I’d honestly and sincerely be curious to hear if there were an answer to this. At the same time, I’m putting the question out there as something I feel might be thought-provoking for others.
Here are two scenarios that are clearly false-worship according to the Jewish Torah. In what way do the Christian beliefs in incarnation and trinity (or multiplicity/relationship within God) differ from these two things? Christians might feel that the faith they follow is either grossly or subtly misrepresented by such a comparison, but the truly important question is… how?
A man came to King David and told him that God has various people within him, even while being totally one. So the king asked the man whether this is meant to change his concept of God even the slightest amount, since God is beyond anything finite we can see or conceive of or compare. How should this idea change the way the king looks at God when he prays, turning his eyes away from all things visible and his one heart towards its one Creator? The man insisted that while this is ‘mostly a mystery’, it is also a great revelation and should be believed.
This man left, and another came in seeking an audience with the king. He said that God had come ‘into’ the physical sphere. King David asked whether he meant that God had done a miracle, or sent a messenger, or created a reflection of His glory in the world. The man insisted that the Creator had literally entered the created realm. King David replied that every single thing that has being or breath is fully connected to God for its being, and that every manifestation, angel, word, and blessing holds His closeness without ‘being Him’. How could any thing be ‘more God’ in this world than that?
The king would have been right to put these ideas out of his mind. At the least, they would be meaningless. At the worst, they would make him have images in his mind when he prayed, finite things that are servants of God and themselves owe Him praise.
But Christianity seems to have paralllel ideas to this and assert that TOGETHER, they are a profound truth of “God with us”.
I believe in mystery in faith, because God is greater than we are and we should be humble in front of things that we trust He has taught us. But when the Jewish faith was given with such clear affirmations of the line between the finite world and the Creator of it all… a distinction along which the most intimate and true relationship ever exists in His embrace of our being, and we only owe ourselves to Him… then to blur the line is to mock that mystery and destroy something valuable: the constant refrain of Jewish scripture and faith, which is offered to all people to join in with.
If there’s something I’m missing in either of those comparisons, or in the significance of the two concepts being joined and therefore no longer meaningless/idolatrous… then that would be worth trying to put into words.