Trinity As Communion In The Spirit Koinonia

Trinity As Communion In The Spirit  Koinonia

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Trinity

as Communion Koinonia, Trinity,

and

Catholic-Pentecostal

Filioque

Veli-Matti

Kärkäinnen

According

to

Ralph

Del

Colle, ologian,

“the Pentecostal-charismatic ly

trinitarian in structure.”

pneumatic

effusion of

Spirit-baptism

He contends

in their

spirituality

in the

Spirit:

in the Roman

Dialogue

a Catholic trinitarian the-

experience

is intrinsical-

that

through

“the

the Christian is

empow-

Pentecostals,

Pentecostals,

who are known Oneness

Pentecostals,

Pentecostals-since

they baptize adhere to a trinitarian

understanding,

ered with the

Holy Spirit

in the mission of Jesus Christ to the glory

of God the Father.” 1 That all Pentecostals are trinitarian

and faith2 is a fact without much

dispute, even when we take into account a

fairly large

number of

in a conservative estimate about one-fourth of all

as “Oneness Pentecostals.”

sometimes also known as “Jesus

Only” in the name of Jesus

only-do

albeit on the economic

the economic level

of the New

means

giving up

the economic Testament and

succumbing

level

only. They argue

that to

go beyond

language

to

philosophical

“Trinity

theology

speculations.3

,

Del Colle, “Oneness and Trinity: A Preliminary Proposal for Dialogue with Oneness Pentecostalism” 1 Ralph

(paper read at the 26th Annual Meeting of the Society

for Pentecostal Theology, 9-13 March 1996, Toronto, Canada) 2. See also

and Temporality: A Pentecostal/Charismatic Perspective,” Journal

of Pentecostal Theology 8 ( 1 996) : 101,111, 1 1 2 .

2 The order is intended (“spirituality and faith”), since it is spirituality rather than

which distinguishes Pentecostalism from other traditions.

3 A good introduction to Oneness Pentecostalism is David A. Reed, “Oneness

in Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, ed.

M. Burgess and Gary B. McGee (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1988), 644-51. The most comprehensive treatment is David K. Bernard, The Oneness of God (Hazelwood, MO: Word Aflame Press, 1983).

Pentecostalism,” Stanley

209

1

that until

recently

Pentecostals

the

Trinity

in cohesive this is understandable

It has to be admitted, however,

have not bothered to formulate their doctrine of

theological

since Pentecostalism roots level movement of charismatic

rather than discursive

enthusiasm,”4

hand,

one

might

have

expected define their trinitarian

Trinity

of the movement

questioned the Godhead and resulted

terms. On the one

hand,

represents

a

grass-

spirituality, “pneumatic

theology.

On the other a more concentrated effort to

because the issue of the

The “New

years view of

opposed

Ironically,

Pentecostals an

understanding

as

expressed toward creeds and creedal tive or

superficial.

understanding,

arose in the

early years

of the movement.5

Issue” raised

by

Oneness Pentecostals in the formative

the traditional trinitarian

in both

groups being diametrically

to and

historically suspicious

have affirmed

of each other.6

the classical trinitari- in

creeds,

but their attitude

formulations has been either

pejora-

“When we ‘came out’ for

Pentecost,” the well-known British Pentecostal

for a

theory,

out for a

burning, living, mighty experience

“we came out not

merely

ized our lives.”7 This

emphasis

wrote

spokesperson

Donald

Gee,

or a doctrine: we came

that revolution- on

experience

rather than on

Lf- Gerald T. Sheppard, “Nicean Creed, Filioque, and Pentecostal Movements in the United States,” Greek Orthodox Theological Revierv 3 1, nos. 3-4 ( 1 986): 402. See

Donald W. Dayton, “Pneumatological Issues in the Holiness Movement,” Greek Orthodox Theological Review 31, nos. 3-4 ( 1 986): 361-88.

also

Publishing House, 1989), Clanton, United

Pentecostal Publishing House, 1970),

Implications

5 For the history of this issue, consult Edith L. Blumhofer, The Assemblies of God: A Chapter of American Pentecostalism, vol. 1, To 1941 (Springfield, MO: Gospel

217-47 (from a trinitarian viewpoint) and Arthur L.

We Stand: A History of Oneness Organizations (Hazelwood, MO:

13-26 (from a Oneness viewpoint). 6 Amos Yong, “Oneness and Trinity: The Theological and Ecumenical

of Creation Ex Nihilo for an Intra-Pentecostal Dispute,” PNEUMA: The Journal

of the Society for

Pentecostal Studies 19, no. I ( 1997): 81. In the

of God Statement of Faith a lengthy statement on “The Adorable

was added in 1916 in response to the “Jesus Only controversy” (to be

later in the present article).

7 D. Gee, “Tests for Fuller Revelations,” The Pentecostal

Evangel, 14 February

Assemblies Godhead” quoted

1925.

210

2

creeds is

expressed

men or

churches,

but

seeking

in a statement

from the

the dead forms and

even more

clearly

first

years

of the Azusa Street Mission: “We are not

fighting

to

replace

creeds with

living, practical Christianity.”8

creeds indicated a

departure

For most Pentecostals,

apostolic

faith for two reasons: concern with

practical Christianity, origin

in and

support

of believers and the idea of church of “believers.”9

were in

principle opposed would

occasionally

for an

episcopacy

from (a)

because of their lack of

and

(b)

because of their

alien to the

priesthood

as a

voluntary community

of

doctrine;

they

This criticism did not mean that Pentecostals

to statements

admit that there is some value in creeds The result has been a mixture of formulae and

phrases

Christian

in relation to

questions

that creeds and a

variety

raised

of

by

“trickle down” from standard ad hoc

statements, especially Oneness Pentecostals.

I

Like most Western

traditions, approached

Godhead and then

emphasizing distinctions within the divine

the doctrine of God

by discussing

essence.

8 Tlle Apostolic Faith 1:1 1 ( 1906): 2.

Churches,

trinitarian Pentecostals have

the

unity

of the the three eternal and

personal

2

Proof-texting

rather

9 Sheppard, “Nicean Creed,” 405. For a detailed discussion of the Pentecostal atti- tude toward creeds, see Cecil M. Robeck, “A Pentecostal Perspective on Apostolicity” (Faith

and Order, NCCC [USA] Consultation on American Bom

March 1982, manuscript); see also Veli-Matti Karkkainen, Spiritus ubi vult spirat:

Pneumatology in Roman Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue 1972-1989, Schriften der Luther-Agricola-Gesellschaft 42 (Helsinki: Luther-Agricola Society,

1998), 350-58.

Gospel Publishing House, 1937), 71, textbooks among Pentecostal students.

10 See, e.g., Myer Pearlman, Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible (Springfield, MO:

which has been one of the most widely read

,

11 Sheppard, “Nicean Creed,” 410.

12 See, e.g., Ernest Swing Williams, Systematic Theology, vol. 1 (Springfield, MO:

the section is titled “The Unity of God- The Trinity.” So also Juhani Kuosmanen, Raamatun opetuksia (Doctrines of the

Gospel Publishing House, 1953), 199ff.;

Bible) (Vantaa,: RV-Kirjat, 1988).

211

3

than

philosophical

or

dogmatic

acteristic of Pentecostal treatments.13

argumentation

has been char-

The

emphasis

of both and

unitarian)

on the economic

accords well with the

Pentecostal

groups’ (trinitarian rather than on the immanent dominant

theological

aspect

of the

Trinity

dialogue

with the Catholic going

on,

has

helped

Pentecostals

Trinity

orientation of our

days.

The

pro

nobis is at the forefront. 14 In recent

Church,

terms what

they

have believed. This

process

only

to trinitarian

Pentecostals,

The

purpose points

on the

Trinity especially

meaning

of the

filioque The

dialogue

between

years,

the

started in 1972 and still

formulate in

theological

applies, however, since Oneness Pentecostals

into the main view-

from that

dialogue, (koinonia)

and the

perspective. 15

as this is not a the

agenda

of the dia-

have not been

part

of the

dialogue.

of this

essay

is to

inquire

that have

emerged

in the

light

of

ecclesiology

from an

ecclesiological

Catholics and Pentecostals did not devote much

space

to the

topic

of the

Trinity,

In that

sense,

from most other discussions between the Roman

and other communities. It is also

noteworthy

significant perspective,

which the discussion on the

Trinity

of koinonia. The third

quinquennium

was devoted to the

topic

of

koinonia,

major

issue of contention. logue

differs

Catholic Church as an

ecumenically

namely,

the

meaning

(1985-1989)

here that the issues of the

Trinity Koinonia is in fact the

proper

that the context in surfaced was

ecclesiology,

and it was

andfilioque

were treated. context for the

discussion,

since

not in

philosophical spec-

it anchors the doctrine of the

Trinity

life of communion between God

ulation,

but in the concrete

“Trinity

chap.

13 Yong, “Oneness and Trinity,” 83.

14 A clear indication of this is Catherine Mowry LaCugna, God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1 99 1 ). See also Del Colle,

and Temporality,” 103ff.

15 For a detailed treatment and sources, see further my Spiritus ubi vult spirat,

6.

212

4

and God’s

people.

This orientation is

helpful

also since it guards against

the

development

of

pneumatology

and

pneuma- tological ecclesiology “independent”

from

christological

and theological

ramifications. We will

begin by discussing

the issue of the

Trinity

in the context of

koinonia,

and then we will

inquire

into the

meaning offilioque

from an

ecclesiologi- cal

point

of view.

Spirit

and

Trinity

Koinonia as Rooted in the Trinitarian Communion

The Final

Report ( 1985- 1 989 ) 16

section titled “The

Holy Spirit

and the New Testament Vision of

Koinonia,”

with the subtitle “Koinonia with the Triune

God,”

opens

with an

– important

mutual affirmation:

Both Pentecostals and Roman Catholics believe that the koinonia

between Christians is rooted in the life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Furthermore, they

believe that this trinitarian life is the highest expres- sion of the unity to which we together aspire: “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ ( I Jn 1:3).” (# 29)

.

,

With this

affirmation,

koinonia is

inseparably

linked doctrine of the

Trinity. 17

It is an ecumenical consensus

with the

that the

16 The Final Reports of the International Roman Catholic–Pentecostal Dialogue are to be found in PNEUMA 12, no. 2 (1990), and in the Information Service 32 ( 1 976), 32-37;

55 (! 984/11-111), 72-80; 75 ( 1 990), 1 79-9 respectively. The Final Reports

will be abbreviated hereafter as: FR I = Final Report

1972–1976; FR Il = Final Report 1977–1982; FR III = Final Report 1985–1989.

17 FR III, 72. As is well known, the texts of Vatican II are a sort of mixture of two kinds of ecclesiologies, “older” and “newer,” that of “society” and “communion;” this has been pointed out in detail in the classic study by Antonio

Acerbi,

Due ecclesiologie. Ecclesiologia giuridica

ed ecclesiologia di communio nella Lumen Gentium (Bologn, 1975).

213

5

communion the koinonia

between

among

Christians divine

in the

church(es)

g

is based on

of

persons. At the same time, the

unity/communion

is the

highest expression

of the divine

Gentium,20

of the

persons

of

unity

for Christians.

persons

is the

“deepest Report

1985-1989

(# 70) sayings

of Un ita tis

as well as the

from the Final

Report

1985-

the

Trinity

This

unity/communion

meaning

of koinonia,” the Final states, echoing

the foundational Redintegratiol9

and Lumen Pentecostal of Faith.2

t

The above

quoted paragraph 1989

(# 29) emphasizes

dimensional

concept, comprising aspects:

communion

Since koinonia

share in the eternal

also the fact that koinonia is a two-

both vertical and horizontal

God’s

people.

God,

believers have “a

in

the

Holy Spirit

whom God’s

with God and

among

is rooted in the Triune

life which is koinonia with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ

(cf.

1 Jn

1:2-3),

and a communion

Son,

Jesus

Christ,

them

(cf.

1 Jn

3.24;

2 Cor

13:14).”22

Holy Spirit,

Trinity,

and Communion

Catholics

and Pentecostals

has

given

to

agree unanimously

that “the

18 For a recent treatment, see, e.g., Miroslav Volf, After Our Likenes.s: The Church as the Image of the Trinity (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1998), 191ff.

Spirit, vol.l,

Chan, “Sharing to Fuller Koinonia,

19 FR III, 70. Unitatis Redintegratio, # 2.

20 There is an explicit trinitarian structure in the first paragraphs of Lumen Gentium (# 2 Father, # 3 Son, # 4 Spirit). Yves Congar (I Believe in the Holy

The Experience of the Spirit [New YorkALondon: Seabury/Chapman, 1983],168ff.), among others,

has drawn attention to the contribution of Vatican II to the development of a trinitarian perspective, something that was missing at Vatican I.

21 For a recent Pentecostal exposition of the meaning of trinitarian life, see Simon

the Trinitarian Life, John 17:29-26; 1 John. 1:1-4,” in On the Way

ed. T. Best and G. Gassman (Geneva: WCC,

1993), 85-90, his presentation at the Canberra 1991 Assembly of the WCC.

22 FR 111, 70.

214

6

Holy Spirit

is the source church has been

gathered 13:13).”23

confess the

Lordship

The

focus since no one can in the

Holy Spirit.24

In

OP,

who

gave

a reading

of basic New

of koinonia or communion.

in the

Holy Spirit (cf.

2 Cor

There is also a

christological

of Jesus

except

his

theological position paper,

Herve

Legrand,

short outline of a Catholic trinitarian

that there is a

“comparatively large

between Catholics and Pentecostalists as to the

of the New Testament data

referring

God.25

Ecumenically

toward

to the commun- this is an

extremely a common

ground

for

Testament

texts, argued agreement”

reading

ion with the Triune

important

result in that it

points developing

ties take their

point

of

departure God.

a more consensual view of koinonia as both

par-

According

to

Legrand,

Christians,

united

among

from the written Word of

(I John 3 : 1 ; 2:24). dwell in the love of the and the Son are

dwell ing

the Father is he who

brings

us com- munion with his Son and with himself

themselves,

Father and of the

Son,

as the Father

them one

(John. 14:20; 15:4;

17 :20- 23 ;

1 John

4:12).

Communion with the Son is

accomplished

within each

other,

making

especially through

the Eucharist 6:56).

The

relationship

more

complex;

( Cor.

10:16; 1:9; John

by baptism

is

is received

through tized become the

temple Consequently,

Christian

with Christ introduced

there the role of the

Holy Spirit

in the com- munion with God is much more

explicit,

the name of Jesus

(Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48;

the

Spirit

of God

(

Cor.

of the

Holy Spirit (

Cor.

the

Holy Spirit

animates the life of

every

as well as the whole church.26

23 FR III, 30. 24 FR III, 36.

since the

baptism

in

19:5;

1 Cor.

6:11 )

6:11 ).

The

bap-

8:19).

,

25 Herve Legrand, “Koinonia, Church and Sacrament” (Catholic position paper at the 13th dialogue session at Venice, Italy, 1-8, August

1987), 5.

26 Ibid., 2-3.

215

7

Legrand argues his task

by pouring community (Acts 2:33); ing

of the messianic

a

deep

communion between they equally

begins

the

gather-

(Acts

2 :5-

(I up

of the

Temple

of God

at work for the

unity

of the

body

of Christ

Furthermore, Legrand Testament

tological reality, oscillating Of

course,

this

eschatological visible and historical

munion with

God,

the

Father, not

only eschatological:

that in the New Testament Christ achieves

forth the

Holy Spirit upon

the

apostolic

thus at Pentecost

community open

to all nations

11).

“The

gifts

of the

Spirit

to all Christians do not

only

set

up

them

(II

Cor.

13:14;

Phil.

2:1 )

but

contribute to the construction of the Church Cor.

12:7; 14:4)

and to the

building

(I

Cor. 3:16;

Eph. 2:22).

The

Spirit

is

always

(I

Cor.

12:13).”

reminds us that in the New

the communion initiated in the church is an escha-

between

dimension of the

community:

.

it

gives

birth to a church which ible and has a mission and a

responsibility

Another Catholic team

member,

oped

his idea of “The

Trinity from an

explicitly pneumatological pneumatological ecclesiology28 Mystica

Persona

( 1 968).29

Mühlen

27 Ibid., 3-4.

“already”

and “not

yet.” dimension does not

negate

the

“The com- the Son and the

Holy Spirit,

is

is vis-

within

history.”27

Heribert

Muhlen,

devel- as Communion in the

Spirit”

viewpoint.

His idea of a

developed

from his Una

notes that Lumen Gentium

28 See further Paul D. Lee, Pneumatological Ecclesiology in Roman Catholic– Pentecostal Dialogue. Catholic Reading of the Third Quinquennium (1985–1989). Dissertatio d Lauream in Facultate S. Theologiae pud Pontificiam Universitatem Thomae in Urbe (Rome, 1994).

position paper

29Heribert Muhlen, Una Mystica Persona. Die Kirche als das Mysterium der Identitdt des Heiligen Geistes in Christus und den Christen: eine Person in vielen Personen

(Paderbom, Germany: Ferdinand Schbning, 1967). See also H. Mlhlen, “Charismatic and Sacramental Understanding of the Church: Dogmatic Aspects on Charismatic Renewal,” One in Christ 12 (1976), 334 (the published version of his

read at the first quinquennium meeting in 1974). As is well known, the earlier Catholic theology of the church operated with the concept of the church as continuation of Christ’s incarnation; this view was based on the highly influen-

216

8

(# 8) speaks

of an

“analogy” church: “For this reason, is

compared

to the

mystery assumed nature

inseparably him as a

living

instrument

Spirit,

who vivifies 4:16).”

Spirit

or “communion

Lumen Gentium

between incarnation and the

analogy,

this

reality

so,

in a similar

way,

of the

Holy

by

an excellent

of the incarnate Word. Just as the

united to the divine Word serves

of

salvation,

does the communal structure of the Church serve Christ’s

it

by way

of

building up

the

body (cf. Eph.

The Church is thus defined as the

mystery

in the

Spirit.”3o

(# 7)

stresses also the fact that the

Spirit is one and the same

(unus

et

idem)

in Christ and Christians.

means to

say

that the church

of Jesus

by

the

Holy Spirit.3

1

to hear from Catholics

of Vatican II about the church

is the contin-

that “the

By

this the Council

uation of the

anointing

Pentecostals are

delighted central statements

light

its

basically pneumatological closely following

12:1-13,

one of the cardinal an

importance

for

ecclesiology

St Paul in this matter.”

texts for

Pentecostals,

John 1 : 14 and Phil 2.5-11 for

Christology,”

the

Holy Spirit, “dwelling

It is therefore

Principle of

Tiibingen

clearly high-

structure,

the Council

And,

therefore 1 Cor.

“assumes that is similar to that

of, say,

Mühlen

argues.3′-

in those who

tial ecc1esiology of Johann Adam Mohler in the ninteenth century (especially on his later writings in contradistinction to his earlier emphasis on the pneumatologi- cal constitution of the church as explicated in his Unity in the Church or the

Catholicism [ 1825]). For this see: B.E. Hinze, “The Holy Spirit and the Catholic Tradition: The Legacy of Johann Adam Mohler,” in The Legacy of the

School: The Relevance of Nineteenth Century Theology for the Twenty- First Century, ed. Donald J. Dietrich and Michael J. Himes (New York, NY: Crossroad Herder, 1997), 75-94, and Michael Himes, Ongoing Incarnation: Johann Adam Mdhler and the Beginning of Modern Ecclesiology (New York, NY: Crossroad Herder, 1997).

added);

30 Miihlen, “Charismatic and Sacramental Understanding,”

333-34 (emphasis

“The Holy Spirit and the NT View of Communion” (Catholic position paper read at the l2th dialogue session, Pasadena, CA, 24-30 May 1986), 1-2. 31 Ibid., 334; Muhler, Una Mystica Persona, 380-85; “The Holy Spirit,” 29. 32 Muhlen, “Charismatic and Sacramental Understanding,” 335 (emphasis added).

217

9

and

ruling

over the entire about that wonderful communion of the faithful

and

joins

them

together

believe and

pervading brings

munionem

fidelis]

Christ that he is the

principle sacred

mystery

through

Christ,

functions.”33

Using

his somewhat

of the

unity

of the

church, with the

Holy Spirit energizing

church,

who

[com-

so

intimately

in of the church’s

unity.

This is the

in Christ and

its various

language,

Muhlen notes out of and in two

per- about the church as a

idiosyncratic

that since the

Holy Spirit

is one

person

the

Spirit brings

In the “we” of the witnesses of the life

the

Holy Spirit

makes his

appearance

so that “the effectiveness

when one

gains

access to the communion of these witnesses.” On the basis of this

“we,”

Mihlen can

sons,

the divine

“we,” “relational structure.” of

Jesus,

of

salvation,

be

experienced

regard

the

Spirit

as

very

crucial

the

Holy Spirit.” beings

perceive

While both

Legrand

in the

history of the

Spirit

is and can

to

his

view of the church:

perceivable

form of

“The church is the visible and

sensorially

When we see and hear how other human

abandon themselves to

God,

Muhlen

the

Holy Spirit or, better,

the

Spirit’s

and Miihlen

role of the

Spirit

in the creation of church

there are also differences

underlined the sacramental

in

fact,

comes

of the church. In Miihlen the lan-

seems to

go

so far toward the

pneu-

tical and

horizontal),

Legrand

Mfhlen’s

language,

Pentecostal

understanding guage

of

sacramentality matological

that the distinction “charismatic/pneumatological”

states,

then we

acts.34

accentuated the critical

koinonia

(both

ver-

of

emphasis: perspective

whereas extremely

close to the

between “sacramental” and is hard to detect.

33 Unitatis Redintegratio, 2; Mühlen, “The Holy Spirit,” 1. 34 Miihlen, “The Holy Spirit,”

14-15.

218

10

Trinity,

Fellowship,

and

Experience

The Pentecostal

cochair, the trinitarian

perspective seen in his

exegesis koinonia,

Jr.,

accentuated which can be

to

.

Cecil M.

Robeck,

in his

position paper,

of some crucial NT

passages relating

such as 2 Cor. 13:13: “The

grace

of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the

fellowship

Spirit

be with

you

all.” From this and similar

1:9;

Phil. 2:1

etc.),

“we can conclude of God which comes

relationship

to God mediated tive

by

the

Holy Spirit.”35

cites an

extremely

relates

directly

from God. It is

descriptive

through

In the

beginning

meaningful passage to the concerns of Pentecostal

fellowship

of the

Holy

passages (

Cor. that koinonia is a work

of a

unique the Son and made effec-

of his

paper

he from Emil Brunner that

ecclesiology:

.

The Body of Christ is nothing other than a fellowship of persons. It is ‘the fellowship of Jesus Christ’ or ‘fellowship of the Holy Ghost’ where

or koinonia signities a common participation, a togetherness, a community life. The faithful are bound to each other through their com- mon sharing in Christ and in the Holy Ghost, but that which they have in common is precisely no “thing,” no “it,” but a “he,” Christ and His Holy

Spirit.36

could have been written

of Pentecostal

,

by

a Pentecostal. It

teaching

on the

second,

insistence on the and

third,

the

primacy given

This

passage

betrays

several

emphases

church:

first,

the

“body” language; fellowship-nature

of the

church; to the

Holy Spirit.

These are the

emphases Testament

ecclesiology.

that Robeck also finds in the New Two basic texts that

explicitly

(Pentecostal position paper

connect

35 Cecil M. Robeck, “The Holy Spirit and the NT Vision of Koinonia,”

read at the l2th dialogue session, Pasadena, CA, 24-30 May 1986), 7.

36 Emil Brunner, The Misunderstanding of the Church, trans. Harold Knight

PA: Westminster Press, 1953), 10-11; quoted in Robeck, “The Holy

1.

(Philadelphia, Spirit,”

219

11

are Phil. 2:1 and 2 Cor.

13:13,

but of others that

imply

the same: 1 Cor.

1 :9 ;

the

Spirit

and koinonia

there is a plethora

Rom. 11:17; and 1 John 1:3, 6-7, passages

that comes

ship

to God mediated

through

Robeck concludes that koinonia

from God: “It is

descriptive

which

may

be

distinguished something

among

others. From these

is a work of God

of a

unique

relation- the Son and made effective

by

and horizontal dimensions

Koinonia is not

to

do,

it is

something

the doctrine

Ervin,

insistence

Spirit

takes

seriously

a

personal with the

Holy Spirit.”3s that the

twentieth-century churches have led to a renewed simply

on a

speculative experience

of the

immediacy

the

Holy Spirit.

It has both vertical

but not

separated.

which the church undertakes

which God calls sinners to

experience. “37

In

fact,

the most

important point

for Pentecostals is not

per se,

but the

experience

in his

position paper,

contends that the “Pentecostal

upon

the new birth and the

baptism

Ervin also

regards

Pentecostal

tical tradition of the

church, ence of the whole

people

of the

Trinity.

Howard

in the

Holy koinonia with the Son and

it to be

significant

renewals of the Western emphasis upon

the

Trinity,

not

in a renewed

be

gainsaid,

have taken

.

Catholics and Pentecostals koinonia in the

Spirit, except

level,

but

existentially

of the vertical as well as the hor- izontal dimensions of koinonia. “It

may hardly

that the Pentecostal revivals of the

present century

the koinonia of/with the

Holy Spirit

out of the cloistered

and made it the common

of God.”39

In

sum,

it can be said that there is no contention

concerning

for the

way

it is manifested: for Pentecostals this takes

place

in the

individual,

paper

mys-

experi- .

between the trinitarian basis of

for Catholics it

37 Robeck, “The Holy Spirit,” 4, 7.

38 Howard M. Ervin, “Koinonia, Church and Sacraments” (Pentecostal

read at the l3th

position

dialogue session, Venice, Italy, 1-8 August 1987), 8. 39 Ibid., 8-9.

220

12

is

through

the church.

Toward

a Trinitarian

Pneumatology

and

Ecclesiology

To

deepen

our

analysis

of the trinitarian basis of ecclesiol- ogy,

we will refer

briefly

to an

important, widely

acclaimed essay by

the Catholic

cochair,

Kilian

McDonnell, OSB,

enti- tled “A Trinitarian

Theology

of the

Holy Spirit,”4°

before moving

to the

question

of

the filioqase.

McDonnell contends that the

Spirit

sets the rules for

speaking

of God and the Trinity,41

and that the

Trinity

sets the control for a

healthy pneumatology,

and thus for a

pneumatological ecclesiology. While he does not

downplay

the

christological

concentration of

pneumatology,42

he does insist that the first location of both Christology

and

pneumatology

is the

Trinity.43

Trinitarian ori- entation

safeguards pneumatology

from the

danger

of either ignoring christological

orientation or

becoming overly “Pentecost”-centered,

although

Pentecost is to

ecclesiology what Easter is to

Christology.44

The

Spirit

as

experienced

in history

is the

point

of

entry

into the

christological

and trinitar- ian

mystery. Pneumatology, according

to

McDonnell,

is there- fore the universal horizon

determining

the

interpretation

of

40 Kilian McDonnell, “A Trinitarian Theology of the Holy Spirit,” Theological Studies 46 ( 1 985 ): 191-227..

41 Ibid., 214-18.

°

42 Kilian McDonnell (“The Determinative Doctrine of the Holy Spirit,” Theology Today

39 [ 1 982]: 1 59) notes that the New Testament established the reciprocity of “in Christ” and “in the Spirit.”

43 Kilian McDonnell, “Pneumatology Overview: Trinitarian Guidelines for Speaking

about the Holy Spirit,” in Proceedings of the Fifty-first Annual

Convention, ed. E. Dwyer. The Catholic Theological Society of America 51 1 ( 1 996): 189.

44 Kilian McDonnell, “Vatican II ( 1 962– 1 965), Puebla ( 1 979). Synod ( 1 985): Koinonia/Communion as an Integrating Ecclesiology,” Journal

of Ecumenical Studies 25 (1988): 403.

221

13

Christ and the

Trinity. look like this :45

In a

diagram,

this hermeneutic would

Ecclesiology

Pneumatology Christology Trinity

a contact func- and the church

through

The

Spirit

exercises tion.46 The Father touches Christ

movement

trolling

the movement.47

mutuality through

history

in the

Spirit.

The

Spirit

is also the

point

of

entry

into a

back to the Father. In all of

this,

the

Trinity

Filioque

is con-

and

and the

Question of Deficient Pneumatology

Ecclesiology

.

the

Trinity, attention.

If Pentecostals have

paid

little attention to the doctrine

the issue of

thefilioque

According

to

filioque,

of

has received even less the

Spirit proceeds

from the

by

the Father

Nevertheless, many

of

controversy

over

Father and the

Son,

but the Son is not

begotten

Thus the Father and the Son constitute

of the Godhead from which the

by

definition.

issues at stake in the historic

have been of

great

interest to

most Pentecostals have

yet

to real-

of

course,

Creed

and the

Holy Spirit.

twin

principles

or sources Holy Spirit

is excluded the

underlying

the filioque question

Pentecostals,

even

though ize that fact. Most

Pentecostals, confessing, according formulations,

filioque,

to the Nicene

but one needs to ask

seriously

found themselves and other Western

if it is

45 McDonnell, “The Determinative Doctrine,” 148, 159.

46 McDonnell, “A Trinitarian Theology,” 209-210.

47 Ibid., 193ff. For a recent attempt to construct a trinitarian based pneumatologi-

concerns of which come close to this dialogue, see Michael

J. Shanahan, Church: A Spirited Communion (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1995).

cal ecclesiology, many Lawler and Thomas

222

14

anything

other than

repeating

A definitive

interpretation from a Pentecostal

viewpoint

what others have said earlier.

of the doctrine of the

Trinity

is

subjoined

Assemblies of God “Statement of Fundamental Truths.” It is

entitled “The Adorable

Godhead,” (d) “Identity

and

Co-Operation the

Trinity

in a

traditionally ioqcce-clause:

Latin

way

with an

explicit fil-

nor confused opposed the Son as

Son

to Article 2 of the

and the relevant section in the Godhead. “48 It defines

is

.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are never identical as to Person;

as to relation; nor divided in respect to the Godhead; nor

as to cooperation. The Son is in the Father and the Father is in

to relationship. The Son is with the Father and the Father is with the Son, as to fellowship. The Father is not from the Son, but the

is from the Father, as to authority. The Holy Ghost is from the Father and the Son proceeding, as to nature, relationship, cooperation and authority.

Hence neither Person in the Godhead either exists or works

or independently of the others. John 5 :17-30, 32, 37; John

18.

separately 8:17,

With

regard

interesting

to note that the Final does not address

Final

Report,

for that

matter). discussion in both the Catholic

to the Catholic-Pentecostal

the issue

of filioque

There

papers. Ironically,

the Pentecostal team member Howard Ervin devoted the most

space

to the discussion

lem,

noting

that most

Pentecostals, nuances of creedal

formulations, inconsistent with

regard Pentecostal manuals would

dialogue,

it is Report ( 1 985-1 989)

itself

(nor

does

any

other

is, however,

an extensive and Pentecostal

position

M.

of this

prob-

not familiar with the

are often found to be rather

Most

.

to the issue of

filioque,.

likely

endorse the Western addi- tion that “the

Holy Spirit, then, proceeds

(as

the creeds

48 Statement of Fundamental Truths Approved by the General Council of the Assemblies of God, 13, in Minutes of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, St. Louis, MO, 1-7, October 1916. For a helpful discussion, see Sheppard “Nicean Creed,” 409ff.

223

15

declare) Pentecostal

textbooks

(as

ceeding

stated in the

creeds)

day

of

Pentecost,50

others ceeds

eternally

from the Father

from the Father and the Son.”49 While some

are

ambiguous

of the

Spirit (John 15:26)

is an eternal

or a

proceeding

affirm that the

Holy Spirit “pro-

about whether the

pro-

relationship into the church on the

and from the Son.”5

1

cession is eternal

ceeds from the Father” alone. suppositions

of a Pentecostal procession

Ervin’s own stand is clear on this issue: “Whether the

pro-

or in

time,

in John

Pentecostalist

Raymond

15:26 the

Spirit “pro- Biblically

and within the

pre- theology

this is

decisive;

the

only

to the

Father,-never

to

According

of the

Spirit

is attributed

to the Father and the Son.”52 He makes reference

Pruitt who has addressed the

question of the subordination of both the Son and the

Holy Spirit.

Pruitt makes an unwarranted

that “it is a subordination of functional

“for convenience’s sake” sees it

to

Ervin,

essence.”

Pruitt, though, advisable to use the traditional nal.”53 While Ervin

rightly thinking “disturbing”54 to note the fact that Pentecostal

sees the

implications to

Christology

activity,

comment not of

.

(creedal) terms,

like “eter-

of such

and the

Trinity,

one has theology operates

here at a

theology

is

popular, nonanalytic temporal

departing

from the classical

level. To confuse eternal relations and mission does not mean that Pentecostal

canons.

Ervin, “Koinonia,” 2, quoting G. P. Duffield and N. M. Van Cleave, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology (Los Angeles, CA L.I.F.E. Bible College,

1983), 109.

50 This noncommittal view is implied in Duffield and Van Cleave, Foundations, 109. In reference to John 15:26, it has to be noted, though, that the text obviously is about the economy of the Spirit rather than theology.

51 Raymond M. Pruitt, Fundamentals

of Faith (Cleveland, TN: White Wing

House and Press,

198 1 ), 284; quoted in Ervin, “Koinonia,” 3. 52 Ervin, “Koinonia,” 3.

Publishing

53 Pruitt, Fundamentals of Faith,

102. 54 Ervin, “Koinonia,” 4.

224

16

We can no

longer Pentecostalists

“koinonia was

applied mon salvation

through Jesus Chist.”55

cast doubt

upon

the

orthodoxy Duffield and Van

Cleave,

to the church as those

having

a common

of

when

they

state that

a com- faith in God and in His Son

the

Holy Spirit “lingering filioque

in the Pentecostal too much of a

theology

To see here in the absence of

mentioning

echoes of the subordinationism of the

witness to koinonia”56 is to

require

that until our decades has been

mostly in oral form.57 What this absense shows is that we are still

lacking

a coherent Pentecostal

systematic theology.

that the

question

of subor-

it as functional

and

procession

are of

But Ervin is correct in

claiming

by characterizing

Since

generation

this exclusion of the

Holy Spirit

from

as

posited by the filioque, argues for subordination of the

Holy Spirit.

dination is not answered rather than

ontological. necessity ontological, the source of the

Godhead,

filioque

is

open

to the

charge

Implications of Filioque

Even if the

charge tion of filioque,

according

Thus,

Ervin

concludes, of ditheism.58

the inser- has serious effects on the

neglect

of the

is all too obvious. Even trinitarian,

all too

often,

when their

theologies life and

praxis

Pentecostals,

that

despite been

subjected, they

continue

of ditheism could be

avoided,

to

Ervin,

notion of koinonia and church: “The

general

Holy Spirit

in the life of the churches

are

formally

are

crypto

unitarian. It is to the credit of

the

opprobrium

to which to bear

uncompromising

they

have

witness

55 Duffield and Van Cleave, Foundations, 447:

56 Ervin, “Koinonia,” 12.

ing specific

57 Ervin concedes, however, that this omission of the Spirit might “represent noth-

more than the strictures of theological method, i.e., a verbal accomodation to

texts of Scripture.”

58 Ervin, “Koinonia,” 4-5.

225

17

to the koinonia

Ervin contends

mon

ground

with the Orthodox

of the

Holy Spirit.”59

that

many

Pentecostals would find com-

“subordination the

unity

of popular

there are two

negative consequences

of the

Holy Spirit,

Surprisingly,

sentiment of the Greek Orthodox

ioqLCe.61 He sums up:

“The

objections

introduces a distortion

distortion in the koinonia of the

theologians

who

argue

that

of

the filioque, namely,

[and an] overemphasis

on

Ervin

very

much echoes the

critique

of

fil-

raised have this in com-

in the koinonia of

mon,

that

the filioque the

Trinity,

and a

consequent Church.”62

Catholic Herve

Legrand assessment of the

implications causal link

betweenfilioque to it seems doubtful.

is much more moderate in his

and the ecclesial

If it were the direct forced to claim that Protestant churches

liberty subject

of

the filioque:

to him such a

effects attributed

cause,

we would be

make “charism sub-

to

imposed to the

juridical,

the

mystique

to the

clergy,

the

hierarchy.”63

although

he contends that

in the

ject

to the

institution,

interior authority,

the

prophetic subject subject

to the

scholastic, universal

priesthood subject This

Legrand

we must

recognize

a certain Latin

church,

sis,

the absence

ciencies

the

laity subject

to the ministerial

is not

ready

to

admit,

pneumatological deficiency

which is seen in the weak attention to the

epicle-

of a

developed synodality,

autonomy given

to the

clergy.64

These are some of the defi-

spirituality

that Pentecostal

59 Ibid., 6.

and a certain

and

theology-perhaps

60 Ibid., 4, quoting Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church (London: Penguin

Books, 1972), 235. 61 Ervin, “Koinonia,” 6-7. 62 Ibid., 7.

63 Legrand, “Koinonia,” 13-14, quoting from Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical

the Eastern Church (London: J. Clarke,

1957), 155-156, 163, 166,

Theology of

185.

64 Legrand, “Koinonia,”

14.

226

18

using

a less sacramental help

correct in the future.

and less

liturgical

language-could

Spirit

and

Filioque

Mfhlen’s and McDonnell’s

insights might help

us

sharpen our view of the

relationship

of the

Spirit

to the Son and the Father. Muhlen

points

out that it forms

part

of the stock of the church’s traditional

understanding

that the

Holy Spirit

emerges

from the Father and the

Son,

or

through

the

Son,

in a single, joint

act. Father and

Son, then,

are not two

principles but rather one

principle

of the

Holy Spirit.

From all

eternity, the

Holy Spirit emerges

out of the Father and the

Son,

“not as the result of two breaths, but

by

means of a

single

breath” (unica spiratione).65

The

emergence

of the

Holy Spirit

can therefore be described as the

joint

“we” act of Father and Son. In Mihlen’s scenario the mutual

relationship

between the Father and the Son has a

completely

different structure from the mutual

relationship

that exists between the Father and the Son on the one hand and the

Holy Spirit

on the other. “The Father is constituted as a

person only by

means of his relation- ship

to the

Son,

while the Son is constituted as a

person only by

virtue of his reverse

relationship

to the Father. The ‘breath- ing’

of the

Holy Spirit,

on the other

hand,

has its

origin

in the two

persons

who

merge

into a

single

act. The

Holy Spirit

is one

person

out

of and

in two

persons,

the divine ‘we’ in

per- son.”66

McDonnell notes

that,

alongside

the distinction of two “missions,”

there is in the New Testament a radical

relating

of the one to the other. The Father sends the

Spirit

in the name of the Son

(John 14:26),

and the Son sends the

Spirit

from the

.

65 Muhlen, “The Holy Spirit,”

10, quoting from Enchiridion Symbolorum, ed. H. Denzinger

and A. Schonmetzer (1963), 460.

66 Muhlen, “The Holy Spirit,”

13.

227

19

Father

(John 15:26).

The source of both is the Father. Luke also has this

mutuality

of the

Spirit

and Son

(Luke 24:49;

Acts 2:22).

In a different

perspective

Paul reaches the

point

where the

mutuality expressed

in “Lord” and

“Spirit”

becomes almost

interchangeable (Rom. 12:5, 11;

1 Cor.

6:11;

2 Cor. 3:17, 18). If, then,

both missions

go

out from the

Father, McDonnell

concludes,

both lead to the Father: a Patre ad Patrem. He reminds us that

building

on the biblical

witness, the

patristic

tradition

developed

the

theology

of the movement from the Father

through

Christ in the

Spirit, .

and back

by

the same movement to the Father.

Since

the filioque

clause has not been

graced

with univer- sal

approval

and it devalues the

unity

of the

church,

an increasing

number of Western churches are

considering

the suppression

of the insertion.68 The

joint study

conducted

by Faith and Order

(WCC)

has

suggested

several alternative for- mulations

worthy

of consideration:

the

Spirit proceeds

the

Spirit proceeds Son;

the

Spirit proceeds from the

Son;

the

Spirit proceeds Son;

the

Spirit proceeds through

the Son.69

from the Father from the Father

of the

Son; through

the

from the Father and receives

from the Father and rests on the

from the Father and shines out

.

67 McDonnell, A Trinitarian Theology, 210-211.

68 Faith and Order, Confessing the One Faith: An Ecumenical Explication of the Apostolic

Faith as It Is Confessed in the Nicene-Constantinople Creed (381 ) (Geneva: WCC, 1991 ).

69 Faith and Order, “The Filioque Clause in Ecumenical Perspective ( 1 979),” in Documentary History of Faith

and Order 1963-1993, ed. G3nther Gassman (Geneva: WCC, 1993),

188. See also Lee, Pneumatological

Ecclesiology, 1 88ff, concerning

the dialogue and its treatment of thefilioque.

228

20

though,

It has to be

noted, the creeds the doctrine!

that exclusion of the

filioque does not

by itself,

of

course,

.

Conclusion

mean

taking

from it out of

in the context of

ecclesiology

on the

pro

nobis

and Pentecostals to

operate

been characteristic of Pentecostalism

of recent Catholic

Catholics and Pentecostals

theology,

too.

agree

on the neces- Together they say

that

between Christians/churches is a reflection of the

In this trinitarian

is still in the

making.

context,

there is a com-

Pentecostalism rather than discursive theol-

over the

years

has

about their

theology

and what

The discussion on the

Trinity helps

Catholics

level,

which has

always and

increasingly

Furthermore,

sary

trinitarian basis of koinonia. koinonia

divine communion.

munion of the

Spirit.

Pentecostal

theology represents

charismatic

spirituality ogizing

helped

of the

Trinity and filioqice. distinctively

directions it

might

about the

Spirit.

The

dialogue

Pentecostals to think more

clearly

It is

yet

to be seen

if

there is

any

Pentecostal contribution to these

issues,

take. It is safe to

say

that one should not necessarily posit

a need for distinctive Pentecostal

doctrine.

What one could

say,

however, be able to

sharpen

the

perception

trinitarian

ing

the role of the

Spirit

in the

Trinity.

is that Pentecostalism

might

of other traditions concern-

Even if it is wise not to for

alleged pneumatological

Pentecostals

blame too

hastily the filioque deficit in Western

theology, bearing

with Eastern Orthodox to correct

pneumatological

it has to be admitted that it has a upon

how the role of the

Spirit

is conceived.

theologians,

“forgetfulness. “70

Together might

be able

See Sheppard, “Nicean Creed,” 412-13.

229

21

The distinctive Pentecostal contribution could be the accent on the

baptism

in the

Holy Spirit

with

accompanying charismatic manifestations

(speaking

in

tongues, prophecy, word of

knowledge, etc.), which,

as was stated in the

begin- ning

of the

essay, brings

the doctrine of the

Trinity

into

expe- riential dimension;71 which is more in tune with the New Testament

emphasis.

7 ‘ For a theological analysis of the trinitarian nature of Pentecostal spirituality and affections see Steven J. Land, Pentecostal Spirituality: A Passion for the Kingdom (Sheffield, England:

Sheffield Academic Press, 1994), 125ff.

230

22

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