The Trinity

Vol. 4.3 | Fall 2018

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

– Matthew 28:16-20 NRSV

No sooner do I conceive of the One than I am illumined by the Splendour of the Three; no sooner do I distinguish Them than I am carried back to the One. When I think of any One of the Three I think of Him as the Whole, and my eyes are filled, and the greater part of what I am thinking of escapes me. I cannot grasp the greatness of That One so as to attribute a greater greatness to the Rest. When I contemplate the Three together, I see but one torch, and cannot divide or measure out the Undivided Light.

– Gregory of Nazianzus, Orations 40.41

Some have asked, for example, whether these Greek categories are the only ones that might help us understand the mystery of the Trinity – especially for those unacquainted with Greek philosophy. Others wonder whether Augustine’s reading of sin and penalties, influenced as it is by Roman law, is the most accurate reading of the biblical material. This is a welcome development because the inherent problem with “Christendom” was its ability to impose a uniformity that ignored or suppressed alternative points of view – it was sometimes uncomfortable with diverse readings of Scripture for political rather than theological reasons. At the very least, it sometimes proposed theological formulations that were difficult to put into other cultural frameworks, where, for example, there had been no previous conversations about “persons” and “substance.”

– William Dyrness and Oscar García-Johnson, Theology Without Borders, p. 46

Christian worship is, therefore, our participation through the Spirit in the Son’s communion with the Father, in his vicarious life of worship and intercession. It is our response to our Father for all that he has done for us in Christ. It is our self-offering in body, mind and spirit, in response to the one true offering made for us in Christ, our response of gratitude (eucharistia) to God’s grace (charis), our sharing by grace in the heavenly intercession of Christ. Therefore, anything we say about worship – the forms of worship, its practice and procedure – must be said in light of him to whom it is a response. It must be said in the light of the gospel of grace.

James B. Torrance, Worship, Community, & the Triune God of Grace, p. 15.

In this volume of Resonance, we explore the mystery and wonder of the holy Trinity. Father, Son, Holy Spirit; Three-in-One; the Triune God of grace: Trinitarian theology remains a defining factor of Christian orthodoxy, even as understanding and explanation of this central doctrine ultimately remains something of a paradox. Nonetheless, Christian history, liturgy, theology, and experience continues to bear witness to the essential reality of the community within the Godhead. With this theme, we embrace the mystery, in order to cultivate faith that seeks understanding for fellowship with the Father, through the Son, in power of the Holy Spirit!

A Few Examples of Potential Lines of Inquiry (Arranged within the chiastic pattern of the issue)

Liturgy (exploring the theme in practices of Christian worship)

  • The meaning of baptism “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
  • Implications for worship that is decidedly “Trinitarian.”

Scripture (exploring the theme through scriptural exegesis)

  • Trinity in creation
  • Trinity in the Old Testament
  • Trinity in Jesus’ ministry
  • Trinity in the New Testament

Witness (exploring the theme through the experience of Christian discipleship)

  • What difference does the Trinity make in the Christian life?
  • How do we recognize the Trinity in our daily life and living?

Tradition (exploring the theme through historic and/or systematic theology)

  • History of interpretation – how did the doctrine of the Trinity emerge from the Bible?
  • The Trinitarian theology of a key figure in Church history and its impact on the church (Gregory of Nazianzus, Athanasius, Augustine, Julian of Norwich, etc.).
  • Historical contours of Trinitarian theology (economic Trinity, modal Trinity, ontological Trinity, etc.)
  • Recent developments in Trinitarian theology (i.e. Spirit Christology)
  • The significance of Jesus for Christian communities outside the “West.”

Crux (central article by a special guest)

  • By invitation only.
Submission Deadline

Friday June 15th, 2018

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