Fortress Press

Christian Understandings of the Trinity: The Historical Trajectory

Christian Understandings of the Trinity

The Historical Trajectory

Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen (Author)


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In this creative approach to the doctrine of the Trinity, author Veli- Matti Kärkkäinen focuses on keeping a dynamic balance between the intellectual-doctrinal and spiritual-charismatic approaches as parallel avenues towards theological understanding. His narrative approach draws on direct quotations from key historical theologians to increase appreciation of their theological wisdom and to encourage students to “dig further into this rich spiritual wellspring.”

Throughout the two thousand year span of Christian history, believers in Jesus have sought to articulate their faith and their understanding of how God works in the world. How do we, as we examine the vast and varied output of those who came before us, understand the unity and the diversity of their thinking? How do we make sense of our own thought in light of theirs?

The Christian Understandings series is an exciting new series that seeks to illuminate precisely these questions. The short, concise volumes in the Christian Understandings series orient and “fill in the gaps” for readers as they dive into the exciting and stimulating story of Christian thought.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451479959
  • eBook ISBN 9781506425580
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 248
  • Publication Date June 15, 2017


1. The Christian Trinity: Biblical Antecedents
2. Trinitarian Canons: Emergence and Consolidation
3. The Holy Spirit: Divine and Equal?
4. Medieval Contributions and Clarifications
5. Reformation and Modern Perspectives
6. Contemporary Trinitarianism and Its Prospects


Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen is one of the most insightful Christian thinkers of our day.

“Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen is one of the most insightful Christian thinkers of our day, and the Trinity is at the heart of any orthodox understanding of faith. Now, Kärkkäinen brings his Pentecostal expertise to bear on this central Christian doctrine. We will all benefit from this book.”

Gerald R. McDermott | Beeson Divinity School

A highly serviceable textbook for beginners

“Most studies on the Trinity do not always make for easy reading, but this one explains complex ideas without sacrificing accuracy and essentials, making it a highly serviceable textbook for beginners. But those who wish to go deeper will find the copious references invaluable.”

Simon Chan | Trinity Theological College, Singapore

Provides both the novice and the more advanced alike a wonderfully clear path through the thickets

“The doctrine of the Trinity is complex, but this guide to the history of this doctrine provides both the novice and the more advanced alike a wonderfully clear path through the thickets.”

Frank D. Macchia | Vanguard University of Southern California