What Difference Does It Make?: The Kaleidoscope Effect

For the better part of a year, I’ve been working on understanding a book and a doctrine that, shall we admit, are not “bestsellers.” In fact, one of my readers very softly commented: “It was a long and complicated series, and I’m afraid that the truly interested layman ‘in all the details’ might be hard [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 27: The End?

  We’ve come to Anatolios’ conclusion, a chapter rich with ideas and summaries. I could have drawn this out for several more posts, but I became quite “Julian” in my threeness, wanting the series to have twenty-seven posts, no more, no less. So let’s oh-so-briefly look at the final comments Anatolios makes that might suggest [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 26: True Love

Princess

          Last week we addressed Augustine’s “psychological model” of the Trinitarian image: memory, knowledge, and will. Maybe that worked for you; maybe it didn’t. But Augustine had another model that you might find more compelling. It’s called a “social model” of the Trinity, and it begins and spins in love. When [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 25: Source Code

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Our friend Augustine, trying to understand the Three-in-One God whom we worship, resorted to Source Code material. May Augustine forgive me for using a modern pap movie to talk about his great theological arguments. You needn’t see the movie—it won’t help you understand the Trinity. But sometimes weird ideas pop up in science fiction that [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 24: A Julian Diversion

  Augustine is going to take us on a deep, inner journey to the center of the soul, there to look for shadows of the Trinitarian image, and from that vision to return to the greater vision of the One who is Three. We are made in God’s image (imago dei), and we are called [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 23: A Christ Sighting

“We want to see Jesus,” they said (Jn. 12.21). This request, from a group of anonymous Greeks who had come to Jerusalem, triggered Jesus’ awareness that “the hour has come.” Augustine, too, recognizes the essential need to see Jesus. In his exploration of scripture, Augustine finds a steady engagement of God with creation through signs [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 22: Christodrama and the Human Journey

    Our last great voice of this series is St. Augustine, the great Western thinker and writer who died in north Africa as the Vandals attacked the city gates. Here is one of those individuals in history who got in the talent line more than once. His ability to think clearly about complex ideas, [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 21: The Trinity Is the Gospel

This picture is a famous depiction of Christ as Pantocrator, i.e., Christ in Majesty, Ruler of All. It is one of the earliest images of Jesus in the Church. The mystery that the Church proclaimed was that the carpenter’s son- itinerant rabbi-controversial leader-healer-miracle worker-prophetic voice-crucified Roman victim was actually Lord Almighty, the King of Kings [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 20: Gregory’s Key to Bible Study

As we pick up our conversation about Gregory of Nyssa, I want to recall what Anatolios calls the “limitless horizon” of faith—that our understanding and trust can never seize the fullness of God, they can only move in the direction of that truth. The horizon of God always extends itself infinitely before us. “The inexhaustible [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 19: An Ephesian Interlude

    My apologies for missing a few posts while I sailed the deep blue sea . . . and visited Ephesus, one of the most important cities of the Byzantine empire throughout the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries. (Consider it blog research … with champagne.) Even today, its ruins are glorious, confetti from ancient [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 18: Believing in the Right Direction

  If Athanasius was too big for words—too grand, too dominating, too heroic—Gregory of Nyssa comes as a refreshing change of pace. A married man (meet Mrs. Nyssa, probably named Theosebeia … an option to consider, all you future young parents), a guy devoted to his big brother (St. Basil), and even a man who [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 17: Luminosity

  Thus far, our conversation about the Three-in-One God we worship has been pretty much a Two-for-One deal. We have spent a great deal of time examining the nature of the relationship between Jesus and God, between the Father and the Son. And the Spirit? This would be a good time to take a little [Read More...]


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