Speaking the Trinity

The principal usefulness of Christian theology, it seems to me, has to be helping churches construct well-formed liturgies. As Jenson puts in his ST 1, theology is the discipline tasked with describing the conditions under which the Church may “speak gospel.” So too with the doctrine of the Trinity, the chief fruits of which are such locutions as, “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,” or, “through him [Jesus] who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever…”

Thinking about this connection made me wonder if it runs in the opposite direction: if a Christian does not speak the Trinity in any meaningful way during regular worship (as most evangelicals, starving as they are in liturgical wastelands, do not), how meaningful is it to say that they believe in the Trinity? The point of the doctrine is to express a startling reality, namely, that we are to address God as “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” much as I might address my mother as “Mom.” It is not so much a curious theologoumenon as a rule of grammar: when speaking of God, speak thus and so.

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