In my mystical journey with God, there are times His voice speaks with absolute clarity. Moments of divinely inspired clarity are impinging, powerful to alter course and consciousness. At the beginning of this year, one such moment of lucidity set the pace of my pursuit. 2013 will be, for me, a year of rediscovering the Trinity. After a lifetime of familiarity with the cardinal attributes of God, my heart suddenly desires to rediscover Him. Perhaps I’ve swam in waters too shallow to fulfill my thrill-seeking urges. Possibly the Spirit of God is leading me out of misinformation. No matter the cause of stir, I’m thankful for the agitation that has awoken me from (quite honestly) a bout of theological boredom. Can you relate?
The concept of the Trinity has bewildered me in times past. As a teacher in the church, I have been completely dissatisfied with the methods of explaining the mystery of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as 3 in 1. I’ve used the three-leaf clover, an egg, water, 3-in-1 shampoo, and many other devices to try to illustrate how the Godhead co-exists and interrelates. However, each of these less-than-brilliant devices have left me frustrated by their oversimplifications. Something never quite set right with me about how the Trinity has traditionally been communicated. By our efforts to wrap the topic up in a nice, neat package that is easily deliverable in a 30-minute Sunday morning lecture, we’ve robbed the Trinity of its glorious mystery.
Yesterday, in our Sunday morning service, I attempted to unwrap the package and re-open the cold case of how the Trinity co-exists and interacts. Certain questions need to be raised in the days ahead – questions that I feel might affect the way we interpret scripture. The light is changing, casting shadows on areas that once seemed quite illumined and illuminating areas that once seemed ominous. My gut instinct, when it comes to revolutionary thought, is to begin by returning to the basics, rather than trying to affect change on the fringes. In my sermon I address certain questions that have fueled my research in recent days, such as:
- Is the Trinity one player in the roles of three persons?
- How does modalism, Oneness, or Jesus-Only doctrine adversely affect our view of the Godhead?
- Is there a hierarchy among God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit?
- In Heaven, will we be able to visually see the three separate persons of the Godhead? Do they coexist in eternity?
- How has our shallow understanding of the Trinity hindered the church?
- Why did the Trinity create us, and for what purpose?
For a time, the video of my sermon is available to you. Again, my aim is not to sew it up neatly but to unravel and raise some soul-searching questions. Should you care to join the conversation, please reply to this post with your comments, thoughts and queries. Remember, you are loved, valued and respected as a fellow seeker of truth. Blessings!