Trinitarian Doctrine

So, after a week of my suggesting that you tread lightly on the Doctrine of the Trinity, you’ve decided you are going to preach it anyway?  Good for you.  In a world and a church that is increasingly biblically and theologically illiterate, I applaud you for attempting to summit the Mount Everest of doctrinal understanding.  For me, at 1:44pm on sermon writing day, I can’t bring myself there.  The week hasn’t allowed me to dig into Tanner, Rahner, Coakley, or Moltmann like I would like.

If you do plan to preach the Doctrine of the Trinity, or as one of my DMin classes put it, “preach the feast and not the texts,” then I urge to consult a few resources first.  Please don’t subject your congregation simply to your FEELZ on the most complicated and fundamental theological statements in Christendom.  I humbly offer you three resources.

  1. Susan Hylen’s commentary for this week at WorkingPreacher.  In this article, Professor Hylen works hard to help us understand how the authority of Jesus is rooted in his being one person within the Triune God.  I commend it to you.
  2. The Athanasian Creed.  Though likely not written by Athanasius, this Creed, which is a part of the Historical Documents section of our Book of Common Prayer does a pretty decent job of unraveling the doctrine of the Trinity from its earliest days.  Based on my reading of Matthew 28, you can doubt that this is the fullest one can understand the Trinity, but it is as good a place to start as any.
  3. Finally, you have to watch (or re-watch) St. Patrick’s Bad Analogies.  Every year, this fun video from a group of Missouri Synod Lutherans, reminds me that no matter what bit of soundbite, bumper sticker, analogical theology one might employ on Trinity Sunday, it will lead, without a doubt, to heresy.

Best wishes as you preach this week.  You are in my prayers, as I hope I am in yours.

2 thoughts on “Trinitarian Doctrine

  1. I understand your earlier advice. I’ve heard it for years, and even heeded it for a while. These days, I preach the Trinity on the designated day. Well, readers may not think that’s what I’m doing at all, but I do have the best of intentions. If you’re interested, you’ll find the latest go here:
    If you need an airsickness bag, I’ll gladly reimburse you. Blessed Trinity Sunday!

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