Trinitarian Theology

| Intro | Why this page? | What is Trinitarian theology? |
Trinitarian theologians: Anderson | Barth | Begbie | D Campbell | JM Campbell | Colyer | Dawson | Gary and Cathy Deddo | Feazell | Fee | Fergusson | Habets| Hart | Hunsinger | Kettler | Kruger | McGrath |McKenna | McSwain | McVey | Metzger | Molnar | Morrison | Newell | Nordling | Parry | Purves | Rogers | Root | Sanders | Thimell | Tkach | Alan Torrance | David Torrance | James B. Torrance |Thomas F. Torrance | Walker | Wauchope | Wright | Young |


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You’re Included – introduction

The You’re Included videos, a “unique interview series devoted to practical implications of Trinitarian theology,” comprises 110 conversations published by Grace Communion International (GCI) at regular intervals from the first interview in May, 2007, with Baxter Kruger, to an interview in January, 2012, with David Torrance.

In addition to the considerable appeal of any particular video, the You’re Included series as a whole displays two particularly noteworthy characteristics:

  • Each video is a conversation, not a lecture.
    Propositions are not rehearsed on PowerPoint slides ready to be memorized as part of a logical theological system. Rather, these are fireside chats with notable theologians and writers which offer us a glimpse of their personalities and why they do what they do. Most authors are professional theologians based in universities. Some are popular writers, teachers, pastors or youth ministers. If you’re seeking a way to explore theology through personal dialogue and in an open-ended manner, this conversational style will be attractive in and of itself.
  • The series reflects the ecumenical character of Trinitarian theology.
    The guests come from practically every major branch of Christianity, including Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian/Reformed, Methodist, Eastern Orthodox and charismatic traditions. Needless to say, they do not agree in many details, but they nevertheless constitute a broad and consensual vision within the Nicene tradition of Christ-centered, Trinitarian theology.

Watching the You’re Included episodes with any given author is a great way to get a sense of any book under discussion. You’re Included episodes are available from iTunes in video and audio formats, on youTube (YoureIncluded and gracecommunion). and from the You’re Included section of the GCI website. Links on this page are to the latter, which generally offers a transcript and discussion questions.

J. Michael Feazell, host of You're Included
J. Michael Feazell, host of You’re Included (2007-2012)
Thank you, Michael and GCI, for this wonderful series! (More…)

Why this page?

Triquetra:  God is Trinity, God is loveI’m not a pastor or theologian, nor affiliated with GCI; just a lay person trying to think more deeply about my faith (update: in 2017, we joined Crosswalk Community Church, a GCI fellowship in Oklahoma City). In “Marriage is the gospel made visible,” I expressed the good news of Christian faith from a Christ-centered and therefore Trinitarian perspective, unlike, say, The Four Spiritual Laws, which makes us and our sin the starting point. In doing so, I’m grateful for the You’re Included video series. In a previous post, “Resources for reflecting on The Shack,” I wrote:

“The simplest way to become acquainted with the tradition of Trinitarian theology reflected in The Shack might be to watch the entire series of You’re Included podcasts, and to explore the authors and publications mentioned in these conversations. These videos offer an excellent resource for pursuing a personal study of Trinitarian theology or for holding a regular discussion group.”

GCI maintains a list of You’re Included videos. To pursue my own personal study of Trinitarian theology, I compiled the list below which juxtaposes the YI episodes with links to each participant’s published books, institutional affiliations and websites, and to additional videos available outside the YI series. I stumbled upon the You’re Included series as I was beginning to read through the works of Thomas Torrance, Karl Barth and George MacDonald, and the video conversations proved to be just the guidance I needed at just the right time in this ongoing and ever more exciting journey. (Thanks, Michael and GCI!)

What is “trinitarian theology”?

Trinitarian theology does not refer to an intellectual puzzle or a speculative argument in metaphysics. Nor does it denote a mental assent to the Trinity as an abstract doctrine or secondary belief. Rather, Trinitarian theology refers to a personal approach to theology that arises out of the revelation of God in Christ. Through the Incarnation God reveals himself as an eternal communion of love between the Father, Son and Spirit. Trinitarian thinking is Christ-centered, with the Incarnation as the starting point. Every area of doctrine organically connects to, and is grounded upon, the Trinitarian communion of God revealed in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Our understanding of the Trinity therefore serves not as an isolated doctrine but as a grammar of theology, a way of thinking that searches out the natural connections between every doctrine and the revelation of God in Christ. Here are some helpful preliminary links provided by Grace Communion International which offer a basic introduction to Trinitarian theology:

  1. Who is Jesus? by Dan Rogers (12 mins); a short sermon on some Trinitarian passages in the gospel of John.
  2. “The Doctrine of the Trinity – Does It Make Any Difference?” by J. Michael Feazell (15 mins); a sermon on the centrality of the doctrine of the Trinity in practice.
  3. Foundations of Theology (26 min); a condensed outline of Trinitarian theology produced for GCI pastors, featuring Joseph Tkach, Mike Feazell, Dan Rogers, and Michael Morrison.
  4. “The God Revealed in Jesus Christ” (video with transcript and booklet, which may be read as a précis or companion to the “Foundations of Theology” video).
  5. Participatory, Trinitarian Faith, 4 lectures by Elmer Colyer. The first lecture consists of a historical sketch of the eclipse of Trinitarian theology since the 17th century and the consequences of this eclipse for both liberalism and fundamentalism, with some concluding comments on the 20th-century recovery of the doctrine of the Trinity in the work of Karl Barth, Thomas Torrance and others (more below).
  6. Thomas F. Torrance, “The Basic Grammar of Theology,” audio lectures #5-10 [cf. ch. 6 of The Ground and Grammar of Theology (T&T Clark, 1980) and other Torrance sources below].

Trinitarian Theologians

(As featured in GCI media, alphabetized by last name; click photos to search GCI website for that person.)

  1. Ray AndersonRay Anderson

  2. Karl BarthKarl Barth *

  3. Elmer ColyerElmer Colyer

  4. Gerrit Scott DawsonGerrit Scott Dawson

  5. Gary DeddoCathy DeddoGary and Cathy Deddo

  6. Mike FeazellJ. Michael Feazell
    • Mike Feazell hosted the You’re Included video series until his retirement in December, 2011, when he served as Vice-President of Grace Communion International, and formerly Executive Editor of Christian Odyssey magazine. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Azusa Pacific University, and has written many articles on the GCI website. (See the GCI Update on Mike’s retirement). Mike, thank you! I wish you all the best, although I hope to see additional episodes with you from time to time. 🙂
    • Books:
    • GCI videos:
      1. GCI Together: part 1; part 2 (transcripts of autobiographical interview; videos now offline).
      2. A Word from our Sponsor: many videos (NOW OFFLINE).
      3. Feazell appeared in Foundations of Theology (transcript; video now offline).
      4. Seated with Christ – 54 min lecture from the 2010 Orlando GCI conference.

  7. Gordon FeeGordon Fee

  8. David FergussonDavid Fergusson

  9. Myk HabetsMyk Habets

  10. Trevor HartTrevor Hart

  11. George HunsingerGeorge Hunsinger

  12. Christian KettlerChristian Kettler

  13. Baxter KrugerBaxter Kruger

  14. Alister E. McGrathAlister McGrath

  15. John McKennaJohn McKenna

  16. Jeff McSwainJeff McSwain

  17. Steve McVeySteve McVey

  18. Paul Louis MetzgerPaul Louis Metzger

  19. Paul MolnarPaul Molnar

  20. Michael MorrisonMichael Morrison

  21. Roger NewellRoger Newell

  22. Cherith Fee NordlingCherith Fee Nordling

  23. Robin ParryRobin Parry

  24. Andrew PurvesAndrew Purves

  25. Dan RogersDan Rogers

  26. Andrew RootAndrew Root

  27. Fred SandersFred Sanders

  28. Daniel ThimellDaniel Thimell

  29. Joseph TkachJoseph Tkach, Jr.
    • Joseph Tkach, Jr. – GCI President – contributes to Trinitarian theology in his ministry of serving the church as the leader of GCI. Tkach is on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Evangelicals, for Grace Communion Seminary, and for the GCI Office of Reconciliation & Spiritual Mediation. He serves on the Doctor of Ministry Committee at Azusa Pacific University and contributes numerous articles and videos to the GCI website.
    • Books:
      • Tkach, and his father Joseph Tkach, Sr., led GCI through its extraordinary transformation after the death of Herbert Armstrong. At that time GCI, then known as the Worldwide Church of God, was caught up in legalistic and prophetic preoccupations, but in the 1990’s it became an evangelical denomination, later renamed Grace Communion International. This remarkable story, outlined on the GCI website, is illuminated in Joseph Tkach, Jr., Transformed by Truth (also see the autobiographical interviews in GCI Together, the section on Mike Feazell, above, and the Living Hope Ministries documentary here). Because of its prior history, GCI appears to be ideally prepared to appreciate the implications of the gospel of grace as understood in Trinitarian theology.
    • GCI videos:
      1. Foundations of Theology Transcript available; VIDEO OFFLINE.
      2. GCI Together (autobiographical interview transcript; video now offline).
      3. Speaking of Life – a weekly series, each episode about 3 minutes long, available in video or audio, and from iTunes. I recommend Speaking of Life as a weekly devotional and conversation-starter. Check out his episode on Einstein. In another, Tkach introduces the You’re Included video series. NEED TO FIND THIS.
      4. Other GCI videos and articles by Tkach.
      5. “Seeing the Priestly Blessing” and “Ultimate Irony,” 2013 GCI International Conference

  30. Alan TorranceAlan Torrance

  31. David TorranceDavid Torrance

  32. James torranceJames B. Torrance *
    • University of Aberdeen, The Sunday Times obituary
    • Video:
      1. James Torrance interview with Bruce Smith (apparently one episode of a series entitled “This, That and the Other” conducted by Michael Robinson). No date given. 24 mins. Hosted at Perichoresis.org by Baxter Kruger.
    • Books:
      • Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace
      • Thomas Torrance, James Torrance, David Torrance, A Passion for Christ
      • J.B. Torrance’s many influential articles include the following:
        • “Covenant or Contract? A Study of the Theological Background of Worship in Seventeenth-Century Scotland,” Scottish Journal of Theology, 1970, 23:51-76.
        • “The Contribution of McLeod Campbell to Scottish Theology,” Scottish Journal of Theology, 1973, 26:295-311.
        • “The Covenant Concept in Scottish Theology and Politics and its Legacy,” Scottish Journal of Theology, 1981, 34:225-243.
        • “The Vicarious Humanity of Christ,” in T.F. Torrance, ed., The Incarnation (Edinburgh, 1981), 127-147.
        • “Calvin and Puritanism in England and Scotland – Some Basic Concepts in the Development of ‘Federal Theology,'” in Calvinus Reformator: His Contribution to Theology, Church and Society (Potchefstroom, 1982), -.
        • “Strengths and Weaknesses of the Westminster Theology,” in Alasdair I.C. Heron, ed., The Westminster Confession in the Church Today (Edinburgh, 1982), 40-54.
        • “The Incarnation and Limited Atonement,” Evangelical Quarterly, 1984, 55:83-94.
        • “Interpreting the Word by the Light of Christ or the Light of Nature? Calvin, Calvinism, and Barth,” in Robert V. Schnucker, ed., Calviniana: Ideas and Influence of Jean Calvin, Sixteenth Century Journal Monograph, vol. X (Kirksville, 1986), 255-267.
        • “The Concept of Federal Theology: Was Calvin a Federal Theologian?” in W.H. Neuser, ed., Calvinus Sacrae Scriptura Professor: Calvin as Confessor of Holy Scripture (Grand Rapids, 1990), 15-40.
        • James B. Torrance, “Introduction,” and ed., John MacLeod Campbell, The Nature of the Atonement (2000).

        .

  33. Thomas F. TorranceThomas F. Torrance *

  34. Robert WalkerRobert Walker

  35. Bruce WauchopeBruce Wauchope

  36. N.T. WrightN.T. Wright

  37. William Paul YoungPaul Young

* Note: John McLeod Campbell, Karl Barth, Thomas F. Torrance and James B. Torrance do not appear in any of the You’re Included episodes, but they are listed above because they are often discussed in these conversations. Indeed, they are discussed so frequently that watching the entire You’re Included series is one of the most effective ways to be introduced to their theology and influence.

To all of the above participants: Thank you for sharing in such an accessible way! You and your books are providing me a path through the desert and a shining light in the darkness.

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This page will remain a work in progress, revised as new episodes, books, videos and other resources appear.

| Intro | Why this page? | What is Trinitarian theology? |
Trinitarian theologians: Anderson | Barth | Begbie | D Campbell | JM Campbell | Colyer | Dawson | Gary and Cathy Deddo | Feazell | Fee | Fergusson | Habets| Hart | Hunsinger | Kettler | Kruger | McGrath |McKenna | McSwain | McVey | Metzger | Molnar | Morrison | Newell | Nordling | Parry | Purves | Rogers | Root | Sanders | Thimell | Tkach | Alan Torrance | David Torrance | James B. Torrance |Thomas F. Torrance | Walker | Wauchope | Wright | Young |

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31 Responses to Trinitarian Theology

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  18. Paul Kurts says:

    Greetings, you may add Kurts to your list. Trinitarianletters-Your Adoption and Inclusion in the LIfe of God is the title to my book. It is recommended on the GCI web site. http://www.trinitarianletters.com

    Paul Kurts
    paul.kurts@gci.org

  19. kvmagruder says:

    Thanks, Paul! I’ve ordered a copy, and look forward to reading it.
    Peace, Kerry

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  22. Pingback: Neat article on Passover Dinner from Kerry Magruder’s blog | The Daily Hatch

  23. Robert Capon would make a great addition to this list. Arguably C.S. Lewis too, but that’s somewhat up in the air.
    Great resources! Thanks!

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  25. Pingback: Jeff McSwain, Movements of Grace | Kerry's loft

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  27. neilcolombe says:

    I don’t think Paul Kurtz book is recommended by GCI?
    He can correct me if I am wrong!

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  31. Kerry
    Thank you for your wonderful resource on Trinitarian Theology.
    May I suggest a Blog seemingly not listed?
    Ted Johnson’s http://thesurprisinggodblog.gci.org/
    Loads of helpful articles!

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