The Triune Godhead

I know that one of the spiritual limps I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life is an aftereffect of believing in a god who didn’t exist. To this day I struggle with the concept of a triune God, and I know that many Christians without my cultic baggage do as well.

One graphic that has helped me is the time-honored ancient depiction of the Trinity, a simplified version that appears below.

 

 

But while it might clarify some issues, it doesn’t come close to encompassing the incredible complexity of images that Ezekiel, for instance, experienced when he saw God: interdependent wheels and flashing lights and overlapping and multifaceted living beings no human could paint or even conceptualize simultaneously, but only in mental snapshots.

But recently a friend, Janis Hutchinson who like me is an ex-Mormon author, gave me another tool to understanding God, that of the concept of a hologram.  As you might know, a hologram is a three-dimension image produced by a unique photographic process usually involving a laser.

But one extraordinary feature of a hologram is reminiscent of the Trinity. If you cut a holographic image into two, you don’t end up with two partial pieces. You end up with two complete images of the original. In this, a hologram is like the Trinity in that one of the Persons can be considered separately, so to speak, without diminishing the whole, as when Jesus left the Father and came to earth. The Godhead wasn’t reduced by this, even though Jesus brought with Him from eternity all the fullness of the Godhead.

What does this have to do with writing books from a Christian worldview? Some people criticize Christian fiction that only alludes to the gospel message without spelling out such elements as a complete conversion, for instance.

But if God is not diminished by considering or even imparting just one aspect of Himself – could it be that His message might have the same holographic capacity? If a book conveys eternal truth, with careful and responsible crafting by a writer who loves the word and The Word (and what a universe can reside in such Language!)—could not a book with just a sliver of God in it carry His fullness as well?

 

6 Comments

  1. Traci
    Jul 6, 2011

    The graphic image that you make reference to is not there…? ( can try again ? )

  2. admin
    Jul 6, 2011

    Okay! Thanks for the heads-up, and it should be there now!

  3. Traci
    Jul 7, 2011

    Cool ! Thanks…

    I know alot of friends in some pentecostal circles who are into modalism. Maybe this might help !

  4. Robert Badger
    Jul 24, 2011

    One thing I learned when I embraced left Mormonism for Christianity was just how amazing God is. In Mormonism, you basically have an exalted man running things, who creates things out of pre-existent matter, who is nothing more than yet one more chain in an infinite regress of gods.

    God, as understood by Christians, is utterly amazing. I’ve studied theology. Taking those first steps into Trinitarian theology and Christology were amazing experiences for me. Despite all we know about God, there is still so much more that we don’t know.

    Mormonism has a lot in common with the early heresy of Arianism. The Jesus of Mormonism is basically a human being like the rest of us. However, worst of all, the all the gods of Mormonism including Elohim himself are basically human beings like the rest of us.

    Because of this, Mormonism fundamentally trivalises the sheer awesomeness of the creation and of the Incarnation. If God is just another human being like us, does kenosis really mean as much? Where in Mormonism do we see any radical self-emptying love on the part of God? It just does not mean as much if you are dealing with a mere exalted man who used to be like us.

  5. admin
    Jul 24, 2011

    Roger, excellent comment. It made me think that the allure of a god who was once a man is completely man-centered. We identify with him because we want gain what he gained. So the emphasis I found in Mormonism took the focus off that god and onto myself, what I would get by obeying him.

    However, just as in Romans chapter one, the truth of the true God shines through in creation and other things, my heart yearned for the true God.

  6. NameBruce MacArthur
    Aug 9, 2011

    Your message…
    Latayne, you said —
    “… could not a book with just a sliver of God in it carry His fullness as well?”

    Of course it could. And is it not this very principle that perhaps best “explains” how it is that the massive God of all Creation can “dwell” in the “book” of a petty (and even sinful) entity such as a mere human being who chooses to be a real Christian???

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