Marva J. Dawn: John's Gospel and Trinitarian theology
Life With God Bible, Marva J. Dawn (teaching fellow in Spiritual Theology at Regent College, Vancouver, Canada, pictured at left), notes that the Apostle John, more than the other Gospel authors, emphasizes Trinitarian theology:
Surely John, the beloved disciple, recognized more deeply than the other Gospel writers the intense intimacy of Jesus with his Father. Consequently, John records much more thoroughly Jesus' invitation through himself into the triune fellowship, for just as he is one with his Father, so we too can be one in him with the Trinity....
John's Gospel is crucial for reminding us how integrally connected the Persons of the Trinity are and how thoroughly involved the entire Tri-unity is in all dimensions of our creation, redemption, and sanctification.... It is essential that we recapture the love and grace of [the Father]...and recognize how profoundly Jesus carries us into his own intimacy with his Father by the power of their Spirit.... The "Father" language of John (and Jesus)... describes inclusive relationships [that reveal]... the First Person of the Trinity's sovereign strength and abundant provision, as well as tender intimacy and compassionate embrace.
The Trinity is not simply an abstract doctrine made up by the Church. It is the way God is and works. The triune fellowship of God invites our participation; we are embraced in the coinherence [perichoresis] of the three Persons of the Godhead. By the intercession and redeeming work of Jesus and by the Advocate's witness, we can know the Father.
The webbed lines of John's Gospel disclose to us the Trinity's intertwining relationships and invite us to keep asking what all this means for us. Exploring those lines dligently will increase our celebration of, and participation in, the divine mystery.