The doctrine of the Trinity is a rich source of gospel disproofs, due to the inherently self-contradictory nature of the doctrine. For today’s installment, I’ll just pick one of the problems: counting the number of persons in the Godhead. According to the official doctrine of the Church, there is only one God, and this singular God consists of three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Christians repeat this doctrine to each other and to their children over and over until they can believe it without even thinking, but if you do stop and think, you’ll realize this notion has some major pronoun problems.
The problem is that in the Bible, God is routinely referred to as a Him, third person singular. According to the doctrine of the Trinity, however, God is not a Him, He is a Them. That is, God is not a Person (singular), He is three Persons (plural), which means that it is wrong to refer to Him as a Him. What’s more, God Himself is mistaken when He refers to Himself as “I”, because the Trinity makes God into a “We,” due to the plural persons involved. To refer to Himself as “I” is for one of the Persons to make a distinction between Himself and the other two Persons (because the Trinity requires keeping the 3 persons distinct).
This is a problem, because God is said to have used the pronoun “I” in Isaiah 45:5-6.
“I am the LORD, and there is no other;
Besides Me there is no God.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me;
That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun
That there is no one besides Me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other…
Is this the Father saying there is no other besides Himself? Or is the Son making that distinctive claim? Perhaps it is the Holy Spirit? One of them claims to be the only God, and He distinguishes Himself from the other two by using the first-person-singular pronouns “I” and “Me,” so there’s at least one person in the Godhead Who believes Himself to possess a unique deity that no one else has.
Two possible solutions might be proposed to this problem. One would be to simply ignore it, as a lot of Christians do. “The Trinity is a mystery,” they say, and by that they mean that it cannot be understood by men, so we should just overlook the problems. Great line for a con man to use, isn’t it? “Your story contradicts itself!” “Oh well, that’s ok, it’s a mystery, so the problems don’t count.” Sweet, automatic gullibility.
The other possibility is to try and say that when God says “I”, He is referring to the singularity of monotheism, not to the number of actual Persons who are God. Unfortunately, this approach reduces Isaiah 45 to mere babble. The whole point is to deny the plurality of Gods, but if by that we really mean that multiple Persons are divine, we’ve changed the concept of “God” from being an individual, singular Person Who can call Himself “I,” to a collective category of multiple Persons, each of Whom is equally God. But that’s polytheism: the idea that divinity is a characteristic shared by multiple distinct divine persons. Trinitarian monotheism becomes the idea that there is only one “race” of gods, which is hardly a denial of polytheism.
It’s an unsolvable problem. After literally thousands of years of referring to God as a (singular) Person, Christians can’t break the habit of believing that God is a person (singular). Even after the Church officially declared that God was three Persons, Christians still think of Him as one Person, and refer to Him in the singular. According to Trinitarian teaching, that’s a miscount, and a denial of orthodoxy. The “personal God” of evangelical Christianity is not really a person. And it was the Church that decided He wasn’t—in order to make Jesus part of the Godhead too.