Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Holy Trinity

Sunday, 23 January 2011 11:08 pm
cjbanning: (Trinity)
God exists in community, in relationship, in conversation. (The technical account of how the Trinity works is, of course, found in the Athanasian Creed. The Episcopal catechism is, as it often is, less than useless on this point, more or less referring one to the Creed.)

For many Trinitarian Christians, including me, this mystery--and, yes, it is a mystery--is absolutely central to our understanding and experience of divinity. Try out this account of the Trinity by a fictionalized Jürgen Moltmann (but actually by Tony Jones): "Think of the Trinity as the dynamic, eternal dance of God. Doesn’t that jibe with your church’s desire to be a place of laughter and joy, a place where the body is honored, where worship is more than just words?"

C. Leonard Allan writes in Things Unseen that:
God is not a solitary, domineering individual who rules through arbitrary exercise of power but rather the perfect model of loving community—becoming vulnerable, entering into partnership, sharing the divine life, loving like a parent. [. . .]

In this view God is essentially dynamic, relational, and ecstatic (going outside oneself). God is the very paragon of love in relationship, of living in intimate community and submissive freedom—the God who loved Israel like Hosea loved Gomer and who so loved the world that [God] sent [God's] only [Child]. And God invites human beings, [God's] creatures, to share the rich life and fellowship of the divine community, and through partaking of that life to become like [God's Child]. [. . .]

The Trinity provides our pattern or exemplar for unity and fellowship. God leads a relational life as [Parent], [Child], and Spirit. That life is characterized by submissive love, as each member of the Trinity pours [their] life into the other. In God’s own self there is an abundant outpouring of life, so abundant that it overflows and creates community with God’s creatures—those outside the relationship within God.
God's relational character as Three in One models for us our way of being Church, enmeshed in loving relationship, and also the way that Scripture, Tradition, and Reason remain in conversation with each other as complementary sources of revelation.

ETA:
The RCC catechism can be long-winded sometimes )
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My Prayer

"This is my prayer: that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best."
-- St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians 1:9-10

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