Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Colin Gunton on Language for the Trinity

The late British Reformed Theologian Colin Gunton (1941-2003) wrote brilliantly about a variety of theological subjects, including the Trinity, which he called “the Church’s primary resource against idolatry.” Here he wrote about the language of the Trinity in a review of David Cunningham's These Three Are One in the Scottish Journal of Theology:

“Dr. Cunningham's proposal is that the words 'Father', 'Son' and 'Holy Spirit' are to be replaced by 'Source', 'sole Wellspring of God' and 'Living Water'. This turning of what has historically been a vestigium trinitatis into the conceptual heart of the Trinity has a far more dehumanising affect that even the perils of sexism it is meant to avoid. Quite apart from the problem that it makes it impossible to take scripture's way of speaking seriously - would one ever want to pray to a Source, even capitalised; can one grieve Living Water? - we see here again the problem of the economy and its implications. Are we or are we not as Christian people incorporate by the Spirit in the relationship with Jesus had with his Father? Lose that, and you lose gospel.” For more on Colin Gunton


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  2. Thanks Ruth. Hope you keep reading.