The Trinity

A few days ago one of my friends asked me an interesting question. She asked why Christians pray to Jesus instead of praying to God Himself. This question didn’t quite make sense to me at first since, as a follower of Christ, praying to Jesus is praying to God 🙂 Having said this, I would like to position the question in a few different ways in an attempt to reveal the actual question. Is the concept of the Holy Trinity something that is plausible and is it something we can really believe in? Is the concept of one in three and three in one a contradiction? After all the law of non contradiction states that two opposite statements cannot both be true. Here is my attempt at providing a bit of insight into the matter. I by no means think that this is THE answer, but these ideas and thoughts make sense to me. Credit for some of these thoughts must go to a few sources, the great writings of CS Lewis, Ravi Zacharias and some other people 🙂 1. Cause and Effect? Sometimes we can gauge attributes of the first cause by looking at the end result. In this case we would look at humanity as a whole. For 1000’s of years man has been trying to find unity in diversity. Everywhere we look, we want to be one, we want to live in community even in diversity of language, race and age. We went so far as to create university(unity in diversity), bringing together in community a diversity of scholars and academics. Looking at our longing for this, could this possibly point to there being unity in diversity in the first cause (God)? We as human beings are also quite relational beings. We long for relationship, we long to be loved, we long to love. I believe that we were created by God with this longing and desire engendered within us. Could this also possibly point to there being relationship in the first cause (God)? Certainly the Trinity would allow for there to be unity in diversity and relationship in the first cause. 2. Is wrapping our finite minds around infinity possible? I often struggle to get my mind around an infinite being, a being that exists out of time and is not subject to it. An eternal being who is truly self sufficient and has all the answers within himself. In essence that is exactly what God is. But if you had to think about that from a finite viewpoint, it would boggle your mind as it does mine! God seems to be an incredibly complex being, to the point of being unfathomable. Let me use CS Lewis great illustration to get to the point of what I’m trying to relate. In space you can move in three ways, left/right, backwards/forwards, up/down. These are the three dimensions. If you are using only one dimension, you could only draw a straight line, if using two dimensions you could draw figures eg. a square…and a square is made up of four straight lines. If you have three dimensions you can build an object eg. a cube which is made up of four squares. Just say we were living in a two dimensional world, we would not be able to imagine what a cube looks like! We could definitely see different sides of the cube, but never more than one side at a time, it would always seem a square to us. We might even think that they are completely different squares even though they are all part of the same cube. It could be very possible that God in His complexity reveals Himself to us in three persons(squares) but our finite minds comprehend these to be three different beings(squares) instead, whilst they are all actually the same being(cube). This would deal with our problem of the contradiction in the idea of the three in one. It is important to note that the Bible takes the stance of monotheism and not polytheism. 3. What does the Bible say? I am going to cheat a little and look at some texts in the Bible. I do know that this would be self referential, but it is definitely worth a look. This section could turn out to be extremely long and even turn into a theological expose of the Bible, however I will limit myself to a few texts. – I have read the story of creation and the story of the fall of man and how sin entered this world numerous times over the years. It was only a few years back that I noticed something interesting in the story. The following scripture is God talking to the serpent(satan) and basically cursing him: Genesis 3:15 – And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel. In this little scripture we catch a glimpse of whats to come, namely Jesus. I find it fascinating that this is mentioned in Genesis. – The next scripture indicates that God is one being but comprises more than one personage: Genesis 1:26 – Then God said, let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. – The following scriptures implies that the Son also exists eternally. I think a lot of people are under the impression that Jesus only came into existence when He came down into our world. John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:14 –  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,  full of grace and truth. – Finally, a piece of scripture that speaks into the idea of the three being one: 1 John 5:7-8 – For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 4. Is there hierarchy within the Trinity? Lastly, there is always the theological debate of whether there is hierarchy within the Trinity. Is God the Father in higher ranking than the Son, is the Son in higher ranking than the Holy Spirit? I really do believe that the Trinity reflects a perfect co-leadership model. A co-leadership model is followed when, for example, an organization has two or more executive officers with equal decision making authorities. On a side note, surprisingly, the world and it’s corporations are gravitating towards this type of leadership model. This leadership model may even depict how leadership was meant to be before the fall of man. After the fall of man, everything became imperfect and so did leadership, hierarchical structures were introduced. In light of this, it would make sense that the Trinity has no hierarchical structure, but that all three personages of God are on level standing. Well, there are some things in life that may remain a mystery until we see God face to face. On that day we will be able to stand before Him and ask Him all these great questions 🙂 . For me, the trinity is either the most extreme delusional and far fetched concept ever made up, or it is the most profound truth revealed. It is up to individuals to decide on which side of the fence they stand. Right now, there are so many things in the Bible that make so much sense and are historically accurate, that maybe having a little faith on issues such as the Trinity or creation is not too much to ask for 🙂

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Beautifully and Wonderfully Made

Over the last few months it seems like everyone around me has been having kids 🙂 …a few of my family and friends went through the stages from expectancy to child birth. I was particularly “close to the action” as my brother and his wife, and also my frolleagues (friend/colleagues…if you were wondering) had their first kids in August last year.

Seeing the excitement in the parents leading up to that special day invoked a few thoughts and experiences that I wanted to share.

Human or not?

There is this ongoing debate these days about whether or not an unborn child can be classified as human life. I think anyone would be absolutely convinced that a baby in the womb really is a human life if they ever heard the conversations that take place around the unborn child even in the early stages of pregnancy. At later stages, viewing the scans of the unborn child reveal the form of the child…and a masterpiece is beheld!

A transcendental mind?

Psalm 139: 13-16 says the following:

   Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.
   I thank you, God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am beautifully and wonderfully made!
   You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body;
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.  
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
   All the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared
   before I’d even lived one day.  

My niece Abigail is now 7 months old, and WOW!!!…The words from David could not be more true. Here she is 🙂  :

Abby

Adorable ain’t she?? When I look at Abby, there is no doubt in my mind there is a transcendental mind who took the time to create, knit together and plan out all the days of her beautiful life.

We all have been beautifully and wonderfully made, and equally so. We have been made, free to live our lives to the full. The founding fathers of America got it right when they penned these words in the Declaration of Independence:

   We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Whose image on you?

Those words from the Declaration of Independence brings me to my closing thoughts. Ravi Zacharias, in one of his talks, tells the story of a man who asked Jesus if it is right to pay taxes to Caesar. Jesus asked the man if he had a coin, he then asked the man whose image was on the coin. The man replied…Caesar’s. Jesus then made a profound statement…Give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God that which is God’s. Ravi proposes that the man should have had a follow up question…What belongs to God? Jesus would have replied…Whose image is on you?

What a powerful thought, whose image is on you? God’s image is on every human being and every unborn child. The next time you question whether God exists, or if He loves you or even cares about the “meaninglessness” we face, take a look in the mirror and know that he has impressed and endowed you with His amazing image.

 

 

 

Winter is upon us…

winter_sky

For the last few weeks we have witnessed a little drop in temperature here in warm Durban, South Africa. Winter’s chill seems to be creeping in somberly.

For many who dread winter, I thought I’d share some points on what makes winter special to me and how winter indulges all the senses. Hopefully these points lead you to appreciate the season and God’s wonder displayed through it.

The softened glow
One of my favorite visual aspects of winter are the sunsets. Sunsets in winter have a softer reddish/pinkish/blue(and a million other colors in between) tinge around the sun. It really is a sight to behold compared to the harshness of the summer sun.

Heat from above, cold from below
One of the fondest memories I have from my childhood would have to be playing a game of cricket with my brother, barefoot, in our backyard in the winter on a sunny day. The icy grass produced a phenomenal contrasting sensation on bare feet as the afternoon sun warmed the body. How beautiful those memories! Be sure to try it this winter!

Look how it sparkles and flows
Enjoying a glass of water from the tap at cooler temperatures is refreshing. This is especially true after supping on a hot indian curry 🙂 …The good thing about being in Durban is that we get to have a clean supply of tap water. I am grateful for this.

The day takes its toll
Finally…the last thing that makes me appreciate winter is the effectiveness of hot showers just before bedtime. After a long day at work and a cold drive home a hot shower feels amazingly soothing in the winter.

In this beautiful city of Durban we are blessed with beautiful weather all year round. Our winters are not too cold and summers not too hot. As winter approaches may we appreciate the scenery and sensations, knowing that God has placed all this beauty around us to remind us of His amazing love.

-Jez

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Hi everyone! Welcome to my new block site, for those of you who are used to my Posterous blog site…apologies.

Posterous recently joined forces with Twitter, consequently leaving the Posterous site obsolete.

I will be blogging again after my long break away from it, and hope that you will come along with me on this journey! So be sure to watch this space!

-Jez

Welcome!