Item description for Paradox and Truth: Rethinking Van Til on the Trinity by Ralph Allan Smith...
Overview More than 1,500 years after the foundational church councils, the doctrine of the Trinity is still as central and as puzzling to theologians as ever. Reformed theology has seen increasing calls for the Trinity to live at the center of Christian confession, prompting the need for a fuller biblical and practical understanding of the subject. In recent Reformed thought, Cornelius Van Til and Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. have proposed important trinitarian theologies. Ralph Smith assesses these views and, filling out a Van Tilian perspective with Kuyper's lesser-known covenantal view, he provides a refreshing biblical, historical, and applicable perspective on this key Christian reality.
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Studio: Canon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.54" Width: 5.32" Height: 0.36" Weight: 0.44 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2003
Publisher Canon Press
ISBN 1591280028 ISBN13 9781591280026
Reviews - What do customers think about Paradox and Truth: Rethinking Van Til on the Trinity?
Covenant Among the Trinity Jan 21, 2009
A deceiving little paperback, at just 142 pages this book is short and gives the illusion that it will be a quick read. Not so! It is a book for careful reading and contemplation. Ralph Smith asserts that the Trinity is "the central and distinguishing Christian affirmation about God without which Christianity as such cannot exist."
Smith begins by introducing the three basic ideas of the Trinity, three persons in one, one person with three names (modalism), three persons who are all in a family (tritheist). He then introduces Barth, Plantinga, Leonard Hodgson, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and of course, Van Til and gives us an understanding of each one's view on the Trinity.
Van Til believes that since God Himself is incomprehensible any statement of doctrine that claims to be the ultimate answer for the Trinity will appear contradictory to man. It is however, perfectly and completely rational for it is God's perfect knowledge of Himself. "It demands no sacrifice of intellect but it does demand the surrender of intellectual autonomy." And ultimately, the answer to the Trinity can only come as a gift from God.
The missing piece in Van Til's approach is the crucial understanding that the Trinity is eternally united in a covenant bond of love. Though the idea of a covenant among the persons of the Trinity has neither been included in Reformed confessions nor was ever universally held, failing to link the two leads to abstract thinking. "The covenant among the persons of the Trinity must be the starting point for our theological and intellectual endeavor."
"The harmony of the one and the many is relative to worship and obedience, prayer to God, and loving our neighbor in short everything." In fact, "The doctrine of the Trinity is the very beating heart of the Christian system of truth."
Ralph Smith does an excellent job of tackling a monumental doctrine fleshing it out so that the Trinity is living and not just a doctrine of thoughts.