I have been reflecting a while, why the emerging church sees its international ‘connectivity’ as a ‘conversation’. It is an approach to relatedness that has much criticism. However today, I can see how this concept again relates to a Trinitarian informed connectiveness. Some will know from my two books, that I have hypothesised that there is a deep Trinitarian ecclesiology that lies at the heart of much of what is called the Emerging Church.
This idea about Trinitarian identity and connectivity through conversation came through reading some work by Jane Williams entitled ‘The Fellowship of the Three, Understanding the Trinity Today’.
Christians know, in their heart of hearts, that the doctrine of the Trinity has something to say about how they should live together. We know that that is our weakest point. Best not to think too much about it. But if we really believe that this is the God in whose image we are made, and that our ultimate goal is to participate in this divine life, then it cannot be optional to our life together now.
Some parts of our Christian lives seem more naturally to lend themselves to experiencing the Trinity. For example, there are times, however few and far between, when our personal prayer does suddenly seem to be taken over by the Holy Spirit praying in us and, for just a moment, we can become aware that we are joining in the conversation that happens constantly all around us, the conversation between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Most of the time, we cannot hear it or feel it, but it is there.
(Jane Williams, The Fellowship of the Three: exploring the Trinity, (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2008), 18.
Well it strikes me that there is a deep connection between these ideas of conversation as the togetherness of the Trinity, and the togetherness of the Emerging Church. It implicitly implies equality, participation, attention to listening, respect, inclusion and love.
So I don’t think this is at all a co-incidence. For more details on this Trinitarian Ecclesiology see information on my two books:
Emerging & Fresh Expressions of Church (2007) London: Moot Community Publishing.
The becoming of G-d (2008) Oxford: YTC Press.