A trinitarian covenantal theology of the church
This thesis is a study of the value of the trinitarian approach to ecclesiology. We focus on the trinitarian ecclesiologies of John D. Zizioulas and Jügen Moltmann as developed examples of the trinitarian approach to ecclesiology. Zizioulas studies and presents his appreciation of the patristic concept of personhood as the basis for a trinitarian ecclesiology. The hall mark of his ecclesiology is that the Church is a mode of being, an ecclesial or eucharistic hypostasis. It is vitally related to Christ by the Spirit, and therefore the Trinity, on the basis of personhood. This is a modern development of Eastern Orthodoxy in ecumenical dialogue. Moltmann presents the trinitarian history of God as his basis for a trinitarian ecclesiology. This trinitarian history of God is itself a development of his theology of hope and his theology of the cross. The Church finds its being and mission within the framework of the history of Jesus Christ and the history of the Spirit. This is Moltmann's proposal for ecclesiology from a Reformed and ecumenical background. The proposal of this thesis is that a convenant concept that is developed from the scholarship of biblical theology can synthesize and add to the efforts of Zizioulas and Moltmann in the advancement of the highly valuable trinitarian approach to ecclesiology.