The Awesome Trinity
One of the fundamental convictions of Christianity is the Trinity, yet it’s one that is hardly ever taught. And it’s hard enough to grasp in detail as it is. But it’s a doctrine I love to study because the more you dig into the details, the more awesome my realize of God is. And I love it because it synthesizes study of the Bible, theology, and philosophy, the tools of which are necessary to begin to understand God’s unique and magnificent nature.
The understanding of the Trinity is one of the major flaws of the popular book The Shack. (See Amy’s earlier post on that.) I recently found this great book that is a wonderful introduction to understanding the Trinity: Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective by Fred Sanders and Klaus Issler. It may be heavy lifting, but take your time and reread passages. The authors do a very good job of clarity.
I liked this passage because it expresses what I’ve found to be true. The Bible teaches us truths we can apprehend, but these truth are also facts we’ll never master because they are so deep and profound. We don’t abandon trying to understand the revelation; we work hard at it as a way to honor God’s revelation of Himself to us. And the more we learn, the more we are moved to worship as His greatness becomes more apparent in the details rather than leaving things in blurry vagueness.
A key question in all discussion of divine ontology is whether biblical revelation can be taken as adequate to who and what God ultimately is. While experiential and traditional arguments for the doctrine of the Trinity are helpful, neither can be ultimately decisive. Experiences may be variously interpreted. Christian traditions differ, and each tradition contributes a deeper metaphysical vocabulary forged within quite a different cultural milieus. Most classical Christians will affirm that finally the Bible must ground and structure our understanding of God. While there may be hiddenness, incomprehensibility, and even darkness in God’s self-revelation, there are no masks. The divine Being is not misleading the believer; there is no charade – as the incarnation and the cross powerfully testify. God is honest, true, and genuine in communicating [H]imself. I presuppose that the economic Trinity as revealed in the Bible accurately represents to finite creation who and what God is but, at the same time, the economic Trinity is by no means all that is God. As classical theology confesses, language about God serves analogically but is inadequate for any exhaustive correspondence to the infinite….Our search necessarily requires intellectual humility before God’s mystery which has, as Karl Rahner put it, a logic of its own. (p. 49)
And that’s from a man about to get into the details of the Trinity, not leave the mystery to baffle him.
Posted by Melinda