TC ERT Apr 2014 Vol 38 No 2


Now available
Paternoster Periodicals, c/- AlphaGraphics, 6 Angel Row, Nottingham NG1 6HL, UK

Theme: Applied Trinitarianism


  • Why is the Trinity so Difficult and so Important? by Thomas K Johnson
  • The Consummate Trinity and Participation in the Life of God by Brian Edgar
  • In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Toward a Transcultural Trinitarian Worldview by J. Scott Horrell
  • The Trinity and Servant-Leadership by William P. Atkinson
  • Vestigia Trinitatis in the writings of John Amos Comenius and Clive Staples Lewis by Pavel Hošek
  • ‘Bones to Philosophy, but milke to faith’ Celebrating the Trinity by Tersur Aben
  • Appendix: The Trinity in the Bible and Selected Creeds of the Church compiled by Thomas K Johnson


  • God is Friendship: A Theology of Spirituality, Community, and Society by Brian Edgar (Wilmore, Kentucky: Seedbed Publishing, 2013) Reviewed by Raymond J. Laird, Brisbane Australia
  • Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life by Simon Chan (Downers Grove, InterVarsity: 1998) Reviewed by Robert K. Langat, Kenya. (edited by Stephen Chang, Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology, Seoul Korea)
  • Life In The Spirit: Spiritual Formation in Theological Perspective edited by Jeffrey P. Greenman and George Kalantzis (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2010) Reviewed by Roger E. Hedlund, India,
  • Global Awakening: How 20th-Century Revivals Triggered a Christian Revolution by Mark Shaw (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2010) Reviewed by Roger E. Hedlund (abbreviated from Dharma Deepika, Jan-June 2011, 88f; used with permission)

Editorial: Applied Trinitarianism

There was a remarkable phenomenon in the ancient world. A group of people who were self-consciously marginalized, uneducated, poor, and morally questionable became a moral-cultural force that created orphanages, formed the earliest large non-government organizations (NGOs), took care of the weak, started centres of learning, created new forms of art, and later developed a massive body of literature, philosophy, and music. Their own leaders acknowledged their humble beginnings. ‘Not many of were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.’ (1 Cor. 1:20) ‘Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were.’ (1 Cor. 6:10-11) What turned this worthless rabble into a civilization creating force that survived the fall of empires?

I believe it was the knowledge of God as Trinity. Though we today may trace roots of the Trinity to the Old Testament, for the early Christians the idea seemed entirely new. And this dogma provided a comprehensive religion and philosophy with culture shaping power. As religion the Trinitarian faith addressed the needs of the human heart in a far more satisfactory manner than the many polytheisms and mystery religions, long ridiculed by thoughtful people. As philosophy the doctrine of the Trinity explained the universe in manner far more satisfactory than Platonism, Stoicism, or Epicureanism, which ordinary people never understood.

Intellectuals and drunkards could confess their faith/philosophy together and experience how the big questions of being, history and existence were answered in a creed they could all remember. Swindlers and prostitutes began to discuss the relation among the divine Persons while scholars and rulers asked for baptism and confessed their sins. The humble were exalted while the exalted were humbled.

With the distance of history we see that the doctrine of the Trinity was the centre of a holistic and balanced newness that changed everything. Across the global missions movement today we see millions searching for a holistic and unified faith/philosophy to respond to numerous social and intellectual needs while also overcoming serious distortions of the faith. This is why we should look again at the doctrine of the Trinity. The Trinity is the ontological core and control for a unified, holistic and renewing Christian faith/philosophy.

That is why we have collected essays by truly thoughtful people from several continents and different parts of the Body of Christ. This collection opens and closes with wide-ranging summaries and in between it reflects on the Trinity and our life with God, world view, servant leadership, and the vestigia trinitatis, concluding with the text of key Christian confessions on the Trinity.

By discussing with us we hope your trust in the Three-in-One is strengthened while Christian minds become more thoughtful and balanced.

Thomas K. Johnson, Guest Editor
Thomas Schirrmacher, General Editor
David Parker, Executive Editor