We started talking about the Trinity today in theology. Generally, this is one of my favorite topics, because I love how convoluted the logic gets when you're talking about this, but I didn't really have anything to say in the class. I guess it's because we mostly focused on what different historical figure's ideas were of the Trinity, and I pretty much understood their stances, so I didn't have any questions about it. You can't challenge a historical standpoint being taught as a historical standpoint unless you're really well-versed on the subject and you believe for some reason that what is being taught as the viewpoint of the historical person is not what you think that person actually believed. Sorry, did that make sense? I think that last sentence was too long, but I can't figure out how to make it shorter or break it up. Oh well. Beer & Theology is tomorrow, so hopefully things will get saucier. (adjective, not a person that makes sauces. Sorry, culinary joke XD)
This topic always makes me think about how God created us in His image, and this particular time around, I thought about the possible Trinitarian nature of people. Hopefully I am not about to spout any heresies that will get me kicked out of the church. They haven't kicked me out yet though, so who knows what it will take exactly.
I thought that an interesting way to explain Trinity theology would be to compare it to people. Jesus is God incarnated in human form, so He can be represented by the physical human body. God can be represented by the soul and the Holy Spirit can be represented by the spirit ('cuz of the name, duh!)
I wrote all of this out on a 4x6 index card that I turned in at the beginning of class. (we have to do one of these cards for every class meeting based on what we read) I suggested that the human spirit is our "life force" and is what connects the human body to the human soul. This kind of goes along with C.S. Lewis' explanation of the Trinity in his book Mere Christianity. I love that book btw, and think everyone should read it. He describes the Trinity as 2 books lying on the table and the Holy Spirit as the relationship between the 2 books. He explains it better than I do.
Anyway, in Church History last term, we were talking about some theologian, I want to say Origen, but don't shoot me if that's wrong...I can't stand history... If I'm remembering right, this view of the Trinity might actually be what the professor was trying to teach us about Origen, but I didn't get it at the time because I couldn't figure out the difference between the human soul and the human spirit. I think there is a difference now, and I think I have figured it out. Like all analogies, this one is an imperfect one for the Trinity, because in this theory, the human body and spirit are impermanent whereas the human soul is eternal. Obviously, all three persons of the Godhead are eternal.
I didn't realize how important different views of the Trinity are until I did the reading for this class. These views have a very real affect on how you see the world around you and how you view other people. If you think of the Trinity as hierarchical, then subordination is a divinely realized truth of the way the world should be. If you see the Trinity as a community of grace, gratitude, love, power and mercy where one person is neither higher or lower than the other, then your world-view is very different.
Just something to think about...