[Common Places] Pro-Nicene Theology: Inseparable Operations

Scott Swain on 2 years ago. Tagged under .

Note: The author of today’s column, Scott Swain (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), will be giving a plenary address at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society on the doctrine of the Trinity.


Our current Common Places series, Pro-Nicene Theology, offers doctrinal and exegetical entries to the key tenets of basic Trinitarian orthodoxy as developed in the early centuries of the church. For introduction to the series, see this first post.

The living God

The triune God is a living God and, as such, he is intrinsically active. The Trinity is active in knowledge, love, and beatitude. The Trinity is active in the production of creatures. And the Trinity is active in a care that extends, beyond bringing us into existence, to include our daily preservation,…

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[Common Places]: Toward a Liturgical Anthropology: Helps from James K. A. Smith

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Holy_Grail_Tapestry_-The_Arming_and_Departure_of_the_KniightsIntroduction: a philosophical handmaiden to liturgical anthropology

How might theological anthropology benefit from James K. A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies series? I suggest that Smith’s project offers theology a philosophical handmaiden to the liturgical anthropology of Romans 6:17: “Thanks be to God that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of teaching to which you were delivered.”

The shape of homo liturgicus (1): inside out

The Apostle Paul’s word of gratitude in Romans 6:17 envisions the baptized human being as a worshipping animal, what Smith calls homo liturgicus. To be human, according to this vision, is to be the kind of creature that is moved from the inside out. Christian obedience flows “from the…

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[Common Places] Engaging with Kate Sonderegger: On Divine Invisibility

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“The Lord’s style of language”

One of the theologian’s primary tasks is to assist the church in better understanding what Augustine once called, “the Lord’s style of language.” This task is challenging, not because the Lord employs an esoteric angelic language when he speaks to us, but because he uses ordinary human language to speak of extraordinary things: In Holy Scripture, the Lord speaks of God and all things in relation to God. The first volume of Katherine Sonderegger’s Systematic Theology is the product of a theologian well trained in the art of following “the Lord’s style of language.” Therein, Sonderegger offers an account of God’s oneness and perfection that trades upon the correspondence between the Lord’s unique mode of speaking in Holy Scripture and the Lord’s unique mode of being as God.


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[Common Places] New Studies in Dogmatics: The Divine Names

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The perfections of the triune God may be treated profitably under various aspects. Under the aspect of “divine attributes,” God’s perfections are studied as truths about God’s being, always alert to the fact that, properly speaking, God does not have attributes since God is his perfect being, power, wisdom, and love. Under the aspect of “divine goods”—Gregory of Nyssa’s lovely description of the divine perfections—God’s perfections are treated with a view to God’s status as the supreme object of desire and delight, in whose presence is fullness of joy and at whose right hand are pleasures evermore. Both of these approaches are common to natural theology and revealed theology insofar as these disciplines treat God as the efficient and final cause of his creatures.

I have chosen, however, to treat God’s perfections under the aspect of The Divine Names. Though…

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