Thursday, June 23, 2011
I am trying to find new ways to think about the Holy Trinity. Despite all my convictions I still catch myself taking the names "Father," "Son," and "Spirit" too litterally.
One comparison that I find helpful is from the theologian Tertullian in the third century. He compares the Trinity to water gushing up in a spring in the hills, the same water in the river flowing through the valley, and the same water spreading out in irrigation ditches where it reaches plants and actually enables them to grow.
This helps me to think of the One God who is the source of all, the One God coming in the flesh into our history to save us, and the One God spreading out through all the world to make love grow.
In her fine book "Quest for the Living God," Elizabeth Johnson suggests that whether we interpret the Holy Trinity as an analogy, symbol, or metaphor, it is a name that points to God's being an overflowing communion of love.