This past summer, my second oldest son and I were debriefing after he had spent time in VBS. “How was your day?” I asked.
“Well, (short pause) I detected a bit of trinitarian heresy,” he replied.
I burst out laughing. I vacillated between being curious, proud, and sincerely hoping he had not called out the teacher in front of everyone in the middle of lesson time! This child— His parents. He gets it honest people.
I have spent years trying to fight the fact that I love theology. Once, I joined a women’s book club. When the group voted on future recommendations, I was a tad (okay, more than a tad) disappointed my choice, The Doctrine of God by John Frame (which I was lightly reading at the time), wasn’t a shoo-in. I just can’t fake it. I am not a Janette Oak reader. Never have been— never will be. And maybe it is okay that I am okay with that at this point in life. Perhaps you have known this all along and you are okay with that too.
We all have a theology, whether or not we are aware of it. Our thoughts about God permeate our conscious and subconscious. Even those who wouldn’t claim belief in a higher power take great pains to defend their position and disprove others. I find that… interesting.
Our theology shapes us. It reaches into the everyday and gives a foothold when everything else seems to be shifting. The way we know God changes the way we see Him, clearly, but it also shapes the way we see ourselves and others. It matters for me when I kiss my husband. It matters when I look in the eyes of my children, love, and lead them. It matters when I wait and wonder about our two Haiti babies and the hearts of birth parents. It matters when I glance in the mirror and see an aging face. It enters into chores and rest. It speeds and slows the diffusing of all the experiences that seem like such a big deal.
Particular in this internet space, I find myself sometimes uplifted, other times discouraged, and often sad. The internet seems to be, in its expanse, a readied means for invoking and revealing the soul. From stern warnings, social media conflicts, and new stories, creating awareness of all the broken things on one side— then to the positive heart-warming stories, “how to’s”, reminders of grace, and unification for a cause, there are so many feelings out here! Regardless of the theme, the affects of “likes”, “loves”, “reviews”, and “shares” make me painfully self-reflective.
Outside the cyber world, the real world offers an incessant dialogue between head and heart, mind and soul. When I find myself reacting strongly or feeling down, there may be surface questions that roll around my head, but if I could reduce all of them, they would originate with these three thoughts:
- Who am I? Who do all these people think I am? But who am I really? What is my identity? Where do I belong?
- Does anyone understand what I am going through? Does anyone see and understand me?
- Am I all alone?
I think about how the Triune God— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit— relate to these questions. Part of the way God has chosen to reveal Himself speaks to them. I am a person who forgets things, which is a big reason I write. I am always encouraged as God reaches from the outside in to my day, my space and circumstances, reminds, and gently leads. I hope that as I think again about who I am and who God is, I can encourage you too. I hope to go through these questions in a series of blogs so they are a bit more concise and easy for mediation. I honestly think books could be written here! But in this season and for reflective purposes, I am going to keep this a beginning point for a conversation which will most likely continue until faith is sight.
4 thoughts on “Our Relational, Triune God”
I love the thoughts and themes you shared here! I will be reading your posts on this topic–Yes, God is so relational and I enjoyed all that you wrote about how we interact in the world, whether it is via the internet and media, or in person–I like how you said it; I think you hit the nail on the head with our experiences. I had to write a paper years ago on my “personal philosophy of counseling” ( as I graduated from my Masters program in psychology)– and I wound up calling it a “relational” philosophy. Because I figured out I believed we functioned best when we were in healthy relationships: first, vertically (with God) and then horizontally (with each other). And most of our life is spent working on these two ..with a lot of ups and downs and complications, as you were so eloquently naming…Blessings!
Thanks for reading along, your kind words, and contributing thoughts. I have been fascinated by the way God relates in Trinity and how wired we are, made in His image, to function the same. Your paper sounds interesting! Christmas blessings to you!
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You, too–Have a joyous Christmas!