One of the reasons I became interested in the Trinity is because I’m a failed feminist.

It has been increasingly the trend in recent years in theology to refer to the Holy Spirit as she. There are some good reasons why this is done. You could say the Holy Spirit is in some sense identical with Sophia, Holy Wisdom, most words in Scripture that are Spirit words are feminine. And the way the Spirit works seems like the way the feminine is usually seen to work.

It is not news to look at the way male images have dominated our Judeo-Christian structure and gives itself to male dominance in structures.

Every time I heard this it seemed not quite right. I think I was correct in my discomfort.

Feminizing the Holy Spirit is a good quick fix and we may need quick fixes. But in the long run it is a disaster because it confuses something.

There is a difference between the Trinity as a theological and a metaphysical principle. It is important to keep these two ways of looking at reality distinct.

Looked at theologically the essence of the Trinity is that it is a community of persons. The exact relationships between these persons escapes almost everyone but we know they love one another by a love which is completely self-giving and outpouring.  The Father pours himself into the Son completely, nothing held back. The Son pours himself into the Spirit. The Spirit pours himself into the Father nothing held back. This generates the energy of love. What is core is the relationship between the persons. The persons are in some sense personable; they have some anthropomorphic characteristics.

When we work on the Trinity theologically, it is not so bad to take one out and make that one female.

Working metaphysically it does not work. When we look at the Trinity metaphysically it is about a process by which the world is constructed and maintained.

When we look at the Trinity as a process, there are two metaphysical principles in the world: binary, and trinitarian. When we turn the HS into a female we confused these two systems. Most systems of the world are binary – yin and yang. Most ancient metaphysical systems work on the basis of great archetypal parallels – male/female, dark/light, good/evil. Our minds are comfortable with the binary.

The binary likes symmetry. It comes to a resolution in stasis. Things are balanced opposite equal pairs. It comes to rest in symmetry. When we work in feminism, we are reinventing the wheel in that great old system – male energy/female energy.

There are terniary systems which imagine three indepednent forces coming together to form through their interweaving a new, a fourth. Something about threeness which allows something new to come into existence – three strands of hair to make a braid.

There are three forces which have to come together resulting in things driving into a new dimension. Christianity is of that terniary nature.

What Christianity has been given is the understanding that there is something in the incarnation of Jesus that is precious. Christianity held on to the core insight that something so precious is happening here that God needed to be part of it.

When you try to feminize the Trinity you are mixing systems. Masculine/feminine doesn’t belong in a terniary system.

Binaries can’t find resolution except through desolation. Where do we find something that can meld the binaries into a loving living moving One?

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