WRM, accepting of conflicting paradigms and grand narratives (invalidating the logic of truth) can and does lead to muddled thinking as it certainly induces confusion…despite ease for contemporary minds. Yet, today’s Yule Blog stated purpose, understanding classical Christian God meaning, provides context without polemics.
“They think he is the real thing”…meaning in three dimensions – thanks WRM for another seasonal gift via Yule Blog.
I heard an analogy to the Trinity not too long ago that seemed so obvious I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before. A pregnant women is three in one, the DNA of the father, mother and the new person a combination of the two. Come to think of it, all of us are three in one!
Professor Mead, I think this time you’ve truly outdone yourself. My hope is that you haven’t so far outdone most of your commenters as to leave them UTTERLY speechless (though you may have in my case). But we shall see.
Anyhow, thanks be to God.
The complementarity of one and three is built in to the fundamental structure of the universe. You might say we live in a tri-universe.
Time: past, present, future
Space: length, width, height
Your insight into our natural human, direct origins was anticipated by Pope John Paul II in his masterwork The Theology of the Body. He pointed out that when we humans do the most godlike think we can do – procreate new human life – the husband and wife who were formerly two become one, and when the gift of fertility is accepted, the one they have become now becomes a three-in-one.
The universe is hissing and popping with echoes of the three-in-oneness of its Creator.
Regarding the divisive nature of Jesus Christ, it brought to mind this passage:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
(Matthew 10:34-39 ESV)
Here’s the gadfly again. Before I make my comment, I want to express how much I appreciate this series. You have laid your faith out there for all to see. I wish all other Christians were as bold as you have been.
When you consider the so-called Trinity, remember that for their to be one God, there can be only one God mind and one God will one God entity. So for Jesus to be God (which He certainly is) means that He must have all the thoughts of God and all the knowledge of God as well as bear all His attributes.
Also consider this (which you alluded to): God as He exists is totally beyond our comprehension or understanding except as He has chosen to reveal Himself to us. That revelation bears the Name Jesus Christ. You can see the evidence of this in Hebrews 1: 2 – 3 and Colossians 1: 15 – 17. See also Romans 9:5. Also, since Jesus is God, it was He who spoke throughout the Old Testament. That is when the LORD said, “I AM” (Ex 3:14) it was Jesus speaking. (See John 8:58).
Finally Jesus is still also the incarnate God. He is still, even now, a human man, or as He calls Himself, the Son of Man. See Matt 24:27 & 24:30.
Truly wonderful. Mr. Mead, would it be feasible to archive this series in such a way that it can be reread from start to finish? Thanks.
The Father and the Son part of the Trinity are fairly understandable. The mystery is in the Holy Ghost. A more intuitively understandable Trinity would be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Mother. It seems to me that early Christians were basically misogynistic and could not have accepted a woman as part of their deity. I mentioned this once at a church luncheon (Presbyterian). The woman thought it was a great idea, but the older minister though it was horrible, and said his son, at least, thought that women shouldn’t really be going to seminary.
A very solid treatment of the subject. Bravo.
An excellent book on, inter alia, the Trinity is: Christianity and Classical Culture by Charles Norris Cochrane.
Surprised not to see St. Augustine and the boy with the sea shell. But I guess you can’t put everything in, or you won’t have anything left for next Christmas.
“It seems to me that early Christians were basically misogynistic and could not have accepted a woman as part of their deity.”
Mark — you have that one exactly backwards. Early Christians were quite probably the *least* misogynistic people on Earth at that time. A few examples:
They trusted the testimony of the women at the tomb on the first Easter morning. In that era the testimony of a woman was considered worthless. They even recorded it in the gospels at a time when it would *de-value* their account, because that’s what happened.
That purported misogynist Paul wrote (more than once) “In Christ there is no male nor female, no Greek nor Jew …”
From the very beginning women were actively included, as for example “They all joined together constantly in prayer along with the women …” (Acts 1:14). Do you not understand how profoundly revolutionary and counter-cultural that was?
Women often had an important role in the early church, most notably Priscilla, who in the seven times she is mentioned along with her husband is placed first five times. She was the primary evangelist of that couple and several writers of scripture wished to make it unmistakably clear.
Or Dorcas, described as a “disciple” who had an active ministry. Or Lydia, the first Christian in Europe, who essentially established and maintained the early church at Philippi. Or Phoebe, the missionary teacher commended by Paul.
There are other examples, but I don’t wish to be perceived as piling on. The simple fact, however, remains that the early church was anything but misogynistic, so if their concepts of the divine did not include a “woman” there had to have been other reasons than that which you proffer.
Compare and (mostly) contrast: “L’enfer, c’est les autres.”