Twins, the Trinity, and a Biblical Explanation

Text from the Slides:

Twins, the Trinity & a Biblical Explanation

Hello everyone, and welcome to Original Apologetics, where we seek new ways to defend Christians and Christianity. As always, I hope that you are doing well.

Alright everyone, so, for this video, we are going to be discussing the Trinity, which is the Christian concept that God is one being, but is also three persons, each of whom are fully distinct and different as persons, but who are also each fully God. Thus, in short, the Trinity is the idea of one God in three persons. Now, the Trinity is a fascinating concept, but it is also one which many people have said is mysterious, difficult to grasp, and hard to accept.

And yet, it can be wondered whether we make the Trinity more mysterious than it actually is, especially since, when we look at our own world, we can see analogous examples to the Trinity existing in the here and now. Indeed, how can the Trinity be so difficult to understand and accept when we have an example of something very much like the Trinity on this Earth, visible to our very own eyes.

So what is this earthly example of a Trinity? Well, consider the story of Krista and Tatiana Hogan, which is a real-life case of twins conjoined at the head and brain where we actually have two distinct individuals with two centers of consciousness, and yet, given its interconnectivity and its inseparability, these two girls share one large and very unique brain. And, almost miraculously, these two girls, being physically connected as one, can see through each other’s eyes, can share sensory inputs, and can even share their thoughts.

But don’t take my word for it; instead, here is a snippet—which has been edited for relevance—of a November 5th, 2017 article from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation titled “BC’s Hogan Twins Share a Brain and See Out of Each Other’s Eyes.”

QUOTE – “BC’s Hogan twins…are unique in the world. Joined at the head, their brains are connected by a thalamic bridge which gives them neurological capabilities that researchers are only now beginning to understand. A CT scan of the twins showed they could never be separated due to the risk of serious injury or death. … The structure of the twins’ brains makes them unique in the world. Their brains are connected by a thalamic bridge, connecting the thalamus of one with that of the other. The thalamus acts like a switchboard relaying sensory and motor signals and regulating consciousness. … Krista and Tatiana Hogan share the senses of touch and taste and even control one another’s limbs. Tatiana can see out of both of Krista’s eyes, while Krista can only see out of one of Tatiana’s. … Tatiana controls three arms and a leg, while Krista controls three legs and an arm. They can also switch to self-control of their limbs. … The twins say they know one another’s thoughts without having to speak. “Talking in our heads” is how they describe it. … The girls have very different personalities. Tatiana is outgoing, talkative and high strung while Krista is quieter, more relaxed and loves to tell jokes.” – END QUOTE

And from an earlier January 2nd, 2014 article about the Hogan twins from the Vancouver Sun newspaper, author Denis Ryan writes the following about the experiences of these twins:

QUOTE – “In order to see through each other’s eyes there is some internal shift, a decision, as if each sister’s soul moves over and makes space for the other. … This seemingly magical ability — to see through each other’s eyes, to feel what the other experiences, perhaps even to share thoughts — has stunned neurologists and makes these tiny girls unique in the world. They are conjoined not just by flesh and bone. Their brains are “zippered” together by a neural bridge between the thalami, the sensory processing hubs of their brains. This bridge, which the girls can flitter across at will, has raised questions and inspired a sense of wonder among even the most seasoned specialists. How does it work? What are its limits? What could it mean to our understanding of the ability of the brain to change and adapt? What does it mean in terms of how we understand the development of personality, empathy and consciousness? What does it feel like to literally see through another’s eyes?” – END QUOTE.

So here we have, for all intents and purposes, two persons—meaning two centers of consciousness and two different personalities—housed in one very unique brain and one very unique body. Indeed, since their brains are joined together in an inseparable way, these twins essentially have one brain, although it is an incredibly unique one. And so, these are two persons who can literally see through each other’s eyes, share control of their limbs, and even share thoughts with each other directly and without the medium of verbal communication. Consequently, through this real-life case of the Hogan twins, it is possible to see and understand how a thing that is ultimately one in its ‘whatness’, namely their one unique brain and one unique body, can actually be two in its ‘personhood’. And all this is quite analogous to how the Trinity is claimed to exist.

After all, in the Trinity, the ‘whatness’ of God is shared by three persons while still being just one thing, just as the ‘whatness’ of the Hogan twins, namely their one unique brain, is shared by two persons while still being just one thing. And while such an analogy for the Trinity is, of course, not perfect—for no analogy is ever perfect—this analogy nevertheless does provide us with a living example of two centers of consciousness in one brain sharing sensations and even sharing their thoughts, which is precisely what the Trinity is said to do. Thus, this real-life case does serve as an example which should diminish the mystery that surrounds the Trinity itself, for here we have an illustration, in nature, of two persons being able to act in a manner reflective of how Christian theology teaches us that the Trinity can act.

At the same time, it is also worth pointed out that the Bible itself, in its interesting distinction between a ‘spirit’ and a ‘soul’, as found in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and Hebrews 4:12, might also provide us with the very means to better explain the Trinity. Why? Because God could be one soul with three spirits, or vis versa, just as Krista and Tatiana Hogan are one brain with two persons. Indeed, in such a case, the soul would be analogous to the body and the spirit would be analogous to the mind of a person (or vis versa). Furthermore, since, in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the New Testament states that a human person is a mix of soul and spirit and body, and since the Bible, in Genesis 1:26-27, also says that men are made in the image of God, then this gives us yet further reason to think that God is a mix of soul and spirit.

At the same time, it is also worth pointed out that the Bible itself, in its interesting distinction between a ‘spirit’ and a ‘soul’, as found in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and Hebrews 4:12, might also provide us with the very means to better explain the Trinity. Why? Because God could be one soul with three spirits, or vis versa, just as Krista and Tatiana Hogan are one brain with two persons. Indeed, in such a case, the soul would be analogous to the body and the spirit would be analogous to the mind of a person (or vis versa). Furthermore, since, in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, the New Testament states that a human person is a mix of soul and spirit and body, and since the Bible, in Genesis 1:26-27, also says that men are made in the image of God, then this gives us yet further reason to think that God is a mix of soul and spirit.

Finally, Isaiah 42:1 also hints that God is indeed both soul and spirit when it says, speaking in God’s voice, that “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him (NASB)”. So the idea that God is both soul and spirit, and that the Trinity thus could be three spirits in one soul, has some Biblical support. Thus the Bible itself, through its division of soul from spirit, when combined with the real analogous example of two persons sharing one brain, provides us with yet further means by which we can better understand the Trinity.

And so, in the end, not only does nature provide us with a living example of something that is analogous to the Trinity, thereby lessening the alleged mysteriousness of this Christian concept, but the Bible itself gives us the grounds to understand that the Trinity might be structured in a similar way, namely as three spirits, or three minds, in one soul. And really, there is nothing contradictory or overly difficult to grasp about that idea.

Alright everyone, that concludes this video, which I hope you enjoyed. And remember, if you ever have a question for Original Apologetics or if you would like to submit any material to the site for potential publication, then please e-mail Original Apologetics at ‘originalapologetics@protonmail.com’. Thank you and good-bye.

References:

http://www.cbc.ca/cbcdocspov/features/the-hogan-twins-share-a-brain-and-see-out-of-each-others-eyes [Accessed 18 Feb 2018]

http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Through+sister+eyes+Conjoined+twins+Tatiana+Krista+were+extraordinary+from+beginning/7449226/story.html [Accessed 27 October 2016]

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