Wednesday, November 01, 2006

How does Trinity deal with Conflict?

Well, with our brief fall holiday, I've been blogging quite a bit...perhaps too much to really keep up with...

A question (and answer!) that Steve raised earlier (click here to read it) is an excellent one, and one really near the heart of my thesis (and some of our struggles in the Anglican Communion - and in the larger Church - today).

"The Trinity is, in all actuality, the supreme example of relationship (between the Godhead and humaity surely, but even more so between individual human beings, groups of human beings, and human beings and the rest of Creation).

Where this example gets stuck however is conflict. How does the Trinity deal with conflict within itself? Does the Trinity deal with conflict within itself? If it does, it surely does not respsond with violence, or polarization, but rather with love, with the continuation of the dance, and with mutual respect."

With all its depth and strength as a model of Church, how can the Trinity
(locked together in perichoresis (or detention ;))
allow for conflict, prophetic voice, or disagreement?

1 comment:

Marshall Montgomery said...

Dear Peter,

Thanks for dropping by my blog and adding it to your blogroll. I look forward to reading your ecclesiological reflections.

This question about the Trinity and conflict is one reason why I have abandoned communion ecclesiology as an adequate model for the Church. This is not to denigrate its many insights and the progress it has allowed on the ecumenical front, but as it stands, it is too ideal. If we are to understand the Church as modeling its relations after those of the trinitarian Persons, then the exercise is Quixotic. If, instead, we see that to be the Church is to participate through the second person of the Trinity in the perichoretic lovelife of the Trinity, then it begins to make a bit more sense to me. The question, then, is not whether the Trinity is at conflict within itself (which I cannot see how that is possible--otherwise we would have a God with Multiple Personality Disorder), but how the Trinity reaches out in love to its creation, which is in a perpetual state of conflict due to its sin, stupidity, and alienation from God.

Anyhow, feel free to comment at length and ad nauseum at my place,

P.S. I, too, have family connections in Vermont, the Northeast Kingdom--Burke, to be precise. Where in Vermont do you hail from?