A scene from the Leben der heiligen Altväter (1482)

Follow the Trinity by Following ChristDiscipleship in a Trinitarian Key

The Gospel Coalition

There is no more straightforward way of describing the Christian life than to call it discipleship. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is the core, the focus, and the form of what it means to be a Christian. Answering Jesus’s call to be his disciple is what gives the Christian life its simple, life-shaping power. It makes all the difference between reading the four Gospels as episodes from Bible story time and reading them as the reality of knowing Jesus by following him as a modern disciple.

But sometimes, captivated by the simplicity of this relationship, Christians can be tempted to contrast it with the more complex-sounding affirmation of believing and serving the triune God. Anti-trinitarians, of course, portray this as an absolute contrast: rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity, they claim to simply follow Jesus. But even Christians with sound doctrine can still feel the tension between simple Christ-following and complex Trinity-worshiping.

In reality, the two belong together, and always have. In fact, the doctrine of the Trinity provides the deep foundation for what it means to be a disciple of Jesus…