The Trinity and Social Theory

Karen Kilby sees some dangers in using the Trinity as an analogy or model for social theory. She is concerned that the dominance of one particular model over others can actually prove harmful. She opines that once we view the Trinity as framework  community, we end up believing that we have a special grasp of the Trinity. She goes on to assert that it is not erroneous to employ the Trinity as the foundation for different ideas and practices–even community–but that we cannot define the Trinity simply as community, since it limits the Triune expression. As Augustine observed, “once we think we have the Trinity figured out, you know you got it wrong.”

The danger of limiting the Trinity to community, she observes, is the danger of tri-theism: believing that the Trinity is composed of three Gods. She sounds the alarm, but also affirms that there is some validity to the Trinity as a social model. Another danger of using the Trinitarian model as social models for everyday relationships is that we end forgetting that the goal is not in the social theorizing, but in the worshiping of the God who is Three and One. The entire conversation is quite helpful.

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