Thursday, November 17, 2005

God in a triangle

I was asked to teach on the Trinity last Spring at a conference over here called ROOTS. I agreed, kicking and screaming. I studied for six months to teach on the Trinity. It was the hardest study I’ve ever taught. In the end my prayer life had changed, I knew a great deal more about church history, and my understanding of the Trinity hadn’t budged an inch. I guess the Trinity is just one of those things you have to accept. And in a way, it makes sense that if God is truly God, he wouldn’t be one dimensional like us.

I’ve been thinking about it again lately. Does anybody else find it a bit human that we’ve narrowed God down to these three things? Wouldn’t it be funny if we got to heaven one day, God took a look at our Trinity doctrine, chuckled, patted us on the head and said, “Three in one? Try three-million in one.”

Just like us to put God in a box or, in this case, a triangle.

Comments on "God in a triangle"


Blogger blogblogblog said ... (2:16 PM) : 

I'm not sure the Trinity is a triangle. A more accurate description seems to be a matrix. The other night, with a group of young adults, we were discussing the first chapter of Blue Like Jazz and the whole concept of God as Father. It really spun off from Miller's incredible statement: "My father left my home when I was young, so when I was introduced to the concept of God as Father I imagined Him as a stiff, oily man who wanted to move into our house and share a bed with my mother. I can only remember this as a frightful and threatening idea."

Anyway, we discussed God as Father for a long time, but also acknowledged that Father is only one aspect of God--that He is also creator, preserver, governor, etc. In the same way, Christ is Savior, Lord, Shepherd, etc. Those are different roles all occupied by Christ. The Spirit is comforter, counselor, convictor, etc. Some of the roles overlap, some of them are specific to a member of the Godhead.

So yeah, three million in one is probably more like it. I think the Trinity mysteriously encompasses these three that are more than three. I don't think we're supposed to figure it all out, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't think about it, wonder at it.

I look forward to seeing where the discussion goes.


Blogger Bill said ... (3:24 AM) : 

role or metephore?

I see all these as metephores for who God is and how he relates to humans. I think we have been stripped my modernity the power of metephore.


Blogger Pete said ... (10:45 PM) : 

Kind of a tangent, but still related to the trinity (and always a topic that has fascinated me) is Jesu's "emptying" of divine characteristics when he became man. It's an interesting study.

Like the trinity, the concept is a little beyond our comprehension and only so much is outlined in scripture. Some say He could not possibly have enough remaining omniscience to know the outcome of His temptation, because then it would not have truly been temptation - He would have known that He could never possibly sin / fail the test. Cool stuff!


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