Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Relevance of the Doctrine of the Trinity

This morning I began a Sunday School series exploring the doctrine of the Trinity using as a base line Michael Reeves's book, Delighting in the Trinity (IVP Academic, 2012). I posted a note about this book on November 23, 2012 with regard to the best illustration of the Triunity of God that I've encountered: Harmony.

Reeves begins this book by arguing for the relevancy of the doctrine of the Trinity. For instance, "God is love" sounds vibrant, attractive and immediately relevant while "God is a Trinity" sounds cold, mysterious, and irrelevant for the masses. However, as Reeves so adequately argues, "God is love because God is a Trinity." The doctrine of the Trinity distinguishes Christians from all other religious systems. Furthermore, the doctrine of the Trinity makes sense of all other doctrines. Which God we serve makes all the difference for faith, life and Christian ministry.

As to the question of the relevancy of the doctrine of the Trinity I was greatly moved by Prof. James Torrance's concluding anecdote in answer to Bruce Smith's question: What one thing would you have to say to our troubled world, our disturbed homes, and distressed individuals? Torrance's answer begins at 17:02 and lasts for about 6 minutes. In short, "we don't throw people back upon themselves." Rather, in so many words we introduce them to the Triune God - Father, Son and Spirit. Listen, it is worth your time.

If you have time to listen to the entirety of this interview it is excellent. Torrance speaks of reconciliation and the problems of "civil religion." This entire interview is still relevant today.