Trinitarian Theology

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

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2014 UPDATES:

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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. GCI maintains a complete list of participants, alphabetized by author.

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 info)

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. 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.”

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!) So this page remains a program for broadening my own reading, and I will update it as additional episodes appear in the future on an irregular basis, and as the authors publish additional works.

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 Diffference?” 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” (web article 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

(featured in GCI media, alphabetized by last name)

  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

  7. Gordon FeeGordon Fee

  8. David FergussonDavid Fergusson

  9. Trevor HartTrevor Hart

  10. George HunsingerGeorge Hunsinger

  11. Christian KettlerChristian Kettler

  12. Baxter KrugerBaxter Kruger
    • Perichoresis Ministries, Perichoresis.org (books, sermons, teaching series audios, videos, articles and other resources).
      Support Perichoresis Ministries.
    • Blog
    • Podcasts: Baxter's Ongoing Thoughts and Perichoresis.org Podcast
    • Books:
    • My posts:
    • You’re Included:
      1. Kruger and Steve Horn (audio only): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
      2. Kruger 1: Jesus is the center of all things.
      3. Kruger 2: Jesus has united himself with us.
      4. Kruger 3: Jesus’ role as the center of all things, and God’s plan for our adoption before the foundation of the world.
      5. Kruger 4: The Western world has two views of God: a harsh and unapproachable God, and a Jesus who came to save us from the harsh God. But the Father is actually just like Jesus.
      6. Kruger 5: William Paul Young’s book The Shack illustrates the triune God’s love for all humanity.
      7. Kruger 6: Dr. C. Baxter Kruger discusses the goodness of God and our moments of darkness.
      8. April 19, 2013: Baxter Kruger & Paul Young: The Shack Revisited. Dr. C. Baxter Kruger and Paul Young talk about Dr. Kruger’s book, which examines the theology embedded in Young’s original narrative.
    • Other videos:
      • Free to Live conference: Understanding who we are in Jesus. A GCI conference held in May, 2011 in Grand Junction, CO. Four sessions (4 hrs total; DVD files available).
        • Session 1: On the first evening of the conference, Baxter introduces the themes of who we are in Christ in a relaxed, story-telling format with some sharing from his own personal journey. Key verse: “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20).
        • Session 2: Our understanding of who God is and what he is like is the foundation for understanding everything else, including who we are. What would it be like to see God through Jesus’ eyes, and to know the Father as Jesus knows him? Key passage: Luke 15.
        • Session 3: How we hear the whisper of evil: “I am not… (wanted, worthy, special, loved…)”; how we respond psychologically by self-salvation, attempting to fill the void of our “I am nots”; how God dwells inside our darkness and how Jesus gets his “I am” inside our “I am nots.” Cf. Baxter’s “soul diagrams“. Key verses: Romans 8.15 (“you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!””) and Galatians 4.6 (“God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!””).
        • Session 4: The Father, Son and Spirit knew, loved and claimed us, in our brokenness, before the foundation of the world, and now find their way into our darkness and pain to meet and heal us, bringing us with all our brokenness into their embrace. Key passage: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:3–5; cf. 2 Timothy 1.9).
      • GCI Conference, Perth, Australia, 2011, “How the Gospel works out in our lives.” Website and program. Part 1 (Baxter Kruger); Part 2 (Bruce Wauchope); Part 3 (Kruger); Part 6 (Wauchope).
      • Additional videos at perichoresis.org

  13. John McKennaJohn McKenna

  14. Jeff McSwainJeff McSwain

  15. Steve McVeySteve McVey

  16. Paul Louis MetzgerPaul Louis Metzger

  17. Paul MolnarPaul Molnar

  18. Michael MorrisonMichael Morrison

  19. Roger NewellRoger Newell

  20. Cherith Fee NordlingCherith Fee Nordling

  21. Robin ParryRobin Parry

  22. Andrew PurvesAndrew Purves

  23. Dan RogersDan Rogers

  24. Andrew RootAndrew Root

  25. Daniel ThimellDaniel Thimell

  26. Joseph TkachJoseph Tkach, Jr.

  27. Alan TorranceAlan Torrance

  28. David TorranceDavid Torrance

  29. 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).

        .

  30. Thomas F. TorranceThomas F. Torrance *

  31. Robert WalkerRobert Walker
    • You’re Included:
      1. Walker 1: Who Christ is for us, and he has faith for us.
      2. Walker 2: God the Father was in Jesus Christ, as God become human, who took our humanity into the very heart of God and gave us a new humanity in the process.
      3. Walker 3: Implications of Jesus’ Resurrection – Jesus resurrection is our freeing from death and sin, and it is the beginning of the reconstitution of everything in Christ.

  32. Bruce WauchopeBruce Wauchope

  33. N.T. WrightN.T. Wright

  34. William Paul YoungPaul Young
    • You’re Included:
      1. Young 1: How The Shack was written, and the nature of relationship is embedded in the Trinitarian character and nature of God.
      2. Young 2: The popular view of God as a Christianized Zeus or Gandalf-with-an-attitude as opposed to the loving Father portrayed by the “prodigal’s father.”
      3. Young 3: The disconnect many people experience in trying to trust the “angry” God who requires his Son’s death.
      4. See also Young’s talks at Mariner Church and Fuller Seminary (download the latter at iTunes by searching for “William Paul Young”).
      5. Baxter Kruger 5: William Paul Young’s book The Shack illustrates the triune God’s love for all humanity. See also Baxter Kruger, The Shack Revisited: There Is More Going On Here than You Ever Dared to Dream (2012).
      6. Baxter Kruger & Paul Young: The Shack Revisited. Dr. C. Baxter Kruger and Paul Young talk about Dr. Kruger’s book, which examines the theology embedded in Young’s original narrative.

* 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 | D Campbell | JM Campbell | Colyer | Dawson | Gary and Cathy Deddo | Feazell | Fee | Fergusson | Hart | Hunsinger | Kettler | Kruger | McKenna | McSwain | McVey | Metzger | Molnar | Morrison | Newell | Nordling | Parry | Purves | Rogers | Root | Thimell | Tkach | Alan Torrance | David Torrance | James B. Torrance |Thomas F. Torrance | Walker | Wauchope | Wright | Young |

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25 Responses to Trinitarian Theology

  1. Pingback: Trinitarian Theology | Kerry's loft

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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

  20. Pingback: Our Passover | Kerry's loft

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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!

  24. Pingback: Central Oklahoma Church Dogmatics reading group | Kerry's loft

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

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