You had requested an explanation of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Pardon my delayed response due to my father-in-law’s illness.
To begin, God is one being. Christians do not worship three Gods, but one (Deuteronomy 6:45; Isaiah 45:5-6 and 21-22; Isaiah 44:6-8). We do not worship more than one God as Surah 5:73 states. That would be “tritheism,” which we condemn.
Baptists like myself do not see Jesus, Mary, and God as the trinity as is suggested by Surah 5:116-117. This elevates a human, Mary, into the God-head, and we would see that as “adoptionism,” which we condemn. We would also condemn as adoptionism any thinking that says Jesus ever became God. Jesus was not created. He did not become God at some time. He has eternally existed.
God exists as three persons and as one being. This is logical. Aristotle’s Law of Non-contradiction, the foundation of the laws of logic, states that something can not be what it is and not be what it is at the same time and in the same relationship. The trinity is not a contradiction because we say God is one in His being and three in His person.
In the logical sense, we change the relationship in the definition above. If we said God is three in person and one in person we would have a contradiction. If we said God is three in being and one in being we would have a contradiction. But we do not say either of those things. We say God is three in person and one in being. As R. C. Sproul says:
The historic formulation of the Trinity is that God is one in essence and three in person. Though the formula is mysterious and even paradoxical, it is in no way contradictory. The unity of the Godhead is affirmed in terms of essence or being, while the diversity of the Godhead is expressed in terms of person. – Essential Truths of the Christian Faith p. 35.
My layman’s understanding of the trinity begins with verses I read in the Old Testament. In Genesis 1:26, God says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” The pronouns He chooses are plural. We have the same thing in Genesis 3:22, 11:7, and in Isaiah 6:8. These verses do not reveal all of the doctrine, but they hint at multiple persons in God’s being.
In the New Testament, we find Matthew 3:16-17. In this passage we see three persons: the Father speaking, The Spirit descending, and the Son receiving power. We see that Christians are to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). We see three persons mentioned separately and as equals in Ephesians 4:4-6, 1 Peter 1:2, and Jude 20-21. Acts 5:3-4 equates the Holy Spirit to God.
This is a mystery, something that we cannot understand completely as finite creatures. There are many things about God we cannot completely understand. I wanted to quote from Isaiah 40:10-18:
Behold, the Lord God comes with
might, and his arm rules for him …
He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of
his hand and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and
weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?
Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man
shows him his counsel? Whom did he
consult, and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice,
and taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?
Behold, the nations are like a drop from
a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the
scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust …
All the nations are as nothing before him, they are
accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with
Everyone we met has only one personality, but have you ever met anyone like God? If there is none like God, why should we expect Him to have a personality like everyone else? I am not surprised He has three persons. I cannot understand this completely, but I can know something about it. The being of God is something we stand in awe of, not something we completely comprehend. As Romans 11:33-36 says:
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable
are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
"For who has known the mind of the
Lord, or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him that he might
be repaid?” For from him and through him
and to him are all things. To him be
glory forever. Amen.
Other articles on this subject can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here.