Are Christians In Their Practical Life Monotheists?

brorito's picture

I was laying in bed tonight wanting to get some sleep and I kept thinking about a trinitarian theology of justice (I realize that's strange but its perfectly normal for me). So rather than lay there fretting over it I decided to get up and look at one of the locus communis on this topic The Trinity by Karl Rahner. One caveat before I go any further. If you are new to the Christian faith or still learning about the faith I don't recommend Rahner as a source for you. As I was reading away I came across something interesting he said and it got my attention viola! a blog post was born.

So here is what Rahner had to say.

“Despite their orthodox confession of the Trinity, Christians are, in their practical life, almost mere ‘monotheists’. We must be willing to admit that, should the doctrine of the Trinity have to be dropped as false, the major part of religious literature could well remain virtually unchanged”.

“We may hope that any material could be pressed into service in the attempt to destroy once and for all the false conception that a ‘speculative’ doctrine of the immanent Trinity may perhaps be conceivable today, that it is a completely idle and irrelevant undertaking, possessing neither spiritual nor religious interest to the modern Christian and theologian”

Now I am curious, does anyone believe this might be true? I will even settle for a feeling. Does anyone feel that there is a possible hint of truth here? And the reason I ask is quite legitimate. From my perspective, as I look around at Churches today especially contemporary evangelical types, I do see Rahner's thesis being demonstrated practically. Now I am not saying that contemporary evangelicals are self consciously Modern in their theology. But, I do get the impression they view the trinity as "something we we believe" but not to be central to or inculcated in the life of the church.

Am I being too harsh? It's not intentional. I raise this question out of genuine concern. Moreover, I believe many of the ecclesial problems evangelicals experience today can be answered with a return to a healthy understanding of the ontological trinity. What says you?

http://cruxclass.blogspot.com/

brorito's picture

Jeff, Typically saints are

Jeff,

Typically saints are not seen as deity. For those who observe the saints they are more of a source for intercessory prayer. This would be something like you coming to me and asking for prayer about a certain thing.

I think Rahner is saying something else.
“Despite their orthodox confession of the Trinity, Christians are, in their practical life, almost mere ‘monotheists’. We must be willing to admit that, should the doctrine of the Trinity have to be dropped as false, the major part of religious literature could well remain virtually unchanged”
Correct me if you see it differently but this sounds as if Rahner believes the trinity is not essential to Christianity.

In think about this I realized in talks on the trinity many church members never get passed the proof texting. When this happens its almost as if we are saying "this is something we believe but in really doesn't serve any purpose." Sometimes when you come across more astute bible teachers they will move a little beyond the proof texting and talk about the economic trinity.

But it seems to me there is more to understand here. After all if God is foundational to understanding reality, and if He creates on a representational model (let us make man in our image). Does not His ontology have something to say to us as image bearers?

http://cruxclass.blogspot.com/




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