Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Feast of the Holy Trinity - Romans 5:1-11

The second article of the faith tells the story of the One not created who was before time began and yet chose to let go of glory and empty himself to be found in human likeness. This is where the Trinity gets tricky and the creeds only state the "what" leaving humans to figure out the "how", which is where we get into trouble. But if the unbroken unity of the Trinity is love for the children of creation then Father Son Spirit are equally engaged in the work of redemption, though it would appear that the Son does the heavy lifting. In the person of Jesus the One uncreated becomes weak to save the weak, becomes sin to save sinners, and surrendering his life forgives his enemies. The image of an angry God now appeased by a human sacrifice, albeit God in human flesh, is not what Paul means by being saved from the wrath of God, for God’s love is proved by the death of Christ and wrath and love cannot coexist. God is the only actor on the stage of salvation. While we were ungodly, while we were weak, while we were sinners, while we were God’s enemies, God died for us, ahead of us, instead of us so that by the life of God the love of God might be poured into our hearts through the Spirit. This One in Three and Three in One, Father Son Spirit, dwelling within us produces hope that does not disappoint by enduring suffering and reflecting the character of Christ, which is love.


  1. For some reason humans can't avoid trying to figure out the "how," when "what" and "who" are most often all we need to know. Mankind pieces together selective theologies and ideologies to try to re-create the Trinity into something comfortable to us.
    I have a friend who just attended a multi-day conference dedicated to "proving" Creationist theory, and providing attendees with ammunition to overcome evolutionary arguments. What this is really about is trying to turn the Bible into a science book, answering the "how", when all that we need to know as far as our relationship with God is concerned is the "who" and "what".
    I especially like your statement that "wrath and love cannot coexist." Likely most of the picking and choosing that forms prevalent Christian theologies finds one of these views of God as its root. Some would choose to see God as wrath even beyond the cross. I struggle to understand why this is so, and can only conclude that such decisions are born more of human satisfaction than God's design.

  2. "I struggle to understand why this is so..." The confession upon which my faith was weaned began, “We are by nature sinful and unclean and have sinned against you in thought, word and deed.” Maybe the most insidious nature of sin is that it so often masquerades as righteousness. We lose sight of love when law becomes the focus of the faith but at the same time cannot fully grasp the magnitude of love outside the limitations imposed by the law. During a particularly contentious church conflict it occurred to me that if in defending the gospel I was moved to hate, I was no longer defending the Gospel.