Jesus' Revelation of His Father
Chris Wigram reviews Damon So's book, a study of the Trinity, with special reference to Karl Barth
Understanding the doctrine of the Trinity is vital for the life of the church and its mission in the world. Damon So works from the text of Matthew to elucidate a further clarification of the relationship between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. He does this in the light of the teachings of Karl Barth and helps to clarify and give further substance to Trinitarian theology.
So argues that Jesus reveals his Father through his work and his actions which shows his intimate relationship with the Father. This strengthens the essential relationship between the Father and the Son. So then considers the relationship of Christ with that of the Spirit. Here he takes James Dunn, Edward Irving and others to task in the light of their understanding of the relationship between Jesus and the Holy Spirit. So continues to battle for the fullest possible understanding of the Trinity that arises from the text of scripture and critiques views that would tend to reduce any aspect of this relationship, especially Irving’s view that Jesus’ obedience is wholly attributed to the Holy Spirit.
This is not an easy book to read. It presupposes some previous understanding of the development of Christian theology and the contributions of senior theologians of the church. Its value lies in the further explorations of the doctrine of the Trinity and in providing a good model for constructing doctrine from the text of scripture. This puts theological emphasis on finding meaning within the life and ministry of Jesus and promotes the equal role of the Holy Spirit in Christian theology alongside that of the other essential roles of the Trinity.