The thesis of the article is about the mediation of the Holy Trinity. Laytham argues on ideas many writers approve of but talks about what he thinks distorts the revelation of the Trinity as a whole. This misrepresentation that he presents about God tries to make logical sense of the trinity while dodging the use of masculine representations. Laytham mentions a student referring to God as, “Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer”; which are used to identify the roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the trinity, but ultimately these titles end up misrepresenting God and his abilities.
Laytham argues that replacing “Holy Spirit” with “sustainer” is limiting to God. If we call God a sustainer, it is like we are limiting the idea of His creation. God holds all of existence together and keeps it going, which is why as Christians we like to refer to Him as a sustainer, but that undermines the fact that God made us in the first place. God as a Creator shows how He made us and continues to hold and work on our existence, sustainer takes away from the fact He made us who we are and what we live with and around in the beginning. It limits the fact that God is the ultimate reason why we are here and how we stay alive here. If we call God a sustainer, we are comprising are beliefs and expectations as Christians as well. When we say “sustainer”; we see that as God will just sustain creation, when we know in the Bible that God will give us a better end than beginning. If we negotiate God has a sustainer, we are limiting and straying away from what we know and believe that God can do; it implies as if we have almost given up on God’s promise to return and make all things whole again.
Another potential problem arises with the “Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer” analogy due to the possibility of a God behind God problem; which simply means god creates and redeems but does not show up. When we list what God “is”, it sounds like we are listing His resume for a job. In Christian faith, we know that God really does show up for us, God is personal with us as His children. The Trinity works as a cohort, not individually; so, we cannot see the Father showing up for us while the Son and Holy Spirit are just observing. They work as a team, all three parts are working while God is showing up for us., even though we can identify which part is taking place. When we say Creator-Redeemer-Sustainer, we are only talking about God’s accomplishments and we are missing Who God is and only getting What God does.
I personally am struggling with this idea. I believe that God does show up as a Creator-redeemer-sustainer. Even after reading Laytham’s argue, I am still struggling to see his point as valid due to my belief that God can show up even if we are describing Him, that doesn’t mean we are limiting who God is and what He does, and it does not necessarily allude that He will not show up for us personally. I can also see and know who God is through these accomplishments and have Him show up for me personally. Language is so important in reference to God because how we grammatically talk about God can separate who God is and what God does. This cannot be possible. We must be very careful when we talk about God and what language we use, otherwise miscommunication will lead to misinterpretation, completely destroying the truth about who God is and What God does. Laytham refers to how if we call the Trinity persons, we are individualizing them, breaking them apart from how they work as a team, not as individuals. When we think about a person, we think of one person, who functions alone; when we refer to the Trinity as persons, this constitutes that the Trinity is separate as Father, Son, and The Holy Spirit, which we know is incorrect. When we talk about the Trinity as persons, we must let go of our societal indications of what a person is; if we don’t we will group the Trinity into a category that does not reflect the biblical truth and the truth that we know as Christians.