I have read a lot of United Methodist commentary in the last couple years about the importance of Trinitarian faith. I’ve had a member of my conference Board of Ordained Ministry explain that one concern the board has had in recent years is that some candidates come out of seminary without a sufficient ability to clearly articulate Trinitarian Christianity.
And yet, during the last year as the country has seriously considered the election of a man who embraces a religion that espouses a non-Trinitarian religion, I have heard almost no discussion about why the Trinity matters to Christians. I’m not asking for a political argument here. By Wesleyan standards, after all, we’ve probably had several non-Christian presidents in our history. Electing a non-Trinitarian is not my concern.
My concern is more a question. If the Trinity is so important to our understanding of God, why have we seemed to flee from any discussion of the topic?
Is it that we have become such thorough-going pluralists that we recoil at even describing differences among the religions?
Is it that we are afraid of being labeled as political?
Is it that we really are not all that Trinitarian in our theology after all? Do we not actually believe that Jesus Christ was fully God, uncreated, and from the beginning? Is this just so much scholastic game playing to us? Do we not believe the Holy Spirit is God, not just from God?
Is it that we cannot articulate our faith with either confidence or clarity?
I ask these questions as much about myself as I do about you. I have not talked about the theology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in any public way in the last year. But if I do not, how can I expect the people in the churches I serve to understand our faith?
I suppose before I do that, I need more knowledge. I have read the United Methodist Chruch’s document on baptism and former LDS members, but most of what I know of LDS theology is bits and pieces. Perhaps learning more is the first step.
Who knows a good accessible resource for doing so?