The Trinity

trinityWhile working at a church in college as the Youth Ministry Intern (really the Youth Pastor, just without the title or paycheck) I remember attempting to use pizza as an illustration for the Trinity. Now, even then I attempted to explain that my illustration was limited and not a perfect picture (in fact in a class one classmate  proceeded to tear into me about how horrible I was, and how could I be so stupid to use pizza?! Always use an egg moron!), I used the pizza because we were eating pizza at the time. And though it was incomplete, it really seemed to help him begin to grasp some small truth about the Trinity.

I bring this up because I just stumbled across a nice little video on Greg Stier’s blog in which he shares an old video of their illustrations on how to understand the Trinity, and their first example is in fact pizza! Of course they also acknowledge the shortcomings of human illustrations to explain complex theological ideas, and they do so in a great way. (Head on over and watch the video here).

Though our words are incomplete at best, and heretical at worst, I find that I enjoy Calvin’s explanation of the Trinity best:

“… to the Father is attributed the beginning of activity, and the fountain and wellspring of all things; to the Son, wisdom, counsel, and the ordered disposition of all things; but to the Spirit is assigned the power and efficacy… For the mind of each human being is naturally inclined to contemplate God first, then the wisdom coming forth from Him, and lastly the power whereby He executes the decrees of His plan.” (taken from Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, volume one, pages 142-143)

How do you try to enlighten students about the Trinity?