An Easter Trinity
by Anthony Esolen
We Christians believe in a communion that makes many another monotheistic system seem cold and distant, even desolate. In the order of human causes, were it not for the fiery Athanasius, we might be bowing before the lonely god of Omar, as Chesterton put it; or the more philosophical among us might be joining the gentle soul of Plotinus, seeking a mystical flight of the alone to the Alone. But we believe that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; which is another way of saying that God is love. The divine Persons are really Persons, not personifications; they are not aspects of God, or modes or portions of his being. They are three, and they are One.
I'm not enough of a theologian to turn the first leaf of this mystery. I'm wary of the good St. Patrick's shamrock, which might have served to illustrate the truth to a rude Irishman, but might not do for even ruder Americans now. I do know that our forefathers in the faith intuited that everything would fall apart if we got wrong either the person of Christ or the nature of the Trinity. Lose or muddle the Trinity, lose or muddle the divinity of Christ, and soon you will be peddling dilute deistic nostrums according to the taste of the day, your faith having decayed into humanitarianism, preached in an inoffensive little old white building with a spire, next door to a strip joint or an abortuary.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Anthony Esolen is the author of over thirty books, including Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius). He has also translated Dante’s Divine Comedy (Random House). He and his wife Debra publish a web magazine, Word and Song (anthonyesolen.substack.com), on poetry, hymnody, language, classic films, and music. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor