What DOES the term ‘the Son of God’ mean? And WHAT is the Trinity?
The recognition of Jesus of Nazareth as ‘Son of God’ was an instinctive ‘all bracing’ and ‘whole hearted’ recognition by the people around him that he was to God as a son was to his father. After his death and resurrection Greek thinkers in particular started trying to work out a mechanism for his relationship with God. Defining God as Father, Son & Holy Spirit was just one of several models that attempted to explain the inexplicable. The idea itself developed in the late 2C and when the Roman Emperor, Constantine, put his stamp on it for political reasons 100 years later, as part of his adopting Christianity as the official faith of the empire, any further thought was ‘frozen in time’. Christianity had stopped being an ‘outsider insurgent’ faith and became institutionalised. The trouble is that for us is that whilst it was suitable for the mind of Greek philosophers it sounds like a fairy story to the ordinary person in the street and certainly causes theological problems relating to the other faiths that believe in the ‘one God’. In fact all of the multiple models & definitions mean/meant the same thing: that in the person of Jesus of Nazareth we see the nature of God. Or put another way “God IS and God is as he is in Jesus”. That is all that matters.