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A Spiritual Paradigm Shift

Trinity: Week 1

A Spiritual Paradigm Shift
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

History has so long operated with a static and imperial image of God—as a Supreme Monarch who is mostly living in splendid isolation from what he—and God is always and exclusively envisioned as male in this model—created. This God is seen largely as a Critical Spectator, and his followers do their level best to imitate their Creator in this regard.

We always become what we behold; the presence that we practice matters. That’s why we desperately need a worldwide paradigm shift in Christian consciousness for how we relate to God. This shift has been subtly yet profoundly underway for some time, hiding in plain sight—the revelation of God as what we have called “Trinity” but have barely understood.

In his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn popularized the term “paradigm shift.” [1] Kuhn said that paradigm shifts become necessary when the plausibility structure of the previous paradigm becomes so full of holes and patchwork “fixes” that a complete overhaul, which once looked utterly threatening, now appears as a lifeline.

I believe we’re at precisely such a moment when it comes to our images of God. Instead of the idea of Trinity being an abstruse conundrum, it could well end up being the answer to the foundational problem of Western religion.

Instead of God being the Eternal Threatener, we have God as the Ultimate Participant—in everything—both the good and the painful.

Instead of an Omnipotent Monarch, we see Trinity as the actual and wondrous shape of Divine Reality, which replicates itself in us (see Genesis 1:26) and in “all the array” of creation (see Genesis 2:1).

Instead of God watching life happen from afar and judging it . . .
How about God being inherent in life itself?
How about God being the Life Force of everything?

Instead of God being an Object like any other object . . .
How about God being the Life Energy between each and every object (which we would usually call Love or Spirit)?

Instead of the small god—usually preoccupied with exclusion—in our current (and dying) paradigm, the Trinitarian Revolution reveals God as totally inclusive and with us in all of life instead of standing on the sidelines, critiquing which things belong and which things don’t.

This God is the very one whom we have named “Trinity”—the Flow who flows through everything, without exception, and who has done so since the beginning. For those who have learned to see, everything is holy now.

Gateway to Silence:
Come, sit at the table.

[1] Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 4th ed. (University of Chicago Press: 2012).

Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (Whitaker House: 2016), 35-37.

Image Credit: The Hospitality of Abraham, also known as The Trinity, (detail) by Andrei Rublev, 1411 or 1425-27.
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