Friday, January 29, 2010

members of one another...

PolityWonk had nice words to say about this blog yesterday (which I appreciate) and very thoughtful words about Charles Timothy Brooks and his engagement with the Trinity, a subject that is, to the degree it is spoken of at all, a bit bewildering.  Growing up Lutheran, and then spending some years as an Episcopalian, I remember many Trinity Sunday sermons that began, "I know I should talk about the Trinity but..."   Today, one more on the Unity of God from Rev. Brooks, the conclusion of his sermon, "The Unitarian Idea":

"Finally, there is one aspect of the text to which before leaving the whole subject with you, I must briefly allude. The doctrine of the Divine Unity is the doctrine of the oneness of humanity. The expression, " To us there is One God, the Father," means not merely to each of us, but to all of us, one and the same Father. Sectarian or social influences may make us feel or live as if we really had different origins and destinies, but reason and revelation assure us with combined utterance, that we are all the offspring of one and the same Being, " of whom and through whom and to whom are all things."

God, the Father, is one, and in Him we are one, members one of another. The loss or gain, the degradation or elevation, the distress or deliverance of one, is the affair of all. In a thousand ways men ignore this profound fact, judging instead of helping each other; coldly and sternly they go on their way, serving their several private gods, Chance, Power, or whatever the idol may be they darkly worship, but they only punish themselves by thus banishing themselves from the presence of the all-loving Father into the wintry land of selfishness; and daily one sees the curse written on many a hard and haggard brow, in many a stolid, stony eye, on many a sullen, envious lip.

I have given you a glimpse, an impression, perhaps, of what I call the great Christian revelation of the Unities, of the Unitarian idea, in a word, concerning the highest matters of religion. It gives us unity in our theology; unity between theology and humanity; unity in the upper world ; unity between that world and this lower and preparatory one, — the unity realized in the true Church-life.

To-day again we confess One who invites men to come to Him and find rest for their souls, — rest from the confusion of self-contradictory speculations ; rest from the heavy burdens thus laid upon the mind; rest from the heavier burdens the dreary and desperate demands of self-idolizing passion lay upon the heart; rest in the bosom of the Father whose love he images, — the rest of conscious and confiding oneness with the " great Parent-mind " that made and governs the universe, — that rest which remaineth for the people of God, who through faith and patience seek to inherit the promises. Let us come to Him and partake in the great atonement I have endeavored to describe and commend."

I would encourage everyone's  thoughts about their engagement with the Trinity over at PolityWonk...and


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