The Threeness of God, part 2: Three Mistakes

I. Modalistic Monarchianism: God as Mike Myers
One source, three roles (Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier)
Personhood means the mask of an ancient actor (persona, prosopon)
1. Why only three?
2. Does a role reveal an actor?
3. Can you have a personal relationship with a role?
4. To whom does Jesus pray? (Sabellianism: persons as sequential)
5. Who was on the cross? (Patripassianism: "the Father suffered")
6. Is the cross just an act?
Illustrations: ice-water-steam; three-leafed clover

II. Dynamic Monarchianism: God as Marcus Aurelius
Adoptionism: As son, Jesus inherits 'divinity' (like Maximus)
Personhood means legal status
The Spirit becomes the inheritance, sign, and seal of Jesus' adoption
1. What does an adopted (not begotten) Jesus tell us of his adoptive parent?
2. To be saved, do we need to be perfect too?
3. How is God involved on the cross?

III. Tritheism: God as the Three Musketeers
God's "unity" is merely the moral unity of three individuals
Personhood means individuality, independence, consciousness
1. How does one such person reveal another?
2. Are Son and Spirit equal (cf. John 5:18)? unequal (subordinationism)?
(cf. Col. 1:15, John 14:28, 1 Cor. 15:28, Phil. 2:5-11)
3. Can we divide God's glory among specific persons (cf. Deut. 6:12-15)?
4. On the cross, is God a dysfunctional family?
Illustration: egg yolk-white-shell

IV. The Rule of Faith
Regula fidei guards God's goodness and salvation's power
Reading Scripture right presupposes right faith
The Nicene and Apostles' creeds embody the regula fidei
Trinity is the sum of Scripture and the key to its interpretation

V. Call No God Father: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminist Theology
Christianity's mixed results: Part of the solution, or part of the problem?
Reactionaries, radicals, and moderates
Questioning masculine images of God
What oppresses women? The "hermeneutic of suspicion"
Jesus' maleness doesn't mean God's
Should we call God "Father"? Renaming God
The liberated, inclusive Church