March 10, 2010

The Partnership Law Model of the Trinity

This essay briefly introduces the partnership law model of the Trinity, a social and legal model of the Trinity. The model helps to resolve the logical problem of the Trinity, also known as the threeness-oneness problem.

United States corporate general partnerships with three general partners help to model both the threeness and the oneness of the Trinity. For example, in the case of a partnership with three general partners, each partner has complete powers to make binding contracts for the entire partnership. And the three partners are not three partnerships, but only one partnership

Caveats to the partnership law model include the following. First, general partnerships have a beginning in time and face dissolution while the inseparable Trinity has always existed and will always exist. Second, each of the general partners has contractual powers that represent the entire partnership but nothing else about each of the partners represents the entire partnership while the partners in the Trinity always represent the entire Trinity in everything. Third, general partners have equal contractual powers that represent the entire partnership but each partner has different strengths and gifts in other areas while the partners in the Trinity have equal strengths and gifts in everything. Fourth, general partners might work disharmoniously while the partners in the Trinity always work harmoniously.

The partnership law model of the Trinity improves traditional social trinitarianism. For example, a traditional social trinitarian might say that Peter, Paul, and Mary were three members of one group. The three members were not three groups, but only one group. However, none of Peter, Paul, and Mary had powers of the entire group in any area of the group, unless they formed a general partnership with each other. Likewise, partnership law presents a limited analogy of how each person of the Trinity represents the entire tripersonal deity while preserving fundamental Christian doctrine such as monotheism, the original deity of the Son of God, and the social relationship of the Father and Son.

Copyright © 2010 James Edward Goetz