Here's a statement I commonly hear:
Well yes it's important to be Christ-centred, but let's not forget God...
Ever hear that one? I actually hear Christians say this. I know, crazy right?
Well sometimes they remember to sound a little more Christian. So they say:
Don't forget the Spirit...
Let's honour all three Persons of the Trinity, not just the Son...
There can be an intuitive appeal to such statements. After all there are three Persons in God, not just one. And the Son does not keep Himself to Himself. He leads us to His Father and grants us His Spirit. The Persons are other-centred, so let's not focus on the Son to the exclusion of Father and Spirit. But... if we actually focus on the Christ, the Son of the Father, we cannot we exclude the Father and Spirit. True Christ-focus is trinitarian and - this is equally true - trinitarian theology is Christ-focused.
This is the truth we need to hold onto: Christ is not merely one of the Three - He's the Way to know them. Christ is Mediator.
When we lose this truth we begin to imagine that 'being trinitarian' means balancing our respect for the Persons, as though the trinitarian worshipper stands before a loose association of deities, ensuring equal devotion. That sounds more like speed-dating at the Pantheon. Do we really imagine ourselves to be outside the Three, making sure we spend equal time at the feet of Each? Have we forgotten that we are in the Son? And nowhere else. Have we forgotten that the Father and the Spirit are in the Son? And nowhere else.
The Father is known as 'He Who makes the Son, Son.' The Spirit is known as 'He Who makes the Christ, Christ.' On the other hand a theologian making a plea for equal time for the Persons... once they turn their gaze from the Son, how are they going to view the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ?
And if we imagine ourselves circulating around the trinity, where do we think we stand? Are we, somehow, a fourth individual at the heart of the Holy Huddle. Well the Shack might put me there and some Christian art might put me there, (and that might be an improvement on unitarianism), but that's not really where I am. I'm in Jesus participating in His Sonship and Anointing. This is my only access to the life of the trinity. The trinitarian theologian must be Christ-focused. And being Christ-focused is the way of trinitarian theology.
So, absolutely, let us never forget the Father or Spirit. We must get to know the Persons in all their distinct glory and grace. But they are not outside of the Christ, the Son of God. And - here's some good news - neither are you!
3 thoughts on “Trinitarian Theology? Or Speed Dating at the Pantheon?”
Preach away on this most important of subjects Glen! I saw a great example of this recently here: http://ugleyvicar.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/kisses-for-kingdom-vision-and-vision.html, particularly the second comment in relation to the first.
Love it! Such a good thing to remember. We have no relationship to the Father or the Spirit except Christ's. I love how intimately we participate in the divine life, and needed to hear it again. Thanks :)
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