Does a goldfish know anything outside of its fishbowl?

Back in the late 1990s up to 2010. I hauled produce and flowers from California and Arizona. Back to the Tulsa and Kansas City areas. Since I did not have satellite radio, the only type of radio that I had was a standard AM/FM radio. Since AM radio had the furthest range, I listened to AM stations a lot of the time.

One of the programs I listened to was the late Art Bells’ ‘Coast to Coast.’ For people who are not familiar with the program. It was somewhat different. One night you might have a show on alien abduction. Another night, a show on bigfoot. Maybe a show on the lost city of Atlantis. It was pretty entertaining some nights, to say the least. It was definitely better than National Public Radio.

The reason why I bring this up is because of a quote Art Bell made one night. The quote was, “Does a goldfish know anything outside of its fishbowl.” Granted, it’s not that “deep” of a quote. But it has stuck with me, especially when I meditate on God, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. The Trinity.

We must first get a few issues out of the way when studying the Trinity. First and most important. This is a central and fundamental Doctrine of the Church. Notice the capital D in doctrine. If we get this Doctrine wrong, we’re heretical. This throws off all the other doctrines of the church. But most of all, it calls into question Jesus’ redemptive work.

Second. To keep confusion to a minimum, I am going to use precise language. I will be using the term Godhead when referring to the Trinity as a whole. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When I use the word God, I will be referring solely to the Father. Son to Jesus. Spirit to the Holy Spirit.

Third, we must understand that the Doctrine of the Trinity was not well defined in the Bible. The different members of the Godhead were there performing their assigned tasks. But we will not find the precise Doctrine in the Bible that we have now.

Fourthly, The Doctrine of the Trinity is a mystery. We will never grasp the true significance of the Doctrine. It is a gift from the infinite Godhead to show us, finite humans, what the Godhead is like and how it operates. If we were going in the logical order, you would think that the next step would give you a creed giving you a definition of the Trinity, like the Nicene Creed. The problem with just giving you the Nicene Creed is that it takes much explanation. We have terms that need to be explained and teased out to give the fullest meaning that the Trinity deserves. Also, understanding how the Doctrine was formulated under the Holy Spirit through godly men will help us to understand it better.

That being said, I’m going to start you out on proto-Trinitarian creed/hymn. A Nicene Creed lite, if you like. The Gloria Patri. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Both now and always, and unto the ages of ages. Amen

This is the English translation of the Greek version. There is also a Latin Version, along with other versions based on the English Version. We don’t know when this creed/hymn was written. We also don’t know who wrote it. But it was probably the first creed/hymn. If not the first, it was one of the earliest creeds/hymns we know of. Something simple, compact. Something you can think of when you are not busy.

Finally, I want to leave you with five assertions on the Trinity. Theologian John Frame provides them. Which we will prove in due time.

1. God is one.
2. God is three.
3. The three persons are fully God.
4. Each of the persons is distinct from the others.
5. The three persons are related to one another as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Is your head spinning yet? Does this seem nonsensical? If so, don’t be alarmed. You’re just trying to learn something from outside your fishbowl.

-Johnnie Kirk

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