A Marshall University English professor discussed how to understand and enjoy the trinity with UKirk students Tuesday night at the Campus Christian Center.
Member of the First Presbyterian Church in Huntington Dr. Tim Burbery said he has enjoyed making West Virginia his home.
“We have adopted West Virginia as our home,” Burbery said. “Coming from the west coast, I didn’t even know where West Virginia was before I came here to work. My wife and I have loved being here.”
Burbery said he has been learning a lot while teaching a class on the trinity at his church.
“I think the trinity is really practical,” Burbery said. “I think it can really energize your prayer life and your Bible reading. Every Christian woman, every Christian man, every Christian child needs to know about the trinity.”
Burbery said the trinity gives the community aspect to Christianity.
“From the start, God has been a community, has been a family,” Burbery said. “The trinity gives us that community aspect. He’s not just a person out there on his own.”
Burbery emphasized why the trinity is so crucial in the Christian faith.
“Love, communion, fellowship spills over,” Burbery said. “God is working to bring us into the circle. It’s an incredible way to share your faith and your story. There’s a oneness there.”
Sophomore Raisa Nuñez brought forth her concerns about trying to understand the trinity.
“My priest once told me, ‘You have a better chance of filling a bucket with the ocean than ever understanding the trinity,’” Nuñez said. “I was just thinking that I may never understand.”
Burbery addressed these types of analogies. Burbery said while they can be helpful, they can also sometimes make the trinity seem like a problem that needs solved.
“The analogies are helpful to a certain extent, but at some point they do break down,” Burbery said. “There’s almost a desperate quality. We almost end up treating the trinity as a problem, like it’s a hard thing that should be forgotten. It’s unfortunate because it is so central.”
Burbery said he feels the trinity can be helpful in all facets of an individual’s faith, specifically in understanding specific scripture passages.
“It really can energize your Bible reading,” Burbery said. “Once you start looking for it, it can be seen all over the place. Some people try to say that it’s not a scriptural thing, but it’s all over the place. Your Bible reading can really come to life with this concept.”
Burbery said he enjoys being able to see God working in society.
“I’ve spent my life as a student and a teacher,” Burbery said. “I really enjoy seeing God work in this community. I think the trinity is so important in today’s society because it brings together unity and diversity, which is a beautiful thing.”
Nancy Peyton can be contacted at [email protected]