The trinitarian nature of grace
1. The traditional soteriological debate between advocates of dogmatic dualism and dogmatic universalism has not adequately reflected the trinitarian nature of God. 2. Inadequate doctrines of grace, for example as God's decree, God's cosmic power, God's attitude of acceptance, or God's sacramentally infused presence emerge from the failure to develop the implications of the doctrine of the Trinity. 3. Viewed from a trinitarian perspective, grace is best understood as the very being of God in triune communion. Understood from this relational context, grace is also God's act in Christ to adopt humanity into participation in that communion, through the Spirit in the Son with the Father. 4. The terms used by the Patristic Fathers to understand the nature of the Incarnation and the Trinity such as the homoousion, hypostasis, and perichoresis are integral to clarifying the bilateral nature of Christ's mediation: in him is God's response to humanity, and the perfect response of humanity to God. This in turn, sheds essential insight into the nature of grace and the role of humanity's response of faith in salvation. 5. From this perspective of the bilateral mediation of Christ, the Biblical and trinitarian inadequacies of dogmatic dualism and universalism become apparent. Furthermore, an alternative understanding of humanity's destiny emerges which affirms the truth in both biblical dualism and universalism. 6. This provides a context for approaching the Concluding soteriological question: How does God respond to people who have never professed faith in Christ? The trinitarian nature of grace guides the Church to live with a gracious, hopeful urgency as it responds to those who are not yet Christians.