Saturday, October 13, 2007

Trinity 101 UK

JT has highlighted Grudem's work on Trinity - Trinity 101.

Mike Reeves has had a big impact on us in UCCF over the last couple of years in his role as our Theology Advisor. I think he's helped us particularly in four things.
1. Helped us see theology is exciting.
2. Church history. Particularly his love of Luther.
3. Doctrine of creation - which gets Jesus' rule over all of life not just some narrow piety. It recovers art and study, humanity and enjoyment as part of Christian life. Sanctify the ordinary!
4. Trinity. Easily enough for a six year old. Do away with the absurd illustrations about impersonal objects like clover leafs and water and eggs. If you want to know what God is like read the Bible - and if something in creation must illustrate God then it'll be the climax of creation (humanity in relationship).
And the Trinity stuff is essentially available here -

Depending on the living God (includes outline of talks)
MP3s: Session 1, Session 2, Session 3.


  1. I do love Mike. But as he knows, I fid his thinking on the Trinity to be rather controversial. Is Jesus nature as God, merely that he loves God the father? I think it is something more.

  2. There could be more (do elaborate!)

    I think what I've found most helpful is seeing at last that human beings are the best illustration of trinity, and the implications for what it means to be human in God's image. And the context I picked from from his work on Augustine was helpful... Nice as the simple enough for a six year old is, I'm happy to say that there is more detail to fill in too.

    Cya toosday!

  3. I've been listening to these mp3s over the last week or so, and they really are brilliant - both challenging and worship-provoking. I think I'll now have to listen to all the other Mike Reeves plugs you have done over the past few months because he really is a great gift to the church.

    However, I'm glad of Mo's comment because I was thinking Mike Reeves was being quite controversial too and was wondering if it was just me. The Trinity just boggles my mind, but I kind of think it should do. I'm not sure it should be understandable by anyone, let alone a six year old. And I don't just think it is the detail which should be incomprehensible but the basics.

    The oneness of the trinity is overplayed too much in general theology, but I can't help thinking Mike went a bit too far the other way. I got the impression from the talks that the oneness of the Trinity was no more than being united in love for each other and united in purpose. He was right to criticise too much talk of 'substance' as we do not want to have a relationship with a substance, but I can see why that terminology was used by the church through the centuries. Although, why not say the Trinity is one person, as well as three persons? I understood that 'person' in Trinitarian theology was a concept from law and so it could be a better way. Mike seemed to have a different understanding of 'person' though.

    It was really helpful how Mike used human relationships to demonstrate what the trinity is like, and from there to explain how we should image him. It is much better to do this, as the bible does, rather than bring in eggs, the Nile (Anselm), the human mind (Augustine) or whatever else. However I got the impression that for Mike the unity of the trinity was no more than what will be the case between the church in the new creation, when our relationships will be perfect. To read John 17 in that way seems to me to be a bit over-literal and to use it in a way not intended by John himself (cf. Calvin on the passage).

    But I’m not saying this to criticise, just explaining what I made of the talks. They are some of the best mp3s I’ve had the chance to listen to... but I do still wonder.

    Perhaps I’m enslaved to a Platonism...

  4. Don't worry Dave, you're just not a closet tritheist ;-)