New Wine, New Wineskins celebrates Trinitarian theology. However, there are many versions of Trinitarian theology. For New Wine’s part, we believe the New Testament teaches that God exists as three equal divine persons in eternal communion. Human analogies fail to exhaust this mystery. Psychological models and social models fall short. Regarding the latter, Lesslie Newbigin writes, “The doctrine of the Trinity was not developed in response to the human need for participatory democracy! It was developed in order to account for the facts that constitute the substance of the gospel.” It is best that we trace the biblical accounts for our understanding of the Trinity and also how God is at work in our lives. Similarly, there is one incarnation. Jesus is the incarnate Word of God/Son of God. The church does not incarnate God but participates in Jesus’ incarnate life in and through the outpoured Holy Spirit. This Trinitarian and incarnational emphasis shapes New Wine’s endeavors. The Father invites us to participate in Jesus’ life in the Spirit so that we might experience union and communion with God. The triune God stretches us so that we will build bridges and set tables of holy, reconciling love through Jesus in the Spirit as Jesus’ people and body.
New Wine leaders have produced various works in this sphere. Here are a few examples: Paul Louis Metzger’s edited volume Trinitarian Soundings in Systematic Theology (T&T Clark International, 2005); Metzger and Brad Harper’s Exploring Ecclesiology: An Evangelical and Ecumenical Introduction (Brazos/Baker, 2009); Metzger’s co-edited volume with William F. Storrar and Peter J. Casarella, A World for All?: Global Civil Society in Political Theory and Trinitarian Theology (Eerdmans, 2011), and New Wine leader Matthew S. Farlow’s work The Dramatizing of Theology: Humanity’s Participation in God’s Drama (Pickwick, 2017).
Stay tuned for New Wine’s course on the application of trinitarian theology in practical Christian living.
New Wine, New Wineskins of Multnomah Biblical Seminary is a refreshing and practical project that is responsive to the needs of students, church leaders, and eager learners of all kinds. The seminars, retreats, and other programs are created with the goal of bringing the life-world of theological thinking into direct contact with the mystery of ordinary daily existence. New Wine, New Wineskins can orient, guide and motivate your life toward spiritual encounters with the best of mature leaders in the evangelical Christian tradition. I have never been disappointed, whether as a presenter or a participant, in the quality programs of New Wine, New Wineskins.
Robert Lyman Potter, M.D. Ph.D. is Senior Scholar Emeritus for the OHSU Center for Healthcare Ethics, Portland, OR