Trinity, Tripartite Way, and the Historical Movement of God

This might be over some people’s heads without some explanation, and I apologize for that if so, but as I was reading some exerpts on the Tripartite Way (purgation, illumination, union), it got me thinking a bit. The Tripartite Way arose partially out of 1 John 2:12-14, but also out of the idea that because God is trinitarian, so should all theological truths. Therefore, the Tripartite Way and the trinity are linked, though I haven’t seen a spiritual writer connect them directly (but there is admittedly a vast amount of stuff I’ve never touched or even heard of). But another thought that I’ve played with in another way suddenly came to mind – the idea that the narrative of history and scripture is reflective of the development of the spiritual life. What happened to God’s people is a macrocosm of what must continue to happen to God’s people. Therefore, could history be both trinitarian and match the Tripartite Way?

Is the Old Testament based on the Father (though not exclusively) and focused on purgation?
As Jesus walked the Earth, we focus on the Son. Is this illuminative?
After Jesus returned, we received the Spirit; is He then the basis for spiritual life, and do we only then have the opportunity for union?

I’m speculating. But I thought I’d toss it out for discussion or head-scratching.


One response

  1. Dave

    Scratch, scratch…

    There are certainly parallels that are fun to look for, but I don’t want to take them too far.

    I also enjoy the circular patterns of repetition–look going out into the wilderness or being put in a holding pattern as preparation for God working through someone.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:36 pm

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