Unity of Act

All of God does all that God does. But then it’s only the Son who is incarnated. Both are standard affirmations of classic orthodoxy, and it’s a trick to keep them together. In a brief summary of Augustine’s trinitarian thought in The Quest for the Trinity: The Doctrine of God in . . . . Continue Reading »

Father alone?

God is not “triple, or three by multiplication,” Augustine says ( The Trinity ). Nor does He get bigger by addition: “the Father alone or the Son alone or the Holy Spirit alone is as great as Father and Son and Holy Spirit together,” in contrast to bodies that “grow by . . . . Continue Reading »

Begotten, Proceeding

What’s the difference between the Father’s relation to the Son, one of “begetting,” and His relation to the Spirit, that of “proceeding” (John 15:26). A distinction without a difference, serving only to protect against the conclusion that the Spirit is another . . . . Continue Reading »

Only Trinity Overcomes Constantinianism

As recounted by Wayne Cristaudo ( Religion, Redemption and Revolution: The New Speech Thinking Revolution of Franz Rozenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy ), Rosenstock-Huessy took Emil Brunner to takes for his adoption of the “protestant myth” about a fall of the church in the fourth . . . . Continue Reading »

The tragedy of conversion

I’m talking about cross-Christian conversions, from Protestant to Catholicism or Orthodoxy, or the opposite. In calling such conversions “tragic,” I’m not suggesting that they always have adverse consequences for the convert. They may do, but not necessarily. In my view, . . . . Continue Reading »


A student, Andrew Bittner, takes re’shiyt (beginning) in Genesis 1:1 as “firstfruits,” suggesting a translation along the lines of “As the firstfruits God created the heavens and earth.” The translation is philologically plausible, since the Hebrew word refers to . . . . Continue Reading »

Polyphonic self

In the course of examining various approaches to religious pluralism in Ways of Meeting and the Theology of Religions , David Cheetham cites Colin Gunton’s criticisms of Augustine’s Trinitarian theology. While he agrees with Gunton that human beings are “dialogic” he . . . . Continue Reading »

Determining Diving Being

In a few places, I think Swain ( The God of the Gospel: Robert Jenson’s Trinitarian Theology ) simply misses the import of what he reads and quotes. At one point (99) he claims that Pannenberg believes that “the events that unfold between the Father and Jesus do not merely reveal who . . . . Continue Reading »

God of the Gospel

Scott Swain’s attention to Robert Jenson’s work in The God of the Gospel: Robert Jenson’s Trinitarian Theology is welcome. As Swain points out early on, quoting David Hart, Jenson hasn’t received nearly the attention he deserves, and this is a loss for theology generally and . . . . Continue Reading »

Biblical Trinitarian

One of the great virtues of Scott Swain’s The God of the Gospel: Robert Jenson’s Trinitarian Theology is his insight into the biblical foundations of Robert Jenson’s Trinitarian theology. He points out that Jenson “argues that the doctrine of the Trinity’s primary . . . . Continue Reading »