Session 1 Notes – Delighting in the Trinity
Questions to ponder, responses welcomed. Introduction.
1. How have you understood the concept of the Trinity in the past?
2. What questions would you like explored?
3. What does the word “love” mean to you?
4. Reeves on page 10 of the introduction says, “Christianity is not primarily about lifestyle change; it is about knowing God.” He goes on to say, knowing God can change us and make us “want God more than anything else.” Does his observation resonate with you? Why or why not?
5. Reeves says, “The Trinity is a God we can know, and forever grow to know better.” In your lifetime, has your knowledge of God “grown better or deeper,” and do you think the concept of the Trinity has helped or hurt? Explain.
6. On page 14, Reeves asks, “what is essential for Christian faith?” Have you ever thought of this question? How important is an Orthodox understanding of faith for you?
7. On page 12 Reeves asks us to be “starting from scratch and seeing that the triune God is a radically different sort of being from any other candidate for ‘God.’” Further on he says we should not “settle for a presupposed idea of God.” How do you feel about delving into the mystery of knowing God in a way that injects “vital oxygen and . . . joy into our lives?” Is that anything you might appreciate?
8. Reeves is determined to show the reader that the concept of the Trinity is “a scriptural truth.” Is he convincing to you?
Chapter 1: What Was God Doing Before Creation?
1. So, are you the least bit curious about what God was doing before creation? Really? To be truthful, I never have given it a thought. But Reeves says “Jesus tells us explicitly in John 17.24. ‘Father,’ he says, ‘you loved me before the creation of the world.’” (p. 21) Have you ever considered that before God created the world, God loved God’s Son? I was teaching Christian Believer when we talked about Jesus being co-eternal with God. I was surprised how many people in the class thought Jesus did not exist until the incarnation. We had some lively discussions. What does the fact that there is not time the Jesus did not exist mean to you?
2. In the 4th century Arius taught that Jesus was not God. Athanasius accused Arius of trying to name God by God’s works—of thinking of God primarily as the creator. Reeves quotes many scriptures on page 23 to show “God is, before all things, a Father, and not primarily Creator or Ruler, all (God’s) ways are beautifully fatherly.” 1 John 4.7-8 helps us to unpack what Reeves is saying: “7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Do you know anyone who makes people feel loved as Reeves describes on page 26? Have you ever felt that kind of love?
3. Reeves says God “could not be love if there were nobody to love.” He also presents the case that God loves the Church and God’s “love is not a response given only when the church loves” God back. God’s love is always first. Insights?
4. Reeves reminds us (p. 30) that “in Genesis 1 the Spirit appears as the power by which God’s Word goes out into the world.” How are you doing with these descriptions of how unified our Triune God is?
5. At the end of the first Chapter, Reeves assures us the triune God “will not fit into the mold of any other.” Are you convinced? Does it matter to you that God is in Godself love?
6. What questions would you like to put forward?
These are just prompts for discussion—send any insights you have. The class will begin and end on time, discussion is welcomed. If you are registered Melissa will send the Zoom invite. Let me know if you have not received it sometime today. It will be on Wednesdays at 10 am and 7 pm. You can choose when you will attend. Let me know if you have any questions.