Noordmans on Trinity, History and Church

A Comparison with Augustine and Bonaventure

in Journal of Reformed Theology
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Without a doubt, the Dutch minister O. Noordmans was one of the precursors of the twentieth-century renaissance in a theology of the Trinity. In this article I examine Noordmans’ theology of Trinity and the related theology of history. I attempt to locate Noordmans’ position in the theological tradition by means of a comparison with Augustine and Bonaventure. Noordmans’ theology of Trinity has a trinitarian-pneumatic character and intends to stir up eschatological longings. It clears the way for God to speak anew through his Spirit and it brings about a historical consciousness in the confession. In spite of its stress on the Spirit, Noordmans’ theology is Christ-centered. But the church, which was previously a union in caritas, has had to pay the price for this concentration on the Spirit. In Noordmans’ theology the church is a broken figure.

Noordmans on Trinity, History and Church

A Comparison with Augustine and Bonaventure

in Journal of Reformed Theology

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References

1

G. van den Brink“De hedendaagse renaissance van de triniteitsleer. Een oriënterend overzicht,” Theologia Reformata 46 (2003) 210–240.

2

Van den Brink“Renaissance” 239.

4

Joseph Ratzinger“Vorwort,” in Gesammelte Schriftenvol. 2 (JRGS2) Offenbarungsverständnis und Geschichtstheologie Bonaventuras (Freiburg im Breisgau 2009) 6: “… der bedeutendste Vertreter der augustinischen Richtung der mittelalterlichen Theologie.”

6

P. BrownAugustine of Hippo: A Biography (London: University of California Press1967) 311.

10

Van den Brink“Renaissance” 227. According to Van de Beek Augustine had hardly any affinity with the concept of Trinity. A. van de Beek Jezus Kurios: Christologie als hart van de theologie (Kampen: Kok 1998) 50.

11

Van den Brink“Renaissance” 226–228.

15

R.A. MarkusSaeculum: History and Society in the Theology of St Augustine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press1970) 41; Jean Daniélou “La typologie de la semaine au ive siècle” Recherches de science réligieuse 35 (1948) 410. In any case the seven-period scheme does play a minor role in Augustine’s theology of history. Observe for instance the loose way he handles it in De Civitate DeiXX 7. Augustine considers the story of the creation in six days as a metaphor in aid of human imagination. Simo Knuuttila “Time and Creation in Augustine” in David Vincent Meconi and Eleonore Stump eds. The Cambridge Companion to Augustine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2 2014) 81. Knuuttila points to ConfessionesXIII.29.44 and De Genesi ad litteramIV.33.52.

16

Daniélou“Typologie” 382; A.F.J. Klein Apostolische Vaders 3 (Baarn: Bosch en Keuning 1967) 59–61.

17

Daniélou“Typologie” 392.

18

Jean Daniélou“Saint Irénée et les origines de la théologie de l’ histoire,” Recherches de Science Religieuse 34 (1947) 228.

22

DaniélouSacramentum Futuri37.

24

AugustineSermo 125.4; Augustine De TrinitateIV.4.7.

25

BrownAugustine294–295.

26

MarkusSaeculum20–21.

36

AugustineEp. 61.2; Joseph Ratzinger JRGS1 207–208.

38

MarkusSaeculum113. “From the first the true Church for Augustine was the ecclesia toto orbe diffusa and this it always remained for him.”

39

Paul ZahnerDie Fülle des Heils in der Endlichkeit der Geschichte. Bonaventuras Theologie als Antwort auf die franziskanischen Joachiten (Werl/Westfalen: Dietrich Coelde Verlag1999) 47.

42

G. WendelbornGott und Geschichte. Joachim von Fiore und die Hoffnung der Christenheit (Vienna and Cologne: Böhlaus1974) 40.

44

Mircea EliadeThe Myth of the Eternal Return (Princeton: Princeton University Press1991) 145.

46

ZahnerFülle61. On the basis of studies by M. Reeves B. McGinn and others Eugène Honée stresses the continuity between the periods. “Joachim tegenover Augustinus. De verbeelding van de heilsgeschiedenis bij Joachim van Fiore” Tijdschrift voor Theologie 38 (1998) 366–393.

47

ZahnerFülle97; Henri de Lubac La postérité spirituelle de Joachim de Flore (Paris 2014) 50–60.

48

His year of birth may be 1221.

52

Saint BonaventureLes six jours de la création. Traduction introduction et notes de Marc Ozilou (Paris: Desclée/Cerf1991) 7.

67

SchlosserBonaventura32.

75

SchlosserBonaventura31. Pastoral need is one of the factors that led to the Reformation although this Reformation definitely is not to be explained by Joachimism. Lubac Postérité 175.

83

Noordmans “Paulus” (1952) VW8 377.

85

“Persoon of Geest” (1933) VW4 164: “Het trinitarisch geheim wordt hier het verst ontsluierd.”

87

NoordmansHerschepping253 262–263 246.

88

NoordmansHerschepping269.

89

NoordmansHerschepping263; Noordmans “Kruis en schepping” (1933/1934) VW2 209 en Herschepping 245.

90

Noordmans“Ontwikkeling” 479; Noordmans “Gereformeerd-ethisch” (1929) VW3 414; cf. Noordmans “Geloofsbelijdenis” (1933) VW4 105.

91

NoordmansAugustinus169.

92

Noordmans “Uit de lijst” (1951) VW8 412.

94

Noordmans “De tolk” (1951) VW8 360.

100

Noordmans“Gods venster” 322.

101

Noordmans “Daad en Lot” (1928) VW6 598. Cf. J.D.Th. Wassenaar “Een spits op de toren van Babel zetten …? Cultuur en Koninkrijk van God bij Noordmans” in Noordmanscahier 8 Noordmans en van Ruler over cultuur en Koninkrijk (2009) 43.

105

Noordmans“Probleem” 661. “Upside down” means: a Kantianism out of the perspective of God. He has to think the fragments “one.”

107

NoordmansHerschepping300.

109

NoordmansHerschepping216.

110

NoordmansHerschepping214.

116

VerheesGod in beweging344.

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