Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Gospel Too Small

In one of the books I'm reading on the Trinity ("The Deep Things of God"), Fred Sanders attempts to communicate the scope and depth of the gospel of the triune Godhead of the Bible. He "struggles to frame thoughts big enough to accommodate it." In this effort he writes,

"A gospel which is only about the moment of conversion but does not extend to every moment of life in Christ is too small. A gospel that gets your sins forgiven but offers no power for transformation is too small. A gospel that isolates one of the benefits of union with Christ and ignores all the others is too small. A gospel that must be measured by your own moral conduct, social conscience, or religious experience is too small. A gospel that rearranges the components of your life but does not put you personally in the presence of God is too small." (p106)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sitting Up with the Trinity

It's 3:48 AM. I've been out of bed for about 45 minutes, sipping Wild Turkey and decaf coffee, listening to George Winston's "December" and reading Fred Sanders' "The Deep Things of God." Good alone time. Below are a few lines from Sanders' book, Chapter 2 - "Within the Happy Land of the Trinity."

". . .the Trinity is not ultimately for anything, any more than God is the purpose for anything. Just as you wouldn't ask what purpose God serves or what function he fulfills, it makes no sense to ask what the point of the Trinity is or what purpose the Trinity serves. The Trinity isn't for anything beyond itself, because the Trinity is God. . .God's way of being God is to be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit simultaneously from all eternity, perfectly complete in a triune fellowship of love. If we don't take this as our starting point, everything we say about the practical relevance of the Trinity could lead us to one colossal misunderstanding: thinking of God the Trinity as a means to some other end, as if God were the Trinity in order to make himself useful. But God the Trinity is the end, the goal, the telos, the omega. In himself and without any reference to a created world or the plan of salvation, God is that being who exists as the triune love of the Father for the Son in the unity of the Spirit. The boundless life that God lives in himself, at home, within the happy land of the Trinity above all worlds, is perfect. It is complete, inexhaustibly full, and infinitely blessed." (pages 61-62)

"When evangelicals lose their sense of proportion, they begin to talk as if they no longer care about the character of God unless they get something from it. The best defense against this has always been the doctrine of the eternal Trinity itself. Pondering the eternal, essential Trinity is the most concrete and biblical way of acknowledging the distinction between who God is and what he does." (pages 69-70)