In the Mail

I received two books that I’ve known about for quite some time and have been greatly anticipating. The first was Mark Goodacre’s Thomas and the Gospels courtesy of Eerdmans. The second was Stephen Holmes’ The Quest for the Trinity courtesy of IVP Academic.

Both books are subversive in their own ways.

Goodacre, to his credit, has made a career of challenging the status quo of certain scholarly consensuses (or is that consensai?). First he dispensed with “Q” and made the Farrer Theory fashionable. His work has been largely influential on my own thinking about the Synoptic Problem. He continues in this vain in Thomas and the Gospels arguing what has always seemed obvious to me; namely that the author of the Gospel of Thomas was familiar with the Synoptic Gospels. I’m looking forward to getting Goodacre’s full argument concerning the relationship between these writings.

Holmes on the other hand challenges a sentiment that is reflected in a great majority of the literature on the Trinity published in at least the last 15-20 years, namely that Karl Barth and Karl Rahner resurrected the doctrine of the Trinity from relative obscurity. When I first became interested in Trinitarian theology I read this claim made repeatedly; so much so that I started to believe it. As I kept studying the doctrine and reading authors throughout the various eras of Christian history I began to notice that it simply wasn’t true (see the recent Oxford Handbook of the Trinity to see this helpfully fleshed out in a number of excellent essays).

At the time when I was considering formal training I had it in mind to do a thesis on the so-called neglected periods of Trinitarian theology and survey what theologians in Great Britain, the Continent, and the Americas had been saying all along. Never happened but hopefully I’ll still pick that project up somewhere along the line. Until then, I’m greatly anticipating Holmes’ presentation.



2 thoughts on “In the Mail

  1. Interesting books! I haven’t read any of Goodacre’s works, but I have enjoyed his podcasts.

    FWIW, the proper Latin plural would be consensus (the 4th declension in Latin is identical in the nominative sg and pl), but I honestly can’t think of a way to pluralize that word in English.

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