"The Church as the Image of the Trinity"
A Critical Evaluation of Miroslav Volf’s Ecclesial Model
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
As one who has taught on The Holy Trinity for many years in my seminary classes, and has written on the subject from time to time, I am particularly pleased with Kevin Bidwell's The Church as the Image of the Trinity: A Critical Evaluation of Miroslav Volf's Ecclesial Model. He certainly gets to a major point of discussion in current thought on the relation of Trinity, humankind in general, and church in particular. In so doing he has dealt fairly and with much clarity on such leading academic writers on this subject as Moltmann, Pannenberg, LaCugna nad especially Miroslav Volf. Bidwell knows well both Easten and Western strands of thought on this all-important and complex subject. I think that he is right in seeing the tripersonal nature of God as the basis of human personhood and the very structure of the Christian Church. He explores with judiciousness, and constant reference to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures on the Trinity, and its implications for our creational and redeemed life in community. His range of reading is immense, but always coherent; always coming back to the crucial points. This volume could usefully serve as a text book in various seminaries and divinity faculties of universities. It will introduce students (and professors) to the most significant work on the matter over the last fifty years. I definitely plan to use it in my classes.
Douglas F. Kelly
Professor of Systematic Theology
Reformed Theological Seminary at Charlotte, North Carolina
"Miroslav Volf has had a profound impact on contemporary discussions on the doctrine of the Trinity, and its significance for contemporary ecclesiology. Kevin Bidwell's book provides the first comprehensive evaluation of his approach to these topics, which impresses by his unbiased critical discussion of Volf's ecclesiological egalitarianism."
Lecturer in Systematic Theology & Philosophy
University of Wales: Trinity Saint David
"This book by Kevin Bidwell represents a major, original contribution to contemporary Trinitarian theology. His contribution lies in a critical engagement with Miroslav Volf's social understanding of the Trinity, Moltmann's influence on Volf, the adaptation of the early Separatist writings of John Smyth by Volf, and his development of an egalitarian ecclesiology. This is research at its best and must be read by church ministers and academics."
Wales Evangelical School of Theology
"Miroslav Volf argues cogently for a social doctrine of the Trinity and for an egalitarianism in both the Trinity and the church--ideas which are very popular today. He also claims that his ecclesiology flows from his doctrine of the Trinity. Kevin Bidwell subjects these claims to a penetrating criticism, and all who hold to them need to listen carefully to what this book has to say."
Professor of Historical Theology
London School of Theology