A Deep Gaze Into Missional Theology and The Eschatological Gleanings From Them ~ Pt. #2 ~ A Relational Trinity of Wonder and Mysticism

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While I have already stated my humility in attempting to define an understanding of the Triune God, I endeavor to share an illustration to a relational Trinity on the foundations of wonder and mysticism. With a lack of language to articulate this proposition, it was my fellow cohort Beth Reeves that I think best expressed this view in writing that the Trinity is understood as being, “with a connection to communal action out of a shared relationship. Each agent supports the other with unique responsibilities which compliment and enhance the others." I think it is important to note here that by saying each agent complements the others, they find diversity in inauguration and yet equity between each other. The Father’s office in identity may be in difference to the Son and the Spirit through expression, and yet the two are found as equals and the same over the course of all time. To some appearance this might be, “conceived of quite unequivocally as three divine persons who coexist as one God in a unity sublimely unique, but best likened to that of a family, or a community, or a society, for example the Church.[1] Yet, I think Social Trinitarian forms at the fundamental level weaken for lack of autonomous independent revelational identity. The Father cannot exist without the Son, nor the Spirit without the Father. As Karl Barth articulates, “The reality of Jesus Christ is that God Himself in person is actively present in the flesh. God Himself in person is the Subject of a real human being, and acting.” Likewise, “in God’s revelation the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus Christ, that he cannot be separated from him, that he is only the Spirit of Jesus Christ.[2]

From the biblical perspective it is important to note the apostle John’s words in his gospel as he writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.[3] Jesus existed not just in the date of his birth but from the beginning of time and thus in equity to the omnipresence of the Father through the course of space and time.[4]

It was several years ago in my Christian journey that I picked up the book ‘Reaching for the Invisible God’ by Philip Yancey. In it I found a quote that would profoundly reshape my life and become almost a mantra for clarity. Gregory of Nyssa stated that, “Concepts create idols, only wonder grasps anything.[5] While I think we so often seek to capitulate God’s identity into the boxed in frameworks of a conceptualized theological institution, God cannot be refrained by human definition or ideological constructs. We must always be open to the wonder and mystery of his Triune identity being found in all biblical theological pursuits. I cannot deny the legitimate objective truths that all Trinitarian models offer and therefore can relate to each one with a subjective relational state of mind; thus the triune understanding of a relational Trinity in wonder and mysticism.

[1] Karkkainen, Veli-Matti. The Trinity: Global Perspectives. (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007) Pg. #64

[2] Karkkainen, Veli-Matti. The Trinity: Global Perspectives. (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007) Pg. #70.

[3]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jn 1:1 & 14). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[4] We could also expand on this idea too with Jesus’s words in Rev. 22:13 and the implications of if being the Alpha & the Omega. However, due to space I will simply leave it as a refrence.

[5] Yancey, Philip. Reaching For The Invisible God: What Can We Expect to Find? (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2009) Pg. #22.