Although it is difficult to tell exactly, how the Doctrine of the Trinity shapes our understanding of community and its practice, this essay argues that we can discern at least three primary outcomes of its consequences. Firstly, this essay favors ‘social trinitarianism’ that stressing only immanent trinity is wrong that it has to go with economic Trinity, which argues that divine communion in Trinity reflects our human communion. Secondly, egalitarian Trinity view rightly expresses the oneness in the divine glory in Triune God, which rightly shapes our ecclesiology in community, whereas subordination Trinity view make us confuse whether we can offer praise and prayer to Son and Spirit. Thirdly, limiting the doctrine of Trinity with assurance of our ‘salvation’ is wrong, which is held by Catholic, because doctrine of Trinity also carries other aspects, which is ‘mission’, reflecting Triune God’s glory to the world. Overall, this essay argues that the doctrine of the Trinity shapes our identity as Christian community and also its history that we can be part of God’s redemptive history by reflecting His image in our community and its practice of ecclesiology, which give all the glory and honor to One and Three, the Triune God.
Be human in this most inhuman of ages;
guard the image of man for it is the image of God.
וֹ׃אֹת עָשָׂה אֱלֹהִים דְמוּתבִּ אָדָם אֱלֹהִים בְּרֹא
The doctrine of the Trinity, like the rest of canonical doctrines, has had a long history of contention amongst scholars. What appears as a straightforward question, on how the doctrine of the Trinity shapes our understanding of Christian community and its practice in our church and by the individual, is quickly bound up in cerebral debate over theology of Trinity, ecclesiology and historicity.
This essay seeks to set much of that debate aside, contending that the doctrine of Trinity has three fundamental aspects to shape the designation of Christian community and its practice. Firstly, the doctrine of Trinity shapes our understanding of how the divine communion in Trinity reflects our human communion in concept of “imago Dei”. This is expressed through ‘social trinitarianism’, which holds the immanent and the economic Trinity as ‘Trinity in glory’. This is because, the Son and father are the same, and so it is inconceivable to separate the two. Secondly, the doctrine of Trinity shapes our ecclesiology in community that we can offer praise and prayer not only to Father but also to Son and Spirit. This is supported by egalitarian trinity view that oneness in the divine glory has fully expressed in the Triune God, which expresses full divinity of the Son and Spirit. Thirdly, the doctrine of the Trinity shapes our community to share the elements of divine communion not only in our community but to the world; since the Lord’s Supper indicates not only our oneness with Triune God but also seeks to present a new approach to the world as ‘divine mission’. In this regard, this essay will seek to justify the influence of doctrine of Trinity mentioned above and evaluate the theologies that follows with each aspects so that we will get right knowledge of what is mean to be Christian community and how can we practice that belief, not only for yesterday but also now and for tomorrow.
To begin with, the doctrine of the Trinity can be understood to be the ideal model for the Christian community. That is, the “relational” elements in the Trinity, which are deeply related with the concept of ‘imago Dei’ lends itself as a model that we should live as God’s people and shape our community. This is because, we are created by His image, and as humans we are required to “image” (now a verb) the Creator. Grenz demonstrates this point in his argument, he asserts that as we participate in the community of Triune God as a community, we will be able to reflect fullness of the divine character in our community, which shows us...