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Rector’s Reading Group – Delighting in the Trinity #4

Thoughts on Chapter 3

This chapter was useful in outlining some theological and pastoral implications of the Trinity that had previously never occurred to me.

1. If the Trinity consists of divine persons existing in a relationship of love, and if human beings are made in the image of this Trinity, then the human predicament can be seen as a failure of love. Often we speak of sin as ‘rule breaking’ (and this might be most appropriate if we worshiped a God who was one person), or we speak of sin as idolatry (speaking of sin as idolatry is most recently associated with Tim Keller, rightly or wrongly), but with the Trinity in focus, sin becomes a failure to love as God loves. Reeves says “Take, for instance the single-person God: this God did not create out of overflowing love, he created merely to rule and be served. In which case, ‘right’ means nothing more than right behaviour” p. 63.

2. The failure isn’t that love is absent, it’s just that it’s focused on the self, rather than the other. A good quote: “What then, went wrong? It was not that Adam and Eve stopped loving. They were created as lovers in the image of God, and they could not undo that. Instead, their love turned […] Eve takes and eats the forbidden fruit because a love for herself—and gaining wisdom for herself—has overcome any love she might have had for God.” (p. 65, emphasis original) 

3. This opens another aspect of how we might speak evangelistically, focussing on love: Our failure to love > God’s love for the unloving > the renewed capacity to love.

4. The Trinity is what forms so much of our Christian identity, including aspects which we often take for granted. That we pray to God as Father is a trinitarian concept. That we expect God to listen to us as a Father would is a trinitarian concept. That we call ourselves children of God is a trinitarian concept, because the Spirit enables us to share that which the Son enjoys. How can God have children? Because he has a son whose sonship we share.

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