The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Protestantism and the Trinity


In my library travels, I found a book in French published in Lebanon called "True Monotheism". It was of course a Muslim book, and its argument was essentially that Islam is the truly monotheistic religion, since it insists on the unity of Allah and that only he should be given total glory. Having been very bored recently, I have also been perusing many Protestant sites, and they seem to be saying the same thing vis. Catholicism. However, the latter are attacking such things as the cult of the saints, the God-given authority of ecclesiatics, etc. For some reason, in skimming this book, the Protestant argument in its most radical forms seemed to be metamorphizing in my head into the Islamization of the Gospel.

St Maximus Confessor in his commentary on the Lord's Prayer wrote that it is in the Trinity that the correct conception of God as one and many is truly manifested. And only in a correct Trinitarian concept of the Church and the cosmos is the Gospel truly understood. God's honor and glory in the Church of the Gospel is diffuse and shared in some very crucial ways. This is not polytheism or idolotry, though it can degenerate into something decadent as all things can. This Trinitarian conception, the understanding of the one and the many, is perhaps the ultimate tradition that even many Catholics have forgotten. It is the understanding that God does not want to reign alone in the universe, and His splendor and power consume all things.

Perhaps without this understanding, a Calvin and a Muhammad might be saying many of the same things.

3 Comments:

At 7:45 PM, Blogger axegrinder said...

Once, when talking to a young Calvinist, he said that the way that I was talking about the distinctives of Reformed thought made it sound like it was very close to Islam. I suggested that the similarities should be taken seriously and did not deny the comparison.

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger The Scylding said...

I'm no Calvin expert, but I think you should draw a distinction between Calvin the hisotical theologian, and some modern calvinists - many of whom might be completely shocked by what the man actually said. Calvin might actually be branded a heretic in some "calvinist" churches - for instance, he had no problem with the perpetual virginity of Mary.

 
At 4:03 AM, Anonymous William Tighe said...

It was no accident that in the early 17th Century a number of Catholic polemics against Reformed Christianity bore variations on the title "Turcocalvinismus."

 

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