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Philosophical and Theological Essays on the Trinity$
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Thomas McCall and Michael Rea

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199216215

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216215.001.0001

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How Many Times Does Three Go Into One?

How Many Times Does Three Go Into One?

(p.151) 9 How Many Times Does Three Go Into One?
Philosophical and Theological Essays on the Trinity

Keith Yandell

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that when armed with the right understanding of the concepts of simplicity and complexity, one can conclude that the Triune God is a complex being who can be called simple when not composed of parts, but not simple when there is a lack of complexity. It holds that God is a Trinity of persons who are conscious rational agents, and it is logically impossible that any Trinitarian person exist in the absence of any other Trinitarian person. Thus there is one God who is complex (though not composite), and three divine persons who are numerically distinct from one another though logically inseparable.

Keywords:   Triune God, oneness, complexity, simplicity, Trinitarian person

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