Randal Rauser recently posted Must a Christian believe in the Trinity? This post was an outgrowth of recent previous posts he had written. Most of the ensuing discussion was about the correct definition of “Christian” and whether or not it entailed being a “Trinitarian.” After much discussion by others, I made the following comment (with minor editing here):
Looking at the words themselves, one would think Christian meant “of Christ” and Trinitarian meant “of the Trinity.” But maybe that’s too simple (or should I have said simpliciter?)
To put it another way, if to be a Christian you must be a Trinitarian, perhaps to be a Trinitarian you similarly must be something in addition to a Trinitarian. That is, if truly being “of Christ” means you must be “of the Trinity” then to be truly “of the Trinity” you must be “of yet something else.” (This sort of logic is worthy of Lewis Carroll.)
I’m surprised that all those who insist that a Christian must be a Trinitarian do not simply call themselves Trinitarians instead of Christians as this would make their point so much more clearly. Or perhaps, in a compromise, call themselves the composite name of Trinitarian-Christians (“TC” could also stand for “true Christian” which would be extra nifty) so as not to let others confuse them with the unwashed claimants to the name of Christ.
All kidding aside, and before anyone sets out to argue with me about these definitions, let me warn you: I will not defend them. I won’t engage in that argument because I don’t care about the definition of a Christian. I don’t care about it because I don’t believe our Lord cares about the labels we assign ourselves (arguments about what constituted a true Pharisee weren’t of interest to Him either). What He does care about is the degree to which each of us does His word. Remember that He said:
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” – Luke 6:46
To see this comment as originally made in context, go to the post at Randal’s blog.
To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see: