Comparing Beliefs in God - Conceptions of God
Is the true God absolutely One or a Trinity - the Triune God?
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Comparing Beliefs in God - Conceptions of God in Christianity
 Is the true God absolutely One or a Trinity - the Triune God?

Throughout the history of the world just about everyone has believed in some sort of god. Historically humans have always had a belief in a greater Being as part of their culture. There is a sense in which humanity has simply accepted that there is a God or gods.

But, who is God? The fact that most people believe in some god raises an obvious question:  Who is the God we should listen to and worship? Though all professing Christians claim to believe in one God, they have different conception of God.  So, how can anyone be certain that he or she is worshiping the true God?

Conceptions of God in Christianity

God is a deity in theistic religion, representing the sole deity in monotheism. God is defined as a supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions.

Monotheism is the doctrine or belief that only one god exists. The concept of "monotheism" tends to be dominated by the concepts of God in the Abrahamic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Monotheism in Abrahamic religions - All three religions claim to be monotheistic, worshiping an exclusive God, though known by different names. For all three, God creates, is one, rules, reveals, loves, judges, and forgives.

God in Abrahamic religions:

  • Judaism is based on a strict monotheism.  This doctrine expresses the belief in one indivisible God.
  • Islam asserts the existence of a single and absolute truth that transcends the world; a unique and indivisible being who is independent of the creation.
  • Christians believe in one god. Ostensibly monotheistic religions like Christianity may still include concepts of a plurality of the divine, for example the Trinity, in which God is one being in three personal dimensions.

Christianity's complex Trinitarian doctrine conflicts with Jewish and Muslim concepts of monotheism. They reject the incarnation of God in Christ—one of the distinctive features of the Christian religion. Although Christianity does not believe in three gods, rather three personalities in one "Almighty God," the concept of Trinity remains a problem for the other major Abrahamic religions.

Due to theological differences in Judaism, Islam and Christianity, the object of their worship are entirely different. Thus, in reality the God that is worshiped by the Jews, the Muslims and the Christians are possibly different.  Do adherents of Judaism, Islam and Christianity all believe and worship the same God? Some say that they are while others say that they are not - and there are good arguments on both sides. 

God in Christianity

Monotheism in Christianity basically refer to three contrasting theologies, all professing belief in One God (monotheism), but have different conception of God.

  • Unitarianism adheres to strict monotheism and that is the belief in the single personality of God. 
  • Binitarianism, the belief that God is an absolutely single being; and yet there is a "twoness" in God.
  • Trinitarianism, the belief that  "the one God exists in three Persons and one substance, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." 

The Trinity Doctrine

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity teaches the unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three persons in one Godhead. The doctrine states that God is the Triune God, existing as three persons, or in the Greek hypostases, but one being. Each person is understood as having the one identical essence or nature, not merely similar natures. Since the beginning of the third century the doctrine of the Trinity has been stated as "the one God exists in three Persons and one substance, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

According to the Trinity doctrine, God exists as three persons, or hypostases, but is one being, that is, has but a single divine nature. The members of the Trinity are said to be co-equal and co-eternal, one in essence, nature, power, action, and will. As stated in the Athanasian Creed, the Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated, and all three are eternal with no beginning.

The Trinity in the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible

The New Testament does not have a formal doctrine of the Trinity and nowhere discusses the Trinity as such. The New Testament does not use the word "Trinity" nor explicitly teach it, but Trinitarians claim that it provides the material upon which the doctrine of the Trinity is based. According to Christian tradition the Trinity was introduced by the Gospels and Jesus Christ "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19) However, some scholars dispute the authenticity of the Trinity and argue that the doctrine is the result of "later theological interpretations of Christ's nature and function."

The Trinity doctrine is a mystery

After studying the Trinity Doctrine, many people have found out that it is indeed difficult to comprehend. In fact many found it impossible to understand. They indeed conclude that the Trinity doctrine is a mystery.  Trinitarians and other authors commented that the doctrine of the Trinity is . . . . . .

  • The Trinity is a wonderful mystery. No one understands it. The most learned theologian, the holiest Pope, the greatest saint, all are mystified by it as a child of seven.
  • It is a deep mystery that cannot be fathomed by the finite mind
  • It is admittedly difficult to comprehend.
  • Skeptics ridicule it as a mathematical impossibility.
  • The mind of man cannot fully understand the mystery of the Trinity. He who would try to understand the mystery fully will lose his mind.

Do Christians believe in the same God?

Although, many professing Christians would like to believe that their religions believe and worship the same God. But, on a practical and theological level they simply cannot - there's just no choice in the matter. They may all want to believe in the one God (monotheism), but the content of their beliefs varies wildly—they have different conception of God. Thus, in reality, Christian religions do not believe and worship the same God.  On a practical point of view, try asking professing Christians "how they perceive God?". Many would give you practical answer that varies differently.


Having learned that monotheism―belief in one God, in the the Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, does not necessarily mean belief in the same God. This is also true in Christianity who all profess to be monotheists but they do not also necessarily believe in the same God because the vast majority of Christians are Trinitarian monotheist, but a small percentage of Christians are Unitarian monotheist. Let us therefore concentrate our search for the true God by knowing the biblical answer to this basic question, "Is the true God absolutely One or a Trinity"? This question will be answered in the succeeding lessons.


Keep an open mind.
Try it . . . . . . Take a closer look at the scriptural truth.

The scriptures will be made clear and meaningful to you as you continue to study the following lessons.

Lessons' List - "Comparing Beliefs in God"

"We present the verses - not opinions. You decide which is the biblical truth."


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Comparative Bible Study Lessons
  Comparing Beliefs about God and Jesus Christ.
 We present the verses - not opinions. You decide which is the biblical truth.

© 2010 Willy Trifon
September 17, 2011 10:04 AM