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Trinitarian Crisis in Popular Evangelicalism

brorito's picture

Several years ago I came to the suspicion that the doctrine of the trinity had fallen on hard times. The lack of empirical indicators to prove such a statement left me only with a suspicion. However, it seemed to me that the doctrine of the trinity didn’t quite get the same recognition as some of the popular teachings like prosperity, morality, self-esteem, and relationships. Yet one cannot deny the perennial nature of the trinity and its related teachings. It doesn't take long before one begins to notice that within contemporary evangelicalism discourses seem to emphasize second order discourses and primary order discourses Christology, God, or the trinity were relegated to secondary status. It seems to me that the sentiment today is that the trinity is a doctrine to be believed not understood which I would say is a CRISIS. Any thoughts?

dmlq48's picture

Even More Trinity

Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воскресе!


Your title and post are misleading. Athanasius did not write the Athanasian Creed, therefore one cannot say that the Creed is representative of what St. Athanasius wrote or thought. This is a given among scholars for several reasons:

1. The creed originally was most likely written in Latin, while Athanasius composed in Greek.
2. Neither Athanasius nor his contemporaries ever mention the Creed.
3. It is not mentioned in any records of the Ecumenical Councils.
4. It appears to address theological concerns that developed after Athanasius died (including the Filioque).
5. It was most widely circulated among Western Christians.

With regards to whether this is my view or the Church’s view: While it’s also my view, it is the view of the Church. It’s what’s taught in the seminaries and it’s what was taught and handed down by the Church Fathers. Granted there have been those who have taught the Trinity incorrectly and have otherwise been fully within the Church, but that’s between them and God.

But please BE AWARE: this is NOT a monarchian or a subordinationist view of the Godhead (Godhead means divine nature or divinity). The distinction in terms is a way of speaking of their relationship to one another. We do not count the persons (as in the 1st person of the Trinity vs. the 2nd or 3rd persons of the Trinity), nor can we talk about the existence of one person of the Trinity without the other two persons (e.g., there was ever a time when the Son was not, even though His origin is from the Father). Neither can we talk about a difference of will or activity between the three persons. Even the revelation of the gospel is the activity of the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit.

Finally, with regards to this statement: “the Father is 100% God, the Son is 100% God and the Spirit is 100% God”: it might be better to say “the Father is 100% divine, the Son is 100% divine (of the same essence as the Father) and the Spirit is 100% divine (also of the same essence as the Father and the Son).”



"Blessed art You O Christ Our God
You have revealed the fishermen as most wise
By sending down upon them the Holy Spirit
Through them You drew the world into Your net
O Lover of Man, Glory to You!" -Pentecost Troparion