Jesse Kalin Brown
Seminary

Vital Signs

Gregory of Nyssa’s Unity of the Trinity | Constant Agreement 

Gregory of Nyssa’s primary argument concerns the Unity and distinctiveness of the Trinity. On account of the Trinity, there is a distinction in three parts (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), but on account of Unity held with Divine essence, there is a constant agreement of relationship.  This agreement is inseparable. The Unity of the Trinity enacts and acts in agreement. 

What I would call my partial understanding of the trinity helps me unpack the gospel on a daily basis and also keeps me from obscuring and corrupting the gospel.  When I hear John 17 and other examples of Jesus’ interceding authority, the Trinity helps me understand how this is possible and interpret what He is capable of.  In John 14:15-26, the Trinity enables me to understand the power of the Holy Spirit as from the Father through Christ.  This binding yet distinctive relationship helps me unpack most of Scripture in a clearer way than by separating them, especially when interpreting the necessity of believing in the Son of Man, as described in John 3.

Additionally, I feel an understanding of the Trinity is necessary, because I have seen the negative effects on individuals Spiritually through its misinterpretations.  In South Africa, within the context of tribalism and ancestor worship, many individuals claiming to believe in Christ restrain themselves from speaking to any part of the Trinity.  This brings to question if or what type of relationship one has with any of its parts or Divine substance.

Furthermore, if an individual does form a relationship with the Son, and begins speaking to Jesus, this individual often does not believe there is a direct relationship through this conversation with the Father.  In addition, such belief leads one to another belief, that we as humans cannot converse with God, the Father. The result of this belief is often a recess back to ancestral worship.  This puts Jesus on par with past ancestors, whom in addition to Jesus they believe intercedes on their behalf. The outcome of this is an attempt to please their ancestors and Christ in varying ways.  This leads to a calling upon other spirits and the causation of effects spiritually on these individuals is perilous, not just possibly for eternities sake, but is explicitly be seen on earth.

Therefore I understand the importance for myself to find clarity in better understanding the Trinity.  However, I often consider if it can truly be put into words or to what degree understanding is necessary for salvation.

One Comment

  • Andy Brown

    Attempting to understand the Trinity is a life long journey and I distrust anyone who proclaims they have it figured out. It is like saying that you truly understand the mind of God. We can assign human attributes to God and the Trinity then put them in a box and pretend that we know His mind but the One who put the whole universe into motion has a lot more going on than we can possibly understand. God wants us to stay engaged with his Word in seeking the answers to the Trinity as well as all of the mystery in the bible. By reading scripture and pondering these sorts of mysteries we draw closer to Him which is what He wants us to do as His children. As there are not clear cut answers to many of the mysteries in the end we must rely on what truly matters, faith.

    The challange in missions work with trible cultures is extremely complex especially in the area of the Holy Spirit. The school of thought that says that what we need to do is simply plant the seed and let the head man or women try to explain the bible can open up a can of worms especially in the area of ancestor worship and the spirit world. My believe is that it takes continued involvement with the group/tribe by a reasonably learned person to keep the train on the tracks. This is no place for drive by missions work.

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