I wrote this post way back at the time of Mormon Matters and never published it. I’m throwing it up for fun with only a little bit of tweaking. I probably would handle this different today. For example, I no longer consider the creedal Trinity to be a contradiction per se, but rather to be a set of undefined statements that are used in contradictory ways so as to claim all attempts to understand the Biblical Trinity doctrine are really just forms of polytheism or modalism. But the point I make here is still worthy of some discussion.
I’ve written a lot of posts directly or indirectly dealing with the traditional Creedal Trinity Doctrine. I’ve made the assertion several times that the Trinity Doctrine is a contradiction, not just an incomprehensible paradox.
I wish to give a primer on the difference between something being incomprehensible vs. a contradiction.
Now obviously a contradiction is also incomprehensible. Consider this list of statements:
- Joe is a man and
- Joe is a woman
- A man can never be a woman
These statements, collectively, are incomprehensible because they are a contradiction. Unless I am tricking you by equivocating (i.e. using different definitions for the same word) in some way, the above statements are a contradiction.
Now look at these statements:
- Light is a particle
- Light is a wave
Are these contradictory? No, they are not. Now I know from sad experience that many people will make the mistake of claiming this is a contradiction. In fact, I had a Christian friend use this very example to try to prove to me that contradictions exist in real life. I’m afraid not.
The issue here is that we intuitive add a third statement that I didn’t state:
- Light is a particle
- Light is a wave
- A particle can never be a wave
Now we do have a contradiction. But the way I originally wrote it there is nothing contradictory about it. Light is both a wave and a particle. 
Now is the idea that light is both a wave and a particle comprehensible? Well, not really. Yes, I can comprehend that “that’s the way it is.” But I have no intuitive experience with wavicles in real life because I have never lived as a person small enough to experience them.
In other words, light as a wave and a particle is not contradictory, but it is incomprehensible, or to put it another way, it’s something I have direct no experience with and cannot imagine in my mind.
I would assert that something being incomprehensible is a very common thing. But that there is never such a thing as something being contradictory.
Why would this last statement matter? Can’t God do anything? So why can’t God make a contradiction be true?
Well, to be honest, it matters a lot. First of all, if God can make a contradiction be true that would mean there is no point in ever using reason to discuss God – or anything else. To paraphrase, C.S. Lewis, we have for all intents and purposes scrubbed God and reality itself off the plate.
To give an example of this I often have creedal Christians tell me that such and such doctrine in Mormonism “doesn’t make sense” or is contradictory. But if they believe in the Trinity doctrine and that is a contradiction, then I want to know why they think they get a free pass when it comes to reason but I don’t. If God is made up of three persons all separate from each other but each fully 100% of God, then Jesus can’t be 100% of God, the Father 100% of God, and the Holy Spirit 100% of God, yet none of them is identical. If that were possible then there is nothing wrong with me asserting any doctrine I want and using the same “logic.” For example, I am told by Catholics that Mormons really believe in polytheism because we believe in a plurality of gods. But why would a plurality of gods not be monotheism? You just have to understand that the one God makes it so that a plurality of Gods is really monotheism. Because God can do anything including make a contradiction true. There, argument over. Oh, ok, I’ll tell you this much. God can do it because they all are a single substance. Now I’m done. 
For that matter, how in the world do I know that the Trinity doctrine is capturing the *right* contradiction? Maybe we aren’t saved for believing the Trinity doctrine’s contradiction after all. Maybe God really wanted us to understand that Jesus is the Father and Jesus isn’t the Father. It seems to me that that contradiction is as valid a contradiction as any and resolves to the Biblical data just as well. That’s because there are an infinite number of contradictory ways to resolve any set of data.
The second objection I have to the idea that God can make a contradiction true is that it means God could, for all intents and purposes, lie. So when God says you believe in Jesus and you go to heaven He might actually mean that when you believe in Jesus you go to hell. Contradiction? Who cares, because God can make a contradiction true. There is no way to have faith in a God that can make a contradiction true.
I think this is also one of the main reasons I have issues with people advancing a fictional Book of Mormon that came from God, by the way. This means God can lie, does it not? And you can’t just say “well, we misunderstood” since we have a Joseph Smith carting the plates around and way too many people see them under a cloth. This “problem of the plates” is not a problem I’ve seen even respect liberal religious scholars solve. Merely saying “Well, Blake Ostler believes it’s only part historical (and you accept that argument as viable) and therefore this is just the next step” is about as irrational an argument as can be imagined. Because a partially historical record (with Joseph Smith inserting his own explanations and such) is not a lie and a wholly fictional Book of Mormon is. And a God that can lie is a God that can’t be understood, trusted, discussed, or that we can have faith in. So for rational Mormons that are going to accept the LDS Church’s truth claims, a fictional Book of Mormon isn’t really a logial possibility.
Now could the Trinity doctrine be thought of as incomprehensible instead of contradictory? Clearly it’s contradictory the way I just wrote it, but couldn’t way just say “well, you’re misunderstanding it.”
That’s a topic for another post. The short answer is, yes, the statements in the Trinity Doctrine can in fact be imagined in various ways, and not all are contradictory. But that is because some possible interpretations of the Creedal Trinity Statements are plurality of gods and others are modalism, both of which are non-contradictory. But I know the claim I just made needs some evidence and that will have to wait for another post.
 This is the bloggernacle, so I’m assuming most of you know that light is both a wave and a particle. I’m also sure most of you know that in reality light is a “wavicle” which is a thing that behaves sometimes like a wave and sometimes like a particle, but never at the same time. And I’m sure you also know that everything in the universe, including the atoms making up your body, are all wavicles too and that particles and waves are really just the same thing in differing frequencies. But none of this matters to the point I’m making but I was certain if I didn’t say this someone would try to “correct” me, so I thought I better include it.
 In fact, God can make a plurality of gods a form of monotheism. Perhaps Mormons aren’t so much Trinitarians as Infinitarians.