I’m currently reading The Forgotten Father by Thomas Smail. His central premise is that we tend to exclude the first person of the Trinity, the Father, in favor of the Son or the Spirit. In it he writes:
We have had in recent years a Jesus movement and a charismatic movement. The one has almost disappeared and the other is threatening to run out of steam, perhaps because easy is in a different way inadequate to the gospel, which is basically a Father movement. It is not first a Jesuology (a doctrine about Jesus) or a pneumatology (a doctrine about the Spirit) but it is a theology or even a patrology — a doctrine about God the Father. It starts not with the cross of Jesus or with the gift of the Spirit, but with the Father who so loved the world that that he gave his Son in his Spirit. And it achieves its purpose, not when the body of Christ is gloriously renewed in every part without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27), not even when the enthroned Christ has subdued all his enemies and brought every lee to bow before him (Philippians 2:11), but rather when that same Christ “hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after has destroyed all domino, authority and power” (1 Corinthians 15:24). “When he as done this, then the Son will himself be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).
This is certainly true for Evangelical Friends. The evangelical part of us focuses on the Son and the Friends part focuses on the Spirit, but there is little of the Father. When we do speak of him we usually use the general “God,” which is inclusive of the Son and the Spirit. The Father as an individual is often ignored.
What do you think? Has your tradition forgotten the Father? What can we do to help our traditions remember him?