Dave, I am not dismissing the work of analytic philosophers; but I have read enough of their work on both the Trinity and Incarnation to be convinced that much of this work is simply unhelpful to Christian theology, which is probably why it is mainly ignored outside philosophical circles. All one has to do is to read Swinburne’s book The Christian God. I read it when it was first published, and all I could do is throw up my hands in frustration. The curious thing is that Swinburne’s theological work is completely out of touch with the theology of his own Church (i.e., the Eastern Orthodox Church).
Conceptual clarity is fine, but the fourth century Church Fathers were not driven by the need for conceptual clarity. Aetius and Eunomius and their followers certainly were, and the Cappadocians responded to their “logic-chopping” by emphatically reasserting the incomprehensibility of God. For two good examples, read St Gregory Nazianzus’s Theological Orations and St Basil’s Contra Eunomium. They did not view the trinitarian doctrine as solving a conundrum but as stating the Mystery. They reacted so strongly against Eunomius because they saw him as rationalistically truncating the revelation of Christ as given in Scripture and embodied in the trinitarian life of the Church. The Eunomians were the analytic philosophers of their day. They strove for conceptual clarity, and on the basis of that clarity and precision they thought they had achieved, they rejected the trinitarian formulations and affirmed a unitarian deity with two creaturely subordinates, Son and Spirit.
I am beginning to suspect that the principal reason that the Christian analytic philosophers are so unhelpful here is somehow connected to their commitment to the category of “person” as the best way to think about God (see “How Anthropomorphic is Your G-O-D?”). As a result, God’s truly radical difference from creation gets lost somewhere. The trinitarian God becomes “three selves,” and so we are all left wondering how it is possible for three selves to be one God and not three gods. Similarly, the Incarnation becomes an impossible problem because we cannot figure out how to unite the divine psychological apparatus with the human psychological apparatus. But these are pseudo-problems created by the failure to understand God’s radical difference from the world. It is precisely the radical difference between uncreated nature and created nature that allows him to assume human nature without in any way compromising human nature. Etc.
The only way forward is to return to the beginning and think over again what it means for God to be the Creator who has made the world from out of nothing.