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Trinity? Or Speed Dating at the Pantheon? A repost for Trinity Month

I’m always coming across it.  Do you ever hear this kind of statement?

-- It’s important to be Christ-centred, but let’s not forget about God.

Now this could mean one of a number of things.

It could mean "I need to hear about the Father and His Spirit of Adoption"

Or it could mean "We need to give equal prominence to the one god of philosophy."

In either case, the answer is to give the person more Jesus!  The first person needs to know the Father and the Spirit in Christ (and in Christ alone) and the second person needs to replace their theological method with Christ (and with Christ alone).

Because if someone says "We need to focus less on Jesus and give more time to "God" or "the Father" or "the Spirit"... where does that leave the mediation of Christ ?  Do we really believe in Christ as Mediator?

Or do we think it’s about balancing our respect for the Persons?  As though ‘being trinitarian’ means standing before a loose association of deities and ensuring equal devotion.  That sounds more like speed-dating at the Pantheon.  Do we really imagine ourselves to be outside the Three, making sure we spend equal time at the feet of Each?  Have we forgotten that we are in the Son?  And nowhere else!  Have we forgotten that the Father and the Spirit are in the Son?  And nowhere else!

Or is that only an incidental point?  Is that only half true?  Or only sometimes true?  Because if it’s just true – true true – then there’s no way to be Patro-centric or Pneuma-centric except by being resolutely Christo-centric.

I know the Father as ‘Him Who makes the Son Son.’  I know the Spirit as ‘Him Who makes the Christ, Christ.’  And I don’t know them otherwise.

But a theologian making a plea for equal time for the Persons… once they turn their gaze from the Son, how exactly are they going to view the Father?  They’re not.  So this one to whom they turn when they look away from Jesus, who is that guy?

And what’s he doing?  Clearly he hasn’t committed all things into his Son’s hands.  He’s got a venture or two on the side that requires supplemental enquiries!

And where do they imagine themselves to be as they circulate around the trinity?  Do they think of themselves as a fourth individual at the heart of the Holy Huddle.  Well the Shack might put me there and some Christian art might put me there, and that might be an improvement on unitarianism. But that’s not really where I am.  I’m IN Jesus participating in His Sonship and Anointing.  This is my only access to the life of the trinity.  Jesus is not just One of the Three, He is The Way.

I don’t have a relationship with the Father and the Spirit except the relationship that Christ has with them.  I know the trinity not from some objective fourth perspective, but only from Christ’s perspective.  Only in Him, and all that He is and does for me, do I know His Father and Spirit.

So, absolutely, don’t forget the Father or Spirit.  Get to know the Persons in all their distinct glory and grace. But they are not outside of the Christ, the Son of God. And neither are you!

1 thought on “Trinity? Or Speed Dating at the Pantheon? A repost for Trinity Month

  1. Si Hollett

    Yes!

    The point about the inability to be patri-centric or pneuma-centric without first being Christo-centric is important.

    I'm in a church and studying theology at a college that both love the Father heart of God, love the ministry of the Spirit (charismatic especially) - and love Jesus (of course!) - but whenever they (rarely) try and focus on one of the other two persons and leave Jesus out of it, they don't talk about the person they want to talk about, but around.

    I've never heard the Spirit talked about so much as when Ron Frost read Sibbes' Description of Christ at last years Delighted by God. And there's that brilliantly descriptive line in 'The Good God' in the chapter on the Son: "Then there is the Spirit - and more and more this chapter is straining to get onto the next one, for there is so much to say about the Spirit." (p62).

    To alter Gregory Nazianzen's famous quote - No sooner do I conceive of the Son than I am illumined by the splendor of the Father and Spirit; no sooner do I see Father or Spirit than I am carried back to the Son.

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