The (in)significance of the filioque in contemporary inclusive soteriologies
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This dissertation examines the impact of the filioque on the relationship between the Spirit and the Son, particularly as it pertains to the economy of salvation and the availability of salvation to the unevangelized. More specifically, it argues that rejection of the filioque cannot serve as a means of gaining an independent economy for the Spirit. Chapter 1 presents the thesis and describe the place of both pneumatology and the filioque in contemporary inclusive soteriologies. Chapter 2 surveys the status of the filioque debate in contemporary Western theology as well as the various ways that the filioque is treated by pneumatological inclusivists. Primary attention is given to Clark Pinnock and Amos Yong, who serve as the primary dialogue partners for this dissertation. Chapter 3 examines various Eastern Orthodox theologians, both past and present, and argues that inclusivists have misappropriated Orthodox theology. Specifically, this chapter argues that Orthodoxy has historically viewed the work of the Spirit as inextricably connected with that of the Son in spite of its rejection of the filioque . Chapter 4 addresses the biblical portrayal of taxis in the Trinity whereby the Father gives direction to the works of both the Son and the Spirit. Attention is given to the unity of the trinitarian economy that results from the Father's administration. Chapter 5 argues that pneumatological inclusivists have failed sufficiently to consider significant biblical-theological themes of Scripture and their impact on pneumatology. This is particularly true of eschatology. It further suggests that the pneumatological lens through which some inclusivists interpret Scripture distorts biblical pneumatology. This chapter also offers a brief proposal for understanding pneumatology in light of the Bible's eschatological framework. Chapter 6 summarizes the issues considered in the dissertation and offers some brief closing comments.