Is Schreiner a Binitarian???

I just finished reading Thomas Schreiner’s new New Testament Theology (2008) which is a massive work of nearly a thousand pages.  At the same time, I was reading F. Matera’s new NT Theology and I must say that I liked Schreiner’s approach more.  S. chose a primarily topical approach (in contrast to Matera’s quasi-historical/canonical approach) which prioritizes a heilsgeschichtlich perspective and a covenantal framework.  All good.  One thing that Schreiner is insistent upon is the Trinitarian dimension of NT theology where the NT’s message is ‘God-focused, Christ-centered, and Spirit-saturated’; he explains: ‘God will receive all the glory for his work in Christ by the Spirit has he works out his purpose in redemptive history’ (p. 23).

I am all for that.

Interestingly, the subtitle of the book is: ‘Magnifying God in Christ’.  I beg the question: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT .  Since I am a Methodist, I felt the need to point this oddity out, because it would have been quite easy to add ‘through the Spirit’.  This does not do much damage to an otherwise lucid approach to NT theology, but I did find it unusual.

3 thoughts on “Is Schreiner a Binitarian???

  1. Nijay,
    “What Happened to the Holy Spirit?” is the fundamental question. Thanks for pointing this out. I’m also concerned when the Spirit is left out in scholarly interaction.

  2. That is a bit disappointing, especially when you consider that Fee complained about this common oversight 15 (or so) years ago in his God’s Empowering Presence. Does the Spirit get the short treatment in the book itself, or just the title?

  3. Given his whole angle on NTT theology is the glory of God (the Father), it is only in keeping that the first member of the Trinity is often mentioned. And, Christ is certainly the hub of the NT, so Schreiner is persistent in his Christology. It is inevitable that the Spirit cannot be mentioned every time the other Trinity members are, but I did not find his work to be overall weak on the Spirit. For me, the major poor choice was only in the subtitle.

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