A Moody God

September 17, 2012

Throwing the Father, Son and Spirit into a blender like this is politely called modalism by theologians.  I prefer to call it moodalism.  Moodalists think that God is one person who has three different moods (or modes, if you must).  One popular moodalist idea is that God used to feel Fatherly (in the Old Testament), tried adopting a more Sonny disposition for thirty-some years, and has since decided to become Spiritual.  You understand the attraction, of course: it keeps things from becoming too complicated.

The trouble is, once you puree the persons, it becomes impossible to taste their gospel.  If the Son is just a mood God slips in and out of, then for us to be adopted as children in the Son is no great thing: when God moves on to another mood, there will be no Son for us to be in.  And even when God is in his Son mood, there will be no Father for us to be children of. And if the Spirit is just another of his states of mind, I can only wonder what will happen when God feels like moving on.  “He fills me . . . he fills me not….”  The moodalist is left with no assurance and a deeply confused God.  Somehow the Son must be his own Father, send himself, love himself, pray to himself, seat himself at his own right hand and so on.  It all begins to look, dare I say, rather silly.

(Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity, 32-33)

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