May 25, 2010 | 10:00 am

Tuesday – Our Doctrinal Conundrum


This Sunday’s theme is the Trinity. It is a confusing doctrine that, if nothing else, has given us endless hours of conversation trying to figure out what we mean when we say the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are related to the nature of God. It would be natural to wonder why we should waste the time. When was the last time you mentioned the Trinity? When was the last time you prayed to the Trinity? The truth is we probably avoid its mention because it confuses more than it clarifies anything about God.
For those who want to scrap the doctrine, I have some bad news. This will never happen. The New Testament mentions the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit separately and at times together (Matthew 28:19). Even though a doctrine of the Trinity is not taught in the Bible, we are left wrestling with how these three are bound to the idea of God. These biblical references will fuel continued debate and speculation as part of Christianity. It is part of our language about God (see yesterday’s blog).
This may strike you as odd, but I think we need the problem of the Trinity. It is our doctrinal conundrum that keeps us rethinking and reimaging who God is and what relevance this has to us. Our mistake has been to use the doctrine of the Trinity to curtail conversation. Instead, let’s consider it an open invitation to explore God’s presence and movement in history, which is continued in our lives.