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Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Trinity - Knowing God

I guess that thousands of volumes have been written and millions of sermons have been preached concerning the doctrine of the Trinity over the last 2000 years. Don’t worry. I am not about to try and condense these into a grossly inadequate summary here. There is a much simpler starting point and it has to do with experience.

In truth, the Orthodox Church has it right when she claims that the Trinity is a doxological reality in the Church; that is it concerns worship, and therefore, experience. It was an encounter with the living Christ that convinced a group of monotheist Jews that Christ was God along with the Father. It was the experience of being filled with the Spirit at Pentecost that convinced these disciples that God remained present with them in this Gift and that they should ascribe Godhead to the Holy Spirit also. Interestingly, when St. Basil the Great wrote much later on the Trinity he justified giving glory TO the Father, TO the Son and TO the Spirit he in part appealed to the received practice of worship. This is a source in Tradition for the Orthodox along with the Scriptures and the witness of our God-bearing fathers and mothers in the faith.

Bearing this perspective in mind, when those claiming to be Christians deny the Trinity, one cannot help but conclude that they have not encountered the living Christ who saves; they have not been filled with the Pentecostal Spirit who imparts holiness. It isn’t that they are being wilfully contentious or difficult, it’s just that the experience of God-with-us, tripersonally, has not been present. Therefore, when confessing the Trinity, merely arguing about it one way or the other achieves little or nothing. The way to the Trinity is an invitation to know God personally. There is no other sure route.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen, Father.

Orthodoxy has been a wonderful practical corrective to my often theoretical mind: thanks be to God.

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