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Jesus Creed

Chp 6 of LeRon Shults’ absolutely breath-taking (and not easy to read) book Reforming the Doctrine of God deals with “reviving trinitarian doctrine.” The recent revival of trinitarian thought shows an affinity for the Cappadocians, and also for Luther and Calvin (as compared to the Protestant Scholastics).
Again, if the East tended toward subordinationism, the West tended toward modalism (or tri-theism). How central is the Trinity to your, or even to your local community of faith’s, understanding of the gospel?
Here are some central ideas of this chp.
If substantia (Latin “substance”) corresponds to ousia (Greek “being”), so persona corresponds to hypostases. The major idea here for the Eastern fathers is that the divine essence is [“is” not “has”] the dynamic relations of the persons in and through one another. Hence, there is a much more basic relationality to the persons. The view that the East did not see was that there was a basic “essence” (ousia) with three particular instances (hypostases), but three persons in utter interrelationality.
Shults then skirts through the medieval and Reformation statements where the relationality theme appears, then he moves on to K. Barth, C. Gunton, J. Moltmann, and then to R. Jenson, E. Jungel, and W. Pannenberg. Then to Rahner, Zizioulias, and feminist/liberationists.
His conclusion is called “robust trinity.” “True human personhood is participation in the robustly relational divine nature that takes shape as a sharing in the Son’s way of being-in-relation to the Father and the Spirit” (163).
This will be developed — and Shults can take us deep — and the journey is worth it. Take, drink.

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