25 Theses on Trinitarian Classical Theism

"The following theses are from Craig Carter’s new book, Contemplating God with the Great Tradition: Recovering Trinitarian Classical Theism (Baker Academic, 2021). These theses are a corrective to the relational theism so prevalent in Protestantism, and serve to help evangelicals today return to the biblical, classical, and Nicene doctrine of God." - Credo

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“Every generation is tempted to forfeit an essential component of orthodox trinitarianism. Our generation is no exception.”

"Taking its cue from social redefinitions of the Trinity, evangelicals have redefined the Trinity as a society, one in which each person has his own center of consciousness and will. As a result, a core doctrine like inseparable operations is foreign to many and sometimes held in disregard." - Credo

625 reads

Evangelical Thinking on the Trinity Is Often Wrong

"Simply Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Spirit. The book... does two things. First, it shows how a good portion of evangelical theology on the Trinity has drifted from the classical Christian tradition. Second, it recruits a veritable 'dream team' of teachers from across that tradition to lead readers back to the safe harbor of biblical orthodoxy." - C.Today

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Redefining the faith? Leonardo Boff on eternal generation and procession

I’ve been reading Leonardo Boff’s work Trinity and Society. Boff is a Roman Catholic liberation theologian who may or may not be a Marxist. This is perhaps the most thought-provoking book on the Trinity I’ve yet read; right up there with Jurgen Moltmann’s Trinity and the Kingdom. Both these gentlemen are social trinitarians. They had a formative influence on Millard Erickson’s own monograph on the Trinity, which is excellent.

1612 reads

On God and Three-headed Dogs: Personhood in Social Trinitarianism

Read the companion article.

It’s not partisan to declare that social trinitarianism abandons Nicene concepts of divine Personhood.1 It does. It adopts a completely different framework. Many non-confessional evangelicals likely adopt it unwittingly.

With one exception, the most influential social trinitarians are not widely read in evangelical circles; certainly not by the average seminary-trained pastor. They are Jurgen Moltmann,2 Leonardo Boff,3 Wolfhart Pannenberg,4 Robert Jenson5 and Millard Erickson.6 Pannenberg’s influence is profound; Erickson, Jenson and William L. Craig each studied under him.

Is revision allowed?

First, we need to decide whether it’s possible to put a new framework on biblical truth. Millard Erickson suggests three ways to contextualize theology:7

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Trinity and the Old Covenant: Some Brief Questions and Answers

I’d planned to post the next article in my short series about “personhood” in the context of the Trinity. But, alas, my intellectual bandwidth is unequal to the task right now. Next week, though, the article about the social trinitarian understanding of “person” is coming! For now, I leave you with some brief discussions about the doctrine of the Trinity and the Old Covenant scriptures we discussed in the Theology Thursday class in my congregation. Ciao.

Q1: If the doctrine of the Trinity is really so important, why does the Bible not explain it like Grudem’s definition does?

Well, because the bible just isn’t organized that way. It wasn’t meant to be, either! Bible study is a lot like detective work.

Scripture isn’t an encyclopedia, arranged exhaustively by topic. It’s a series of books and letters written to very specific audiences, for very specific purposes. The authors could have said much more than they did

Systematic theology is the branch of bible study that “systematizes” and catalogs the 8 “big” topics of revelation (God, Man, Sin, Christ, Holy Spirit, Salvation, Church, Last Things). Our bible doctrines sum up what we believe the Bible teaches about specific topics based on the evidence we have from the Scriptures. Creeds, confessions, and statements of faith are the fruit of all that effort.

1488 reads