Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Thoughts on the Trinity

February 16th, 2010 by Bruce Nielson

This quote is from an interview by Krista Tippets (Speaking of Faith) with Karen Armstrong. It seemed to relate to my Divine Investiture post, so I wanted to capture it.

Gregory of Nyssa.. is 4th century, a wonderful mystic. And he… formulated the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Trinity. And he said, first of all, this doctrine can only be understood in a ritual context and in the context of prayer and contemplation. It’s not something like an equation that you can just follow rational. But he said, “When I think of the three I think of the one. When I think of the one I think of the three. And then my eyes feel with tears and I lose all sense of where I am.” And that’s a theological formulation of the Trinity should do to us.

Comments (7)
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February 16th, 2010 13:58:31
7 comments

Adam Greenwood
February 16, 2010

That is sound.


Bruce Nielson
February 16, 2010

It’s beautiful, really. I just have nothing to disagree with Gregory’s quote over. I’m always amazed just how much of a Trinitarian I am.


Adam Greenwood
February 17, 2010

BN,
yes. Actually, the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity is really a negative doctrine. Its an assertion that we do not believe in more than one God and an assertion that we do not believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are the same person. Nearly every positive statement that is made about the Trinity by conventional Christians is either illogical, incomprehensible, or modalist, so they should probably just stick with Gregory of Nyssa.


Agellius
July 13, 2012

“Its an assertion that we do not believe in more than one God and an assertion that we do not believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are the same person.”

I agree with that entirely. But don’t those statements imply positive statements? Yes, you’re saying that F, S and HG are not the same person and that they are not more than one God. But if you don’t make any positive statement then you’re leaving unanswered the question of who and what the F, S and HG are. You may not be able to answer that question with great precision or completeness. But don’t you at least have to say that each of them is God or a god, or that the three combined are one God? If you won’t say that at a minimum, then how can you even talk about them?


Adam G.
July 13, 2012

History, experience, and personal relationship answer that question.


Agellius
July 13, 2012

Good. What’s the answer? : )


Adam G.
July 15, 2012

The way that can be said is not the true way.

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