The natural interpretation of the phrase 'a personal God' would be 'a God who is a person'. But, if this were the only meaning that could be attached to the phrase, we should have to say that orthodox Christians deny the existence of a personal God. For the Christian God is the Trinity; and the Trinity is not a person, though its members are persons. Now it would be extremely inconvenient to define the phrase 'personal God' in such a way that we should have to hold that all orthodox Christians deny the existence of a personal God. And, as we have seen, this inconvenient result would follow if we defined a 'personal God' to mean 'a God who is a person'. We must therefore adopt a somewhat wider definition of'personal'. Now we notice that, whilst the Trinity is denied to be a person, it is asserted to be a complex unity composed of three intimately related constituents, each of which is a person. And I think that we should deny that a man believed in a personal God unless he believed that God either is a person or is a complex whole composed of nothing but interrelated persons. I therefore suggest that the phrase 'a personal God' means 'a God which either is a person or is a whole composed of nothing but interrelated persons'. This definition is certainly wide enough, whilst the first suggested definition was certainly too narrow. It might perhaps be objected that the proposed definition is now too wide. Would any and every God which is composed of nothing but interrelated persons be counted as a personal God? Or must the relations be of a specially intimate kind before we can apply the adjective 'personal' to a whole composed of nothing but persons? It is admitted that, according to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the relations between the constituent persons are ex-
tremely intimate; so much so that there is a constant danger of making statements about the Trinity which are true only of its constituents, and of making statements about its constituents which are true only of the Trinity as a whole. But I think that this question really arises rather under the definition of 'God' than under the definition of 'personal'. It is quite certain that we should not apply the name 'God' to any and every whole composed of interrelated persons; we should apply this name only if the relations were peculiarly intimate. I shall assume, therefore, that any whole composed of nothing but persons may be called 'personal' provided that the relations between the constituent persons are intimate enough for this whole to be called a 'God'.