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How to be trinitarian

grunewald_crucifixion

Adapted from an earlier post

I'm all for trinity.  Trinity this and trinity that.  Clicking on my trinity tag is like typing Google into Google - you may just BREAK THE INTERNET.

But here's the thing - "The Trinity" does not reveal God.  Jesus reveals God (might I add, by the Spirit).  That's the trinity.  But "The Trinity" is not the image of the invisible God.  "The Trinity" is not the Mediator between a Distant-Power-God and today's agnostic enquirer.  Rublev's is not the Icon of the unseen LORD - Jesus is.

Today Christians are awaking more and more to the wonder of trinity and that's very exciting.  Without trinity there is no gospel.  There is no other God but Jesus with His Father and Spirit.  And, in Jesus, we participate in that divine nature.  These truths need shouting from the rooftops.

But... in our excitement to lift up the wonder of the intra-trinitarian life, there is a danger.  The danger is that Jesus might not be the Way in to "God is love."  Instead natural theology provides the in. The argument runs something like this: "We all know that love is lovely, well wouldn't it be nice if God was love in just the way we all understand love...."  See the danger?

A million Facebook profiles speak of "Love" as ultimate.  But 1 John 4 has in mind a very particular kind of love when it describes the love that God is (1 John 4:8-10).  The love which God is shows up in propitiatory sacrifice.  Christ crucified is the Image of God.  He shows us the poured-out-life of eternity.  Trinitarian love is cruciform love.

This means we don't have to be amazing orators, waxing lyrical about perichoresis and such.  In order to be trinitarian, here's all we need to do:  We need to point to the Jesus of Scripture.  We don't need to paint verbal Rublevs so much as paint Jesus in biblical colours.  We just need to hold Him up in His true identity: He is the Christ, the Son of God.

If you want to be trinitarian, obsess yourself with Jesus.

3 thoughts on “How to be trinitarian

  1. Cal

    I can only give a hearty amen and agreed to this one!

    I realized, over time, that I can only ever put my prayers and my meditations to God when I do them towards Jesus. Before, I felt my prayers to "God" or "Father" as filled with doubt and uncertainty. That maybe I was playing a game in my head. Now that I affix my gaze not on the unseen Father, but on His Son, I am not being able to see not only the Son, but His Father, and the Spirit as well.

    Many days, I still don't get it, but I'm comforted when Lord Jesus says, "Those who have me, have the Father". There's nothing more utterly Trinitarian as Peter's confession: "You are the Christ, the Son of God", and yet the foundation is not Trinity but Jesus.

    Cal

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