Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Trinity From Hell...In Us

[Truly] Trinitarian thinking/praying before Holy Scripture cultivates a stance and attitude that submits to being comprehensively formed by God in the way God comprehensively and personally reveals Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the Holy Scriptures.

The alternative to that is taking charge of our own formation...a divine self in charge of myself...[where] the three-personal Father, Son and Holy Spirit is replaced by a very individualized personal Trinity of my Holy Wants, my Holy Needs and my Holy Feelings.... My needs are non-negotiable. My so-called rights, defined individually, are fundamental to my identity.... My wants are evidence of my expanding sense of kingdom. I train myself to think big because I am big, important, significant. I am larger than life and so require more and more goods and services, more things and more power. Consumption and acquisition are the new fruits of the Spirit. My feelings are the truth of who I am. Any thing or person who can provide me with ecstasy, excitement, joy, with stimulus, with spiritual connection validates my sovereignty....

We might suppose that the preaching of this new Trinitarian religion poses no great threat to people who are baptized in the threefold name of the Trinity...and daily get out of bed to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior.... But this rival sovereignty is couched in such spiritual language, and we are so easily convinced of our own spiritual sovereignty...and the new Trinity doesn't get rid of God or the Bible, it merely puts them to the service of needs, wants and feelings.

What has become devastatingly clear in our day is that the core reality of the Christian community, the sovereignty of God revealing Himself in three persons, is contested and undermined by virtually everything we learn in our schooling, everything presented to us in the media, every social, workplace and political expectation directed our way as the experts assure us of the sovereignty of self.... And don't we still attend Bible studies and read our assigned verse or chapter each day? As we are relentlessly encouraged to consult our needs and dreams and preferences, we hardly notice the shift from what we have so long professed to believe.

- Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book, pp. 33-34

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