In this post I will connect the term The Kingdom of Heaven with Kathryn Tanner’s ideas in Theories of Culture.1 I will then propose that this is a missional imagination of how the Trinitarian God is at work in the world.
What prompted these thoughts
This week I have been working on a sermon for Advent 1 from Daniel 3:8-30. Here we read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Adednego as they refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol as they were in exile. The Gospel lesson was from John 18:36-37 where Jesus says that his Kingdom is not from this world.read more
Tanner, Kathryn. Theories of Culture: A New Agenda for Theology Guides to Theological Inquiry. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997. [↩]
The social Trinity begins with the three persons of the Trinity (as described in the Christian Scriptures) and seeks to understand how the relationship1 between the persons is the very essence2 of life itself. The fancy-schmansy word for this is relational ontology.3 The social Trinity is also known, by some, as the Economic Trinity. The term economic comes from the Greek word oikos–meaning house. It does not refer to money, as we understand economy, but, rather, refers to the activity of God within the “house” of the created universe. The social–or Economic– Trinity stands in contrast to the traditional view of God as three persons within Godself. This traditional view is known as the Immanent Trinity (immanent means “operating or existing within”) and emphasizes the oneness of God as God relates to the world from outside of creation.read more
the Greek word for essence can also be translated substance. The discussion of the substance of God–and of all things–is called ontology. Thus, the social Trinity speaks of a relational ontology as opposed to a substance ontology [↩]
A friend of mine–Mike Frazier–told me to watch this video. He knows how much doodling and visualization means to me. I love it. Anyone who spends time perusing through this blog will know that I try to convey complex theological ideas through simple pictures. This report adds some more fuel to the reason behind my academic visualizations.
Welker is the Director of the Research Center for International and Interdisciplinary Theology at the University of Heidelberg.
This book has had a significant impact on my research. The key ideas that I glean from Welker are that the Spirit is pluriform and polycentric. In other words, the Spirit takes on many different forms (pluriform) throughout the world, depending upon the place and situation. The Spirit, also, flows from many centers (polycentric), and thus cannot be contained or narrowly defined by one theological construct. The spirit is the field from which theological constructs flow.read more