“When I say God, I mean Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”  Dr. Geoffrey Wainwright spoke these words to open up his first lecture in my intro to Christian Theology class my first year of seminary.  While I learned a lot from that class, to this day, these are the only direct words and the only direct quote I remember Dr. Wainwright speaking during the course of the entire class.  It’s amazing that the first words he spoke would be the only specific words I remember.  But the reason I remember them so clearly is because they are so fundamental to the Christian faith and so beautifully simplify and capture a seemingly tricky concept.  As Christians we believe that God exists as Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  While the word Trinity never appears in the Scriptures, Tertullian, a third century Latin theologian first used the word to describe the reality of who God is as described in the New Testament.  So Dr. Wainwright’s pithy quote helped to explicate two things.  First, as Christians, the God in whom we believe is a specific God, specifically revealed and named as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – the Trinity.  And second, while it is easier for us as Christians when referring to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit to use the word “God,” every time we use the word “God” we are using it as a shorthand substitute for God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  (Can you imagine how long and cumbersome sermons would be if every time I said the word “God” instead I said, “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit?”  So that’s who we, as Christians, believe God is…this Sunday in worship we’ll talk some together about what exactly the Trinity is doing to bring about the restoration of the entire cosmos.

Peace +++