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Three Is the Loveliest Number
Image: Keith Negley
Three Is the Loveliest Number

There is something irresistible about overhearing your name being whispered in a private conversation. Usually (of course) I try to stop my ears, but once I could not help taking in this little snippet, which has tickled me ever since:

"Yes, well, Reeves does love that Trinity stuff." (Picture eyes being rolled.)

It was the way this Christian man put it that fascinated me: not "Reeves does love God," but "Reeves does love that Trinity stuff." His choice of words seemed to sum up perfectly a common perception: that there is the God we know and love—and then, in some mental ivory tower far, far away, there is that Trinity stuff.

That mathematical mystery. That mind-bending oddity. That strange, even embarrassing idea. Yes, deep within the Christian psyche today seems to be the notion that the Trinity is an awkward and odd irrelevance, an unsightly wart on our knowledge of the true God. And so, when it comes to sharing our faith, we speak of God's offer of salvation, we speak of God's free grace, but we try not to let on that the God we are speaking of is a Trinity. We wax lyrical about the beauty of the gospel, but not so much about the beauty of the God whose gospel it is.

It is time to stand up and say, "No!" to such nonsense, to turn our backs on the absurd notion that our beautiful gospel could ever come from a God who is not the very perfection and essence of beauty. For the health of the church and our faith, we must be proud of who our God is. And since the Trinity is no mere theological icing resting atop our God—since the living God is Trinity—we must be resolutely and thoroughly Trinitarian in all our ways and thoughts.

Only then will ...

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Christianity Today
Three Is the Loveliest Number
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In the Magazine

December 2012

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