On a scale of Sabellius to Arius, how heretical is your Trinitarian theology?
So the Trinity is the orthodox Christian concept of God as One Being in Three Persons. It’s our feeble attempt to understand where Jesus fits in our monotheism. If God is One, then is how did God become human? Most of us fall into ‘heresy’ when we try to explain it. One extreme (Sabellianism, after 3rd c. priest, Sabellius) is to say that One God just chooses to be revealed as the Father, or as the Son, or as the Spirit at different times. The ‘three persons’ are really just one person using a different mask or mode (it’s called modalism) to be revealed at different times in history. If you’ve ever thought that God seemed to have a lot of personality shifts in the scripture, maybe you’re more modalist than you realized!
The other extreme (Arianism, after 3rd c. priest, Arius) is to say that Jesus is an entirely different entity than God the Father. Jesus becomes a sort of lesser deity. This could go towards a sort of Tri-Theism (God, Jesus, Spirit kind of operate like Greek mythological polytheism), or Unitarianism (God is One being/One person, Jesus was just a human). If you ever tried to make sense of God by saying the Father is the mean one and Jesus is the nice one, maybe you’re more Arian than you realized!
Okay, enough of that. My brain hurts. The point is that it’s human tendency to view God as some old man on a throne somewhere. Most Christians seem to practically form their concept of God around this balance of OT angry God and NT forgiving God, and many Christians grab hold of a prosperity gospel where the Spirit is ready to bless them so long as they bless God back. So you get these forms of Christianity that breed individualism…God is really all about me and my personal salvation. You get these far right and far left modes of Christianity that really only produce angry Christians who talk past each other. I’m becoming more and more convinced that this is a result of a failure to accept God as Triune. The mystery of God as relationship, of Father/Son/Spirit as one perfect being should humble us to seek unity with our enemies, not cut them off for believing differently. The mystery of God being both the Father in heaven and God the Son forsaken on the cross should open our hearts to judge the darkness by entering it beside our fellows with love and forgiveness.
PS. The Legend of Zelda…best video game franchise ever. Go waste the next month of your life playing one of them. How many hours have I spent mowing digital grass in search of rupees? Best not to reflect on that…
PPS. I learned about the Orlando tragedy after completing this comic and blog post. In many ways, last week’s comic says all I would want to say in response to this violence. You can view it at this link: http://www.wesleybros.com/wesbros/morning-song/