Now, why would God be three and one – what difference would that make?
For a long time, many Christian theologians, I think, were taught like I was… that the Triune aspect of God’s nature was academic and interesting, but of no real practical value.
I hinted earlier that recent discussions have focused in on some of the traits that God has revealed about Himself – like that He is loving (I John 4:7, Romans 8:39, 2 Thess 3:5, and many more). And the kind of love connected to God is typically the kind that is sacrificial, charitable, and generous.
How does that work if God existed alone for untold eras “before” the creation of time, or of course, creatures or… even intelligent creatures… angels, humans, aliens, little white mice or dolphins (thanks Douglas Adams)?
How did God practice sacrificial, deferential, serving love if there was no – one but Him around? Granted that love can be a trait that does not have to be expressed all of the time – at least not in action (a person can still love even if they are trapped on an Island, at least by thinking loving thoughts)…
but this trait seems to fundamental to God, that it would make sense that His very identity would be such that He could express love – disinterested and sacrificial love – by the nature of His own Essence.
Notice why the concept of God being three has potential to answer this quandary with great grace – and we even can see it play out in the Bible exactly that way…
The Father encouraging and point to the Son (Mark 3:17, 9:7, Rev 5)
The Father giving the Spirit (John 14:26)
Jesus honoring the Spirit (John 16:7, Matt 12:32)
Jesus pointing to the Father (John 14:28, Matt 10:32, and essentially everything He said)
The Spirit uplifting the Son (Luke 1:35, Luke 4:1-18)
The Spirit encouraging people to the Father (Romans 15:13, 1 Cor 2:10-13)
These are some of the dozens of examples of how the members of the Trinity defer to and love one another…
And we can easily assume that their mutual admiration society extends to before anyone or anything was created – thus allowing God to be by nature, loving and even deferential to someone before anyone was created – because by His own nature, there are Three.
That is significant theologically, and pretty cool and implies a wisdom that is beyond something we could have invented, as is so often the case when we begin to uncover the implications of theological truth.
Is it for certain that God is? Is it for certain that God is Triune?
I am not confident that humans can know anything with absolute certainty. As a psychologist, I am aware of the fact that we can be truly deluded and unable to distinguish reality from non-reality… and in fact, unreality can seem more real for many. No one is free from at least this question about what they believe. Schizophrenic people are unaware that they are not in reality, by definition.
However, what I can say is that it is not irrational to believe in the Triune God, and it is a rationally sound concept.