The Answer? Richard Bauckham

BauckhamThanks to all who participated in our latest Who Said It? competition here at Per Crucem ad Lucem. There were definately some intriguing suggestions. The correct answer, however, is Richard Bauckham, and the quote comes from his book Moltmann: Messianic Theology in the Making (Basingstoke: Marshall Pickering, 1987), 100. While there were no winners this time, those who guessed Moltmann deserve an extra chocolate.

We shall play again soon.


  1. Oh dear! Someone in the original thread guessed that I might have said it. I wouldn’t have, though I might have said something like this:

    There is only one Holy Trinity, now and for ever. One and the same Trinity exists in two different forms: the one is eternal and immanent; the other, temporal and economic. The former is essential and necessary; the latter, entirely contingent. God would be the Holy Trinity in and for himself — as a perfect communion of love and freedom, joy and peace — whether the world had been created or not.

    God’s trinitarian history for us reveals — but does not make him — what he is in and for himself. The aseity, simplicity and perfection of God’s being means that God is what he is as the Holy Trinity independently of the world, and therefore of God’s temporal, worldly history. This history is indeed who God is, but only in a secondary and dependent form.

    The eternal form of the Holy Trinity is logically and ontologically prior to its historical, worldly form. The relation of the two trinitarian forms — historical and eternal — is one of inseparable unity and abiding distinction, with an asymmetry in status between them that makes the relation irreversible. The temporal form of the Trinity depends entirely on the eternal form, but the eternal form of the Trinity in no way depends on the temporal form assumed in its historical revelation.

    Therefore, we do not know the eternal form of the Trinity except through the temporal form, but through the temporal form we do know that the eternal form is perfect and independent –self-subsistent — in itself.


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