The doctrine of the Holy Spirit in contemporary Trinitarian theology: a critical appraisal of the idea of the unity of the economic with the immanent Trinity, with special reference to recent Trinitarian pneumatology
Badcock, Gary David
Both Pneumatology and the doctrine of the Trinity have been the subject of renewed interest in recent theology. This study relates these two themes through a critical examination of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in contemporary Trinitarian theology.Chapter I examines the major factors which have raised the question of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in recent theology. New Testament scholarship on the Spirit, developments in ecclesiology, and the filiogue doctrine in modern ecumenical theology are discussed.Chapter II provides an account of the basic principle underlying recent Trinitarian theology, the idea of the unity of the economic with the immanent Trinity. This account involves a treatment of the development of the distinction between the two in patristic theology, and of the contemporary idea of their identity. Barth's doctrine of election and its Trinitarian implications, Rahner's Trinitarian Grundaxiom, and the doctrine of the Trinity conceived "between theism and atheism" are thus considered.In Chapter III, four recent "models" of Trinitarian Pneumatology are assessed through representative theologians: the "revealedness model," focused on the epistemo- logical role of the Spirit (Barth); the "atonement model," drawn from the theology of the cross (aspects of Moltmann, Jiingel) ; the "anointing model," where the idea of the anointing of Jesus with the Spirit is made thematic (Miihlen, Kasper, Coffey, Balthasar, Congar) ; and the "eschatological model," in which the Spirit's orientation to the future consummation of the kingdom of God is central (Pannenberg, Moltmann).Chapter IV provides a more general philosophical and theological critique of contemporary Trinitarian Pneumatology. First, the idea of "dialectical Trinitarianism" is introduced in order to define the theological ontology involved here. This dialectical conception is then critically compared to Hegel's philosophy of the Trinity. Second, the four models of Chapter III are discussed in the light of the diversity of the economy of salvation. The conclusion is that the character of the economic basis requires a careful qualification of the idea of economic- immanent Trinitarian identity, through a recognition of the kenotic quality of the economic Trinity, the apophatic quality of the immanent Trinity, and the analogical quality of Trinitarian theology in general.In Chapter V, finally, an attempt is made to explore possible directions for future development in Trinitarian Pneumatology. The factors discussed in Chapter I, together with the diversity of the economic basis, suggest first of all that a theology of Spirit-Son reciprocity might be developed. This possibility is then considered more fully in connection with the doctrine of the immanent Trinity. A broadly social doctrine of the Trinity is thus advocated, drawing on Eastern and Victorine Trinitarian themes as well as on the contemporary Trinitarian tradition.