This book constructs a contemporary doctrine of the immanent trinity in dialogue with Karl Barth's theology and a selected number of prominent contemporary theologians. For Paul Molnar, human freedom can be properly understood only in the light of God's freedom, and any understanding of the immanent Trinity that is not fashioned from the economic Trinitarian self-revelation will lead toward a dualistic, monistic or agnostic view of divine/human relations. Therefore, any method that starts with experience and not explicitly the word of God revealed will be seen to threaten a proper perception of both divine and human freedom.
Molnar argues that a properly conceived contemporary doctrine of the immanent Trinity will enable theologians to say something positive about God and God's relations with us in history, without in any way making God dependent on history. In this book he analyzes and compares Karl Barth's view of the relationship between the immanent and economic Trinity with the views of other contemporary theologians in order to explore what a proper understanding of divine freedom should look like today, and how that view should develop in light of contemporary feminist and historicist approaches to the Trinity.
Molnar sets out to place the doctrine of the immanent Trinity firmly back on the agenda of the Christian doctrine of God, and does so to considerable effect. In conversation not only with Barth but with many contemporary proposals in Trinitarian theology, he makes a persuasive case for the centrality of the doctrine and against the perils that attend its neglect. This is an essay in Christian dogmatics of a high order, learned, intellectually powerful and spiritually engaged; it deserves to be widely read and discussed.
—John Webster, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford
Although Trinitarian doctrine has enjoyed great attention in recent theology, not all of it has been as careful or as considerate as one might hope. Now by drawing upon classical theologians like Barth, Aquinas and Torrance, who are deployed in an outstanding way, Paul Molnar separates the wheat from the chaff. Masterful, fully documented and trenchant, the result is perhaps the most important work on the Trinity to appear in the last 20 years.
—George Hunsinger, Princeton Theological Seminary