The Dance of the Trinity

I don’t normally make comment on some of the more profound theological doctrines of the church as I tend to think of others as better qualified to do it.  However, in between liturgical books I have been reading A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian D. McLaren and he said something very wonderful about the trinity.

The early church leaders described the Trinity using the term perichoresis (peri-circle resis-dance):  The Trinity was an eternal dance of the Father, Son and Spirit sharing mutual love, honour, happiness, joy and respect… God’s act of creation means that God is inviting more and more beings into the eternal dance of Joy.  Sin means that people are stepping out of the dance… stomping on feet instead of moving with grace, rhythm and reverence.  Then in Jesus, God enters creation to restore the rhythm and beauty again.

If the evangelical Jesus saves by dying, the Pentecostal Jesus by sending his spirit, and the Catholic Jesus by rising from the dead, the Eastern Orthodox Jesus saves simply by being born, by showing up, by coming among us.

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6 Responses

  1. C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, proposed the idea Of the Trinity dancing together. BM just borrows nuggets from others, but not the Gospel, he leaves that out.

  2. Dear Mr Fabian

    I think that God loves you and I (and Brian McLaren) very much, isn’t that wonderful?

    Can I ask where is the Gospel in what you have written above?

    I’m sure you’re aware that C.S. Lewis was writing somewhat after the church fathers. McLaren acknowledges them as his sources on this idea (which i think is both very beautiful and very orthodox). It seems to me that in even the short passage quoted alone, McLaren affirms quite a lot of the gospel – he says that sin wrecks our relationship with God and the world, “Then in Jesus, God enters creation to restore the rhythm and beauty again.”

    Perhaps i am making wrong assumptions about what you understand “the Gospel” to be?

    Of course, if McLaren’s writing is missing the point as badly as you seem to imply, it will undoubtedly be a relief to him (and indeed to all of us) to know that God’s actions towards us are motivated by His grace rather than by our works. I hope that we find ourselves in agreement on this point, at least?

  3. I don’t suppose you have a page ref for that quote – it would be excellent for an essay I’m writing!

    • I can find it on google books by searching the first line but it doesn’t seem to have page numbers. I can’t find my physical copy of the book. Has anyone else got a copy to hand? It’s at the beginning of the eastern orthodox section.

      No doubt the book is currently with someone who reads my blog as I give it to everyone I meet =D

  4. May be too late now Claire, but if not, it’s Page 56 in the hardback (2004) version ( had a peek inside via Amazon.com 🙂 )

  5. page 62 in paper back. 🙂 THANKS!

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