Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Trinity: Mysteries and Mistakes

As well as suggesting that there should be different types of books to help all sorts of people to understand the truth, Augustine, it comes as now surprise, had lots of wise things to say about the search for the truth in faith's quest to understand the trinity.

Unless some sense of the sheer infinitude of the reality before us dwarfs our attempts to gain comprehension of the truth we haven't even begun to understand anything about God or ourselves:
People who seek God, and stretch their minds as far as human weakness is able toward an understanding of the trinity, must surely experience the strain of trying to fix their gaze on light inaccessible (1 Tim. 6:16), and on the difficulties presented by the holy scriptures in their multifarious diversity of form, which are designed, so it seems to me, to wear Adam down and let Christ's glorious grace shine through.
So they should find it easy, once they do shake off all uncertainty on a point and reach a definite conclusion, to excuse those who make mistakes in the exploration of deep a mystery.
But there are two things which are very hard to tolerate in the mistakes people make:
presumption, before the truth is clear
defense of the false presumption when it has become so.
No two vices could be more of a hindrance to discovering the truth or handling the divine and holy books.
De Trinitate, Book II:1

No comments: