Sunday, July 06, 2008

Most American Christians are Binitarian, not Trinitarian

Tony Jones claims that "most American Christians don't really believe in the Holy Spirit." There's a difference between saying "I believe in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit," and living a life that is dependent on the Holy Spirit.

Jones asks, does your church believe in the Holy Spirit? Then why in the world would you ever think that you can do anything to get people to come to church? "Instead, why don't you worry about being faithful - living out a beautiful Christianity - and see what the Spirit does in your midst? I think that people will be more attracted to the Spirit than to anything you could ever do to 'hook' them."

I like this. Jones writes: "All of us who care about God's Kingdom have been tempted to think that the advancement of that Kingdom is up to us."

Most American Christians are "binitarian" rather than "trinitarian." Jones cites Parker Palmer, who talks about Christians who are "functional atheists," believing "that ultimate responsibility for everything rests with us." (202)

Jones concludes: "A return to true trinitarianism in the American church is desperately needed. That will entail, first, a commitment to the doctrine, and second, behavior that reflects a true reliance on God's Spirit." (203)