Christopher Chelpka

Three Lectures on the Trinity

Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando has posted the three main lectures of the inaugural Paideia Center Conference on SoundCloud. I was blessed to attend this year 📷 and am glad they are making these recordings available.

In The Bible and the Trinity, Scott Swain showed from Revelation 4–5 how the doctrine of the Trinity is not some unformed, inchoate set of data or ideas in the Bible that needs to be made comprehensible by the church. Rather, the doctrine of the Trinity in the Bible is formed, normative, and eloquent. The Bible speaks of God masterfully and fluently; ecclesiastical expressions are just trying to catch up.

In Trinitarianism in the Fourth Century, D. Blair Smith connected the reading that was done ahead of the conference with some other writings by Gregory of Nazianzus and Basil of Caesarea to make some observations about the doctrine during this period. It’s my aim to become familiar with Gregory in the coming years. I’m looking forward to hearing and reading more from Dr. Smith on early Christianity.

In Reforming God?, Carl Trueman answers the question: How did the Reformers handle the doctrine of God in the Reformation; did they reform it? He employs and argues for some important methodological principles in historical theology. And he asks some very serious and provocative questions about ecumenicity among current “evangelicals”. His talk reminded me of this stunning and disconcerting assertion I read in D. A. Carson’s Pillar NT Commentary on John (p. 117) a few months back when I was preparing a sermon on John 1:1.

“In fact, if John had included the article, he would have been saying something quite untrue. He would have been so identifying the Word with God that no divine being could exist apart from the Word. In that case, it would be nonsense to say (in the words of the second clause of this verse) that the Word was with God.”

The discussion concerning some points Trueman made during the conference is continuing on and offline; it is worth following.