20th May 2018

Old Trinitarian Doctrine 

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ [Son], and the love of God [the Father], and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
2 Corinthians 13:14 (NIV UK)

The other day I came across a story about an extinct palm tree growing from a 2,000-year-old seed. Archaeologists found the seed while excavating ruins near the Dead Sea. It sat for another few years in a researcher’s desk drawer until finally someone decided to plant it. While this type of palm hasn’t grown in Israel since the sixth century, the tree (nicknamed Methuselah by the gardeners) has really taken root.

When I read about that, I started thinking about our belief in the Trinity. You know, the Trinity has been part of Judeo-Christian belief since the beginning. We know from the writings of Paul that indeed God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that these three co-equal and co-personal members of the Godhead are intertwined in a relationship that has been extended to all humanity through our Lord Jesus Christ. All the first summaries of the Church’s faith as well as its worship addressed the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. While the formalised wording of the doctrine of the Trinity took a little while to work out (church fathers had to balance two different languages and three different cultures) biblical, orthodox Christianity has officially embraced it since the fourth century.

We also know, however, that as time went on, the proper understanding of the Trinity as a central undergirding and transformational doctrine, at least in the modern West, fell into the background—just like the palm seed. But during the 20th century, with efforts by theologians like Barth, Torrance and Rahner, Trinitarian theology went through a renaissance of re-examination and a re-embrace.

Since being replanted, the Methuselah palm has thrived, producing fantastic dates while also seeding a small family of other trees, ensuring that what was once lost will never be forgotten again. I hope we here at GCI/WCG can be like that old tree and help others experience God’s love and mercy through the transformational understanding of Trinitarian theology.

Mighty Father, we may, it seems, understand your nature only imperfectly. But we do understand more about you though the Father, Son and Spirit concept you have revealed to us. Your graciousness towards us, and your mercy towards us provokes the only response we can give—praise and worship. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach


About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk


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One Response to “20th May 2018”

  1. John Rodgers on May 20th, 2018 11:00 pm

    The scripture you quoted proves the opposite of what you have written.

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