Ask An Eastern Orthodox Christian: Triune God

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By Nicholas Damascus

Why is God Triune?  Apart from the Triune God, are there any other beings who are also Triune?

One reason why our Christian God is triune would be to allow the condition for God to be love. If God were a singular being (a monad), He would not be a God of love, for love demands the presence of another. It is the communion of the three persons in the godhead that makes our God a God of love. A singular deity would most likely be self-serving for its own benefit and not for its creation.     

The triune Christian godhead (The Holy Trinity) is one God in three persons. They are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, three distinct persons who are yet mystically undivided, co-equal, of the same essence, and each one dwelling entirely within the other by virtue of an unceasing movement of mutual love. 

See John 14:10 and 1 John 4:8.

One could say mankind is also triune.

See Genesis 1:26 and again, 1 John 4:8.

God is love, and man was created in God’s image and likeness. Since man is created in God’s image (love), then one could say by virtue of man’s relationship with others and God, that man too is love. Christ’s message to His apostles and the world was “to love one another as I have loved you,” implying not just to pull love off the shelf when needed, but to strive to become that unconditional love to one another.

Man is designed to love and be loved and to become love (transformed) by his choice. As Orthodox Christians, The Trinity is the model and example of how we strive to live. Man is created as a personal being — one who is truly human when he loves and is loved. It’s how we relate to God and one another, which defines us as persons.   

One could also say that man is triune in another way. He was created being with a body, soul, and spirit where all three parts interpenetrate each other to function as “one human being,” an icon of similarity as to the triune existence of one God.  (See John 17:21).

About Nicholas Damascus

Nick Damascus is one who seeks to discover and apply the proverbial question of what is truth and wisdom, to fill that gaping hole, to become complete and to become realistically and synergistically functional. In an attempt to live the Christian life, which he says is a definite work in progress, he has discovered that he's created the Christ that fits his lifestyle and agrees with his ego (and boy what an ego, he says), carefully avoiding what God intended him to be.

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