Freedom and the Trinity

From an article by Paul Molnar:

There is then a thread that runs through the theologians we have briefly canvassed in this article. That commonality suggests there is a tendency to allow experience rather than the Word of God revealed to dictate the meaning of theological categories. That very fact illustrates a confusion of the Holy Spirit with the human spirit. It is my contention that a contemporary doctrine of the immanent Trinity should recognize that while the doctrine of the Trinity begins with an experience of God in the economy, it nonetheless directs us away from our experiences and toward God’s Word and Spirit as the source of theological knowledge. To be sure, God meets us in our experiences of faith and hope; but the object of Trinitarian reflection is and remains God and never becomes our experiences of faith and hope. In this sense the doctrine of the immanent Trinity is a description of who God is who meets us in and through our experiences and not simply a description of salvation history or of our experiences of faith and hope. Whenever and wherever theologians think the doctrine is simply a way of describing the Christian experiences of faith, hope or salvation (which unfortunately happens all too frequently today), such thinking invariably substitutes some form of Trinitarian thinking for the Trinitarian God acting ad extra. And any such substitution compromises both divine and human freedom by beginning to think of God agnostically and then ending with some form of pantheism or dualism and far from the Christian God who really is for us but for us only in his Word and Spirit.

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