With the rain and melting snow the fields were drenched in water. Some fields looked like lakes. Dad was sipping coffee. It was mid afternoon and he was looking out the kitchen window at the back of the house.
Dad’s equipment was in the barns ready to go as soon as the weather eased and the fields drained and dried. I heard a car pull into the drive way. It was Bowden.
I went into the kitchen. “Dad,” I said, “it’s Bowden.”
Dad quickly prepared a tray of coffee, cream and sugar. He placed it next to Bowden’s chair. Bowden knocked and Dad let him in. Bowden removed his shoes. Dad greeted him and gestured to the living room.
Bowden sat. “Is the coffee for me?”
“Yes,” Dad sad, “if you prefer tea that will be little problem.”
“Coffee is fine,” Bowden said and sat.
“Not a good day to be out, wouldn’t you agree,” Dad said.
“Miserable,” Bowden said. “I bet you can’t wait till the weather dries up so you can get started.”
“I’m ready,” Dad said easing into his chair.
I scurried to the perch in my room.
“I’m sorry for the way I left the last time,” Bowden said.
“That’s okay,” Dad said. “We all have our days.”
“I would like to talk to you about something, today,” Bowden said. “It’s about the very nature of who God is; the central theme of our faith and the Bible.”
“Well if I understand you as well as the church‘s teaching,” Dad said, “you are referring to the trinity?”
“Yes,” Bowden said, “the very nature of who God is; his substance.”
“It is pointless to pursue it,” Dad said, “because it comes down to me arguing there is no such thing as leprechauns and you saying just because there is no evidence of their existence does not mean that they don’t exist.”
“It is a fact just as sure as there is an existence of God,” Bowden said.
“The trinity is and invention, an apparition,” Dad said, “it is made up out of thin air; the imagination of mystical priests and latched hold of by theologians with little intellectual or scriptural gumption.”
“How can you say that!” Bowden said. “That is heresy; such offenses have been met with…”
“Persecution,” “Dad interrupted. “If they persecuted me they will persecute you Jesus said. No greater persecutors than the church.”
“Bah!” Bowden said. “The trinity is the cornerstone of the Bible and any teaching to the contrary is easily refuted.”
“Then refute away,” Dad said. “It’s too wet to plow.”
“Let us, us, make man in our, our, image!” Bowden said emphatically as if there could be no possible rebuttal.
“Well,” Dad said. “Your exuberance registers little. It has no more staying power than the hot air from your breath. The word ‘us’ proves what, two or do you imagine it means equality? Let us walk down the road; us does not indicate equality nor does it trinity. It may be two, it may mean three or twenty. You toss out an argument akin to slick-haired shyster lawyers full of pomp, but use only empty rhetoric and bluster.”
“Than how do you counter the words of John 10 verse 30?” Bowden said.
“Is that the scripture, is that the one you are offering as the ultimate proof of the trinity?” Dad said.
From upstairs I could feel the heat and overload of Bowden’s brain at work.
“Well, is it?” Dad pried.
“Yes,” Bowden said. He crossed his arms and sat back in his chair.
“You are no more than a trickster and charlatan, Bowden,” Dad said. “You take words beyond and out of context. Jesus is talking clearly about works; that is the context. They are of the same mind, purpose, and goals just as Jesus said a man and wife would be one in Matthew chapter 19. The use of the word one has no more or less significance than used in John. Jesus also prayed in John 17 that even the Apostles would be a part of that oneness.”
Bowden moved forward and spoke condescendingly to Dad. “It is difficult for we mortals to understand the God, Son and the holy ghost being coequal, coexistent, and coeternal. There are no words to describe it.”