Joel Busby here. The other (though largely absent!) contributor to this blog…
I’m in my final semester of seminary at Beeson Divinity School. I’ve also officially begun leadership of University Christian Fellowship at Mountain Brook Community Church — where Andy and I served together prior to his move to the UK. For me, the collision of these two activities have made for very interesting reflection. I’ve transitioned towards thinking really hard about how my theological education will work itself out in my pastoral ministry. I’ve learned so many important things. Now, I want to these truths to “happen”, you know? I guess this means that I’m seriously drawn right now to “Pastoral Theology.”
When I reflect upon my time at Beeson, the doctrine of the Trinity (and all its implications!) represents an area of theology that has challenged my thinking the most. I can’t help but think that I’ve been a functional Unitarian throughout much of my Christian life and ministry.
I’ve been reading James Torrance’s Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace.
In this small (125 pages) work, Torrance challenges the Christian and the Pastor along these lines. I’ve come across one paragraph I really love:
“It seems to me that in a pastoral situation our first task is not to throw people back on themselves with exhortations and instructions as to what to do and how to do it, but to direct people to the gospel of grace — to Jesus Christ, that they might look to him to lead them, open their hearts in faith and in prayer, and draw them by the Spirit into his eternal life of communion with Father. The Christian doctrine of the Trinity is the grammar of Romans 8 — the grammar of grace, the grammar of our pastoral work. (Torrance, Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace (Downers Grove: IVP, 1996) 45.)
I’d love your thoughts.
How have you noticed the Doctrine of the Trinity guide and shape your ministry, your preaching, your worship leadership, your devotional life? Or has it?
My hope is that such a question would be almost impossible to answer — Trinitarian understanding of God is so fundamental that we can’t even pinpoint how it shapes us. But I’m afraid this isn’t the case…