Rethinking the Trinity and Religious Pluralism

There is quite a plethora of popular books helping Christians to understand the relationship between Christianity and other faiths, or more often Islam. Many of these are very good, but are usually written for a general Christian readership and don’t necessarily stretch the reader. Those that do come from a more intellectual perspective are often from a view that does not affirm historic Christian beliefs. What Johnson has managed to do here is produce a text that is intellectually very strong but that remains true to Christian belief.

Johnson considers Augustine’s Trinitarian theology and from that perspective engages with four of the leading voices in the theology of religions today, namely Mark Heim, Amos Yong, Jacques Dupuis and Raimundo Panikkar. The text makes a strong contribution to Augustinian theology, to the recent resurgent interest in Trinitarian theology and to thinking on the theology of religions. This is an impressive achievement and the book will be of interest to those whose primary interest is one of the three distinct fields, and will then help to point exponents in one of these areas to the other areas. As such this is a strong contribution to theology.

Geoffrey Wainwright’s foreword might be the most helpful way to point to the value of this text to MET readers when he writes ‘As a Methodist, I am confident that Keith Johnson’s book will stand as a faithful guide for present and future believers on the road toward what John Wesley describes at the conclusion of his sermon “The New Creation”: “And to crown all, there will be a deep, an intimate, an uninterrupted union with God, a constant communion with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, through the Spirit; a continual enjoyment of the Three-One God, and of all the creatures in him!” (p.11).