The intent of this essay is to reply the inquiry in Trinity some position Trinity as community of peers and others as hierarchy and how this understanding impact our Christian manner of life. First portion of essay will assist us to analyse the different position of three, three as a community of peers from the Acts of the Apostless of three and from both OT and NT, and three as hierarchy for peculiar point of clip as starts with birth of Jesus and ended after carry throughing the intent of His Father. In the 2nd portion will look how different apprehension of three shaped our Christian community, worship, family, witnessing and in mission.
“ The position of the three as community of peers is one founded on the thought that all three individuals are per se equal to one another, that none are superior in relationship to one another and that they are reciprocally dependent on the other “ ( Cunningham, 1999:113 ) . From the Acts of the Apostless of Trinity we can understand that, Trinity as community of peers. The first act of God was to make all that exists, harmonizing to Gen.1: 26.The word at that place for God in the Hebrew is El-ohim a plural noun. We besides see both remarkable and plural pronouns used at that place for God. Yet we besides know that the Spirit was involved in creative activity ( Gen.1:2 ) , and that Jesus was the Creator, per Col.1:15-20.In Deut.32:6 we read that the Father was the Creator. So we conclude from Bible that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the Creator ; that is, the “ function ” of Creator is shared by all of the Persons. Now let ‘s expression at interactions among them.
The Father sends the Son ( 1John4:14 )
The Father sends the Spirit- Luke 11:13, John 14:26
The Father is one in whose name people are to be baptized- Mt. 28:19
The Son sends the Spirit- John 15:26, 16:7
The Son is called “ the everlasting Father ” – Isaiah 9:6
The Son is one in whose name people are to be baptized- Mt.28:19
The Spirit sends the Son- Mt. 4:1
The Spirit anoints the Son- Acts 10:38
The Spirit inspired all scripture- Acts 1:16, 1 Peter 1:12, 2 Peter 1:21
The Spirit indwells believers- Acts 2:4,
The Spirit teaches- Luke 12:12
The Spirit gives gifts- Heb. 2:4
Each of the Persons sends another, but note this of import fact: to direct is non a statement of authorization.
“ The sending of the Son is best explained in footings of the Judaic shaliachA rule: the one sent has the same authorization of the 1 who sends. If this is the instance, directing does non bespeak subordination but equal authorization. ” ( Kevin Giles, 2005 )
Many believe that merely the New Testament ( NT ) Christianity teaches that God is a Three, one God made of three Persons ( “ Father ” , “ Son ” , “ Holy Spirit ” ; see Mt.28:19 ) .But it is n’t merely the ( NT ) that gave rise to this belief. Three is besides found in the Old Testament ( OT ) : we have the well-known text of Ps.2:7, quoted besides in Acts 13:33, Heb.1:4-6, and Heb.5:5: ” You are my boy ; today I have become your male parent ” . The ageless and unchanging nature of God is of a compound One, non a “ group ” . While the inside informations of how this “ plants ” are beyond our apprehension, it is a fact however. But what can we larn from Bible is to state us about how the three Persons relate to each other? Clearly, as we ‘ve seen in all of the above, the God of the Bible is a Three of three distinguishable Persons of one substance and deity. They have general maps or “ functions ” with some convergence, but there is no necessary or sole authorization among them. Cunningham in his book suggests that the usage of the words like Father and Son, or First, Second and Third individual of Trinity will take into thoughts of high quality.
Does a father/son relationship necessitate hierarchy? Yes, for a peculiar point of clip. A human kid is non for good under the authorization of their parents. The parents merely have authorization every bit long as the kid is dependent upon them, and every bit long as the parents have duty for the kid. Although the relationship of parent/child will ever be from the minute the kid is born until either the parents or the kid dies, the hierarchy will stop when the kid grows up or otherwise reaches a province of duty and independency. So parent/child is non an indicant of lasting hierarchy.
We have shown that Jesus was non ever the Son to the Father, but that this added quality came at a point of clip in history ( see besides Gal.4:4 ) .They had ever related to each other as godly peers, but now Jesus would take on human signifier and go the Son every bit good. In Philippians 2:5-11 we see that Jesus ( 1 ) was equal with the Father, ( 2 ) voluntarily laid aside his place and became human, and ( 3 ) returned to his original topographic point beside ( non below ) the Father. The hierarchy did non be in infinity yesteryear, nor did it go on into infinity hereafter. Jesus voluntarilyA took on humbleness and service, and so returned to his former glorification. It is moderately impossible for two individuals to be called “ equal in being or kernel ” while doing one for good in authorization over the other. There can of class be impermanent or limited hierarchies between peers, such as employer/employee, parent/child, or magistrate/citizen. But unlike the employee who quits, the kid who grows up, or the citizen who moves to another state, one who by virtuousness of being or kernel is made for good and involuntarily subservient to another is non equal but beneath. So for the Son to be in a lasting inferior place to the Father is to do the Son unequal to the Father in essence- which is irreverence, because it makes Jesus into a lesser God of inferior substance.
Different apprehension of Trinity in mission field:
Three in Worship:
Erickson in book says divinity of Trinity have impact over every Christian community and their actions. Harmonizing to Old Testament we can non idolize a animal because we can idolize merely the God Godhead but New Testament asks us to idolize Jesus, harmonizing to ( Phil 2: 10 -11 ) “ that at the name of Jesus every articulatio genus should bow, in Eden and on Earth and under the Earth, and every lingua acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glorification of God the Father ” . ( Erickson, 2006: 247 ) in his book he says if OT asks us to idolize the God and the NT asks us to idolize Jesus, it will be unpointed action if Jesus is equal in properties to God. Trinity as a community of peers plays a critical function here.
Three in family:
“ It is clear, excessively, that the integrity between the Father, the Son and the Spirit involves the fullest possible family ” ( Macleod 2005: 79 ) . This family is to be reflected in relation between the Christians. Donald in his book says, even though we come from different background ( Asiatic, African, and American ) we are united in family. In new testament clip they shared everything, they shared the work of evangelism ( Phil 4:15 ) , they bearded the load of others in Galatians church ( Gal 6:2 ) , all this is brought out in the Godhead ‘s supper, Which is why it is frequently called ‘Communion ‘ , when we take Communion we should reflect on the family between the Father, the Son and the Trinity.
Integrity in Diverseness:
Donald in his book says, we clearly know the Father, the Son and the Spirit are one, but they are typical. Each is different and each have their ain alone quality, if the church is to reflect the Three, it need to accept the diverseness in Trinity. Each church is different one might be strong in missional gifts, another might be strong in divinity, yet other might be strong in evangelism, it does n’t intend that one church is superior over other, each church is alone in their ain manner of worshiping, and witnessing to universe, but we all are one in Christ. “ It remains true, nevertheless, that the integrity of Godhead consequences from the Father being the Father, the Son being the Son and the Spirit being the Spirit. In the same manner, the integrity of church consequences from each of us being herself or himself and making what God designed us for ” ( Macleod 2005: 79 ) . Surely there is impact on Christian community by different apprehension of three ( i.e. ) Three as community of peers and Trinity as hierarchy. We can analyse this from Homogeneous Unit Principle. This is an country of mission surveies pioneered by the late Dr. Donald McGavran, a missional to India and so a professor at Fuller Seminary. While in India he had noticed the happening of “ people motions, i.e. the state of affairs where a whole small town or a tribe bend to Christ. Before acquiring into Homogeneous Unit Principle we look into the dramatis personae system in India, there are more than 1000 caste in India mixture of both lower and higher caste. The Brahmans are considered as higher caste and the Dalit ‘s are considered as lower one, while in India he had noticed the happening of “ people motions, i.e. the state of affairs where a whole small town or a tribe bend to Christ He wanted to detect that go oning all over the universe. He besides noticed the trouble converts from a high caste Hindu background had in fall ining a church composed about wholly of low caste people. He suggested that people like to go Christians in the societal group in which they feel most comfy, i.e. with people who are like themselves. Church Growth scheme attempts to make the right kind of environment in which people from a peculiar background can come together and experience comfy, in a manner they might non at foremost in a racially or culturally assorted group. This is called the Homogeneous Unit Principle. It has been challenged by many mission theologists because it seems to disregard the fact that Christ wants the church to be a multi- cultural community or there must non be any hierarchy between the churches of same country, a fact which comes over clearly in, say, Paul ‘s missive to the Corinthians. This is non to state that a multi-cultural church will be free from jobs, but it might be closer to what the New Testament seems to visualise. Here the high caste church is non superior over the low caste one, but each church have their ain strengths, here the strength for the lower caste church is that many Dalit came to cognize the Christ because they have separate church where they feel more comfy to idolize.
“ Augustine said anyone who denies the Three is in danger of losing their psyche and anyone who tries to understand the Three is in danger of losing their head ” ( Olson and Hall, 2002:1 ) we have seen Trinity as the community of peers and the hierarchy, but it ‘s really difficult to understand the Trinity its beyond our human cognition, but surely different apprehension of Trinity plays a critical function in our worship, mission, family and witnessing. Finally it ‘s non about the different apprehension but its how we act over different apprehension.