The Trinity and Gender:Theological Reflections on the Differences of Divine and Human Persons -- By: Gary W. Deddo

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 22:4 (Autumn 2008)
Article: The Trinity and Gender:Theological Reflections on the Differences of Divine and Human Persons
Author: Gary W. Deddo


The Trinity and Gender:Theological Reflections on the
Differences of Divine and Human Persons

Gary W. Deddo

GARY W. DEDDO is senior editor for academic books at InterVarsity Press. He received his M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA. He later received his Ph.D. in systematic theology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He has taught college and seminary courses in theology and has contributed articles to various books and academic journals.

Introduction

Does the doctrine of the Trinity shed any light on why God created us as human beings with gender? Any consideration of the relationship of men and women must fall, first, under the more universal constraints of all Christian discipleship. The ethic of love must undergird any and every other ethical obligation of men and women together. Second, we are biblically obligated to recognize that God’s own love revealed in Christ provides the norm for our loving of one another even as men and women. Third, we are biblically warranted to compare the relationship of men and women analogically to God’s relationship to us in Christ, and that relationship may be analogically compared to the relationship of the triune persons. In theological terms, Scripture encourages us to discern an analogy of relations, but not an analogy of being, between God and humanity.

The primary biblical teaching that directs us to look for light to fall on our human relationships from the christological and Trinitarian relationships is found in Jesus’ drawing of those comparisons in John 15: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you” (John 15:9), and, “As I have loved you, so you ought to love one another” (John 15:12, cf. 13:34). The simple word “as” conveys God’s astounding intention for there to be a likeness of relationships. In John 17, we find three simple terms of comparison among these three relationships: love, oneness, and glory. There, we also find a comprehensive reciprocal sharing/exchange/interchange between the Father and Son. The Father gives the Son his name, word, and mission, as well as love, oneness, and glory. The Son in turn shares all those things with his people, including love, oneness, and glory. Given the comprehensive scope of Jesus’ prayer and the universal command to love one another, there is every reason to believe that the patterns of relationship spoken of here necessarily include the relationship of men and women. I believe that Genesis 1 and 2 and You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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