A Diagram of the Trinity

Today my eyes fell on a diagram, the Scutum Fidei or “Shield of Faith,” the purpose of which is to set forth the relationships which classical Christianity believes to exist between and among the three persons of the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Before my retirement from Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, a few years back, I often had occasion to ponder an essentially similar diagram on a stained-glass window in the Church of Christ the Teacher at the college. What gave rise to the pondering, of course, is the evident impossibility that the Trinitarian relationships all hold. That impossibility is a primary reason why I have to count myself as a pagan Aristotelian, or neo-Aristotelian, and not a Christian Thomist.

That is, the conjunction of the theses that God the Father is God and that God the Son is God is quite simply inconsistent with the thesis that God the Father is not God the Son. Ditto for the set of theses coming with the introduction of God the Holy Spirit.

I have dealt with the Trinitarian doctrine at length in two previous posts, posts you may wish to subject to your most critical reading. One is that of April 4, 2014, “The Inconsistency of the Doctrine of (the Distinction of Divine Persons and so That of) the Trinity with Monotheism.” (I apologize for the length and complexity of the title and I resolve to never again try to express more than one thesis in the title of a post. At least in that manner.)

Another post you may wish to subject to your most critical reading is that of June 12, 2014, “Garrigou-Lagrange on Trinity and Triple Identity.”

My arguments, I submit, are valid, in that their conclusions must be true if their premises are true. Moreover, they are not only valid, but sound, in that their premises, and therefore their conclusions, are true. Moreover still, they are not only sound, but apodictic or demonstrative, in that their premises, and therefore their conclusions, are not just true but necessarily true.

I invite you, after you have completed your critical readings, to do your best to show that the arguments are invalid, unsound, or merely non-demonstrative.

Until next time.


About Rchard E. Hennessey

See above, "About the Author/Editor."
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