Doubting the Trinity

Richard Kauffman gives a good presentation of trinitarian theology (“Holy paradox, essential truth,” March 5) but makes the mistake of equating a theology with the essence of Christianity. Historically, many Christians have doubted the Trinity. Why? For the most part because they believed it was not biblical. The Reformation brought a wave of nontrinitarian thought, with communities of nontrinitarian Anabaptists. 

Theology of whatever stripe is a wonderful adjunct to faith, but it is secondary. The Bible does not “do theology.” It tells a story. When Simon Peter replied to Jesus’ question “Who do you say that I am?” with “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:26), we have the essence of Christianity. Everything else, Trinitarian or unitarian, is just commentary.

Mitchell Brown, Evanston, Ill.


I’ve never believed in the doctrine of the Trinity. When I finally understood the doctrine, I couldn’t accept it because the Bible, it seemed to me, showed Jesus to be less than God.

The Confession of Faith used by Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada affirms the Trinity, but the first three articles are on God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The fact that no separate article appears on the Father indicates that when God is spoken of without qualification, we nearly always mean the Father.

I believe the Trinity doctrine is tri­theistic and an obstacle to interfaith dialogue. If not abandoned, it should at least be optional. I wonder how many people who say they believe in the Trinity really do. I’ve had church members try to tell me the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three roles of one person — which, rather than orthodox trinitarianism, is modalism or Sabellianism. True trinitarianism teaches three different persons are somehow one God.

Jerry C. Stanaway, Lombard, Ill.

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