Trinity as a S’more

I heard this way of considering the Trinity for the first time recently from a co-worker.

If you take out the graham cracker, chocolate, or the marshmallow, you do not have a s’more. Each is integral to the reality of the s’more.

Each person of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is integral to the reality of the Trinitarian God of Christianity.

While I am more of a fan of using scripture to consider the Trinity (i.e. Mark 1:9-11, Jesus’ Baptism), I found this to be a pretty decent novel explanation.

Will you please share your response to this way of considering the Trinity?

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12 thoughts on “Trinity as a S’more

  1. Interesting metaphor. On its surface it seems to follow the Greek line of thinking in regarding the distinction of persons as logically antecedent to the divine unity, but if one were to dig a little deeper into the metaphor, it abruptly departs from that approach in that it does not conceive of the relations between the persons (the marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker) in terms of energies or dynamic activity- for example, the marshmallow is not the chocolateness by which the chocolate is a s’more, (as the Son is the Wisdom by which God is wise or the Holy Spirit the sanctity by which God is holy) whereas a more traditional Eastern approach might be the analogy of the sun, the ray and the light. (as I understand eastern theology; regrettably less than I wish I did.)

    The biggest flaw I see in this analogy (as all analogies have) is that is ends up conceiving the ‘persons’ as separate things in and of themselves that only together create the one unified s’more,’ which is then a ‘something’ different than what each thing is in and of itself.

    Nice post! 🙂

    • You raise an excellent critique and an accurate one. I appreciate your strong Trinitarian theology. There certainly are three distinct separate things in the chocolate, marshmallow and graham cracker. However, unlike a three leaf clover or BLT sandwich, a S’more has a “melting” aspect which helps make the whole. This is true for the marshmallow and depending on how you like your campfire treat, may also be true for the chocolate. The graham cracker wouldn’t melt though…

  2. Were to talking to my husband? A classmate of mine came up with this analogy for our Theology class a few weeks ago. I may have to go dig up her original post and re-post it here, if I can get her permission to do so.

      • This post was written in a response to an online class session regarding the Trinity. The author is Becky Hudson.

        A binding agent

        Augustine’s thoughts on the Holy Spirit: paraphrasing from McGraths words, the Holy Spirit is the melted marshmallow between the graham cracker and the chocolate in a s’more treat. The marshmallow when melted properly penetrates and bonds together the graham cracker and the chocolate in one sticky mess that provides an explosion of wonderful tasteful experience, that children and most adults love. So in other words, Augustine’s view is that the “spirit is the Spirit of both Father and Son, binding them together in a bond of love” like the marshmallow fluff The spirit bonds together the Father and the Son into what Augustine calls Love.”

        The book referenced here was Alister McGrath’s Christian Theology

  3. I use the image of a hot cherry pie with children and youth.

    If you take a whole pie and cut it into three pieces, from the outside (the human eye) it is three pieces. But the hot filling fills in the edges as soon as the knife is pulled out. So from the inside, it is still one piece.

  4. Uhm, the metaphor is advocating Modalism and not Trinitaianism. I don’t think you should be too bothered by not having a created metaphor to use to explain God to people. What it means is that God is unique and not something to be digitized.

    Foresetfrogger, btw, no, thats not the Orthodox take per se.

    • Perry – Certainly many metaphors would lean toward one heresy or another. It seems that a s’more would actually tend toward tritheism, rather than modalism. I certainly agree that God is unique and metaphors will always fall short in some way. Will you say more about “God … is not something to be digitized.” I think I agree with you, but would like to hear more…

  5. I’m no theologian, but here’s my simple and brief thought on the trinity.
    I see Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as the same thing (God) but expressed in different ways.
    It’s just like how we can express the number 3, for example.
    3 = 1 + 2
    3 = 3 x 1
    3 = 9/3
    With the case of the trinity, however, it seems as though the three expressions (Father, Son, Spirit) are sufficient and necessary conditions to describe God. Also, it is only restricted to those three.

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