Journal for Christian Theological Research


One of the most serious problems facing contemporary Trinitarian theology concerns the extent to which terms we use in ordinary parlance can be used to describe God and God's relations with us in history. This article argues that a contemporary doctrine of the immanent Trinity should help theologians recognize and respect the freedom of the triune God as the basis of human freedom. By allowing our concept of God to be shaped by who God is in Christ and the Spirit we would exclude any agnosticism with respect to the eternal Trinity and would not define God by our experiences and concepts. Any dualistic or monistic understanding of our relations with the Christian God would similarly be excluded. While many contemporary theologians claim to begin their reflections about God with the economic Trinitarian self-revelation, I contend that Rahner and many who follow his axiom of identity, with its vice versa, actually compromise both divine and human freedom; so that there is a trend today to make God dependent upon and indistinguishable from history; to believe that Jesus is the revealer in his humanity as such; to blur the distinction between the Holy Spirit and our human spirit, and to allow experience rather than the object of faith to determine theological truth.