The Triune Universe

Triune universeMoving backwards, last weekend the ICR released a new That’s a Fact video: Three in One. The premise of the video is that the structure of the universe somehow reflects the trinity.

For centuries philosophers and theologians have tried to explain the Trinity. Some have tried but our attempts often fall short. However, God in His wisdom provided an example in creation that is a parallel to His own Triune existence—the universe.

Here’s a transcript of that video, with commentary interspersed to show why this is one of the ICR’s sillier ideas:

For centuries philosophers and theologians have tried to explain the Trinity: the reality that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is three persons, but one God. Of course, it’s impossible for us to figure out completely, and our attempts often fall short. Some have tried to use the hard boiled egg, or three states of water, or an equilateral triangle as examples. Each of these shows distinctness, but not equality.

The sense in which the trinity must be “explained” is not the same as, say, how the properties of an electron must be explained by scientific theory. Instead the trinity is hard to explain to people, with a fairly reasonable response being: “what? No, really – what do you mean?”

The use of a hard boiled egg as an analogy is intended for children: the white can be the Father, say, the yolk the Son, and the shell the Holy Ghost. The trick is to avoid cutting the egg open in a way that exposes the air sack, or any other similar complications. Meanwhile the “states of water” idea, even ignoring the fact that there are more than three possible states, makes even less sense to me: it would imply that God could be in only the one form at once. The equilateral triangle is a common depiction of the relationship, and it is puzzling why it too would be dismissed as showing “distinctness, but not equality” – if anything it should be the other way around in this particular case.

But the ICR have their own example, so that doesn’t matter:

However, God in his wisdom provided an example in creation that’s a parallel to his own triune existence: the universe. Scientists understand the universe as a space, matter, time continuum – all three parts required to make the universe.

You’ve heard of the spacetime continuum, of course, but I certainly have never encountered a “space-matter-time” version. But this is what the ICR thinks “scientists understand the universe” as, which very much suggests that they are making it all up from whole cloth.

Consider this: where’s energy on that list? It would, of course, ruin the trinity argument, but the ICR would seem to be justified in its omission on the grounds that matter and energy are regarded as one and the same. But if we’re allowed to combine items on this basis, why then are “space” and “time” separate? They too are just as much the same thing but, again, that would ruin the pattern. The ICR is not out to show how the majesty of the universe reflects their religious tenants, but to shoehorn the universe to fit their dogma.

To see how far from anything truly scientific and reality-based the ICR is, take a look at how they describe their three components:

Space is the invisible, omnipresent background of everything in the universe. Matter reveals the reality of the universe. And time makes the events in the universe understandable.

That’s not how “scientists understand the universe,” but more like the understanding of a child prior to discovering the wonders of modern physics. I’d call the separation of space and time Newtonian if it wasn’t for the fact the he didn’t even believe in the trinity.

This is also how the bible reveals the nature of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

This isn’t elaborated upon, but it probably should be. Is the Bible really that bad at explaining things?

But wait, there’s more!

In fact, there is a triunity within the tri-universe. Space is comprised of three dimensions, with each dimension permeating all space.

Again, time should properly be considered just another dimension along side the “space” dimensions.

Time is past, present, and future.

By this point you can see they are really grasping at straws. They don’t even try for the ‘matter’ part:

And matter is unseen, omnipresent energy manifested in various measurable forms like light, and sound.

That’s just gobbledygook.

While this triune universe doesn’t prove the trinity, it is certainly a remarkable example that God himself designed within creation to help us know him personally, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Yeah, no – maybe you should try again. At this rate everyone will conclude that the trinity is unexplainable not because you are trying to explain the nature of an unknowable God, but because man is capable of creating nonsense so “deep” that even he can’t get to the bottom of it.

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4 thoughts on “The Triune Universe

  1. The reason the Bible doesn’t explain the Trinity is that it actually doesn’t mention it explicitly at all. It’s what is known as an inferred doctrine. It,s built up from interpretations of isolated New Testament verses, some of which are doubtful in themselves and then read back into the Old Testament (the Jewish Bible) to find verses that can be interpreted as confirming Trinitarian theology. In some ways it is a useful way of seeing the Deity but in other ways it is counterproductive. Fundamentalists like ICR need the Trinity to shore up the penal substitution theory of atonement. Like many things in theology this is itself problematic. Yet again the fundamentalists show their ignorance of both science and theology, turning more people away from serious consideration of the question of whether God exists as an external reality or whether the concept of God is helpful or not.

  2. Matter also comes in threes: matter, anti-matter, and dark matter!

    Ta-daaah!

    And so does your cereal in the morning: cereal, bowl, milk!
    You can’t have cereal and bowl without milk, because that would just be dry cereal, and who wants to eat that?
    You can’t have cereal and milk without a bowl, or it would just spill all over the table.
    You can’t have a bowl and milk without cereal, that’s just a bowl full of milk. Give it to your cat.
    You are not a cat, therefore the Trinity.

    I prayed to Jesus, and he told me that this argument is IRONCLAD.

    • FURTHERMORE!

      I have a GAZILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE offered to any atheist who can demonstrate the following five points:

      1. Cereal, milk and bowls came into existence by themselves.
      2. Rice Krispies formed from corn dust.
      3. Cereals created bowls by itself.
      4. Early corn bits learned to reproduce themselves.
      5. Major changes occurred between these diverse entities (i.e., Rice Krispies changed into Corn Flakes, Corn Flakes turned into Cheerios, and Cheerios changed into Raisin Bran).

      All responses will be evaluated by a jury of duly accredited and diplomed cerealogists, dairy experts and bowl manufacturers, chosen by myself.

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