Jowers, Dennis W. Books
Dr. Dennis Jowers is Assistant Professor of Theology and New Testament at Faith Evangelical Seminary and Assistant Professor of Theology at Western Reformed Seminary, both in Tacoma, Washington. He earned his M.Th. and Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Jowers’ articles have appeared in journals such as Mid-America Journal of Theology, Scottish Journal of Theology, Tyndale Bulletin, and Reformed Theological Review.2006 0-7734-5584-1
The widely-accepted Grundaxiom
of Karl Rahner’s doctrine of the Trinity, “The economic Trinity is the immanent Trinity and vice versa,” functions in contemporary theology as a means of reconciling the seemingly contradictory claims that (a) God has revealed the doctrine of the Trinity to the Church, and (b) God has not disclosed this doctrine verbally in Scripture. Rahner’s Grundaxiom
thus serves to legitimate theologies of the Trinity that do not presuppose the verbal inspiration of Scripture.
The present study, by contrast, indirectly challenges the viability of such theologies by subjecting the Grundaxiom
to a thoroughgoing, immanent critique. On the grounds that Rahner does not successfully warrant his axiom and that the axiom itself implicitly conflicts with key elements of Rahner’s Trinitarian theology, this study argues that Rahner fails to supply a credible account of how human beings learn of the existence of the immanent Trinity. A more robust theology of scriptural inspiration than Rahner’s, this work suggests, may suffice to remedy this defect in Rahner’s theology of the Trinity.