Categories
hermeneutics philosophy

Philosophy Friday: A Conversation on Interpretation

“Human, I Am who I Am is speaking to you; Take up your quill and write what the Lord, the God of your Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, commands you. First: These words—”

“—um, wait one moment Sir.”

“What’s that? Come again?”

“Yes, I’m not quite sure how to get across what you’re talking about.”

“What ever do you mean?”

Categories
trinity

Why “No-Illustrations of the Trinity” Is Faulty

I know it’s dangerous to try to describe the Trinity; I’ve said as much in the past. Even when I resorted to describing one aspect of the triune God’s work (his imputed righteousness with the illustration of a pizza) I still knew I was making a mistake. Even when having a conversation with friends about one of their illustrations, I had an inkling that there was something wrong so I asked for help (and people answered). The problem is that all illustrations fall into the error of some heresy (comment thread) or another—a point that Michael Patton reinforces in his posts regarding the stupidity of using these illustrations to teach the trinity. He states that teaching the trinity “is more about giving basic principles of what it is and then shooting down illustrations about what it is not. Proper Trinitarianism is about a delicate balance between the unity and diversity in the Godhead. Christians believe in one God, i.e., one essence, who eternally exists in three separate persons, all of whom are equal.”

But I have a few problems with this no-illustration bit in that it ignores that language is essentially illustration. Let me explain.