Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in the doctrine of the Trinity, following a long period in which it was considered irrelevant to the rest of theology and to the challenge of Christian life. In this book, David Coffey claims that this resurgence is caused by a renewed appreciation of the fact that salvation itself has a Trinitarian structure. He argues that we cannot understand salvation without a solid understanding of the Trinity.
Coffey considers the full range of issues surrounding this central doctrine of Christian faith. Viewing the doctrine of the Trinity in its historical and ecumenical context, he seeks to arrive at a balanced vision that incorporates the insights of both the Western and the Eastern Churches. In particular, he wants to keep in sight both the immanent Trinity (the Godhead considered in itself) and the economic Trinity (that is, its role within the economy of salvation). In Coffeys own model of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is seen as the objectivization of the mutual love of the Father and the Son. This idea is most closely associated with St. Augustine and Richard of St. Victor. Coffey, however, takes it much further, presenting it as an explanation of the origin of the Son and the Holy Spirit and of the manner of operation of the Trinity in the economy. From this model, he is also able to derive a suggestion for resolving the ecumenical problem of Filioquism vs. Monopatrism (concerning the procession of the Holy Spirit)-- the issue that has divided East from West for nearly a millennium.
Presenting a new perspective on a topic of renewed theological interest, this comprehensive study has important implications for ecumenical discussions of the Trinity.