Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Dad, Junior and the Spook

I have encountered a number of preacher-types in recent days, a number of whom having commenting on how hard it is to preach on the Holy Trinity. 

They are, of course, right. In my own sermon on Sunday, I likened it to trying to describe the wind: we know it's there but we can't see it. The best that we can hope for is to be able to describe the things that the wind touches, and the effect that one has upon the other. In other words, we know the wind only by its effects on other things. 

So, the Trinity. A couple of hundred eyes all staring at Farv wondering how I was going to unpack this great mystery for them ... so I didn't. I am a great believer in leaving the mystery on mysterious things. Like plaiting fog, my efforts are destined to certain failure, so why bother at all. Humans like answers, categories, results, explanations, diagrams - or to put it another way, certainty. The Trinity gives us much to work with, and chief among those things is that we have to be happy with mystery and uncertainty - for it promotes that other factor of a Christian life: faith. 

But be of good cheer, dear readers. I have a 'Trinity model' of my own (which is to say that I haven't borrowed it from anyone else, that I thought it in my own head - though someone else may also have done so somewhere else). I work from the notion that humans are made in the likeness of God and that therefore, a 'Trinity Model' is to be found about my person like so much black polyester and tattoos (joking about the ink, relax mother).

The Father - I liken the Father to the cerebral function of the human brain - the co-ordinating, cognitive, reasoning, information processing side of the person. 
The Son - through the Incarnation, I can liken this Person of the Godhead to the flesh and bone aspects. The sensory interface of the human being - the bit of us that feels, tastes, smells, hurts etc. 
The Spirit - always a toughy, but I believe that the human Spirit is not dissimilar to the Holy Spirit. The essence of me, my 'me-ness' that distinguishes me from you, the bit of me that can fall in love perhaps, the emotional side maybe - the bit of me that can connect with the same bit of you at a deep level. 

These are all barbarically forshortened for this posting, but I hope give you an idea of what I am getting at. To test my hyposthesis, I have pondered the life of a human if one of the three were missing, as I have to be able to claim equality for all three to make the whole 'One'.

 - Father and Son, minus the Spirit in terms of my model would give us an empty human being devoid of emotion and unable to function in any social way. To be sure, this person would be little more than an organic processor of food and information. The psychologists would have a name for this kind of person, I am sure
- Father and Spirit without the Son would give us a human in a state of utter physical paralysis the like of which, thankfully, few have seen. We are talking the worst of whole-body paralysis with profound blindness and deafness and comeplete sensory failure. Lots of thoughts and lots of feelings but no concievable way of communicating them.
 - Son and Spirit without the Father would look to me like a complete and lifelong coma - a capable body that will experience emotion, even if completely unknowingly. 

None of these variables feels like a 'whole', and I believe speaks of the need for the Three to adequately form the One. I was once asked how this worked in relation to the Father allowing the Son to be murdered on the Cross. My view is simple - I can choose to cut my arm off if it was for the greater good - it would hurt and the pain would deeply affect the mental and emotional aspects of my being - but I could still opt to do such a thing, and would live to tell the tale. My arm dying, or even the greater portion of my fleshly body, doesn't mean that I have died.

This is a work in progress ... debate is allowed, but in the end, let's leave the Trinity alone! The Bible did, after all ....

11th December 2010 - I have posted the full paper for your reference

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...