From Felicity to Trinity

Thirty-five years ago, I learned the word felicity when I found Jane Austen in the “A” section in fiction at the Loma Linda University library. Austen’s stories motivated me to look up this word since she frequently used it in her stories.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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A different view of the trinity by a Russian painter. Father, Son, Holy Spirit sharing at meal time.
But if you notice there is a 4th place seating. Originally there was a small mirror attached to the painting. This allowed the one viewing the painting to see themselves as a participant at the meal. Enjoying the shared meal with the Trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

This picture is on the front cover of Richard Rohr’s book, The Divine Dance – The Trinity and Your Transformation. A MUST read for anyone who wants to sit in the 4th place, partake of heavenly food, and engage in heavenly conversation with 3 wonderful persons.
An except as Richard begins the conversation – “The Blessed Trinity is supposed to be a central-- even the paramount-- foundational doctrine of our entire Christian belief system. And yet, we’re told, at least I was told as a young boy in Kansas, that we shouldn’t try to understand it.
“Just believe it!” we were admonished. But there it stopped. Irish born Sister Ephrem just held up the shamrock to my totally trustworthy third-grade class. We surely believed, if not in the Trinity, at least in her Irish faith.[Although maybe that is exactly how the divine flow has to start! With sharing a bit of earnest and deep goodness.]
Yes it was indeed a mystery. Sort of a mathematical conundrum to test our ability to believe impossible things to be true.” – end of quote. pg 25.
Pg 27-- The very mystical Cappadocian Fathers of fourth-century eastern Turkey eventually developed some highly sophisticated thinking on what we soon called the Trinity. It took Three [3] Centuries of reflection on the Gospels to have the courage to say it, but they of this land – which included Paul of Tarsus before them and Melvana Rumi of Konya afterward – circled around to the best metaphor they could find: – Whatever is going on in God is a flow, a radical relatedness, a perfect communion between Three – a circle dance of love."
He quotes Karl Rahner, “The Trinity” [1999] pg 10-11. “Christians are, in their practical life, almost ‘monotheists’. We must admit that should the doctrine of the Trinity have to be dropped as false, the major part of religious literature could well remain virtually unchanged.” [THIS IS SCARY!!]

DEFINITION – “Tri…” whatever. Just means THREE [3].
A difficult concept to surround. “The Lord our God is ONE”, and YET “GOD” is Three [3].


Carmen Lau’s brilliant essay and Steve Mga’s eloquent and thought provoking response are indeed a blessing to me this morning. This is SPECTRUM at it’s best “Community Through Conversation” .
We need to have many more such conversations as we establish community in our churches. Thank you for your ministry!

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I agree with the verses James Peterson used as I was also going to use those as well. I don’t use the term trinity because it comes from Catholicism. I do believe in the Godhead that has 3 personalities as EGW refers to them and they are God the Father, Jesus the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit.

Y[quote=“spectrumbot, post:1, topic:13960”]
A Trinitarian God provides stability in our lives.

It has to. After all we are all born into a triad relationship of father, mother and child. But as soon as we feel “stability in our lives,” our developmental task mandates us to separate from the triad relationship and develop our own dyad relationships, son and his wife, daughter and her husband. The history and impression of our triad relationship is imbedded deeply in our psyche and leaves a lasting affective preverbal memory. A memory of what heaven can be. But how we reject our own same/opposite sex parent will haunt us throughout our lives and will manifest in various behaviors, maladaptive or not, including how we perceive the “Trinitarian God,” issues of WO and LGBTI among others.

Wasn’t that because the Holy Spirit is here among us. Jesus sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who also assisted with creation and the immaculate conception.


Judaism is/was monotheistic, surrounded by polytheistic religions. It grew up amid religions that worshipped triune gods - the Sumerians (Anu, Enlil, Enki); and the Egyptians (Isis, Serapis, Serapis), both, worshiped triads.

The TRINITY became established as one of the Christian tenets after the Council of Nicaea (fourth century) declared it as such. It was Constantine that called for the the council to clear up various issues that were causing disruption in his empire. This is how the “festival of the sun” was incorporated as “Sunday worship”, (from Easter being also established).

Pope Gregory the Great - You must not interfere with any traditional belief or observance that can be harmonized with Christianity. (Laing - p,130)

The Bible does not contain the word TRINITY. The only statement used to back up the idea of the TRINITY comes from !John 5:7 - For there are three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and those three are one. This statement was never in the original transcripts, added later, after t he idea of the TRINITY had been accepted. Most Bibles will have a note to that effect in the margin.

The “Holy Spirit” is personified in the Bible, just as “wisdom” is personified in the Old Testament book of “Proverbs”. The Bible also states that God is SPIRIT (Jn 4:24), which makes two member of the godhead “spirits”, one holier than another? - somewhat of a problem.

Look, we are trying to describe GOD and how He works. If it helps to think of God as having three parts - OK. Personally, it doesn’t help or clarify God. For me, there is God; His Son (another earthly relationship we can identify with); and the real influence of having God in our lives, as an influence in all that we are.

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