Trinitarian Formation–a book review

Trinitarian Formation

A Theology of Discipleship

in Light of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

J. Chase Davis

——————

    The Reverend J. Chase Davis presents a theology of discipleship, of growing churches, and of maintaining church membership based upon a theology of discipleship of the Trinity–the flowing of life between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    Davis is seeking to have the theological concept of the Trinity undergird discipleship, which has been lost through the years.

    We must remember the theological concept of the Trinity itself was created much later in the history of the Church, and so is open to various interpretations.

    The criticism is that the book is difficult to read, and is written by theologians, who have little practical experience.

    Secondly, it is a theology that is limited only to those who believe in one way–and essentially sets limits to those who enter the kingdom.

    Personally, I am a Trinitarian, and my own theology of the Trinity is similar to what is presented, but I believe that Jesus is not the only way, there are many expressions of God, and that God is found in all of life.

    I live, hang out, and minister with the “Lost Girls and Boys,” ministry with these guys is not about doctrine, but about surviving moment to moment on the street.

    Fr. Henri Nouwen sums up a ministry of “Sharing Our Weakness, which  can bring us in touch with the living Christ and  with each other, and lead us to care for all people as simply human beings struggling, and hence to caring for all creation for healing is what faith is about:

Over the last few years, I have been increasingly aware that true healing mostly takes place through the sharing of weakness.

Mostly we are so afraid of our weaknesses that we hide them at all costs and thus make them unavailable to others but also often to ourselves. And in this way, we end up living double lives even against our own desires: one life in which we present ourselves to the world, to ourselves, and to God as a person who is in control and another life in which we feel insecure, doubtful, confused, and anxious and totally out of control. The split between these two lives causes us a lot of suffering. I have become increasingly aware of the importance of overcoming the great chasm between these two lives and am becoming more and more aware that facing, with others, the reality of our existence can be the beginning of a truly free life.

It is amazing in my own life that true friendship and community became possible to the degree that I was able to share my weaknesses with others.

Often I became aware of the fact that in the sharing of my weaknesses with others the real depths of my human brokenness and weakness and sinfulness started to reveal themselves to me, not as a source of despair but as a source of hope.

As long as I try to convince myself or others of my independence, a lot of my energy is invested in building my own false self. But once I am able to truly confess my most profound dependence on others and on God, I can come to touch with my true self and real community can develop.

Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

——————————

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos.org

415-305-2124

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