The Trinity

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Ernest
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The Trinity

Post by Ernest » Mon May 28, 2018 6:49 am

Once again, we've had Trinity Sunday, which appears to challenge those preaching on the subject of the Three in One nature or aspects of God.

Over the years, I've been challenged by some interpretations, and comparisons drawn, seeking to explain the nature of the Trinity, and the relationships between the three persons in one. I have yet to hear an explanation of the Trinity, that manages to satisfactorily explain it. But, than, the statement on the Trinity, demonstrated that this doctrine puzzled many in the Early Church, let alone today.

I can recall once, early on when I told my Spiritual Director that I thought that I understood the Trinity, he calmly said, than I should "Apply to be the next Pope",said in Jest, but with a serious intent - he wanted to disabuse me of the idea that I had all the answers.

In the Nicene Creed, which we profess our faith and belief in the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are we truly saying that we 'understand' or are we saying that we believe as a matter of faith? A question we were challenged with in yesterdays sermon.

I've been pondering on this ever since. So, the sermon did it's job, on getting us thinking about what we know, what we understand and what we 'do' believe in the Creed.

It is often pointed out that there is no mention of the Trinity in the Bible, and it's a man made doctrine. I understand that its a way of understanding the triple nature of God, It goes something like:

"God exists as three persons or hypostases, but is one being, having a single divine nature. The members of the Trinity are co-equal and co-eternal, one in essence, nature, power, action, and will". h/t to wikipedia.

I'm still struggling, but have come to see that having faith in the tri-nature of God is a good start. We do have biblical evidence for each aspect of the nature, and putting it together in the Trinity is as good a way of trying to describe, the indiscribable, unknowable nature(s) of God.

What do you think?
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Joyce
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The Trinity

Post by Joyce » Mon May 28, 2018 9:09 pm

As The Holy Spirit we experience God. We can't see or touch Him but we know He's there and we talk to Him. Sometimes we feel Him. He's around us in spirit form. Almighty, invisible, as the hymn goes.

As The Son, God took human form. He dwelt among us humans as Jesus. His divinity eventually became clear. We can picture Him when we pray, read about Him,watch films with somebody playing Him (thanks to Dorothy L.Sayers in the 1940s getting the rules changed) and ask for things in the name of Him and what He did for us.

As God the creator, the miracle-worker who activated Mary's egg to produce Him as Baby Jesus, we call Him 'The Father'. In the New Testament Jesus called Him 'Abba' and God called Jesus 'My beloved Son'. It's hard enough for us to think of Him being in two places at once and performing two functions, let alone grasp that He can be Three. We notice that our earthly father is somebody's son (0ne of my childhood memories is of sitting on a seafront bench with my grandpa bouncing my beach ball, and my father saying, 'Dad, don't!'. ) so we have an example of someone who can be both. Even then we encounter both Dad and Grandad as two separate persons, however alike they may be.

With our human minds, three ways of thinking about or perceiving God is plenty. The writers of Dr Who can come up with episodes like 'The Three Doctors' or 'The Five Doctors' and have them talking to one another although there is only one Doctor. If fictitious time lords can do it, and I can talk to myself, there's no reason God can't. The Church Fathers no doubt chose a trinity because there are three ways in which God is written about in Scripture. Any more than that would be too much for us. I'd guess that most of us tend to think of The Three Persons separately anyway. If we think in terms of 'God and Jesus' as separated beings we're only doing what the disciples must have done when Jesus was on Earth.

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Ernest
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Post by Ernest » Tue May 29, 2018 7:19 am

Thanks for responding Joyce.

I suspect that part of the human problem is our own mind, where we tend to put things into compartments or boxes to keep them neat and tidy, and the idea of a Trinity of persons In one inter-relationship with themselves might make us think of people who have mental health issues and speak as different people at different times.

But having compartments for God seems disrespectful, albeit, we can relate to each of the figures of the trinity, in different ways at different times for different reasons.

I associate the Father with Creation and the Old Testament. Jesus with Salvation and the New Testament and the Spirit of God with the whole of creation, salvation and the ongoing influence of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in my daily life.

The powerful image of Jesus are the words when he says "Abide in me, as I Abide in You". And particularly where he says that the Father knows him, as he knows the Father and as we know him, we can know the Father.

So, I am resigned to this as a matter of faith, and will continue to Worship the Triune God as I always have done, and try not to put them into individual boxes as some tend to do. Here we go........ :thumbs:
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Joyce
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The Trinity

Post by Joyce » Tue May 29, 2018 1:38 pm

Good points, Ernest. God may be many more than three. I know I am at least five to the people around me. I'm a daughter,a sister,an older cousin, a baby cousin,a godmother, a friend, a teacher, a patient,a beta reader,a neighbour - oops, how many's that ?

If we as humans can be so many people at once,imagine how many God might be ! My godfather used to say of the universe,' These numbers are so vast they're beyond human comprehension.'

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Ernest
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Post by Ernest » Wed May 30, 2018 6:18 am

Thanks Joyce.

I think you quite accurately describe the relationships you have in life, with others, and your God Father's words echo the mystery of God.

Science tries to make sense of it all, but while it can explain to an extent the physical world, they struggle to explain infinity. The Big Bang theory fascinates me, because they can't yet explain who lit the touch paper :confused:
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Emle
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The Trinity

Post by Emle » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:43 am

Thank you both for your interesting input on this topic ...I enjoy reading your comments :biggrin:

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Joe Parrish
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Post by Joe Parrish » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:35 pm

We cannot know the height, width, or depth of God, so 'knowing'
the Holy Trinity is also impossible.
I have several sermons where I postulated various and sundry 'theories' or 'explanations' or 'similes' about the Trinity, but of course all are incomplete, incorrect, or just plain heretical, sorry to say, on reflection. I was on the 'ice, water, steam bandwagon' at one time, then I found out that there are at least six forms of ice, based on pressure. And being a brother, son, uncle also is a bit 'off'' since I am also a great uncle, grandson, and brother-in-law, and a great great grandson, etc., etc.
God is good, loving, kind, and overlooks our frail attempts to compare.
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Ernest
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Post by Ernest » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:19 am

Thanks Joe.

Never sure what I would actually say if called upon to preach on Trinity Sunday.

But as we will be in Vacancy next Trinity Sunday, it might fall to me to do so, unlelss I can find a willing victim as Locum to take Communion and to Preach.

Joe, what are you doing next Trinity Sunday? I can ask for Permission to Officiate for you is needed? :)
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
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God is Love!
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Joe Parrish
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The Trinity

Post by Joe Parrish » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:39 pm

Ernest wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:19 am
Thanks Joe.

Never sure what I would actually say if called upon to preach on Trinity Sunday.

But as we will be in Vacancy next Trinity Sunday, it might fall to me to do so, unlelss I can find a willing victim as Locum to take Communion and to Preach.

Joe, what are you doing next Trinity Sunday? I can ask for Permission to Officiate for you is needed? :)
Anytime you want to preach for us on Trinity Sunday, we accept, Ernie!
Peace and blessings,
Joe

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Ernest
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Post by Ernest » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:20 am

Ah, chance would be a fine thing!

Love the idea, but a trip to the USA might be difficult as we are now in pension age and while we're comfortable, luxuries are not available.

But I look forward to your next preach, next Trinity Sunday :)
Where there is hope and love there is life!
God is Life!
God is Hope!
God is Love!
God Is!!

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