Monday, June 16, 2014

Trinity and the Love of God

No-one could have anticipated the Trinity, but in many ways it has a compelling inner logic as a natural corollary of God is Love.  Because if Love is an essential feature of God's nature then it can't be something God has just started doing a few million, or billion, years ago. So God must in some sense contain at least two Persons, so that each can love the other. And because God's love in perfect the unity in love can be perfect, thus avoiding the contradiction that you can't have two Ultimate Creators (because in a conflict of wills who would win).

All of this could in theory have been anticipated but of course it wasn't and the crucified and resurrected Messiah who wasn't just God's servant but also God himself was a great shock to everyone.  This is course is in part because no other religion (AFAIK) sees Love as the most fundamental attribute of God.  However an almost equally great shock came to the early Christians when the realised that the Holy Spirit was also a Person in complete loving unity with the Father and the Son. The Spirit is often seen as in some sense the personification of the wisdom of God but the Spirit is also the personification of the Love of God. When the Spirit dwells in our hearts then God's love dwells in our hearts also.  Rather as the force between two particles becomes a particle itself, so we can perhaps say (we are speaking of things  "through a glass, darkly") that the perfect love of God becomes a Person.

And of course it doesn't stop there, because in Christ and the Spirit God is beginning his work of New Creation and we are called to be in loving union with God. Which means that the love of God and his Spirit draws us in to the wonderful dance of Love.

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