Trinity and Truth / Edition 1

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This book is about the problem of truth: what truth is, and how we can tell whether what we have said is true. Bruce Marshall approaches this problem from the standpoint of Christian theology, and especially that of the doctrine of the Trinity. The book offers a full-scale theological account of what truth is and whether Christians have adequate grounds for regarding their beliefs as true. Unlike most theological discussions of these issues, the book is also extensively engaged with the modern philosophical debate about truth and belief.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In an age when skepticism about truth and objectivity is so prevalent, this is a remarkable book." Theological Studies

"...this is a very important, challenging, and poerful book that provides both insight into and a measure of guidance out of the crisis of Christian theology in the West. Marshall's book exemplifies the classical vocation of faith seeking understanding." First Things

"This remarkable book sets forth a bold thesis and develops it with great subtlety. To theologians and allthinking believers Marshall displays the intellectual superiority of a robust version of the historic faith over reductionist restatements of it. In highly technical style, he furnishes a surround for the kind of advocacy that has been conducted in evangelistic, apologetic, and pastoral mode by Lesslie Newbigin and other significant theological writers of the late twentieth century." The Thomist

"Bruce Marshall's book is best understood by way of this last trope. His purpose is to take the philosophical water of a particular approach to the question of truth - specifically, that found in the analytic philosopher Donald Davidson's work, a corpus in which there is scarcely a spark of explicit interest in theological questions - and to turn it into the Christian wine of a Trinitarian account of truth. This is an important book, both for its particular constructive proposal and for its method. It is in this procedural sense that Marshall's work is most different from that of those modern theologians with whom he takes such effective issue in the first half of the book." The Journal of Religion

"Trinity and Truth is finally an important contribution in philosophy and theology. Virginia Quarterly Review

"Trinity and Truth is finally an important contribution in philosophy and theology." The Virginia Quarterly

"Marshall employs an account of truth that is so intimately linked to belief that it can be stretched for Christian purposes, in which truth is a person. Advanced graduate students an scholars only." Religious Studies Review Jan 2002

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521774918
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2005
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine Series, #3
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; A note on translations; 1. Introduction: theology and truth; 2. The triune God as the center of Christian belief; 3. Epistemic justification in modern theology; 4. Problems about justification; 5. The epistemic primacy of belief in the Trinity; 6. Epistemic priorities and alien claims; 7. The epistemic role of the spirit; 8. The concept of truth; 9. Trinity, truth, and belief.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Theology Meets Analytic Philosophy

    The concept of Trinity is one of the most profound and yet most complex ones in Christianity. It is oftentimes the stumbling block for non-Christians when they attempt to understand Christianity, and even most Christians have hard time properly understanding it or even articulating it. It could be argued that most of the early struggles in defining what Christians believe were in fact struggles to properly understand Trinity. It may be hard to understand why anyone would want to incorporate such on the surface strange and counterintuitive concept into their belief system. The reason, however, is rather simple: God has revealed Himself to us as Trinity. Trinity is not something that philosophers and theologians had conceived a priori, but rather who God really is in His own nature. The best we can then hope for is to use our limited human concepts and language to appreciate this utter transcendence of God. The good news, though, is that we are not completely left to grapple in the dark, trying to come up with our own clever and smart ways of understanding this awesome concept. For it is an integral part of the belief about Trinity that Trinity consists of Truth itself. Jesus often speaks of Himself as "Truth," and He refers to the Holy Spirit as "the spirit of Truth." It is then one of the great claims of Christianity, and one of the central themes of this book, that understanding Trinity truly requires a whole different set of epistemic considerations. These can never be completely reduced to ideas and concepts that are derived from other intellectual reflections.

    In this book Bruce Marshall tries to bring up the understanding of Trinity in terms of modern philosophy, and analytic philosophy in particular. The analysis employed is very subtle and at times technical, so this is not a book for those who are discouraged by demanding philosophical reasoning. However, if you can appreciate that kind of thinking this book can be an extremely rewarding read. It is probably one of the most profound reflections on Trinity in modern Christian Theology.

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