Two weeks ago in my Church History class we tried to tackle to the topic of the Trinity. The conversation and lesson concerning the Trinity lasted for double the time that the professor had allotted for the subject and by the end I felt the confusion of many classmates still lingering in the atmosphere. I brought our class discussion to someone in my family who was not well versed in the Trinity (as if anyone is, right?). She did assert, however, that with something so confusing as the Trinity, which normally many people have strong opinions about, why bother talking about it with other people?
I would like to humbly (not really) disagree. Whether we are seminary students, mathematicians, performers, or whatever else, it is impossible to stay an arm’s length away from our ideas. Especially when concerning subjects in our religion that we might try to communicate to other people someday. There is a good chance that parishioners and even people of other faiths will want to know more completely some of the history or at least what we think about the Trinity.
Even if we look beyond this one example of the Trinity, there are probably some ideas that we are not comfortable wrestling with because they might be too confusing or complicated to understand. Should that stop us from encountering them or critically examining them? We are at seminary to encounter these ideas, whether they are easy to understand or not, or even if they align with our beliefs or not. The challenge of this in seminary is being able to take our experience encountering these subjects wherever we go.
As my college ethics professor taught me, “Ideas matter, otherwise no one in the humanities would have a job”.
Until next Friday!