Showing posts from February, 2013

Are you guys Barthians?

From time to time, we are asked, "Are you guys Barthians"? (or "Torrancians," or devotees of certain other theologians who embrace a theology similar to what is explored on this blog). The short answer is "no." Trinitarian theology is not a uniform "school" of theology and we are not slavishly beholden to any particular so-called "Trinitarian" theologians. Of course, the question is understandable. We humans love to categorize things and theology is no exception. Thus, there is "Calvinism," "Arminianism," "Universalism" and other theological -isms. However, "Incarnational Trinitarian Theology" (the label we use for the theology explored here) rather than being prescriptive  of a uniform set of beliefs, is  descriptive of a theological perspective.   It addresses the heart of a theological vision and method rather than establishing rigid limits of a uniform school of theology. Karl Barth, T

A Trinitarian perspective on Christian ministry

In Karl Barth's Theology of Relations , Dr. Gary Deddo notes that human being is fundamentally "being-in-relationship" - both "with God" and "for God." Based on this insight, Gary suggests a "six-fold grammar of family relations." In a previous post I applied this grammar to Christian counseling. Here I apply it to Christian ministry in general - our Spirit-led participation in Jesus' incarnational, " place-sharing " ministry with all humanity. The God whom we worship in Jesus Christ is the Triune God who exists in loving covenantal communion and who has created, reconciled and redeemed all humanity for participation in that very communion of Father and Son in the Holy Spirit. Human relationships are the context in which this communion may be communicated and reflected. As human beings, we have our personhood only as a gift of being in covenantal communion with God, which calls for our personal participation. This life o

Are all included, really?

This blog occasionally receives comments objecting to our statement that, "all people are included in God's love and life." Some objectors claim that this statement is tantamount to teaching universalism. Though that is not what we mean by the statement, it is understandable that some misconstrue it that way, given differing viewpoints concerning the doctrine of salvation. As Trinitarian theologian  Gary Deddo commented to me recently, those who object to a trinitarian, incarnational understanding of salvation tend to view salvation as a steady state of individuals that is effective in a mechanical (instrumental) way, whereby individuals either are in the “on” (saved) position or in the “off” (unsaved) position. This mechanistic view of salvation comes from thinking that God operates upon individuals as a causal force, either in a deterministic way (as in Calvinistic double predestination), or (as in Arminianism) by creating a universal potential that becomes actual