The Trinity Reimaged in Your Sight and Work
Did you know our world is reimaged in thrice texture?
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one, and this is commonly referred to as the Trinity. God created the world, and his nature has set a Trinitarian P A T T E R N over it. The Trinitarian nature of God casts a mold over the entire created order, leaving an astounding impression of thrice texture.
Thrice texture may be described as receiving knowledge by looking from different vantage points; this is actually the imprint of the Trinity. This is not to be confused with the belief that there is no absolute truth and all perspectives are relatively true. For example, the four Gospel books in the New Testament are all telling the story of Christ, but from important and different perspectives. Or, if you have ever experienced a great teacher, you may have been taught the same subject repeatedly, but from different angles. Christ did this with his parables. This actually shows the imprint of the Trinity, the world being made by our Trinitarian Lord.
A Trinity of Sight
Referring to St. Augustine, Dorothy Sayers writes the following:
He proceeds in his great treatise, to expound the doctrine [of the trinity] analogically, using again and again the appeal to experience. He says in effect: “a Trinitarian structure of being is not a thing incomprehensible or unfamiliar to you; you know many such within the created universe. There is a trinity of sight, for example: the form seen, the act of vision, and the mental attention which correlates the two. These three, though separable in theory, are inseparably present whenever you use your sight.”
To most, this is a very tangible example. Most of us can use our eyes and look around, observing objects with mental awareness. I’m looking at this computer screen, and I know it. I am looking through the lit up monitor at this page of words. I am not so much looking at the monitor, as I am looking at the words in the light of the monitor.
Apply this principle even a little bit more abstractly. I look out into the world around me and see it through a particular lens, the philosophy/worldview I hold to. I am inseparable from this lens, and anything I am looking at cannot dodge the interpretative gaze of my lens. I am not explicitly looking at my beliefs, but I am seeing by the light of them, seeing through them.
Creatives Work under the Light by Which They See
The Trinity has a lot to do with sight. Therefore, it affects the vision that creatives work under. I see the content of a webpage by the light of my computer screen. I see the world around me by the Light of my worldview system. A Christian artist sees and does his creative work by the Light of his regenerate eyes.
Now imagine a man began writing a piece of music. Let’s say Bob, a well-trained composer of sorts, is writing a score for an upcoming film. Bob is a Christian and holds to a Biblical lens as a worldview. Bob’s finished product is released at last, and the critics have overwhelmingly positive reviews. Bob’s music does not include any lyrics; it doesn’t speak a word. His creation did not explicitly lay out any Scripture verses. Yet, it acts as wordless speech and conveys a message…one of beauty and delight for starters. Bob creates by the light in which he sees.
Bob’s project is connected to his Christianity. The things we make are inherently joined to the Law by which this world was made.
The thrice texture, the Trinity impression, means that we can see how parts of a whole have different roles. It is like there is something in the air that keeps things wrapped together, even the non-concrete and theoretical aspects. This is important to understand as mini-makers. Bob’s commitment to Scripture, his skills and work in composing, and the impact on the listeners all played a role in his soundtrack project. In their nature, Scripture plays a governing and authoritative role that the responses of people do not have, but both are integral to Bob’s project as a whole. These different roles of Bob’s project display principles of the Trinity.
Though he never mentions Jesus in his music composition, his work reimages the glory of God. We cannot separate the man from his work or from his saved soul; together it is meant to be one whole-Thrice texture.
To creatives, I say be encouraged and awe-struck by the purest Light that you may see. Know that your work is inseparable from your own lens, and the Lens by which this world was made. The P A T T E R N set by our Triune God keeps such things together.
For more information on Trinitarian theology, visit the works of Dr. John Frame and Dr. Vern S. Poythress here.
Thanks for a good intro to the fact that the TRIUNE GOD gives life coherence in all respects.