Communion and the Trinity: distinct relations with Father, Son and Spirit

Peters, Dan (2018) Communion and the Trinity: distinct relations with Father, Son and Spirit. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Communion with the triune God is necessarily Trinitarian. But does that simply mean that all three divine persons are involved, or is there a case for the Christian communing distinctly with each person? This thesis argues for the latter. Distinct communion has not flourished within western Christianity, although the Puritan, John Owen, breaks the mould. In order to arrive at the concept, two preliminary steps must be taken. First, the range of New Testament terminology for communion with God must be appreciated; only then will the authors’ devotional Trinitarianism become properly visible. Secondly, the triune God must be viewed through the lenses of the redemptive storyline; only then will the Three be recognised in their full distinctness, and a theological framework established within which tri-personal communion makes sense.
In this thesis these two areas are foregrounded, but other, related matters are also addressed. Not all biblical communion distinguishes between the three persons. Then there is the person of the Spirit, the direct worship of whom may appear problematic. There are also more ‘practical’ issues associated with (especially public, liturgical) distinct communion: for instance, the advisability of shifting focus within a single prayer from one divine person to another.
John Owen rightly recognised the importance of distinct communion. The doctrine of the Trinity is not dry and irrelevant, a theme only fit for academic speculation. It is the central truth of biblical religion, and must, therefore, be appropriated at the level of ordinary Christian piety.

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Trinitarian communion, John Owen on communion.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BT Doctrinal Theology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Ferguson, Dr. Sinclair
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Mr Dan Peters
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-9142
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2018 13:23
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2018 16:05

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