Saturday, August 28, 2010

How can there be two opposing desires within the Trinity?

Inspired by a recent episode of the Reasonable Doubts podcast.

I'm still wrestling with the whole issue of the Trinity. The concept is not found 'fully formed' in the bible, but there are a smattering of verses that provide a foundation for an embryonic belief in the trinity.

What is not clear to me is how exactly the whole Trinity thing is supposed to work?

Take the situation in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14v32-36):
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."

Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
Here we clearly have the situation where the Father and the Son 'will' opposite things. They are not united in the desires of their hearts. One has to set aside his own will to do the will of the other.

Now this is perfectly understandable if they are two discrete persons, but not really understandable if they are two parts of a perfect unity.

How do trinitarians manage to harmonise this? Anyone got any insights here?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Personally, I see this as tension within the Christ, between his two natures, rather than as a conflict between the different persons of the Trinity.

Jesus, as a man does not want to die. (reasonable enough).

The Divine Logos, wishes to bring humanity up to God.

Jesus' human part becomes fully submitted to his Divine nature here.