In other words, from the church’s point of view the problem is that educated laity
are beginning to trust scripture more than the imaginative minds and nonbiblical sources
from which the church derived its dogma. We can understand their concern. After all, it’s
much easier to tell people what to believe (and how much to tithe) than to have to deal
with the problematic issues that result from objective analysis. Issues like, like, like …
well, like these.
In any case, as if the above quote were not enough, the NCE continues:
The formulation “one God in three Persons” was not solidly
established, certainly not fully assimilated into Christian life and its
profession of faith, prior to the end of the 4 th century. But it is precisely
this formulation that has first claim to the title the Trinitarian dogma.
Among the Apostolic Fathers, there had been nothing even
remotely approaching such a mentality or perspective.”117
Okay, let’s all sit back, scratch our heads and say a collective “Hunh?”
The church admits that the Trinity was unknown to the Apostolic Fathers
the doctrine was derived from nonbiblical sources, but insists we believe it anyway? No
wonder it took so long to catch on.
Once approved by the church councils, another several centuries passed before
this foreign concept gained acceptance. The New Catholic Encyclopedia observes that devotion to the Trinity wasn’t realized until the eighth century, at which time it began to
take hold in monasteries at Aniane and Tours. 118
In the midst of the growing awareness of the differences between Trinitarian
doctrine and the period of origins, one might be surprised to find one group claiming to
be followers of Jesus Christ (i.e., Muslims!) reading the following in their book of
guidance (i.e., the Holy Qur’an):
O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor
say of Allah anything but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no
more than) a Messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on
Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His
Messengers. Do not say “Trinity”: desist: it will be better for you: for
Allah is One God: glory be to Him: (far Exalted is He) above having a
son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is
Allah as a Disposer of affairs (TMQ 4:171).
O People of the Book! Exceed not in your religion the bounds (of
what is proper), trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires
of people who went wrong in times gone by—who misled many, and
strayed (themselves) from the even Way (TMQ 5:77).