The Trinity is at the core of Christianity and found in the early doctrines of the church. This mystery is central to our faith; but for many in our time, it is embarrassing, hard to explain, and even offensive. I interpret the doctrine as a response by the early Christian church to differentiate from how it perceived Jewish and pagan theologies.
“Classic theology” is the view that God is far away, that there is a gulf between the divine and human and never the twain shall meet. The writers of the Gospels believed that Temple authorities held this view. This idea is also active in some Christian streams today. The early Christians picked up on this and held to the notion that God the creator was not distant, but personal and immediate; not only transcendent.
Many pagan theology takes the view that the gods were completely immediate and could be manipulated by various rituals. The gods depicted in many stories have an adversarial relationship with humanity. The early Christians wanted to say that God was indeed with them, but also wanted to stand the idea that God can be manipulated or bargained with through the use of ritual and idol. Christians believed that God is with us and for us, so much so that God would send God’s only begotten son to live with and die for humanity’s sake.This leads to the culmination of the embodied divine in Christ.
The incarnation for me brings both views of classic theism and paganism into “panentheism” which is central to Christianity. Panentheism implies that God is not just close, but in and through everything. We are a part of God, yet God is still separate. God is with us and daily bears our burdens and yet is transcendent. God is with us and in us, in our midst when we pray alone with the doors shut or when two or more are gathered. There is no line between sacred and secular just like at the end of the Gospel of Mark where the curtain is torn in the temple, and this signifies a God which can’t be boxed, can’t be contained, and in and through all of creation.
Where we often get stuck is on "How can God be human?" We have no problem with God as Spirit but we have a HUGE problem with God as human, namely Jesus. While I can't explain how Jesus is both human and divine, I can say that I best meet God through Jesus. Maybe the ol' creeds are right and Jesus was God... or maybe it's more like Matthew Fox's idea that Jesus was the Christ and it was not Jesus who was God but the Christ aspect. "In whom God was pleased to dwell" and all that... that there is a Cosmic Christ that comes through the ages, that the mind of God can be in a human body, yet not have the rest of the human's functions compromised. I dunno.. those are the extremes, i exist in the middle.
What i can say is that we should never divide up the Trinity into an economical view like God creates, the Son redeems, and the Spirit guides and sustains. God is one and the works of the Trinity are indivisible. So when I stated that I experience God’s love, justice, and forgiveness; I am also experiencing Jesus/Christ and the Holy Spirit’s as well. I picture it as if I were to cut out a triangle from paper to represent the Trinity, lay it on a flat surface and spin it. That is how God, the Spirit, and Christ work.