Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Saturday, June 17, 2023

God in Relational Trinity to Economic Office: Father, Son, Spirit

God in Relational Trinity to Economic Office:
Father, Son, Spirit

From time-to-time I like to take a time-out to publish another blogger's work. I learned of Steve Thomason's graphic story telling when taking a Homebrewed Class with him last year and have enjoyed his artwork exploring the Christian faith. Here, at Relevancy22, I am expanding Christianity as an extension and derivative of Whitehead's Process Philosophy which I describe as a form of Christian Process Theology centered in a Theology of Love as expressed in a Loving, and Lovingly abiding, God (as versus traditional Christian beliefs in a God who is wrathful, judgmental, and/or distanced from us because of divine holiness; these theologies teach divine love but place it last on their scales/definitions/orders of divine sovreignty).

In Steve's work, I sense that he, too, is attempting to revisualize traditional Christianity as a Theology of Love. Whether his sense of a process-based Christianity is present is a question for all of us as we learn to abandon Western Hellenized philosophy towards a more open, and relational, process-based theology of reflection, love, and presence.

To Steve and his flock,

Peace, Hope, and Blessings in Christ,

R.E. Slater
June 17, 2023

* * * * * * *

The Trinity: Exploring the mystery of God
as three persons in one...

~~  all brackets or organizational display are mine for the sake of greater clarity. - r.e. slater  ~~

There are two things that most Christians have in common:
  • They believe in the Trinity–you know, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • They don’t really understand it…at all.
The Christian scripture mentions three people [relational "economic" constructs - res] and gives them each divine qualities: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. They all showed up at Jesus’ baptism at the same time, so they are distinct from each other. Yet, the Bible is pretty clear that there is only one God. Thus, the problem. Are there three gods, or one? Who are these three characters and how do they relate to each other and to the world?

These are questions which have always fascinated me. They captivate me so much so that I worked them into my Ph.D. dissertation. This page is the home base for all my studies and doodles revolving around the Trinity. I like to think about the Trinity in terms of [a] Social Trinity. Allow me to explain…

The following playlist of four short animations [5-7 minutes] will walk
you through the basic introduction to the Social Trinity:

* * * * * * *

Steve Thomason: "This is an illustration I created to depict Augustine’s language around the interplay of the three persons of the Trinity. Notice how each section of the Celtic knot shows the evolution of the universe in the days of creation. Use the button below to buy it a poster print or print on canvas."  |  Buy Print

Flip through these [Powerpoint] slides to get a visual introduction to the Trinity [which I used in the videos above]. Use the button below to download the PowerPoint and Image Pack for your own study, preaching, and teaching.

The Presentation below was created in Prezi. It is simply a visual repository of artifacts that I have created and collected along my journey of studying Trinity.

It is a dynamic, interactive document. You can either click the next button to be guided through the presenation, OR you can zoom in and out and drag your way around the document to explore it in your own way.

Many of the resources are clickable and the links will take you to my book reviews and further visualizations, or, in some cases where I have not written a review yet, to the book on Amazon.

Explore and Enjoy!

* * * * * * *

A More Academic Introduction…

~~  all brackets or organizational display are mine for the sake of greater clarity. - r.e. slater  ~~

My research project was called Deep in the Burbs. It is a story of the Triune God. The research question asks “How might an increased awareness of the social Trinity impact the ideation and praxis of spiritual formation in suburban ELCA congregations?”

It might be easy to think of this as if the social Trinity was a chunk of knowledge that could be presented to the Research Team for objective evaluation and ultimate acceptance or rejection.

This idea is (a) not congruent with my pedagogy (I will posit a communicative pedagogy in the Spiritual Formation Frame.) and, (b) contrary to the nature of the Triune God. The research was conducted in the understanding that God is not an object that can be studied or, a concept to be considered, but that God is the ground of being itself from which all life springs forth. (David Kelsey posits that all knowledge of God is secondary knowledge, and that, to understand God truly, the researcher must observe the activities of the local congregation in its specific context. Thus, the participatory action research methodology used in this research is, in itself, a theological inquiry into the mystery of the Triune God.)

All human speech about God is, at best, an analogy, metaphor, or simile. All theology is a human construction of symbols—models—that point to the unknowable God, but can never define or explain God. ((William C. Placher, The Triune God: An Essay in Postliberal Theology (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007), 40-41.; see Peters on symbol. Ted Peters, God–the World’s Future : Systematic Theology for a New Era, 2nd ed. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000).and Grenz on the use of model. Grenz and Olson, Who Needs Theology? : An Invitation to the Study of God.))

amazon link

Book Blurb: To many Christians theology is something alien, overly intellectual and wholly unappealing. Even seminary students are known to balk at the prospect of a course on theology. Yet theology--most simply, the knowledge of God--is essential to the life and health of the church. In this short introduction, Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson, two theologians who care deeply about the witness of ordinary Christians and the ministry of the church, show what theology is, what tools theology uses, why every believer (advanced degrees or not) is a theologian and how the theological enterprise can be productive and satisfying. Their clear, easily understood book is ideal for students, church study groups and individual Christians who want to strengthen understanding, belief and commitment by coming to know God more fully.

Therefore, this is a question that wonders:

(a) whether the models of the Triune God that we have inherited from our Western Theological predecessors are adequate and helpful for the current context in which the church finds itself, ((Here I am referring to the much rehearsed history of Athanasius’ victory over Arius at the Council of Nicea in which he demonstrated that God is three in person, but one in essence. His Immanent model of God as three-in-one within Godself has been reduced, over time, to monarchial modalism, at best, in Western, modern theology. The Immanent trinity, then, is the transcendent God of divine substance that is separated from the material world in the tradition of Platonic dualism.)) and,

(b) if an alternate model of the Trinity might provide more space for a missional imagination of spiritual formation in the local congregation.

Reframing the Model

What then, is the alternate model that I proposed to the research team? I named this model the social Trinity in the research question. It was my attempt to present a model that was true to the contemporary conversation about the Trinity. Western theologians have wrestled with the Trinity question throughout the twentieth century. Stanley Grenz offers a helpful schematic to help us map out the landscape of this conversation. He articulates three major types of Trinitarian thought in the twentieth century:
(1) those emphasizing the historicity and futurity of God—Moltmann, Pannenberg, Jenson;

(2) those emphasizing the relationality of God—Boff, LaCugna, Zizioulas; and,

(3) those emphasizing the transcendence, or otherness of God—Johnson, Urs von Balthasar, Torrance. ((Stanley J. Grenz, Rediscovering the Triune God: The Trinity in Contemporary Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).))

Each of these theologians contribute important aspects to the conversation. The term social Trinity, however, is most readily associated with Moltmann and Volf.

I must confess that my language has changed since the initial crafting of this research question. I no longer find the term social to be the most helpful label for this model of the Trinity. This became apparent to me early on in the research project. The first indication came when I had the initial meetings with my pastoral contacts in the congregations. Whenever I got to the term social Trinity I could tell that there was pensive hesitation. They shuffled in theirs seats, and eventually asked the awkward question, “What do you mean by social Trinity?”

This was a helpful experience for two reasons. First, it affirmed my assumption that the terminology was not commonplace, even among clergy.

Second, upon further conversation, I realized that the term social was a trigger associated with one of two prejudices:
  • One prejudice was the immediate association with the term social Gospel that harkens back to the liberal/fundamentalist schism of the early twentieth century.
  • The other prejudice was the immediate association with the issue of social justice which signals work projects and activist movements.
I found myself immediately using the terms relational and relationships in order to explain the meaning of the social Trinity. One pastor suggested that I simply change the question to read “the relational Trinity.” This was a valid suggestion, but I opted to leave the language as it is because it is associated with a certain body of theological literature, whereas the term relational Trinity is not as widely used.

[Since then,] my language has expanded through the course of my research and I have found another term that is, perhaps equally foreign, but slightly more provocative and interesting. The term is entangled and is borrowed from Quantum Physics. ((see Simmons.; Polkinghorne.))

I would like to append the question to read, “How might an increased awareness of the social, relational, entangled Trinity impact the ideation and praxis of spiritual formation in suburban ELCA congregations?”

A Brief Summary of the
social/relational/entangled Trinity

The social/relational dimension [of Trinitarianism]

~~  all brackets or organizational display are mine for the sake of greater clarity. - r.e. slater  ~~

My use of social/relational draws most heavily on relational ontology as presented by Zizioulas (Zizioulas and McPartlan.) To summarize:

Zizioulas proposes that humanity, both as particulars and collectively, has the imago dei of the robust Trinity ((I have introduced the term robust into the conversation. This is Shults’ term to distinguish the relationality and futurity of God from the transcendent/Immanent Trinity.)) imprinted on/in us ontologically.

The image of the relational Trinity is this:
  • God is three-in-one and one-in-three.
  • God is transcendent, immanent, and relationality [itself].
  • God’s transcendence is the immanent Trinity that is constituted by relationality.
  • This relational union is wholly Other [as distinguished] from its [ontologically relational] creation.
  • God is also immanent in the economic Trinity.
  • The Father is arche [(sic, as in Jungian motif) - re slater],
  • The Son incarnate is the demonstration of God’s love and the great victor over death.
I will agree with Volf and not go so far as Zizioulas to warrant patriarchal authority in the church based upon the arche [which is a cultural, rather than theological, accomodation - re slater].

Volf, bringing Moltmann into conversation with Zizioulas, calls for an egalitarian power structure based upon a flattened perichoretic power structure. Volf, After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity.) [perichoretic - a doctrine of the reciprocal inherence of the human and divine natures in Christ.- re slater]
  • The Spirit is the animator and mediator of life and relationality.
  • God is also relationality that constitutes all being and out of which human particularity is formed.
  • Humanity [AND creation - re slater] is created in the imago dei.
  • We are homologues of the robust Trinity described above. [homologue - something that has a similar position, structure, value, or purpose to something else... - re slater]

((I am intentionally hinting at the Augustinian use of “vestiges of God.” A fascinating sub-conversation within the larger Trinitarian conversation is that of Augustine’s culpability for the demise of the Economic Trinity in the modern West.

[e.g., The Economic Trinity refers to the idea of separate office, or function, within the relational Trinity. The basic idea is that the economic Trinity is the epistemological ground of the immanent Trinity whereas the immanent Trinity is the ontological ground of the economic Trinity. More simply, we think the bible teaches a functioning God of relational personages and office like one would deem a community of individuals in social arrangement with one another serving in differing capacities to their community at large. - re slater]

LaCugna, et alia [male, plural neuter tense as opposed to et aliae, the feminine plural neuter tense. - re slater], blames him for the problem. Barnes disagrees and notes that LaCugna’s argument is built upon a resurgence of de Regnon’s claim in the 19th century, which, Barnes argues, is unfounded.

I agree with Barnes and follow Sheldrake’s assessment that Augustine understood relational ontology inherently, since he did not breath the air of Cartesian dualism. Michael R. Barnes, “Augustine in Contemporary Trinitarian Theology,” Theological Studies 56, no. 2 (1995). Philip Sheldrake, Spirituality and Theology: Christian Living and the Doctrine of God (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1998), 75-83.))

Statedly, "We are many-and-one and one-and-many. We are individual selves constituted by the relatedness to each other, to nature, and to God, the transcendent other." - Steve Thomason

Relational ontology connects to the theoretical lens of Robert Kegan’s fifth order of consciousness, as mentioned in the Spiritual Formation Frame.

Here it is enough to mention how the social/relational Trinity is connected, not only to theological language, but to ideas about, and formation of, the human self-in-relation to the other. ((both Groome and Farley emphasize this as essential to the practice of formation in the congregation and in any theological inquiry.
  • Groome names the individual as “Agent-Subjects-in-Relationship.” Farley names it as “being-together” in the reciprocity sphere.
  • Groome, Sharing Faith: A Comprehensive Approach to Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry: The Way of Shared Praxis.
  • Edward Farley, Practicing Gospel: Unconventional Thoughts on the Church’s Ministry, 1st ed. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003).))
Zizioulas proposes that it is not only our eschatological hope that is connected to the social Trinity...
  • ((Eschatological hope is central to the “historicity/futurity” grouping that Grenz noted: Moltmann, Pannenberg, and Jenson. Zizioulas does not deny this dimension, but simply emphasizes the ontological aspect of this Trinitarian conversation. Here, too, I argue that we must abandon substance dualism in light of relationality and entanglement.))
...but it is our very essence, our ontological essence, that is constituted by the relationality of the persons of the Godhead.

The use of communicative action as the research methodology in this project assumes that the congregations might discover the reality of their interdependence with the other, both within the congregation and within the suburban and metropolitan community as a whole.

Entangled Trinitarian Panentheism

I have added the term entangled to my Trinitarian model based upon a growing body of research that explores the interface of Theology with Quantum Physics. ((Polkinghorne.)) Simmons provides a helpful metaphor with his proposal of Entangled Trinitarian Panentheism.

[pan-en-theism, is the preferred term to that of either classical theism which speaks to God's transcendence over that of divine immanence; while the Buddhistic paradigm of pantheism speaks to divine immanence and identity with creation without any form of transcendence.

Panentheism admits transcendence but states it is of no meaning to a created world without divine presence. That God's immanent sustainability and abiding indwelling is the more meaningfully relevant term for divine creation than are terms such as "transcendence".

Truly God is Other than creation. But God likewise indwells, abides, sustains, in present, etc., as the bible teaches. It is also the preferred terms used by process theology's when speaking to a creation in panentheistic terms which then deeply admits to all processual forms found in process theology of which "open and relational (process) theology" attempts to elicit (ORT v ORPT).

ORT by itself is more of a progressive term for evangelical theology. ORPT is the more proper foundation for ORT out of which ORT has been birthed.

- re slater]

...[Polkinghorne] borrows the term entanglement from Quantum Physics and attaches it to the ancient Greek term perichoresis. ((This term was used by the Greek Fathers to describe the relationships between the three persons of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It means to move in and out of each other, or to dance around. [Entanglement] brings [to mind] the images of a mutual, equal interpenetration and indwelling of all three persons [into creation]. It, however, existed within Godself, thus was not helpful for how God related to the world.))

[Polkinghorne] finds this helpful for discussing the apparent dualisms in the theological debates about the Trinity, namely (1) is God one or three persons, and (2) is God the Immanent Trinity or the Economic Trinity? ((the debate made famous by Karl Barth and Karl Rahner.))
Simmons proposes that “perichoresis entanglement can be understood as the energy of the divine Trinity through which the creation is expressed. The immanent Trinity exists in superposition with the economic Trinity and evolves within the entangled life of God with the creation, thus supporting a panentheistic model of God.”  ((Simmons, 144.))
Simmons claims that his proposal of Entangled Trinitarian Panentheism may: 
  • Through phase entanglement and non-local relational holism provide metaphors for the perichoretic activity of the Trinity immanently and economically in sustaining and sanctifying the creation from within a scientifically consistent panentheism;
  • Through quantum indeterminacy, affirm the freedom and openness of the creation in relation to divine self-limitation and the problem of suffering;
  • Provide a conceptual bridge between creation and the Trinitarian character of the divine life;
  • Contribute to the mutual understanding and interaction of theology and science;
  • Assist interested persons in deepening their understanding and appreciation for the divine mystery of the Trinity; and
  • Help provide a basis for interfaith dialog and cooperation as we collectively address the global issues of our time.”⁠ ((Ibid., 187-188.))
- [ EXCELLENT ! - re slater]

The Trinity and the Research Team

It is the assumption of this research that the suburban, ELCA congregation is the product of the dominant Western, immanent Trinitarian view mentioned above, and that its ideation and praxis of spiritual formation has been heavily influenced by it. The introduction of the social/relational/entangled Trinity, to the congregations through participatory action research methodologies will both expose the congregations to a, presumably, new way of thinking about God, and will allow them to experience the relationality of God through the communicative action inherent in the process itself.

Trinity Bibliography

  • Book | Christ and the Cosmos: A Reformulation of Trinitarian Doctrine by Keith Ward
  • The concept of the ‘social Trinity’, which posits three conscious subjects in God, radically revised the traditional Christian idea of the Creator. It promoted a view of God as a passionate, creative, and responsive source of all being. Keith Ward argues that social Trinitarian thinking threatens the unity of God, however, and that this new view of God does not require a ‘social’ component. Expanding on the work of theologians such as Barth and Rahner, who insisted that there was only one mind of God, Ward offers a coherent, wholly monotheistic interpretation of the Trinity. Christ and the Cosmos analyses theistic belief in a scientific context, demonstrating the necessity of cosmology to theological thinking that is often overly myopic and anthropomorphic. This important volume will benefit those who seek to understand what the Trinity is, why it matters, and how it fits into a scientific account of the universe.
  • Book | The Holy Trinity and the Law of Three: Discovering the Radical Truth and the Heart of Christianity by Cynthia Bourgeault
  • Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In this formula that Christians recite as though on autopilot lie the secrets for healing our world, rekindling our visionary imagination, and manifesting the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. It’s an astonishing claim, but one that is supported by Cynthia Bourgeault’s exploration of Trinitarian theology—and by her bold work in further articulating the deep truth it contains. She looks to the ancient concept in light of the ideas of G. I. Gurdjieff and Jacob Boehme to reveal the Trinity as the “hidden driveshaft” within Christianity: the compassionate expression of the Uncreated Reality in creation.
  • Book | The Social God and the Relational Self by Stanley Grenz
  • Grenz, Stanley J. The Social God and the Relational Self: A Trinitarian Theology of the Imago Dei. 1st ed. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001. Author – Stanley Grenz Grenz traces the historical backdrop of the concept of self in the West in order to warrant his proposal of the ecclesial self as the best response to the postmodern deconstruction of self. The following sketch attempts to follow his logic. In the final analysis, then, the imago dei ...
  • Book | The Practice of Communicative Theology by Scharer and Hilberath
  • Scharer, Matthias Hilberath Bernd Jochen. The Practice Of Communicative Theology: Introduction To A New Theological Culture. New York: Crossroad Pub. CO. 2008. The Authors — Matthias Scharer and Bernd Jochen Hilberath My Reflections Sharer and Hilberath are two German, Roman Catholic theologians who have adopted Ruth Cohn’s Theme-Centered Interaction (TCI) model as the means of doing theology. This pedagogy comes from a long history of Catholic theology and is rooted, most apparently, in Habermas’ communicative rationality. The combination ...
  • Article | A Trinitarian Perspective on Christian Spirituality by Mark McIntosh
  • Mark McIntosh’s work is important to my research. He has done an incredible job of connecting Trinitarian theology to spirituality. This is obviously important to my research question in which I ask how an increased awareness of social Trinity might impact spiritual formation. Holder, Arthur, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality Blackwell Companions to Religion. Oxford; Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2005. Chapter 10 Trinitarian Perspectives on Christian Spirituality by Mark A. McIntosh “In a real sense, the whole ...
  • Book | The Trinity and an Entangled World edited by John Polkinghorne
  • Polkinghorne, J. C. The Trinity and an Entangled World: Relationality in Physical Science and Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. 2010. Editor – John Polkinghorne This book is a collection of essays that deals directly with one of the core theological frames of my research: relational ontology. One of the essays is an article by Wildman that I have reviewed here. Simply put, relationality is the essence of God, and thus, the essence of ...
  • Article | Augustine in Contemporary Trinitarian Theology by Michel Barnes
  • My research relies heavily on the Social Trinity and draws upon theologians like Lacugna, Moltmann, Zizioulas, among others. It is important to note that not everyone agrees with their theological constructs. Michel Barnes is a key voice that has pointed out a fundamental flaw in the recent Trinitarian conversation. The flaw centers on a misunderstanding and misappropriation of Augustines’s doctrine of the Trinity. Barnes statement can be summarized: I have argued that contemporary systematic appropriations of ...
  • Book | God the Spirit by Michael Welker
  • Welker, Michael. God the Spirit. 1st English-language ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994. The Author – Michael Welker Welker is the Director of the Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology at the University of Heidelberg. This book has had a significant impact on my research. The key ideas that I glean from Welker are that the Spirit is pluriform and polycentric. In other words, the Spirit takes on many different forms (pluriform) throughout the world, depending upon the ...
  • Book | The Quest for the Trinity by Stephen R. Holmes
  • Holmes, Stephen R. The Quest for the Trinity. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2012. The Author – Stephen R. Holmes My Thoughts This book is a helpful and refreshing counterbalance to my growing bibliography concerning the 20th century Trinitarian conversation in the West. Stephen Holmes is a brilliant scholar from the UK who speaks to this topic from the English Evangelical perspective. The book itself is essentially an historical survey of the Doctrine of the Trinity in Western theology. What ...
  • Edmund Hill’s Translation of Augustine’s De Trinitate
  • I am very pleased to have found Edmund Hill’s Translation of Augustine’s De Trinitate. Previously I had been reading Phillip Schaff’s late 19th century translation and found it difficult to digest. Hill brings a brightness to the text that I find much more comprehensible, and actually enjoyable to read. Special thanks to Fred Sanders for the nudge. It is my goal to make a thorough reading of this text before the New Year dawns.
  • Book | After Our Likeness by Miroslav Volf
  • Volf, Miroslav. After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity Sacra Doctrina. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1998. The Author Professor Volf is the founding Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. His books include Allah: A Christian Response (2011); Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace (2006), which was the Archbishop of Canterbury Lenten book for 2006; Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, ...
  • Book | Systematic Theology by Robert Jenson
  • Jenson, Robert W. Systematic Theology. Vol. 1. 2 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. The Author After two decades of teaching at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Jenson moved in 1988 to the religion department of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He was joined in Northfield by his friend Carl Braaten, and together they founded the conservative Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology in 1991. The founding of this Center marked a new period of ...
  • Book | Rediscovering the Triune God by Stanley Grenz
  • Grenz, Stanley J. Rediscovering the Triune God: The Trinity in Contemporary Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004. The Author While in the pastorate (1979-1981), Grenz taught courses both at the University of Winnipeg and at Winnipeg Theological Seminary (now Providence Seminary). He served as Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at the North American Baptist Seminary, Sioux Falls, South Dakota from 1981-1990. For twelve years (1990-2002), Grenz held the position of Pioneer McDonald Professor of Baptist Heritage, ...
  • Article | No Trinity, No Mission by Gary Simpson
  • Simpson, Gary. “No Trinity, No Mission: The Apostolic Difference of Revisioning the Trinity.” Word and World, vol. XVIII, number 3, Summer 1998. No Trinity No Mission – Simpson – flattened – my annotated copy of the article. The Author Gary Simpson is a professor of Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary on St. Paul, MN. He is also an ordained pastor in the ELCA. My Thoughts This article traces the history of Trinitarian thought in the west and demonstrates how, without the ...
  • Book | Christopraxis by Edmund Arens
  • Arens, Edmund. Christopraxis: A Theology of Action. 1st Fortress Press ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995. The Author Edmund Arens is a catholic theologian and professor of Fundamental Theology at the University of Luzern, Switzerland. Fundamental Theology is “a relatively recent theological discipline whose object and method has not altogether been clarified by theologians themselves. It is clear, however, that a task of fundamental theology is to verify the foundations of theology. Thus, before deepening in the knowledge ...
  • Book | God For Us by Catherine LaCugna
  • LaCugna, Catherine Mowry. God for Us : The Trinity and Christian Life. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991. A Substantial Inquiry into Catherine LaCugna’s God With Us, focusing on Part I | by Steve Thomason | A Term Paper Presented to Professor Gary Simpson | Luther Seminary | As a Requirement in Course CL8950 Trinity and Mission | St. Paul, Minnesota | 2012 Introduction The purpose of this paper is to engage in dialogue with the first part of Catherine LaCugna’s book God for Us: Trinity and Christian Life. The scope and ...
  • Book | Communion and Otherness by John D. Zizioulas
  • Zizioulas, Jean, and Paul McPartlan. Communion and Otherness: Further Studies in Personhood and the Church. New York: T & T Clark, 2006. Author John Zizioulas (Greek: Ιωάννης Ζηζιούλας; born 10 January 1931, Kozani) is the Eastern Orthodox metropolitan of Pergamon. He is the Chairman of the Academy of Athens and a noted theologian. My Thoughts on Communion and Otherness I will be brief and to the point in this reflection. There is one thing that I glean from this ...
  • Book | Systematic Theology by Pannenberg
  • Pannenberg, Wolfhart. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991. Author Wolfhart Pannenberg (born on October 2, 1928) is a German theologian. He has made a number of significant contributions to modern theology, perhaps most notably his concept of history as a form of revelation centered on the Resurrection of Christ, which has been widely debated in both Protestant and Catholic theology, as well as by non-Christian thinkers. My Thoughts on Pannenberg On Pannenberg’s Methodology In his Introduction to Systematic Theology, ...
  • Book | The Trinity and the Kingdom by Jürgen Moltmann
  • Moltmann, Jürgen. The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God. 1st HarperCollins paperback ed. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991. Author Jürgen Moltmann (born 8 April 1926) is a German Reformed theologian who is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen. Moltmann is a major figure in modern theology and was the recipient of the 2000 Grawemeyer Award in Religion, and was also selected to deliver the prestigious Gifford Lectures in 1984-1985. He has ...
  • Article | The Incarnation and the Trinity by Christopher B. Kaiser
  • Kaiser, Christopher B. “The Incarnation and the Trinity: Two Doctrines Rooted in the Offices of Christ.” Greek Orthodox Theological Review 43, no. 1-4 (1998): 221-255. Author Chris Kaiser began his professional life as a scientist and went on to become a theologian, and his teaching vocation has always included working to build bridges between his two disciplines. He has been part of Western’s faculty since 1976. He has also served as lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and at ...
  • Paper | An Introduction to Relational Ontology by Wesley J. Wildman
  • Abstract This paper argues that there is value in a systematic philosophical approach to relations and surveys some of the major issues in the philosophy of relations. Rather than siding withrelational ontology over substantivist ontology, however, the paper argues that the best philosophical approaches are causal theories of relation in which both relations and entities take their rise from an ontologically fundamental causal flux. The causal theories of relation and entities discussed here are Neoplatonist participation ...
  • Book | Spirituality and Theology: Christian Living and the Doctrine of God by Philip Sheldrake
  • Spirituality and Theology by Philip Sheldrake This book is a gold mine for my research. Sheldrake connects the contemporary study of Christian Spirituality directly to the Social Trinity. He also provides an excellent historical summary of why spirituality and theology have been estranged since the dawn of the modern era. My Annotated Scan of the section The Significance of Trinitarian Theology. (75-83) He defends Augustine against accusations of individualism. The fundamental truth of our existence is that human beings ...
  • Article | Appropriating the Divine Presence: Reading Augustine’s On the Trinity as a Transformative Text by Edward Howells
  • Appropriating the Divine Presence Reading Augustine as Transformative my annotated copy This article contributes to my case that I must delve deeply into Augustine’s On The Trinity. The paper I wrote back in the spring is proving to be a bit prophetic for the course of study. Here Howells helps me understand Augustine’s pre-modern understanding of the relationality of the trinitarian persons and the better understanding of interiority. Dr. Edward Howells is a lecturer in Christian Spirituality at ...
  • Article | Spirituality and Social Change: Rebuilding the Human City by Philip Sheldrake
  • Sheldrake, Philip. “Spirituality and Social Change: Rebuilding the Human City.” Spiritus 9, no. 2 (2009): 137-156. “To be human embodies a common life and a common task…it is important to note the intimate link between human identity and a Trinitarian theology of God.” (138) This article is important for my work. It addresses some of my main points: Trinity, Augustine, space and place, urban/suburban planning, interiority and exteriority in spirituality.