The Holy Trinity

My book on the Trinity is now published in UK & RoW (US rights are with IVP USA – don’t have a date for their publication). Paternoster have it available for order here; No doubt Amazon et al. will catch up soon.

The book is cast as a history of Trinitarian doctrine, with a heavy emphasis on the fourth and twentieth centuries; to give a flavour of the argument, it closes with these words, citing some of the authors I consider along the way:

…we set out on our own to offer a different, and we believed better, doctrine. We returned to the Scriptures, but we chose (with Tertullian’s Praxeas, Noetus of Smyrna, and Samuel Clarke) to focus exclusively on the New Testament texts, instead of listening to the whole of Scripture with Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Daniel Waterland. We thought about God’s relationship with the creation in the economy, but we chose (with the Valentinians, Arius, and Hegel) to believe that the Son must be the mode of mediation of the Father’s presence to creation, instead of following Irenaeus and Athanasius in proposing God’s ability to mediate his own presence. We tried to understand the divine unity, but we chose (with Eunomius and Socinus) to believe that we could reason adequately about the divine essence, instead of following Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvin in asserting divine unknowability. We addressed divine simplicity, and chose (with Socinus and John Biddle) to discard it, rather than following Basil and the rest in affirming it as the heart of Trinitarian doctrine. We thought about Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but chose (with Sabellius, Arius, and Eunomius) to affirm true personality of each, rather than following Augustine and John of Damascus in believing in one divine personality.

We called what we were doing a ‘Trinitarian revival’; future historians might want to ask us why.

4 Comments

  1. Terry
    Feb 19, 2012

    Interesting, very interesting. Can’t wait to get this, Steve. But can you provide any hints about why you say this?

    We thought about God’s relationship with the creation in the economy, but we chose (with the Valentinians, Arius, and Hegel) to believe that the Son must be the mode of mediation of the Father’s presence to creation, instead of following Irenaeus and Athanasius in proposing God’s ability to mediate his own presence.

  2. Chris Tilling
    Feb 19, 2012

    Well this sounds very enticing. Many congrats on the publication.

  3. James
    Feb 23, 2012

    Sounds really interesting. Do you know if it is going to be available on Kindle?

  4. Regan Clem
    Feb 23, 2012

    Hi Steve,

    This doesn’t have to do with this post, but I just thought I would let you know that I really liked you quote on Scot McKnight’s blog and used it in an article I wrote. It was the post about lectures being unimportant.

    Here’s an excerpt from my post:

    Mazur’s question is rigged. Having a person name something they are really good at would lead one to answer with an action. You don’t learn actions in a lecture. A lecture would not be the best place to teach someone how to file records in an office, program a computer, or fix a car. But if the question was to name a belief, where you learned it, and how it influences your life, then you would encounter the power of the lecture. And that belief might cause one to file records as quickly as possible because they value honest pay for honest work. Another belief might cause a programmer to try some experimental code because she values creativity. And belief can cause a car mechanic to be excellent in what he does because he values the importance of doing things right. Beliefs operate on a different level than practical applications. If being a follower of Christ was only practical applications, then we should get rid of the sermon. But it’s so much more.

    You can read more at http://regansravings.blogspot.com/2012/02/are-sermons-worthwhile.html

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