes it impossible for God to exist as a Trinity. For example, to say that one god is really three gods is illogical because the quantity of one is not the same quantity as three; and since they (one and three) are mutually exclusive as to quantity in this situation, to say one god is three gods is illogical. But that isn't what the Trinity is anyway. Remember, it is not that three gods are one god as some critics mistakenly say. The Trinity is three divine persons who comprise the one God. Furthermore, there is no logical reason why God cannot be three persons.
Trinitarianism is monotheistic. That means that it is a doctrine that teaches the existence of a single being who is God, and that there is only one God in all existence. This is sometimes ignored or not known when people (Muslims) criticize the Trinity by asserting that the Trinity teaches three gods. But, it does not. As is stated above, the Trinity is a monotheistic theological position.
The Muslims need to properly understand what they criticize. Most often, they do not. They typically fail to understand what the Trinity really is, make a false caricature of it, and attack the false representation. Then, when we correct them and say that is not what the Trinity is, they often say we don't know what we are talking about. The Muslims need to do their homework.
Finally, when Muslims state that the Trinity isn't logical, it is up to them to demonstrate how. They need to produce logical statements in sequential form that demonstrates the impossibility of the Trinity. If they are not able to do it, then they should stop making the claim.