Trinity World: Counting to three = one
There are numerous passages which mention the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Trinitarians commonly call these passages "explicitly Trinitarian" and insist that they are expressing the doctrine of the Trinity.
The Problems with the Claim
1. Popular Examples
Whenever they can count "1 2 3", Trinitarians imagine they have a three person God on their hands. Here is what they do in their minds:
After being baptized, (1) Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw (2) the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on him, and behold, (3) a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved son, in whom I am well-pleased. (Matthew 3:16-17).
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of (1) the Father and of (2) the son and of (3) the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19).
The grace of (1) the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of (2) God, and the fellowship of (3) the Holy Spirit, be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14).
There is one body and (1) one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; (2) one Lord, one faith, one baptism, (3) one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6).
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood. (1 Peter 1:1-2).
So what they do is first assume the Holy Spirit is a separate third person, then they count "one, two, three" and somehow in their heads this amounts to a single Triune God. But the Trinity isn't the acknowledgment of three. The Trinity is the belief that three are ONE being, one identity.
2. Appalling Na´vetÚ
These passages stand among the Trinitarian "Let's count 'one, two, three' and get a Holy Trinity" passages. Whenever they can count 'one, two, three' Trinitarians somehow seem to think this amounts to a Triune God. Now this would not be a big problem if indeed it was an obviously established fact in the Bible that a three person God exists and this three person God was Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, it is not a clearly established fact and it begs the question while at the same time Trinitarians are actually using verses like this to try and prove the existence of a three person God when absolutely none of them can be demonstrated to be identifying a three person God. It really amounts to circular reasoning. In all of these passages, the one God is not identified as all three but one of the three.
3. Counting to Three Equals Three, Not One
The Trinity is by definition three persons who are one God. The main idea in the Trinity is not that there are three persons. Three persons mentioned together is not unusual to anyone on any day. The main idea is that these three are also one God. Absolutely none of the verses which Trinitarians are citing when they count, "one, two, three" in this manner, indicate that the three mentioned entities are indeed also the one God. Without demonstrating that these three are also ONE then the Trinitarian has nothing more than the mention of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and even that necessarily assumes that the Holy Spirit is indeed a distinct and separate third person in addition to the Father and the Son. It is an oddity of the Trinitarian mind that counting three persons equals the Trinity when it actually doesn't suggest such a thing at all. Their doctrine is that three persons are also one and none of these verses indicate any such thing. It is also an oddity of the Trinitarian mind that many do not realize this fact and neither do they realize they are performing mental gymnastics by taking one of the aforementioned three ("God") and giving his name to all three by an act of their own will and based on their own imagination.
4. The One God is Already Mentioned as One of the Aforementioned Three
In each and every case, God just happens to be one of the aforementioned three. Take 2 Corinthians 13:14 for example. God is mentioned, Jesus is mentioned, and the Holy Spirit is mentioned. Since the one God has already been mentioned, why would anyone want to resort to mental gymnastics, and by an act of your own will, label all three as "God." It's just plain weird when you think about it. It is ridiculous to label all three as God when God is already one of the mentioned three. In fact, the matter is even worse at Ephesians 4:4-6 where the one God is not only mentioned, the text actually says, "one God and Father of all who is above all and through all and in all," and we are being explicitly told who that one God is, the Father. But somehow these facts seem to float right by the Trinitarian mind.
This is just yet another example of willful Trinitarian eisegesis, the faulty practice of imagining something into the text which is not there by an act of their own will, something which the text, nor the context, ever suggests. It does not take much thought by anyone to realize this claim is as empty as a drunkard's bottle. But for some odd reason, there seems to be many Trinitarians who just don't seem to be able to see their obvious error concerning this particular claim.
Last Revision/Update: March 10, 2016