I spent the past few days on Facebook debating soon-to-be-Socinians in the CBMW on why you shouldn’t tinker with the Trinity. Some friends have asked me for a primer on basic Patristics texts. This is more or less an impossible request but I can start to lay the groundwork. If you devote at least a good six months to working through these issues, you will begin to see why tinkering with the Trinity must end badly.
Hilary of Poitiers, “De Synodis.” St Hilary explains how the early Fathers had to break the back of certain categories before they became acceptable.
Athanasius. Contra Arianos. This work is very difficult to read but it is his best work.
Gregory of Nazianzus. On God and Christ: Five Theological Orations. The best thing ever written on Trinitarianism.
Gregory of Nyssa. “Great Catechism” and “On Not Three Gods.” Advances the argument that the Trinity is one mind, will, power, and energy of operation. This is why Gospel Coalition types won’t engage me when I ask them how many minds are in the Trinity.
Basil. On The Holy Spirit.
Pseudo-Dionysius. The Divine Names.
Letham, Robert. The Holy Trinity. Letham has a number of blind-spots but he covers the material better than any.
Lacugna, Catherine. God for Us. She is a liberal Jesuit and that comes out in her writing, but she does a fine job on the Cappadocians.
Torrance, Thomas. The Trinitarian Faith and One Being: Three persons. The two best texts by a modern on the Trinity. Torrance has few equals. And no, his so-called “neo-orthodoxy” does not come out in this.
McGuckin, John. Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy. Excellent survey of Cyril’s thought and he makes the argument that Chalcedon, far from being a Western council, specifically made Cyril the standard for Christology.
———–. St Gregory of Nazianzus: An Intellectual Biography. Just fun.
Beeley, Christopher. The Unity of Christ and In Your Light We See Light.
Barnes, Michel. The Power of God. Explores Gregory of Nyssa’s use of “dynamis” in Christology.
Farrell, Joseph. God, History, and Dialectic. Be careful but some good analysis.
Photios. Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps the Filioque can be salvaged, but not by positing the Father-Son as a single cause.
Jenson, Robert. Systematic Theology, vol. 1.
Perl, Eric. Theophany: Dionysius’s Philosophy.
Gould and Davis (eds). Loving God with Your Mind: Essays in Honor of JP Moreland. Some outstanding essays on what it means for universals to be exemplified.
Maximus the Confessor. The Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ.
Moreland, J. P. Universals.
Cooper, John. Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting.
Morris, Thomas. The Logic of God Incarnate. This is tough and I am not sure I agree with all of his conclusions, but it is an important study nonetheless.
Plantinga, Alvin. Does God have a Nature? Yeah, yeah, classical theism and all. Plantinga’s arguments can’t simply be brushed aside.