M Christopher's Reviews > God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life

God for Us by Catherine Mowry Lacugna
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Dec 29, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: theology
Read from December 29, 2011 to January 16, 2012

Possibly the clearest, most helpful book I've read on the subject of the Trinity; well worth a careful read during a busy time (which is why it took me so long to finish).

Gone from this life at far too young an age, Ms. LaCugna did an excellent job of tracing the development of trinitarian theology from the time of the early Church through the scholastic movements in Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Her book shows how the successful defense of Trinitarianism against Arianism and other heresies actually painted orthodox theologians of both the East and the West into a corner that eventually caused their understanding of the Trinity to become sterile and sidelined in the beliefs and practice of the Church at large.

"God For Us" delineates the difference between the theological Trinity (the understanding of how God's "three-in-oneness" is understood in the internal life of God) and the economic Tinity (the understanding of how God's "three-in-oneness" is understood via God's plan of salvation for the world through Christ). LaCugna insisted that a focus on the economic Trinity was the only way to make the doctrine meaningful. Taking off from the work of Karl Rahner, she makes an excellent case for the importance of the Trinity to soteriology and subsequently for Christology and pneumatology as well. Finally, she shows how a proper understanding of the Trinity impacts Christian Ethics -- the abandonment of a functional unitarianism and monarchism releases the Christian to truly live out life in the Way of Jesus, in equality and love.

This book might be difficult for those without previous experience in reading and studying theology but the concepts are crucial. I recommend this highly to all pastors who can incorporate the concepts into their teaching and preaching so that layfolk who are scared off by the rigor of LaCugna's theological thought may benefit from her conclusions.
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