The Doctrine Of The Trinity

9485 Words38 Pages

Instructor: Lisa Nichols Hickman –
Director: Father Radu Bordeianu, Ph.D.

Course Description:

At the center of the Christian faith is a mystery. This mystery has everything to do with the identity of God, the nature of Christian community, the salvation history and our understanding of Christology. This is the mystery of the Trinity – how is the Godhead fully three persons, and yet one nature? Theophilus was the first to name the ‘triad’ nature of God in his letter To Autolycus in 170 A.D. Tertullian was the first to offer terminology to describe this mystery in Against Praxeas claiming “the Trinity” involved three ‘persons’ of one substance. This theology emerged from the Biblical witness, even though scripture offers no doctrine of the Trinity itself. Even more so, the development of the doctrine of the Trinity grew from the early church’s worship, witness and corporate experience. When faced with a mystery, heresies can’t help but emerge. Docetism and Arianism, Adoptionism and Monarchianism, Nestorianism and Monophysitism are just a few of the heresies that emerged in attempts to explain away the mystery. And yet, theologians from the second century to the twenty-first century are faced with the challenge of witnessing to this mystery in both the theologia and the oikonomia of the Trinity. The church experiences the economic Trinity as new believers are drawn into Trinitarian community through an ongoing

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