About Providence, Divine Action and the Church

In this blog, Terry J. Wright posts thoughts and shares research on the Christian doctrine of providence. This doctrine testifies to God’s provision for all things through creation’s high priest, the man Christ Jesus. However, the precise meaning and manner of this provision is a perpetually open question, and this blog is a forum for discussion of the many issues relating to providence and the place of the Church within God’s action.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Providence and Montanism

It’s an ambivalent and sometimes dangerous practice to read certain historical events as having been caused by God, but sometimes we can surely speculate. Consider this quotation from Steve Holmes:

There seems little doubt, however, that it was a Montanist fascination with the work of the Spirit that led Tertullian to repeatedly stress the Trinitarian question, when theological debate to this point had generally considered only Father and Son.

Stephen R. Holmes, The Holy Trinity: Understanding God’s Life, Christian Doctrines in Historical Perspective (Milton Keynes: Paternoster), p. 73

If the Montanist heresy was actually rooted in a genuine move of God’s Spirit that spread throughout the Roman Empire, is it possible to read its origins, at least in part, as God’s providential action to draw attention to the triunity of God, thus ensuring that the Spirit was not neglected doctrinally by the wider Church?

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