Revisted: Is belief in the Trinity... necesary for salvation

Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by Stope, Mar 17, 2016.

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  1. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    Part of the reason I joined the PB was to seek a sound response to the question "Is belief in the Trinity-specifically the 3 persons of God-neccesary for salvation?". I searched and found a similar thread already that existed and I didnt ever end up seeing a response (I just ended up seeing responders being less than generous to the poster, with whom i agree that he never really got a good response). Having said that, please let me ask the question again:

    Is belief in the Trinity-specifically the 3 persons of God-necessary for salvation?

    Now, please allow me to share what I am NOT asking:
    -Im not asking if the Trinity is true, rather if it required for salvation
    -Im not asking to be shown the case for a belief in the Trinity
    -Im not asking to hear a general quote by a church authority that a belief in the trinity is required for salvation unless of course they have reasons
    -Im not asking how a lack of belief in the Trinity will result in confusion in other areas...

    Up to this point the following have been the key arguments, that I have seen why people say belief in the tri is necessary for salvation:
    1. Because most all the fathers and leaders believe it (and dont get me wrong I think this is compelling, but that is not what Im looking for at this point)
    2. If its not true then the atonement itself doesnt work (Im not asking if the atonement will work or not if one doesnt believe in the tri)
    3. (This is the best response Ive heard yet) Those who come to Him must come to Him in Spirit and truth.. That is, to be saved by God you must know who He is as he reveals himself and he has reveled himself as the trinity. But to this my response is simple, NONE of us have a proper understanding of who God is (even in the areas he has revealed already..). Some of us grow in our understanding, some of us are much further along then others in their understanding of God... In other words, many Christians believe that God is, for the most part, is a somewhat angry God and is a bit on the harsh side when he sends folks to hell. We see from this example the believe is all over the place, but this is an area people grow in (and sometimes dont) and I think its safe to say that most of these people will be saved despite their incorrect understanding of God/Jesus

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

    Blessings,
    Jason
     
  2. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    I am not sure what you're asking but I will just say this.

    Romans 10:9.
    Jesis is Lord, Lord is the same word that the LXX uses for name of God, YHWH. Paul and other NT writes do this. The verse also says confess with your mouth, then surely you are supposed to believe Jesus as part of the divine identity.
    As for the Holy Spirit, its quite obvious He is God in the OT and the NT as he comes to dwell in you like He did in the temple.
     
  3. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks for the response!!!

    I believer in the truth of the Trinity, what I am asking however is:

    Is belief in the Trinity-specifically the 3 persons of God-necessary for salvation?
     
  4. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    I don't know for sure, but there are some things I can point out.

    1. Whenever I share the Gospel or hear other people share it, there is never a focus on pointing out that the Holy Spirit is God. Our main focus is the deity of the Father and the Son. Not saying it's wrong to share the Gospel explaining the Trinity, but I just don't hear it.
    2. I've heard John Piper say that he's not sure anyone would have to know the Holy Spirit is God in order to be saved. But the Father and Son, yes, because the Psalms teach that no man can ransom another. This is stating that we must embrace the deity of Christ.

    So with those things in mind, it might be necessary to embrace the Trinity for salvation, but I would say you at least have to embrace the deity of the Father and Son. I'm not sure about the Spirit. Although, I would say if someone was told of the deity of the Holy Spirit and rejects it willingly, this would seem to be a vital error.

    I hope this helps.
     
  5. johnny

    johnny Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hi Jason,

    Are you willing to say that belief in the trinity is not necessary for salvation?
    In other words, what is your position on your own question.
     
  6. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    Ryan&Amber,

    Thank you for that response. I actually found it to be refreshing!

    Good point when you bring up at point 1

    As far as point2 when you said:
    "...the Psalms teach that no man can ransom another. This is stating that we must embrace the deity of Christ"
    -----Indeed I agree that no man can ransom another, and I agree that Jesus (divine) ransomed us, however it doesn't follow that we must mentally adhere to the fact that Jesus was divine for it to be efficacious, rather the fact that Jesus did what he needed to do was the efficacious part. In other words, I might not know all the ins and outs of HOW salvation was wrought about, but I do know it was wrought about be Jesus

    Thanks,
    Jason
     
  7. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    johnny,

    At this point I dont want to respond to that question so as not to, even in the slightest, be derailed from the question at hand (you know what they say, its rude to awnser a question by asking another :)

    After this thread has filled I will tell my thoughts...

    Having said that I do hope you can offer a response to the general question above!
     
  8. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    You have a vehicle and it runs by means of a motor. The person driving the vehicle (as a sine qua non condition) depends on the motor. Must he believe there is a motor? Theoretically he might get by with driving the car without believing there is a motor, since his father or someone else might take the responsibility for topping up water and oil; and he might fill the vehicle with petrol (gas) without any idea what it is for; and he might hear that rhythmic whirring sound without any curiosity as to what is making it. But practically, no, sooner or later he must be faced with the reality that there is a motor on which he depends and for which he must assume responsibility.

    Truths like the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, the hypostatic union, etc., are essential to salvation. While it is theoretically possible that a person might be saved without believing them, and while God might extraordinarily save a person without the belief of these, yet in the ordinary course of Christian discipleship and growth these truths are a vital part of faith and life. There is a moral obligation to learn and live these precious truths which God has revealed for His glory and our good.
     
  9. Paul1976

    Paul1976 Puritan Board Freshman

    There is no evidence anyone in the OT understood the Trinity as we do, but at least a remnant were saved. I would venture that, were one of us to go back to Israel before Christ and try to explain the trinity to OT saints, they would probably be assembling a mob and looking for some good rocks in short order. They were still saved through faith, but a forward-looking faith to God redeeming his people.

    If my church history is reliable on this point, it took a few centuries before the church codified the doctrine of the Trinity. I agree that, on evaluation of the entirety of the testimony of scripture, the doctrine of the Trinity is clear. But I would maintain that, prior to this point, it would have been hard for an average believer to develop a belief in the Trinity as we enjoy today. Were such a doctrine essential to salvation, I would think it would be more clearly presented.

    I don't know that either of these ideas are strong enough to convince me either way, but I would lean towards salvation being possible without a full doctrine of the Trinity. Obviously, problems with a doctrine as central to Christianity as the Trinity will lead to deficiencies and will limit how far one can correctly understand the Christian faith. But, we are saved by complete grace through faith, not through fully developed doctrine. And faith itself is a free gift of God.
     
  10. rickclayfan

    rickclayfan Puritan Board Freshman

    No. If a person does not believe in the Trinity, he merely believes in a god in a legion of other gods that have been invented by man. For a person to genuinely believe, it is required that he believe in Christ, not some abstract deity.

    Now, you may inquire about those who do indeed believe that there is such a one as Christ, but in a Sabellian manner. I am compelled that such do not indeed believe in Christ, but in a Christ of their own imagination. Their unbelief and stubborn unwillingness to submit to the clear testimony of Scripture attests to the fact that they have not been spiritually illumined and, therefore, have not been regenerated. We cannot set up our reason against the revelation of One who is infallible.

    This is all pertinent of course with the assumption that people have access to Scripture and have full Gospel revelation (OT saints may have had it slightly different, vaguer conception).
     
  11. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    The question is not "what was required of the OT faithful for salvation," but rather what does Scripture require now? Before Christ's incarnation, the faithful were summoned to believe everything so far revealed at to the divine Person and Nature, his revelation by whatever modes he chose, and to put hope in the Messiah who should come and deliver, answering to all our defects. They possessed nothing so clear to deny as the NT teaching.

    As for what various councils of the church accomplished in history, by way of helping the church with such fixity of expression regarding this or that doctrine--including the Trinity--that errors threatening the life of the church and the souls of individual Christians might be extirpated from our midst:

    That work never created a new doctrine; but it put the Scripture's teaching into a tight form. Did the church prior to the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) have a doctrine of the Trinity? It was Tertullian, prior to A.D. 225, who gives us the first use of the term "Trinity," and he may have coined it himself, in order to simplify the teaching effort. But he is defending the teaching he received as a convert.

    A glance at the Apostles' Creed, earliest forms of which are dated not later than the late second century, show plainly by the structure of this baptismal confession the coordinate work of the three Persons. The Didache, which some date as early as the first century, declares baptism in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (per Mt.28:19), which is a statement of Christ pertaining to the name (singular), followed by the three Persons--just one of many Scripture proofs giving accurate understanding to the student of divine things.

    As Rev.Winzer stated, a cavalier attitude toward the doctrine that explains "Which God your faith is in," is hardly the reasonable stance of someone who understands that embracing a false-Christ is no better than having no Christ at all. Of course, therefore, the NT church from its very origin is going to be concerned to teach the essentials of what eventually a council must define as THE doctrine (What the Bible teaches) concerning the Trinity, over against manifold errors that threaten souls.
     
  12. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    To put a fine point on some of what has been said already:

    Worship of and faith in the God who exists (who is Triune) is essential to salvation. If someone is worshipping and trusting in a god who is not Triune, he cannot be saved. His god doesn't exist.
     
  13. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    While there are some areas in which Christians might disagree, we must agree on the essentials. I cannot imagine a doctrine more essential than the doctrine of the very nature of God. A denial of the Trinity is unquestionable heresy, and it is not hard to see that it leads to countless other errors.

    Imagine a keystone of an arch. If the keystone crumbles, the arch will collapse. Likewise if we allow our central doctrines to be altered or subtracted, the rest of our doctrine will fall to pieces. As you began to point out, the atonement has no validity if, for instance, Christ was merely man.

    A gospel without the Trinity is a very different gospel indeed. The gospel of Christ is the power of unto salvation for everyone who believes.
     
  14. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

  15. johnny

    johnny Puritan Board Sophomore

    Okee Dokee
     
  16. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    MW

    I thank you for your very very helpful analogy. But where you end up I don't (at least for argument sake).

    If I own a car, my father changes the oil and fills it up, and I fully am aware that there is a motor allowing me to move about then it's safe to say that I trust the mysterious workings of the motor. I am not however required to know how many valves it has, how many MPGs it gives, or even how a a combustible engine works. All that is needed for the motor to be efficacious for me is simply that I see that that motor will take me where I need to go.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    @contra

    The fathers indeed have a vague notion of the trinity, but almost all of them were a lil unorthodox in their understanding of it prior to the council. Yes they already believed various "versions" of how the tri worked itself out theologically, but with the heretics making clear mistakes as to the nature of Christ, the fathers then took the time to think together the implications and really clarify what they believed up to that point.

    All that to say I think Paul1976 is correct - the fathers prior to nicea indeed had the ingredients to the sound systematized doctrine of the trinity they did not yet have the final product. And if this is the case we must then say these men were not saved... And I think we'd agree that, as off as some were, they were in right standing before Christ


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    I would equate the technicalities of the motor with the intricacies of the doctrine as discussed by theologians. You don't need to know how to fix the motor in order to drive the car. That is what mechanics are for. Likewise there are theologians who look at the mechanics and dynamics of the doctrine. But a Christian as a Christian is baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. A Christian as a Christian receives the Trinitarian benediction. A Christian as a Christian learns that salvation is brought to pass by the three persons executing unique offices, as taught in Ephesians 1. A Christian as a Christian engages in prayer to the Father, in the name of the Son, with the help of the Spirit. As the operation of a vehicle requires some concept of the motor, so the life of the Christian requires belief in the Trinity to be a distinctly and genuinely Christian life.
     
  19. Reformed Fox

    Reformed Fox Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes, God is triune. But I am not convinced that is is necessary to believe this for salvation.

    I would use the simple example of a new believer. If someone has been affected by the Holy Spirit and accepts Christ as their savior, they are saved, no? Their theological sophistication could be anywhere. Some Christian take a while to "get" the notion of a triune God, but certainly we cannot say that they remain unsaved until they fully understand the doctrine.

    Or can we? I am not convinced that belief in the Trinity, in and of itself is required for salvation.

    Of course, a mature and sincere Christian will almost certainly be led in that direction, but that is not Stope's original question.
     
  20. tangleword

    tangleword Puritan Board Freshman

    I think that if someone does not believe in the Trinity, they are not considered to be a Christian, and I would not give them any assurance of salvation, which really is the basis on how we should interact with people since we never know on the outside if someone else is saved.
    Whether salvation is tied to it is tricky in cases of those who just don't understand it yet, in that case I would lean towards saying that some could be saved when they believe even if they don't believe/fully know what the trinity is or have an incomplete understanding of it (normally this would be belief in Father and Son, but unsure of role of Holy Spirit). These people would just need to be informed and would believe in the Trinity as they are informed about it, but their salvation might not be tied to when they fully understand/know the trinity, it might have been at an earlier point when they trusted in the Lord. Though even writing this makes me queasy cause it is looking at salvation from man's timeline instead of from God's perspective of whether there names are in the book of life and their salvation being determined not at a point in time but from eternity.
    However those who reject the trinity are rejecting scriptures teachings, and essentially rejecting God and believing in their own God as said above. For those I would think that there no salvation, if that is the category of people you are talking about.
     
  21. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    I would use the example of a believer with a developmental disorder.
     
  22. Reformed Fox

    Reformed Fox Puritan Board Freshman

    Rejecting the trinity is not the same as not accepting the trinity. Conscious rejection is different from ignorance and the two should not be confused.

    More on point, can we really say that spiritually young Christians (as one example) are not saved because they have not affirmed the doctrine of the trinity? Can we say that they are not Christian? I doubt that very much.
     
  23. Toasty

    Toasty Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think the intend of the OP is "Can someone be saved without knowing about the doctrine of the Trinity?"
     
  24. Paul1976

    Paul1976 Puritan Board Freshman

    I think the reason that people here (including me) are hesitant to say that one doesn't require the doctrine of the Trinity is that there is very good cause for concern in most cases where people reject it.

    When we picture individuals we've known or read about who reject the Trinity, they generally have a degree of scripture knowledge and have heard a basic presentation of orthodox theology on the subject. They are rejecting it because they have an idolatrous concept of god they would rather believe in than the Triune God revealed in scripture. In those cases, there is very good reason to question the salvation of that person. But, I would argue their problem is much deeper, and their view on the doctrine of the trinity is merely a symptom. They aren't unsaved because they are rejecting the trinity; they are rejecting the trinity because they are unsaved.
     
  25. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Luke 5:20-21 (ESV)
    20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

    Threads like this make me sad about the state of Biblical understanding and the Christian faith in general that a question like this would be posed.

    There are a number of unstated assumptions in the way the question is often posed and the manner in which people consider what it is to be "saved".

    The first problem I see is the unstated assumption that there is some intellectual bar that a person reaches and then God says: "That's good enough. I accept that faith as the instrument by which you have laid hold of Christ." Under this assumption, then, we speculate about how many truths of the Scriptures can be peeled away to leave a "bare bones" belief that a person can know and then still be saved.

    The second problem I perceive is that it considers the individual believer in isolation from the normal operations of the means of grace. It's not so much stated outright as implied that what we really need to know is what the individual needs to understand with no relation to whether Christ has been preached or the Sacraments have been administered to ministerially set the individual apart in the visible Kingdom of God and to regularly strengthen him therein.

    My experience is that the question about the necessity of the Trinity arises from a general sense that the doctrine is generally irrelevant to most Christians. They don't perceive any experiential value to it. They know that the Church affirms the doctrine as essential but that's more of a creedal formulation that theologians worry about. It doesn't really impact me, does it?

    Why has the Church universally insisted that the Trinity is so essential to the Christian faith that a person cannot be saved apart from it? Why were they willing to divide the Body of Christ over whether the Logos Incarnate had a real human mind and will?

    The men who fought over these truths were concerned with this question: what kind of God is revealed that saves us from our sins?

    Do we consider the distance between God and man to be so great that, unless God condescends to us by way of Covenant, that we can have no fruition in Him? Perhaps, in contrast, we don't really think God is much different from us and we can ascend to divine things without Him descending.

    Do we really believe that the sin of our first parents enslaved us to sin and misery and that it took the gracious act of almighty God to save His people through the One Mediator, Jesus Christ - the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world? Perhaps, in contrast, we don't really sense a need for a Mediator. God just loves us and so he hears our prayers and is delighted in any moves we make in His direction.

    Do we marvel that the Father sent the Son into the world not to condemn that which was already condemned but to save all who would believe in the Son?

    Does it matter that the Son of God became flesh to stand, truly, in His Person as the Second Adam? Does it matter that He accomplished all righteousness and served as both Priest and Victim as the propitiation for our sins? Does it free us to consider that the Son of God condemned sin in the flesh and broke sin's power to enslave all who look upon Him? Do we not live as the Son rose from the dead with an indestructible life? Do we not rejoice that that the Son of God is ascended on high and now ever lives to reign and to intercede for His Saints?

    Do we consider it a small thing that the Father and the Son send the Spirit into the world to apply the work that the Son has accomplished? Are we not thankful for the gifts that the Son sends through the Spirit of pastors and teachers who build us up in the unity of the faith? Are we not dependent upon the Spirit to make the preaching of the Word powerful to save and to seal the Sacraments to those to whom the graces belong?

    Are we so unaware of all of these that we would ever ask: "Yeah, all that is good stuff but what I really want to know is whether a person can be utterly unaware of Christ's Mediatorial work and still be in Christ?"

    The secret things belong to the Lord, the revealed things belong to us and our children that we may live by them. It is utterly pointless to speculate upon where the Sovereign God might lay hold of someone. Yes, I believe that the mentally incapacitated can be saved by such a God as I've described. No other God exists to save them. Yes, an infant can be saved by such a God from the womb. No other God exists by which we might have confidence that there is a Mediator between God and man.

    It belongs to the Church, the Visible Kingdom, to make disciples by baptizing and teaching them everything our Savior has commanded. We proclaim and teach no other Christ than He Who is the Word became flesh. We proclaim no other Christ than He Who is not the Father but is one with the Father. We proclaim no other Gospel than that which is empowered by the Spirit of God.

    What possible sanctified purpose is there in a Christian speculating what part of God's self-revelation is potentially disposable with respect to determining the hypothetical salvation of a person?
     
  26. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    This presents a very thin line to walk, because we are not saved by works, and that must, I assume, include believing a doctrine. However, there are things which must be believed in order to be saved, namely, that Jesus is Lord. I will not at this moment give any Scriptural reasons (there has been plenty of that already), but rather just my opinion. I would say that one does not have to believe in the Trinity to be saved, since I imagine there are many people who are presented with the gospel and are converted without having the slightest knowledge of the Trinity (I have remote tribes in mind). However, I think one of the evidences that someone is regenerate is that if or when they are presented with Scripture's teaching on the Trinity, that they will accept it. If they do not, it may be evidence that they are unregenerate. This fact does not mean that they are not saved because they will not believe in the Trinity, but because they do not take God at his word. Nor does it follow that one then must believe in the Trinity to be saved.

    Unfortunately, this answer is not a "yes" or "no" question; the answer, as I did above, simply must be nuanced.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  27. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    My old UPC friend, now a Calvinist trinitarian, trusted God entirely for her salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. She was led to the Lord by UPC people, taught modalism deception about the nature of God as well as quite a bit of legalism ( could not trim her hair or wear pants) but came out in time. I am certain she was elect and saved and justified through her faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ, even while she was in error.

    I know a Mormon who came out...they think God had children and Jesus and Satan were spirit brothers. But this lady loved the Lord and ended up in the PCA in her 20s after a childhood in Mormonism. I don't know how to determine the time of her salvation, in that the Mormon's worship "another Jesus"....but she was elect as a Mormon.

    I also know plenty of RCCs who got saved and got out....but some of them still prayed to Mary and dead saints for a little while in their Catholic charismatic groups, before they ended up in Protestantism.

    I think "word of faith" is another gospel ( see D.R. McConnell's book A Different Gospel for the hideous source of Hagin's teachings that now infect millions). They have another Jesus too, one whose death on the cross did not save, he had to go to hell and become sinful and get born again. Crazy stuff. But I know Christians who to various degrees are influenced by these TV preachers.

    So I would say many people with great errors about God and Jesus are elect, and will come to the truth, and many may be saved even while in the errors. Hard to tell for sure. I tend to give mercy to the lay people in deception, and none to the teachers of it. I may be wrong about that.....
     
  28. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    I"m always perplexed by the stories that a person once denied something about the salvation offered in the Scriptures but came along, thereafter, to a saving knowledge of Christ. Saving faith is not an assent and resting on truths that we work within ourselves. It is a condition produced by the reality that Christ procured faith for His people. It is the Father Who gives the sheep to the Son and these the Son will never cast out but He will raise them again on the last day. Christ thanks the Father for revealing the Son to His people and that the Son makes the Father known to them. It's all Trinitarian.

    When I was a Roman Catholic I was taught the doctrine of the Trinity. My knowledge of the Trinity did not save me. Nevertheless, the Trinity which the Church confesses saved me.

    Did I remain in ignorance after embracing the Christ Who saves? No. I was taught by a Church that was faithful to the Gospel.

    It belongs to the whole idea of disciple that he/she is disciplined (paidea) into the whole realm of what it means to be a citizen of the Kingdom. Everything in the NT Scriptures is saturated with Trinitarian theology where we're constantly exhorted to consider the work of the Father, Son, and Spirit in not only looking retrospectively at what has been accomplished but how the ongoing work of redemption is crucial to our life and holiness. It is our future hope as we encounter suffering in this present age. Where do we reasonably conclude that we can "leave it at that" and God can work salvation anyway? He hasn't revealed any other way of training.
     
  29. Reformed Fox

    Reformed Fox Puritan Board Freshman

    What of ignorance? I would argue that one can understand Christ's sacrifice (intellectual) and be saved (spiritually reborn) without knowing of the triune nature of God. Could one not view the Holy Spirit as a mere assistant, for example. (Of course in the long term this is dangerous and leads to all manner of error but that is not the issue.)

    Are misguided Christians and young Christians unsaved because they have not grasped this doctrine?
     
  30. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    @Reformed Fox - very good stuff, time and time again, thank you. I think you and I might be on the same page.

    @tangleword - good stuff

    @Taylor Sexton - I think you have hit the nail on the head!!!!!!!!!!!!

    @lynnie - wow!!!! this post was brilliant, really moving beyond mental adhering to something else, something greater... I will have you know the reason I even brought this up is because my wife is an X Mormon and after she was very mush saved she still hadnt developed a "sound" doctrine of the trinity, yet she fully trusted in the blood of the lamb and, as she said, "i wasnt sure what was going on, it was all kind of a mystery...". Again, I hope more folks read what you wrote. Bless you dear friend. (by the way, spot on when you said "I tend to give mercy to the lay people in deception, and none to the teachers of it." haha, so true... And you know, in other subject, I often think some "less informed" Mormons might possibly have a greater chance to be saved, because on the surface, and of thats all they know, it very much looks like Christianity - its only when you get deeper in the bowels of the cult that you see how whakadoodle that "establishment" is)

    @toasty - thanks for keeping us on track (it seems folks want to instead answer the question I posed, proceed to wax on about:
    1. Scriptural proof of why the Trinity is true
    2. Reasoning that if the trinity didnt exist then salvation wouldnt work in the first place
    (And both of these are true and good, but they are NOT The question I asked)

    @MW - your words are very insightful, thanks for sharing (please see below for a direct response to your last post)

    @Semper Fidelis - I only dont respond to your response simply because you and I are completely different pages at where (and why) Im coming to this... You have read far to deep into this (as far as my asking it)

    @Paul1976 - Your quote was spot on when you said "I think the reason that people here (including me) are hesitant to say that one doesn't require the doctrine of the Trinity is that there is very good cause for concern in most cases where people reject it.", having that thought, please allow me to update my question with a few qualifications (also please "Taylor Sextons" very helpful response "#26"):

    UPDATED QUESTION VERBIAGE
    Is belief (mental adherence) in the Trinity-specifically the 3 persons of God-necessary for salvation (I will qualify it by saying that they arent REJECTING the Trinity, but they merely dont see it that way as we have understood it or at least havent read the Word enough to know. Also I will qualify that the fruit in their lives is sound)?


    BEST ANALOGY SO FAR:
    MW, again, I appreciate your feedback especially as it attemots to really be objective and draw some clear lines and reasoning. I said "I am not however required to know how many valves it has, how many MPGs it gives, or even how a a combustible engine works. All that is needed for the motor to be efficacious for me is simply that I see that that motor will take me where I need to go." and then you said "I would equate the technicalities of the motor with the intricacies of the doctrine as discussed by theologians. You don't need to know how to fix the motor in order to drive the car. That is what mechanics are for. Likewise there are theologians who look at the mechanics and dynamics of the doctrine. But a Christian as a Christian is baptised in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. A Christian as a Christian receives the Trinitarian benediction. A Christian as a Christian learns that salvation is brought to pass by the three persons executing unique offices, as taught in Ephesians 1. A Christian as a Christian engages in prayer to the Father, in the name of the Son, with the help of the Spirit. As the operation of a vehicle requires some concept of the motor, so the life of the Christian requires belief in the Trinity to be a distinctly and genuinely Christian life."

    Please see my responses below:
    "I would equate the technicalities of the motor with the intricacies of the doctrine as discussed by theologians. You don't need to know how to fix the motor in order to drive the car. That is what mechanics are for. Likewise there are theologians who look at the mechanics and dynamics of the doctrine..."
    ---I would chalk up the understanding of the Trinity exactly as a technicalities (just like how a spark plug works), and as such the common user doesn't need to be aware of aforementioned realities in order to have it be efficacious to them. As much as we Christians want to claim that the trinity is "so clear, black and white, taught in the Bible" we cant (I mean yes we can say it is black and white when the scripture taken in its entirety and then pieced together and systematized then it its "easy" to see. But if it was so easy and so black and whit, why were there so so so many heresies, about the nature of Christ and new words were invented to describe it other than it was quite detailed and mind blowing (and beautiful)?).

    "...But a Christian as a Christian is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
    ---It doesn't, however follow that all three must be one though

    "A Christian as a Christian receives the Trinitarian benediction."
    ---It doesn't, however follow that all three must be one though

    "A Christian as a Christian learns that salvation is brought to pass by the three persons executing unique offices, as taught in Ephesians 1."
    ---Not sure where you are going with this one...

    "A Christian as a Christian engages in prayer to the Father, in the name of the Son, with the help of the Spirit. "
    ---It doesn't, however follow that all three must be one though

    "As the operation of a vehicle requires some concept of the motor, so the life of the Christian requires belief in the Trinity to be a distinctly and genuinely Christian life."
    ---I couldn't disagree more. Well, when we say "some concept of the motor" is needed for the successful operation of vehicle all that is needed is TRUST that that vehicle will do what I believe it will do. That is, when my 2 year old daughter sits on her Barbie Power Wheel she has ZERO understanding of HOW that works, but she knows she trusts it to work.
     
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