A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Is the Trinity an Essential Christian Doctrine?

Roger Olson writes,
Here is a quote from Rowan Williams: "Trinitarian theology, in so far as it is concerned with what 'kind' of God Christians worship, is far from being a luxury indulged in solely by remote and ineffectual dons; it is of cardinal importance for spirituality and liturgy, for ethics, for the whole of Christian self-understanding." (Wrestling with Angels: Conversations in Modern Theology, p. 142) This statement appears near the end of a magisterial discussion of Karl Barth's doctrine of the Trinity that is equally complimentary and critical. But I lift it out here as a stand-alone statement, independent of the context, because it expresses a kind of over-arching evaluation of the doctrine of the Trinity or “trinitarian hermeneutics." For Williams, as for Barth, as for numerous other Christian theologians past and present, the doctrine of the Trinity is crucial, essential, indispensable to a robust and healthy Christian view of God.

I quite agree.
The entire post can be read here.


The Good Tale said...
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Patrick said...

I agree with Olsen's assessment. It is not part of the threshold for John 20:31 belief, but, it is an important part of who God is that we worship because of Jesus Christ.

It isn't that difficult either, there are more trinities in nature, like light.

All different yet all the same.

actinic, luminiferous,calorific.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Patrick.

Steve Finnell said...


The majority of denominations use their creed books as the authority in the church for faith and practice. If the final authority is the creed book(catechism), then what purpose would the Bible serve. The Bible is relegated to a secondary reference book.

If the creed book is the authority. Why read the Bible? Why even own a Bible? There are some who say, we do not have a creed book, we a have statement of faith. Statement of faith is just a euphemistic way of saying creed book.

If denominations claim to use the Bible as their rule for faith and practice, then there would is no need for a man-made creed book.

Acts 17:10-11 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 There were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

The Berean's did not search the man-made creed books written by the scribes and elders, to substantiate the truth. The searched the Scriptures.

Acts 17:2-3 Then Paul, as his custom was, went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ."

Paul did not use man-made creed books to teach about Jesus Christ. He reasoned from the Scriptures.

The Pharisees and scribes liked to teach from the man-made creed books of the elders. (Mark 7:1-13....3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders....... 13 "making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.")

The Pharisees used man-made creed books as their final authority.

If denominations are using man-made creed books as there final authority for faith and practice, are they not making the word of God of no effect through their tradition?

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