Monday, April 16, 2007

Theology 101 (Trinity)

What if all our theology started with Trinity... not character of God... not doctrine of Scripture... but TRINITY. What difference would that make? And what would trinitarian thinking about God's character, about church, about Scripture, about salvation look like...

Tim Chester on Trinity:
"made in the image of the Trinity as we are, human personhood is realised through relationships just as divine personhood is. The doctrine of the Trinity shows us that relationships are essential for personhood."

"The church is the new humanity being re-made in the image of God. “The manifest
inadequacy of the theology of the church,” argues Colin Gunton, “derives from the
fact that it has never seriously and consistently been rooted in a conception of the
being of God as triune.” Instead we think of the Trinity as “one of the difficulties
of Christian belief”. But, in neglecting it, we fail to appropriate “its rich store of possibilities for nourishing a genuine theology of community”."
Mike Reeves on Trinity:
"So we started off looking at how we define God, trying to move away from ideas of “divine being” or “substance”, but instead to look at Father, Son and Spirit. This had profound implications for speaking with people from other monotheistic faiths, especially Muslims. I guess could be tempting to find common ground, believing in ‘one’ God, but actually we believe in Father, Son and Spirit - and our Father, our God-head is profoundly different to Allah."
Hugh Bourne on Mike Reeves on Trinity

"Some people think theology is boring, or simply intellectual - actually (and Mike Reeves has helped me in moving away from any notion of those two ideas) Christian theology gives glory, fear and reverence to an awesome God!"
Hugh Bourne


  1. I found the Trinity vs Tawhid talk on the bethinking website very helpful in thinking through why the trinity is something that makes God so much richer and more glorious than the Islamic concept of the oneness of God.

    Francis Schaeffer is also interesting - he said that if it wasn't for the trinity, he'd still be an agnostic: the trinity is the reason Christianity makes sense and hangs together.

  2. Cheers Dave

    It seems a lot of the time we pay lip service to the trinity. Great question, in starting to ponder I imagine we would have a much more holistic perspective...

  3. Ahh, you know you've made it when you get quoted on Bish's blog! Mike Reeves is a legend and the Trinity is awesome - shame you missed it, but hope you had a nice holiday :-)

  4. 'look at my shells'

    I did miss it - but he did the same material at our 2006 Staff Conference...

  5. Interesting...just been reading Robert Letham's "The Holy Trinity" published by P&R (Bob a recent appointment to the relaunched West Evangelical School of Theology). Very deep - but thought provoking and challenging too. The blurb says that "when it comes to the doctrine of the Trinity evangelicals have underachieved" and after reading through the book I'm inclined to agree with him. Restoring the right balance and letting this drive our worship, theology, lives etc is quite a challenge!

  6. There should be a campaign to get Mike Reeves write up his four hours of material on this subject.

  7. I get the impression that Mike's 4 hours is far from static, Dave - I only went to his last sess at WA but I hadn't heard it all before in those mp3s of Staff Conf. He'd have enough for a good-sized book :) I'd be reading Letham too, but TJ pleaded with me to borrow it - he seemed more desperate for it than I was :D

  8. I would guess Mike goes in with several days worth of material :)
    sadly there's no way I can afford the £6.49 per talk from for the cds...