The Amazon link to her terrific book can be found here:
First, this book is a meaty, yet beautifully written book of 600 plus pages. I made over 550 marginal notes in my copy. I read and discussed it with a friend which made it a very rich experience.
Second, even though her book is rightfully heralded in “conservative” theological circles, there are some things that you might find objectionable like Rutledge giving room for the possibility of universal salvation.
I am currently reading this amazing piece of work with my good friend, Bill Bridgman. It comes in at a little over 600 pages, but each page I read makes me wish it was longer!
Rutledge is an anomaly. She is a life-long Episcopalian preacher, but conservative theologically. Lest you wonder about that, consider that the conservative Gospel Coalition listed ten reasons why you ought to read her book.
It is common to see Christians use the 1+1+1=1 equation to describe the trinity. Their intention is good, but I think utilizing this equation as an illustration of the trinity is misguided.
When we look at the equation we conclude that the trinity is irrational. All our lives we have known 1+1+1=3 not 1. But now we are instructed that there is a heavenly math of sorts where it equals 1.
I was sharing the gospel with a Muslim years ago at the University of Texas in Dallas. He said he could never become a Christian because the trinity was irrational. I shared with him that irrational was not the right word. Mysterious to be sure, but not irrational.
Irrational would mean we are saying God exists simultaneously as one Person and three Persons. Another irrational option would be to say God exists simultaneously as one Being and three Beings. But of course, Christians don’t believe either one of these things.
We do believe that God is one in His Being or Essence, yet three in Person. Each Person is fully God not 33.333% God. That is why you can’t conceptualize the trinity. It is indeed beyond our understanding, but that does not make it irrational.
I asked my Muslim friend if he could conceptualize everything about Allah. He conceded that he could not. He could not get his head wrapped around such things as God being uncaused or self-existent. I asked if he thought uncaused or self-existent would be irrational. “Not if He is God,” he replied. Of course, it would be irrational to say God is both self-existent and dependent on someone/thing else for His existence.
So let’s drop the 1+1+1=1 for the trinity. We don’t want to give the impression that belief in the Christian God is irrational. Mysterious and beyond our comprehension to be sure, but not irrational.
I am reading John Frame’s massive, A History of Western Philosophy and Theology. Today, I came upon this dandy description Schopenhauer made of Hegel:
“Hegel was a flat-headed, insipid, nauseating, illiterate charlatan, who reached the pinnacle of audacity in scribbling together and dishing up the craziest mystifying nonsense.”
I would not sign it, even though I am in close agreement with the various articles. Why?
It comes across as a sterile statement from too many who were either quiet or supportive of Trump.
It is tone deaf in its timing: Charlottesville and now the flooding in Texas.
If the church in America had a better record of compassionate disagreement with gays, perhaps the statement would be okay.
I am glad, however, that this issue will force a more honest and comprehensive conversation about the Bible’s authority.
Here is a very good critique of someone who signed (HT: Peter Coelho):
On the Nashville Statement and My Signing of It
Here’s a short description I came up with that reflects a bit of how I feel:
I am having hyperdispensational migraines induced by a lopsided hermeneutic which prevents knowing about OT typology.
If you don’t understand what I am saying here, it is probably a good thing!
The comment below is to a friend about one of his friends. It is easy to know what the friend of my friend doesn’t believe (it includes some of the silliness I don’t believe), but tough to know what he believes. Here’s the analogy I came up with:
At the end of it all I scratch my head every time wondering what he still believes. He states various presuppositions, but it seems he holds to a faith so tentative that it is difficult to see any scandal of the cross. Lots of bad meat is sliced off the theological turkey, but it seems we won’t be eating any meat at his house. Instead, it looks like he is only keen on using the carcass for spiritual soup.