June = Trinity Book Review Month

For the entire month of June I will be reading and reviewing nothing but books on the Trinity.  Here’s the lineup:

I highly doubt that I’ll review all of them but I’m hoping for 5 or 6 at least. 



16 thoughts on “June = Trinity Book Review Month

  1. So, is the Trinitarian focus due to Trinity Sunday (June 7) and the use of the Athanasian Creed on that Sunday?

    Or am I thinking too much like a liturgist?

  2. In your spare time you might consider reading “Two Natures in Christ” by Martin Chemnitz (translated by J. A. O.Preus, II). It was a best seller in the late 16th century and has never been surpassed.

  3. Andrew: Me too!

    Shaun: After my little bout with motion sickness I haven’t been playing!

    Rich: Trinity Sunday is just a happy coincidence. It’s more due to me forsaking my first love (which is the Trinity) for my second love (Christology) and other books during the past few months. And thanks for the recommendation, I’ll definitely look into it.

  4. Re: Chemnitz. He probably didn’t like the Rosary, but he appears in portraits with a string of beads on his wrist because that was artistic shorthand for religious person.

    Or course, now that they’ve come up with a Lutheran Rosary, I guess he could like Rosaries. Are they passing them out in Heaven, perhaps?

    Chemnitz is of course well- known for his work against the Council of Trent. Good for your anti-Catholic mood, but at four volumes you’d better be in a particularly anti-Catholic mood.

    Nick: Per Augustine, I assume you’ve lost your mind with all this Trinitarian study. :-P

  5. You should add Luis Ladaria, “Living and True God mystery of the trinity” convivium press — a new work from professor at Gregorianum in Rome and secretary of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

  6. Chuck: Augustine lost his mind long before his study of the Trinity!

    Gresham: If I had a review copy of that book I would love to add it to my list. Unfortunately I don’t have one.

  7. Gresham: Thanks so much for bringing Prof. Ladaria’s book to my attention. Thanks to your comment I was able to contact the publisher and they are going to send me a review copy along with another volume on the Historical Jesus.

  8. Dude what more do you possibly hope to learn about the Trinity? I don’t get it. Help me to see what you find so interesting about that subject and what more there is to learn or find out that makes you want to review 8 books on it this next month.

    Bryan L

  9. Bryan: There’s plenty more to learn. I’d like to know more about all the stages of the doctrine’s development. I’d like to know better how contemporary scholars engage the subject. I’d like to have a better understanding of the role the Trinity has played in the life of the church, in things like baptism, the liturgy of the ‘high’ churches, etc. As much as I know I still don’t really know hardly anything.

    What I find interesting about it is too much to share in a comment. One thing is that it is the distinctive Christian doctrine. It’s the one thing that separates us from every other world religion or cult. Not belief in Jesus, not belief in some kind of atonement, not a doctrine of justification, not an understanding of grace, but the doctrine of the Trinity. I just find it fascinating that even in as much as all other religions and cults differ from one another, they all stand together in rejecting the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.

    In any event, I know I won’t review 8 books in June, but hopefully I’ll be able to read that many. :-)

  10. Nick:
    Thanks. That sheds a lot more light on the subject. I’ve been wondering what you were hoping to gain from these books.

    Do you think contemporary scholars have any new light to shed on the Trinity? Any new way of looking at it beyond what the early church thought?

    I think the Trinity is definitely distinctive to Christianity, I just don’t think it’s central and up front, such that it really defines Christianity (I would more see the story of Christianity to be central and what defines it and is distinctive). I believe it is in the background instead, sort of like a foundation that everything is built upon but that is not necessarily seen until someone wants to know what everything stands on. Similarly, I sort of see it like the principles of physics that explain how everything works and why things do what they do. They undergird everything and are there if we are curious to know how and why but not necessarily meant to be focused on.

    I think that’s probably why I don’t get much into the Trinity nor do I see it as that important for most Christians to learn and make sure they get it exactly right (or as close as they possibly can). Although I do think it’s important for some Christians to really focus on it and make sure they know it well.

    I hope you do get to read all 8 of them. : )

    Bryan L

  11. Bryan: I think contemporary scholars are asking different questions so they do have something to add (e.g., that article that made your eyes glaze over has to do with a question that the fathers weren’t really concerned with). In terms of the foundational matters, I think all that was pretty well hammered out by the 5th century.

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