168: Trinity C (May 22, 2016)


Hello and welcome to the Pulpit Fiction Podcast, the lectionary podcast for preachers, seekers and Bible geeks. This is episode 168 for Sunday, May 22, 2016. Trinity Sunday, Year C (parts rebroadcast from ep 15).

Trinity Sunday

  • Lucy Lind Hogan (workingpreacher.com) The Holy Trinity is definitely one of those difficult, challenging, thought-provoking doctrines of our faith. But we should not think of it as an exam question that must be answered before we will be admitted to the heavenly banquet.
  • Brian McLaren - Trinity: litmus test for persecution OR image of diversity within Godself- one and otherness.

    • Still often a litmus test- yes it can be a liberating belief, we can view it in different ways, but a Triune belief necessary to be Christian?
    • Neo-platonism - triune metaphysics?
    • Why only three?
  • DBB - Story of Us - Eric the pastor, brother, son, husband - we are plural...imageo dei
  • “Secular psychology has come to the feet of the Triune God with ‘relational selfhood.’” We define self only in relation to others.  Identity is defined by relationship.  DBB
  • For Robb, coming to  a new understanding of the Trinity was a pivotal moment in my seminary experience.  When I realized that the Trinity meant that God was a God of relationship, it changed the way I thought about mission, evangelism, anthropology, theodicy, Scripture.  I now see everything through the lens of a Triune God that is relationship.  So humans, who were created in God’s image, were created to be in relationship.  This understanding of who God is and who we are lies at the heart of the Christian message.  It lies at the heart of Jesus ministry, and it lies at the heart of who we are called to be as disciples and as a Church.
  • Danger- be careful about losing

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Gospel Reading: John 16:12-15 Spirit of Truth

    1. Truth to power? truth to ourselves?
    2. Ties nicely to the idea of suffering and how we boast in our suffering- we must be filled with a spirit of truth
  1. Knowing God

    1. How do we know God?  We know God through Jesus.  
    2. How will we continue to know God after Jesus is gone? We know God through the Spirit.  
    3. How does the Spirit operate?  Through truth.  It is through truth-telling and truth-full relationships that we may know God. .
  2. Trinity Doctrine

    1. “It is the Father only who is not of another. For the Son is born of the Father, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. But the Father is neither born of, nor proceeds from another. And yet this should not occasion in human thought any idea of disparity in the supreme Trinity. For the Son is equal to him of whom he is born just as the Holy Spirit is equal to him from whom he proceeds.” - Augustine, Tractates of the Gospel of John, 99.4, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers 17:382.
    2. Eastern and Western Church are divided about where the Spirit comes from

      1. Eastern - just from God
      2. Western - God and Jesus

Psalm Nugget: Psalm 8 with Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (psalmimmersion.com, @pomopsalmist)

Second Reading: Romans 5:1-5

  1. 99 Problems
  2. This is the big one- Reformed theology for the last 500 years is based on this one verse- justified by faith
  3. Boast in suffering - what does this mean?

    1. suffering means doing without so others can have?
    2. suffering means paying more for clothes so Bangladeshi workers can be safe
    3. suffering means paying more for food is it is grown humanely and sustainably
    4. suffering means using public transportation to relieve congestion and pollution
    5. suffering means leaving apathy and ignorance behind
    6. suffering is an awareness of the pain of our brothers and sisters and doing something about it
  4. Suffering/problems/troubles
  5. Endurance/Patience
  6. Character/God’s approval
  7. This does NOT mean - it is ok for you to suffer, because look- you will gain endurance, character, hope, and ultimately God’s love

    1. patronizing
    2. Calvin and Hobbes - Calvin’s dad is always saying crappy things or making Calvin do work to produce character
  8. Holy Spirit- the conduit through which we receive God’s love
  9. Cyclical - we have peace because we believe/hope/trust in God’s love


Thank you listeners

          Thanks to our Psalms correspondent, Richard Bruxvoort Colligan (psalmimmersion.com, @pomopsalmist). Thank you to Scott Fletcher for our voice bumpers, Dick Dale and the Del Tones for our Theme music (“Misirlou”), Nicolai Heidlas (“Sunday Morning”, "Real Ride" and “Summertime”) and The Steel Wheels for our transition music(“Nola’s First Dance” from their album Lay Down, Lay Low) and Paul and Storm for our closing music (“Oh No”).