Karl Barth on the Trinity

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  • Karl Barth
    • changed Trinitarian formula
      • 'one God in three persons'
        • 'one God in three modes of being'
    • person has changed over time since Early Church Fathers
      • now includes personalities
        • Barth doesn't like God having three personalities
    • God's self revelation is the root of the Doctrine of the Trinity
      • like a bride (Father)
        • being unveiled (Son)
    • God must effect a personal (subjective) response in each individual
      • two people see Jesus on the cross
        • first thinks he is a common criminal
        • second thinks he is the Son of God
    • strengths
      • God reveals 'through himself'
        • based on Scripture
      • gives 'explanatory confirmation' of revelation
        • takes story of Jesus as 'revealed' in scripture
        • provides a theological explanation
      • avoids tritheism by referring to...
        • 'one God in three persons'
          • 'one God in three modes of being'
    • weaknesses
      • Moltmann criticised Barth for modalism
      • change of traditional phrase
        • may lead to schism
      • Christocentric language
        • damaging to interfaith dialogue


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