The external works of the Trinity are undivided.
Until recently, this statement was an uncontroversial affirmation of the doctrine of inseparable operations. In fact, for nearly two millennia, inseparable operations were simply assumed to be an integral premise of the Christian faith. Yet modern treatments of the Trinity have left the essential unity of the Trinity in need of recovery.
Credo fellow, Adonis Vidu, explains why God is one, indivisible essence and thus has one will, power, intellect, and operation in the world. We do not have a team of three gods who each perform their own actions, but one God who acts indivisibly. There is no cooperation or division of labor within the divine essence. Even speaking of divine roles can lead to unorthodox assumptions about the Trinity. Rather, whenever scripture says any person of the Trinity is at work, the other two persons are also equally involved in that operation.
In this podcast, Matthew Barrett and Adonis Vidu not only discuss the inseparable operations of the Trinity, but the Creator/creature distinction, the differences between divine appropriations and missions, and the beauty of divine transcendence, all while bringing out the gospel implications of this important doctrine.
Adonis Vidu is professor of theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is also the author of Atonement, Law, and Justice: The Cross in Historical and Cultural Contexts; Theology after Neo- Pragmatism; Postliberal Theological Method: A Critical Study; and The Same God Who Works All Things: Inseparable Operations in Trinitarian Theology.
Matthew Barrett is the author of Simply Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Baker). He is the founder and executive editor of Credo Magazine and host of the Credo podcast. He is associate professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.