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Rather than use the words fiction, legend, or myth, the word parable is more affirming I think. Of course, Jesus used parables to speak of truths about God and human beings. As Crossan pointed out in his book, The Power of Parable , even Jesus, to a great extent, is a parable himself. Thus I think of Trinity, the Triune God, as a parable for God as opposed to an objective thing that exists. To speak of Trinity as parable leaves room for us to appreciate this truth without needing to believe in it as a rigid premise.

Trinity is poetic and evocative and as parable allows us to explore it, honor it, sing about it, worship it even, without having to defend it and exclude all other parables for God. The two scripture texts from Proverbs and the Gospel of John are from the lectionary and are both chosen as texts for Trinity Sunday.

Jesus, as parable, is an incarnation of Divine Wisdom.


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The Advocate in John is interpreted by the church as Holy Spirit. This disclosure occurred on the Night of Qadr or the Night of Power. So there is another Trinity, three texts from three traditions that are essentially one: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. I am not sure if my interfaith speculations please anyone. But as I see it, it is critical to make the attempt to find points of connection between our faith traditions and to make space for the various parables for God articulated in our various faith traditions. I suppose on one level, in terms of systems of doctrine and belief, the Advocate cannot be both Mohammad and Spirit, and Wisdom cannot be both the Wisdom Woman and Jesus, but as parable, anything is possible.

Parable Quiz

In the novel the Life of Pi , the young boy, Pi, secretly becomes a Muslim, a Christian and a Hindu, studying with teachers from each tradition. One day, embarrassing for Pi, the three teachers meet Pi as he is walking with his parents. Pi is found out. The Imam says Pi is a good Muslim, praying every day. The priest says no he is a Christian. He has been studying his catechism. The Hindu pandit says Pi has been meditating and is a Hindu.

LOAF Sermon: Luke The Parable of the Seeds – Green Christian

The three religious scholars get in an argument and his parents look on confused. Each of the religious scholars demands that Pi choose one of the traditions. His parents think he probably should choose as well. Why must he choose between three beautiful parables for God? You can be all three, if not outwardly, at least in your heart. It was that experience of heart that the parable of Trinity came about. These early followers of Jesus experienced the love of God. The persuasive power of love as David Ray Griffin points out, was known in their lives through the texts and traditions of Second Temple Judaism.

But they also experienced the love of the person, Jesus, who showed them a way to God that was so persuasive that it was as if Jesus was a revelation of God, even one with God. As generations of Christ-followers reflected on the mystery of Jesus and God, they also saw this divine presence among them, working through them, the same mystery, God as Spirit. These three workings of God, faces of God, parables of God, became a parable for God as Trinity, three and one.

Three expressions. One love. Nothing is fixed. It is not certain whether or not human beings will go the way of other species that as I speak are going extinct at 1, to 10, times the normal rate of extinction. It is that persuasive invitation that allows me to remain hopeful. What other stance besides hope can we have? They are not persuasive to me. In fact, I see them as contrary to life. They are working against life. They do not delight in humanity, but use humanity as a commodity.

The persuasive power of love as seen in the parable of God as Trinity is an invitation to look way beyond our current ways of living, or perhaps I should I say, dying. That is why I tend to appear to be cynical or have a negative view of our societies. I am not negative about God or humanity, but I am negative about the current stewardship of our home, Earth.

But that does not mean I am without hope. My hope is that people will collectively awaken to the reality of the trajectory on one hand, and to the reality of God and Wisdom and Spirit who creates, reveals, and sanctifies, on the other. There are many other ways of living on Earth that are not based on the delusion of infinite economic growth, exploitation of resources, and war. As hard as they are to imagine when we are in the midst of empire and propaganda, they are not impossible to imagine. Kevin Carroll. Talk To Impress. Ivan MacLean. Erfan Hettini. Claire Marie Murray. Can Akdeniz.

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