The One God: A Critically Developed Evangelical Doctrine of Trinitarian Unity

By Michael L. Chiavone

A contribution to the literature on the doctrine of the Trinity, critically examining modern theological models to recognise and understanding God’s unity.

ISBN: 9780227173626


In what sense is God one? How can those who worship Jesus Christ, his Father, and the Holy Spirit claim to be monotheists? These questions were answered by the early church, and their answering analogies, models, and language have come down to the church today. However, theology is not stagnant, and the twentieth century has seen several new models of the Trinity emerge. Many of these models have focused on the three persons of the Trinity without adequately considering the consequences for the unity of God.

The One God seeks to develop an understanding of the unity of the Triune God by examining the positions put forward by Karl Rahner, Millard Erickson, John Zizioulas, and Wolfhart Pannenberg. After carefully presenting and critically examining each of these positions, this book offers a synthesis: an understanding of the unity of God that is historically informed, theologically adequate, internally coherent, and able to explain Christian monotheism in a new century. By affirming both the singular divine essence of God and the genuine, eternal interdependence of distinct divine persons in God, The One God affirms the personal and the natural levels of ontology, both crucial for understanding God, humanity, and the world.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 232

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Michael Chiavone is an adjunct professor of theology with Liberty Seminary’s distance learning program. He has served as a youth pastor and senior pastor, and currently resides near Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his wife, Angie, his son, Brinn, and his daughter, Evelyn.


List of Abbreviations

1. Introduction to the Doctrine of Trinitarian Unity
2. Karl Rahner and Trinitarian Unity
3. Millard Erickson and Trinitarian Unity
4. John Zizioulas and Trinitarian Unity
5. Wolfhart Pannenberg and Trinitarian Unity
6. Successful Evangelical Understanding of Trinitarian Unity



Endorsements and Reviews

Whereas in much of contemporary Trinitarian theology there is a definite push toward the threeness as a corrective to what current theologians regard as a one-sided affirmation of the unity, the main task of this insightful study by Michael Chiavone is to remind of the importance of finding a balance that would secure the unity of the Triune God. After a careful and irenic critique of some of the leading constructive Trinitarian proposals by Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant thinkers, Chiavone boldly lays down his own proposal. This is a valuable invitation to continue dialogue about this most vital issue.
Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Fuller Theological Seminary and University of Helsinki, Finland

Solid and judicious, Chiavone’s work on the Trinity is a helpful proposal. He is faithful to conciliar orthodoxy and accounts well for the unity of God. Serious students of the doctrine of the Trinity will benefit from this responsible critique of Rahner, Erickson, Zizioulas, and Pannenberg. The One God is a genuine contribution to the scholarly literature on the doctrine.
Pete Schemm, Dean of The College at Southeastern

It is good to see evangelicals seriously entering into the contemporary discussion on the Trinity at a scholarly level.
Kevin Giles, in Evangelical Quarterly, Vol 84, No 2

… a critical appraisal of the threeness and unity of God in the work of Karl Rahner, Millard Erickson, John Zizioulas and Wolfhart Pannenberg. … chapters engage with them descriptively and critically as the theological roots and contexts of their Trinitarian theology are outlined.
Scott Harrower, in Theological Book Review, Vol 24, No 2