Monday, January 5, 2015

Is the Trinity conceptually possible?

The Trinity is one of the most confusing concepts in Christian theology.
How can God be three persons [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] yet one?
Non-Christians sometimes say it is illogical and nonsense.
This is particularly true of Muslims who consider it offends the unity of Allah.
[Aside: It also seems that most Muslims think Christians believe the Trinity is God, Mary, and Jesus.]

I am currently reading the fascinating book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi.
I will write more about it later. Here I just want to highlight one small part of the story I found fascinating because of my interest in the relationship between science and theology.

Like most Muslims, Qureshi thought the Trinity made no sense.
But he became open to it in a completely unexpected circumstance. In an organic chemistry class (!) he learnt about the resonance structures of the nitrate ion [shown above]. This molecule does not have a single structure. Rather, it simultaneously has the three structures above. It is not one or the other, but all three of them. This is a result of [the bizarre properties of] quantum physics, it is the same as Schrodingers cat, being both dead and alive at the same time.

Learning about resonance structures did not lead Qureshi to believe the Trinity was true. It just made him open to the idea that it was conceptually possible that it could be true. He could no longer dismiss it out of hand.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for your post. I just read an article about that book and wanted to see the nitrate "trinity."

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  2. Thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for ��
    Maryabele.com

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