Talking about God -starting in a surprising place

Lies about God lead to mess and destruction in our lives.  So we will want to respond to those lies with truth in order to re-orientate and correct our view of what God is like.  Where to begin? Now here’s the surprise: we’re going to start by talking about the Doctrine of the Trinity.  That might seem like a very odd direction in which to take our discussion.  Here we are trying to think practically about our beliefs and now we’re being asked to delve into one of the more difficult, hard to understand and potentially controversial aspects of doctrine.  This sounds like a wrong turning away from practical down to earth stuff and towards obscure, academic debate.

Surely we’d do better to start with something like “God is love”?   Well, here’s the second surprise.  You are right to think this. You see, the idea that God is not love is one of the greatest lies that people believe. It’s not something we’d come out and say directly. In fact, most of the lies we believe are rarely stated in such stark terms. We tend to deceive ourselves; we say that we believe God is love because the Bible says so, but, in reality, we see the evidence of disbelief all around us.

We see disbelief in the Doctrine of God’s Love when preachers fail to talk about God’s love winsomely and often fear that they will become fluffy and fail to properly defend the truth.  They end up relegating talk of God’s love to the songs we sing in church.

We see disbelief when someone simply cannot grasp that God loves them and has forgiven them and they become overwhelmed with a burden of guilt and despair.

We accept the lie that God is not love when we act as though we have to earn our salvation and that we can lose it again.

We say that God is not love when we decide that the teaching of Scripture is too difficult or too harsh and so we have to find a way around it.  We conclude that human mercy is more loving than God’s Law.

So we do want to deal with those lies about God’s love and here is the third surprise.  The best place to start a defence of the Doctrine of God’s Love is with the Doctrine of the Trinity!