With the 2010 Trinity Blogging Summit fast approaching I find myself stumped as to what I want to write.  I’ve already received Peter Leithart‘s paper and it’s brilliant as expected; Brian LePort is putting the finishing touches on his and from the first draft I already know that it’s great; but I have no clue what to write about.  I thought about Origen’s Trinitarianism but then I saw a post from Michael Barber on the subject and I didn’t want to appear to be biting.  I also thought about a critique of social Trinitarianism along the lines that Sarah Coakley has done with regard to the Cappadocians but there’s a lot of primary and secondary literature to work through and I’m afraid I won’t have enough time.  The same problem arises when thinking about writing about the Cappadocian conception of personhood (which isn’t uniform btw).  I also thought about critiquing Swinburne’s social model (or maybe even Zizioulas’) but that’s been done before.  Right now I’ve been reading some Cyril of Alexandria who is known mostly for his anti-Nestorian stuff but he had plenty to say about the Trinity as well.  Unfortunately for me I’m not confident enough in my handling of the subject matter to write something substantial on it just yet.  I’ve been praying for clarity on the issue but it seems that the heavens are brass right now.  Whatever I come up with I just hope it’s more than an updated version of the bibliography I did last year (and at the very least I’ll be able to provide that).  Suggestions would be welcome.  If there’s anything you’d like to see me tackle then leave a comment and let me know.  It might be just the answer from God I’ve been looking for!


7 thoughts on “Stumped

  1. Hmmm… How ’bout something like advice for teaching the Trinity to lay Christians or people in the church who are not all that interested in theology (much less the Trinity)? How ’bout a post on why people should care about the Trinity beyond just the fact that people have believed it for a long time. Following up on that does it make any difference in our lives (emotionally, ethically, practically)? Again that would be help and advice to people teaching in the church.

    How ’bout a historical overview showing what has remained constant in Trintiarianism over the many centuries and what has changed? Following up on that what are the things you can tinker with concerning the Trinity (while still remaining orthodox) and what has to remain constant (backed up with historical examples).

    How ’bout some of that Trinity and gender stuff. I always find that interesting, especially since we seem to disagree a bit on it.

    Maybe you can do a critical interaction with a book or an article. I’m still interested in your thoughts on that chapter out of that book you just got.

    I’d also be interested in the particular hermeneutical principles that were used in reading the Bible when the doctrine of the Trintiy was being formulated and whether we still read the Bible with those same hermeneutical principles and whether we need to continue to or if they can instead be abandoned. Further can we replace those hermeneutical principles with new, more up to date hermeneutical principles and still come up with a doctrine of the Trinity that’s faithful to the historic orthodox doctrine?

    That’s all I can think of at the moment.

  2. I’m with Bryan on this…a practical guide for teaching the Trinity would be immensely beneficial. So many people believe it, but neither understand it nor understand the practicality of understanding it.

  3. Nick,

    Have you read the Filioque book yet? That would be an interesting topic.

    By the way, I’m still not convinced the filioque clause is heretical—at least not as it was envisioned in the first millenium by Augustine, et al. I will agree it probably should be dropped from the creed, but mainly for ecumenical reasons. Call me an unrepentant Barthian on that point : )


  4. Kyle: Your vote is duly noted.

    James: I’m still in the first chapter. I had originally thought about doing something on the filioque at the beginning of the year and I have an entire folder of resources for research on my PC but in the end it fell by the wayside. I’ll look through some of the stuff and see if I can’t find some inspiration.

  5. Good thing I didn’t decide to submit an article on Origen’s Trinitarianism. :-) An idea I thought of is to trace the development of the Trinity from just after the canonical documents to maybe Augustine. That’s a pretty big project, though.

  6. John: Indeed it is! But for a brilliantly succinct treatment of the subject I don’t think it’s possible to do better than Franz Dünzl’s slim volume A Brief History of the Doctrine of the Trinity in the Early Church. What he does in about 120 pages of actual text is nothing short of astonishing!

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