If you are like me, you might have grown into your Christianity without much thought to the trinity, other than its reality and opaqueness. Most of us imagine the one nature of God rather than the three part of His triune nature.
SUBTLE WISDOM OF THE WISE
Last year I was privileged to read an insightful book entitled ‘Trinitarian Conversations,’ being the thoughts of a number of Biblical scholars whose life in the Spirit enables them to be vessels of revelation – not of new truths but of truths that have always been so and which have become obscured and even lost in the hurly-burly of Western Thought, which in many cases has more to say about doing than being.
MYSTERY AND PARADOX
In this book I learned that the trinity was indeed three distinct persons, yet one God. Maybe I always knew this in a hazy way but the Biblical scholarship revealed that the three were indeed three, lived in great joy with each other yet in a kind of oneness called perichoresis. This is a Greek word the Church Fathers used to describe being one with another, yet fully oneself. The point for us is that this pattern of God’s being is the pattern of our being with God in the oneness that we call the incarnation.
LAW A FURPHY
Our acceptance, union, oneness and righteousness in God has everything to do with the trinity and their embrace of us into this communion and nothing to do with the law.
Thomas Torrance observes that, “In Western theology particularly it has become too common for theologians to separate the doctrine of the One God from the doctrine of the Triune God. That gives expression to a deistic disjunction between God and the world, far removed from what God has revealed of himself in the ancient Hebrew Scriptures or in the New Testament as the God whose covenant love undergirds the whole creation and embraces all humanity with his mercies..” (1)
A knowledge of good and evil version of Christianity is innately separationist.*
We may observe not only a deistic disjunction but a cultural separation from personality and being that ‘separation’ occurs when a knowledge of good and evil mindset makes religion into legalism and moralism. This despite the fact that God presented Himself in the form of Jesus of Nazareth who came among us as the life and light of the world. We do better as human beings when we dispense with religion and are naked to God – without layers made from the law or self-made moralism.
Before the fall Adam and Eve lived naked with God - without clothes and without self-made acceptability garments. After the fall they needed clothes because of their *nakedness of being* in separation from God was exposed.
We can sew our own clothes today from the fabric of self-effort and religion. In some sub-cultures clothes have been made from selective observances of the law.
But religion is a product of the knowledge of good and evil and is always reductionist. It substitutes regulations, behaviors and rites for life. It always makes us less than we are. When Christ is our life we are more than we are.
Nevertheless many of the religious are addicted to reductionism because they regard Christ as our life as without substance.
THE KINGS NEW CLOTHES
They cannot trust oneness as sufficient and they see it as nakedness. Of course without their religious artifice they are naked. It’s all they have.
They prefer their illusory self-made clothing to the clothing of Christ - the clothing in which we can indeed be naked. Naked because we are naked to the un-insulated oneness that is ours in God. Which means we are clothed. Here we possess THE ONENESS THAT GOD HAS WITH HIMSELF.
DECEPTION OF SPIRITUALITY DEFINED AS RELIGION
‘For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV.
With monotonous regularity, those who have made careers out of contractual, legalistic versions of the Kingdom label such relational views as ‘new age’. They do not see that their own theology has more to do with materialism and the technological age than it does with the reality presented in the old and new testaments.
CULT IN PLAIN SIGHT
It’s a similar blindness possessed by those who see a desire to green the earth and arrest climate change as a cult or a one world government push. The real cult is the cult of materialism and limitless consumption. The real one world government cult is capitalism and globalisation and the killing of the earth in the name of jobs and growth. It remains to be seen if this denial is so deep that droughting themselves out of existence and burning twenty percent of Australia makes any impact on them at all.
Many of the 'it's new age babblers' rail against ‘experience’ because they have made a life out of the absence of the experience of God. Tied to words written on rocks, they specialise in a gospel of words, definitions and positions, often with little experience of the being of God who is the word made flesh and dwelling in the astute. Those who are teachable enough to live in the incarnation rather than the hallucination of their own views.
We will do much better if we live to explore and experience the limitless life that is ours in Christ rather than living to maintain and pump-up the understandings of our parents. * Separationism assumes that the atonement is incomplete and insufficient and that there is something for us to add I order to access union with God. You don’t have to do various things to ‘come into His Presence’ when you are already in it. (1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Christian Doctrine of God, One Being Three Persons (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (pp. 8-9). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.