The Trinity

The issue of the Trinity Paper is, as Charles Wiley says, "a sad irony". He admits the committee could have clearly shown the language used was part of "an ancient and medieval way of talking about God as Trinity". Yet that might be difficult since of the 12 statements of trinitarian formulas in lines 394-247 only two of them are referenced as being from "an ancient and medieval" period of time.

In fact, other than the references to John of Damascus and Augustine the only other references are to the Book of Common Worship and a 2004 work by Gail Ramshaw. Bible references are given but no other sources for trinitarian statements like, Compassionate Mother, God is Giver, Gift, and Giving; or Fire that Consumes, Sword that Divides, and Storm that Melts Mountains

I am afraid that many people who watch this video will never read the Trinity paper. That is a shame because I believe this video could have done more good addressing the concern about distinction between the revealed name of God and His actions. Although, Charles Wiley explains that these statements "Are to be understood as, are ways to enhance and deepen our understanding of the Trinity" this purpose doesn't seem to be found in the Trinity paper itself.

Instead the reports says, "The Trinity: God’s Love Overflowing” does not present an exhaustive or new doctrine of the Trinity. It aims to assist the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in reclaiming the doctrine of the Trinity in theology, worship, and life. Often the church takes up a theological issue only when there is great controversy—a time when a lack of consensus on an issue embroils the church in an intractable debate. The doctrine of the Trinity is a pressing issue for contemporary Presbyterians for precisely the opposite reason. Despite the remarkable renewal of Trinitarian theology in recent decades, this doctrine is widely neglected or poorly understood in many of our congregations. The task force is convinced that the doctrine of the Trinity is crucial to our faith, worship and service." emphasis mine [Lines 65-72]

This video, in fact the entire paper, could have been used to help counter the neglect and poor understanding. IMHO, as it stands this video, along with the received paper seems to have merely added to the ongoing debates in the PC(USA).



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