Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All you need for Christmas is the Trinity

"When I say God I mean the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."
Gregory of Nazianzus

The centrepiece and glory of Christian doctrine and worship is the being, ways, works, and words of the Triune God.

If there is one area of where contemporary Christians need to grow in their grasp of the infinities and immensities of theology proper, it is in knowing and rejoicing in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is as if what matters most, is most often skirted around, and left unexplored. This is all to the detriment of the life and health of the Church.

Here are some extracts from Robert Letham's article on Developing a Trinitarian Mind (from The Ordained Servant, August-September 2008): do we go about seeking to redress it? There are no easy, slick solutions. This is not a matter to be resolved by a quick twelve-step program or in an adult Sunday school class.

It will take much thought, careful teaching, and a concerted plan to put right what has for so long been askew...What is needed is to instill in our congregations a mindset directed, as of second nature, to think of God as triune.

From there will come ripple effects on the way we think of the world around us, and of the people with whom we mix. What we need is to develop a thoroughly Christian view of God, the world, the church, ourselves, and others.

The first, and indispensable, steppingstone is ourselves as leaders of the church, and in particular those who are ministers of the Word. It is of the utmost importance that we saturate our minds with reflection and meditation on God, for we stand in the pulpit as no less than his representatives in speaking his Word.

It means our consistently contemplating God in Trinitarian terms. John Stott has been accustomed to begin each day with a threefold greeting to the Holy Trinity; how far are your own prayers and thoughts of God shaped in this way?

It takes disciplined thought and prayer, consistently day in, day out deliberately to think of God biblically, theologically, and ecclesially as triune. As leaders of the church you are called by God to do this. You cannot expect the congregation committed to your charge to follow suit unless you are leading the way.

It means your being shaped and driven not by some man-made purpose or by the concoctions of management gurus but by the truth of the triune God himself drawing and molding you.

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