During the summer of 2016, a long-standing academic disputation spilled over into the public square. Dr. Liam Goligher published a long blog post in two parts (those details can be traced here), which challenged some other public theologians on aspects of the doctrine of God, specifically focusing on the doctrine of the Trinity. Hundreds of blog posts ensued (you can follow the developments here). I’m not planning on entering into the finer points of the debate, as I am ill-equipped to offer anything of value in the wake of the academic exchanges. What Iwould like to do is to give Dr. Goligher the opportunity to show us how he addressed these points within the context of his preaching pastorate at Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia. Every Monday, we’ll have an opportunity here to watch and listen as Dr. Goligher walks through the doctrine of the Trinity, and the essential being of God, as he preaches through the book of Hebrews to his own congregation. I think this will give us a more digestible movement through the issues, since it is not a position paper presented iin the academy. Simply to raise awareness, this dispute has been going on within the academy, for quite awhile, which means there is a substantial amount of backstory and interactions between the parties than us mere Christians were likely aware of.
Many disagreements on the internet rapidly become flame wars, with both sides pushing the big red button as the first line of defense. It would seem wiser, for those like me, to slow down the rush to pyromania, and actually take time to listen to what the sides are presenting. I am starting with Dr. Goligher’s viewpoint, since it did lead to some refinement from prominent opposing parties as the discussion progressed. I encourage you to engage the topic. It is theologically important, rich, and necessary.
The first sermon in the 12-part series can be found here: Better by Design.