The Trinity and Whole Thinking

One of the great difficulties that we face in the western church in attempting to appreciate the gift and mystery of the Holy Trinity is the fact that so much of our thinking and even our whole conceptual framework is formed by Greek thinking and the three laws of Greek logic as given to us by Plato and his followers. For all the richness of Plato, his logic gave birth to a form of dualistic thinking that has enabled the particular form of the prosperous western world, but severely limited our ability to move beyond an either/or framework. Dualism is a direct result of the three laws of logic, namely the laws of identity (white is white), contradiction (white is not black) and the excluded middle term (something cannot be both white and black at the same time and in the same way). Now, of all religious systems, Christianity should have been the most immune to this limited way of looking at the world. The fact that we place the Trinity at the centre of our faith and understanding should immediately alert us to the truth that not everything is able to be reduced to either this or that. Yet, we continue to categorise the world into such simple and simplistic categories as right or wrong, black or white, rich or poor, conservative or liberal, etc. To move beyond such simple categories is the first step to a much more richly nuanced and beautiful understanding of the Trinity.

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Recorded at St Paul’s, 9.30am (14 mins)

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