Thoughts on Invictus: Part 4

Over the past several months I have been heavily involved studying and reflecting anew on the person of God. I became convinced over 20 years ago that our western understanding of the trinity had departed from the understanding articulated by the early church at the Council of Nicea and the explication given by Athanasius and the three great Cappodician theologians: Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Nazianzus. 

It was they who unpacked the implications of the pre-incarnate Son being homoosias (of the same substance/being) as the Father. Contrary to the Greek concept of God as a passionless, detached “unmoved mover,” the early fathers understood that the Trinity stood at the center of any Christian understanding of God and that the three persons, Father, Son and Spirit were in a dynamic relationship of love.  Some of the fathers spoke of this relationship as a magnificent divine dance.  God is fundamentally tri-personal existing in a life of self-giving love.  As the Apostle John flatly states, “God is love.”  And while it may be self-evident, I will say it anyway: “Love, by definition, demands relationship!”

I am heartened by stirrings of the reassertion of this reality within evangelicalism. Within the past couple of months the book The Misunderstood God: The Lies Religion Tells Us About God, by Darrin Hufford was released.  Hufford’s thesis is that if indeed God is love then the apostle Paul’s exposition of the nature of love in 1 Corinthians 13 should give us some profound insight into the nature and being of God. (A corollary of this would seem to be that God in his Trinitarian fullness is the source of love seen in his creation.)  Similarly Andrew Farley’s The Naked Gospel: The Truth You May Never Hear in Church explores related themes from a slightly different perspective. Both of these books are written on a popular level rather than in technical theological jargon.

Coming Up: In my next post I’ll discuss the challenge of our own dishonesty when it comes to the issue of forgiveness in our lives.

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January 25, 2010. Tags: , . Food For Thought.

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