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The Trinity and the Missional Church

A presentation of the discussion around the Trinity in 20th Century western theology and how it impacts the missional church imagination.
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Steve Thomason

on 7 July 2015

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Transcript of The Trinity and the Missional Church

Class Notes
lectures from Dr. Gary Simpson
Luther Seminary | Spring 2012
This illustration will briefly summarize the historical stepping stones LaCugna lays down that lead to the ultimate “emergence and defeat of the doctrine of the Trinity.”
Ireneaus described the economy with the image of Jesus and the Spirit being the hands of the Father.
Tertullian saw the economy as the expression of the unity of the monarchy of God.
Clement of Alexandria and Origen both considered the economy to be God’s inner being overflowing in salvation history.”
There were varying definitions for the oikonomia among the pre-Nicene theologians, but they all agreed that the economy was the means by which God was revealed and related to the creature.
"the economy was at the center of Christian speculation. The representative expression of this phase was subordinationism, which was an interpretation of Scripture based on salvation history. At this point there was no need to appeal to the distinction between oikonomia and theologia, nor any intention to teach that the Son is ontologically inferior to God. It was simply that the Son come from God (Father), expresses what God is, makes visible the invisible God, and fulfills the eternal plan of God." (30)
The Cappadocians widened the gap between oikonomia and theologia in their response to Eunomius's theology. They accused him of using Aristotelian philosophy to domesticate mystery. Their countermeasures borrowed from both Stoic and Aristotelian categories to demonstrate how the relation between the hypostases Father and Son did not in any way affect the ousia of each. This dialectic isolated the discussion of Father/Son relationship completely within the intradivine "godhead" thus separating it from the relationship to salvation history. God in Godself was completely unknowable to the creature thus necessitating the mediation of the energies emanating from the godhead.
Augustine sought to understand the Trinity through the analysis of the human consciousness. He borrowed heavily from the neo-Platonic philosopher, Plotinus. He taught that the human soul is involved in the movement of downward emanation and upward return to God. LaCugna states
"Two principles of Augustine's theology vividly illustrate the extent to which his relocation of the economy within the human soul, away from the events of saving history, his preoccupation with processions over missions, and also his starting point within the unity of divine essence rather than the plurality of divine persons within the economy, contribute to the rupture between theologia and oikonomia. These principles became formalized in the conciliar statements of the Roman church, presupposed in scholastic theology and in the post scholastic manual tradition, and had enormous influence on the whole of Latin theology." (97)
The overall structure of Thomas' Summa Theologica is the exitus-reditus characteristic of neo-Plantonism. He organized it according to the Dionysian cycle of emanation and return. His innovation was to use the metaphysics of Aristotle as the basis for his theology. Thomas begins with God in Godself and only then turns to the incarnation. According to LaCugna and Karl Rahner, "the starting point 'in God' no longer recommends itself to us for both philosophical and theological reasons." (146-148)
Gregory Palamas' theology emerged to a great degree out of the debates with Barlaam in defense of the Hesychastic, mystery theology. Palamism was based on a Stoic and neo-Platonic conception of deification and participation in God.[1] God in godself is completely unknowable in Palamite theology. The only direct communion between creature and divine is through the mediation of the energies of God, not through a person of the trinity. “Palamism makes the Trinity soteriologically ‘Functionless.’”
LaCugna demonstrates the practical implications of the schism between oikonomia and theologia by showing the historical transformation of the doxologies and eucharistic prayers of the church. The early church prayed to God through Jesus in the power of the Spirit. Eventually the Father and the Son became interchangeable and prayers were directed to the Father and the Son and the Spirit. The Son was no longer our advocate at the right hand of the Father but was the exalted, preexistent Christ. Jesus was now so distant that it gave rise to the veneration of the saints and a growing devotion to Mary so that the creature could have access to an intermediary that worked from below rather than from above." (127)
LaCugna summarizes the problem
in the end, Christian theology abandoned the idea of an intermediary God who could serve as bridge between the impassible, inaccessible Father and the realm of the finite and transitory." (42)
The protestant reformers rejected the Trinitarianism of the Medieval scholastics and reoriented theology to the economy of salvation through Jesus’ death on the cross.
The Enlightenment era rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and deemed it as speculative and little more than a footnote in theology.
Wolfhart Pannenberg (born on October 2, 1928) is a German theologian. He has made a number of significant contributions to modern theology, perhaps most notably his concept of history as a form of revelation centered on the Resurrection of Christ, which has been widely debated in both Protestant and Catholic theology, as well as by non-Christian thinkers.
Stanley James Grenz (born January 7, 1950 in Alpena, Michigan; died on March 12, 2005 in ST Paul's Hospital in Vancouver)[1] was an American Christian theologian and ethicist in the Baptist tradition.
Robert W. Jenson (born 1930, Eau Claire, Wisconsin) is a leading American Lutheran and ecumenical theologian.
Jürgen Moltmann (born 8 April 1926) is a German Reformed theologian who is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen.[1] Moltmann is a major figure in modern theology and was the recipient of the 2000 Grawemeyer Award in Religion, and was also selected to deliver the prestigious Gifford Lectures in 1984-1985. He has made significant contributions to a number of areas of Christian theology, including systematic theology, eschatology, ecclesiology, political theology, Christology, pneumatology, and the theology of creation.

Influenced heavily by Karl Barth's theology, Hegel's philosophy of history, and Ernst Bloch's philosophy of hope, Moltmann developed his own form of liberation theology predicated on the view that God suffers with humanity, while also promising humanity a better future through the hope of the Resurrection, which he has labelled a 'theology of hope'.[2] Much of Moltmann's work has been to develop the implications of these ideas for various areas of theology. While much of Moltmann's early work was critiqued by some as being non-Trinitarian, during the latter stages of his career Moltmann has become known for developing a form of Social Trinitarianism.[3] His two most famous works are Theology of Hope and The Crucified God.[4] Moltmann also served as a mentor to Miroslav Volf.[5]
Miroslav Volf (born September 25, 1956) is a Croatian Protestant theologian, public intellectual, and public speaker who is often recognized as "one of the most celebrated theologians of our day".[1] Having taught at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in his native Osijek, Croatia (1979–80, 1983–90), and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California (1990–1998), Volf currently serves as the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.
Having received two advanced degrees under the famed German theologian Jürgen Moltmann (Dr. theol. and Dr. theol. habil.), Volf has, through his work, forged a theology that has earned him the designation "a theologian of the bridge". The main thrust of his theology is to bring the reality and the shape of God's Trinitarian life and love to bear on multiple divisions in today's world—between denominations, faiths, and ethnic groups as well as between the realms of the sacred and the secular (in particular business, politics, and globalization processes). Volf won the 2002 Grawemeyer Award in Religion and his 1996 book Exclusion and Embrace was named by Christianity Today as one of the 100 Most Influential Books of the Twentieth Century. He has also served as an advisor for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and for several years co-taught a course at Yale with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on globalization. Volf is a frequent commentator on religious and cultural issues in popular media outlets such as CNN, NPR, and Al Jazeera.
John Zizioulas (Greek: Ιωάννης Ζηζιούλας; born 10 January 1931, Kozani) is the Eastern Orthodox metropolitan of Pergamon. He is the Chairman of the Academy of Athens and a noted theologian.
Metropolitan John's education began with study at the Universities of Thessalonika and Athens in 1950, and then a year at the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey in 1955. Between 1960 and 1964 Zizioulas did doctoral research under the Eastern Orthodox theologian[2] Georges Florovsky (Chair of Eastern Church History at Harvard and a member of the Russian Orthodox Church) and was a Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies.[3] He received his doctorate in 1965 from the University of Athens. Zizioulas took up a post at the University of Athens in 1964 as Assistant Professor of Church History, and then six years later, worked as Professor of Patristics at the University of Edinburgh from 1970 until 1973. He moved to the University of Glasgow where he held a personal chair in systematic theology for some fourteen years. In addition, Zizioulas has been a Visiting Professor at the Research Institute in Systematic Theology of King's College London. In 1986, he was elected titular metropolitan of Pergamon. In the same year, he assumed a full time academic post at Thessaloniki School of Theology as Professor of Dogmatics.
The present book is an attempt to start with the special Christian tradition of the history of Jesus the Son, and from that to develop a historical doctrine of the Trinity. Here we shall presuppose the unity of God neither as homogenous substance nor as identical subject. Here we shall enquire about that unity in the light of this trinitarian history and shall therefore develop it too in trinitarian terms. The Western tradition began with God’s unity and then went on to ask about the triunity. We are beginning with the trinity of the Persons and shall then go on to ask about the unity. What then emerges is a concept of the divine unity as the union of the tri-unity, a concept which is differentiated and is therefore capable of being thought first of all.
In distinction to the trinity of substance and to the trinity of subject we shall be attempting to develop a social doctrine of the Trinity. We understand the scriptures as the testimony to the history of the Trinity’s relations of fellowship, which are open to men and women, and open to the world. This trinitarian hermeneutics leads us to think in terms of relationships and communities; it supersedes the subjective thinking which cannot work without the separation and isolation of its objects.
Here, thinking in relationships and communities is developed out of the doctrine of the Trinity, and is brought to bear on the relations of men and women to God, to other people and to mankind as a whole, as well as on their fellowship with the whole of creation. By taking up panentheistic ideas from the Jewish and the Christian traditions, we shall try to think ecologically about God, man and the world in their relationships and indwellings. In this way it is not merely the Christian doctrine of the trinity that we are trying to work out anew; our aim is to develop and practise trinitarian thinking as well. (loc. 405)
Which of these freedoms corresponds to God’s freedom? The triune God reveals himself as love in the fellowship of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. His freedom therefore lies in the friendship which he offers men and women, and through which he makes them his friends. His freedom is his vulnerable love, his openness, the encountering kindness through which he suffers with the human beings he loves and becomes their advocate, thereby throwing open their future to them. God demonstrates his eternal freedom through his suffering and his sacrifice, through his self-giving and his patience. Through his freedom he keeps man, his image, and his world, creation, free—keeps them free and pays the price of their freedom. Through his freedom he waits for man’s love, for his compassion, for his own deliverance to his glory through man. Through his freedom he does not only speak as Lord, but listens to men and women as their Father.
Whereas until his resurrection we were able to perceive in the history of Jesus the sequence: Father—Spirit—Son, we now encounter the sequence Father—Son—Spirit. What does this mean?
It means that in the sending of the Spirit the Trinity is an open Trinity. Through the sending of the creative Spirit, the trinitarian history of God becomes a history that is open to the world, open to men and women, and open to the future. Through the experience of the life-giving Spirit in faith, in baptism, and in the fellowship of believers, people are integrated into the history of the Trinity. Through the Spirit of Christ they not only become participators in the eschatological history of the new creation. Through the Spirit of the Son they also become at the same time participants in the trinitarian history of God himself. That is the profounder reason why acknowledgment of the trinity was developed in the context of baptism first of all. (loc. 382)
Freedom in the light of hope is the creative passion for the possible. Unlike lordship, it is not merely directed towards what already exists. Nor, like love, is it only directed towards the fellowship of existing people. It is directed towards the future, in the light of the Christian hope for the future of the coming God. The future is the kingdom of not yet defined potentialities, whereas the past represents the limited kingdom of reality. Creative passion is always directed towards a project of a future of this kind. People want to realize new possibilities. That is why they reach forward with passion. In hope, reason becomes productive fantasy. People dream the messianic dream of the new, whole life that will at last be truly alive. They explore the future’s possibilities in order to realize this dream of life. This future dimension of freedom has long been overlooked, theologically too, because the freedom of the Christian faith was not understood as being participation in the creative Spirit of God. (loc. 3114)
Freedom itself is indivisible and all-comprehensive. That is why every partial freedom presses forward to total freedom and to the freedom of the whole creation. The thirst for freedom cannot be quenched by any partial satisfaction. It knows no limits. That is why even the freedom of God’s friends is not yet complete freedom. In history it is the best of all possible freedoms in our relationship to God. But even this points beyond itself to the freedom that only achieves its complete and perfect bliss in God in the kingdom of glory. When God is known face to face, the freedom of God’s servants, his children and his friends finally finds its fulfillment in God himself. Then freedom means the unhindered participation in the eternal life of the triune God himself, and in his inexhaustible fullness and glory. ‘Our hearts are restless until they find rest in thee’, said Augustine. And when we think of freedom we may surely say: ‘Our hearts are captive until they become free in the glory of the triune God.’ (loc. 3176)
“Time is an interval in eternity, finitude is a space in infinity, and freedom is a concession of the eternal love. God withdraws himself in order to go out of himself. Eternity breathes itself in, so as to breathe out the Spirit of life.” (loc. 1660)
The eternal God as the absolute future, in the fellowship of Father, Son, and Spirit, is the free origin of himself and his creatures.
God’s omnipotence wills the creature—and a world of creatures—precisely in the limitation and distinction which are constitutive of finitude. God eternally affirms the creature precisely in its limitation. This affirmation of the creature in its limits, precisely in face of its hardening in its finite particularity, is the meaning of the overcoming of the “world” by the Son (John 16:33). For the “world” is the epitome of that which wilfully persists in its limitations, revolting by self-affirmation against its finitude, but precisely in so doing falling victim to it. It is overcome as the finite shows itself to be eternally affirmed by God precisely in its limitation and in acceptance of it…[omnipotence] is the demonstration of divine love and not as the assertion of a particular authority against all opposition.
In distinction from the idea of immutability, that of God’s faithfulness does not exclude historicity or the contingency of world occurrence, nor need the historicity and contingency of the divine action be in contradiction with God’s eternity. If eternity and time coincide only in the eschatological consummation of history, then from the standpoint of the history of God that moves toward this consummation there is room for becoming in God himself, namely, in the relation of the immanent and the economic Trinity, and in this frame it is possible to say of God that he himself became something that he previously was not when he became man in his Son.
Patience leaves to others space for their own existence and time for the unfolding of their own being. If it is not the enforced patience of those who impotently watch the course of events but the patience of the powerful who can intervene in what happens but refrains from doing so, and if this patience is shown to his own creatures, then it is a form of the love that lets the creatures have their own existence. God’s patience, then is neither indifferent tolerance nor an impotent but brave endurance of circumstances that cannot be altered. It is an element of the creative love that wills the existence of creatures. It waits for the response of creatures in which they fulfil their destiny.

“Absolute uniqueness is indicated only through an affirmation arising freely from a relationship which constitutes by its unbrokenness the ontological ground of being for each person. In such a situation what matters ontologically is not ‘what’ one is but the very fact that he or she is and is not someone else. The tendency of the Greek Fathers to avoid giving any positive content to the hypostases of the Trinity, by insisting that the Father is simply not the Son or the Spirit, and the Son means simply not the Father and so on, points to the true ontology of hypostasis: that someone simply is and is himself or herself and not someone else, and this is sufficient to identify him or her as a being in the true sense. This point acquires tremendous existential significance when placed in the context of ordinary human life. In relationships of genuine love, which are the proper context for the ‘experience’ of an ontology of personhood, one does not—and should not—identify the other with the help of their qualities (physical, social, moral, et.), thus rejecting or accepting the other on that basis as a unique and irreplaceable partner in a relationship that matters ontologically (on which one’s own personal identity depends). The more one loves ontologically and truly personally, the less one identifies someone as unique and irreplaceable for one’s existence on the basis of such classifiable qualities. (In this case, one rather loves in spite of the existence or absence of such qualities, just as God loves the sinner and recognizes him as a unique person.) Here it is perhaps appropriate to introduce into our terminology the category of ethical apophaticism, so badly needed in our culture, with which to indicate that, exactly as the Greek fathers spoke of the divine persons, we cannot give a positive qualitative content to a hypostasis or person, for this would result in the loss of his or her absolute uniqueness and turn a person into a classifiable entity. Just as the Father, the Son and the Spirit are not identifiable except simply through being who they are, in the same way a true ontology of personhood requires that the uniqueness of a person escape and transcend any qualitative kataphasis. This does not place personhood in the realm of a ‘misty’ mystery any more than the absence of a positive content in our reference to the persons of the Trinity does. Both in the case of God and in that of human beings the identity of a person is recognized and posited clearly and unequivocally, but this is so only in and through a relationship, and not through an objective ontology in which this identity would be isolated, pointed at and described in itself. Personal identity is totally lost if isolated, for its ontological condition is relationship. (111-112)
“In Christ, therefore, every man acquires his particularity, his hypostasis, his personhood, precisely because, by being constituted as a being in and through the same relationship which constitutes Christ’s being, he is as unique and unrepeatable and worthy of eternal survival as Christ is by virtue of his being constituted as a being through his filial relationship with the Father, which makes him so unique and so eternally loved as to be an eternally living being. In Christ, therefore, understood in the way in which I am trying to describe hypostatic union, man not only maintains his personhood but so fulfils it as to make it constitutive of his being in the ultimate ontological sense which, as we have seen, is implied in the notion of personhood and which is to be found only in God. This is precisely what is implied in Baptism, which is constitutive of a ‘new being’ (note the term ‘birth’ applied to Baptism), of a being which is not subject to death and therefore ontologically ultimate, precisely because Baptism is essentially nothing other than the application to humanity of the very filial relationship which exists between the Father and the Son (note the narratives of Christ’s baptism in the Bible and the baptismal rites of the early Church).” (240-241)
Summary of Human Capacity and Human Incapacity
(A) man = man-in-communion-with-God
(B) “capacity and incapacity are not to be opposed to each other but to be included in each other. Only the scheme capacity-in-incapacity does justice tot he mystery of man.
C. Imago Dei = Imago Trinitas: not that man can become God in his ‘nature’ but can be in communion with God. Man can himself live the event of communion which is realized in divine life and he can do this with and for the entire creation.
D. Man reveals his creaturehood in a way of difference and not division from God.
E. The break in communion—the Fall—poses the relation between man and God as one of presence-in-absence. Christ, through the incapacity of death, restores communion through his personhood, turns the created realm into a presence of God.
F. “The issue of human capacity and incapacity serves as a significant illustration of this when it ceases to represent a dilemma. In communion with God, man is capable of everything (Mk 9.23; Phil. 4.13; etc.)—though only in the incapacity of creaturehood, which poses itself clearly in such a communion. Thus, the conclusion brings with it the echo of Paul’s words: ‘when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Cor. 12.10). (248-249)
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/book-god-for-us-by-catherine-lacugna/
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/book-the-trinity-and-the-kingdom-by-jurgen-moltmann/
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/book-systematic-theology-by-pannenberg/
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/book-communion-and-otherness-by-john-d-zizioulas/
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/article-no-trinity-no-mission-by-gary-simpson/
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/book-rediscovering-the-trinity-by-stanley-grenz/
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/book-systematic-theology-by-robert-jenson/
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/book-after-our-likeness-by-miroslav-volf/
This illustration will briefly summarize the historical stepping stones LaCugna lays down that lead to the ultimate “emergence and defeat of the doctrine of the Trinity.”
Ireneaus described the economy with the image of Jesus and the Spirit being the hands of the Father.
Tertullian saw the economy as the expression of the unity of the monarchy of God.
Clement of Alexandria and Origen both considered the economy to be God’s inner being overflowing in salvation history.”
There were varying definitions for the oikonomia among the pre-Nicene theologians, but they all agreed that the economy was the means by which God was revealed and related to the creature.
"the economy was at the center of Christian speculation. The representative expression of this phase was subordinationism, which was an interpretation of Scripture based on salvation history. At this point there was no need to appeal to the distinction between oikonomia and theologia, nor any intention to teach that the Son is ontologically inferior to God. It was simply that the Son come from God (Father), expresses what God is, makes visible the invisible God, and fulfills the eternal plan of God." (30)
The Cappadocians widened the gap between oikonomia and theologia in their response to Eunomius's theology. They accused him of using Aristotelian philosophy to domesticate mystery. Their countermeasures borrowed from both Stoic and Aristotelian categories to demonstrate how the relation between the hypostases Father and Son did not in any way affect the ousia of each. This dialectic isolated the discussion of Father/Son relationship completely within the intradivine "godhead" thus separating it from the relationship to salvation history. God in Godself was completely unknowable to the creature thus necessitating the mediation of the energies emanating from the godhead.
Augustine sought to understand the Trinity through the analysis of the human consciousness. He borrowed heavily from the neo-Platonic philosopher, Plotinus. He taught that the human soul is involved in the movement of downward emanation and upward return to God. LaCugna states
"Two principles of Augustine's theology vividly illustrate the extent to which his relocation of the economy within the human soul, away from the events of saving history, his preoccupation with processions over missions, and also his starting point within the unity of divine essence rather than the plurality of divine persons within the economy, contribute to the rupture between theologia and oikonomia. These principles became formalized in the conciliar statements of the Roman church, presupposed in scholastic theology and in the post scholastic manual tradition, and had enormous influence on the whole of Latin theology." (97)
The overall structure of Thomas' Summa Theologica is the exitus-reditus characteristic of neo-Plantonism. He organized it according to the Dionysian cycle of emanation and return. His innovation was to use the metaphysics of Aristotle as the basis for his theology. Thomas begins with God in Godself and only then turns to the incarnation. According to LaCugna and Karl Rahner, "the starting point 'in God' no longer recommends itself to us for both philosophical and theological reasons." (146-148)
Gregory Palamas' theology emerged to a great degree out of the debates with Barlaam in defense of the Hesychastic, mystery theology. Palamism was based on a Stoic and neo-Platonic conception of deification and participation in God.[1] God in godself is completely unknowable in Palamite theology. The only direct communion between creature and divine is through the mediation of the energies of God, not through a person of the trinity. “Palamism makes the Trinity soteriologically ‘Functionless.’”
LaCugna demonstrates the practical implications of the schism between oikonomia and theologia by showing the historical transformation of the doxologies and eucharistic prayers of the church. The early church prayed to God through Jesus in the power of the Spirit. Eventually the Father and the Son became interchangeable and prayers were directed to the Father and the Son and the Spirit. The Son was no longer our advocate at the right hand of the Father but was the exalted, preexistent Christ. Jesus was now so distant that it gave rise to the veneration of the saints and a growing devotion to Mary so that the creature could have access to an intermediary that worked from below rather than from above." (127)
LaCugna summarizes the problem
in the end, Christian theology abandoned the idea of an intermediary God who could serve as bridge between the impassible, inaccessible Father and the realm of the finite and transitory." (42)
The protestant reformers rejected the Trinitarianism of the Medieval scholastics and reoriented theology to the economy of salvation through Jesus’ death on the cross.
The Enlightenment era rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and deemed it as speculative and little more than a footnote in theology.
A Quick, Animated Introduction to the Social Trinity
A Quick, Animated Introduction to the Social Trinity
These videos were originally created for the Deep in the Burbs Research Team
http://www.deepintheburbs.com
This video was created before the four above. It explores a concept that I call the Me/We Principle.
This video was created before the four above. It explores John 15 as it relates to the Trinity
"I argue that the explosion of theological work claiming to recapture the doctrine of the trinity that we have witnessed in recent decades in fact misunderstands and distorts the traditional doctrine so badly that it is unrecognizable. A statement of the doctrine was settled in the fourth century, and was then maintained, with only very minor disagreement or development, by all strands of the church–West and East, Protestant and Catholic–until the modern period. In the twentieth century, there arose a sense that the doctrine had been neglected or lost, and stood in need of recovery. Many brilliant works have been published in the name of that recovery, but I argue here that, methodologically and materially, they are generally thorough-going departures from the older tradition, rather than revivals of it." (xvi)
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/book-the-quest-for-the-trinity-by-stephen-r-holmes/
The Trinity and the Missional Imagination
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/article-appropriating-the-divine-presence-reading-augustines-on-the-trinity-as-a-transformative-text-by-edward-howells/
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/book-god-the-spirit-by-michael-welker/
A Video Guide to this half of the illustration
The Entangled Trinity by Ernest Simmons
I found this book to be incredibly helpful for my research. It may actually change some of my core language. My research question asks, “How might an increased awareness and understanding of the social Trinity impact the ideation and praxis of spiritual formation in suburban ELCA congregations?” I have received mixed feedback on the term social Trinity. Many people automatically associate it with the terms social Gospel or social justice. Some have suggested that the term relational Trinity might be more descriptive. This makes sense, sense relational ontology is at the heart of the conversation1 Now, after reading Simmons book, as well as Polkinghorne, et alia, I think I may look to use the term Entangled Trinity as the most accurate moniker for the ideas I am trying to convey in this research.
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/book-the-entangled-trinity-by-ernest-simmons/
Moving from Modern Theism to a Robust Trinitarianism:
The Evolution of My Worldview
Holdmcintosher, Arthur, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Christian Spirituality Blackwell Companions to Religion. Oxford; Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2005.

Chapter 10
Trinitarian Perspectives on Christian Spirituality by Mark A. McIntosh

“In a real sense, the whole of Christian life might well be said to spring from this new and transforming access to a divinely sharing life that frees us from the dominion of death. But especially we could say that this is the source of all Christian prayer and that journey into ever-greater intimacy with God we sometimes call ‘spirituality.’” (178)
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/article-a-trinitarian-perspective-on-christian-spirituality-by-mark-mcintosh/
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/why-did-jesus-have-to-come/
http://www.deepintheburbs.com/book-the-trinity-and-an-entangled-world-edited-by-john-polkinghorne/
Polkinghorne, J. C. The Trinity and an Entangled World: Relationality in Physical Science and Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. 2010.
Polkinghorne

Editor – John Polkinghorne

This book is a collection of essays that deals directly with one of the core theological frames of my research: relational ontology. One of the essays is an article by Wildman that I have reviewed here. Simply put, relationality is the essence of God, and thus, the essence of the universe.
Full transcript