Exercise on the Trinitarian Paradigm

We have not learned much about the doctrine of the Trinity yet in this course, but you have learned that the basic story of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is basic to Christian faith at multiple levels. This exercise is practice in perceiving and using that paradigm to understand either the world or the life of your church, to 'warm up' your theological faculties so that what we learn in the next few weeks will have something specific to grab onto. So write an essay on either of the two following options:

Choose something in life that has been difficult for you to relate to Christian life or faith. (Our example in class was environmentalism.) Draw on Newbigin, lectures, and the relevant readings in the Oxford Companion for last week and this week, Barth, etc. to sketch out a description of that thing in light of the Trinitarian paradigm that has structured so much of the Church's fundamental thought.

Or

Choose a practice that has some importance in the life of your local church (for example, your specific ways of greeting visitors on Sundays) that has not been clearly articulated in an Trinitarian and missional way. Draw on Newbigin, lectures, and the relevant readings in the Oxford Companion for last week and this week, Barth, etc. to show whether and how the Trinitarian paradigm informs that practice, locates it fruitfully in your church's whole life of faith, and/or helps you improve it.

(Note: This language differs slightly from what I said Wednesday night, simply because I was working from memory. If that materially changes your response, you can craft it according to either the language here or the language I used Wednesday night.)

In each of these cases, you are free to show how the paradigm does help make sense of it (and vice versa), or how it does not, or both.

Please keep your paper 3-4 pages, double-spaced, and follow the directions in my handout for writing papers. I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.

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