Daniel Castelo’s Confessing the Triune God is a contribution to Cascade’s Wesleyan Doctrine Series. The Trinity is not a possession of Methodism, and much of Castelo’s book covers familiar ground – the roots of Trinitarian theology in the gospel, the early church debates about the Trinity, the danger of projection, and the relation of theology and economy.
But Castelo strikes a distinctive Wesleyan note, not least because he includes some substantial and quite stunning quotations from John Wesley. For instance: “when he is born of God, born of the Spirit, how is the manner of his existence changed! His whole soul is now sensible of God . . . The Spirit or breath of God is immediately inspired, breathed into the new-born soul; and the same breath which comes from, returns to God. As it is continually received by faith, so it is continually rendered back by love, by prayer, and praise, and thanksgiving – love and praise and prayer being the breath of every soul which is truly born of God. And by this new kind of spiritual respiration, spiritual life is not only sustained but increased day by day, together with spiritual strength and motion and sensation” (quoted 96).
And a similar quotation on the following page: The life of the Christian “implies the continual inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit: God’s breathing into the soul, and the soul’s breathing back what it first receives from God; a continual action of God upon the soul, and re-action of the soul upon God; an unceasing presence of God, the loving, pardoning God, manifested to the heart, and perceived by faith; and an unceasing return of love, praise, and prayer, offering up all the thoughts of our hearts, all the words of our tongues, all the works of our hands, all our body, soul and spirit, to be an holy sacrifice, acceptable unto God in Christ Jesus” (quoted 97).