Tuesday 3 April 2012

James-ism: explaining the trinity

Somehow over dinner my daughters tricked me into trying to explain the doctrine of the trinity. I told it the best I could. One God in three persons. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each one is the whole God, and God is always all three together. Throwing caution to the wind, I even invented a vestigia trinitatis in Jamie's latest box of three-in-one Lego. The same Lego is a car, a boat, and a plane. One Lego, three vehicles. Except that the Lego can never be all three at once (you have to pull the car apart to build the plane), whereas the three-in-one God can be Father, Son, and Spirit all at the same time.

At last they seemed satisfied with these explanations. Four-year-old Jamie hadn't said very much, but he'd been listening intently to my learned disquisition. Then with his mouth full of food, he said proudly: "Actually, I've seen two of those gods."

"Ah," I reminded him with a professorial wag of my finger, "but don't forget, there's really only one God, isn't there?"

My son looked puzzled. He put down his fork. "But you just said there were five gods."

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