by Bob Wickizer

The Trinity: Crisis and Opportunity
Bob Wickizer
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

Later this morning you will hear from the vestry about our financial crisis and opportunity. As we celebrate and preach about the ineffable mystery that we call the Holy Trinity we find ourselves in a similar mode of crisis and opportunity.

We are in a crisis because we have allowed tradition to blind us for so many centuries that the ancient doctrine of the Trinity causes panic for clergy, bafflement for most Christians and derision from the unchurched. Instead of serving as a touchstone for evangelizing others, the Trinity has become a stumbling block for most.

We have an opportunity because if we examine the questions that preceded and led to the Trinity, we can uncover a compelling, Spirit-filled faith that invites the world to join us. Along the way we will address two important questions:

How is the Trinity important to us today?
What are we called as individuals and as a congregation to do about it?

One early historian remarked that on the streets of Alexandria or Antioch it was impossible to sit for a haircut during this period of controversies without having the barber talk to you about the nature of Christ. The orthodox barber would go on at length about the divine nature of Christ and his union with the Father and the Spirit. The heterodox barber, a follower of Arius or Valentinus perhaps, would try to convince you in a thirty minute haircut that Christ was completely human without any divine nature and that God was simply one. Smart fourth century Christians of all kinds would know enough not to argue with someone holding a very sharp blade near their head.

Battles were fought with words and sometimes with swords. Verbal battles invoked that new body of literature that had been fixed in its contents less than a century before -- the Bible. People hurled fragments of scripture at each other like flaming arrows. After decade ...

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