Reflections on the Trinity

One of the first responses you will get from many of the cults which knock on your door when you profess to be a christian is: "You don't believe in the Trinity, do you?" At which we usually curl up quietly and try to change the topic. This doctrine, found in different expressions, throughout scripture, is perhaps one of the least understood in our day. Rationally it is hard to explain in a way which adequately deals with all the issues.  For many of us, three persons into one just doesn't seem reasonable.

And yet this doctrine, perhaps above all others, expresses the deep truth of the christian faith, that can be expressed in no other way. Liberation theologians have embraced this doctrine with new fervour and great insight as a significant expression of faith. No other doctrine is able to affirm both that God rules the world above the turmoil, and yet at the same time understands what it is to be human in the midst of it. The human face of God triumphed in and through the suffering, and yet has not abandoned us to walk the remainder of our days without his presence. This Trinitarian God not only reigns, but redeems and empowers us as we walk.

Early debates about the Trinity focussed on questions of essence., How can Jesus be both fully human and fully divine?; How can God be immutable and unchangeable, yet suffer and die? Difficult questions to answer, yet the essence of the mystery of God in Christ. To sing Holy Holy Holy, God in three Persons, blessed Trinity is to affirm the greatness of the God who in Christ redeemed humanity, and through his Spirit walks with us day by day.

May 23, 1993
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