If the claim that God is triune is indeed at the heart of the Christian understanding of God, then why is there so little evidence of that conviction in the liturgies of many Christian churches?
—George Stroup, “The Worship of the Triune God,” Reformed Liturgy and Music 17 (1983):160
The ordinary Christian in the Western world who hears or reads the word “God” does not immediately and inevitably think of the Triune being– Father, Son, and Spirit . . . [but rather] of a supreme monad.
—Leslie Newbigin, The Open Secret, 27
For myself, I am haunted and challenged by a former student who confessed, “I’ve professed the Trinity before, but I now see that I’ve basically worshiped and lived as a unitarian. The church failed to explain to me what the Trinity is, and why it matters.” Based on conversations with colleagues in several traditions, it seems safe to conclude that this student speaks for hundreds if not thousands of students in congregations, colleges and even seminaries, who live, work and praise as functional deists within otherwise orthodox traditions and institutions.
—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, 239
Trinitarian doctrine is the grammar of trinitarian doxology.
—John Thompson, “The Trinity and Worship,” in Modern Trinitarian Perspectives, 102 (paraphrased)
Christians are those who live to the glory of God and give Him glory. This is expressed in various formulas as a climactic expression of all acts of public worship. But before it is our doing, and as such, it is God’s own act as triune—one could say an act of self-glorification—an inner trinitarian event.
—John Thompson, “The Trinity and Worship,” in Modern Trinitarian Perspectives, 101
The Liturgy of the Church as well as the inmost prayer of the heart are the gifts of the Spirit to us. The triune God lives in an eternal self-giving of love between the three divine persons. By that self-giving love the world is made and is redeemed. Through the work of the Spirit in our worship we are caught up into that creative and recreative self-giving. In the Spirit and through the Son, the Father gives Himself to us: by the same Spirit and through the same Son we give ourselves on behalf of the world to the Father, so that what the Trinity made in love may be made new, and that we may have part in that renewal.
—The Forgotten Trinity: The Report of the B.C.C. [British Council of Churches] Study Commission on Trinitarian Doctrine Today, vol. 2, p. 7
Thou hast but two rare cabinets full of treasure,
The Trinity, and Incarnation:
Thou hast unlockt them both,
And made them jewels to betroth
The work of Thy creation
Unto Thy self in everlasting pleasure.
—George Herbert (1593-1633), “The Temple”