Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Human Trinity

So there I was thinking about nothing in particular when a light bulb lit up above my head! OK this is real life and not a cartoon so there was no light bulb but it was such a sudden idea that I have no idea why it decided to pop into my head.

What I realised came from Genesis 1, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness" - what does it mean to be in God's image? So, to help, here is a picture of God:

It's not an exact likeness but the important fact is clear - God is 3 persons, a trinity. So if we are in God's image that means we must be a trinity as well. That isn't as mad as it seems because we are all body, mind and soul; a trinity.

Far from being just a useless bit of speculation this should be central to the way we live out our lives as Christians and the way we treat other human beings. We must make sure that we treat each part of our being as have the same importance as the others and we must do the same for our fellow human beings. One of the great failings of the evangelical movement has been its near exclusive emphasis on the soul at the exclusion of the body and mind but it only as we hold those 3 parts in balance that we arrive at the true Gospel, that the Kingdom of God is here.

Any comments?


Tony Aylward said...

Your piece raises a number of questions. What do you mean by 'person'. Where does spirit fit in? Jews speak of people being body and spirit; soul is later Greek philosophy. How do you reconcile 'God is 3 persons' with the Shema which was affirmed by Jesus. What or who do you define as the 'evangelical movement'?
If you want to study further I can recommend:
Like Father, Like Son by Tom Smale or if you want something heavier Participating in God by Paul Fiddes. Both of which we have which you can borrow.

Martyn - Being Free said...

I received this picture as a card the other day. Love its representation.

Karin said...

I think it's very true that we find it helpful to hold, mind, body and spirit in balance and that the church has not always been good at helping us do this. Holding emotion and reason in balance is also very helpful.

NinthParadox said...

I'm glad I found your post. Like you I had a sudden realization myself. Mine, however, was a process to this end, which in of itself is just a way station on to some unknown goal.

Your post reaffirms my conviction that I am headed somewhere with these crazy ideas. I'm a scientist at heart but it's not easy to reconcile spiritually what I see before me, even when what I learn proves contrary to what science has shown me.

Your idea of a human trinity is exactly the same light bulb that went off in my head. Your reasoning the same as mine, with one difference: the orientation of the trinity.

We forget that we are a mirror of God's image. A mirror. A reflection of every detail with synchronicity of movement and presence. However, we know this of God: He lies at the top, as the head of the trinity, where the spirit and the son are below him as the body.

He commands these things below him, which are essentially parts of him, like our limbs are to our brain. This trinity is not unlike our own, but instead of one master commanding the Human Trinity, we have two.

If you think of the Trinity of God as a Triangle with God being its highest point, then our own Trinity would be a 180 shift in orientation. Where God controls the body in his Trinity, the body control ours.

My own theory on this is half-baked with Existentialist origins. I'm study to become a Sociologist and I am guided by reason and observation. My own insight into the human condition is no better than the next, but however, the fact the Self is not Brain begets more questions; ones which I hope to find out.

Hopefully my answers will become easier once my quarter in Social Psychology is over. Which in its own right is an overlap of two very distinct fields of thought. With the ever encroaching merging of Eastern and Western thought I feel we are coming closer to identifying what the soul really is.