View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Three, three, three gods in one

One concept that often causes confusion among non-Christians – and among some Christians, for that matter – is the Trinity, which, of course, we mark this Sunday.

Some folks say Trinitarians worship three gods, and that makes us non-Christians. But even fellow Trinitarians get confused about what it means when we talk about the Three Persons in One God.

I’ve heard three explanations of the Trinity that put the concept in more concrete terms.

The most famous is that of St. Patrick, who used the shamrock to help explain how something could have three aspects, yet still be one.

St. Ignatius Loyola used music. He likened the Trinity to a chord – three notes combining together to produce one harmonious tone.

Another explanation is that the Trinity is like H2O. You can have ice, water and steam, all with different attributes, yet all the same.

All explanations work fine for me. To be honest, this is not one of the theological debates I find particularly gripping. Give me the ordination of women or the people who sit in the pew behind me and talk throughout Mass to chew on!

Then again, I also refer to the three Persons in the Trinity as the Boss, the Kid, and the Bird.

Somehow I don't think my description will make it into too many theology textbooks. It might make for a nice allegorical piece some day, though.

Fortunately, God does have a sense of humor.

At least, I think the Kid does. How else do you explain the Apostles?


Blogger CafeCath said...

Look what the Shamrock did for St. Pat. Imagine what you can do with The Boss, The Kid and The Bird! It works.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Wilkinson said...

I have found lately that trying to take on all three parts of the Trinity equation at once is a bit daunting.

I begin with God the Father + God the Son. If we can understand the concept of incarnation; of why God steps back into play; we're halfway there.

Then I look at God the Father + God the Spirit. At Pentecost, we became the literal hands and feet of God as his Spirit indwelt believers. He lives and moves in and through us in this present age.

Then, if A = B and A = C, it's a given that B = C.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Thanks for the suggestion. It works, and brought back memories of the logic course I took in college!

7:18 PM  

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