Equality of the Three Persons

Is the Holy Spirit equal to the Father and the Son or is it a go-between? Diagrams…

This question included a drawing of my description of a way of Visualizing the Trinity that Thomas Weinandy’s thesis might suggest. I think that this question points out a possible weakness in this way of thinking about the relationships between the persons. It does seem to put a lower importance on the person of the Holy Spirit.

In answer to your question – I believe that the Holy Spirit is no less than the Father and the Son a person of the Trinity. I recognize my own tendency to assign the Holy Spirit a lesser role as I am less familiar with talking and thinking about the Holy Spirit – as a result of my background in the United Methodist Church vs a background that may put more emphasis on the Holy Spirit (i.e. a more charismatic tradition).

This question came out of a young adult small group taster last Sunday morning in which I taught about the question “What is the Trinity?”

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2 thoughts on “Equality of the Three Persons

  1. I really appreciate the diagrams that you have provided with these posts, and your candid recognition, as is inevitable, that a 2 dimensional diagram could not possibly hope to represent God who transcends dimensionality. 🙂 I was initially a bit surprised you didn’t post an image of the ‘trinity shield,’ but then I realized you had origination in mind primarily.

    I don’t know if you have any more questions to go through, but I think a post on the various metaphors for the Trinity would be pretty cool. 🙂

    I think the visual difficulty in Weinandy’s diagram is the Holy Spirit isn’t presented as a circle like the Father and Son, (and as the Holy Spirit is in the others) which means you either don’t see a circle at all or simply see a broader circle, which I suspect is Weinandy’s intent. (Kind of like looking at a 2-D rectangle from the front and seeing a rectangle, but looking at it from the side and seeing a line.)

    I recognize my own tendency to assign the Holy Spirit a lesser role as I am less familiar with talking and thinking about the Holy Spirit – as a result of my background in the United Methodist Church vs a background that may put more emphasis on the Holy Spirit (i.e. a more charismatic tradition).

    I feel the same way. It was interesting- back in 2005 I went through this kick where I was writing hymns and putting older hymns to newer music; especially the hymns about the nature of God. There are plenty of hymns in the hymnal about the nature and Persons and such of the Father and the Son, but not a whole lot about the Holy Spirit. I was a little taken aback. The vast majority of the hymns about the Holy Spirit usually were in the context of being empowered or filled or stuff like that, which, don’t get me wrong, is great. But there didn’t seem to be very many about the Holy Spirit as it relates to the Person of the Holy Spirit. So I took it upon myself to write such a hymn. I’ll have to send you the lyrics sometime, and you can tell me what you think. 🙂

  2. deviantmonk – Thanks for drawing attention to the Trinity shield. There were several others that drew my attention to it as well. Always like to learn.

    I am out of questions and maybe deep thought out for a few days. Would you consider a guest post on the metaphors for the Trinity? No pressure, but just a thought.

    I see the difficulty in the diagram not having a circle for the Holy Spirit. I think that there could be a long oval that would touch both arrows of and would give the Holy Spirit a distinct place. I do not think that I would want to place two circles around the Holy Spirit where it is in this diagram. And, honestly, I had not noticed the big circle that is formed with the arrows – Perhaps just moving the words “Holy Spirit” to the center may help.

    I would be interested in the hymn lyrics 🙂

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