Now this is the courageous way in which Anselm attacked the problems of theology. If he says that even the Trinity can be understood in rational terms, then this is an Augustinian heritage; he did it also. We can call it dialectical monotheism, a monotheism in which movement is seen in God Himself. God is a living God and therefore there is a yes and a no in Himself – this is dialectical monotheism. It is not a dead identity of God with Himself, but it is a living separation and reunion of His Life with Himself. In other words, the mystery of the Trinity is understandable for dialectical thought. The mystery of Trinity is included in reason itself and is not against reason. How could it be, according to classical theology, since God has reason in Himself as His Son, the Logos.? Reason, therefore, is valid as far as God and world are essentially considered. Autonomy is not destroyed by the mystery. On the other hand, autonomy is not empty and not formalistic. It doesn’t empty the mysteries of the Divine Life, but only points to it in dialectical terms. The content, the substance and the depth of reason, is a mystery which has appeared in revelation.
Now this means that Anselm was neither autonomous in a formalistic empty sense, nor was he heteronomous in subjecting his reason to an un-understood tradition, to a tradition which is almost a magic mystery. but his attitude is what I would call Theonomy. You will encounter this concept often in my writings and in discussions. And whenever you are asked, “What do you mean with theonomy?” then you say: “The way of philosophizing of Anselm of Canterbury,” or “The way of philosophizing of Augustine,” or “The way of philosophizing” – now I hesitate to say it–“Hegel”, in spite of my criticism of him; namely, acknowledging the mystery of being, but not believing that this mystery is an authoritarian transcendent element which is put upon us, and against us, which breaks our reason to pieces – which would mean that God breaks His Logos to pieces – but that which gives the depth to all Logos. Reason and mystery belong together, like substance and form.