Appendix    Creative Love Theism

The term Creative Love Theism was first used in the joint book by Clark H.Pinnock and Robert Brow: A Good News Theology for the 21st Century (Downers Grove, Illinois, USA, & the Paternoster Press, Carlisle, UK, 1994, p.8).

Theism is a theological explanation in which God is viewed as the Creator of our world. We note in the chapter on the creation of our environment that the first chapter of Genesis pictures the creation of the world we needed to live and grow and express our freedom as human beings.

Among Theists there are Unitarian Theists (including Muslims & Jehovah's Witnesses) who picture God as an undifferentiated oneness. They allow no complexity within the oneness of God. They usually view God as the impassible, unapproachable Judge of our lives.

Trinitarian Theists are also committed to the absolute oneness of God. But they know there can be a vast complexity within the oneness of say an atom, or a plum. And the greatest imaginable kind of oneness is the oneness of three or more perfect Persons totally united in Love. In Genesis 1 the Artist is therefore not a solitary oneness, but the three creative Persons of the Trinity. That is why God said "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness" (Genesis 1:26)

The Trinitarian model of God is common to all Christians, as seen in the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 3:8-12, Luke 3:21-22) and the commission to baptize people of all nations to learn how to relate to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). It is expressed in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds.

But among Trinitarian Christians there a variety of models of the atonement to explain how the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are related to one another to effect our salvation. Most Christians have a very limited vision of what the three Persons of the Trinity do in us. They imagine the only result of God's love for us is that we are forgiven, and assured of a place in heaven. But in this little book we have suggested that the main concern of the Three Persons of the Trinity is that we should be transformed to love the way God loves.

Each in their own way the three Persons of the Trinity create the environment (chapter 2), the relationships (chapter 3), the inspiration (chapter 4) and the heaven (chapter 5) for us to enjoy the "glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:21 KJV). Our Christian good news is not just assuring people that they are forgiven, though being freed from guilt and knowing we are accepted by our loving God is very important. As disciples of Jesus we first enjoy the creative love of God, and then we are able to share with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in the task of creating for others the freedoms that we need. Whether in marriage, parenting, or in any genuine love of others, love cares about the freedom of the other. And that is the very good news expressed in our title Creative Love.