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Is Your Doctrine of the Trinity Novel?

This week the blog is sponsored by Baker Books and it is adapted from Matt Barrett’s new guide Simply Trinity: The particular Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Spirit.

“If Christian theology nowadays is sometimes in disarray…

one of the major factors is…its lack of roots. ” —John Webster

I have at all times wanted to travel to Lebanon and touch the ancient cedars. These cedars are so older that monks utilized to call them the Cedars of The almighty. When Solomon built his temple, this individual told his architect to cut down the cedars of Lebanon (1 Kings 5: 6). Solomon wanted a temple with a basis he knew can last. The artist Vincent van Gogh felt exactly the same way about the olive tree. As he prepared to paint his works of art, van Gogh liked to walk within the olive groves and listen. What did he hear? “The murmur of an olive tree garden has something quite intimate, immensely old about it, ” he or she said.

Something quite intimate, immensely outdated —unfortunately, modern man has guaranteed something immensely new instead. A Trinity liberated from the weighty shackles of old creeds and motivated texts, a Trinity that is relevant to the particular changing winds and whims of community. A Trinity which can be molded, even manipulated into the image of our society, until this at last acquiesces towards the social agenda of our liking.

I can say from my own experience that individuals evangelicals have needed very little persuading or even coaxing. As I clarify in my new book, Merely Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Son, plus Spirit (Baker), when I was younger and received our first introductions in order to theology, I was taught again and again to be suspicious toward the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. In the name of the Bible, the creeds from the Christian faith—creeds that the church has trusted for almost two thousands of years—were thrown directly into question. In the name of thin biblicism, time-tested doctrines like simplicity plus eternal generation had been castigated. “ Speculation! ” was the usual scorn.

But when I returned towards the scriptures, when I reconsidered the creeds, while i revisited the biblical insights of the church fathers, I arrived away with a various point of view. The Trinity I was taught, the Trinity I was informed was pure Bible, the Trinity everybody else was soaking in, that Trinity was as novel as it was modern . However it was not biblical orthodoxy. It only appeared to be so.

C. S. Lewis once lamented that “a great many from the ideas about Our god which trotted out as novelties these days are simply the ones which usually real Theologians tried centuries ago plus rejected. ” Nowadays, that trotting continues. It is now up to you to determine whether or not the church going forward will continue that will trotting or recuperate the scriptural, orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. If our future is to look any different from our current past, we must listen to the living sounds of the dead. If we do, we might just rediscover something personal, immensely old: the God who is just Trinity. Unadulterated. Uncorrupted. Unmanipulated .

Glory to the Father, and to the Child, and to the Ay Ghost! As it is at the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Matt Barrett is the writer of Simply Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Child, and Spirit (Baker). He or she is the host associated with the Credo podcast and relate professor of Alfredia theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Stick to him @mattmbarrett.