Rather, we need to think of the Trinity in such a way that the reality of the three persons is maintained, and each person is seen as relating to the others as an "I" (a first person) and a "you" (a second person) and a "he" (a third person).
The only way it seems possible to do this is to say that the distinction between the persons is not a difference in "being" but a difference in "relationships." This is something far removed from our human experience, where every different human "person" is a different being as well. Somehow God's being is so much greater than ours that within his one undivided being there can be an unfolding into interpersonal relationships, so that there can be three distinct persons.
What then are the differences between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? There is no difference in attributes at all. The only difference between them is the way they relate to each other and to the creation. The unique quality of the Father is the way he relates as Father to the Son and Holy Spirit. The unique quality of the Son is the way he relates as Son. And the unique quality of the Holy Spirit is the way he relates as Spirit. 38
While the three diagrams given above represented erroneous ideas to be avoided, the following diagram may be helpful in thinking about the existence of three persons in the one undivided being of God.
38 38. Some systematic theologies give names to these different relationships: "paternity" (or "generation") for the Father, "begottenness" (or "filiation") for the Son, and "procession" (or "spiration") for the Holy Spirit, but the names do not mean anything more than "relating as a Father," and "relating as a Son," and "relating as Spirit." In an attempt to avoid the proliferation of technical terms that do not exist in contemporary English, or whose meaning differs from their ordinary English sense, I have not used these terms in this chapter.
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