I just wrote a series of tweets complaining about the argument in much current constructive systematic theology. Since I thought that analysis might be of some interest to my blog (but non-Twitter) readers, I’ve reproduced those tweets below.
I’ve read a lot of systematic theology over the years. Some of it is very good: clear and rigorously argued. But too often I encounter analyses that are akin to a Rube Goldberg machine and this especially occurs when various obscure models of the Trinity are invoked to account for various explicanda. With a nod to the theology of Augustine or Thomas Aquinas or the Cappadocians, the theologian invokes hopelessly obscure terms like perichoresis, spiration, or divine appropriation, and voila, the explicandum is allegedly accounted for.
But in truth, what often happens is that the obscure theological analysis is on its own doing nothing, a fact somewhat concealed by the obscurantism of the discourse, while whatever insight or resolution is achieved comes from another quarter.
One simple way to test for this is to ask whether the results for the explicandum could still obtain even if trinitarianism is false (and, say, monadic monotheism is true). If so, the entire analysis is a waste of paper, at least relative to the explicandum.