Real Evangelism Is Trinitarian

Glen Scrivener | November 12, 2016

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” 

These words, attributed to Albert Einstein, should be tattooed on the inside of every evangelist’s eyelids. Simple is good. But there are simplifications that subtract and subvert. And our modern inclination to mute or sidestep the Trinity is one such “simplification.” It abandons the very gospel it seeks to proclaim.

Historically, the church's “simple” explanations of the gospel have been explicitly triune (think of the creeds and “rules of faith”). Today, however, we’re bemused if an evangelist “complicates” his message with the Trinity. Perhaps we look back condescendingly at St. Patrick and his unfortunate shamrock analogy. Yet shouldn’t we admire his goal? Patrick’s intention was to introduce Ireland to God. And not just any God—the Christian God, the Trinitarian God. Where are today’s Patricks—concerned to preach Father, Son, and Spirit to the nations?

My plea is for a return to Trinitarian evangelism. Before I unpack what that means, let me clarify what I don’t mean.

What Trinitarian Evangelism Is Not

1. It’s not about particular language. 

The word “Trinity” and the conceptual language of Nicaea is, of course, unnecessary in evangelism. Jesus and the apostles got on fine without these words and…

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