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2. Trinitarianism or Theology Proper

Trinitarianism refers to the study of the triune God. It often includes such topics as rational arguments for the existence of God, the attributes of God, the Names of God, the trinity, and the decree or plan of God.

IA. Rational Arguments for the Existence of God12

1B. Introduction

1C. A Scriptural Perspective Regarding Argumentation for God’s Existence
2C. Arguments and the Issue of Incontrovertible Proof
1D. The Nature of Inductive Argumentation
2D. Most “Proofs” Are Person-Relative
3C. The Importance and Place of Rational Arguments
1D. In Salvation
2D. In Christian Growth

2B. The Argument from Creation

1C. Definition
2C. Variations and Proponents
3C. Problems and Solutions

3B. The Argument from Design

1C. Definition
2C. Variations and Proponents
3C. Problems and Solutions

4B. The Argument from Being

1C. Definition
2C. Variations and Proponents
3C. Problems and Solutions

5B. The Argument from Morality

1C. Definition and Clarification
2C. Variations and Proponents
3C. Problems and Solutions

IIA. The Attributes of God

1B. Definition of Attribute and Relationship to God’s Essence

2B. Classifications of Attributes

1C. Strengths and Weaknesses with the Principle of “Classification”
2C. Certain Schemes

3B. Certain Incommunicable Attributes

1C. Self-Existence
2C. Immutability
3C. Infinity
4C. Unity

4B. Certain Communicable Attributes

1C. Spirituality
2C. Intellectual Attributes
3C. Moral Attributes
4C. Sovereignty and Power

IIIA. The Names of God

God has revealed himself in many ways throughout history, now recorded for us in Scripture—a living, inspired record of his disclosures about who he is, his purposes, plan, character and will. On many occasions he has given us a name by which he has unveiled his nature and by which we are subsequently to understand him. Some of these names include: Yahweh (the self-existent one)13; Yahweh Shalom (Yahweh is peace); Yahweh Maccaddeshem (Yahweh your sanctifier); Yahweh Raah (Yahweh is my shepherd); Yahweh Shammah (Yahweh who is present); Yahweh Rapha (Yahweh who heals); Yahweh Elohim (Yahweh, the mighty one); Adonai (Lord or Master); Elohim (The mighty or majestic one); El Olam (The mighty one, eternal); El Elyon (The most high mighty one); El Roi (The mighty one who sees); El Shaddai (Almighty God); Yeshua (Jesus; God saves); Christos (Christ; Messiah, Anointed one); Kurios (Lord); Soter (Savior), Abba (Father), and Theos (God).

IVA. The Trinity of God

1B. Definition

2B. Certain Erroneous Conceptions of the Trinity

1C. Tri-Theism
2C. Modalism

3B. Biblical Evidence for the Doctrine

1C. The Numerical Unity of God
2C. Evidence from the Old and New Testaments
3C. The Father Is God
1D. He Is Called God
2D. He Does the Works of God
3D. He Is Not the Son nor the Spirit
3C. The Son is God
1D. He Is Called God
2D. He Does the Works of God
3D. He Is Not the Father nor the Spirit
4C. The Spirit Is God
1D. He Is Called God
2D. He Does the Works of God
3D. He Is Not the Son nor the Father

VA. The Plan and Providence of God

1B. Definition of “The Plan of God”

    One of the best statements of the “plan” of God or as is sometimes referred to as the decree of God, is that found in the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass” (Q.7). This doctrine can be seen in several places including most notably, Ephesians 1:11: “in whom we also were called, having been foreordained according to the plan of him who works out all things in conformity with the counsel of his will.”

2B. Explanation of the “Will of God”

1C. The Character of God
2C. The Complete Plan of God and the Moral Will of God Expressed in Commandments
3C. Foreknowledge and Predestination
4C. The Prohibition in the Garden of Eden and God’s Eternal Plan to Save
5C. The Eternal Covenant Regarding Christ’s Salvific Work
1D. 1 Peter 1:20
2D. Hebrews 13:20
6C. Acts 2:22-24

3B. The Order of the Decrees Regarding Salvation

1C. The Importance of the Issue
2C. The Various Schemes

4B. The Outworking of the Plan in History through Certain Primary Redemptive Covenants

1C. The Abrahamic Covenant—Genesis 12:1-3
2C. The Davidic Covenant—2 Samuel 7:12-16
3C. The New Covenant—Jeremiah 31:31-33

12 For the relative importance, place, efficacy, and value of rational argumentation for God’s existence, see C. Stephen Evans, Philosophy of Religion, Contours of Christian Philosophy, ed. C. S. Evans (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1982), 31-76.

13 The difficulties in establishing the proper meaning of Yahweh are many and varied. Attempts to discover its meaning along the lines of comparative philology are tenuous at best, but so also with an examination of the verbal root. Its usage in Exodus 3:14 has generally been argued to suggest something along the line of God’s self-existence or at least the One who had been with the nation of Israel since the patriarchs.

Related Topics: Theology Proper (God), Teaching the Bible