“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Paradox of the Trinity: Unity and Diversity

…First, and most importantly, the Triune God is a paradox to the human mind. In a mysterious, incomprehensible way, God is both one united being and a community of three persons. Given our understanding of what being and personhood mean for finite, created human beings, this would seem to be a contradiction, but we cannot presume that the incomprehensible, transcendent God would be understandable to our finite minds.

Perhaps more generally, there is both unity and diversity in the nature of God. God is (and here perhaps I speculate) multifaceted; inherent to his nature there is, I think, emotion and thought (ie., in the love and joy shared in the community of three persons), mathematical truth (how can God exist in three persons without number being a facet of who he is?), a standard for moral right and wrong (which would find application in the created order), and perhaps many more beautiful treasures that have not yet been even partially revealed to us. These realities are very diverse. For example, God’s moral aspect is very different from his mathematical aspect – they are distinct realities. And yet all these “parts” or “facets” or “aspects” (and all those words fall short, because they call to mind ideas about created things, and God is transcendent and uncreated) of God are united into one “thing,” the singular divine nature, or, more simply, the being of God. There is nothing more singular or united (one might even use the word simple) than God. The diverse God is One.

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