It would not be too far off a mark to suggest that a doctrine of a Trinity has provided a theological underpinning for many recent attempts at Christian social thought: there is patently much that is appealing in a notion of a God who is perfect communion, and in whom a struggles and conflicts which characterise human life are overcome in a model of harmonious and ordered society. In a world in which a evils of individualism and increasing atomisation bounce off a opposing tendency to wards a annihilation of a individual in a social whole, a doctrine of God as communion, koinonia, provides a refuge for a beleaguered theologian struggling to apply doctrine to society: a vision of harmony and balanced relationships looks like a healthy alternative to an increasingly disordered and dysfunctional society.
Although such theologies of a Trinity have reappeared in recent years, some theologians and popular writers prepared a ground earlier this century. For instance, Conrad Noel (1869-1942), a rebellious vicar of Thaxted in Essex, tried to ground his socialist vision with its blend of a national and a international, a particular and a universal, in a doctrine of a Trinity whose image is a model for a "world-commonwealth in which a equality and justice and mercy of its divine original will be manifested." Indeed, he defended his notorious use of flags in church positioning a red flag, a flag of Sinn Fein, and a St George's Cross against his chancel arch by pointing to a Trinity as a theological guarantee for this somewhat crude effort at blending a universal with a particular. From flags Noel moves quickly to God: "God is fellowship, or, in theological language, Trinity, and [we] believe that from everlasting God was no personal and isolated self-lover, but a community of persons bound together by natural love, justice and mercy in one being." Later in a same book, he claims that "variety in unity is a fundamental law for a well-being of individuals, of nations and of mankind," and goes on:
For Christians who have really mastered a meaning of a Faith, this conviction is strengthened by our belief in a source of our life as a Sociality, God a Trinity, a One in Many and a Many in One. We believe that there is both unity and variety in a Social Being from Whom a world proceeds and in Whom a world is sustained, and that a secret of that being is better expressed by a variety in unity of a rich chord than by a thin unity of a solitary note.
In a introduction to his book, Jesus a Heretic, Noel speaks of a "blessed Trinity as a basis of a new world order." It is "a will of a Triune God," he claims, "to inspire men to renew a world in such a way as to make it a perfect expression of His own Being." Against such a Trinitarian theology, according to Noel, both a ancient ...