Saturday, June 25, 2016



I was once asked by a friend of mine to explain the Trinity to his five year old son.  Anyone who has ever seriously tackled that theological concept can tell you how difficult that is to accomplish.  The Bible proclaims the concept and expounds on its importance but never gets around to explaining how that works. If an engineer were trying to construct the Trinity concretely, He would ultimately be defeated because the Designer was not working from a blue print nor operating from a finite set of laws.  In fact, no one designed the Trinity.The Trinity is the designer of everything else.  The Trinity simple is .... well, the Trinity - God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

Was that clear? No, because the Trinity is a mystery which defines life, creates life, sustains life.  Sometime, I will write about how I explained the Trinity to the little boy.  It was decent effort on my part, but it did not leave him without questions.  I still have questions.

I like this little quote from E.B. White: "Be obscure clearly."

How do I interpret that statement?  There are times when you cannot make everyone understand what you are trying to say.  Sometimes they just won’t get it.  Sometimes they don’t want to get it because they would have to open themselves to new possibilities, yet undiscovered realities that make them uncomfortable or take them in directions they want to avoid.

In their minds – you are being obscure.

But try to be clear nonetheless. Don’t stop the conversation.  Don’t be so stuck in your way of explaining that you aren’t growing in your understanding.

Don’t be afraid of saying, “It is a mystery but we must learn to live with it nonetheless.”

Ultimately such a conversation is a call to faith.  As a sign I once saw on a campus minister’s door proclaimed: “I don’t know all the answers, but I know the One who does.”

So let me say this clearly: My life does not depend on explaining the Trinity but by putting my trust in that Trinity and living by what IS clear."

© 2016 by Stephen L. Dunn.  You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to For all other uses, contact Steve at 

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