“The doctrine of the Trinity is like an egg: three parts, one thing.” Ever heard that? How about this, “The doctrine of the Trinity is like a three leaf clover: three leaves, one clover.” Or how about THIS, “The doctrine of the Trinity is like water: three forms (ice, steam, liquid) one substance.” But the greatest I ever heard was by a guy in one of my classes. He said that he thought that the Trinity was like 3-in-1 shampoo: three activities, one substance.”
Stupid statements. Creative, but stupid. Don’t use them. Any of them. Ever.Notice the Trinitarian analogies that he blacklisted:
- Three leaf clover
- 3-in-1 shampoo
When you understand the biblical principles and let the tensions remain without rebuttal, then you are orthodox. When you solve the tension, you have most certainly entered into one of the errors that we seek to avoid.
Confused? Good! That is just where you need to be. (underscore added)Thus, if one is to be an orthodox Trinitarian, one must also be confused and maintain unresolved cognitive tension. That is, the orthodox Trinitarian must be in a state of cognitive dissonance. Yet, confusion and cognitive dissonance are the enemies of truth, and any belief system that utilizes them is also the enemy of truth, and the very enemy of what it claims to describe, in this case: of God and Christ.
Additionally, the same author stated in "The Doctrine of the Trinity in a Nutshell":
No Christian understands the doctrine of the Trinity fully. In fact, if people are not confused to some degree by this doctrine, if someone says, “Ohhhh, now I understand,” it probably means they have slipped into heresy in their thinking.This amounts to insistent sustaining of cognitive dissonance. He then councils Trinitarians to 'not think too hard about the Trinity,' thus encouraging intellectual absenteeism. For he says:
If we think about it too long, try to solve it, or nuance it according to our desire to comprehend things, we will find ourselves refusing the hand of God who has given the mysterious Trinity to us as a description of Himself.Of course, this admonition relies on the logical fallacy of circular reasoning: 'The Trinity is from God so don't think too hard about it and refuse the Trinity which is from God.' He then closes his admonition with an artificial distinction between "fully" and "truly" typical in Trinitarianism. He says:
While it is impossible that finite beings can fully comprehend an infinite God, we can understand him truly. The doctrine of the Trinity does not give us the full understanding of God, but it does give us a true understanding of God.While it may be impossible for finite beings to fully understand God's eternal existence outside of our temporal continuum, He most certainly created us with the intelligence and ability to fully and truly understand God in every other way.
Thus, Trinitarianism is maintained by institutionalized cognitive dissonance and intellectual absenteeism.
- Institutionalized cognitive dissonance
- Intellectual absenteeism
The threefold reference to different parts of the person says, in effect, that one should love God with all one’s being.This is clearly impossible if we follow the contrary Trinitarian council to place constraints on our mind and heart!
How ironic then that Trinitarianism ends up not only disagreeing with the Lord Jesus Christ, but also manipulating its adherents to remove themselves from under Jesus Christ's care. Therefore, sincere Christians must remove themselves from under the yoke of Trinitarianism to begin to have a meaningful relationship with him.
 Patton, C Michael. “The Trinity is Like 3-in-1 Shampoo”. . . And Other Stupid Statements. www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2009/08/the-trinity-is-like-3-in-1-shampoo-and-other-stupid-statements (italics original) Michael Patton, Th.M. (Dallas Seminary) from Credo House: www.reclaimingthemind.org/credo-house-team
 Also known as the Scutum Fidei, meaning “Shield of the Faith.” (See “What a tangled web we weave...”
 www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2012/01/the-doctrineof-the-trinity-in-a-nutshell (italics original)
Related blog posts:
- Are the Persons of the Trinity separate and distinct or distinct only? jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2011/01/are-persons-of-trinity-separate-and.html
- Can't get past the title... jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2011/10/cant-get-past-title.html
- A Lesson from Jesus’ Rebuke jimspace3000.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-lesson-from-jesus-rebuke-in-order-for.html
- Y!A: Why is it so hard for some people to understand the concept of the Christian trinity? jimspace3000-ya.blogspot.com/2014/10/why-is-it-so-hard-for-some-people-to.html
- St. Patrick’s Bad Analogies https://youtu.be/KQLfgaUoQCw
- Credo House Ministries’ Inaccuracies about the Trinity and the Council of Nicea
- Podcast 131 – 10 Apologists’ Mistakes about the Trinity – Part 1
- Podcast 132 – 10 Apologists’ Mistakes about the Trinity – Part 2
|A Trinitarian painting depicting the Persons of the Trinity with the open book edited by JimSpace|