Presenter Information

Fred Saunders

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Takmg themes from Michael Polanyi's philosophy of science as its point of departure, this paper explores the problem of providing evangelicals with the hd of profound, prediscursive, nonthematic awareness of the reality of the Trinity which is necessary to hdpr oductive, thematic, theological reflection on the doctrine. Many theologians have located trinitarian theology's tacit dimension in resources such as a living sense of deep continuity with tradition, the regular experience of a rich liturgy, and the power of the sacraments. For some varieties of evangelicals these relatively high-church resources continue to be nourishmg sources of Christian life wh~ch underwrite the community's ability to think properly about the Trinity. My paper, however, asks how we can provide a tacit dimension for trinitarian reflection in evangelical congregations which are not oriented toward tradition, which sit light on liturgy, and have a relatively low (symbolic) view of the sacraments. In other words, I am attempting to productively inculturate the doctrine of the Trinity for nontraditional, nonliturgical, and nonsacramental evangelicals. I explore available resources like personal fellowship with God in the person of the Holy Spirit, a soteriological emphasis on regeneration, strongly affective worshp experiences, and hermeneutical structures that render the doctrine of the Trinity more evident in Scripture. With minor reservations, I conclude that nontraditional, nonliturgical, nonsacramental evangelicals do in fact have sufficient points of access to an underlying tacit trinitarianism that ths doctnne should make sense in their intellectual context.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

"The Tacit Dimension in Evangelical Trinitarian Theology: Untapped Resources and Under-exploited Possibilities"

Takmg themes from Michael Polanyi's philosophy of science as its point of departure, this paper explores the problem of providing evangelicals with the hd of profound, prediscursive, nonthematic awareness of the reality of the Trinity which is necessary to hdpr oductive, thematic, theological reflection on the doctrine. Many theologians have located trinitarian theology's tacit dimension in resources such as a living sense of deep continuity with tradition, the regular experience of a rich liturgy, and the power of the sacraments. For some varieties of evangelicals these relatively high-church resources continue to be nourishmg sources of Christian life wh~ch underwrite the community's ability to think properly about the Trinity. My paper, however, asks how we can provide a tacit dimension for trinitarian reflection in evangelical congregations which are not oriented toward tradition, which sit light on liturgy, and have a relatively low (symbolic) view of the sacraments. In other words, I am attempting to productively inculturate the doctrine of the Trinity for nontraditional, nonliturgical, and nonsacramental evangelicals. I explore available resources like personal fellowship with God in the person of the Holy Spirit, a soteriological emphasis on regeneration, strongly affective worshp experiences, and hermeneutical structures that render the doctrine of the Trinity more evident in Scripture. With minor reservations, I conclude that nontraditional, nonliturgical, nonsacramental evangelicals do in fact have sufficient points of access to an underlying tacit trinitarianism that ths doctnne should make sense in their intellectual context.