Which Trinity Do You Follow?
This is a really interesting way to look at the three main categories of denominations. It’s come up quite a few times in different classes I’ve had, and the more I think about it the more true it seems to me. If you look at the history of the church you can look at the first major division, the Great Schism in 1054 of Orthodox and Roman Catholic is primarily a pneumatological (Holy Spirit theology) one. While the East had much in the way of mystical practices, direct work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of every believer, the West primarily shifted the role of the Holy Spirit to one of empowering the Church. You could basically say that in practical issues, the East maintained a Father-Son-Holy Spirit Trinity while the West moved toward a Father-Son-Church (empowered by the Holy Spirit) Trinity. Fast-forward another 500 years to the Protestant Reformation, and the Trinity essentially shifts again to Father-Son-Bible (inspired by the Holy Spirit). It’s no doubt that the Holy Spirit has always been neglected in the West.
Just to clarify that, I’m suggesting these as the Trinity we follow practically speaking, not the Trinity we profess. All three categories still say that the Trinity is made up of the Father Son and Holy Spirit. It’s just when it comes down to it which three things we emphasize and at times worship. When it is just a matter of emphasis and not worship, I’m still pondering whether I think that any of the three is better or worse, but I can see that as a great way to figure out where people are coming from. So practically speaking which of the three do you lean toward? And do you think any of them is better or worse than the others?