Trinitarian Dance  

Posted by Joe Rawls in

It has been observed somewhere or other that it is impossible to preach about the Trinity for longer than fifteen minutes without falling into heresy. I have not timed Fr Matt Gunter's essay, which appears in full on Into the Expectation, but I am confident that heresy-hunters will be disappointed. Special greetings on this Trinity Sunday to all members of churches named after this puzzling yet vital dogma.


...before and beyond and within all creation God is a dance, God is a friendship dance. From all eternity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit dance the dance of love and truth and joy. God is a dynamic dance of mutual giving and receiving and delighting. As they sought language to point toward an understanding of God as Trinity, the early Christian theologians used the Greek word perichoresis, which means something like "they dance around together".

...The triune nature of God is one of the central mysteries of Christianity. But mystery is not the same as conundrum. Nor is it the result of a presumptuous desire to explain more than can be explained...[The Cappadocians of the 4th century] argued that all we can really know of God is what God has revealed in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. What God is beyond that is unknowable. We do not use trinitarian language for God out of presumption. It is just that, as Rowan Williams has said, "It is the least worst language for God we have".

...The doctrine of the Trinity is also good news because it means there is room for otherness. If there is "space" within God for the Son to be other than the Father, and the Spirit to be other than the Father and the Son, then there is space for us to be other than God. God makes space for creation and for us in it. Understanding God as Trinity means understanding God as involved in, but not overwhelming, everything. There is room for real freedom. We can celebrate our unity and diversity, not as a contemporary cliche', but as a reflection of what it means to be created in the image of God. God is one, but one in whom there is intimate otherness.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 30, 2010 at Sunday, May 30, 2010 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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