Atlantic Coast Theological Seminary

A Biblical Examination of an Ontological Reading of Theology in Trinity, in the Believer and in Church

Abstract
The rationale is to formulate the unique contribution that ontological thinking brings to understanding God in Trinity: in substance, in relationship and in function; the consequences for the believer through redefined relationship with the Trinity in the Person of Christ; and the rediscovery of ontological principles to be restored, in renewal of the Church of Jesus Christ.
This proposal advocates that recovery of ontological truths on the grounds of the interrelationship and interaction of Trinity. Current trends, such as the subordinate-authority-submission and egalitarian debate are critiqued in the light of the ontological reading of Scripture. The recovery of apostolicity as an ontological attribute of Godhead provides significant insight and cohesion to the ontological Trinitarian proposal.
The significance of how God produces existentially and ontologically His life within the believer will define humanity in being, through relationship to Godhead. Religious practices both biblical and extra-biblical are examined and considered to better understand the extent of the paradigmatic shift that occurs in the person of Jesus Christ. This proposal develops a fuller understanding of the composition of a human being in the image of God in ontological terms in contrast to the orthodoxy’s dichotomist, trichotomist assertions. The perspective of states in which a human being exists, culminate in the identification of the ‘πνευματικός’ believer as the sole form of legitimate existence that is biblically normalized and warranted.
The ontological significance will also redefine church according to the nature and Person of Godhead, thereby widely reforming structures and functions according to ontological truths and practices. This argumentation has reconnected Church to the Trinity ontologically and demonstrated that Church utterly depends upon Trinitarian substance and operation to exist according to divine intentions.Emerging from this exegesis is a model of church: ontological and apostolic, originated, [re]sourced, and
incarnate from the nature of Trinity, demonstrating undeniably that it is impossible for the Church of divine intent to exist outside of the three persons of the Godhead, she has no life of her own. Church is this incarnation because her origins, means, and object are of Godhead’s nature, intra-relationship, and operation; whether microcosm or macrocosm, her ontological existence in apostolic Godhead is the defining criterion.
Erwin Samuel Henderson 05/01/2021.

A Biblical Examination of an Ontological reading of Theology, in Trinity, in the [Christian] Believer and in Church

Author
Erwin Samuel Henderson Dr Ph.D.
Abstract
Ontological theology considered in some theological works, was given little significance as a primary theme. The thesis attempts to restore prominence and cohesion of an ontological construct, whereby function and structure, are the subordinate product defined by the ontological theological perspective. The effects are far reaching for theological definitions of the essential nature of the Trinity, the believer and the church; representing a paradigmatic shift in theological understanding, affecting profoundly the nature existential Christocentric Christianity.
The ontological theology of Trinity contrasts with the relational subordination, authority-submission proponents and opponents, in substance, in relationship and in function. The recovery of apostolicity as an ontological attribute of Godhead provides significant insight and cohesion to the ontological Trinitarian proposal.
The effects upon the believer ontologically are contrasted with the religious disposition and the positional judicial approach to salvation. The prototypical shift occurs in the Person of Jesus-Christ to an existential reality originated in Trinity and replicated ontologically in the believer. The nature of humankind is thereby reinterpreted giving definition to the “spiritual man” as the sole form of legitimate existence that is biblically normalized and warranted.
The ontological primacy provides an alternate construct to the historical structural understanding of church that has not changed since the early patristic period. The proposal emerging from this exegesis is a model of church: ontological and apostolic, originated, [re]sourced, and incarnate from the nature of Trinity, demonstrating undeniably that it is impossible for the Church of divine intent to exist outside of the three persons of the Godhead. Christo-centricity restores Church to the origin, source and 'telos'. Present day observations may exemplify distanciation of contemporary expressions of church from ontological definitions. A return to source represents a theological and ecclesiastic field of renewal to perpetuate in the coming years.
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