A Deep Gaze Into Missional Theology and The Eschatological Gleanings From Them ~ Pt. #1 ~ Historical Definitions to the Triune God

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When asked what the most important commandment is, Jesus intuitively turns to the Jewish Shema exclaiming. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[1] It is a deep-rooted understanding that God is above any and all else and exists as one being. Yet we also know that Jesus points to himself as God’s Son[2] and later promises the coming of the Holy Spirit.[3] Moving from the monotheism of the Old Testament to the triune understanding of the New Testament was a great shift in the understanding of God as one identity in three and found its first steps of expression in that, “the incipient plurality in the one God is expressed in terms of ‘Wisdom,’ ‘Word,’ and ‘Spirit,’ which seem to serve as (semi)-personified agents of divine activity.[4] Throughout the next several generations the understanding of how that Trinitarian relationship took shape found many diversities in expression. From Hierarchal and Linear Models to Social Trinitarian elucidations, theologians of old and today continue to wrestle with understanding the relationship of the Trinity and how it relates to the church and mission. Unfortunately, this too has led to some heretical practices also such as Modalism, Adoptionism, Arianism, and Tritheism.[5]

Despite the challenges of coming to understand the Trinity and the implications there of, it is important to acknowledge that all of them were, “hammered out, not in sterile study, but rather in the midst of lived spirituality, prayer, and the worship life of the church.[6] Likewise, we must also seek answers that are not sought in the gnostic cerebral realms alone but in the pursuit of holistic holiness in all of life’s endevours. As Leslie Newbigin shares, "It is not in dispute that true theology can only be done in the context of praxis. There can be no "academic theology," if that means theology divorced from commitment, faith, and obedience."[7]

At all times let a man fear God as well in private as in public, acknowledge the truth, and speak the truth in his heart; and let him rise early and say: Sovereign of all worlds! Not because of our righteous acts do we lay our supplications before thee, but because of thine abundant mercies....It is, therefore, our duty to thank, praise and glorify thee, to bless, to sanctify and to offer praise and thanksgiving unto thy name.

Happy are we! how goodly is our portion, and how pleasant is our lot, and how beautiful our heritage! Happy are we who, early and late, morning and evening, twice every day, declare:

Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Blessed be His name, whose glorious kingdom is forever and ever. ~ Siddur

[1]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Mk 12:29). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] John 14:9-13

[3] John 14:15-17; Luke 24:49

[4] Karkkainen, Veli-Matti. The Trinity: Global Perspectives. (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007) Pg. #5.

[5]http://www.triunegod.org/heresies/

[6] Karkkainen, Veli-Matti. The Trinity: Global Perspectives. (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007) Pg. #35.

[7] Newbigin, Leslie. The Open Secret: An Introduction Into The Theology of Mission. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1995) Kindle LOC #1649.