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.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A Supervenient Trinity?

Here’s an article – currently available only as an early view online version – that might interest some:

Matthew Zaro Fisher, ‘A Supervenient Trinity: An Alternative to Latin and Social Trinitarian Theories’, The Heythrop Journal, 2014. doi: 10.1111/heyj.12138

The Latin Trinity (LT) and the Social Trinity (ST) represent the two dominant approaches for interpreting the doctrine of the Trinity in contemporary philosophical theology. Both approaches have consequences for Christian theology, however, and I believe that neither sufficiently overcomes the charges of modalism or tritheism, respectively. Moreover, the charge of the overall logical incoherency of the doctrine of the Trinity remains a viable criticism. In order to defend the doctrine of the Trinity against charges of incoherency, while avoiding the modalistic and tritheistic leanings of the LT and ST models, I argue that the unitary nature of God-as-three-hypostases is best understood in terms of a relationship of supervenience between the revelation of (1) Deut. 6:4 and (2) the Gospel of John. The Hypostases of the Trinity supervene on the unitary identity of God insofar as to be ‘God’ is to entail the perichoretic relationship of unbegottenness, begottenness, and spiratation (procession). The Supervenient Trinity (SvT), as an analogical model, provides a way to understand God as (1) and (2) that better avoids the modalist and tritheistic difficulties raised by the LT and the ST approaches.

Looks interesting, doesn’t it? It’ll be interesting to see if this article has any significant impact on the current resurgence (if resurgence it be) of classical trinitarianism.

(By the way, am I the only one who near-detests the use of ‘doi’ referencing?)

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