Does the doctrine of the Trinity impact our worship in the 21st century?
In the recent issue of Credo Magazine, “The Trinity and the Christian Life: Why a Triune God Makes All the Difference,” we asked some top experts on topic of worship the question, “Does the doctrine of the Trinity impact our worship in the 21st century?” Here is what they had to say:
Tim Chester, author of Delighting in the Trinity
6–Our worship is inevitably Trinitarian. The Father and Son delight in one another, in the joy of the Spirit and we get to participate in that delight (Luke 10:21-22). But often we miss out on the realization of this when it’s not made explicit in the way we shape our worship. But the Trinity does impact our worship (whether we realize it or not)! Even when our worship is weak and marred by sin, the Spirit connects us to Christ our Priest who represents us before the Father in the heavenly congregation (Heb. 2:11-13).
Bob Kauflin, author of Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God
5–Recent years seem to indicate an increased awareness in the church that God is Triune and that our gatherings should reflect that. But judging from the prayers we often hear and the songs written in the past two or three decades, I don’t think the church at large is generally alert to the fact that we have access to the Father through Christ in one Spirit (Eph. 2:18). Even in liturgies that are evidently triune, I’m not sure people in the congregation can always adequately express why. But I’m confident that God, out of his love for us and concern for his own glory, will always lead us into a clearer understanding of who he is and practices that more faithfully reflect his triune nature.
David Peterson, author of Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship
5–In my experience, those planning and leading services generally do not give enough thought to engaging with God as Trinity. Some traditions rightly emphasize approaching the Father through the Son, but seem to have little place for the Spirit. Others focus on the Spirit and pray to Jesus but seem to be awkward about relating to God as Father.
Read other interviews, articles, and columns in Credo Magazine:
The Trinity and the Christian Life: Why a triune God makes all the difference
One of the dangers every church faces is slipping, slowly and quietly and perhaps unknowingly, into a routine where sermons are preached, songs are sung, and the Lord’s Supper is consumed, but all is done without a deep sense and awareness of the Trinity. In other words, if we are not careful our churches, in practice, can look remarkably Unitarian. And such a danger is not limited to the pews of the church. As we leave on Sunday morning and go back into the world, does the gospel we share with our coworker look decisively and explicitly Trinitarian in nature? Or when we pray in the privacy of our own home, do the three persons of the Trinity make any difference in how we petition God?
In this issue of Credo Magazine, we have brought together some of the sharpest thinkers in order to bring our minds back to the beauty, glory, and majesty of our triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But we do not merely want to see him as triune, but recognize why and how the Trinity makes all the difference in the Christian life. Therefore, in this issue Fred Sanders, Robert Letham, Michael Reeves, Scott Swain, Tim Challies, Stephen Holmes, and many others come together in order to help us think deeper thoughts about how God is one essence and three persons, and what impact the Trinity has on who we are and what we do as believers.
Matthew Barrett, Executive Editor