In a side conversation with one of the presenters (whose paper I very much appreciated and whose overall position on theological interpretation I find quite congenial), I made a brief case for why Christian hermeneutics should be Christological rather than Trinitarian.Which raises a number of very interesting points.
He sees these working together. And I get that. But in trying to situate my point I asked, “Was Paul a Trinitarian?” He said, “Yes.” End of conversation.
That’s a small picture of where a biblical scholar can’t say what a theologian presumes, and why scholarship’s Bible will continue to be an enigma to the church. Beyond whether scholars are approaching their exegetical task as Christians, theologians (and church people) often want the Bible to say what it does not say, to support what it does not speak to.
I do wonder if the church’s theology will need to learn to hear what it takes for throat clearing as the song of the Spirit before the chasm will bridged between theology and the Bible
It is certainly true that Paul never made anything approaching the trinitarian declarations of the historic creeds, but as the paper I shared attempted to show, Paul was certainly capable of theologising within a theological framework that gave significance to the work of God, Jesus and the Spirit. many biblical scholars have been happy to call this something like a "latent trinitarianism" but you do need to be careful that that doesn't get confused with talking about ousias and stuff. The kind of counterfactual arguing that this might lead to would go something like "would Paul have signed the Chalcedon Creed if he had been presented with the same circumstances as that creed was addressing?" Which of course could only degenerate into a useless giving of opinions. My useless opinion is that he probably would have but only after they added a substantial "therefore" section detailing the believer's ethical response to the theological mysteries contained in the Creed.
Asking Paul whether or not he is a Trinitarian is a waste of time, but, as Kirk eloquently puts it, if we listen to what "the song of the Spirit" through Paul is actually saying we may learn many things that will enrich our own Trinitarian (or otherwise) theology no end.