Friday, October 24, 2008
Both of the first two comments on the previous post shared that I was a little over their head of the theology of the Trinity. That is ok...I meant the Trinity stuff for people who are theologically critical of the book.
But I thought I would take a chance and explain.
Patripassionism--Patripassionism is the thought that all of the Trinity was crucified on the cross. Orthodox Christian thought is that Jesus died on the Cross.
modalism--Over emphasis on separate personalities of the Trinity to the exclusion of the oneness of God. The metaphor of God as H2O, and water being like one member of the trinity, steam being like another, and ice being like another is an expression of this heresy.
Oneness--Overemphasis on oneness to the exclusion of separate personalities of God within the Trinity. Usually done by saying is one God just playing different roles or wearing different masks for our benefit.
subortinationism--A heresy that parts of the Trinity are not equal to other parts of the Trinity. For instance, I am studying how certain evangelicals tend us say that the Son is subordinate to the Father and thus women should be subordinate to men in the same way. This is a misreading of a passage in I Corinthians, which misreads a text poorly interpreted in English.
A couple of years ago, I spoke with a friend who did read this blog, about our language for God. I said that I felt that in some way all language for God is in some sense metaphorical. That God is bigger than we can think or describe, but that we know God through how he has revealed himself in Scripture, and that the dominant metaphor God uses to reveal himself through the Trinity. My friend tossed me to and fro from one heresy to another like a ping pong ball in trying to understand what I was saying. What I was trying to say was that I agree with Karl Barth, who was both a strong Trinitarian and a believer that God was Wholly Other (also a term used in the Shack from modern theology). Anyway, I am not smart enough to articulate that then and now without sounding like a heretic myself. But I learned to bone up on my Trinitarian heresies so I do not miscommunicate about my beliefs.