Adding Up the Trinity

What is stimulating the renewed interest in what many consider the most enigmatic Christian doctrine?
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Knowing the Name of God: A Trinitarian Tapestry of Grace, Faith and Community
By Roderick T. Leupp
InterVarsity Press, 1996
204 pp.; $14.99, paper

The Triune God: A Biblical, Historical, and Theological Study
By Thomas Marsh
Twenty-Third Publications, 1994
201 pp.; $14.95, paper

Modern Trinitarian Perspectives
By John Thompson
Oxford University Press, 1994
165 pp.; $35

Our Triune God: A Biblical Portrayal of the Trinity
By Peter Toon
Victor Books/Bridgepoint, 1996
271 pp.; $17.99, paper

The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church
By Thomas F. Torrance
T&T Clark, 1993
358 pp.; $31.95, paper

Trinitarian Perspectives: Toward Doctrinal Agreement
By Thomas F. Torrance
T&T Clark, 1994
149 pp.; $37.95

The Christian Doctrine of God: One Being, Three Persons
By Thomas F. Torrance
T&T Clark, 1996
260 pp.; $39.95

Trinitarian Theology Today: Essays on Divine Being and Art
Edited by Christoph Schwobel
T&T Clark, 1995
176 pp.; $35.95

Times have changed. In the theologically charged atmosphere of the fourth century, Gregory of Nyssa grumbled that it was impossible to accomplish even simple tasks without being challenged to doctrinal debate by the local banker or baker. "If you ask for change someone philosophizes to you on the begotten and the unbegotten. If you ask the price of bread, you're told the Father is greater and the Son inferior. If you ask is the bath ready, someone answers the Son was created from nothing."

By way of contrast to Gregory's complaint, note the frustration and skepticism of Enlightenment figures such as Immanuel Kant and Thomas Jefferson over the logic and practical value of the doctrine of the Trinity. Kant, for example, argued the doctrine had no practical significance. ...

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