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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: May 2010

5 - God in three persons: the one who lights and lives in love


In God, being is not one thing and living another … For in God, to live, to know, to be blessed is one and the same as to be.

(Augustine, City Of God, viii.6)

God is not a substance underlying the communication; he is the substance of communication.

The Person of Jesus and his mission are together grounded in and flow from his unique relation to God: God and I, I and God, the incarnate I AM of the one Lord God of heaven and earth. That is who Jesus is, as the Son of Man, the Son of God become human, the very Light, Life and Love of God Almighty.

We now turn from our discussion of God's being in communicative activity to consider the communicative agency of the three divine persons. As we saw in Part I, contemporary Trinitarian theology gives pride of theological place to the idea that persons are constituted by their relationships. What we have called the “new orthodoxy” holds that the same kinds of relation that characterize God's Trinitarian life apply to the God–world relation as well. Moltmann's view is representative of this kenotic–perichoretic relational panentheism: “God and the world are related to one another through the relationship of their mutual indwelling and participation: God's indwelling in the world is divine in kind; the world's indwelling in God is worldly in kind. There is no other way of conceiving the continual communication between God and the world.”