Chapter 5: Puritans on the Trinity
The rise of Socinian rejection of the Trinity in the 1600s led many puritans to defend the doctrine.
God is one, and each of the three Persons of the Trinity are God. They are in relative opposition to each other, meaning that the Father is not the Son, etc. This doesn't wind up in tritheism, just as multiple attributes of God don't give us a non unified God. "There can be no multiplicity of the divine essence." Nor of the attributes, say Beeke/Jones. But not even of the Persons, do they imply?
No. Distinguish between Persons and essence, they say. If the divine essence is holy, then all Three Persons are holy. But it doesn't go the other way. Just because the Son is incarnate does not mean the divine essence or the other Two are. We may use these terms of person and essence, though the Bible doesn't, for we are allowed to infer things legitimately from Scripture.
It's interesting that Frame diminishes this distinction, even willing to call God's Triune nature an attribute of His essence. Many would ask him how he would defend the doctrine of Trinity against the charge of tri-theism. I think this shows an overemphasis on God's unity at the expense of His plurality. It shows an unhealthy discomfort with God's plurality, though we are right of course to avoid tri-theism.