© 2008 NT

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NT	needed truth - a pattern for life in God’s House Biblical direction Finding ‘The Way’

1. We are used to complexity, both in our everyday lives and in the creation around us. Can we expect the Creator - immortal, living in light unapproachable, majestic in holiness – to be any more accessible to our finite minds?

2. The Trinity, like all of Scripture, is the product of divine revelation, and God knows how much revelation we can endure of His ineffable glory.   There are “secret things” which belong only to Him, and surely the fullness of the relationships within the Trinity is one of these. Nevertheless, Moses continues: “the things revealed belong to us” - assuring us that the Spirit will use meditation on these high and holy revelations to enrich our spiritual lives.

3. There are limitations imposed by our human condition in considering the nature and character of God. One is language, by which God has chosen to reveal Himself but which is nevertheless inadequate to the task of communicating His reality. We therefore need to be very careful about the words that we use, recognising their limitations. Another limitation is our environment, particularly our domination by time. We are driven to use analogies in seeking to explain and defend the Trinity. There is nothing wrong with this approach, provided we are sensitive to the limitations implicit in comparing a thing or a state with the eternal and limitless. For example, in describing the unity and diversity of the Trinity we may choose the analogy of a man who is at once a husband, father and son, uniting three different functions in one person. This is helpful as far as it goes, but it fails to do full justice to the relationships within the Trinity which demand equality and universality as well as diversity.

So, confronted by these ineffable facts about God, the humble disciple can only wonder and adore, being content to accept the Trinity as a doctrine which accommodates all the relevant Scriptural revelation. The process thereafter of pursuing analogies which go some way towards explaining it in human terms is legitimate, but to proceed the other way - fitting the doctrine into an allegorical system – is likely to skew and oversimplify any attempt to understand the revealed nature of God.   

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