Trinity and Truth / Edition 1by Bruce D. Marshall
Pub. Date: 02/28/2005
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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
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.
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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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.