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By Eerdmans / 2002/
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The Trinity is an insightful guide to one of the core beliefs of the Christian faith, providing beginning theology readers with a basic knowledge of the doctrine of God's triune nature. Concise, practical, and up-to-date, this perceptive book offers a detailed historical and theological description of one of the central and most distinctive doctrines of the Christian Faith—the triune nature of God. Tracing its development from the first days of Christianity through the Medieval and Reformation Ages and into the Modern Age, special attention is given to early church controversies and church fathers as well as to its twentieth-century renaissance.
This survey examines the impact of such figures as Augustine, Anselm, and Richard St. Victor on Trinity theology and also covers some of the heresies committed by Abelard and Michael Severus. A discussion of the rise of Unitarianism and Deism is very astute and helps us to better understand the impact of these influences as Trinitarian thought matured. A must read for anyone remotely interested in the Trinity, and although simple, it is not simplistic. In this work, Olson and Hall start from the beginning of the Trinitarian debates and lead you on an amazing ride through history as new thoughts on this essential doctrine were developed. In the book’s second part, three of the finest contributors to the contemporary Trinitarian renaissance are presented. Leonardo Boff (Trinity and Society), Catherine Mowry LaCugna (God for US: The Trinity and Christian Life), and John D. Zizioulas (Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church) have each argued a similar thesis with distinct emphasis: that the Doctrine of the Trinity expresses not metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, but “the mystery of salvation”.
The third part of this helpful work contains a detailed, annotated bibliography of most of the major books written about the Trinity, including patristic contributions from early Anti-Nicene, Alexandrian, and Latin sources, and from key eastern figures from the Age of Nicea and beyond. Also featured are medieval, reformation and post-reformation resources as well as contributions from the twentieth-century renaissance.
The Trinity, with its detailed attention to the historical development of the doctrine, is a wonderful corrective to the theological illiteracy that continues to ail too many North American churches (and some seminaries!). Students will find the detailed annotated bibliography of key primary and secondary sources of special value.
—Kevin Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
The Trinity performs a great service by offering a readable survey and introduction to the history of Trinitarian thought. One of the things made evident is that what we have now is truly a development of doctrine, the Trinity is not something that was defined overnight.
Dr. Roger E. Olson is professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University and has been on the faculty since 1999, specializing in historical theology. Olson holds degrees from Rice University, North American Baptist Seminary and Open Bible College. He is an award-winning writer with numerous books and articles to his credit, and he also served as the editor of Christian Scholar's Review.
Christopher A. Hall is dean of the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University (St. Davids, PA), where he has been teaching in the biblical and theological studies program. He is also associate editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. He has served in the pastorate overseas and in Canada and also served as Director of Pastoral Care at New Jersey's only state geropsychiatric hospital. Hall has ministered in Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, the Middle-East, Canada, and the United States.