Boff and the Trinity as Social Program

Below is an article I wrote in response to the question of whether or not I agreed with Leonardo Boff’s article on the Trinity in the book entitled, Systematic Theology: Perspectives From Liberation Theology. It’s one of many great articles in the book.

Here is my article:

If the Trinity is a legitimate way of seeking to understand the nature of God, and the world is the realm in which the Church must make the nature of God known, then one must agree with Boff that the Trinity should be the Church’s social program. There is no greater place from which to judge this agreement than in considering how the Church’s Trinitarian theology works itself out both as a diligent pursuer of equality and as an initiator of personal and corporate equality.

Trinity as social program should manifest itself in the Church’s diligent pursuit of equality. Just as the hypostases of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) are understood to be equal in depth, height, and quality with one another, so should the Church seek to socially stand up for the equality of all. This kind of demonstration of the Trinity in culture not only enables the Church to be deeply countercultural in its mission by holding up those the world sees as less equal but, it enables the Church to demonstrate that its Trinitarian perspective does lead to a visible program.

Trinity as social program should also manifest itself in the experience of personal and corporate liberation. One of the great witnesses to the Trinity is found in a brief glimpse of the power of the Church to transform lives in the decades after Christ’s death and resurrection. These liberations from sickness, death, and law represent the kind of personal and corporate program consistent with the Trinity’s activity throughout history. Even today, the Church’s narrative about God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit empower its activity in the world to create personal and corporate liberation in ways that are consistently immanent and economic (in the Trinitarian sense).

In conclusion, it should be obvious that agreeing with Boff is simple because the Trinity has always been the Church’s social program. This expression of the Trinity, as has been experienced since the earliest days of the Church, still presses the Church to demonstrate its Trinitarian theology as consistent in concept and in praxis.

What do you think?


3 thoughts on “Boff and the Trinity as Social Program

  1. I would totally agree with you in the implications of worldview from a Trinitarian perspective. But how would you respond to the question of whether equality is the end-game from a Trinitarian perspective. I wonder if it is the end or rather just a means to a much greater end-i.e. the transformation of all of creation. I don’t think you said anything contrary to this-but speak more on your point as stated. What say you?…

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