The Blessed Tri-Unity 5

Despite their orthodox confession of the Trinity, Christians are, in practical life, almost mere “monotheists.” We must be willing to admit that, should the doctrine of the Trinity have to be dropped as false, the major part of religious literature could well remain virtually unchanged.  [AND the major part of worship???]

—Karl Rahner, “The Trinity” in A Map of Twentieth-Century Theologians: Readings from Karl Barth to Radical Pluralism, 190

The Blessed Tri-Unity 4

The Trinity is not a doctrine, not a sacred teaching or formula or analogy or geometry. Jesus Christ the Son of God reveals the hidden Life He shares from eternity with the Father and Spirit. Jesus only says what He hears His Father saying. Jesus only does what He sees His Father doing. And the Spirit is everywhere making manifest the inseparability of the Father and Son as One God with Them. 

The One God is the “us” in whose image we are made. The One God is the voice Isaiah hears ask the question “Who will go for US?” The One God is present as Son and Dove and Father as Jesus is baptized by John. And so on. The Trinity is known because God acts and speaks in the world they make and the world they love and the world they seek to save as the Father from all eternity sends the Son and “thereafter” (only from our vantage, for there is no before or after in God) sends the Spirit. 

Trinity is what we humans name this revelation in actions and words of the triune nature of the One Love that simply was and is and is to come. God is not words on a page but a divine community of relations that seeks to make us participants by grace in Their eternal way of life, in Their nature. All of this is partial and all of this is “through a glass darkly” but we stammer anyway our worship and our praise. What we don’t do is worship an idea about God. We worship the Triune God of Life who shows us His face in Jesus. 

—Fr. Kenneth Tanner (

The Blessed Tri-Unity 3

The implications of the doctrine of the Trinity are profound. As Michael Schluter has often said, before anything material existed, there were relationships. Love among the members of the Godhead existed before creation. Love belongs to ultimate reality. Love is from eternity to eternity. In monotheistic religions without the Trinity, there is no-one to be loved before the creation.

The Trinity also means that ultimate reality is unity with diversity. The goal of history is everything becoming rightly related to each other, into shalom, unity in diversity.

—Jeff Fountain, Weekly Word May 28, 2018

The Blessed Tri-Unity 2

The Father sings his Word into the void,
From the depth of his heart bursts out this spring,
Creation’s waterfall by Spirit buoyed,
The breath of love enfiring everything.
He spoke his love through Mary, bearing seed
Sown for us, baking our redemption’s bread,
By the fiery dove whose flame fulfils our need,
That at time’s end no tears be left to shed.
Dead for the Father, through the Spirit slain
In spotless sacrifice, and through his breath
Our dead bones rise with him to dance again,
The three-fold cord ascending us from death.
Rainbow divine, one glory shone in three,
Taking us into your own family.

—Christopher Villiers, “Trinity”

Seeing in the Spirit

A friend of mine led a tour last year to the seven churches of the book of Revelation.  I said, “Did you go to the island of Patmos?” “No,” he said, “I asked the people about going to Patmos, and they said, ‘It would take you a day to get there, and a day to get back, and when you get to Patmos you don’t see anything.’” And I thought to myself, “Tell that one to the Apostle John.”

But, you know, that’s church, isn’t it? That’s worship. It’s possible to be in the building and to see nothing. [John was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day,” Revelation 1:10]

—Sinclair Ferguson, “The Church’s Worship” (audio message)

Worshipers before Workers

God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship. It is inconceivable that a sovereign and holy God should be so hard up for workers that He would press into service anyone who had been empowered regardless of his moral qualifications. The very stones would praise Him if the need arose and a thousand legions of angels would leap to do His will.

Gifts and power for service the Spirit surely desires to impart; but holiness and spiritual worship come first.

—A. W. Tozer