St. Patrick’s Bad Analogies


Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

For many, mentioning the Trinity can bring to mind words like abstract, unimportant, strange, illogical, and distant. To make God more relevant we’ve come up with analogies that try to explain him. Steam, water, ice. Father, husband, employee. Flame, light, heat. A clover. Etc.

St. Patrick’s Day seemed to be the right time to post this video that shows how our attempts to explain God can inadvertently be rehashes of past heresies. To be clear, I’m not aware that Patrick actually used these analogies, but the video is hilarious.

I remember learning and using many of these analogies as I grew up (and as an adult). I never realized that Christians had labored for hundreds of years to give us Trinitarian language that was a thoughtful, biblical, and precise description of who God is. That language is contained in various statements like the Nicene and Athanasian creeds which the church has affirmed for over 1500 years .

The confusion about the Trinity is one reason the focus of this year’s WorshipGod conference is TRIUNE. We’ll be exploring what it means not only to know God as Father, Son, and Spirit but to enjoy the fact that God is Trinity.

I’m grateful that we’ll have Mike Reeves from the UK with us to teach two main sessions. Mike is the author of Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith, which I read recently and was deeply affected by. I just got time with Mike at WorshipGod UK and was freshly affected by his passion for the gospel, God’s word, and God’s people. My good friend Bruce Ware, author of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relations, Roles, and Relevance, will be speaking on Worshiping God as Father. Two Sovereign Grace pastors, Jon Payne and Rick Gamache, will be addressing the role of the Holy Spirit and how to live in light of the Trinity. I’ll be covering how our Sunday meetings might become more delightfully Trinitarian. Musically, Enfield and Matt Boswell will be joining us to help lead worship in song.

What we think about St. Patrick most likely isn’t going to have a profound effect on our lives. But what we think about God will. And knowing and loving him as he really is – Father, Son, and Spirit – is a treasure of unfathomable riches and delights always waiting to be explored.


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