Trinitarian Spirituality, 8: What Makes a Heretic?

The brouhaha began because people wanted to understand, they wanted to explain, they wanted to feel comfortable with mystery. Perfectly understandable. When I teach church history courses, I try to help us all appreciate the value that heretics bring to the table. [Don’t unsubscribe just yet…hang with me.] None of our early thinkers planned to [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 7: Before Nicaea

We may wonder why all this Trinitarian fuss arises in the 4th century… 300 years after Christ. Why didn’t they figure all this out long before? I don’t propose to give you 300 years of church history in this post, but let me give you some handles on those years that can help explain why [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 6: Two Starting Principles

When Anatolios tells us that there are two fundamental principles that must undergird our explorations of the history around early church Trinitarian thinking, he’s giving us two archaeological ‘findings’. That is, as historians scour the documents of the first centuries of the church, they find two commonalities in all the talk about the Trinity, the [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 5: Mystagogy, Event Horizons, and the Nicene Creed

We’re exploring the idea of a Christian spirituality that is more thoroughly grounded in the Trinity, a teaching that is difficult, sometimes cryptic, and all too often inconsequential in actual Christian life and practice. We’re using Khaled Anatolios’ book (Retrieving Nicaea) as our guide, but his book is not primarily a theological study of Trinitarian [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 4: A Third Modern Approach

In our travelogue thus far, Anatolios has been laying some groundwork for our understanding of the Trinity by pointing out some very common perspectives that he thinks are defective in some way. (And if you notice, on the right hand column of these posts, there is a menu of earlier posts for your rereading reference.) [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 3: Modern Approach #2


If our first contemporary approach to Trinitarian spirituality led to an essential discontinuity between God’s actions and God’s being, this second modern approach does the exact opposite. That is, it conflates God’s action and God’s being, it collapses them into the same thing. But wait, isn’t that what we wanted in our last post? Some [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 2: Modern Approach #1

To be a Christian in the Traditional sense means to be Trinitarian. They have always gone together. We have not always had the language we use to describe ourselves as Trinitarian. The word “Trinity” (trinitas) was probably coined by a north African thinker by the name of Tertullian, who was born around A.D. 160. He [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality, 1: The First Question Must Be Why?

  Note to Reader: This series on Trinitarian Spirituality explores the history and spirituality behind the shaping of the Nicene Creed using Khaled Anatolios’ Retrieving Nicaea: The Development and Meaning of Trinitarian Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011) as guide and inspiration. It’s best to begin at the beginning: An Introduction. ___________________________ The classic [Read More...]

Trinitarian Spirituality: An Introduction

Trinity-St. Denis

  Trinitarian spirituality? What does that mean? And this? What does this mean? “The Trinity is the space in which Christian life takes place.” Of course, we’re all for the Trinity. Whatever that means. We get a sermon on it once a year (in the Anglican tradition), on Trinity Sunday (which falls on 3 June [Read More...]

The Voice of Reasonable Ethics?

It’s not hard to write off the extremists as crazies. All of them. They’re the ones who live in obscure areas of the world and whose authenticity is determined by some personal charisma with a handful of social dropouts. So when you go to an article like this one, addressing the conclusions of “a group [Read More...]

Fallen Threads I Will Not Search For

  I HATE losing things. We all do, of course. Such losses are in turn inconvenient (keys?), tragic (a mother’s ring?), irritating (a grocery list?), panic-inducing (a passport?), and costly (a credit card?). And sometimes it seems that there are so many moving parts in life that we’re all being driven to become OCD, “checkers,” [Read More...]

The Vanities of Lent

  “We urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.” (2 Cor. 6.1) As I sat in yesterday’s Ash Wednesday service, listening to the great and profound readings associated with that day—Joel’s prophetic thunder; Jesus’ call to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; David’s remorseful song—it was this simple message that struck me. Do not receive [Read More...]