How to explain Trinity to a Hindu

(Rini Shaji) #1

A few months ago I was talking to a Hindu friend about Christianity; the fall, Jesus Christ as God, His crucifixion and why it had to happen, Trinity. As we were jumping from one topic to another regarding Christian theology, I realized there were some things that were difficult to explain, firstly because I haven’t understood some of those concepts very well and secondly, because she, as a Hindu was trying to come to a conclusion that all paths led to the same God. So these are my concerns:

  1. I have trouble factually believing in the creation. Meaning, since I have now understood the fine tuning principle, I am able to reject Big Bang and evolution. However, I haven’t come across archeological or historical evidence for the creation. So, as I explain creation to someone, there is a part of me that isn’t able to convincingly explain it.

  2. How do I explain Trinity to my friend when I have difficulty understanding it myself. It was eye-opening when Abdu Murray explained it as “what”ness and “who”ness. However, when I started the same route for my friend, she was comparing this concept to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Also, the main difficulty here is, if I am not able to understand the Trinity, how do I worship or pray to a Trinitarian God?

(SeanO) #2

@RiniAndrews Thank you for those questions! May I ask what type of evidence for creation you are looking for? I’ve included some resources from John Lennox and ‘The Privileged Planet’ below that discuss why it is rational to believe in a Creator.

Regarding the Trinity, here are a few points you may consider:

  • you do not need to be able to explain or understand the Trinity in order to worship or pray to God. Does a child understand how their parent works? No, but they can still love their parent and enjoy fellowship with them. We do not need to understand how God works in order to know Him. Worship is not like fixing a car - where you need to know how it goes together or you cannot fix it. Worship is a relationship - in the Bible compared to a romantic relationship - and who understands their spouse? No one would claim to understand their spouse fully :wink: And yet we can still enjoy fellowship with them. Worship and prayer are like that…
  • maybe you can tell your Hindu friend that you do not fully understand how the Trinity works, but you know it is true. If God is really God, then it makes sense that we will not fully understand everything about Him. If we understood everything about God, it would be a strong indicator that we had invented a false god.

There are 3 planks that are core to a Biblical doctrine of the Trinity:

  • there is only one God
  • each member of the Trinity is fully and completely God
  • each member of the Trinity is distinct

I do not think it is necessary for prayer or worship to understand ‘how’ those things can be simultaneously true. Rather, we acknowledge they are true and live into that reality.

Hope that is helpful :slight_smile: Christ grant you wisdom.

Connect Threads on the Trinity

Hopefully some of these resources might help you better understand the Trinity.

John Lennox Lecture on “In the Beginning God”

The Privileged Planet

Evidence for creation based on a number of threads of evidence.

(Michael Fitzgerald) #3

Your questions reminded me of a story shared by Bill Bright of CRU. He told of a man who had shared the gospel with a devout Hindu. This Hindu had big problems with the idea that God became a human, and why he would ever do such a thing. It was a ridiculous concept, he thought. So one day he sat up against a tree next to a field, appreciating the fresh air, the bright sun, and the ant hill which he saw in the field. The ants were going about their tasks of gathering, and he was delighting in what he saw. Then he heard some noise and he looked as a man hooked up a plow and started working on the field. He noticed that the plow was headed for the ant hill. He knew these creatures were in danger, their home and queen could be destroyed. So he got down and began to slap his hand on the ground, trying to get them to move, to run away, but they just moved around in a frenzy, he yelled to no avail, and he thought how can I reach these ants, how can I make them understand. Then it came to him, only if he could become an ant could he save them. Then it was that he understood the incarnation of Christ. He knew why the Son of God became a man in order to save that which was lost.

(Rini Shaji) #4

Thanks Sean for your reply.
What I meant by evidence is information like where is the garden of Eden or was? How did Moses know about the creation? Where was this tree I knowledge?
I hate to say this but it almost sounds mystical to me when I try to describe the creation story to someone.

(SeanO) #5

@RiniAndrews Aha! Brilliant! Yes, Christianity is the true myth! You see, a myth is a metanarrative - a story about how we have come to be here and what our lives mean - an overarching story of life.

What makes Christianity different from other myths is that Jesus left footprints! The gods of other religions did not truly walk the earth - there is no historical evidence for their existence - they did not dwell among us - but Jesus did. There is an overwhelming amount of historical evidence for the existence of Jesus.

A few things you may keep in mind:

  • there are stories of both the Garden of Eden and a Great Flood in cultures all around the world - this fact points to the truth of the stories in Scripture. For example, the Biblical flood story is much more realistic than those of other cultures - Noah’s boat is the most sea worthy when it is built to spec (other flood stories speak of canoes or giant cubes - hardly flood worthy)
  • there is a great deal of historical evidence that the places and people of the Bible did in fact exist and even lived in the time in which they were said to live

Lewis’ conversion to the true myth - a video about how he came to see Christ as the ‘true myth’:

William Mitchell Ramsay

Ramsay was an archaeologist who set out to prove the Bible wrong by showing that the locations discussed in Acts were not accurate and, low and behold, they were!

William Ramsay was known for his careful attention to New Testament events, particularly the Book of Acts and Pauline Epistles. When he first went to Asia Minor, many of the cities mentioned in Acts had no known location and almost nothing was known of their detailed history or politics. The Acts of the Apostles was the only record and Ramsay, skeptical, fully expected his own research to prove the author of Acts hopelessly inaccurate since no man could possibly know the details of Asia Minor more than a hundred years after the event—this is, when Acts was then supposed to have been written. He therefore set out to put the writer of Acts on trial. He devoted his life to unearthing the ancient cities and documents of Asia Minor. After a lifetime of study, however, he concluded: ‘Further study … showed that the book could bear the most minute scrutiny as an authority for the facts of the Aegean world, and that it was written with such judgment, skill, art and perception of truth as to be a model of historical statement’ ( The Bearing of Recent Discovery , p. 85).

William Mitchell Ramsay is perhaps one of the most fascinating biblical scholars from the turn of the twentieth century, and his writings are full of knowledge and insight that can only come from one who has extensively experienced firsthand the archaeology and people of Asia Minor. For decades, Ramsay immersed himself in the culture of what is now Greece and Turkey, as he set out first to disprove the Bible as factual and then, to his amazement, to show how the New Testament has proved itself to be historically infallible based on his findings.

Hope that is helpful :slight_smile:

(SeanO) #6

@Michael_Fitzgerald Wow, that’s a really interesting story. It’s amazing how people sometimes have those ‘aha!’ moments when a concept suddenly makes sense to them.

(Rini Shaji) #7

Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer these questions. I shall look into the resources you have provided and will get back if I have further questions.
Thanks again.

(SeanO) #8

@RiniAndrews Sure thing :slight_smile: Def feel free to ask as many questions as you like - that’s what Connect is all about - learning together as we seek Jesus.