God as a Community
The dogma of the Trinity presupposes a theology of human existence and revelation. It is theologically impossible to reflect on the mystery of God from the perspective of Christian faith without reflecting at the same time on the mystery of the Trinity. God's oneness is singular but also, at the same time, one of diversity and community. The view that God exists as a community has great importance for people of faith today.
How can the communal nature of the Trinity be understood?
One way that several theologians have suggested is to say the Son is eternally begotten by the Father with the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son as the love between them.
Unfortunately, this view of community is not well appreciated by contemporary society. In the twenty-first century, individualism runs rampant in almost every aspect of society. While sports teams often win championships, individual athletes are those who are exalted. In business, politics, and the arts, especially popular music and films, the individual is once again placed on an iconic pedestal. The political system, corporation, or work of art plays at best “second fiddle” to the individual. People, especially in the Western world, are schooled from youth to achieve as much in material possession and as high a rank in the eyes of the world as possible to measure their progress and value in society.
This perspective, however, is totally inconsistent with a Trinitarian God who, from the Christian perspective, can only exist and function as a community of love. The members of the Trinity are not in competition and do not seek recognition. Rather, the members of the Trinity have specific functions that have been manifested over the course of Salvation history. All of these functions, however, have one ultimate goal: to bring salvation to God's greatest creation, the human race. Humanity today would be well served to learn a lesson from the life of the Trinity and seek to live as a community of faith and love. Such an attitude, with consistent actions, would move the world forward to greater harmony and peace.