Willhelmus a Brakel on Why People become Atheists: They deny the Trinity

These are the fruits of dishonoring God and of denying the generation of the Son and the procession of the Holy Ghost. First they propose the existence of three collateral persons—that is, existing side by side—which is followed by the notion of three gods, and eventually this culminates in denying the existence of God. These fruits proceed from a distaste for the old paths which are unknown to them and from a hankering for the promotion of that which is new. Such are the fruits of doubting the existence of God.[1]

It should be noted that Brakel argues that there are no “original” atheists. That is to say, no one comes out of the womb doubting the existence of God. Atheism is an alien condition: but it is one that can be arrived at. How does one become an atheist? First, by denying the orthodox teaching concerning the Trinity. Admittedly, the reasoning is somewhat circular: but if the Trinity is God, then denying the Trinity is atheism. Where does this denial of the Trinity come from? A repudiation of Holy Tradition and a desire for novelty. So Brakel sees the process as: denial of tradition, denial of the Trinity, denial of God. What is the remedy for one caught in such a trap?

“Persevere in reading God’s Word and join yourself to the godly in order to hear them speak about the delight they may have in God.”[2]


[1] Willhelmus à Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service, vol. 1, (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 1992), 12.

[2] Ibid, 22.

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