It is no secret that most Christians do not spend much time considering the Doctrine of the Trinity as a peculiar point of interest, nor do we spend much time trying to examine its implications and legitimacy. Well, I hope to give some glimmer of proximity when I speak and write on this topic, and hopefully, this is precisely what I am accomplishing in this article.
In a recent clip, it seems like Shabir’s objection starts with the assumption that any physical idea of generation and sequence seems to objectify and demean the concept of God as a definition. He mentions, “These Three Gods are not Three Gods but one God.” and in “Is the Trinity a myth?”
Any critic of this doctrine should note that historical Trinitarians are cautious in articulating their understanding of what they say about God, as it should be done with extreme caution and precision. When we hear Shabir’s objection, we notice that speaking of three Gods would be foreign to the conceptual understanding of historical Christianity. This idea leads to a Tritheistic understanding of what could be said about God.
Historically, Christians articulated the essence of this doctrine precisely in creedal form and tried to lay bare what could be believed from a human linguistic construct. So, it is not unfair to look at, for instance, one of the earliest Christian Creeds to derive some understanding of the topic. In one of the earlier Creeds called the “Quicumque Vult,” or Athanasian Creed, Line 4, we discover what Christians are trying to say when elaborating this doctrine as it reads:
“the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal.”
A lot of criticism seems to be leveled at tritheism or the suspicion of three Gods, or it seems to point out that all these forms are simply one modality of God, which would then be modalism, but this is not what Christians say. We conceive the difficulty that is apparent when trying to articulate any thought about God, but when we nuance this biblical imperative, we identify and put together what God has revealed and spoken.
Not Three gods but One God.
Just a little precursor that I notice. Shabir is implying that triunity indirectly communicates divisibility. The question Christians are confronted with is if the idea of distinction contradicts what they say about God’s identity, and even more, does the idea of plurality contradict the essential unity of God?
When Christians consider what God has revealed about Himself in the Biblical Scriptures, it should be noted that they hold to the fact that God is indivisible. This means that any divisible object can be divided without destroying the essence of that object itself. Look, for example, a stone. A block of stone can be split into two parts without damaging the stone as a stone.
Now, it should be noted that I am not using indivisibility as an argument to describe the plurality of persons but instead to show that any assumed substance of the person of God stays in perfect harmony because any sharing of that substance cannot violate or break what the given object subsists off. William Henry Temple Gairdner comments:
“A hand when severed from the body is really not a hand at all. It is only a lump of flesh shaped like a hand; for it is of the essence of a hand to be one with the whole body, to communicate through its nerves with the brain, to share the one life of the whole. It is only by an abstraction, which contains as much falsehood as truth, that you say that the hand is a part of the body at all, if by that you mean that it exists as a hand after being severed from the body. It is only by a very partial abstraction you can do this, namely, by arbitrarily selecting some features which inhere in ‘hand’ and arbitrarily overlooking other equally or more important ones. 
You can divide the material of an organism, but you cannot divide the essence or nature of an organism. William Henry Temple Gairdner therefore speaks of God and says:
“God has no material substance. Therefore, He is, in every sense, both ideally and indivisible. An earthly organism, then, can only exist in the fulness of its nature or be destroyed—there is no third possibility such as division. God cannot be destroyed; therefore, He exists only in the undivided and indivisible fulness of His nature—that is, in His Unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” 
Does such a formulation make sense at all?
I find very often that Muslims attribute definitions to the Christian understanding of the Trinity that seem to violate the overall understanding of the doctrine. Roger Nicole rightly emphasizes the proper balancing of three aspects of the Trinity in the chapter “The Meaning of the Trinity”, on the One God and Trinity Book edited by Peter Toon and James D. Spiceland. They show quite clearly:
- If we overemphasize threeness, this leads to polytheism or tri-theism.
- If we overstress oneness, this leads us to modalism in which only one person is manifested as Father or Son or Spirit.
- If we reject equality, this leads to subordinationism (e.g., such as the Jehovah’s
Witnesses’ distinction between Jehovah God and Jesus as “a god”. In orthodox Christianity, (1) only one God exists; (2) this God exists eternally in three distinct persons (Father, Son, Spirit); (3) these persons are fully equal in every divine perfection; they possess alike the fullness of the divine essence.
Not if you assume Tritheism, you will always wind up in a pickle with what you conceive the Trinity to be. I love how Gregory Nazianzus, in sermons he preached in at Constantinople on the 6th of January, 381 A.D. He beautifully says:
“No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the Splendour of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish Them than I am carried back to the One. When I think of any One of the Three, I think of Him as the Whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking of escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of That One so as to attribute a greater greatness to the Rest. When I contemplate the Three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the Undivided Light”.
Is the Trinity akin to the Hindu Trinity: Bram, Shev, and Vishnu?
Shabir’s accusation that the trinity is a Hindu construction. Now, on my YouTube channel, I examined Dr Sayyed’s parallelomania concerning the Hindu Trinity and the Christian Trinity in detail. I will share the link at the end of this video; you are welcome to look at it. I am usually curious about why some critics might think this Doctrine of the Trinity is not succinct and why they would relate it to something like the Trimurti.
Now, you might ask, what is parallelomania? It is the simple belief that any similarity in a narrative or set of beliefs is a direct parallel when afforded to another system of beliefs. An example would be, for instance, to think that the concept of Allah and the Moon God are the same. But this is not true, and those demanding that even though concepts like these might be the same, need to prove their validity.
What happens to our Hindu friends who claim God came down in animal forms?
An exciting diary was written about when a missionary named J. Lockman traveled to India, which sheds some light on this. In the book titled, “Travels of the Jesuits into Various Parts of the World,” there is an exciting story about a Jesuit Missionary who traveled to India, and he mentions that some people have told him that there were some trinitarian comparisons that could be used to speak to Hindus. After reflecting on these, he writes:
“With respect to these three Beings (of the Trimurti), I have met with some European missionaries, who pretend that the Heathens have some Idea of the Mystery of the Trinity; and say that it is expressly declared in their Books, that they are three Persons in one God. I myself have frequently discoursed with the Brahmins on this Subject, but they expressed themselves so confusedly, that I never could understand their Meaning perfectly.”
Lockman concludes that discoveries of Trinity are over-enthusiastic:
“Some Hindus portray the three divinities as individual deities, while others hold that they are “really but one and the same God, considered in three Respects, viz., as Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer of Things.” But Trinity is nowhere to be found, since “they did not observe anything of three distinct Persons in one sole God.”
Another critic Annie Besant denies the idea that the Timurti and trinity is the same concept at all. She wrote:
“The three deities are material, imperfect, and even sinful, far from the mystery of the God who knows himself (as the Son known by the Father) and loves himself (as the Spirit, the love of Father and Son). the trinitarian notion of person, having to do with a rational individuum, “a being endowed with reason and free will,” is distant from the Indian mythic masks of the divine.”
Another scholar, Ernest Hull, adds.
“Christians and Hindus do not even think of their deities the same way: for the Christian, the Trinity is a deep mystery of faith, while Hindus see all multiplicities, even of deities, as “the delusions of Maya.”
Geoffrey Parrinder writes.
“As with other religions, the threefold doctrine is best understood in its historical context; however attractive seeming cultural parallels may be.”
Friends, let me say that there is nothing in the definition or articulation of the Hindu conception of God that leads us to believe that the Hindu Timurti is like the Christian Trinity.
Is the Creator coming down as a human is illogical, irrational, and unreasonable?
Why is the Creator coming down as a human, not illogical, irrational, or unreasonable? Well, to be fair, in this short, he could not get into this, but let me say that nowhere in the Bible is the coming of God in human form denied; instead, it is encouraged.
One of my favorite early Christian sermons by Eusebius of Caesarea, “Demonstratio Evangelica,” Book 6, Chapter 1-25, beautifully depicts the anticipation of the Old Testament looking to the New Testament witness fulfilling the promise that God will one day dwell physically with His people. This is what is realized and ultimately fulfilled in the Biblical expectation.
Is this a one-time event?
Well, if it is true and adequate revelation and actualization of God, one time is enough, and that is precisely what Christians claim about the incarnation of Christ; there is no additional revelation after Christ necessary nor another prophet that should speak for God.
Certain prominent theologians dismiss accusations against Shabir Yusuf, refusing to engage with these arguments any longer. In my perspective, these views have become obsolete and are in urgent need of a quiet demise. The ongoing discussion of such arguments may indicate the foundational principles of the worldview they stem from. As demonstrated earlier, these arguments no longer hold validity. Ideally, these points of contention should be relegated, allowing us to address the core of the issue.
 New Advent, “The Athanasian Creed.” “Quicumque Vult” Line 4.
 God as Triune, Pg. 18.
 God as Triune, Pg. 18-19.
 Westchester, 111.: Cornerstone, 1980, Pg. 1-4.
 Gregory of Nazianzus, Orations 40.41.
Source. Translated by Charles Gordon Browne and James Edward Swallow. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 7. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace.
 The Cambridge Companion to the Trinity, Edited by Peter C. Phan. Pg. 312.
 J. Lockman, Travels of the Jesuits into Various Parts of the World (London: John Noon, 1743), ii, 246-247.
 Brahmabandhab Upadhyay, The Writings of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay, ed. Julius Lipner and George Gispert-Sauch, 2 vols. (Bangalore: United Theological College, 1991, 2002), Pg.397.
 “Hinduism,” in C. C. Martindale, ed., The History of Religions, 4 vols. (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1910), i, 15–17.
 Geoffrey Parrinder, “Triads,” in Lindsay Jones, ed., The Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd edn., 15 vols. (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005), xiv, 3951.