The Neglected Trinity (18)

Overemphasis of one person to the exclusion of the others is in fact a virtual denial of the true God. The Father without the Son and Spirit may be treated as a first cause but not as creator; the Son without the Father and Spirit leads to a Jesuology of one who does not lead us in salvation to the Father or give the Spirit. And the Spirit without the Father and the Son may emphasize our subjective experience or the variety of gifts but is loosed from his true context in the divine life.

—John Thompson, Modern Trinitarian Perspectives95

The Neglected Trinity (16)

Through the liturgy of the church, God comes to, speaks to, and joins with the worshiping community in Jesus Christ through the power the Spirit, and worshipers offer a response which is inspired by the Spirit and is united to the prayers and worship of Jesus Christ. In this way, a trinitarian theology of worship calls worshipers not to generate their own proclamation about God nor to muster up their own acclamation to God, but rather to receive the gift of the Word of God and to participate in the worship offered by Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. This understanding of liturgy commends liturgical actions which acknowledge the mediation of Christ and the Holy Spirit, and reflect the joy, confidence, and gratitude that is a fitting response to gifts of divine grace.

—John D. Witvliet, The Doctrine of the Trinity and the Theology and Practice of Christian Worship in the Reformed Tradition (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Notre Dame, 1997), 297

The Neglected Trinity (7)

At the center of the Christian understanding of worship is the notion that God is not only the One to whom worship is addressed; God is also an agent in making our worship possible. The Holy Spirit inspires our worship and, when we are unable or do not know how to pray, prays for us and through us. Jesus Christ mediates our worship as the high priest who brings our prayers before God and who indeed “ever lives to pray for us’ (Heb 7:25, my trans.). This means that the triune God is active in our worship, receiving, inspiring and perfecting our words, thoughts, gestures and actions, a beautiful triune dance that makes our activity in worship not an onerous obligation through which we hope to reach God, but rather a joyful active participation in a divine mystery beyond our comprehension. . . . Trinitarian Christians celebrate and savor the mediatorial agency of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in every aspect of worship.

—John D. Witvliet, “What to Do with Our Renewed Trinitarian Enthusiasm: Forming Trinitarian Piety and Imagination through Worship and Catechesis,” in Trinitarian Theology for the Church: Scripture, Community, Worship, 240-1