Between the Holy Trinity and Hell

“Although the doctrine of the Holy Trinity may seem rather abstract, it has some very practical implications for how we view reality and live our lives. First of all, the doctrine of the Trinity means that nothing that exists, whether on earth or in heaven, can be conceived of as an individual, in and of itself. God Himself is not absolute individuality, but perfect love and communion. Where there is self-contained individuality, there can be no love, for love means the total gift of oneself to another. True being is love, and where there is no love, there is only the absurdity of death and non-being. That is why Lossky said, ‘between the Trinity and hell there lies no other choice.’ Those who, in their spiritual blindness, deny the doctrine of the Trinity, deny love itself, and thus deny the truth of their own being created in the image of this God of Triune Love. Second, the doctrine of the Trinity means that the principle and source of all that exists is not a mathematical equation, but a person. When we pray, we do not seek a state of disinterested non-being, but the personal God, Who has revealed Himself to mankind. Our salvation consists not in learning about God, but in entering into a personal communion of love with Him: And this is life eternal, that they might know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent (John 17:3).” (Clark Carlton, The Faith: Understanding Orthodox Christianity, p 57)