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By Lewis Ayres

Augustine of Hippo (354-430) strongly inspired western theology, yet he has frequently been accused of over-emphasizing the solidarity of God to the detriment of the Trinity. In Augustine and the Trinity, Lewis Ayres bargains a brand new remedy of this crucial determine, demonstrating how Augustine's writings provide the most subtle early theologies of the Trinity constructed after the Council of Nicaea (325). development on contemporary study, Ayres argues that Augustine was once inspired by means of a wide selection of past Latin Christian traditions which under pressure the irreducibility of dad, Son and Spirit. Augustine combines those traditions with fabric from non-Christian Neoplatonists in a really own synthesis. Ayres additionally argues that Augustine formed a strong account of Christian ascent towards figuring out of, in addition to participation within the divine lifestyles, one who starts off in religion and types itself on Christ's humility.

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To grow in faith is to deepen, extend, and perhaps revise our understanding of its meaning and to arrive at clearer means by which to state and act on our convictions. THE CHALLENGE O F THINKING THEOLOGICALLY Widespread as deliberative theological reflection may be, it is not so commonplace that Christians—though they are theologians— inevitably leap at the slightest chance to theologize. When the time does come for them to state their theology, many Christians hardly know what to say except to echo familiar phrases.

At the risk of pressing the analogy beyond its limits, we might observe that, while instructions can be given for the basic skills of the craft—woodworking, garment making, or theology—the distinction between a serviceable result and one that is truly superb all but defies prediction. It depends in part on the worker’s hands and mind and in part on the eye of the beholder. Our embedded theology usually is serviceable . . until, that is, our conscientiousness, or a crisis, or some conflict prompts second thoughts.

In some cases the views may be mutually compatible and even supportive, but at other times so diametrically opposed that Christianity and culture find themselves locked in a bitter conflict of interpretations. Fashioning Theology 33 The correlation process takes place in many spheres and occurs at many levels. For example, what an environmentalist calls “caring for the ecosystem” may be correlated—that is, compared and contrasted—with the Christian view of good stewardship of God’s creation. Theological views may be correlated to other views of social conditions, politics, medical ethics, education, parenting, economics, and so on.

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