question and response

Grasping the Trinity

How do you feel about the Trinity? How long did it take for you to start to get a grasp of it?

I feel good about the Trinity. I agree with deviantmonk in the comment on Physics of the Trinity.

As far as I’m concerned, [the Trinity is] the bedrock of Christian theology, worldview, ethics, and whatever else.

As far as getting a grasp of the Trinity, I believe that there is really only a continual journey deeper into the mystery. The more I think I know the more I realize I do not know. However, I would say that beginning to grasp the concept of the Trinity started thinking about analogies (some of which were mentioned at the taster), such as neapolitan ice cream, a shamrock, water in three phases. However, I do caution these comparisons as greatly lacking and should not be the end of seeking to understand. I think that the most faithful way of understanding the Trinity is to begin with the narrative of scripture.

Different forms of this question were common – look for some additional thoughts on this topic soon.

This question came out of a young adult small group taster last Sunday morning in which I taught about the question “What is the Trinity?”

By Andrew Conard

Christian, husband, son, brother, homeowner

4 replies on “Grasping the Trinity”

As far as getting a grasp of the Trinity, I believe that there is really only a continual journey deeper into the mystery. The more I think I know the more I realize I do not know.

Ha! So true. As I have been thinking through these things during the posts you have put up, I have found myself feeling dumber and dumber re: the Trinity. I was laying on my bed last night, staring up at the ceiling and realizing

1. how little I know about God
2. how little I will ever know about God in comparison to who God is.

The more I study and think about the Trinity, as you said, the deeper the mystery becomes, and the more tantalizing God is to think about. I realize that I will be forever learning more and more about God, and that will never ever end. I have found that as I come to know God more, so my love for God increases, which would seem to indicate that throughout eternity we will continually grow to love God more and more.

Has anyone read the Spider and the starfish? I am seeing many parallels between the Trinity, Ebay, and Terrorist organizations. The Trinity allows for a perfect decentralized organization. I am not saying we must fit the Trinity into the box of a human construct. I am saying it is very beautiful to me any time something of this world give a glimpse into the perfection of the Godhead.

deviantmonk – Thanks for sharing the resonance of those sentences. I am right on with your two points.

Bart – I have not read the Spider and the Starfish, do you recommend it? I think I see the connections you are making here. Thanks for adding to the converstaion.

I just read the executive summary and have not got the book yet. I would recommend the book based on the summary. I googled house church and decentralized and the book was the first hit. The authors were (2007 Jan) invited to be guest speakers at the CMA (organic church not country music) annual convention. Three things jumped out as related to the church.
1. A spider organization has all the stuff contained in each arm to do it’s thing. Cut off an arm and a new starfish will grow from the arm. – Any time two or more are gathered “in my name” they have all the stuff required to fulfill the law, love God and neighbor, and the great commission. Also think of the dedication of the church in persecuted areas. They burn one building or martyr one leader and two stronger churches emerge.
2. The most efficient organization is a hybrid. This type of organization has a central leader, but execution is at the small unit with each being accountable for their own performance. – Think of the church after Christ ascension, John 16, the Spirit was sent to live in each believer. The Spirit does not speak on his own, but says what the father says.
3. There best way to defeat a decentralized organization is to introduce give them stuff. When people get stuff their behavior changes, leaders begin to use stuff as an instrument of influence and coercion. – Consider the concept of the UMC owning all the buildings and how they are used by the leadership. Also consider what happens when stuff distracts from the mission of the church. Any time (years) spent selecting the color of carpet for the entry is time taken from making disciples (see Doughty, Discovering Community)

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