Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Well Said: Best explanation of the Trinity I've ever seen

Of course, when I say "best explanation" I'm talking about helping me actually get a handle at all on what the Trinity is. Who better for that than C.S. Lewis? No one, right?
And that, by the way, is perhaps the most important difference between Christianity and all other religions: that in Christianity God is not a static thing—not even a person—but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance. The union between the Father and the Son is such a live concrete thing that this union itself is also a Person. I know this is almost inconceivable, but look at it thus. You know that among human beings, when they get together in a family, or a club, or a trade union, people talk about the ‘spirit’ of that family, or club, or trade union. They talk about its ‘spirit’ because the individual members, when they are together, do really develop particular ways of talking and behaving which they would not have if they were apart. It is as if a sort of communal personality came into existence. Of course, it is not a real person: it is only rather like a person. But that is just one of the differences between God and us. What grows out of the joint life of the Father and Son is a real Person, is in fact the Third of the three Persons who are God.
C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


  1. Even as a cradle Catholic, this quote was a huge lightbulb moment for me! Even more so because as a Texas A&M grad and "cradle Aggie", it was a double whammy as a better understanding of the Holy Spirit and the Aggie Spirit clicked home at once.

  2. I would go with Frank Sheed's Theology and Sanity as the best explanation I have seen. Not to belittle C.S. Lewis.

    1. Hi Jeff ... what was that explanation? I seem to recall reading one in his Theology for Beginners which blew my mind. Literally. I had to stop thinking about the Trinity altogether for a while because I'd had it so wrong, but also because Sheed's was so difficult to absorb.

      Also, I was not speaking theologically actually, but as to my own personal grasp of the concept at all. So Sheed may resonate better with you and Lewis with me. Depending on what Sheed said. :-)

  3. I agree with Jeff. Check it out.