Sunday, November 14, 2010

quote of the week, november 14-20, 2010

[T]he apparently inevitable next step in answering the question, Does it make sense? is the sub-question, What is the best analogy for the Trinity? This sub-question is usually the death-knell for Trinitarianism's relevance. Analogies can play a useful role in thinking about God, but when the hankering for an analogy arises right here, on the border between "Does it make sense" and "Does it matter," it is usually a sign that Trinitarian thinking has developed into a verbal project for its own sake. It has become a matter of getting the right words, so they can lead us to more of the right words. Serial proof-texting gives way to broken analogies, confronting us with an unanswerable "so what" question. How do we fall so quickly from three perfectly good questions (Is it biblical? Does it make sense? And does it matter?) to a form of discourse as hollow as an echo chamber? What is the difference between a belief in the Trinity that simply doesn't matter and one that changes everything?

What is needed is an approach to the doctrine of the Trinity that takes its stand on the exceptional reality of the Trinity, and only then moves forward to the task of verbal and conceptual clarification. The principle is, first the reality, then the explanation. (Sanders 2010:35)

Sanders, Fred. (2010). The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.

(note: Dr. Sanders frequently posts essays on The Scriptorium Daily. Click here to learn more)

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