Thursday, September 6, 2012

Basil 'the Great': Letter CXXV - an excellent defense of the original Nicene Creed, with clarifications


St. Basil 'the Great', was one of the famous three 'Cappadocian Fathers' (the other two being his brother, Gregory of Nyssa, and his very close friend, Gregory Nazianzus). In 364 AD, at the request of the famous Church historian Eusebius, then bishop of Caesarea, he left his monastic life to defend the orthodox, Catholic faith. After the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, the creed produced there was coming under intense attacks from two opposing sides: the Arians and the modalists. In 373 AD (three years after being appointed bishop of Caesarea following the death of Eusebius), Basil composed an epistle, wherein he quotes the original Nicene Creed of 325 AD, clarifying and defending its contents—as a 'statement of faith' so to speak—which he then sent to one Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste in Pontus, whose orthodoxy was being questioned. IMO, not only was this letter an excellent defense of the Nicene Creed, but it also offered clarifications that are of importance to us modern folk who seek to understand what the Creed meant to it's Catholic defenders in the 4th century.

The following is the full letter (without the footnotes) as translated by Dr. Roy J. Deferrari in volume 2 (1928) of the 4 volume set, Saint Basil - The Letters. (This set includes the original Greek, side by side, with the English translation, and is part of the famous Loeb Classical Library.)

LETTER CXXV

A Transcript of Faith Dictated by the most Holy Basil, to Which Eustathius, the Bishop of Sebaste, Subscribed

Those who have formerly been committed to an unorthodox confession of Faith and wish to pass over into unity with the orthodox, or those who now for the first time wish to be instructed in the doctrine of truth, must be taught in the articles of Faith as drawn up by the blessed Fathers in the synod once convened at Nicaea. And this same thing would also be useful for those who are suspected of being opposed to the sound doctrine and who seek to cloak with specious subterfuges their unorthodox views. For even for these the creed embodied therein suffices. For either they may correct their hidden malady, or, if they still conceal it in the depth of their hearts, they will themselves bear the responsibility for their deception, but for us they will make easy our defence on the Day of Judgment, when the Lord "will reveal the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of the heart." It is therefore fitting to receive them when they confess that they believe according to the words set forth by our Fathers at Nicaea and according to the meaning disclosed by those words when soundly interpreted.

For there are some who even in this creed pervert the doctrine of truth and stretch the sense of the words in it to suit their own purpose. For instance, even Marcellus, acting impiously toward the person  of our Lord Jesus Christ and explaining Him as mere " Word," had the effrontery to profess that he had taken his principles from that creed, perversely explaining the meaning of "consubstantial." And some of those from the impious sect of the Libyan Sabellius, understanding person and substance to be the same, draw from that creed the beginnings they use for the establishment of their own blasphemy, from the fact of its having been written in the creed that "if anyone says the Son is of a different substance or person, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes him." For it is not said therein that the substance and the person are the same. For if the words revealed one and the same meaning, what was the need of each separately? But it is evident that, since some denied that the Son is of the substance of the Father, and others said that He was not of the substance but of some other person, thus they condemned both positions as foreign to the opinion of the Church. For, when they came to revealing their opinion, they said that the Son was of the substance of the Father, not going on to add "of the person." Thus the former statement is laid down as a rejection of faulty opinion, while the latter contains the declaration of the doctrine of salvation. It is necessary, therefore, to confess the Son as of the same substance as the Father, as it is written, and to confess the Father in His own proper person, and the Son in His own, and the Holy Ghost in His own, according as the Fathers themselves have clearly set forth. For sufficiently and clearly have they shown this when they said, "Light of Light, the One which begot Light and the Other which was begotten, and yet Light and Light," so that the definition of the substance is one and the same. Now let the creed itself, composed at Nicaea, be added by us.

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, maker of all things, visible and invisible, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of the Father, the only Begotten, that is, of the substance of the Father ; God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God ; begotten not made ; consubstantial with the Father, by whom all things were made, both in heaven and on earth ; who for us men and for our salvation came down and was incarnate, and was made Man. He suffered and arose on the third day, and He ascended into heaven and shall come to judge the living and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost. And as for such who say "There was a time when He was not," and "Before He was begotten He was not," or that "He came into existence from what was not," or who profess that the Son of God is of a different person or substance, or that He changeth, or is variable, such as these the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes.

Since, therefore, all points with but one exception have been sufficiently and accurately defined herein, some as an emendation for what had been perverted, and others as a precaution against what was expected to arisefor the doctrine of the Holy Ghost was laid down cursorily, not being considered as necessary of elaboration, because at that time this question had not yet been agitated, but the sense of it was unassailably inherent in the souls of the faithfulbut since, coming forth little by little, the baneful seeds of impiety, which had been sown before by Arius, the author of the heresy, and later by those who wickedly succeeded to his opinions, have been nurtured to the harm of the churches, and the succession of impiety has broken forth into blasphemy against the Spirit, in view of these things it is necessary to hold before those who have no pity for themselves nor foresee the inevitable threat which our Lord held over those who blaspheme the Holy Ghost, this conclusionthat we must anathematize those who call the Holy Spirit a creature, both those who think so, and those who will not confess that He is holy by nature, even as the Father is holy by nature, and as the Son is holy by nature, but deprive Him of His divine and blessed nature. And the proof of orthodox opinion is not to separate Him from the Father and the Son (for we must be baptized as we have received the words of baptism, and we must behave as we are baptized and we must give glory as we have believed, to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost), but to abstain from communion with those, as open blasphemers, who call Him a creature ; since this point is agreed upon (for comment is necessary because of the slanders), that we neither speak of the Holy Spirit as unbegottenfor we recognize One unbegotten and One Beginning of all existing things, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christnor speak of Him as begottenfor we have been taught One only begotten in the tradition of our Faith ; and having been taught that the Spirit of Truth proceeds from the Father, we confess it to be from God without any act of creation. And we must anathematize also those who speak of the Holy Ghost as ministering, on the ground that by this expression they lower Him to the order of creatures. For Scripture has handed down to us the ministering spirits as creatures, saying, "All are ministering spirits sent to minister." And on account of those who confuse everything and do not preserve the teaching of the Gospel, it is necessary to lay down this principle alsothat we must avoid those who change the order which our Lord had left us, as being clearly enemies of religion, and place the Son before the Father and put the Holy Spirit before the Son. For it is meet that we keep unaltered and untampered with that order which we received from the very words of Our Lord, when He said, "Going teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

Signature of Eustathius, Bishop.

I, Eustathius, bishop, after reading to you, Basil, have understood, and have approved what has been written above. And I have signed in the presence of my brothers, our Fronto, the suffragan-bishop Severus, and certain other members of the clergy.

[Online pdf document]

Now, a few notes and observations—the English words, "Consubstantial", "substance" and "person", in the above translation, are from the following Greek terms:

ὁμοούσιος (homoousios) = Consubstantial

οὐσία (ousia) = substance

ὑπόστασις (hypostasis) = person

Further, I found his explanation concerning those "who profess that the Son of God is of a different person or substance" to be quite excellent—supporting the view that the Son of God owes His existence to both the "person" and "substance" of God the Father (an essential teaching pertaining to the doctrine of the monarchy of God the Father). And concerning the Holy Spirit, one should note there is no hint of the filioque to be found.

Sincerely hope that all find Basil's letter as informative and inspirational as I have.


Grace and peace,

David

193 comments:

徐马可 said...

David,

Thank you for posting this, my reading is that the word person and substance mean two different things to Basil, if they are the same, why would the fathers make such a repitition? The meaning is that the son is of both the person and substance of the father. Do you think my reading is correct?

David Waltz said...

Hi Mark,

Thanks much for responding. In your post, you wrote:

==Thank you for posting this, my reading is that the word person and substance mean two different things to Basil, if they are the same, why would the fathers make such a repitition?==

IMO, Basil, with great clarity, makes a clear distinction between "person" (ὑπόστασις) and "substance" (οὐσία). Certainly, there was some confusion in the 4th century concerning those two terms, but the Cappadocians (and other Greek Fathers) were taking great pains to define how the two terms (along with ὁμοούσιος) should be understood by Catholic Christians.

==The meaning is that the son is of both the person and substance of the father. Do you think my reading is correct?==

Yes, that is how I read Basil too.


Grace and peace,

David

P.S. Sure hope you got your computer/hard-drive issues taken care of.

徐马可 said...

David,

I read Eusibius's letter to his flock concerning the great council, in my interpretation, he is saying the same thing Basil is saying, namely the son is from both the person and essence of the Father.

Quote: " 7. And so too on examination there are grounds for saying that the Son is "one in essence" with the Father; not in the way of bodies, nor like mortal beings, for He is not such by division of essence, or by severance, no, nor by any affection, or alteration, or changing of the Father's essence and power (since from all such the unoriginate nature of the Father is alien), but because "one in essence with the Father" suggests that the Son of God bears no resemblance to the originated creatures, but that to His Father alone Who begot Him is He in every way assimilated, and that He is not of any other subsistence and essence, but from the Father. To which term also, thus interpreted, it appeared well to assent; since we were aware that even among the ancients, some learned and illustrious Bishops and writers have used the term "one in essence," in their theological teaching concerning the Father and Son. "

Letter of Eusebius of Cæsarea to the people of his Diocese.

P.S. David, do you know where to obtain Eusibius's Ecclesiastica Theologia? Samuel Clarke referenced this work for the ancient interpretation of John 1:1.

Jnorm said...

Thanks for posting this David. I'm a real fan of the Cappadocian Fathers! Some people may not be able to understand (at this point in time) the distinction they made between Person and Being(Essence / substance)

But I think it was a necessary and correct move to make on their part.

And it would prove very valuable in latter centuries as well.

Iohannes said...

Hi David,

Thanks for sharing this. My church history professor once mentioned he wanted to name his son Basil. That was too much for his wife, so they settled on Gregory instead.

Blessings in Christ,
John

Drake Shelton said...

David, I am currently having a conversation with Jnorm, on another thread, about the relationship of Person and Being. It seems to me that the EO and the OO see divine essence as something numerically singular = monoousios. In a forum that Jnorm referred me to one guy said,

“Also, is Christ's divine will part of the essence of the Most Holy Trinity or part of His hypostasis? If it's part of the divine essence common to all three hypostases, then I can see St. John's point about how Christ cannot have one composite will because the will is not His but also that of His Father and Holy Spirit.”

Another gentleman replied,

“The Divine will is part of the divine essence, or rather, the divine will is not a faculty of a divine person.”

It would appear that their entire view of the will is governed by this idea that because the divine essence is something numerically singular (cardinal numerics) instead of generic, thus numerically three, that divine persons do not have their own numeric natures or wills with reference to the genus of being.

If it is the case that the Son is OF the person AND substance of the Father, being considered a complete ontological package, that the Son must then have his own numeric nature, will (with reference to faculty not object) and hypostasis, (homousios-not monoousios) thus breaking this fundamental assumption of the EO and OO?

What are your thoughts?

David Waltz said...

Hello again Mark,

A very busy weekend, so please forgive my tardy response...

The epistle of Eusebius to his congregation/diocese is another important work for us modern folk when attempting to understand how the original Nicene creed was interpreted in the 4th century.

As for Eusebuis' Ecclesiastica Theologia, I am pretty sure that it has yet to be translated into English. The Greek is available online:

Migne PG-24 (Includes a Latin translation.)

Greek text only (This is a very 'clean' version.)


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Jnorm and Iohannes,

It is great to hear that you guys appreciated Basil's important epistle. I first read through the Cappadocians way back in the early 80s, so I know I had read this epistle before; however, the import of the letter did not 'hit me' until this most recent reading.


God bless,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Drake,

Before I share my thoughts on the 'person'/'substance' distinction (or lack thereof) in EO thought, I would like to read the full context of the thread you referenced; could you provide a link ?

Also, forgive me, but what is "OO" ?


Grace and peace,

David

P.S. Your threads on Mr. White were excellent—good job !

Ken said...

OO = "Oriental Orthodox"

I think it includes these 4 groups - (But I may be wrong)

meaning - Coptic Church; Syrian Jacobite Church; The Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Orthodox Church. They accepted Nicea, Constantinople, and Ephesus, but rejected Chalcedon.

They are all considered "Monophysites" by the EO and RC, but I think they call themselves "Mia-physite". "one nature"

I don't know if the Assyrian Church of the East is also included in that - as they are Nestorian, historically. But some branches of them have re-united with Rome on the issue of Ephesus (431 AD), but not on Papal authority.

I could be wrong on details, but I am pretty sure about what I have written.

Drake Shelton said...

David,

Yes OO is Oriental orthodox.

Hi Drake,

"I would like to read the full context of the thread you referenced; could you provide a link?"

http://gustav2ndadolf.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/a-surprising-inference-from-dyotheletism/comment-page-1/#comment-531

There is a ton of stuff here but see the forum link by Jnorm: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27788.45.html

and in the first link search for the commentary around the phrase "What kind of person has no will?"

"P.S. Your threads on Mr. White were excellent—good job"

>>I got more hits on those blogs than I have ever received in my blog's short life. I was only expecting philosophical blunders which i found quickly, but was surprised to find such blatant heresy with a man as well received as White is.

Jnorm said...

Drake,

Why must you believe the Son to have "His own numeric nature"?


Where is this coming from?


Also, when I say Essence, what I mean is that it's the Essence of the Father. And so I don't interpret the words "One Essence" in the same manner as the west does. For it's known by us that the Father is the source.

But you keep putting words in our mouths and you try to make us say things that we never said. And you try to make us believe things we never believed.

Jnorm said...

Drake,

I think you're probably mis-interpreting what your seeing in the forum. When I look at Church history I don't see your tradition of 3 wills, with each Person having their own numeric nature (thus 3 natures), ......etc. I just didn't see it. So where are you getting this from? Are you importing Gordan Clark ideas and concepts into Nicea of 325A.D.?


I don't see your tradition among the Orthodox. Your tradition might be among some of the Arians, but not among the Orthodox. Nor did I see it in the Pre-Nicene world.

The OO tradition uses physis to mean "Essence/Substance" in Triadology, but they use a different interpretation of physis in the area of Christology. In Christology they mean "Person/hypostasis"

The Cyrillian Chalcedonian tradition is different. For we only have one interpretation for the word physis. And that interpretation is Essence/Substance in both Triadology as well as Christology.


You probably don't understand what we're saying, and so in your mind, you might think we mean the essence/substance in Triadology to be one person. But we don't mean that at all.

You think we mean that because of what you believe yourself. You have a concept of 3 wills, 3 minds, 3 numeric natures........etc.


I don't want you to put words in our mouths. We don't view the Divine Essence as a person. We just don't!

Jnorm said...

Drake,

I keep telling you that we believe in a distinction between Essence/Substance and Person/Hypostasis, but you keep ignoring this for some reason. Don't ignore it!

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,


”Why must you believe the Son to have "His own numeric nature"?”

>>>First are you suggesting that a person can exist without a nature?
If so, I don’t think we are going to get anywhere. If you say you could make anything mean anything you want.

If not, then you must be suggesting that the father and Son and Spirit have the same numeric nature thus saying the exact opposite from Nicea

http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/homoouiosgeneric-or-numeric/

http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/jnd-kelly-on-homoouios-generic-or-numeric/


Let me ask you something Jnorm: Do you and I have the same cardinally numeric body or do we have different bodies? Do you and I have the same cardinally numeric rational faculty or do we have different rational faculties? Do you and I have the same cardinally numeric will (with reference to faculty not object of will/agenda) or do we have different wills?



Where is this coming from? From the Leo Donald Davis quote,

“First, it could be generic; of one substance could be said of two individual men, both of whom share human nature while remaining individuals.”

If you deny that we have different bodies, wills and rational faculties (That is affirming that we have the same cardinally numeric nature) you have denied the idea that we “share human nature while remaining individuals”.

”Also, when I say Essence, what I mean is that it's the Essence of the Father. And so I don't interpret the words "One Essence" in the same manner as the west does. For it's known by us that the Father is the source.”

>>>Yes you do. What you should have said is that “And so I don't interpret the words "One **********NATURE*********" in the same manner as the west does.” In the West Nature is the Monad, just like in your view of the *****Essence**** and the hypostases of the Trinity. Perry MADE IT VERYT CLEAR TO ME THAT Nature is glossed broader than essence, because Nature is in being-THE ENERGIES , while Essence is outside of being and non being-huperousia.


“But you keep putting words in our mouths and you try to make us say things that we never said. And you try to make us believe things we never believed.”

>>>Go ask Perry! Ask him yourself! Put my last paragraph before him and he will admit it!

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,


“I think you're probably mis-interpreting what your seeing in the forum. When I look at Church history I don't see your tradition of 3 wills, with each Person having their own numeric nature (thus 3 natures), ......etc.”

>>>I understand that. The generic unity was forsaken very quickly for Neoplatonic Monadism.


“I just didn't see it. So where are you getting this from?”

>>>From the generic unity of Nicea, per Davis, and Kelly that I linked earlier. If a human person is a hypostatized body, will and rational faculty, then three men is necessarily three bodies, wills and rational faculties-Generic unity as Davis admitted. Seeing that the unity among the divine persons is the same in Nicea-per Davis, the same follows, obviously no physical body though with the divine persons- Three eternal hypostatized rational faculties and wills.

”I don't see your tradition among the Orthodox. Your tradition might be among some of the Arians, but not among the Orthodox. Nor did I see it in the Pre-Nicene world.”

>>>Then you need to admit that you reject the Nicene Creed as I have stated numerous times to you.

”The OO tradition uses physis to mean "Essence/Substance" in Triadology, but they use a different interpretation of physis in the area of Christology. In Christology they mean "Person/hypostasis"

>>Then they are deliberately confusing and inconsistent and deserve to be rejected making Dr. Gordon Clark’s attempt to create a consistent Christian Epistemology completely understandable.


”The Cyrillian Chalcedonian tradition is different. For we only have one interpretation for the word physis. And that interpretation is Essence/Substance in both Triadology as well as Christology.”

>>>Maybe that is the normal use of physis in Cyril but there are other confusions:

1. Cyril fundamentally used the word ousia and then added physis to that which still required a hypostasis to be real. [McGuckin, John A. St. Cyril of Alexandria The Christological Controversy. New York* Leiden, The Netherlands* E.J. Brill*Koln, 1994. pages 200ish-210ish]

2. “That is, explains Prestige, ‘a concurrence of the divine and human forms in one person, so that whether as God or as man or as both Christ constituted a single objective reality (hypostasis); just as by his phrase ‘physical union’ [Cyril] indicated a personal unity in which the two elements expressed different embodiments of a single ***************‘physis’ or personal existence.’************…Union excludes division.” [Leo Donald Davis, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, (Collegeville, Minnesota: The
Liturgical Press, 1983 ), 151]




”You probably don't understand what we're saying”

>>>But isn’t the point that human language cannot explain the essence and hypostasis of the divine persons because they are huperousia?

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,


“and so in your mind, you might think we mean the essence/substance in Triadology to be one person. But we don't mean that at all.”

>>>That is a difficult issue. You are arguing and using language like a Latin theologian, but in reality, in very strict accuracy I don’t think that your view has anything to do with the Bible or anything to do with Christianity at all. And here is my real theory and you are probably going to hate me after I say this but I can see no way out of it being a protestant. I think, you think the essence and hypostases of the divine persons to be beyond human language, that is beyond the categories of predication-an absolute monad. Thus there really are no divine persons. That is just lip flapping to hide the real God behind your religion (Satan). Emanating out of the Monad are the divine energies, the imperfect economical yet uncreated representations of the Monad in being, that trickle down the hierarchy of being and are in each soul driving them to desire unity instead of ontological composition. Each soul must address the hierarchical intermediaries for secret knowledge to ascend to the next level of brilliance and simplicity. This is done through the intermediaries and through ascetic disciplines of celibacy, fasting and penance etc. In short, I think your religion is full out Heathenism that uses the Bible to mask the real agenda of Satan to bring the world back to his mystery religions and idolatry that he invented during and right after the Tower of Babel.

Thomas Hopko deceived me into thinking that one could be EO and actually believe in something called a divine person. Thus I took you guys as a legitimate yet erring group of Christians for quite a while. I no longer think this.

”You think we mean that because of what you believe yourself. You have a concept of 3 wills, 3 minds, 3 numeric natures........etc.”

>>>No, and I just explained why not. I believe a person to be a hypostatized rational faculty and a will. That seems fundamentally inescapable from my reality, yet I am in the realm of human language so if one appealed to another realm outside of human language our conception of what a person is would be fundamentally different.

”I don't want you to put words in our mouths. We don't view the Divine Essence as a person. We just don't!”

>>>I don’t think you believe in any divine persons at all. That is just lip flapping. You might as well rub your fingers through your lips when defining your idea of a person because that is about how much sense it makes.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“I keep telling you that we believe in a distinction between Essence/Substance and Person/Hypostasis, but you keep ignoring this for some reason. Don't ignore it!”

>>I am not ignoring it, I am just forced to take the words of your philosophers honestly and they say that both essence and hypostasis are huperousia. The only thing in being for us to even speak about with human language is the energies and so I don’ even know why you want to write or talk about what your God is because the only thing that could benefit anyone is if they were in your presence as you are some glowing ball of energy or something like that. It is all about the union of ignorance so let’s just turn our minds off and pursue the Plotinian ecstasy for crying out loud!

Jnorm said...

Drake,

I think you're misinterpreting both Leo Donald Davis as well as J.N.D. Kelly.

From what I'm seeing, you look at the word "Individual" in their writing and you insert all kinds of other stuff into it.

I don't think they mean what you think they mean.

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
">>>First are you suggesting that a person can exist without a nature?"

I'm suggesting that both the Son and Holy Spirit share the Father's Nature.


Drake said:
"If not, then you must be suggesting that the father and Son and Spirit have the same numeric nature thus saying the exact opposite from Nicea"


Why are you using the words "numeric Nature" in regards to me and what you think I believe? I don't interpret homoouisios as one being or one person. I don't do that. How could I if I believe in a distinction between Person and Nature? I role with the Cappadocian distinction and so how could I?

It would be more accurate to use the word "Homoousios" in a generic sense in regards to me. You keep saying that I believe in the exact opposite as Nicea, but how so? When I read Saint Athanasius I don't see your view of 3 natures....ect. I don't see your view when I read bishop Alexander of Alexandria!

And even in the pre-nicene age, when I read Origen(he used the word too), I didn't see your view of 3 natures......etc. I didn't see that in Tertullian either (he used the latin equivolent)! And I most certainly don't see that in the post Nicene age with the Cappadocian fathers! I know what pre-nicene Trinitarianism looks like for I use to be one in my protestant days! You think you represent Nicea, but you don't!



Drake said
"http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/homoouiosgeneric-or-numeric/

http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/jnd-kelly-on-homoouios-generic-or-numeric/"



I think you're reading J.N.D. Kelly, and Leo Donald Davis wrong. For when they say generic in regards to homoousios what they seem to mean is that the Son has the same Nature as the Father.

We can see the same generic interpretation in Chalcedon when it says that Jesus is homoousios with both the Father and Holy Spirit in regards to Divinity, and homoousios with us in regards to humanity.

This is what the word "generic" means in regards to homoousios. And this is what I believe! This is also what EO believes! For we obviously hold to the council of Chalcedon! Drake, you misunderstood this whole thing.


Drake said:
"Let me ask you something Jnorm: Do you and I have the same cardinally numeric body or do we have different bodies?"

My assumption is that you are using the words "numeric body" in the same way as "numeric homoousios" or what you also called "numeric nature". If my assumption is correct then you are saying that "numeric body" means a being or person. If so, then I would have to say no. For we are not the same being. We are not the same person.

However, if you used the term "generic body" then why can't the answer be yes? We share the same generic nature called humanity. But you probably won't like this because of your racial views.
Hmm, I just thought about something. Hey Drake, are you reading your racial views into Nicea of 325A.D.? Just asking because you seem to have a problem with all of us humans sharing the same humanity. You also seem to have a problem with Recapitulation and what we say about the Incarnation of Christ. Is it because of your racial views that you have a problem with this? Because the Trinitarian theology of Nicea of 325A.D. is that of Saint Athanasius and we know what he taught about the Incarnation. And so Nicea isn't saying what you want it to say.

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
"Do you and I have the same cardinally numeric rational faculty or do we have different rational faculties? Do you and I have the same cardinally numeric will (with reference to faculty not object of will/agenda) or do we have different wills?"


Hmm, so you are reading this back into Nicea? You also seem to be reading what you said here back into the words you quoted from Leo Donald Davis and JND Kelly. If Nicea of 325A.D. is suppose to represent a generic homoousios then why are you talking about numeric this and numeric that?

But to answer your questions I will say "all things which have an identical nature have identical abilities."(page 10 from the disputations with Pyrrhus) and so "the will as a faculty is natural, but the mode of its usage by a particular hypostasis is always unique."(page 10 from disputations with Pyrrhus). Now in saying this I am using the Cappadocian distinction between ""Principle of nature" and "mode of its existence",i.e., essence and hypostasis."(page 10 from disputation with Pyrrhus).

Thus, you and I share the same generic nature of humanity, and so we also share in the abilities from that nature. In your example, rationality and will. What makes us unique is how we make use of it as persons.



Drake said:
"If you deny that we have different bodies, wills and rational faculties (That is affirming that we have the same cardinally numeric nature) you have denied the idea that we “share human nature while remaining individuals”.


That's not what the quote said. You are reading way too much into the words "individual men", and you are reading way too much into Nicea of 325A.D. in regards to the Holy Trinity being Persons. For you are dogmatically saying things that the council never said.



Drake said
">>>Yes you do. What you should have said is that “And so I don't interpret the words "One **********NATURE*********" in the same manner as the west does.” In the West Nature is the Monad, just like in your view of the *****Essence**** and the hypostases of the Trinity. Perry MADE IT VERYT CLEAR TO ME THAT Nature is glossed broader than essence, because Nature is in being-THE ENERGIES , while Essence is outside of being and non being-huperousia."


No Drake, I don't. You keep misinterpreting things. I'm trying to tell you what I believe and you are telling me I don't believe it! Drake, stop putting words in my mouth, please stop!

Jnorm said...

Drake said
"And here is my real theory and you are probably going to hate me after I say this but I can see no way out of it being a protestant. I think, you think the essence and hypostases of the divine persons to be beyond human language, that is beyond the categories of predication-an absolute monad."


Transcendence, and the whole idea of God to some extinct being indescribable and incomprehensible is basic Judaism and Christianity 101. I could be wrong, but I think Islam has a tradition of God's Transcendence too.

I don't know what Bible you are reading, for this concept is indeed Biblical! You can also find it in the Church Fathers and Christian witnesses too, and so your fight is with Judaism and Christianity in general.


Drake said
"Thus there really are no divine persons."

You're misinterpreting things again. The transcendence of the Persons doesn't mean they don't exist. Plus, you are ignoring the totality of what we believe, for we also believe in the Immanence of God too! We simultaneously believe in both! Regardless if it makes sense to you are not.

It doesn't have to make sense to you in order for it to be true in regards to what we really believe. You gotta stop putting words in our mouth.



Drake said
"That is just lip flapping to hide the real God behind your religion (Satan). Emanating out of the Monad are the divine energies, the imperfect economical yet uncreated representations of the Monad in being, that trickle down the hierarchy of being and are in each soul driving them to desire unity instead of ontological composition. Each soul must address the hierarchical intermediaries for secret knowledge to ascend to the next level of brilliance and simplicity. This is done through the intermediaries and through ascetic disciplines of celibacy, fasting and penance etc. In short, I think your religion is full out Heathenism that uses the Bible to mask the real agenda of Satan to bring the world back to his mystery religions and idolatry that he invented during and right after the Tower of Babel."


This is silly! I'll accept your apology when you come to see how silly this is for yourself. You think you accept Nicea of 325A.D. but you really don't. For what God did you think they believed in? Also, what God do you think the pre-nicene age as well as the post nicene age believed in?


What you just said about us, you will have to also say about them. You can't have it both ways.

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
"Thomas Hopko deceived me into thinking that one could be EO and actually believe in something called a divine person. Thus I took you guys as a legitimate yet erring group of Christians for quite a while. I no longer think this."


You see yourself as the center of christian truth. As if God beams down christian truth directly from his head to yours.

You don't realize the problem I see. Drake, you misinterpret things from time to time and you say things about people and groups that you shouldn't. You got it wrong Drake, and you need to apologize! You also need to just give up in trusting your intellect and just trust the Church. You can't trust yourself Drake. You made way too many mistakes to trust yourself!


Drake said
">>>No, and I just explained why not. I believe a person to be a hypostatized rational faculty and a will. That seems fundamentally inescapable from my reality, yet I am in the realm of human language so if one appealed to another realm outside of human language our conception of what a person is would be fundamentally different."


You can't read this back into Nicea of 325A.D.! Such a thing is called anachronism! It's one thing for you to believe things that way, but it's another to insert that view into something else or someone else. You can't do that Drake!


Drake said
">>>I don’t think you believe in any divine persons at all. That is just lip flapping. You might as well rub your fingers through your lips when defining your idea of a person because that is about how much sense it makes."


Just because you are unable to comprehend what we believe according to our own understanding and system, doesn't mean that we don't believe in any Divine Persons. All it means is that at this point in time Drake Shelton is unable to understand how we are able to believe in Divine Persons based on what he himself believes to be true and how things are suppose to be set up according to his system of thought.


Drake said
">>I am not ignoring it, I am just forced to take the words of your philosophers honestly and they say that both essence and hypostasis are huperousia."


Ad Intra, not Ad Extra



Drake said
"The only thing in being for us to even speak about with human language is the energies and so I don’ even know why you want to write or talk about what your God is because the only thing that could benefit anyone is if they were in your presence as you are some glowing ball of energy or something like that. It is all about the union of ignorance so let’s just turn our minds off and pursue the Plotinian ecstasy for crying out loud!"


I am simultaneously a Theist as well as an Agnostic. Also, Perry already told you what the difference was between us and Plotinus's view. Yet, you are ignoring that too!

Jnorm said...

Drake,

The Mono-physites followed Saint Cyril in regards to using Physis one way in regards to Triadology and another way in regards to Christology.

Cyrilian Chalcedonianism keeps it consistent for we make use of the Cappadocian distinction.

Your view of Physis and Hypostasis is like that of the Mono-physites. It is the Alexandrian tradition. But unlike them you go your own way in the area of Triadology.

That understanding within christianity of Physis/Hypostasis comes from Origen.

The understanding of Physis, and Hypostasis that I use comes from the Cappadocian fathers.

Also, in regards to Physis/Hypostasis. Depending on the writer and context used, the word could mean either Nature, Person or both.

Thus, it doesn't always have to mean both each and every time used. When one reads Saint Athanasius, one can see that sometimes the context is Person, and so it all depends on the context.

I just wanted to say this for the record.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

You are deliberately making this issue much more complicated than it has to be because you want to justify the existence of your hierarchical authority. If we could put these issues into clear language that common people can understand we would not need a hierarchical authority. But that is where the Monad enters an advantage for the political power that comes with Hierarchical authority and that is what this is all about: Political power for the Hierarchical offices within the Anchoretic Churches.

“I think you're misinterpreting both Leo Donald Davis as well as J.N.D. Kelly.

From what I'm seeing, you look at the word "Individual"in their writing and you insert all kinds of other stuff into it.”

>>>I may be saying things they themselves would not believe. That in no way means I am misusing the CONCEPTS OF GENERIC VS. CARDINALLY NUMERIC UNITY. That is the issue you will not touch because this about politics with you.

“I'm suggesting that both the Son and Holy Spirit share the Father's Nature. ”

>>>Then it is CARDNALLY NUMERIC UNITY, NOT GENERIC UNITY. That is the exact opposite of what Davis and Kelly said Nicea taught. If there is only one cardinally numeric body then there is only one human person. Thus if there is only one cardinally numeric divine nature then there is only one person. That is the meaning of these words but you don’t care about the meaning you care about the politics.

“Why are you using the words "numeric Nature" in regards to me and what you think I believe? I don't interpret homoouisios as one being or one person. I don't do that. How could I if I believe in a distinction between Person and Nature? I role with the Cappadocian distinction and so how could I?”

>>>But the Cappadocians are after Nicea. So all you could be doing here is appealing to men to keep this conversation political instead of logical. You won’t tell me the distinction you are making between nature and person (logical or ontological) so it is anyone’s best guess what you mean. But you don’t care do you? You care about the political power that comes by appealing to a bureaucracy.

“It would be more accurate to use the word "Homoousios" in a generic sense in regards to me.”


>>>You have zero ability to speak on this level Jnorm. You are out of your league in these conversations. How could a generic concept means something very different from a particular cardinally numeric person. I could have ended the conversation here but what you say later seals the deal for me.

“You keep saying that I believe in the exact opposite as Nicea, but how so? When I read Saint Athanasius I don't see your view of 3 natures....ect.”

>>>But this conversation is not about Athanasius. It is about the meaning of the Nicene Creed. Again, another political appeal rather than logical.

“I don't see your view when I read bishop Alexander of Alexandria!” [You mention other men after this]

>>>Because this issue is not about them it is about the meaning of a document, not about the constituents of political figures.

“I think you're reading J.N.D. Kelly, and Leo Donald Davis wrong. For when they say generic in regards to homoousios what they seem to mean is that the Son has the same Nature as the Father.”

I am sick of this|! You are being very snakish. You are being very deceitful . I am sick of wasting my life talking with you. Did they mean “the Son has the same Nature as the Father”, generically or numerically? You will not answer. Kelly and Davis, said they meant that generically not numerically.



Drake Shelton said...

“We can see the same generic interpretation in Chalcedon when it says that Jesus is homoousios with both the Father and Holy Spirit in regards to Divinity, and homoousios with us in regards to humanity.”

>>>But this conversation is not about Chalcedon it is about the meaning of Nicene Creed. Stop making this issue political.

“This is what the word "generic" means in regards to homoousios. And this is what I believe!”

>>>You think it means monoouios!

“My assumption is that you are using the words "numeric body" in the same way as "numeric homoousios"”

NUMERIC HOMOOUIOS? A numeric generic huh? DID YOU CATCH THAT GUYS? That just showed me right there that you either don’t have a clue what you are talking about or you are deliberately trying to make this conversation impossible to defend the existence or your Hierarchy. Either way I’m am done with you right there. This phrase “numeric homoousios” is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me with Jnorm. Don’t ever expect me to speak with you again.


Drake Shelton said...

For any onlookers,

My use of numerical nature has nothing to do with my views on race. I believe that MY HUMAN FATHER has a different numerical nature than me. That is, he has his own body, his own rational faculty and will numerically (cardinal numerics) distinct from my own. Second, I do not believe that Jnorm is of a different genus. Jnorm and I are homoousios.

Jnorm said...

Drake said
Either way I’m am done with you right there. This phrase “numeric homoousios” is the straw that broke the camel’s back for me with Jnorm. Don’t ever expect me to speak with you again.


You must of forgot your own blog post said huh?

http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/jnd-kelly-on-homoouios-generic-or-numeric/"

Also, I have the same book as you, and so I was doing a little reading myself. On page 254 JND Kelly said
quote
"The theory has been advanced (e.g. by F. Loofs, R. Seeberg and J. Gummerus) that in making these overtures Athanasius and Hilary were, consciously or unconsciously, sanctioning the use of the homoousion in a homoeousian sense,i.e. as implying generic unity rather than numerical identity of substance, and were thus tacitly introducing a 'Neo-Nicene' theology. The premiss on which it rests, however, is misconceived, for we have seen that, whatever the deeper implications of homoousios (in greek, but I don't have the time to change fonts) , the original Nicene teaching was, not that Father and Son are numerically one in substance, but that that They share the same divine nature. There is, further, no real antithesis between generic and numerical oneness so long as the Son's essential deity is acknowledged, for Godhead(as these fathers were never tired of pointing out) is ex hypothesi simple and indivisible......"

I don't have time to quote the rest, but this should be enough to show what I was talking about. Also, what party do you think the Cappadocians came from? JND
Kelly tells you on a different page. I could be wrong, but I think he said they came from the homoeousian wing, if so then this explains alot.

read page 267 as well. I gotta go!

Oh wait. I mentioned the names of those people(Saint Athanasius and others) not to be political, but to show the real theology behind Nicea. The Theology of the 6th council comes from Saint Maximus and the Theology of the 1st council comes from Saint Athansius.

You didn't know what I was trying to do.

Drake Shelton said...

"You must of forgot your own blog post said huh?

http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/jnd-kelly-on-homoouios-generic-or-numeric/""

Nope:

" The root word οὺσία ******could signify the kind of substance or stuff common to several individuals of a class*********, or it could connote an individual thing as such…Indeed, the doctrine of numerical identity of substance has been widely assumed to have been the specific teaching of the Nicene Council. Nevertheless ******there are the strongest possible reasons for doubting this.******* The chief of these is the history of the term ὁμοούσιος itself, for in both its secular and its theological usage prior to Nicaea it always conveyed, primarily at any rate, the ‘generic’ sense."

This is utterly damning to Jnorm's position.

Jnorm has been fully refuted and shown to be a deliberate deceiver.

David Waltz said...

Hello Drake and Jnorm,

I have been trying to follow your ongoing discussion, but alas, I must admit I am having some difficulty in doing so. Correct me if I am wrong, but it sure seems that there is a good deal of 'history' between you two that has set the tone for this current debate; as such, us 'outsiders' are probably a few cards short of a full deck so to speak. Maybe others are following this exchange better than me, and if this is so, I would like to see them 'weigh in'—perhaps that would assist me in getting better grasp on everything that is going on.


Grace and peace,

David

Jnorm said...

Drake,

You don't have a clue what my position is for you keep putting words in my mouth.

And just because you use the words "refuted and deceiver" in regards to me doesn't mean that I was actually refuted or was being deceitful.


In watching you go back and forth with various people over the years, I already know that just because you say something. It doesn't necessarily mean that what you say is true. A good number of times what you say is false and the other person you were sparring with got the better of you.

In truth, you are just saying these things because you want me to go away.

But anyway, one other thing I noticed in the book "Early Christian Doctrines" by JND Kelly

Was something that I hear in Church every week. And that is that the Nature that they share is Indivisible and Undivided. If you read that part in the book then you would of picked up on the link of the One activity or Will of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Page 266
"Their theory is that the unity of the ousia, or Godhead, follows from the unity of the divine action (I don't want to change my fonts) which is disclosed in revelation. 'If we observe', writes Gregory of Nysaa, 'a single activity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in no respect different in the case of any, we are oblidged to infer unity of nature(I'm not changing my fonts) from the identity of activity; for Father, Son and Holy Spirit cooperate in sanctifying, quickening, consoling and so on.' Basil similarly finds(7) proof of the deity of the Spirit in the fact that His energy is coordinate with that of Father and Son. As Pseudo-Basil (possibly Didymus) remarks,(8) 'Those whose operations are identical have a single substance........."


This is why both EO(me) and OO were saying what they were saying in that forum in regards to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit having one Will.

And in later centuries, this is why we talk about Jesus having two wills.

Jnorm said...

David,

I'm sorry for crashing your blog post like this. Yes, Drake and I were going at it recently.

Drake Shelton said...

“Why are you using the words "numeric Nature" in regards to me…?”

…“ For when they say generic in regards to homoousios what they seem to mean is that the Son ******has the same Nature as the Father.*********”


>>>LOL!


“The understanding of Physis, and Hypostasis that I use comes from the Cappadocian fathers.”

>>>Notice how he admits his straw man. The Cappadocian Fathers did not write the Nicene Creed did they?


“You can't trust yourself Drake. You made way too many mistakes to trust yourself!”

>>>I am encouraged that my opponent has to continually appeal to emotional meltdowns and personal attacks. He has yet to prove a single mistake I made in the past but keeps doing everything he can to personally defame me.


“You can't read this back into Nicea of 325A.D.! Such a thing is called anachronism!”

>>>I never said that I could. And I never said that I believed the same philosophy as Athanasius. Can you show me where person is defined in the Nicene Creed so that I can reach that same judgment? Can you show me where a person is defined as a huperousia?


My opponent likes to bring up supposed errors in judgment I have made in the past. If I may counter-The monothelitism heresy accusation against Calvinism is a perfectly good demonstration of how dishonest Jnorm and the Eastern Orthodox Apologists are. On the Calvinist system, the reason why Man is passive in regeneration is because of total depravity. This curse of sin though does not apply to the Lord Jesus Christ because he was not born of Adam as the WCF states in Chapter 6, “III. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed; and the same death in sin, and corrupted nature, conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation.” The “ordinary generation” was added to exclude the idea that the Lord Jesus Christ was subject to this. Will Jnorm, and the rest admit their sin and repent?

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

"In truth, you are just saying these things because you want me to go away. "

>>I just showed from WCF and monothelitism that you are a proven liar and this conversation goes to show you are a terrible debater and a bureaucrat. I don't advocate you go away, just stop talking about me because i have already buried your religion under a mountain of arguments:

http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/41-reasons-why-i-am-not-eastern-orthodox/

have already shown you a deliberate liar, and have already shown you incapable of understanding rudimentary philosophical distinctions like generic and numeric unity. You have failed to grasp my argumetns numerous times now and flood the comment page with superfluous and irrelevant material like the theology of the Cappadocians that you keep harping about that i am not claiming loyalty to. I did in the past because Hopko deceived me into thinking that the unity real was generic among the divine persons when actually it was numeric.

Probably the biggest blunder you have made so far is to think that I am saying you don't believe in three hypostases. I understand you assert that there are three hypostases. My argument is that if you say that there is only one cardinally numeric divine nature YOU BY NECESSARY INFERENCE DENY THREE PERSONS. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU DO NOT DIRECTLY SAY THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE HYPOSTASIS. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU SAY THAT THERE ARE THREE HYPOSTASES. MY ARGUMENT IS THAT IS FUNDAMENTALLY INCOHERENT WITH THE IDEA OF A SINGLE NUMERIC NATURE. WHY? Because the unity of the Nicene Creed is that same as the unity among individual men and individual men have their own bodies, minds and wills.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

"In truth, you are just saying these things because you want me to go away. "

>>I just showed from WCF and monothelitism that you are a proven liar and this conversation goes to show you are a terrible debater and a bureaucrat. I don't advocate you go away, just stop talking about me because i have already buried your religion under a mountain of arguments:

http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/41-reasons-why-i-am-not-eastern-orthodox/

have already shown you a deliberate liar, and have already shown you incapable of understanding rudimentary philosophical distinctions like generic and numeric unity. You have failed to grasp my argumetns numerous times now and flood the comment page with superfluous and irrelevant material like the theology of the Cappadocians that you keep harping about that i am not claiming loyalty to. I did in the past because Hopko deceived me into thinking that the unity real was generic among the divine persons when actually it was numeric.

Probably the biggest blunder you have made so far is to think that I am saying you don't believe in three hypostases. I understand you assert that there are three hypostases. My argument is that if you say that there is only one cardinally numeric divine nature YOU BY NECESSARY INFERENCE DENY THREE PERSONS. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU DO NOT DIRECTLY SAY THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE HYPOSTASIS. I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU SAY THAT THERE ARE THREE HYPOSTASES. MY ARGUMENT IS THAT IS FUNDAMENTALLY INCOHERENT WITH THE IDEA OF A SINGLE NUMERIC NATURE. WHY? Because the unity of the Nicene Creed is that same as the unity among individual men and individual men have their own bodies, minds and wills.

Drake Shelton said...

“You also need to just give up in trusting your intellect and just trust the Church”
>>>Timothy Ware, in The Orthodox Church (Strand London, Penguin Books, 1997) says,

“The doctrinal definitions of an Ecumenical Council are infallible…While the doctrinal decisions of general councils are infallible, those of a local council or an individual bishop are always liable to error; but if such decisions are accepted by the rest of the Church, then they come to acquire Ecumenical authority…The doctrinal decisions of an Ecumenical Council cannot be revised or corrected”. (page 202)

Ware individuates The East from the Roman system of authority,

“where Rome thinks in terms of the supremacy and the universal jurisdiction of the Pope, Orthodoxy thinks in terms of the Five Patriarchs and of the Ecumenical Council, where Rome stresses Papal infallibility, Orthodox stress the infallibility of the Church as a whole.” (pg. 239)

Ware affirms

“In the words of Dositheus:…it is impossible for the Catholic Church to err, or to be at all deceived, or ever to choose falsehood instead of truth.’ ” (pg. 248)

Yet that is exactly what Pseudo-Dionysius did. He deceived them into believing he was the first century disciple of Paul to dupe the Church into believing a gross and satanic Neoplatonic view of Authority and Systematic Theology in general. This infected every office of the Church both East and West. Ware states, “The authority of the bishop is fundamentally the authority of the Church…
Infallibility belongs to the whole Church, not just to the episcopate in isolation.” (pg. 250-251) One statement is striking by Khomiakov when he said,

“The Pope is greatly mistaken in supposing that we consider the ecclesiastical hierarchy to be the guardian of dogma. The case is quite different. The unvarying constancy and the unerring truth of Christian dogma does not depend upon any hierarchical order; it is guarded by the totality, by the whole people of the Church, which is the Body of Christ.” (The Orthodox Church by Ware, pg. 251)

Ware comments further,

“This conception of the laity and the place in the Church must be kept in mind when considering the nature of an Ecumenical Council. The laity are guardians and not teachers; therefore, although they may attend a council and take an active part in the proceedings , yet when the moment comes for the council to make a formal proclamation of the faith, it is the bishops alone who, in virtue of their teaching charisma take the final decision. But councils of bishops can err and be deceived.” (Ibid.)

So, there is no definition of the church, but the Church is infallible. The laity are not infallible, the priests are not infallible, the Bishops are not infallible, and the councils are not either, but the received councils are. So how does one know a true council? None have received universal acceptance as Ware admits on page 252. Ware’s answer to this is circular. He says that the Faith is based on the Ecumenical Council and yet the validity of the Ecumenical Council is as Metropolitan Seraphim says based on whether “it has borne witness to the faith of the Ecumenical Church.” (The Orthodox Church by Ware, pg. 253) So the Faith is based on the Council but the Council is based on the Faith. This is entertaining because much of the same circular reasoning is the basis of the Anchoretic view of scripture. William Cunningham said,
“they profess to prove the infallibility of the Church by the authority of the Scriptures, while, at the same time, they establish the authority of Scripture, and ascertain its meaning by the testimony of the Church, which cannot err.” (The Doctrine’s and Practices of the Church of Rome Truly Represented with Introduction and Notes by William Cunningham [Edinburgh: Fraser & CO. 54, North Bridge; Smith Elder & CO.. and H. Washbourne, London; and W. Curry, Jun& CO. Dublin, 1837: Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing Legacy Reprints] pg. 154)

Drake Shelton said...

...This leaves them with no principle by which they can affirm the authority of the Scripture or the infallibility of the Church. Moreover, is Ware’s Ecclesiology compatible with Pseudo-Dionysius’ Ecclesiology? Dionysius’ Ecclesiology in his Celestial Hierarchies were designed right off of Neoplatonism. In Dionysius 8th Letter he forbids that Deacons correct priests. He says that “even if disorder and confusion should undermine the most divine ordinances and regulations that still gives no right even on God’s behalf to overturn the order which God has himself established.” (Rorem, Pseudo-Dionysius, pg. 41) Does that sound like the Church as a whole is the guardian of truth? Georges Florovsky says in his Bible, Church Tradition (Vaduz, Europa: Buchervertriebsanstalt, 1987) page 54,

“He [The Bishop-DS] must speak not from himself, but in the name of the Church, ex consensus ecclesiae. This is just the contrary of the Vatican formula: ex sese, non autem ex consensus ecclesiae. [From himself, but not from the consensus of the Church]…It is not from his flock that the bishop receives full power to teach, but from Christ through Apostolic Succession. But full power has been given to him to bear witness to the catholic experience of the body of the Church. He is limited by this experience, and therefore in questions of faith the people must judge concerning his teaching. The duty of obedience ceases when the bishop deviates from the catholic norm, and the people have the right to accuse and even to depose him…Christian authority appeals to freedom; this authority must convince, not constrain.”

Didn’t Dionysius just say that this was forbidden; the people deposing their priest? Dionysius would roll over in his grave. Matthew Pool in A Dialogue Between a Popish Priest and an English Protestant (London, Cockeril at the Atlas in Cornhill, 1676) demonstrated that the Roman Church had no definition of infallibility either. What is the infallible judge; (?) The clergy and laity as a whole?; The laity only?; The Pope only?; The Papacy as a group?; A general council? Writings cannot be the judge because the Romanists boast of the living prophetic office of the Pope. (Pool, A Dialogue Between a Popish Priest and an English Protestant, pg. 7-8) So which is it? Neither the Eastern nor Roman Church can answer.
There is simply no basis for an infallible interpreter of the Bible. That would be nice but it is not in the book. Period. Even Paul admits that even the apostles did not have dominion over the common man’s faith. (2 Cor 1:24)

徐马可 said...

Jnorm,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, you said:"You don't have a clue what my position is for you keep putting words in my mouth."

There is indeed a lots of words being used by people to define their belief (essence, person, substance, consubstantial and etc.,), especially in this subject. So I believe it is crucial to state our belief, and then define exactly what is the meaning of each word we use to avoid confusion and to build up mutual fellowship and understanding. Words really don't matter that much in and by themselves, it is the meaning behind the words, that is what matters.

So Jnorm, can you please clarify with us your exact position on what you mean by generic unity and numeric unity?

This is what I mean when I say generic unity and numeric unity:

Generic unity means that the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are three beings (existence), and they are the same type of being, of the same genus, that is to say, their whatness is the same. In my view, the Son of God is consubstantial with the Father in his divinity and with Mary in his manhood both in the sense of generic unity.

While numerical unity means the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost is just one being (existence).

Thanks,

Mark

Jnorm said...

Mark,

David already has a post that express what I believe.

http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2012/05/basil-great-early-critic-of-neo.html (Basil 'the Great', an early critic of neo-modalism)



Mark said:
So Jnorm, can you please clarify with us your exact position on what you mean by generic unity and numeric unity?"


I already explained myself, but I'll do it again. I see generic unity being used in Chalcedon when it says:

"of one homoousios with the Father in regards to his Divinity, and at the same time of one homoousios with us in regards to his humanity"


Drake didn't like the fact that I used Chalcedon to explain what I thought generic homoousios meant in Nicea. This in and of itself should of ended the conversation between me and him, but it didn't.

Instead, he said something like (paraphrasing)..... "we're not talking about Chalcedon, we're talking about Nicea". Which told me that he totally missed the point. The point of how I understood the generic meaning of homoousios.

But this happens alot when I go back and forth with him.



Now in regards to how I understand numeric unity. I could be wrong, and so feel free to correct me, but I always thought the Latin view of the Essence being the One God represented "numeric unity".


Now, in saying this, the Christian East developed a tradition that talks about the Essence too, but the main difference that I see between East and West in regards to what we say about the Essence is that in the Christian East, we see the Essence as being the Essence of the Father. The Christian west seems to try and distance any idea of the Father being the source.


I hope this helps!



Mar said:
"This is what I mean when I say generic unity and numeric unity:

Generic unity means that the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are three beings (existence), and they are the same type of being, of the same genus, that is to say, their whatness is the same. In my view, the Son of God is consubstantial with the Father in his divinity and with Mary in his manhood both in the sense of generic unity."



Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems as if you are simply saying generic unity means the Son shares the same Divine Nature as the Father. Is this what you're saying? If so then you said what Chalcedon said, and what I've been saying all along with Drake.


Mark said:
"While numerical unity means the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost is just one being (existence)."

To be honest, I don't like using the word Being in reference to God, but if I had to use it in reference to God then I wouldn't use it in reference to anything in creation. But you and I seem to be saying something similar, and so where do we move on from here?

Jnorm said...

Drake,

When Saint Athanasius first argued against Arius, he was simply a deacon back then while Arius was a Priest.

Saint Maximus was a Layman monk when he argued against the Patriarch.

And after the council of Florance the laymen over-ruled the bishops.

And so yes, the Norm is that Deacons should respect Priests, and Priests, Bishops....etc.

But that's a norm. It's not some dogmatic rule that can't be broken nor have exceptions to.


I don't have the time to deal with everything you said, but a huge chunk of what you said reveals a comprehension problem. I'm not trying to say this to be mean or rude. But now I understand perfectly what Perry was saying.

Drake, you are not going to use me as a guinea pig to help you understand all these things. Your 41 issues about EO doesn't bother me, and no, we shouldn't have to respond to you every-time you say something nasty, mean or rude about us.

You use our responses to you, to help yourself understand what you have a hard time comprehending. A number of us already knew this about you. But I'm tired of being your guinea pig.

Jnorm said...

Drake said,
"Because the unity of the Nicene Creed is that same as the unity among individual men and individual men have their own bodies, minds and wills."


The Son is Incarnate, but the Father and Holy Spirit are not. (I know you won't understand what this means, but I'm tired of you, and so who cares if you are unable to grasp this)


You didn't understand why I mentioned Saint Athanasius, as well as all the other names and so what you say is meaningless.

You have no clue, and you don't know what you're talking about.

Jnorm said...

What I believe about the Unity of the Trinity.

1.) The Father is the source, and so He is the One God!

2.) The Son is ETERNALLY GENERATED from the Father

3.) The Holy Spirit ETERNALLY Proceeds from the Father


Thus, the Unity is INDIVISIBLE and UNDIVIDED

We don't see this same kind of unity among humanity. For the unity in humanity is Divisible and Divided!


This should be enough to end the conversation! But knowing how someone seems to have a bad habit of missing the main point.....well, I doubt this would end it.

Jnorm said...

What Saint Athanasius said in defense of the council of Nicea

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xiv.ii.v.html
quote:
"Again, when the Bishops said that the Word must be described as the True Power and Image of the Father, in all things exact891 and like the Father, and as unalterable, and as always, and as in Him without division (for never was the Word not, but He was always, existing everlastingly with the Father, as the radiance of light),"

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xiv.ii.v.html
quote:
"For bodies which are like each other may be separated and become at distances from each other, as are human sons relatively to their parents (as it is written concerning Adam and Seth, who was begotten of him that he was like him after his own pattern; but since the generation of the Son from the Father is not according to the nature of men, and not only like, but also inseparable from the essence of the Father, and He and the Father are one, as He has said Himself, and the Word is ever in the Father and the Father in the Word, as the radiance stands towards the light (for this the phrase itself indicates), therefore the Council, as understanding this, suitably wrote ‘one in essence,’ that they might both defeat the perverseness of the heretics, and shew that the Word was other than originated things. For, after thus writing, they at once added, ‘But they who say that the Son of God is from nothing, or created, or alterable, or a work, or from other essence, these the Holy Catholic Church anathematizes"




Am I vindicated now? Drake, even-though I am tired of you. I will try not to make fun of you, even-though I am tempted to.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

Leo Donald Davis says of the unity taught by Nicea,

“First, it could be generic; of one substance could be said of two individual men, both of whom share human nature while remaining individuals."

Jnormn says

"We don't see this same kind of unity among humanity. For the unity in humanity is Divisible and Divided!"

Thank you for admitting what I have been saying for a couple years! You don't believe the Son is a subject, you believe he is a predicate. Just like the West.




Drake Shelton said...

Not only has my opponent admitted my interpretation of nicea against his Monadism, he refused to admit his lie about Calvinism's supposed monothelitism. Also, now we see admitted openly why they reject penal substitution. The Separation between Father and Son could never happen because the Son is the same Subject as the Father.

Drake Shelton said...

The only escape my opponent could have s to say that he shares the same divine essence with the Father, which makes the persons three PARTS of the One God. An assertion that could never be justified from scripture.

徐马可 said...

Jnorm,

You responded to my faith by saying:"Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems as if you are simply saying generic unity means the Son shares the same Divine Nature as the Father. Is this what you're saying? If so then you said what Chalcedon said, and what I've been saying all along with Drake."

This is NOT what I am saying, I mean the Father and the Son are two separate being/existence, while they are the same type of being/existence. I did not say they share the same nature, when you say that they share, do you mean my wife and I share one car or my son and my daughter share one bedroom? If you mean that, your understanding of consubstantial is not Chalcedon.

You then said:"To be honest, I don't like using the word Being in reference to God, but if I had to use it in reference to God then I wouldn't use it in reference to anything in creation. But you and I seem to be saying something similar, and so where do we move on from here? "

Jnorm, I purposefully chose the word "being" to avoid confusion, because it is a biblical term. "For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:6b)"From him which is, which was, and which is to come" (Rev 1:4)
"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM." (Exo 3:14) In the Hebrew language, there is nothing more concrete than something that exists, so God's name is simply HE IS. I do not know your reason for not using the word being in reference to God, as God in biblical term is simply HE IS.

Jnorm, you have not explained to me what you mean by numerical unity, so I cannot determine if we are saying something similar here or not.

Then you also mentioned:"Thus, the Unity is INDIVISIBLE and UNDIVIDED
We don't see this same kind of unity among humanity. For the unity in humanity is Divisible and Divided!"

Jnorm, you are not comparing apple to apple. The unity in the Godhead is undivided can be said of the operation of the Godhead and the unity of consent, but it appears to me that you mean something else, namely you are confessing numerical unity here, so you need to define what do you mean by unity is undivided and indivisible.

If you believe the Unity in Godhead and Unity in manhood is different, then you are not confessing the Chalcedon faith. In the Chalcedon definition, Jesus is consubstantial with God in divinity, and consubstantial with Mary in manhood. Not two different consubstantial, but one consubstantial.

You then quoted Athanasius, and highlighted the word undivided, Athanasius is saying the Son does not take or share part of the Father's nature, Father's essence is not divided in generating the Son. He is not saying undivided in a sence, the Father and Son are numerically one nature.

Thanks,

Mark



Jnorm said...

I stand by everything I said.


Page 61 from the book "The First Seven Ecumenical Councils by Leo Donald Davis (325-787)
quote:
"Constantine himself explained that "homoousios was not used in the sense of bodily affections, for the Son did not derive His existence from the Father by means of division or severance, since an immaterial, intellectual and incorporeal nature could not be subject to any bodily affection."



Mark Said:
"This is NOT what I am saying, I mean the Father and the Son are two separate being/existence, while they are the same type of being/existence."

I would like to ask you some questions if you don't mind.

1.) Do you accept or Reject the Eternal Generation of the Son? Yes or no

2.) Do you accept or Reject the Father being Arche? Yes or no



Mark said:
"I did not say they share the same nature, when you say that they share, do you mean my wife and I share one car or my son and my daughter share one bedroom?

No! When I say they share the same Nature, what I mean is:

The Son shares the same Divine Nature as His Father because the Son is ETERNALLY BEGOTTEN of the Father. Thus they have the same Divine Nature.

The Creed Says:
quote:
"And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, True God of True God, Begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made:"


Saint Athanasius: In Defense of the Council of Nicea
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xiv.ii.iii.html
quote:
"For in this again the generation of the Son exceeds and transcends the thoughts of man, that we become fathers of our own children in time, since we ourselves first were not and then came into being; but God, in that He ever is, is ever Father of the Son"



Mark said:
" If you mean that, your understanding of consubstantial is not Chalcedon."

You don't have to tell me what is and isn't Chalcedon. I know what Chalcedon teaches.



Mark said:
"Jnorm, I purposefully chose the word "being" to avoid confusion, because it is a biblical term. "For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:6b)"From him which is, which was, and which is to come" (Rev 1:4)
"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM." (Exo 3:14) In the Hebrew language, there is nothing more concrete than something that exists, so God's name is simply HE IS. I do not know your reason for not using the word being in reference to God, as God in biblical term is simply HE IS."



If you want to use the word "Existence", then fine. But I don't use such words often when talking about this topic and so don't be offended if I choose not to talk that way.

Jnorm said...

Mark said:
"Jnorm, you have not explained to me what you mean by numerical unity, so I cannot determine if we are saying something similar here or not."

ok



Mark said:
"Jnorm, you are not comparing apple to apple. The unity in the Godhead is undivided can be said of the operation of the Godhead and the unity of consent, but it appears to me that you mean something else, namely you are confessing numerical unity here, so you need to define what do you mean by unity is undivided and indivisible."


I believe in the eternal generation of the Son. Do you? This is why I am saying what I'm saying.


Mark said:
"If you believe the Unity in Godhead and Unity in manhood is different, then you are not confessing the Chalcedon faith."

I am confessing the Chalcedon faith. You are thinking there are no differences between the unity that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have with Each-other in Divinity and the unity that we have in humanity. There are differences.

Thus the Man, Woman, and child metaphor to explain the Trinity can only go but so far before it breaks down.


Mark said:
"In the Chalcedon definition, Jesus is consubstantial with God in divinity, and consubstantial with Mary in manhood. Not two different consubstantial, but one consubstantial."


What I said is from Chalcedon. Read it again, for Jesus is not only homoousios with the Theotokos. He is also Homoousios with us. To say that he is only Homoousios with Mary is to teach what the heretic Eutyches taught.

So what is your motive for chatting with me? Is it for ill intent? Or is it for mutual understanding?



Mark said:
"You then quoted Athanasius, and highlighted the word undivided, Athanasius is saying the Son does not take or share part of the Father's nature,"


I never said the Son share part of the Father's Nature. I said the Son shares the Father's Nature. The fact that you added words in my mouth shows that you never really had an intention of mutual understanding. So tell me, what's the purpose of this conversation?


Mark said:
"Father's essence is not divided in generating the Son. He is not saying undivided in a sence, the Father and Son are numerically one nature."

I believe in the Eternal Generation of the Son, and I made that as clear as day more than once. So what is your reason for talking to me?

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
"The only escape my opponent could have s to say that he shares the same divine essence with the Father, which makes the persons three PARTS of the One God. An assertion that could never be justified from scripture."


God doesn't have parts and homoousios wasn't suppose to be interpreted in a materialistic way. So why are you interpreting it materialistically?


Page 61 from the book "The First Seven Ecumenical Councils by Leo Donald Davis (325-787)
quote:
"Constantine himself explained that "homoousios was not used in the sense of bodily affections, for the Son did not derive His existence from the Father by means of division or severance, since an immaterial, intellectual and incorporeal nature could not be subject to any bodily affection."


Drake said:
"Thank you for admitting what I have been saying for a couple years! You don't believe the Son is a subject, you believe he is a predicate. Just like the West"


You took what I said out of context, just like you do to alot of things you read. You didn't quote the part where I used homoousios in regards to individuals of humanity.

You still want to read into the word "individual" all kinds of things in regards to the Persons of the Trinity. As if Persons of the Trinity and persons of humanity don't differ in any kind of way.

What I was doing was showing a difference. Because there is a difference. If you want to believe that there is no difference whatsoever then so be it. That's you, but don't insert that view back into Nicea.

Also, if you are going to quote me then do so correctly. If you put words in my mouth one more time then I'm going to be mean and rude to you. Straight up!


Drake said
"Not only has my opponent admitted my interpretation of nicea against his Monadism,


I did no such thing! Your view is one of 3 natures, wills, minds.....etc. So stop speaking for me. If you continue to do this then I'm going to snap and you won't like it.

Just because I believe in the Arche of the Father doesn't mean it's your view! I believed this long before you did! I also believed in the Eternal Generation of the Son long before you did and so these things aren't exclusively yours.



Drake said:
" he refused to admit his lie about Calvinism's supposed monothelitism."

For one, it's not a lie, and two, why are you bringing this up in regards to this topic? See, you always jump off topic down some rabbit trail. Here you go again!


Drake said:
"Also, now we see admitted openly why they reject penal substitution. The Separation between Father and Son could never happen because the Son is the same Subject as the Father."


You don't know what you're talking about for one. And two, You don't know what we believe. Plus you're jumping off topic again. Which is something you love to do.

But since you want to accuse people of stuff then let me accuse you of being a tri-theist. You believe in 3 gods. Or 1 god and two side kicks.

And so,

Do you believe in the full Divinity of the Son? Do you believe in the full equality of the Son with the Father?

Do you believe the Son to be divided or undivided with the Father? Yes or No

Jnorm said...

Mark said:
"Jnorm, you have not explained to me what you mean by numerical unity, so I cannot determine if we are saying something similar here or not."


I was thinking about something. Hmm, so what part of my answer didn't you understand?

This is what I said:
"...... I always thought the Latin view of the Essence being the One God represented "numeric unity"


What about this don't you understand?

Also, in regards to my view, I keep saying the Father is Monarch, the Source, Arche....etc.

Doesn't this mean anything to you?


I keep saying over and over that the Son is eternally generated of the Father. Doesn't this mean anything to you?

Also, didn't I say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father?

Also, didn't I say more than once that the Essence/Nature is the Father's Essence/Nature?


I don't wanna get rude, but I might have to! If you look at my statements, it should be obvious to you that I believe the Father to be the source of the Trinity. He is ultimately the point of union/unity.


You wanted to focus on my statements that expressed the undivided and indivisible connection/link between Father and Son, not knowing that if one believes in the Eternal generation of the Son then yeah, one would have to believe that they are undivided and indivisible.


Saint Athanasius: In Defence of the council of Nicea
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xiv.ii.v.htm
quote:l
"Further, let every corporeal reference be banished on this subject; and transcending every imagination of sense, let us, with pure understanding and with mind alone, apprehend the genuine relation of son to father, and the Word’s proper relation towards God, and the unvarying likeness of the radiance towards the light: for as the words ‘Offspring’ and ‘Son’ bear, and are meant to bear, no human sense, but one suitable to God, in like manner when we hear the phrase ‘one in essence,’ let us not fall upon human senses, and imagine partitions and divisions of the Godhead, but as having our thoughts directed to things immaterial, let us preserve undivided the oneness of nature and the identity of light; for this is proper to a son as regards a father, and in this is shewn that God is truly Father of the Word. Here again, the illustration of light and its radiance is in point"


Is this over now?

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm, nope!

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“You are thinking there are no differences between the unity that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have with Each-other in Divinity and the unity that we have in humanity.”

I will repeat, Leo Donald Davis,

“However, homoousios was at the time a notoriously slippery word and could have three principal meanings. ********First, it could be generic; of one substance could be said of two individual men, both of whom share human nature while remaining individuals.********
Secondly, it could signify numerical identity, that is, that the Father and the Son are identical in concrete being. Finally, it could refer to material things, as two pots are of the same substance because both are made of the same clay. Constantine himself explained that “homoousios was not used in the sense of bodily affections, for the Son did not derive His existence from the Father by means of division or severance, since an immaterial, intellectual and incorporeal nature could not be subject to any bodily affection. These things must be understood as bearing a divine and ineffable signification.” The point was that the third meaning of homoousios, with its connotations of materiality was not the meaning used in the creed. That left the two previous meanings. *******It seems that the Council, intent on stressing the equality of the Son with the Father, had the first meaning explicitly in mind. Father and Son are homoousioi in that they are equally divine.”
Davis, Leo Donald. The First Seven Ecumenical Councils. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1983. Pg. 61

What Jnorm is implying without actually saying is that David and Kelly were wrong. If that is his position, fine, but he doesn’t care to make it plain. You are a deliberately deceitful man.

“What I said is from Chalcedon. Read it again, for Jesus is not only homoousios with the Theotokos. He is also Homoousios with us. To say that he is only Homoousios with Mary is to teach what the heretic Eutyches taught.”

>>>That wasn’t his point! His point was that the word consubstantial is being used of humanity and divinity, univocally here thus your phrase “You are thinking there are no differences between the unity that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have with Each-other in Divinity and the unity that we have in humanity” is wrong. This man is done! All you have left is lies Jnorm.

“I never said the Son share part of the Father's Nature. I said the Son shares the Father's Nature. The fact that you added words in my mouth shows that you never really had an intention of mutual understanding. So tell me, what's the purpose of this conversation?”

>>>But that is the logical consequence. If two persons are one nature then they are part of the one thing or else why even appeal to numerics to begin with, with reference to God? You are going to reply that this is a divine mystery which surpasses human reason and if so, then the whole thing is. Might as well say there is only one person because numerics are pieces of created human language anyway. What is the point of doing theology at all with this insufficient human language we have? No, Jnorm is not here to come to a mutual understanding or to clarify his faith, he is here to what all Gnostic Intermediaries do, trying to get us to believe he has had a secret revelation that no one can understand but we are dependant on his authority on the hierarchy of being, “this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world”.

We are rejecting his authority and showing that we can understand things just fine, and this is why he is so angry. That is why he is getting so personal. That is why he has personally defamed me so many times.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“God doesn't have parts and homoousios wasn't suppose to be interpreted in a materialistic way. So why are you interpreting it materialistically?”

>>>That is your assertion. I read in my Bible of a God who thinks thoughts. These are not material parts but distinct enough for Plotinus to admit that the One had no mind by produced a mind/the nous. So the distinction does not require an appeal to the physical. I am not saying that the One God has three personal parts like you are. I am saying that the One God is the Father; thus the generation of the Son requires no division in the Father, because the Son is begotten out of him as his own being. You are saying they have the same numeric nature thus necessarily implying personal divisions within the one God.

“As if Persons of the Trinity and persons of humanity don't differ in any kind of way.”

>>>I never said that human and divine persons differ in no way. Obviously humans have bodies but essentially they are consciousnesses (a mid and a will), just like the persons in the Trinity. That is the univocal connection and the image of God.

“You didn't quote the part where I used homoousios in regards to individuals of humanity. ”

>>>You fall prey to Mark’s criticism. You have to then say that homo-ousious (per se) means one thing for divinity and one for humanity. Thus what you are saying is the with respect to divinity homo-ousios really means mono-ousios and with regards to humanity it remains homoousios. That is why I don’t care anymore to speak with you because you are a deceiver. You are playing the Gnostic intermediary.

“What I was doing was showing a difference. Because there is a difference. If you want to believe that there is no difference whatsoever then so be it. That's you, but don't insert that view back into Nicea.”

>>>That is what they meant and Leo Donald Davis said it. If you disagree with Davis, then go ahead and make it plain but making it plain would revoke your Gnostic Chain of Being so I don’t expect much.

“ If you put words in my mouth one more time then I'm going to be mean and rude to you. Straight up!”

>>>I was never mean and rude to you. You wouldn’t say what I have been saying you believe, and finally when you admitted that you didn’t believe that homoousios meant the same thing for humanity and divinity you admitted my criticisms were right. You knew it the whole time which is why you have been having such a melt-down lately. Maybe you should do what your buddy Joseph P. Farrell did and admit you don’t believe the Bible. Just go your way into real Gnosticism. Go worship the original idols and pray to all the original pagan gods. Why do you have to defile my religion with all your heathenish practices?

“Your view is one of 3 natures, wills, minds”

>>Which exactly what homoouios means with regards to individual men which is what Davis said Nicea meant with regards to the divine persons. That is what is making you want to snap. Snap, dude, Snap out of Christianity back into the original Chain of Being you believe in. Go be a Hindu or something. is

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,


“For one, it's not a lie, and two, why are you bringing this up in regards to this topic? ”

>>>No you brought up many times here the history of my mistakes and misinterpretations, and you provided no proof. I countered with your lies and misrepresentations and I actually gave an example.

“But since you want to accuse people of stuff then let me accuse you of being a tri-theist. You believe in 3 gods. Or 1 god and two side kicks.”

>>>I believe in one auto-theos, which is my definition of what it means to be God. Only the father is auto-theos therefore your lie is exposed. Your view attributes the Monad to be the Nature not the Father. Just like the West. If you believed that the Father was One God you would not need to appeal to numeric unity of being.

“Do you believe in the full Divinity of the Son? Do you believe in the full equality of the Son with the Father?”

>>>At the level of nature yes. Subordination refers to the level of hypostasis not Nature.


“Do you believe the Son to be divided or undivided with the Father? Yes or No”

>>>I do not believe in ADS like the Neoplatonism of ALL the Anchoretic Churches. I believe that God the Father has a countless number of distcintions within himself. Because my ontological construction terminates upon intellect. No monad behind the nous.

“"...... I always thought the Latin view of the Essence being the One God represented "numeric unity"


What about this don't you understand?”

>>>You are not in a Latin Church Jnorm! This is so deceitful.

“Also, in regards to my view, I keep saying the Father is Monarch, the Source, Arche....etc.

Doesn't this mean anything to you?”

>>>No. Because the word “source” is meaningless. No being is begotten of him on your view. Only a hypostasis is affirmed to be begotten which is completely meaningless. When humans beget, the child gets his own mind and will. His own being! That is required for us to say that the human Father is the source. What you are saying is that a Father does not beget but disassociates himself within his own mind which gives rise to two other personalities that arise within the same mind/being. This is not filiation and spiration but Dissociative identity disorder. Thus the Father is not the source but the mind is because of the mind’s need to personalize in the case of a traumatized dissociated personality. Thus the Father in this case would not be the source but the mind is.


”I keep saying over and over that the Son is eternally generated of the Father. Doesn't this mean anything to you? ”

>>No because generation/begetting requires the one begotten to have their own mind and will. The Father has disassociated on your view. What you are talking about is the rising of another personality within the same mind; thus Dissociative identity disorder.

David Waltz said...

Hello Drake, Jnorm and Mark,

I have been having trouble with my internet connection all day, so I hope that when I finish typing up this comment, that I will be able to post it...

I am a bit reticent to jump into this ongoing discussion, but shall do so at my own peril [wink]. Tuesday evening, Mark posted the following:

== So Jnorm, can you please clarify with us your exact position on what you mean by generic unity and numeric unity?

This is what I mean when I say generic unity and numeric unity:

Generic unity means that the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are three beings (existence), and they are the same type of being, of the same genus, that is to say, their whatness is the same. In my view, the Son of God is consubstantial with the Father in his divinity and with Mary in his manhood both in the sense of generic unity.

While numerical unity means the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost is just one being (existence).==

Me: Before moving on, a couple of comments: first, instead of "genus" when discussing the divine nature, I think 'species' (I am using both terms in the Aristotelian sense) is more accurate, for there is no category above the Divine nature (as opposed to say the genus above the species of man); second, for me, "numerical unity" in reference to any given 'species' means that NO distinctions within the 'species' exists, such that homoousios becomes monoousios.

Moving on to Jnorm's answer to Mark:

== I already explained myself, but I'll do it again. I see generic unity being used in Chalcedon when it says:

"of one homoousios with the Father in regards to his Divinity, and at the same time of one homoousios with us in regards to his humanity"==

Me: That is how I too understand "generic unity"; the Chaledonian Definition seems quite clear here: just as all men are 'one' concerning the 'species' of manhood (i.e. that which makes men truly human/man), persons who are truly divine are 'one' concerning the 'species' of divinity.

What separates my understanding of the Godhead from some folk who accept the above context is the monarchy of God the Father.

Shall stop here for now, it looks like my internet connection is working for the moment...


Grace and peace,

David

徐马可 said...

David,

You have posted this comment:"Me: Before moving on, a couple of comments: first, instead of "genus" when discussing the divine nature, I think 'species' (I am using both terms in the Aristotelian sense) is more accurate, for there is no category above the Divine nature (as opposed to say the genus above the species of man); second, for me, "numerical unity" in reference to any given 'species' means that NO distinctions within the 'species' exists, such that homoousios becomes monoousios."

Thanks for the correction the explanation, I appreciate it.

Mark

Drake Shelton said...

David,

“Before moving on, a couple of comments: first, instead of "genus" when discussing the divine nature, I think 'species' (I am using both terms in the Aristotelian sense) is more accurate, for there is no category above the Divine nature (as opposed to say the genus above the species of man);”

>>>This is the conversation I had with Steve Hays. I am not saying that the One God is a platonic idea that the divine persons participate in as in that God-ness is something that all three persons participate in. On my view God-ness is not the same thing as divinity. Only one person is God and that is the Father. God-ness is not something abstract as a divine attribute. God-ness is a hypostatic property of the Father alone. So the key is the way you are using the words “Divine nature”. I believe that there is an Idea of Humanity within God’s mind, by which every human participates or is patterned after. However the Son and Spirit do not relate to God by way of participation but by way of eternal generation and eternal spiration; as you pointed out a Christian form of emanation. So in neither case, whether we are talking about the uncaused person or caused persons do we have any kind of dialectic between The Supreme Good and a Subordinate Demiurge(s).


“second, for me, "numerical unity" in reference to any given 'species' means that NO distinctions within the 'species' exists, such that homoousios becomes monoousios.”

>>>As if the species “human” mean that only one mind existed?

“ just as all men are 'one' concerning the 'species' of manhood (i.e. that which makes men truly human/man), persons who are truly divine are 'one' concerning the 'species' of divinity”

>>>But he will not admit that. He thinks that the unity among persons is too composite for the divine persons.

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
">>>But he will not admit that.

I believe what David said. But you don't care, because according to your own words, what I say about what I believe is meaningless. But if what I say is meaningless then why are you talking to me? What's the point?

Drake, you need to accept the fact that I say such and such. Just because you disagree doesn't mean you should ignore what I say and put words in my mouth or say I believe something I said I didn't.

If you think something doesn't make sense then fine, it just doesn't make sense to you, but don't put words in my mouth.

You wouldn't like it if I told people that you said you were a tri-theist. You wouldn't like it if I told people you said you believed the father, son, and holy spirit to be 3 human beings. So don't do it to me.


I accept what David said here:
quote
"Me: That is how I too understand "generic unity"; the Chaledonian Definition seems quite clear here: just as all men are 'one' concerning the 'species' of manhood (i.e. that which makes men truly human/man), persons who are truly divine are 'one' concerning the 'species' of divinity."

I accept all that! I really do, even if you are unable to understand at this point in time how.


I also accept what Leo Donald Davis said here:
quote
"********First, it could be generic; of one substance could be said of two individual men, both of whom share human nature while remaining individuals.********

All this is saying is that we have human nature in common. However, this doesn't explain how we have human nature in common.


I also accept what he said here:
"*******It seems that the Council, intent on stressing the equality of the Son with the Father, had the first meaning explicitly in mind. Father and Son are homoousioi in that they are equally divine.”

All he's saying here is that the Father and Son have something in common, and that something is Divinity. What he doesn't say is how?

This is why Leo Donald Davis can say in the very next sentence:
"But implicitly in their statement was numerical identity, that Father and Son are of a single divine substance, an aspect brought out by Athanasius in the course of the long struggle following the Council."

The book obviously goes on to talk about what happened in the later decades, and so he didn't have to explain how right then and there on that same page (I said this for a reason).

Saint Athanasius: Defence of the Nicene Definition
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xiv.ii.iii.html

quote:
"instead of thinking the Son’s generation to be on a level with ours. For who can even imagine that the radiance of light ever was not, so that he should dare to say that the Son was not always, or that the Son was not before His generation? or who is capable of separating the radiance from the sun, or to conceive of the fountain as ever void of life, that he should madly say, ‘The Son is from nothing,’ who says, ‘I am the life"


As you can see, the how is different.

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
"He thinks that the unity among persons is too composite for the divine persons."

Because the how is different.


1.) Both the Father and Holy Spirit are immaterial. We were created in God's image, not the other way around. You are creating the god-head in man's image, and you are pushing the human family metaphor (sometimes I doubt if you even see this as a metaphor. Sometimes, the way you talk makes it seem as if the father, son, and holy spirit are nothing more than mere disconnected human beings) too far.


2.) Both the Son and Holy Spirit are eternally connected to the Father. We don't see this with individual humans, and so the how is different.

Saint Athanasius: Defence of the Nicene Definition
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xiv.ii.iii.html
quote:
"As then men create not as God creates, as their being is not such as God’s being, so men’s generation is in one way, and the Son is from the Father in another.

For the offspring of men are portions of their fathers, since the very nature of bodies is not uncompounded, but in a state of flux, , and composed of parts; and men lose their substance in begetting, and again they gain substance from the accession of food. And on this account men in their time become fathers of many children; but God, being without parts, is Father of the Son without partition or passion; for there is neither effluence of the Immaterial, nor influx from without, as among men; and being uncompounded in nature, He is Father of One Only Son. This is why He is Only-begotten, and alone in the Father’s bosom, and alone is acknowledged by the Father to be from Him, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And He too is the Father’s Word, from which may be understood the impassible and impartitive nature of the Father, in that not even a human word is begotten with passion or partition, much less the Word of God.

Wherefore also He sits, as Word, at the Father’s right hand; for where the Father is, there also is His Word; but we, as His works, stand in judgment before Him; and, while He is adored, because He is Son of the adorable Father, we adore, confessing Him Lord and God, because we are creatures and other than He."



The how is different.

Jnorm said...

David said:
"Me: That is how I too understand "generic unity"; the Chaledonian Definition seems quite clear here: just as all men are 'one' concerning the 'species' of manhood (i.e. that which makes men truly human/man), persons who are truly divine are 'one' concerning the 'species' of divinity.

What separates my understanding of the Godhead from some folk who accept the above context is the monarchy of God the Father.

Shall stop here for now, it looks like my internet connection is working for the moment..."


Thanks for sharing your thoughts David. It's appreciated!



David said:
"Me: Before moving on, a couple of comments: first, instead of "genus" when discussing the divine nature, I think 'species' (I am using both terms in the Aristotelian sense) is more accurate, for there is no category above the Divine nature (as opposed to say the genus above the species of man); second, for me, "numerical unity" in reference to any given 'species' means that NO distinctions within the 'species' exists, such that homoousios becomes monoousios."


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
"What Jnorm is implying without actually saying is that David and Kelly were wrong. If that is his position, fine, but he doesn’t care to make it plain. You are a deliberately deceitful man."


Why are you putting words in my mouth again? I keep saying over and over again that you are misinterpreting them.

They are not saying that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three human beings (material, divisible, divided, parts, portions......etc.). This is what you want them to say.

They are simply saying that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are Divine. Also, when I kept saying over and over and over again that the Son shares the Father's Nature, I was looking in the books(Leo Donald Davis, and JND Kelly) the whole time, for that's what they said(JND KELLY, Leo used the words substance and being in regards to sharing).

Why did you think I didn't care when you and Mark attacked me (I had a hunch that you guys would) on that point? It's because I knew I was saying what they said in regards to "generic unity" between the Father and Son (therefore I could back it up if needed to, for you kept ignoring what I said over and over and over again).



Drake said:
"That wasn’t his point! His point was that the word consubstantial is being used of humanity and divinity, univocally here thus your phrase “You are thinking there are no differences between the unity that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have with Each-other in Divinity and the unity that we have in humanity” is wrong. This man is done! All you have left is lies Jnorm"


Dude, get real! Are you a tri-theist or something? Do you believe in 3 independent, separated, and divided gods in regards to divinity? Are all 3 persons auto-theos? If not then there is indeed a difference.

In regards to homoousios:

1.) What is the difference between 2 copper pennies one foot away from each-other from that of a stream of water coming from a river? Both represent a form of homoousios, but one is divided where the other is undivided.


2.) What is the difference between 2 copper pennies one foot away from each-other from that of light and its radiance? Both represent a form of homoousios, but one is divided where the other is undivided.


And so there is a difference.


Drake said:
">>>No. Because the word “source” is meaningless.

No it's not! Dude, just because it's not in the way that you believe it doesn't mean it's meaningless. All it means is that it's not your interpretation.


Drake said:
"No being is begotten of him on your view."

How do you know? For what is your interpretation of the word being? Just because it's not my preferred vocab doesn't mean the meaning behind the word is foreign. So what do you mean by the word being?


Drake said:
"Only a hypostasis is affirmed to be begotten which is completely meaningless."

Just because it's meaningless to you doesn't mean it's meaningless to everyone else. Drake, the world doesn't revolve around what you think makes sense or not. It just doesn't. Now, if you want to know what the word hypostasis means to me then why not ask? I know what the word means to me.

Why must you be rude and hostile all the time?


Drake said:
"When humans beget, the child gets his own mind and will. His own being! That is required for us to say that the human Father is the source."


Oh, I see now. You're simply protecting your baby. Your creation, your Triadological construct of how you want things to be. Thus, any other competing interpretation must be fought against.

徐马可 said...

Jnorm,

You explained your faith by saying:"In regards to homoousios:

1.) What is the difference between 2 copper pennies one foot away from each-other from that of a stream of water coming from a river? Both represent a form of homoousios, but one is divided where the other is undivided.

2.) What is the difference between 2 copper pennies one foot away from each-other from that of light and its radiance? Both represent a form of homoousios, but one is divided where the other is undivided.

And so there is a difference."

I appreciate the parables you used, it helps me to understand what you mean by undivide (unity in my understanding), that is fine with me.. In this sense, in heaven all the saints should not be divided any more, everyone will sing with one voice and one heart, glorifying God forever. We will be one just like the Father and the Son are one.

Regards,

Mark

徐马可 said...

Jnorm,

Just to use your parable of river and stream again to clarify our position.

The stream originats from the river, so the river is the source and ultimate principle. River and stream is consubstantial because their whatness (being water) is exactly the same, yet, being two separate things, But we can never say two Gods, but one GOD, because there is only one river. In a generic sense, and also in a operational and inter-personal communion sense, do we say the river and the stream are one. This is our view using your parable.

In another view, the water itself is the ultimate principle, while the river and stream is just an ad intra manifestation or modal subsistence of the one water, One God because of one water, not one River. This is the view we utterly reject.

Again, the Father alone is the ultimate principle and the One God, not the essence or divinity.

Thanks,

Mark

Jnorm said...

Mark said,
"I appreciate the parables you used, it helps me to understand what you mean by undivide (unity in my understanding), that is fine with me..

Thanks, but the parable doesn't originate with me. I got it from a number of Pre-Nicen, Nicene, and post Nicene Christians. (both church fathers, christian witnesses, schismatics, and sometimes even those who were declared a heretic some centuries later[Origen])

I saw them make use of it some many years ago. My personal favorite has always been the Sun and it's radiance example. That is what sold me to one variant of the Pre-Nicene view. I also fell in love with their Logos Theology. In fact, one of the main reasons why I went East(EO) instead of West(Rome) was because of the issues of Triadology, and Logos Theology. Most of the protestant worlds I was in at the time never really accepted what some might call subordinate Trinitarianism some may not call it this, but others do in where the other Two Persons are derived from the Father. As also can be seen with Nicea of 325 A.D.

A number (I want to say most, but I don't really know the exact percentage) of people in the west dislike this view, and they put it down. And so I knew I could never really fit in the mainstream of the popular protestant world with this view. I inherently knew I would have to defend it my whole entire life as a protestant. I also knew that I would have to do the same within Rome.

And so I thought to myself, why go through all the stress and ulcers? Plus I was growing tired of defending it. There came a time in my life in where I just grew tired, and I knew I needed a place of rest. There were other issues too on my mind, like the Eucharist and Water Baptism....etc.

But yeah, I was just tired of always arguing and defending these things and plus I wanted the Eucharist too (big time, for this was one of thee major issues for me at the time. I saw what the pre-nicene, nicene, and to some extinct the post nicene christians were saying about this, and so I wanted it too. At the time I was still Baptist on paper and they didn't believe it like that, and so....) and so I chose East as the place to rest my head.

For at the end of the day, I know that I don't have to fight if I don't want to. I already know that I don't have to defend these things if I don't want to. I can rest my head for I know that others in Eastern Christianity (not just EO) will pop up and defend it too. Now in saying this I am not saying everyone in EO defends the Monarchy of the Father view. But it's part of our Biblical and Patristic infra-structure (The west relied heavily on one father[Augustine] in the area of Triadology, the east have many fathers to look too, and so even if one or more stray too far from the tradition, it still would be easier for us to hold to the Arche of the Father view because we have more early Fathers to look too in the area of Triadology), and so we will always have people that will defend it.


So yeah, I chose East partly due to the fact that I didn't need the ulcers and stress that would happen by defending this view in Rome (there were other reasons too, but this was one of the main reasons). There were other views that I held to that were not in line with EO at the time, but I freely trusted the Church in those areas and so in time I eventually believed what the Church did. I'm sorry for the rant. But you don't know me and so I just wanted to let you know more about me, and why I might say some of the things I say (as well as some of the things I don't like saying, like the word "being"). It's because I'm EO and I was intentionally following a certain Orthodox priest in this regard.

Jnorm said...

Mark said
In this sense, in heaven all the saints should not be divided any more, everyone will sing with one voice and one heart, glorifying God forever.


I'm still in the process of learning my Faith in this area, and so it might take a couple more years before I'm able to express it clearly.


Mark said
We will be one just like the Father and the Son are one.

I can agree with this in one sense, but not in another sense.

1.) For the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are like that by nature, we are adopted as sons by Grace.

2.) There is something Ad Intra that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have exclusively to themselves that we could never know, but there is something Ad Extra that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have that will be shared with us. The issue that comes to mind is Glorification. What we call Theosis or Deification.

The Father shares His Glory. For we see it going to the Son and from the Son to us.
John 17:22
"I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—"

From Glory to Glory. And so what Christ initially gave us can grow so that we can conform more and more to His Image and likeness.
2 Corinthians 3:18
"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."

Our humanity will be glorified.
Romans 8:18
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."


I'm sorry for the rambling.

Jnorm said...


Mark said
Jnorm,

Just to use your parable of river and stream again to clarify our position.


You said "our position". Who are the others? Did you mean you and Drake? Or you, Drake, and David? Or you, and some others not on this board/blog post?



Mark said
"The stream originats from the river, so the river is the source and ultimate principle.

I agree 100%ly with the word source. I know what that means for I use it alot myself.

I'm not a philosopher and so "ultimate principle" is not a part of my every day vocabulary. But I can speculate what you mean by it. However, why speculate when I can always ask?

So, what do you specifically mean by it?



Mark said:
"River and stream is consubstantial because their whatness (being water) is exactly the same,"

Correct!



Mark said:
"yet, being two separate things, But we can never say two Gods, but one GOD, because there is only one river."

Correct!


Mark said:
"In a generic sense, and also in a operational and inter-personal communion sense, do we say the river and the stream are one. This is our view using your parable.

Yes, but the word "operational" is not a part of my every day vocab, and so what do you mean by it?



Mark said:
"In another view, the water itself is the ultimate principle, while the river and stream is just an ad intra manifestation or modal subsistence of the one water, One God because of one water, not one River. This is the view we utterly reject.

Understood. At one time I thought Rome only had one view of this, but over the years reading David's blog and reading the many different inter-actions on it by Roman Catholics. I saw that they might have a variant interpretation that allows, at least in name or words, the Father being Monarch. David might know more about that than me, but I remember a Roman Catholic presenting some info about that on here some where.



Mark said:
Again, the Father alone is the ultimate principle and the One God, not the essence or divinity.

Thanks,

Mark"


But what if one believes the Essence or Divinity to be the Essence or Divinity of the Father? For this is what I believe.

I am starting to see that both East and West evolved somewhat after Nicea of 325 A.D. We just evolved differently. Especially after the Filioque was added to the mix.

徐马可 said...

Jnorm,

It appears your parable is helping us in our conversation. You asked:"You said "our position". Who are the others? Did you mean you and Drake? Or you, Drake, and David? Or you, and some others not on this board/blog post?"

This plural is editorial, although I do believe I share this view with Drake and David, but both of them are much more well read and learned than I am. I am sitting under the shade of a big tree planted by David and Drake through all of their labor and study.

You then asked about . I mean the origin or source of everything on earth and in heaven, Drake really knows it much better than I do.

Yes, but the word "operational" is not a part of my every day vocab, and so what do you mean by it?

MX: I mean the operation of Father and Son and Holy Spirit, the perfect unity in consent, in creation, in salvation bringing glory to God himself.

But what if one believes the Essence or Divinity to be the Essence or Divinity of the Father? For this is what I believe.

MX: I believe that too. The son derives his being (not in time, but eternally, although we understand not how it works, but yet indeed truly) from both the person and essence of the Father. But the Son has his own essence or divinity, yet it is same with the essence or divinity of the Father in a generic sense. His subordination to the Father is not at the level of essence, or that he is less divine, but it is only at the level of his person.

I have to go to bed now, tommorrow I have to do a lots of farming work building a big run for my chickens.

Thanks,

Mark

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“But if what I say is meaningless then why are you talking to me? What's the point?”

>>>Because I don’t want you to get the impression that I didn’t bend over backwards to address what you said.

David’s statement, “just as all men are 'one' concerning the 'species'
of manhood (i.e. that which makes men truly human/man), persons who
are truly divine are 'one' concerning the 'species' of divinity”

Jnorm's statement, “Thus, the Unity is INDIVISIBLE and UNDIVIDED We don't see this same kind of unity among humanity. For the unity in
humanity is Divisible and Divided!”

So on Jnorm’s view the unity among the divine persons is undivided
while unity among humans is divided. Therefore, it is NOT THE CASE THAT “just as all men are 'one' concerning the 'species' of manhood (i.e. that which makes men truly human/man), persons who are truly divine are 'one' concerning the 'species' of divinity”. That is why I stated, “But he will not admit that” thus putting no words in your mouth.

“You wouldn't like it if I told people that you said you were a tri-theist.”

>>>But here is the difference: I have explained why I am not a tri-theist. You have not explained why you can affirm homoouios to mean monoousios and also not mean Sabellianism or the idea that the persons are parts of the one God and you can’t! These problems have existed for centuries.

“You wouldn't like it if I told people you said you believed the
father, son, and holy spirit to be 3 human beings. So don't do it to
me.”

>>>You would have the burden of connecting what I have said to that conclusion. I have done that with your view of monoousios and even shown your own people admit it. You have not done so with the accusation that my view says that the divine persons are human.

“I accept all that! I really do, even if you are unable to understand at this point in time how.”

>>> You said, “We don't see this same kind of unity among humanity. For the unity in humanity is Divisible and Divided!””

I am forced to represent your words as they were written and they do not accept all that you just stated they accepted. They say the exact opposite.

“All this is saying is that we have human nature in common. However, this doesn't explain how we have human nature in common.”

>>Yes it does by the very means you deny. You denied that the unity was divided among divine persons, but that is exactly Davis’ meaning when he uses the words “while remaining individuals” regarding humanity. Individual means divided respecting numeric substance.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

>>>Fourthly, you left out some things that Davis stated on the same page:

“The word homoousios had a long history as we have previously indicated, and, even though accepted in the creed, it was objectionable to the majority of the bishops for at least four reasons. First, the term, despite Constantine’s statement, had strong materialist overtones which would connote that Father and Son are parts or separable portions of the same “stuff.” Secondly, if Father and Son were of one numerically identical substance, then the doctrine of the creed could well be Sabellian, Father and Son being identical and indistinguishable.”

http://ldysinger.stjohnsem.edu/@books/Davis_councils/200_Nicea_1_c1.htm

Your view could be accused of both of these as I have already done. I am not making up these problems Jnorm. They have existed for centuries. Your whole argument against me is that I don’t understand your view, yet I keep bringing up problems that have already been admitted by Church Historians pertaining to the meaning of homoousios. That tells me I do understand your position.

“The book obviously goes on to talk about what happened in the later decades, and so he didn't have to explain how right then and there on that same page (I said this for a reason).”

>>>I reply

1.On page 87 of Davis' work he mentions that bishops from the east countered Arius stating, that Our Lord Jesus Christ, “though He be subordinate to His Father and God, yet, being before the ages begotten from God, He is God according to nature and true God.”

An admission of subordination is fundamentally contradictory to numeric substantial identity, on the contrary, subordination accompanied by numeric substantial identity provides grounds for many who have rejected the eternal generation of the Son.

2.They continue on the next page, “Father and Son “are united with each other without mediation or interval, and they exist inseparably; all the Father embosoming the Son, and all the Son hanging and adhering to the Father and alone resting on the Father’s breast continually.”

Inseparably does not mean numeric substance. The natures of Christ are inseparable but they are not one numeric substance.

3.Davis quotes Athanasius on page 89,

“Though the Son derives from and shares the Father’s nature, He is not a portion of substance separated out of the Father, for God is wholly immaterial and without parts.”

>>Asserting something is not the same thing as explaining how something is logically possible.


4.Davis, pg. 90-91

“G. L. Prestige brings out very clearly how Athanasius went even *****beyond Nicaea.******* “Though Father and Son are not one but two objects as seen in relation to each other — the names denote ****distinct presentations of the divine being***** —yet their `substance’ is identical; if you analyze the meaning connoted by the word God, in whatever connection, you arrive in every case at exactly the same result, whether you are thinking of the Father or of the Son or of the Spirit. That is the point at which the creed was directed: the word God connotes precisely the same truth when you speak of God the Father as it does when you speak of God the Son. It connotes the same truth. So much the Council affirmed. But Athanasius went further. It must imply, he perceived, not only the same truth about God, but the same actual God, the same being. If you contemplate *****the Father, who is one distinct presentation of the deity********”

>>>Notice the departure from the Nicene Creed. Notice Athanasius is not exposited as affirming that the Father is the One God. On your view Jnorm, the Father is not the One God. The father “is one distinct presentation of the” one God. Thus the Father is not the source of the Son. The being/monad is the source.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“As you can see, the how is different.”

>>>I am not falling for your fallacy of Red Herring. The topic of this conversation is what the Council of Nicea meant by their mention of homoousios as written in the creed, not the Theology books of Athanasius. I am not saying that I agree or disagree with the statement quoted. I am simply saying that your quotation is a diversion.

“"He thinks that the unity among persons is too composite for the
divine persons."

Because the how is different.”

>>>There it is; I got you to admit it. You are then admitting that I am representing you correctly. Thank you. Thank you very much!

“1.) Both the Father and Holy Spirit are immaterial. We were created in God's image, not the other way around. You are creating the god-head in man's image, and you are pushing the human family metaphor (sometimes I doubt if you even see this as a metaphor. Sometimes, the way you talk makes it seem as if the father, son, and holy spirit are nothing more than mere disconnected human beings) too far.”

>>>That is right. I do push the idea of metaphor too far for you because I don’t think it is a metaphor absolutely. That is I believe there is a univocal element to the analogy. The idea that man’s knowledge is an absolute anthropomorphism is liberal atheistic theology and Dr. Gordon Clark’s Language and Theology was written to challenge the idea. I would ask you what book your Church has written on the history of linguistic theory or a presentation of a Christian theory, but that would be a waste of time wouldn’t it?


“For the offspring of men are portions of their fathers, since the very nature of bodies is not uncompounded, but in a state of flux, , and composed of parts; and men lose their substance in begetting”

>>First, this conversation is not about what Athanasius taught in his theology books. It is about what was decided in the Nicene Creed. Secondly, that is speculation. When a man has an ejaculation he is not losing his rational faculty, his will or his body. He is losing a physical substance that his body produces. He is not being divided.

“They are not saying that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three human beings (material, divisible, divided, parts, portions......etc.). This is what you want them to say.”

>>>I am not even going to reply because of how foolish what you just said was.

“Dude, get real! Are you a tri-theist or something? Do you believe in 3 independent, separated, and divided gods in regards to divinity? Are all 3 persons auto-theos? If not then there is indeed a difference.”

>>>No. Sure and I never said there wasn’t. I simply stated that there is a univocal element between the two. This you cannot say. Do you even believe that God has a mind, that there is such a thing as a divine person and the word divine person can have a meaning as it is revealed to man in scripture? Is man really made in God’s image? If yes, then there is indeed univocity between them.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“In regards to homoousios:

1.) What is the difference between 2 copper pennies one foot away from each-other from that of a stream of water coming from a river? Both represent a form of homoousios, but one is divided where the other is undivided.”

>>>Actually if you take a look at both of those substances under a microscope you will find infinite divisions.

“2.) What is the difference between 2 copper pennies one foot away from each-other from that of light and its radiance? Both represent a form of homoousios, but one is divided where the other is undivided.”

>>>No one knows what light is.

"Drake said:

"No being is begotten of him on your view."

How do you know? For what is your interpretation of the word being? Just because it's not my preferred vocab doesn't mean the meaning behind the word is foreign. So what do you mean by the word being?”

>>>A numerically singular set of faculties of a certain genus.

“Drake said:
"Only a hypostasis is affirmed to be begotten which is completely meaningless."

Just because it's meaningless to you doesn't mean it's meaningless to everyone else.”

>>>I already showed you from Davis’ book on page 91 that it is not just me that has a problem with your ontological construction. Being and hypostasis were not clear with Athanasius’ construction all the way up to the end of his ministry. That is what the historian said not me. I am just the messenger.

“Drake, the world doesn't revolve around what you think makes sense or not. It just doesn't. Now, if you want to know what the wordhypostasis means to me then why not ask? I know what the word means to me.”

>>>I just showed you from Davis, page 91 that you don’t. Even if you have one from later theologians you cannot say it represented Nicea.

“Why must you be rude and hostile all the time?”

>>>Why must you avoid my arguments and personally attack me all the time? You and Perry had a good time bullying Protestants and now YOU are getting some serious resistance and you don’t know how to take it. Could it be that bullies just don’t like it when you fight back? You are crying crocodile tears Jnorm.


“Oh, I see now. You're simply protecting your baby. Your creation, your Triadological construct of how you want things to be.”

>>>The rational faculty of man has been taken for the image of God for centuries. Dr. Clark emphasized it more than most but to say it is my creation is just another fabrication.

Drake Shelton said...

Mark,

“In another view, the water itself is the ultimate principle, while the river and stream is just an ad intra manifestation or modal subsistence of the one water, One God because of one water, not one River. This is the view we utterly reject.

Again, the Father alone is the ultimate principle and the One God, not the essence or divinity.”

>>>This is strong. See my Prestige quote from above.

Jnorm said...

Drake said
">>>There it is; I got you to admit it. You are then admitting that I am representing you correctly. Thank you. Thank you very much!"

Not holistically and consistently no! I never said that everything you read you misunderstand in full. I said from time to time you mis-understand what you read. And it's true in regards to what you read from me. If you get me right then I will admit it, but if you get me wrong then I will admit that too!

The problem I see, is that when I say I don't believe in such and such, you reject it and put words in my mouth. Or you will combine what I do believe with something I obviously don't believe and then you will put words in my mouth and say I must believe in such and such. This is what you do over and over and over again! And to be honest, I'm sick of it!



Drake said
">>>Actually if you take a look at both of those substances under a microscope you will find infinite divisions."

This would be true with anything in the physical world. Including human bodies! Which is why we don't push these examples too far. But the fact that this was your response showed me that you aren't here for mutual understanding, but instead for something else entirely.

Now, without using a microscope, what's the difference?


Drake said
">>>No one knows what light is."

You didn't answer the question. We don't have to know what light is in order to know what's being conveyed in the example.


Drake said
">>>I already showed you from Davis’ book on page 91 that it is not just me that has a problem with your ontological construction. Being and hypostasis were not clear with Athanasius’ construction all the way up to the end of his ministry. That is what the historian said not me. I am just the messenger."


I thought I already mentioned what the Alexandrian tradition was from Origen in this regard. But what I say is meaningless right? And so you often ignore what I say and put words in my mouth. I already know the differences between the two Eastern traditions as well as the early western tradition in this regard, and so when I said I know what the word means to me, I actually meant what I said, but you think what I say is meaningless, and so you put words in my mouth and you say that my view must be such and such, even when I reject and say no!


Drake said
>>>I just showed you from Davis, page 91 that you don’t. Even if you have one from later theologians you cannot say it represented Nicea."

No, I actually do, and yes I can for Nicea was a gathering from different regions of the Church. Yes, the majority were from the Christian East and represented an Origenist tradition. But the western Tradition was different, for it had a distinction that the Cappadocians in the East would later give for the East. And if you were reading David's last two posts about the letters of Saint Basil the Great then you would know how it can be compatible with Nicea. But what I say is meaningless right? And so you put words in my mouth.



Drake said
">>>Why must you avoid my arguments"

You mean your attacks against EO? Because I don't see them as being a problem for us. You put words in peoples mouths and twists things, and you refuse to allow us to speak holistically from our tradition and perspective, and you often mis-interpret one sense for another......etc.


Jnorm said...

Drake said
"and personally attack me all the time?"

Where do you see a blog post of mine that says "contra Drake Shelton"? If such a thing exists I'll personally take it down. But I don't remember ever doing such a thing. Drake, if we bump heads with you, it's mostly on blog comments like these. And it's you who swings at us first. So yeah, we are going to punch you back!

Drake said
You and Perry had a good time bullying Protestants

How do I bully protestants? How many blog posts do I have that attack Lutherans, Arminians, Anglo-Catholics, Pentecostals......etc? Yes, I have things to say about Calvinism, but do I bully Calvinists? Out-side of grade-school when I was little, I don't think anyonw ever accused me of being a bully.


Drake said
and now YOU are getting some serious resistance and you don’t know how to take it.

I didn't know I was suppose to be in battle mode today, I thought we were here for mutual understanding. So are you in battle mode all the time? I wasn't here to play silly war games with you.


Drake said
"Could it be that bullies just don’t like it when you fight back? You are crying crocodile tears Jnorm."

I have no idea of what you're talking about. You must be living in a different universe or something. I guess your intentions here were different from my own. Plus, I never saw myself as bullying anyone(outside of when I was little). But you see me as being a Bully anyway! Wow!


Drake said:
">>>I am not even going to reply because of how foolish what you just said was."

And you call me a bully? You act this way to alot of people, and yet, you call me a bully? Really? Are you serious?


Drake said:
">>First, this conversation is not about what Athanasius taught in his theology books. It is about what was decided in the Nicene Creed."


He was one of the main defenders of the Nicene Creed (and he was there) and so yeah, it is about him too! Did he change over the decades? Yes, but his core teaching remained the same. The same confusion that we see in Nicea in regards to Essence and Person is the same confusion we see in Athanasius, and so looking at him and his evolution is really important. The fact that you refuse to look at what he has to say tells me that this conversation is over.


Your responses here are not for mutual understanding and edification and so I'm done. Plus you're rude, hostile and mean, and a sane person can only take so much of your hate. No wonder you embraced the racism of the protestants you read. For hate breads hatred.

Ken said...

While there is lots of good information in these posts of Drake vs. Jnorm; the anger and ad hominem caused me to not enjoy reading all of it - therefore, I did not learn enough to come to some kind of conclusion.


I sincerely wish you guys could explain all the issues without the anger and ad hominem attacks and calling someone a "Liar", etc.

It took away from the good content, and caused me to give up trying to understand it all.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,


“You didn't answer the question.”

>>That is because you are appealing to a realm that I claim is unknowable:

Ecc 8: 17 and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, “I know,” he cannot discover.


“We don't have to know what light is in order to know what's being conveyed in the example. ”


>>>You will notice that none of my statements about God depend on physical analogies. There is a reason for that: I don’t need them. You cannot explain what you are saying in plain rational language. My view is so easy to understand that there has not been a single dispute by you what the meaning is. Isn’t that interesting?

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

"The problem I see, is that when I say I don't believe in such and such, you reject it and put words in my mouth."

>>Exactly like when you accuse Calvinists of Monthelitism. I have made this plain twice and you won't touch it. Let's see how honest you are.

I have demonstrated that the reason that men, whose existence comes by way of ordinary generation, are passive in regeneration in Calvinism is due to original sin. Now Christ was born of a virgin and therefore not by way of ordinary generation. Therefore, not subject to original sin as it pertains to this discussion. Therefore, Calvinism provides no basis for Christ's humanity to be passive in the economia.

LFW denies original sin. This shows that monothelitism is an in-house dispute between LFW people who reject original sin.

If you will write a post on your blog, apologizing for your misrepresentations and the deceptions that you have used to bring people into your church over this issue, I will publicly apologize for my unjustified anger. If not you have only justified my anger and more than likely you will get more of it. Every happiness that a human being could want in this life has been stripped from me over the lies and misrepresentations of the Protestant Reformation in this country. I have made it my life's purpose to stick the nose of those who have destroyed my way of life in their lies and deceits. If you find it unpleasant you need only blame yourself.

Jnorm said...

Was Mary born of Original sin? Yes or no

Is Jesus homoousios with His mother? Yes or no


But why are we even talking about this topic anyway? You see, you keep changing topics! But I'm suppose to be done going back and forth with you!

Are you upset with me because of what I have to say about Calvinism on my blogs? I don't talk about you on my blogs, so why are you upset?

Look, various Calvinists online swung at us(EO) first and so we punched back. I just never stopped swinging! But you think I'm a bully now for swinging back?

So I take it you want me to stop talking about Calvinists?

I'm sorry bro, but I can't stop now. I'm still writing a book about the 5 points of Calvinism and the church fathers. Why?

This is why:
http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-i-am-writing-book.html

One of the reasons why I haven't been posting much was because I was bizzy reading and researching:

http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-secondary-sources-for-book-im.html


And so no, I can't stop now! I see no reason why I should!


But this is way off topic and I'm suppose to be done going back and forth with you.

Jnorm said...

Did the Theotokos have Free Will or no free will? Yes or no

Is Jesus homoousios with His mother? Yes or no

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“Was Mary born of Original sin? Yes or no

Is Jesus homoousios with His mother? Yes or no”


>>>Wow! I have got to show this to Jacob. He is going to get a kick out of this. I will quote to you my reply on Outlaw Presbyterian’s blog, September 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm

“The passages in the scripture which mention the fall of mankind and the imputation of Adam’s sin never mention Eve as playing any kind of federal role, they always mention Adam. If Adam had obeyed God and not given into temptation he would have received justifying life in the covenant of works and given access to the tree of life (The Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 20 speaks of the tree of life as a pledge). Therefore, we can infer from this that the curse of the covenant of works/original sin is through the male line, not the female. *******Therefore, Mary could not have passed a sinful soul under the curse of the covenant of works to Jesus.***********”

Now Jnorm is going to cry “that denies consubstantiality”! Consubstantiality! But wait I have already proven above from the Hodge quote that Moral inclination is not something essential to humanity. It is something accidental and therefore has no bearing on consubstantiality. Secondly, his theology has much bigger problems for consubstantiality than mine ever could.”

This is why you think my 58 reasons page is not disturbing: you didn’t read it! You do not face your opponent’s criticism. This is why you get a lot of heart from me Jnorm and you deserve it.


“Are you upset with me because of what I have to say about Calvinism on my blogs? I don't talk about you on my blogs, so why are you upset?”

>>>Because people are what they think jnorm. I think Calvinism is the truth and so you are attacking something that is personal to me. If you were doing it honestly I would respect you, but you are not. You have to misrepresent your opponent in order to do so.

“So I take it you want me to stop talking about Calvinists?”

>>>If you do it honestly, no. I want the truth. But you are not doing it honestly.

“I'm sorry bro”

>>>I am not your brother.

“but I can't stop now. I'm still writing a book about the 5 points of Calvinism and the church fathers. Why?”

>>>Ah, the conflict of interest arises. That is why you will not recant your error.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

All you are doing is admitting that Calvinism does not fall into the Monothelite system. You are now changing your argument and saying that Calvinism is no longer Monothelite but you now move to another argument, namely, Calvinism denies Consubstantiality with Christ. If that is your real argument:

1. Fine admit it and drop the Monothelite argument and admit your error. Be a man!

2. Answer the reply that Hodge gave against your accusation.

Drake Shelton said...

BTW that Outlaw quote was from this thread: http://gustav2ndadolf.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/a-surprising-inference-from-dyotheletism/#comment-531

Jnorm said...

Where did you get this:
quote
Therefore, we can infer from this that the curse of the covenant of works/original sin is through the male line, not the female. *******Therefore, Mary could not have passed a sinful soul under the curse of the covenant of works to Jesus.***********”


From this?

http://thereformedmind.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/westminster-larger-catechism-questions-18-20/

Quote:
"Q. 20. What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created?

A. The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created, was the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth;[80] putting the creatures under his dominion,[81] and ordaining marriage for his help;[82] affording him communion with himself;[83] instituting the sabbath;[84] entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience,[85] of which the tree of life was a pledge;[86] and forbidding to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.[87]"


Did you get that from a Reformed commentary from question 20? If so, please post the source. If not, then where did you get it from?

You seem to be saying either:

1.) Women don't have original sin, and thus not fallen at all.

2.) Women are fallen, because of all the male ancestors before them


3.) The flesh of women isn't fallen

4.) If a woman is cloned from another woman, the clone would be unfallen because no male was involved.

Also, based on the quote, it doesn't say each individual male is responsible for passing on original sin to the child. What Reformed source are you getting this from?

From that same quote, one can also infer that the first man Adam caused original sin to be in all humans after him. Both male and female. I don't see where it says each and every male after Adam is responsible for passing on fallen humanity to the next generation.

So where are you getting your interpretation from?

I'm reading this at the moment, and I can't find your answer:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Westminster-Confession-Faith-Classes/dp/0875525938

So where did you get it from?

Jnorm said...

page 55 The Westminster Confession of Faith: For Study Classes G.I. Williamson
quote:
"However, one teaspoon spreads the poison throughout. So it is with the effects of Adam's first sin: it has poisoned the whole of human nature."

It is Adam's sin that spreads the poison to all humanity. Not each individual male after him. So where are you getting this stuff from?



From this guys blog, federal headship seems to say that Adam's
guilt was imputed to all his descendants

http://journeytochampel.wordpress.com/tag/the-natural-headship-theory/
The Federal Theory – This theory is also called the Theory of Condemnation by Covenant. Developed by Cocceius in the 17th century A.D. The federal theory states that God made a covenant with Adam. If Adam would remain obedient to God, then God would grant all the descendants of Adam eternal life. If Adam failed to remain obedient His fate would be death and he would in turn impute his guilt to all his descendants. The theory is that because Adam was the federal head of the human race, he had the right to make this covenant on our behalf.


He doesn't say each male would pass it on. Instead he says Adam!

So where are you getting your view from?

Jnorm said...

Drake said
"All you are doing is admitting that Calvinism does not fall into the Monothelite system. You are now changing your argument and saying that Calvinism is no longer Monothelite but you now move to another argument, namely, Calvinism denies Consubstantiality with Christ. If that is your real argument:"


Who said I changed my argument? I never said that. I'm just trying to understand you at this point. Like where did you get that interpretation from?


Drake said
2. Answer the reply that Hodge gave against your accusation.

Re-quote it for me

Jnorm said...

Oh I see, you got the quote from Charles Hodge. Can you post the link so that I could read him in full? I read the part some days ago on the other blog, but we were over here. I had a response already for it, but we were already talking about something else over here.

There are a number of problems with what he said, but I want to know why you agree with him. In your own words.

Jnorm said...

Drake said
">>>I am not your brother."

Is it because I'm black and your white?


Drake said
"But wait I have already proven above from the Hodge quote that Moral inclination is not something essential to humanity. It is something accidental and therefore has no bearing on consubstantiality."


Give the link to the Hodge quote. I want to read it in full.

Also, how do you define it(moral inclination)?


In saying this, I am not changing my argument. So don't say it. I just want to know what you mean by "moral inclination".

Also, which ever way this goes, I highly doubt if Charles Hodge represents all of Calvinism in this area. But regardless of all that, I will eventually answer Charles Hodge in this regard in due time, for I can see that it's partly related to my book, and so it is something within my interest to do.

But it will take time and research.

Jnorm said...

If Charles Hodge is indeed saying something different, then at this point in time, what this means to me is that he is representing a particular school of thought within the Reformed world.

But I need to read him in full in order to really know that.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

Robert Shaw’s Reformed Faith that you know of very well states upon the section of the confession that I quoted,

“These sections point out the consequences of the sin of our first parents in regard to their posterity. These consequences are restricted to those "descending from them by ordinary generation." This restriction is obviously introduced in order to exclude our Lord Jesus Christ, who, as man, was one of the posterity of Adam, but did not descend from him by ordinary generation”

http://www.reformed.org/documents/shaw/

That is where I got the idea that,

“Therefore, we can infer from this that the curse of the covenant of works/original sin is through the male line, not the female.”

”You seem to be saying either:

1.) Women don't have original sin, and thus not fallen at all.”

>>>No, I am saying that women do not play a positive federal role in the generation of humans.

”2.) Women are fallen, because of all the male ancestors before them”

>>>Yes. Well the current ones are. Obviously eve fell on her own.

”3.) The flesh of women isn't fallen”

>>>No.

”4.) If a woman is cloned from another woman, the clone would be unfallen because no male was involved.”

>>Yes.But i would dispute if that clone had a soul capable of corruption.

”Also, based on the quote, it doesn't say each individual male is responsible for passing on original sin to the child. What Reformed source are you getting this from?”

>>>What? Every male who produces a child does it by way ordinary generation. I don’t follow your argument at all.

”From that same quote, one can also infer that the first man Adam caused original sin to be in all humans after him. Both male and female. I don't see where it says each and every male after Adam is responsible for passing on fallen humanity to the next generation.”

>>>Sure, because not all males have children.

But notice Jnorm, you have now changed your argument away from monothelitism. Will you have the honesty to publicly admit what you have done?

”It is Adam's sin that spreads the poison to all humanity. Not each individual male after him. So where are you getting this stuff from?”

>>>We are not talking about where the poison came from. We are talking about how the poison is applied.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

”From this guys blog, federal headship seems to say that Adam's
guilt was imputed to all his descendants”

>>>Adam’s guilt is not the only part of original sin. There is another part that refers to the genus of being.

Read the section in the WCF again,

“They being the root of mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed,[first part] and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity [second part], descending from them by ordinary generation”

>>>The imputation refers to the genus of ethics through the genus of relation. The latter to the genus of being.

”He doesn't say each male would pass it on. Instead he says Adam!”

>>>That is because he is talking about the imputation of guilt not the conveying of the corrupt nature.

”So where are you getting your view from?”

>>>Which view? Imputation or the conveying of the corrupt nature?

The idea of ordinary generation is where I get the idea of the latter.

”Drake said
2. Answer the reply that Hodge gave against your accusation.

Re-quote it for me”

>>Charles Hodge says,

“While, therefore, the Scriptures make the original moral perfection of man the most prominent element of that likeness to God in which he was created, it is no less true that they recognize man as a child of God in virtue of his rational nature. He is the image of God, and bears and reflects the divine likeness among the inhabitants of the earth, because he is a spirit, an intelligent,voluntary agent; and as such he is rightfully invested with universal dominion. This is what the Reformed theologians were accustomed to call the essential image of God, as distinguished from the accidental. The one consisting in the very nature of the soul, the other in its accidental endowments, that is, such as might be lost without the loss of humanity itself.” Systematic Theology Vol 2 pg. 99

http://books.google.com/books?id=cPwCAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA99&lpg=PA99&dq=While,+therefore,+the+Scriptures+make+the+original+moral+perfection+of+man+the+most+prominent+element+of+that+likeness+to+God+in+which+he+was+created,+it+is+no+less+true+that+they+recognize+man+as+a+child+of+God+in+virtue+of+his+rational+nature&source=bl&ots=e9a0ASJCHE&sig=851uGTVItJkQ33T6mB35jqHOHq8&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false

">>>I am not your brother."

Is it because I'm black and your white?”

>>Absolutely not! It is because you worship a monad and because you worship idols. If a black man believes in God the Father and his eternal Son Jesus Christ and worshipped the Father only by that way in which he has commanded I would be proud to call that man my brother in Christ.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

Drake said [My understanding of Hodge in my own words]

"But wait I have already proven above from the Hodge quote that Moral inclination is not something essential to humanity. It is something accidental and therefore has no bearing on consubstantiality."


”Also, how do you define it (moral inclination)?”

>>I had a lengthy discussion on this issue here: http://unapologetica.blogspot.com/2012/01/clark-van-til-and-knowledges-of-man-and.html

A tendency in the genus of being toward sin or righteousness. That is not to be confused with moral activity in the genus of ethics. That was Perry’s and Daniel Jones’ mistake: https://sites.google.com/a/thekingsparlor.com/the-kings-parlor/concerning-orthodoxy/francis-turretin-john-owen-and-carl-trueman-refute-perry-robinson-s-and-daniel-photios-jones-maximianism-by-drake


Jnorm said...

Drake said
"But notice Jnorm, you have now changed your argument away from monothelitism. Will you have the honesty to publicly admit what you have done?"

Why? If most of what I believe can be derived from the Person of Christ then it takes time to get from point A, to B, to C(Monothelitism).

I will eventually get back to Monothelitism, but you pushed the issue back to original sin and the fall of Adam and Eve, therefore, I also have to look at that as well (that's if I want to answer what you brought to the table of discussion), and from there, I will eventually work my way back to the issue of Monothelitism.

However, right now I'm reading about the Soul and Traducianism vs Creationism from the book "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition edited by Walter A. Elwell

http://www.amazon.com/Evangelical-Dictionary-Theology-Reference-Library/dp/0801020751

It's saying that the majority of the Reformed were creationists while some were Traducianists. Which tells me that my critique will have to be more detailed and more complex than I originally thought. Which also means I'll have to buy more books and do more research.

What puzzles me at the moment is creationism, and the "T" in tulip?

How can you guys say that even the soul is fallen or depraved if God creates a new soul from ex-nihilo in each and every person?


Jnorm said...

Also, the issue of Dyothelitism vs Monothelitism is connected to the issue of Jesus being homoousios with the Theotokos and humanity in general.

Thus, it's not really an isolated and disconnected issue from the charge of Monothelitism.

Maybe in Reformed thought things are separated and disconnected from each-other, but in early christian thought, especially in the christian east, things are more connected, for one issue influences another.

Jnorm said...

Eventually I will get to the issue of the Reformed and what they believe about the wills of Christ.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

"It's saying that the majority of the Reformed were creationists while some were Traducianists. Which tells me that my critique will have to be more detailed and more complex than I originally thought. Which also means I'll have to buy more books and do more research."


>>>The Westminster Assembly did not take a position on this debate. They deliberately left some sections ambigious so that creationists and traduicianists could both hold to the confession. I am a traducianist.

"How can you guys say that even the soul is fallen or depraved if God creates a new soul from ex-nihilo in each and every person?"

>>>I am not a Creationist.

"Also, the issue of Dyothelitism vs Monothelitism is connected to the issue of Jesus being homoousios with the Theotokos and humanity in general."

>>>Even if that was true that has not been your argument. Your argument which you got from JPF is that humanity is passive in the economia in calvinism.

"Thus, it's not really an isolated and disconnected issue from the charge of Monothelitism."

>>>What is not a disconnected issue? Consubstantiality? That issue is broad enough to tie in hundreds of issues. So what?

"Maybe in Reformed thought things are separated and disconnected from each-other,"

>>>Actually we Calvinists are criticized more than any eveangelical group of making too much of logcial connection among doctrines.

Jnorm said...

Drake said
">>>Adam’s guilt is not the only part of original sin. There is another part that refers to the genus of being.

Read the section in the WCF again,

“They being the root of mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed,[first part] and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity [second part], descending from them by ordinary generation”




1.) How does Jesus by pass imputed guilt in your view?

2.) How can women not pass on corrupted nature in regards to human flesh? Even if one were a creationist in regards to human souls?



Drake said
"That issue is broad enough to tie in hundreds of issues. So what?"

This issue is one of the hundreds.

Ken said...

Drake and Jnorm,
Wow; you guys are up to 92 comments as I write this! I have not read every single com-box - I have not had time, but some I have read.

Drake I hope you don't mind me asking some questions. I am just trying to understand better.

It seems you are rejecting both the Eastern Orthodox view and the western Trinity view (one God - one substance in three persons)

You wrote: (as to question about being brothers and Jnorm asked if it was because he was black.)

Absolutely not! It is because you worship a monad

Why do you call worshipping the Triune God - Father, Son, and Spirit - "a monad" ? Do western Trinitarians also worship a Monad?

and because you worship idols.

Do you mean the Eastern Orthodox icons?

If a black man believes in God the Father and his eternal Son Jesus Christ and worshipped the Father only by that way in which he has commanded

What is that way? with Scripture references and a full definition/explication

I would be proud to call that man my brother in Christ.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

"1.) How does Jesus by pass imputed guilt in your view?"

>>>He is not a son of Adam. I already said that a couple times.

"2.) How can women not pass on corrupted nature in regards to human flesh?"

>>>Well there were some physical corruptions. He was not completely perfect because he died and got tired etc. I have already explained that Mary played no federal role just as Eve played no federal role in the covenant of works. Your rejection of my position necessarily infers that the human race fell when Eve ate the fruit instead of Adam. But that is not what the Scripture says:

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by ****one man**** sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Your Jesuit Anti-White Protestant -Yankee-Communist beliefs in universal equality may be coming into play here. The Bible teaches male supremacy and female subordination (1 Cor 11:3). Just like it also teaches Japhethite and Semite supremacy and Negro subordination (Gen 9).

"Even if one were a creationist in regards to human souls?"

I have no obligation to defend creationism.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

“It seems you are rejecting both the Eastern Orthodox view and the western Trinity view (one God - one substance in three persons)”

>>>Yes in a way. The Latin West absolutely. The East is divided on this issue as they are on dozens of he issues that they never tell Protestants about while the usher them into their communion with the assumption that they have the undivided faith. But as an institution they adopted the numeric unity of Constantinople 381 so yes as an institution I reject their view.

”Why do you call worshipping the Triune God - Father, Son, and Spirit - "a monad" ? Do western Trinitarians also worship a Monad?”

>>>1. Because the definitions of the persons is actually meaningless. 2. Most definitely.


”Do you mean the Eastern Orthodox icons?”

>>>Yes, and relics, and the sacraments and countless other things.

”What is that way? with Scripture references and a full definition/explication”

The way Described in the Westminster Directory for Worship. See my systematic theology page 486. The entirety of my view is explained in that Chapter, Chapter 26. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_Uia_WumWyCbTh2SXYzMjNKMXM/edit?pli=1

Jenni Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joel Haas said...

WOW!!! I had no idea that Drake Shelton was a flaming racist. This makes sense of so many things! And it gives me great comfort in spite of all of his objections; one truly cannot see God without purity of heart.

Drake Shelton said...

Joel,

Thank you for telling absurd falsities about me! That encourages me so much that my opponents must continually lie and personally attack me instead of answer my objections rationally.

Ken said...

Drake,
Thanks for answering my questions. You are helping me understand better.

”Why do you call worshipping the Triune God - Father, Son, and Spirit - "a monad" ?

>>>1. Because the definitions of the persons is actually meaningless.

Why do you say that? From what I understand, all the explanations of hupostasis and persons emphasized personal relationships - The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, the Spirit testifies of the Father and the Son, the Spirit is grieved; all three have roles in the creation, etc.

It seems that it should be both
generic unity - the same substance
and
numeric unity - since there is only one God.



Do western Trinitarians also worship a Monad?”

2. Most definitely.

But I and others don't agree with that. How can you "impute" that onto us?

The Allah of Islam is a lonely monad; a single person who is like a selfish dictator.

But since we affirm the God of the Bible is the only God, "God is One" and at the same time three persons in love relationship from all eternity -

The Father - the lover
The Son - the beloved - the object of the Father's affections
The Spirit - the spirit of love between them

"God is Love" - presupposes relationship and persons.

"God is Spirit" protects the doctrine from any kind of physical thing as the Muslims think about us and as the Mormons teach.

Since we affirm the three eternal personal relationships, I don't understand why you impute that onto western Trinitarians.

So, you accept Nicea 325 AD, as Biblical, but 381 Constantinople (3 hupostasis) as not Biblical?


I completely agree with you about the icons, relics, eucharist, etc. - the whole Nicea 2 onward was a bad witness to the Muslim world and probably the main reason why the Muslim world thought Christians worshipped Mary and the saints and the priests and idols.

Ken said...

Two questions I have for whoever knows this:

1. The Monophysites or Mia-physites (Oriental Orthodox - Coptic Church, Jacobite Syrians, Armenian Orthodox Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Church) -

Do they believe Jesus had two natures while on earth and then after the Resurrection His divine nature "swallowed up" His human nature, or did they believe his human nature was swallowed up by the Divine nature even while incarnated on earth?

2. Also,
the heresy of Monotheletism (One will) - is that referring to when Jesus was on earth - it is easy to see why that was a heresy, based on - "Nevertheless Thy will be done, not mine" (Luke 22:42) .

but was it saying that at and after the resurrection, Jesus had "one will" with the Father?


Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

“Why do you say that? From what I understand, all the explanations of hupostasis and persons emphasized personal relationships”

>><>You need to understand what they men by that Ken. The Scholastics meant something that we do not mean when we talk about relationships. When we say that we mean that our numerical nature has a certain connection with another numerical nature, that is another person with another body, mind, emotions etc. What they mean is Aristotle’s category of relation between modes of the SAME NUMERICAL SUBSTANCE. That is total nonsense. First, the scholastics have no basis to refer to God as a mind or intellect because of ADS, but even if they did, the divine persons would then be different personalities of the same mind, which would introduce some kind of bizarre dissociative disorder.

“The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, the Spirit testifies of the Father and the Son, the Spirit is grieved; all three have roles in the creation, etc.”

>>>This issue does not concern the economia. I am referring to the ontological trinity.


“It seems that it should be both
generic unity - the same substance
and numeric unity - since there is only one God.”

>>>I am glad someone admitted it. That could not be more contradictory Ken. It seems you want the three persons themselves to be homoouios in the generic sense but it turns out that the persons are simply manifestations of the One God, the Monad. So then you are making the one God a nature/substance and not a person.

“Do western Trinitarians also worship a Monad?”

2. Most definitely.

But I and others don't agree with that. How can you "impute" that onto us?”

>>>Your one God is not one because of the father but because of the numeric substance which manifests itself in three persons. Thus the Son and Spirit are not sourced in the father but in the Monad.


“The Allah of Islam is a lonely monad; a single person who is like a selfish dictator.”

>>>Well I would question whether they can speak of a single person. Personality implies relation. This is one of the biggest reasons I am a Christian and a defender of the Nicene creed 325.

“The Father - the lover
The Son - the beloved - the object of the Father's affections
The Spirit - the spirit of love between them”

>>>No no no. If you said that you would have to admit then that the father is the source/subject. If that is true then the 3 persons are not manifestations of the monad but the two subordinate persons are manifestations of the Father.

"God is Love" - presupposes relationship and persons.”

>>>True.

"God is Spirit" protects the doctrine from any kind of physical thing as the Muslims think about us and as the Mormons teach.”

>>>True.

“Since we affirm the three eternal personal relationships, I don't understand why you impute that onto western Trinitarians.”

>>>Because a real relationship requires another numerical subject. Not another personality inside the same mind.

“So, you accept Nicea 325 AD, as Biblical, but 381 Constantinople (3 hupostasis) as not Biblical?”

>>Well 381 has some things in it that are biblical: Monarchy of the father, Single Spiration. But its numeric unity is erroneous.

Jnorm said...

Ken said
"Do they believe Jesus had two natures while on earth and then after the Resurrection His divine nature "swallowed up" His human nature, or did they believe his human nature was swallowed up by the Divine nature even while incarnated on earth?"


What do you mean by the words Nature/Natures?



Ken said:
"2. Also,
the heresy of Monotheletism (One will) - is that referring to when Jesus was on earth - it is easy to see why that was a heresy, based on - "Nevertheless Thy will be done, not mine" (Luke 22:42) .

but was it saying that at and after the resurrection, Jesus had "one will" with the Father?"


From my understanding it seems to be from the Incarnation onward.

Jnorm said...

Drake said
">>Well 381 has some things in it that are biblical: Monarchy of the father, Single Spiration. But its numeric unity is erroneous."


Just because you say something is erroneous doesn't mean it is.


Do you accept or reject the Indivisibility and Undividedness of the Godhead? Yes or no

For this is one of the things it will come down to.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

Your question is ambiguous as are most of your comments here. I have already stated my position in detail. I don't really care to discuss anything more with you.

If you are suggesting that I believe that the eternal Son could remain who he is without the Father, I deny it.

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
"Your question is ambiguous as are most of your comments here."

My comments aren't ambiguous to me. My question to you was blunt and straight to the point. You either believe in it or you don't!


Drake said
"If you are suggesting that I believe that the eternal Son could remain who he is without the Father, I deny it."

How so? Human sons can exist without their fathers. You claim that the 3 persons of the Trinity are just like 3 human individuals with no differences at all. So surely you should believe it!

You denied the difference I showed by way of Saint Athanasius in regards to God the Father begetting God the Son vs how a human father begets sons.

You denied it! So why not be consistent in your denial and go all the way?


Drake said
" I don't really care to discuss anything more with you."


Oh, so when I say it's over it's not over. But when you say it's over it's over? Is this your Anglo-Saxon reformed protestant white supremacy showing?

Are you saying I must listen to you because you think I'm inferior and subordinate?


Drake said
"Thank you for telling absurd falsities about me! That encourages me so much that my opponents must continually lie and personally attack me instead of answer my objections rationally."


How is it an absurd falsity? How is it a lie? We all can read what you say! You just said I was subordinate to you because of my skin color! You believe in the curse of ham(ham wasn't cursed) theory. You think that people who look like me should be subjugated by people who look like you!


You support and defend the views of the original KKK. Their way of life was Anglo-Saxon protestant white supremacy, and you think there is nothing racist about that?

You also think there is something wrong with the Roman Catholic involvement in helping to get rid of South African Apartheid! As if South African Apartheid was something good? And yet, you think it's a lie that you are called a racist?

And you think I'm ambiguous!

Jnorm said...

For the record, "numeric unity" in regards to Sabellianism was in reference to there being only one Person as the monad. The one Person would change faces at different points in time.


This is obviously different from Three Identities(hypostasis/Persons) eternally and in-separately co-existing.

Jnorm said...

Ken,

The reason why I'm asking you what you mean by the words Nature/Natures is because the Origenist tradition doesn't really make a distinction between Nature and Person. And so depending on the context of the author, it could mean either Substance, Person, or both.

The other tradition in the Christian East seems to be from Cappadocia. It makes a distinction between the two. What's ironic is the christian west seems to be the ones who had this distinction first (in the pre-Nicene era). Which would be confused with Saint Augustine some centuries later.


And so, what do you mean by the words Nature/Natures?

I need to know in order to answer you correctly.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,


“How so? Human sons can exist without their fathers.”

>>That pertains to mode and circumstance not to substance. The divine persons are eternal. The circumstance of time is accidental to the univocal element in the analogy of proportion.

“You claim that the 3 persons of the Trinity are just like 3 human individuals with no differences at all. So surely you should believe it!”

>>>No I didn’t. I did not say that the parallel was absolute. Read my comment again, “I never said that human and divine persons differ in no way. Obviously humans have bodies but essentially they are consciousnesses (a mi[n]d and a will), just like the persons in the Trinity. That is the univocal connection and the image of God. ”

SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 9:52 AM


“Oh, so when I say it's over it's not over. But when you say it's over it's over? Is this your Anglo-Saxon reformed protestant white supremacy showing?”

>>I have bent over backwards to answer your questions and objections and not once have you been able to show an ambiguity in my speech. My tongue is straight as an arrow. Your’s is crooked like a corkscrew. I am weary of this conversation because I have clearly shown two issues that you need to man up and admit6 you are wrong about:

1. Nicene Generic unity
2. Your mistaken identification of Calvinism as monothelitism

Until you admit these issues I am having a hard time continuing this conversation. By the way I think that the Jews have the highest intellect of any racial group but they are not in God’s blessing right now. Until they come to Christ they are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. The WASPS are the ones who have received the Word of God in the greatest measure and that is why our civilizations have dominated the earth for so long. We are now a generally apostate group and things are changing quickly.

“Are you saying I must listen to you because you think I'm inferior and subordinate?”

>>>No.

“How is it an absurd falsity? How is it a lie? We all can read what you say! You just said I was subordinate to you because of my skin color! You believe in the curse of ham (ham wasn't cursed) theory. You think that people who look like me should be subjugated by people who look like you!”

>>>Woh cowboy! If by the curse of ham theory you mean that I think that your blackness is a curse I reject it. Your blackness has nothing to do with the curse of ham. The subjugation of the black peoples in general throughout history is the curse. I don’t think that it should come by way of kidnapping like the Catholics and that wicked white devil John Hawkins, but in general slavery is the only way that your people can be properly governed other than blood thirty tyrants like Shaka Zulu. Anyway, we are getting way off topic. If you want a full out on this you need to read Dabney’s Defense of Virginia. I don’t think David wants us talking about this here. People might get the impression that he holds my views on that and I don’t want to put that on him if he doesn’t believe it.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“support and defend the views of the original KKK. Their way of life was Anglo-Saxon protestant white supremacy, and you think there is nothing racist about that?”

>>>No. They were defending their neighborhoods from Tories and bands of Negroes raping pillaging and murdering white people in the south for years after the Yankee invasion.

“You also think there is something wrong with the Roman Catholic involvement in helping to get rid of South African Apartheid!”

>>>Yes. Their influences were behind Terre Blanche. His party was nazi big time and nazi is Romanist.

“As if South African Apartheid was something good?”

>>>Terre Blanche’s group was Jesuit controlled and wicked. Very much like the 2nd and 3rd KKK. But the Apartheid agenda to separate the races is correct.

“And yet, you think it's a lie that you are called a racist?”

>>>Yes

“And you think I'm ambiguous!”

>>>I made all these issues clear in my articles on this, but again we are getting way off base.


“This is obviously different from Three Identities(hypostasis/Persons) eternally and in-separatelyco-existing. “

>>Only if the word hypostasis had a meaning divorced from its own numeric nature. Which I deny.

Ken said...

Drake wrote:

"When we say that we mean that our numerical nature has a certain connection with another numerical nature, that is another person with another body, mind, emotions etc."

ok; we agree that the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit have separate minds, will, and emotions, if we understand that "person" means an entity with "mind, will, emotions". As I understand it, even the western Trinitarians agree with that - that 3 separate persons means each has their own mind and emotions and will. But their wills are not rebellious to the Father. Jesus said, "I always do what pleases the Father"(John 8:29) and "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me." (John 4:34)

But they - the persons of the Trinity don't even have bodies, since God is Spirit.

Jesus submitted His will to the Father - when He was human on earth in the incarnation - Luke 22:42 - but it seems He willingly was doing that anyway by becoming flesh in the counsels of eternity.

Luke 22:42 shows He had a separate will and had a human struggle (but without sin) .

It seems that after the resurrection, He would no longer have that struggle, but still have a separate will (and mind and emotions), but have a totally submissive will of no more struggle and temptation, as in the garden.

Like when Jesus said, "no one knows of that day (the day of His second coming) - only the Father knows - not even the Son, nor the angels know." Matthew 24:36 - it seems reasonable to say that Jesus knows that time now, right?

His will and His knowledge while on earth, was not used to the fullest extent because of the laying aside of divine privileges in the incarnation, right? (Philippians 2:5-8)

Ken said...

“It seems that it should be both
generic unity - the same substance
and numeric unity - since there is only one God.”

>>>I am glad someone admitted it. That could not be more contradictory Ken. It seems you want the three persons themselves to be homoouios in the generic sense but it turns out that the persons are simply manifestations of the One God, the Monad. So then you are making the one God a nature/substance and not a person.

The problem is that maintaining 3 different beings - sounds like 3 gods or 1 god and, as Jnorm said, "2 side-kicks".

3 separate units / beings / entities ( ?) that are not homo-ousias in number (I am still learning; bear with me - I don't remember this distinction between 'generic unity" and "numeric unity" even being discussed in seminary, and now I can see that they did not go deep enough into the whole doctrine.

We were taught, it seems, that The Trinity is a mystery - to go beyond "one nature/substance and three persons (relationships/hupostasis) is something we cannot really comprehend fully.

Your view seems to imply 3 beings or 3 gods.

As David Waltz' view did to me also - honestly - I am not trying to be mean, but it seems to be a view of a Monarch (King) with 2 Prime Ministers, for lack of a better illustration, right now.

Ken said...

Jnorm wrote:
What do you mean by the words Nature/Natures?

You explain it to me. The Chalcedonians (both EO and RC, and Protestants, right?) use the Greek word “physis” and “mono-phusis” to describe what the Copts and Jacobite Syrians and Armenians mean, but they themselves prefer “Mia-physite” rather than “mono-physite”.

Now that you ask that, and as I seek to answer that, I can see that this brings up the difference between 3 Greek terms:

ousia – ουσια – substance/essence

phusis – φυσις – nature

hypostasis – ‘υποστασις – person, “a standing – under” ; “foundation”; “what is foundation to” – but this word in Hebrews 1:3 is used of Jesus’ “χαρακτηρ της ‘υποστασεως αυτου” = “the exact representation of His nature”(NASB)/being” or “exact imprint of His nature” (ESV) – but KJV has “express image of His person” (interesting that it uses the word "person" here!

I don’t remember seeing that before, but I do remember the question in seminary as to why hypostasis in NT Greek was a different meaning than Patristic Greek, especially the Cappodocian fathers.


2 phusai (sp ?) - φυσις (nature) - φυσαι (natures)

It seemed to mean “nature”, “inherent endowment”, “inherent condition”, “innate qualities or that which has inherent charactersitics”.

Ken said...

Jnorm wrote - in regards to the heresy of Monothelitism (that Jesus had only one will) -

"From my understanding it seems to be from the Incarnation onward."

If that is true, how do they explain Luke 22:42, where obviously He had two wills, a human will and a Divine will?

Ken said...

Ken wrote:
“The Father - the lover
The Son - the beloved - the object of the Father's affections
The Spirit - the spirit of love between them”


Drake responded:
>>>No no no. If you said that you would have to admit then that the father is the source/subject. If that is true then the 3 persons are not manifestations of the monad but the two subordinate persons are manifestations of the Father.

But that is what we all "western Trinitarians" believe and explain when we are explaining the personal relationships within the God-head/ Trinity.

So, in that, I am agreeing with you, but it would seem also there there is only one substance/one nature, one ousia - meaning one God.

As for Islam and what they think of God/Allah - some of them say "Allah is not a person" - a "person" in Arabic and Islamic theology implies a human. They don't what Allah it; I have had several Muslims over the years say to me, "Don't say "He" - Allah is an "it". We don't speak of the personhood of Allah, we speak of the substance or nature of Allah, but no one knows what that is, except that it is not human, no body, is Spirit, and eternal, mind, creator,Soverieign, All-mighty; All powerful, etc.

But other Muslims have said that Allah is one person - Bassam Zawadi said this in his debates with Thabiti Anyabwile - and Zawadi quoted a Hadith that speaks of Allah being "one person" - "Shakhs" - شخص

Debate 1 - Who is God, and How are We saved?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ7yKNG7HRY

Debate 2 - How can we find forgiveness from a Holy God?
https://vimeo.com/album/1614922

Ken said...

They don't what Allah it;

Should have been:

They don't know what Allah is

Ken said...

If you said that you would have to admit then that the father is the source/subject. If that is true then the 3 persons are not manifestations of the monad but the two subordinate persons are manifestations of the Father.

Ok, then I agree with that; is that orthodox? - is that what you are arguing for?

It seems that is also what western Trinitarians believe - since they believe in the personal relationships description -
The Father loves and sends the Son
the Son obeys and loves and pleases the Father
the Spirit testifies to the Son and the Father

the Father is lover
the Son is the beloved
The Spirit is the love between them

That is what we confess; so we are not heretical; and we deny a 'monad", therefore your "beef" seems to be more from your hurt and pain over whatever happened at your local church. (It seems)

徐马可 said...

Hi Ken,

You replied:"the Father is lover
the Son is the beloved
The Spirit is the love between them

That is what we confess; so we are not heretical; and we deny a 'monad",

From scripture three distinct subjects are presented to us, namely, the One God and our Father, the only begotten Son of the One God our Lord, and the Spirit who proceeds from the Father and sent by the Son. So in the Nicene Creed, we confess we believe in three things, namely, One God, One Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

But it seems to me in the Latin view as protraited by this famous icon: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trinity_knight_shield.jpg"

They believe in the One God who is the Holy Trinity or He who is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost but not the Father. If the Triune God as God or as himself is also a personal, living spirit who speaks, then you have four persons. The scholastics called that a quaternity. Please note, for the scholastic, you may say Father is God, Son is God, or Holy Ghost is God (God as a predicate), but in no wise can you say God is Father, God is Son or God is Holy Ghost (God as a subject), for your God is really the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, or the Triune God. Here you have four things, not three.

But if you say Triune God as God or as himself is not personal, then you fall prey to what Drake called a "monad", namely a impersonal essence who has to manifest himself through three persons (not three true existence, but three modes of subsistence of the Triune God or essence).

Ken, in your view, the only thing you can do to defend against a charge of tritheism, is by saying all three persons (very real and truly distinct) are metaphysically one substance or essence, so only one God. But, let me ask, are the apostles or evengelists sent by our Lord to preach metaphysics to us and to our wives? For to me, if you believe in three real persons with three wills or mind, and all three persons are supreme and almighty, even if you argue they are but one substance, metaphysically, you have THREE GODS!

If you deny that the One God is the Father, and the Father alone. It is a clear deduction that you believe in the "monad". And his name is called the Triune God, the Father Son and Holy Ghost.

Such we declare to be totally foreign to our holy scripture and the all the prophets.

Regards,

Mark

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Earlier this morning, you posted:

==[Ken]“It seems that it should be both
generic unity - the same substance
and numeric unity - since there is only one God.”

[Drake]>>>I am glad someone admitted it. That could not be more contradictory Ken. It seems you want the three persons themselves to be homoouios in the generic sense but it turns out that the persons are simply manifestations of the One God, the Monad. So then you are making the one God a nature/substance and not a person.

[Ken]The problem is that maintaining 3 different beings - sounds like 3 gods or 1 god and, as Jnorm said, "2 side-kicks".

3 separate units / beings / entities ( ?) that are not homo-ousias in number (I am still learning; bear with me - I don't remember this distinction between 'generic unity" and "numeric unity" even being discussed in seminary, and now I can see that they did not go deep enough into the whole doctrine
.==

A few comments/observations:

First, if God the Father is the primal font/source of ALL existence, including the other two divine persons of the Godhead (the Son and HS), then categorically speaking, He is "the one God", and yes, the Son and HS are "2 side-kicks" (some CFs made this quite clear by terming the Son and HS the 'right and left hands of God), and monotheism is maintained, because the Father alone has the unique attribute of absolute existence. However, if you hold that the Son and HS are each autotheos, then you are left with only two possible choices: if true, individual personhood is upheld for all 3 persons of the Godhead, then you are a tritheist; if true , individual personhood is denied, then you are a modalist.

Second, a correct understanding of the term homoousios is crucial to the discussion at hand, for both Nicene Trinitarians and modalists invoke the term—only a generic understanding of the term avoids modalism.

And third, concerning your statement that, "I don't remember this distinction between 'generic unity" and "numeric unity" even being discussed in seminary, and now I can see that they did not go deep enough into the whole doctrine, I am reasonably sure that your own personal experience can be expanded to at least 99% of the seminary students who took some classes on historical theology at a conservative Christian institutions.


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

David wrote:
First, if God the Father is the primal font/source of ALL existence, including the other two divine persons of the Godhead (the Son and HS) . . .

David and Mark - I appreciate all your comments - both you and Mark.

But what does that (above) mean, if all three persons are eternal ? All the way into the past into eternity. The mind has no box or category for calling one of them "the primal font/source" (i.e., sounds like "there was a time when the Son did not exist" - that sounds like Arianism) [i know we went over this before, but . . . ] and yet all three are eternal into the past. Don't you see the problem with that? It seems to lessen the Deity of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Just as the one God in 3 persons has some mystery to it; your "one font/source, yet eternal three persons" has some mystery to it. Right?

All these years, since faith in Christ as Savior and Lord and when the Trinity was explained to me; I have believed in my heart in One God and the Trinitarian formula (Matthew 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14) Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as existing as three eternal persons into the past with each other in love personal relationship; and have taught and defended the Deity of Christ and the Deity of the Holy Spirit and "God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth", etc to Muslim and former Muslims. I taught against Modalism and against Arianism and against a lonely Monad (like in Islam), etc. - so it just seems that both views or all three views ( ?) (1. David's and Drakes' and Mark's; 2. Jnorm and the EO, and 3. mine (if it is the western Trinitarian / Augustinian view) - all three are Trinitarian and orthodox, it seems to me.

Ken said...

I am reasonably sure that your own personal experience can be expanded to at least 99% of the seminary students who took some classes on historical theology at a conservative Christian institutions.

good point - why don't they explain it better or use a book on this subject?

What is ONE good book - without having to research all the ECFs.

But also, one in which the terms are explained better . A big problem, it seems to me, is that a lot of what guys talk about here is over my head and others, because there are so many assumptions and so many words that are not defined or explained. For example, I never even heard of "generic unity" vs. "numeric unity". (before Drake talking about it here.)

One can have faith in God and Christ alone as Savior and Lord, and in the doctrine of the Trinity (one God, three eternal persons) and not be able to explain it all, right?

Ken said...

for your God is really the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, or the Triune God. Here you have four things, not three.

Mark - no; I reject that way of understanding my faith in God - I don't believe in four things in God.

God is one God in three persons and three persons in one God. As Tertullian put it, "Unitas Trinitas et Trinitas Unitas" . Right?

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

“Ken said...

Drake wrote:

“ok; we agree that the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit have
separate minds, will, and emotions, if we understand that "person"
means an entity with "mind, will, emotions".”

>>>Well I do not believe that the divine persons have emotions but glad to see you believe in three minds and wills. That is NOT what your Church believes if it is Scholastic Reformed.

“As I understand it, even the western Trinitarians agree with that -
that 3 separate persons means each has their own mind and emotions and
will.”

>>>Can you provide a reference for this?

“Like when Jesus said, "no one knows of that day (the day of His
second coming) - only the Father knows - not even the Son, nor the
angels know." Matthew 24:36 - it seems reasonable to say that Jesus
knows that time now, right?”

>>>His divine mind always knew. His human mind- I don’t know.

“His will and His knowledge while on earth, was not used to the
fullest extent because of the laying aside of divine privileges in the incarnation, right? (Philippians 2:5-8)”

>>That sounds fair.

“The problem is that maintaining 3 different beings - sounds like 3
gods or 1 god and, as Jnorm said, "2 side-kicks".

>>That is why Jnorm rejected my idea of three minds and will early on. Why he has softened up on it is mysterious.

“3 separate units / beings / entities ( ?) that are not homo-ousias in
number (I am still learning; bear with me - I don't remember this
distinction between 'generic unity" and "numeric unity" even being
discussed in seminary, and now I can see that they did not go deep
enough into the whole doctrine.”

>>Reformed seminaries are a waste of money. I will never attend one again. I did not say that the three persons were separable. The natures of Christ are inseparable but that does not mean that they are one substance.

“We were taught, it seems, that The Trinity is a mystery”

>>>Which means it has not been revealed.

“- to go beyond "one nature/substance and three persons
(relationships/hupostasis) is something we cannot really comprehend
fully.”

>>>No. To say that one subject is three subjects is what we cannot comprehend.

“Your view seems to imply 3 beings or 3 gods.”

>>That is because you are still thinking of One-Godness as something that pertains to nature-the being. Instead you should think of it pertaining to the hypostasis of the Father.

“As David Waltz' view did to me also - honestly - I am not trying to be mean, but it seems to be a view of a Monarch (King) with 2 Prime Ministers, for lack of a better illustration, right now.”

>>>Well the relationship between the three is more necessary but that is close. So what? What is your problem with that? Is this not what is stated in the scripture:

Luke 22: 69 But from now on THE SON OF MAN WILL BE SEATED AT THE RIGHT
HAND of the power OF GOD.”

Dan 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of
days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his
head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his
wheels as burning fire…
Dan 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days,and they brought him near before him. Dan 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

Drake responded:
>>>No no no. If you said that you would have to admit then that the father is the source/subject. If that is true then the 3 persons are not manifestations of the monad but the two subordinate persons are manifestations of the Father.

“But that is what we all "western Trinitarians" believe and explain
when we are explaining the personal relationships within the God-head/
Trinity.”

>>>No you don’t. You believe in Filioque. Filioque states that causality pertains to nature (Thus if you are deity you produce-thus Filioque) not to the hypostasis of the Father. Thus the cause/source of the divine persons is not the Father but the being.

“So, in that, I am agreeing with you, but it would seem also there
there is only one substance/one nature, one ousia - meaning one God.”

>>>See that. You are equating the word “God” with “nature”. Not with the Father.

“Ok, then I agree with that; is that orthodox? - is that what you are arguing for?”

>>>No. I don’t like the term manifestation. It seems to imply that, that which is manifested does not have a distinct personality from that which manifests.

Drake Shelton said...

Mark,

“Ken, in your view, the only thing you can do to defend against a
charge of tritheism, is by saying all three persons (very real and
truly distinct) are metaphysically one substance or essence, so only
one God. But, let me ask, are the apostles or evengelists sent by our
Lord to preach metaphysics to us and to our wives?

For to me, if you believe in three real persons with three wills or
mind, and all three persons are supreme and almighty, even if you
argue they are but one substance, metaphysically, you have THREE
GODS!”

>>>Their view is the ivory tower human construction. Our view can be understood by children. One God the Father, one eternal Son and one eternal Spirit. Done!

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

“The mind has no box or category for calling one of them "the primal font/source" (i.e.,
sounds like "there was a time when the Son did not exist" - that
sounds like Arianism) [i know we went over this before, but . . . ]
and yet all three are eternal into the past. Don't you see the problem
with that? It seems to lessen the Deity of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit.”

>>>The sequence is logical not chronological. Man does have a category to explain it. It is an emanation (Christian sense not Plotinian) not a creation.

“Just as the one God in 3 persons has some mystery to it; your "one
font/source, yet eternal three persons" has some mystery to it. Right?”

>>>Nope. No mystery. The sequential language is logical not chronological. As soon as we let mystery into our theology we close the door on apologetics.

“One can have faith in God and Christ alone as Savior and Lord, and in the doctrine of the Trinity (one God, three eternal persons) and not be able to explain it all, right?”

>>Depends on what you mean by Trinity.

“Mark - no; I reject that way of understanding my faith in God - I
don't believe in four things in God.”

>>>But Mark has explained to you why your view necessarily implies four things. Telling us you don’t want it to mean that does not explain why it doesn’t mean that.

“God is one God in three persons and three persons in one God. As
Tertullian put it, "Unitas Trinitas et Trinitas Unitas" . Right?”

>>>Since you use the term God to refer to substance with your Ivory Tower man made philosophy, I will apply what you just said to humans and maybe I can point out the Philosophical commitments you are making instead of the plain statements of scripture:

“Ken is one Man in three persons and three persons in one Man.”

Does that make any sense to you? If it doesn't then the only way you can believe it is with a view of Revelation and Inspiration that I have never heard of. It would certainly not be Plenary Verbal.


Jnorm said...

David said:
"First, if God the Father is the primal font/source of ALL existence, including the other two divine persons of the Godhead (the Son and HS), then categorically speaking, He is "the one God", and yes, the Son and HS are "2 side-kicks" (some CFs made this quite clear by terming the Son and HS the 'right and left hands of God), and monotheism is maintained, because the Father alone has the unique attribute of absolute existence."


But David, the Church Fathers who said that also believed the Godhead to be Indivisible and Undivided.

And so the point I was trying to make was one god and two disconnected side kicks!

The connection is what allows the other two Persons to be called God as well for they are connected to the One God! For some of those same Church Fathers in the pre-nicene world call Jesus God, as you well know. Something you were hesitant to do a couple years ago. I don't know where you are at now, but I remember we were going back and forth some years ago about calling Jesus God.


And so yes, they are two hands of God, but because they are two hands of God, the Nicene-Constantinople 1 Creed of 381 A.D. should be accepted!

For this means that both the Son and Holy Spirit are from the Father's very own Being (I don't like using this word, but what I mean by it is existence, body...etc.)

Yes Nicea of 325 A.D. used generic unity for homoousios, but that same Nicea also supported the Eternal Generation of the Son doctrine implicitly, and so numeric unity of the Father's being was already there anyway.

I probably made alot of mistakes in using the word Being, as well as a number of mistakes in other areas (I might make a few in what I'm about to say next too, and so don't axe me). But if the Father is the point of unity then isn't He the Numeric Unity itself?

Before creation the Son(Logos) was Internally Generated by the Father within His Bosom.

When the Son was sent by the Father to create all things, He was externally Generated by the Father.

This tells me that generic unity in regards to the Persons of the Godhead implies more than the generic unity in regards to persons of humanity.


For the human example can imply 3 gods. But the Eternal Generation of the Son implies numeric unity with the Father's Being. For they are Eternally connected! Thus the same substance/essence/nature (I am using all 3 interchangeably)

The Son is not of a different Essence like copper and silver. Also, even with the same essence, He is not divided from His Father like two gold coins could be.

And so to me, the Nicen-Constantinople 1 Creed of 381 A.D. was the logical conclusion of the original creed of 325A.d.

For the Son is homoousios with the Father like the Sun and it's rays.


Hey Dave, if I was mean or rude please let me know.

Jnorm said...

Ken said:
"You explain it to me."

When I say One Person in and of Two Natures, what I mean is "One Identity/Subject/Hypostasis (no numeric nature here, for I am ussing the Cappadocian interpretation and not the Origenist one, for there is a distinction between Person and Nature/Essence) in and of two essences". And so within this time period and context I am using the word essence as being interchangeable with the word Nature. In a different era and on a different issue, I might make a distinction between the two words.



Ken said:
"The Chalcedonians (both EO and RC, and Protestants, right?) use the Greek word “physis” and “mono-phusis” to describe what the Copts and Jacobite Syrians and Armenians mean,

Yes, but the problem is they are not using the western meaning of Nature, which only had one meaning at the time, and that one meaning was Essence. Nor are they using the word Nature from the Cappadocian tradition. Instead, they are using the word in an Alexandrian sense.

For the Alexandrian tradition didn't really have a distinction between Person(hypostasis) and Nature(I'm using substance/essence and nature inter-changeably here)

And so, when they here me say One Person(Hypostasis) in Two Natures. What they hear is "One Hypostasis in two Hypostasis. And so in their minds I sound like a Nestorian for talking like that. They embrace the Cappadocian Fathers just like I do, and so they were eventually able to understand where we were coming from. The difference is they accepted a distinction between Person and Essence in regards to Triadology, but not in regards to Christology. And so the same confusion between Person and Essence that we see with Saint Athanasius and Nicea of 325A.D. is what we see here as well. And so depending on the context of the author they could mean person, essence, or both.


And when they say One Nature of the Logos Incarnate, what they mean is "One Hypostasis of the Logos Incarnate". This is what they mean, but when they talk like that, what we hear is "One Essence of the Logos Incarnate. That is what we hear. And so in our minds they sound Eutychian, but they condemned Eutychies just like we did.



Ken said
"but they themselves prefer “Mia-physite” rather than “mono-physite”.

Correct. Mono would mean a singular something while Mia a composite something.


Now going back to your original question.


Ken said
"Do they believe Jesus had two natures while on earth and then after the Resurrection His divine nature "swallowed up" His human nature, or did they believe his human nature was swallowed up by the Divine nature even while incarnated on earth?"

When they say One Nature after the Incarnation, what they mean is One Person after the Incarnation. They believe the One Person to be composit of/from both Divinity and Humanity without confusion, without change, without division, and without separation.

Like most of the church fathers and EO in general they believe in deification. And like the Cappadocians, and EO, they too believe in the hypostatic union and so they make use of that to reflect Theosis and so they too believe in the glorification of the humanity of Christ. Like I said, the same view can be found among the Cappadocians. Theosis doesn't mean the destruction, nor annihilation of humanity. It doesn't mean that at all. Humanity will always remain human and distinct. The difference is that there is a full communication between the attributes.

Ken said...

Drake,
So what does John 1:1 mean - "and the word was God"

??

Ken said...

καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.


kai Theos aen ho logos

and God was the Word.

Ken said...

or "the Word was God" (in substance/essence/nature).

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

"Drake,
So what does John 1:1 mean - "and the word was God"

??"

>>That the Word was of the nature of the Father, the One God, and was also divine, equal with the Father at the level of nature.

徐马可 said...

Hi Ken,

You asked "Drake,
So what does John 1:1 mean - "and the word was God"

I think there can be only three interpretations, namely:

First, The Word was another God, and a different God than "the God" whom he was with. This cannot be accepted, as this is polytheism.

Second, the Word was the same being or thing as "the God" whom he was with, or in the scholastics' view, the Word and "the God" whom he was with are two modes ofthe same being or thing. The first is straight Sabellienism, while the Latin version is more subtle,but in substance, the very same Sabellienism.

Third, the Word was another divine person or being who was with "the God" in eternity, this seems to be the true sense thereof.

Regards,

Mark

Jnorm said...

Mark,


What's the difference between the word "God" and the words "Divine Person" in your number one and your number three?

Thanks!

David Waltz said...

Hi Jnorm,

Another very busy weekend here at the beach, so forgive my somewhat tardy response to your 09/22/12 post, wherein you wrote:

==But David, the Church Fathers who said that also believed the Godhead to be Indivisible and Undivided.

And so the point I was trying to make was one god and two disconnected side kicks!

The connection is what allows the other two Persons to be called God as well for they are connected to the One God!==

Me: The Divine Nature is infinite and eternal, so the Son and HS by definition share those properties with the Father from whom they owe their existence and being—the Son via eternal generation, and the HS by eternal proceeding—neither the Son nor the HS are "disconnected" from the Father's divine nature; but, and this importantly, ALL the properties of the divine nature that they possess are derivative.

==For some of those same Church Fathers in the pre-nicene world call Jesus God, as you well know. Something you were hesitant to do a couple years ago. I don't know where you are at now, but I remember we were going back and forth some years ago about calling Jesus God.==

Me: I have affirmed on a number of occasions (both here at AF and on other blogs) that the Logos (i.e. the Son of God, Jesus Christ in His divine nature) is "God from God, Light from Light".

==And so yes, they are two hands of God, but because they are two hands of God, the Nicene-Constantinople 1 Creed of 381 A.D. should be accepted!==

Me: Not understanding precisely what you are attempted to convey here; could you explain further?

==Yes Nicea of 325 A.D. used generic unity for homoousios, but that same Nicea also supported the Eternal Generation of the Son doctrine implicitly, and so numeric unity of the Father's being was already there anyway.==

Me: Depends on how one understands "numeric unity"; for instance, I can affirm "numeric unity" in the sense that ALL mankind is one (as some of the Eastern CFs have done). But, what Drake and myself object to is the general understanding among most Trinitarians that "numeric unity" = ADS (absolute divine simplicity), which by its definition denies 'generic unity'.

==Before creation the Son(Logos) was Internally Generated by the Father within His Bosom.

When the Son was sent by the Father to create all things, He was externally Generated by the Father.

This tells me that generic unity in regards to the Persons of the Godhead implies more than the generic unity in regards to persons of humanity.==

Me: The Biblical Greek is, ek tou theou—literally, 'out of the Father', or 'from the Father'.

The analogy used by a number of CFs who equate the 'generic unity' of "Peter, James and John" with the 3 divine persons of the Godhead is NOT somehow lessened by the fact that there is vast difference between the two natures of each class (eternality, infinity, etcc.) being referenced.

==For the human example can imply 3 gods. But the Eternal Generation of the Son implies numeric unity with the Father's Being. For they are Eternally connected! Thus the same substance/essence/nature (I am using all 3 interchangeably)==

Me: Only if one confuses the personally distinctions with the common nature.

==And so to me, the Nicen-Constantinople 1 Creed of 381 A.D. was the logical conclusion of the original creed of 325A.d.==

Me: I would like to here more from you on this conclusion.

==Hey Dave, if I was mean or rude please let me know.==

Me: You have, and continue to be, quite charitable—though we certainly do not agree on everything—I sincerely appreciate this on going dialogue (and the previous ones) with you.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

On the 21st, you posted:

==[David]I am reasonably sure that your own personal experience can be expanded to at least 99% of the seminary students who took some classes on historical theology at a conservative Christian institutions.

[Ken]good point - why don't they explain it better or use a book on this subject?

What is ONE good book - without having to research all the ECFs.
==

Unfortunately, that book is yet to be written. My own understanding of this important issue is the result of years of research and study. There are quite a few patristic scholars who mention the concept of 'generic unity', but to my knowledge, no one has done so exhaustively.


Grace and peace,

David

Jnorm said...

David Waltz said:
"The Divine Nature is infinite and eternal, so the Son and HS by definition share those properties with the Father from whom they owe their existence and being—the Son via eternal generation, and the HS by eternal proceeding"

I agree, but (maybe you implied this by using the words "existence and being", I don't know, but to clearify, I will also say this and then you can comment on if this is what you also meant or not) I would also add that not only do they have a Divine Nature in where the Father is the source, but as Persons, the Logos/Son, and Holy Spirit are Divine in where the Father is the source. For all Three Persons are Divine in two ways. They are Divine in Nature and they are Divine as Hypostasis.


David Walts said:
neither the Son nor the HS are "disconnected" from the Father's divine nature;"

So why do you reject the Nicene-Constantinople 1 Creed of 381 A.D.? Doesn't this in and of itself imply a form of numeric unity? I would like to ask you another question. I don't like using the words "body", which to me means being. But do you believe the Son and Holy Spirit to be disconnected from the Father's very own Body? If yes, then wouldn't that imply either tri-theism or One God and two creatures?

If no, then why reject the Nicene-Constantinople 1 Creed of 381 A.D.?



David Waltz said:
but, and this importantly, ALL the properties of the divine nature that they possess are derivative.

If you mean derivative as in the Father is the origin, then I would agree, however, if you mean it in the sense of a lesser quality like a demi-god or like the gnostics with their many Aeons, then I would dissagree.

So I will ask. Do you believe the Son and Holy Spirit to have the same Divinity as the Father? Yes or no



David Waltz said:
" I have affirmed on a number of occasions (both here at AF and on other blogs) that the Logos (i.e. the Son of God, Jesus Christ in His divine nature) is "God from God, Light from Light".

Amen! If you and I believe this then I don't understand why we differ.



David Waltz said:
" Not understanding precisely what you are attempted to convey here; could you explain further?

Are they connected or disconnected from the Father's body?



David Walts said:
"Depends on how one understands "numeric unity"; for instance, I can affirm "numeric unity" in the sense that ALL mankind is one (as some of the Eastern CFs have done)."

Yes, I agree with that too, in regards to humanity. I also believe it for the Godhead as well. So why are you hesitent to believe it for the God-head?



Jnorm said...

David Waltz said:
"But, what Drake and myself object to is the general understanding among most Trinitarians that "numeric unity" = ADS (absolute divine simplicity), which by its definition denies 'generic unity'."

Wait, wait, let's be fair here. Now, just as it all depends on how one understands the words "numeric unity". It should also depend on how one understands ADS(absolute divine simplicity).

I assume that most of the Trinitarians you are talking about are following Saint Augustine's lead on this. If this is the case then they are reading his view into the Ecumenical council of 381 A.D.

Saint Augustine became a bishop around 396 A.D. I don't know the exact date when he formulated his ideas about this issue, but if I was a betting man (I'm not) I would assume it was years after 396 A.D. I know that he moved on to Plotinus in his later years, and he quoted him shortly before his death in 428A.D. and so I think it's a mistake to interprete the numeric unity of 381 A.D. and the doctrine of simplicity that comes with it by way of Augustine and the Augustinian tradition.

It would only be fair to interprete "numeric unity" and "ADS" according to the Eastern Christian tradition. For Constantinople 1 was mostly an Eastern Christian council.

We attack the Augustinian interpretation of ADS too! As can be seen here:
http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2011/12/more-about-western-confusion.html


Rabbinical Judaism has an Essence vs Energies (they have a different interpretation of what energies mean, but that's besides the point) distinction and so the break down of ADS won't happen there in the same way as the west. Like Rabbinical Judaism, Eastern Christianity also has an Essence vs Energies distinction and so ADS won't break down for us in the same way as the Augustinian West either.


And so, we should ask ourselves a number of questions:

Those who gathered at Constantinople 1 in 381 A.D. couldn't of been Augustinians for this was before his time as a christian bishop. And so what did they believe about

1.) Essence vs Energies

2.) Simplicity

3.) numeric unity

4.) The Arche of the Father

5.) Indivisibility and Undividedness


If they interpreted these things differently than Saint Augustine, then shouldn't the numeric unity of 381 A.D. be interpreted accordingly? One should also ask the question of how did Eastern Christians after 381 A.D. interpret these things?

If it was different from Saint Augustine, the later Franks, and Aquinas some centuries later, then isn't it only right to interpret it in accordance to how the Christian East interprets it?

Drake is a follower of Gordan Clark, and so he has his own agenda and reasons for accepting and rejecting stuff. He rejects our Essence vs Energies distinction because it bumps heads with what he likes in the philosophy of Gordan Clark.

But I obviously care little about what a 20th century Reformed philosopher thought about such things. I care more about what the Ancient Christians believed in regards to these ideas. And so my reasons for accepting and rejecting stuff is because of this. I have no commitment to defend something from Gordan Clark and so the Essence and Energies distinction to me is nothing more than Judaism and Christianity 101.


David Waltz said:
"The Biblical Greek is, ek tou theou—literally, 'out of the Father', or 'from the Father'.

But if there is no disconnect then what's wrong with numeric unity by way of the Father's very Being as the point of unity?

Jnorm said...

David Waltz said:
The analogy used by a number of CFs who equate the 'generic unity' of "Peter, James and John" with the 3 divine persons of the Godhead is NOT somehow lessened by the fact that there is vast difference between the two natures of each class (eternality, infinity, etcc.) being referenced.

It's lessened if we ignore the vast difference. For tri-theism or One God and two creatures could be implied if certain things aren't clearified.

I use the three human being example myself at times, but shouldn't the differences between us and the Godhead matter?

David,

Is there anything wrong with what Saint Athanasius said here (about two to three decades after Nicea)?

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xiv.ii.v.html
quote:
"Again, when the Bishops said that the Word must be described as the True Power and Image of the Father, in all things exact891 and like the Father, and as unalterable, and as always, and as in Him without division (for never was the Word not, but He was always, existing everlastingly with the Father, as the radiance of light),"

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xiv.ii.v.html
quote:
"For bodies which are like each other may be separated and become at distances from each other, as are human sons relatively to their parents (as it is written concerning Adam and Seth, who was begotten of him that he was like him after his own pattern; but since the generation of the Son from the Father is not according to the nature of men, and not only like, but also inseparable from the essence of the Father, and He and the Father are one, as He has said Himself, and the Word is ever in the Father and the Father in the Word, as the radiance stands towards the light (for this the phrase itself indicates), therefore the Council, as understanding this, suitably wrote ‘one in essence,’ that they might both defeat the perverseness of the heretics, and shew that the Word was other than originated things. For, after thus writing, they at once added, ‘But they who say that the Son of God is from nothing, or created, or alterable, or a work, or from other essence, these the Holy Catholic Church anathematizes"


This describes my view perfectly! It describes what I was trying to say over and over and over again.



David Waltz said:
"Only if one confuses the personally distinctions with the common nature."


I thought the Nicene-Constantinople 1 Creed of 381 A.D. was influenced by the Cappadocian distinction between Person and Nature? If so, then what's the problem?

Jnorm said...

David Waltz said:
"I would like to here more from you on this conclusion."

1.) The gathering of the original creed in 325 A.D. was from different regions of the Church. The majority had the Origenist view, but the West (pre-Augustine) had a different view in mind. And so both East and West could read into the Creed their own theological view.

2.) Shortly after the council, there were those who thought the Creed to be modalistic due to one or two of it's supporters, and what they wrote.

3.) The undivideness between the Son and Father was already implicit in the original Creed

4.) The step from going from "like the Father in Divinity" to "the Same as the Father in Divinity" was a small step. For various parties could interprete the word "like" in different ways. The projectory of the original Creed was in the direction of "same Substance" as the Father. For how can you really be God from God if you are not of the Same substance? How can you be Light from Light if you are not of the same Substance?

5.) You can't really believe in the equality of the Third Person(The Holy Spirit) with the original Creed of 325 A.D. and so any notion of having a Nicene Triadology that focus on the equality of all Three Persons (while at the same time rejecting 381 A.D. and after) in Nature is Anacronistic.

And so in many many ways the Nicene-Constantinople 1 Creed was the logical conclusion of the original. For they had decades to reflect on the internal logic of the Creed. They had decades of infighting and testing and so I see the Nicene-Constantinople 1 Creed of 381 as an Organic growth of the original 325 A.D. One. especially when one sees that the Christian West already had a Person vs Nature distinction long before Cappadocia.

And so when the Christian East embraced a Person vs Nature distinction, then the whole numeric unity vs generic unity problem should be solved. It shouldn't even be a problem. So why is it an issue if Hypostasis and Essence/Nature mean two different things?



David Waltz said:
"You have, and continue to be, quite charitable—though we certainly do not agree on everything—I sincerely appreciate this on going dialogue (and the previous ones) with you.

Grace and peace,"



Thank you David. And I too appreciate the dialogue over the years. And Grace and Peace to you as well

Ken said...

>>>Well I do not believe that the divine persons have emotions

You are referring to the impassibility of God. I agree that God is not subject to "mood swings"; but He is also not an "iceberg". It seems integral to personhood that one have mind, will, emotions, personality. I thought this article was very good at explaining what the Westminster divines meant by the "impassibility of God" without denying that God has no emotions at all.

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/impassib.htm



but glad to see you believe in three minds and wills. That is NOT what your Church believes if it is Scholastic Reformed.

I am a Reformed, Calvinistic Baptist (Southern Baptist technically, but don't necessarily agree with things that go on there either - each church is autonomous, as you may be aware of - but I still don't agree with every little small issue of the 1689 Second London Baptist Confession, though I agree with most of it. I appreciate both Baptists and Presbyterians (the only real issue I have w/ Presbyterians is infant baptism) and pray for James White, John Piper, R. C. Sproul, John McArthur, Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Carl Truman, Ligon Duncan, etc. as good Bible teachers; and my own pastor, Ty Blackburn.

“As I understand it, even the western Trinitarians agree with that -
that 3 separate persons means each has their own mind and emotions and
will.”

>>>Can you provide a reference for this?

No; I assume that as the meaning of "person".

Ken said...

Drake noted:
Luke 22: 69 But from now on THE SON OF MAN WILL BE SEATED AT THE RIGHT
HAND of the power OF GOD.”

Dan 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, . . .
Dan 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days,and they brought him near before him.

Dan 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Yes, those are excellent verses for both the Deity and personhood of the Son as distinct from the Father ("seated at the right hand of God" or "the ancient of Days".

See also - Revelation 5:1-14.

The angels and creatures and elders give the Son - the lamb the same blessing and honor and glory and power as they gave to the Father in Revelation chapter 4.

In verse 14 - they fell down and worshiped - context - verse 13 - "unto Him who sits on the throne, and unto the lamb".

So, I would see those verses you give for emphasizing that the Son is like a "side-kick" ( ?) - ok - they also point to the separate personhood of the Son - but they also point to the Deity of the Son/Lamb.

I wish I could comment more and study and read all your comments more. It is really good to be able to hash it out with you.

I am learning a lot from reading all four of your comments - Drake, Jnorm, Mark, and David W. - I just don't have time to digest it all and keep up. Every time I check in, there seems to be 5-10 new comments, and each one is pretty deep on these Trinity issues. Thanks to all of you.

I don't think I will be able to join more in commenting until after October 20, but I might find time.

David Waltz said...

Hello again Jnorm,

Thanks much for your response(s); earlier this morning you wrote:

==I agree, but (maybe you implied this by using the words "existence and being", I don't know, but to clearify, I will also say this and then you can comment on if this is what you also meant or not) I would also add that not only do they have a Divine Nature in where the Father is the source, but as Persons, the Logos/Son, and Holy Spirit are Divine in where the Father is the source. For all Three Persons are Divine in two ways. They are Divine in Nature and they are Divine as Hypostasis.==

Me: Agreed. I affirmed the above explicitly in THIS THREAD, wherein I wrote:

>>The following is my position in 5 propositions:

I. There is but one God, the Father.

II. There are in the Godhead three (not mere names or modes) truly distinct persons (hypostases)—the Father, the Son or Word of God and the Holy Ghost.

III. These three Persons are 'one' in ousia, essence ('one' used here in a generic sense)—i.e. the three Persons are ὁμοούσιος (homoousios), not μονοούσιος (monoousios).

IV. There is but one beginning/cause (μοναρχία, monarchia), one font/fountain or principle of Divinity (πηγὴ θεότητος), God the Father, Who alone is aὐτόθεος, God of and from Himself; the Son and Holy Spirit deriving their Divinity (ousia, essence) and personhood from Him; the Son by generation, and the Holy Spirit by procession.

V. Because the Son and Holy Spirit derive both their Divinity (ousia, essence) and personhood (hypostasis), from God the Father, this derivation is not limited only to the person of the Father, or the Divinity of the Father; but rather, from both the person and Divinity of the Father.>>

[Jnorm]==So why do you reject the Nicene-Constantinople 1 Creed of 381 A.D.? Doesn't this in and of itself imply a form of numeric unity? I would like to ask you another question. I don't like using the words "body", which to me means being. But do you believe the Son and Holy Spirit to be disconnected from the Father's very own Body? If yes, then wouldn't that imply either tri-theism or One God and two creatures?==

Me: I do not outright, "reject the Nicene-Constantinople 1 Creed of 381 A.D", but rather, feel that the changes it made to the original Nicene Creed 'opened-the-door', so to speak, to the later Latin/Western interpretation (i.e. corruption). IMO, the later Latin/Western interpretation cannot be read into the original Nicene Creed without great violence to the text; so, I see the NCC of 381 as a step backwards, rather than an advancement, concerning the development of the doctrine of the Trinity.

[Jnorm]==If you mean derivative as in the Father is the origin, then I would agree, however, if you mean it in the sense of a lesser quality like a demi-god or like the gnostics with their many Aeons, then I would dissagree.==

Me: One cannot believe that the divinity of the Son and HS is, "of a lesser quality like a demi-god or like the gnostics with their many Aeons", while affirming that they are 'God from God, Light from Light' (see my above '5 propositions' for greater clarification).

[Jnorm]==So I will ask. Do you believe the Son and Holy Spirit to have the same Divinity as the Father? Yes or no.==

Me. NO.

[Jnorm]==Are they connected or disconnected from the Father's body?==

Me: I do not believe that God the Father has a "body".

To be continued...

Ken said...

Ok, maybe one more comment. (smile)

Mark wrote:
You asked "Drake,
So what does John 1:1 mean - "and the word was God"

I think there can be only three interpretations, namely:

First, The Word was another God, and a different God than "the God" whom he was with. This cannot be accepted, as this is polytheism.

Agreed. That is what Jehovah's Witnesses seem to do with their "a god" translation in the New World Translation.

Second, the Word was the same being or thing as "the God" whom he was with, or in the scholastics' view, the Word and "the God" whom he was with are two modes ofthe same being or thing. The first is straight Sabellienism,

Ok, agreed; and the modern form of it - they see the one person and one nature - the Father - becoming the Son in time for 33 years and then when Jesus goes back to heaven, and is glorified, He "becomes the Holy Spirit", right ? = modern modalism, "Jesus only"
- Oneness Pentecostalism; right?


while the Latin version is more subtle,but in substance, the very same Sabellienism.

No, since even the "one nature/substance/essence" (one God) that you guys are objecting to - numerical unity - still believes in three separate persons from all eternity who love and know each other in personal spiritual relationship.

Third, the Word was another divine person or being who was with "the God" in eternity, this seems to be the true sense thereof.

Seems the same thing as my explanation above; and the way I understand the doctrine.

David Waltz said...

Cont'd

[Jnorm]==David Walt[z] said:
"Depends on how one understands "numeric unity"; for instance, I can affirm "numeric unity" in the sense that ALL mankind is one (as some of the Eastern CFs have done)."

Yes, I agree with that too, in regards to humanity. I also believe it for the Godhead as well. So why are you hesitent to believe it for the God-head?==

Me: Once again, see my above '5 propositions' wherein I affirm "numeric unity" in a qualified sense.

Now, what I don't understand is how you can affirm "numeric unity", "in regards to humanity", with, "I also believe it for the Godhead as well", and still question the position that I, Drake and Mark affirm—logically speaking, it makes no sense to me.

[Jnorm]==David Waltz said:
"The Biblical Greek is, ek tou theou—literally, 'out of the Father', or 'from the Father'.

But if there is no disconnect then what's wrong with numeric unity by way of the Father's very Being as the point of unity?==

Me: Once again, it depends on how one qualifies "numeric unity". Remember you stated that you can affirm "numeric unity", "in regards to humanity", and then added, "I also believe it for the Godhead as well"; now, that is MY POSITION.

[Jnorm]==David Waltz said:
The analogy used by a number of CFs who equate the 'generic unity' of "Peter, James and John" with the 3 divine persons of the Godhead is NOT somehow lessened by the fact that there is vast difference between the two natures of each class (eternality, infinity, etcc.) being referenced.

It's lessened if we ignore the vast difference. For tri-theism or One God and two creatures could be implied if certain things aren't clearified.

I use the three human being example myself at times, but shouldn't the differences between us and the Godhead matter?==

Me: No, there should not be a 'lessoning', because the comparison does not concern WHAT THE NATURES ARE, but rather, the comparison concerns distinctions and commonality—personhood being distinct, nature being common.

As for your quotes (and comments) concerning St. Athanasius, you have brought in doctrine of perichoresis, which, though related to our discussion at hand, is in itself a separate topic, and would need a new thread to do justice to it.

In ending, I would like for you read and digest my '5 propostions', and then let me know what you disagree with, and why.


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

can't resist one more comment -

I just noticed a weird comment -

Jnorm - the Father has a body?

I agree with David that the Father does NOT have a body - John 4:23-24.

------------
David W. wrote:
the Logos (i.e. the Son of God, Jesus Christ in His divine nature) is "God from God, Light from Light".

Sounds like Hebrews 1:3 - the Son is the radiance of the Father's glory and the exact representation/imprint/image (xaraktar - χαρακτηρ - we get English word, "character" from this ) of His being/person/nature ( hypostasis)

Also "God is light" - 1 John 1:5
and
Jesus said, "I am the light of the world" - John 8:12 and John 1:4-5 - "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men, and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it."

David Waltz said...

Jnorm,

Major OOOPS on my part !!!

My response to your question:" Do you believe the Son and Holy Spirit to have the same Divinity as the Father? Yes or no", SHOULD READ YES, not NO.

My apologies for the confusion.


Grace and peace,

David

Jnorm said...

I'm on the phone and can't answer everything at the moment, but I would like to comment on the word Body. I don't like using the word myself. God is immaterial and He doesn't have parts, and so the idea I was trying to convey with the metaphor was one of unity.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“Are they connected or disconnected from the Father's body?”

>>I would have to strain to find a more clear example of how confused the Eastern orthodox are. THE FATHER HAS A BODY? Wow! I have made the statement that the Father and the Son are logically undivided-inseparable (Thus precluding the idea that the son and spirit are creatures contrary to your deliberate and unfounded misrepresentations) but you have shown what you were trying to say all along. You hold to the same Babylonish God that Hislop exposed in his great work here: http://books.google.com/books?id=GooEAAAAQAAJ&pg=PR1&lpg=PR1&dq=alexander+hislop,+two+babylons&source=bl&ots=8-pPihwCo7&sig=zwl7vgMXAjHw_PPHE42W7Sr5g4k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=CSViUNlLg_jzBJrUgPgP&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Pg. 25 You believe that the three persons are inseparable according to numeric substance thus only one mind, thus precluding any coherent affirmation of a multiplicity of persons.


You next mention how ads must have only come from Augustine whereas Origen had taught it for years. Farrell even connects the two on numerous occasions in Free Choice. I thought you read that book Jnorm.

“He rejects our Essence vs Energies distinction because it bumps heads with what he likes in the philosophy of Gordan Clark.”

>>>Gordon Clark is not necessary to this issue. If I was not a Clarkian I would still reject E and E because it makes God ontologically economical. The energies constitute the nature of God not the essence, however, we find out from Bradshaw and Farrell that the energies pertain to the economy of salvation. It is nonsense on its face, regardless of Clark.

“But I obviously care little about what a 20th century Reformed philosopher thought about such things.”

>>>Clark did not speak to the E and E distinction so what you are getting at is anyone’s best guess. He did speak to the ADS issue, but again, Clark is irrelevant here.


Not sure why you are concerned about the philosophical meandering of Judaism:

Act 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Act 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
Act 7:53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
Act 7:54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.




“ So why is it an issue if Hypostasis and Essence/Nature mean two different things?”

>>>Your lack of precision remains burdensome. By “two different things “ you could mean two logically different things, or you could mean substantially two different things, like two minds, verses one mind that is hypostatized.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

“”while the Latin version is more subtle,but in substance, the very same Sabellienism.

No, since even the "one nature/substance/essence" (one God) that you guys are objecting to - numerical unity - still believes in three separate persons from all eternity who love and know each other in personal spiritual relationship.”

>>>I have already addressed this a few times here but we’ll entertain it, one more time. If you affirm numeric identity of nature, substance, essence, then you can only appeal to one mind, thus precluding a multiplicity of persons. What you are left with is Sabellianism. The persons then are no longer intellects but modes of the intellect if you can even refer to intellect at all. The best way to escape is in some kind of bi-polar or disassociation model that Jnorm never answered above.


Jnorm said...

Drake,

What you quoted from hislop on page 25 seems more like the substance as being the source. I believe the Father to be the source.

Also, I already said more than once that I don't like using the words body and being and that I can make mistakes/error by using such words.

Thus, I made that known before hand.

You don't worship the Son and Holy Spirit. Nor do you pray to them, and so when you say they are logically inseparatable and of thesame Divinity of the Father, well, what does that mean if your actual practice treats them like creatures?

Ken said...

I didn't think I would have any more time to comment, but it seems I do now.

Drake wrote:
>>>I have already addressed this a few times here but we’ll entertain it, one more time.

Thanks for your indulgence. (smile)

If you affirm numeric identity of nature, substance, essence, then you can only appeal to one mind,


I disagree - as I understand the doctrine, that is the point of the three eternal persons - three minds, wills, emotions (yes, emotions - love, joy, sorrow over sin; grieving over sin - Gen. 6:6; Ephesians 4:30 - "do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God . . . " - holy anger - "the anger of the Lord was kindled"; but not mood swings). I believe in the three persons in personal relationship of love from all eternity; but that there is only one God.

thus precluding a multiplicity of persons. What you are left with is Sabellianism.

You are imputing that to the "western/Augustinian/Calvin view" and that is not right when they themselves have held to 3 eternal persons.

Can you show us where Augustine and Calvin said /wrote that the 3 persons are "modes" of the "one mind"?

Where do they (Augustine and Calvin) write that God is only one mind?

That the Father and Son have only one mind?

I suppose that they could argue from texts like John 10:30 - "I and the Father are one" and John 17 - "that they may be one, just as the Father and I are one"


The persons then are no longer intellects but modes of the intellect if you can even refer to intellect at all.

I have never read any Trinitarian agree to that - that there is only one mind in God and that the 3 persons are three modes. No Trinitarian uses "modes" in their language, so it seems wrong for you to accuse them (us) of that.

Maybe I will find more time to comment from time to time; it is getting more interesting at this point.

徐马可 said...

Hi Ken,

You said:"No Trinitarian uses "modes" in their language, so it seems wrong for you to accuse them (us) of that. "

If you take a look at Turretin, Richard Muller's Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatic Vol. 4, and Berkholf, you will find, the scholastics are so clear that three persons are three modes or three modes of subsistence. And Turretin even tells you, a subsistence is not an existence, there is only one thing, namely the essence that exists. And that the difference between the three persons are not real, but modally.

You also said"I have never read any Trinitarian agree to that - that there is only one mind"

I recall Turretin said that and also Dr. Charles Hodge's Vol 1. Turretin quotes 1 John 5:7 and said namely the unity of consent shows there is only one will and one thing.

You also commented :"I believe in the three persons in personal relationship of love from all eternity; but that there is only one God."

Ken, it is really getting interesting and this is why. For in our view, ONLY ONE PERSON of the three persons is the only true God, and God of Abraham. Christ and the Holy Ghost are not that one and only God. Christ is the son of that God, and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of that God.

In your view, to affirm three wills and One Triune God, or he who is the Father Son and Holy Ghost is a contradiction, because when you have three real persons, with three wills, and all three are equally divine, you have three Gods, even if you say metaphysically, these three are but of one essence/substance, yet to me, there are three Gods. For it is not the number of substance or metaphysics that matters, it is the mind and will that defines a person.

Ken, if you get a chance to read Muller's Vol. 4, in the section on the Deity of God the Father, you will find they actually believe in a quaternity,namely, there is another ultimate essence that is behind all three person,and that essence is called a Father, so there are two Fathers and four persons, when you say the Lord's prayer, you are not praying to Jesus's Father, but to the Triune God who is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, they called that God as God or God essentially, they interpretated the text in 1 Cor 8:6 the same manner, please see the most learned Dr. Gill. This is a view that is condemned even by the Roman Church. But that being said, in this view, their God is he who is the Trinity, or he who is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but in our view, we believe in one GOD, THE FATHER.

Thanks,

Mark

Ken said...

Who are the scholastics that you refer to ?

I had always thought they were the Medieval Roman Catholics like Peter Lombard, Peter Abelard, William Ockham, (I think Anselm is usually included in that group); Thomas Aquinas, etc.

What is a concise definition of "scholasticism" ?

I noticed Muller's 4 volume set is $ 119 at Monergism.

Sorry, I won't be getting that for a while. the description is also intimidating.

http://www.monergism.com/0801026180_postreformation_reformed_dogmatics.php

Although you call, the Father, "the only God", yet also call the Son, eternal and of the same substance in spirit as in "generic unity" and they each have minds and wills (with the Holy Spirit also); it is you who seem to have "3 gods" - one higher but two other smaller ones in the Tri-Unity.

I don't believe in four things, as you accuse me of. I don't understand saying subsistence is not existence; that seems illogical.

Either way, a Muslim will accuse both you and I (and all of us here in this discussion) of blasphemy and polytheism or Shirk (ascribing partnership to someone other than the only God) - unless the Holy Spirit opens the heart (Acts 16:14) and spiritual eyes and spiritual ears to hear the truth. John 6:44 (to gain clarity on the doctrine of the Trinity - is the reason why I want to discuss the issue and understand it better - in order to do more effective and clear evangelism with Muslims and discipleship of former Muslims. )

Unless God works in hearts, ours included, we are lost; and there is no hope.

Because God does work, and is Love and truth; we have hope who cling to Him without being able to explain it all.

Mark - if you don't mind me asking - your profile has what looks like Chinese; is this correct? are you Chinese and/or seeking to reach Chinese? Are you studying at Greenville Presb. seminary ?

徐马可 said...

Hi Ken,

For the scholastics, I am including the ones you have named as well as the Protestant scholastics who claim the same heritage.

You said:"I don't believe in four things, as you accuse me of. I don't understand saying subsistence is not existence; that seems illogical. "

Praise God, I don't think most common people believe in another fourth person or understand these extra-biblical terms, this teaching seems to be purely academical.

Then you said:" Although you call, the Father, "the only God", yet also call the Son, eternal and of the same substance in spirit as in "generic unity" and they each have minds and wills (with the Holy Spirit also); it is you who seem to have "3 gods" - one higher but two other smaller ones in the Tri-Unity. "

If you mean God as a divine person, then yes, in this sense, I have 3 Gods. (In Hebrew 1, the Son is called the God, and this the God, also has a God) But if you mean God in its proper sense, that is to say, the Ancient of Days, the One who sits on the Throne, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Only Potentate, the ALmightly, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God whose name is Jehovah. Then I have only one GOD, the Father, for Moses said, Hear Israel, Jehovah God is one Jehovah. And only the FATHER is Jehovah, not the Son nor the Holy Ghost, the name Jehovah contains both divinity (eternal existence) and aseity (God of himself). But the Son is begotten, so he is not God of himself, but God of God. You may compare the text in Exo 3 in Greek, Rev 1 and Jesus's before Abraham I am, you will note the difference. For there is a biblical difference between eternal existant and self-existant. Three persons are eternally existant, but only one is self-existant.

You asked:"Mark - if you don't mind me asking - your profile has what looks like Chinese; is this correct? are you Chinese and/or seeking to reach Chinese? Are you studying at Greenville Presb. seminary ?"

The profile should be all in Chinese, I am a native Chinese (Shanghainese), imigrated to the US with my wife 5 years ago. I have never studied in GPTS, but I do know some friends who graduated there.

Ken, you mentioned something very important here:"Either way, a Muslim will accuse both you and I (and all of us here in this discussion) of blasphemy and polytheism or Shirk (ascribing partnership to someone other than the only God) - unless the Holy Spirit opens the heart (Acts 16:14) and spiritual eyes and spiritual ears to hear the truth. John 6:44 (to gain clarity on the doctrine of the Trinity - is the reason why I want to discuss the issue and understand it better - in order to do more effective and clear evangelism with Muslims and discipleship of former Muslims. )"

I think this is a very important point, because for us, our God is truly a Father, and he has an eternal Son, through whom, our God has made himself known. While the Muslim God is not a Father, because he does not have an only begotten Son. So our Christian religion is vindicated. P.S. I have in my early Christian years, witnessed to muslim restaurant owners, as I like Muslim (Uyghurs and Huis) cuisine very much and have had some religious talk with them.

愿你平安,
Mark

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

"What you quoted from hislop on page 25 seems more like the substance as being the source. I believe the Father to be the source."

>>>You have asserted it without explaining it. If the three persons are manifestations or if the One God manifests himself in three persons as Prestige exposed Athanasius as teaching, then the source is the being, not the Father. That is, if the one-ness of God pertains to his being, not his Monarchy, then the source is the being not the person of the Father.

"Also, I already said more than once that I don't like using the words body and being and that I can make mistakes/error by using such words."

>>>Then you are not prepared to have this conversation. It is clear now that you did not think through this issue before you came here. You are flying by the seat of your pants so to speak while trying to claim that you have established my error while you yourself have no established view yet to hold me to.

"You don't worship the Son and Holy Spirit."

>>>Define worship. I honor the son, but not in an absolute and ultimate sense as I do the Father. I worship the Father alone, meaning that I ultimately attribute all activity and being to himself alone.

"Nor do you pray to them"

>>I have never heard or read of any Christian ever praying to the Holy Spirit. Can you show me a theology manual in your church which directs prayer to the Holy Spirit (Notice I did not say where prayer is offered in the name of the Holy Spirit)? I can show you none in any protestant Church.

"and so when you say they are logically inseparatable and of the same Divinity of the Father, well, what does that mean if your actual practice treats them like creatures?"

>>Hypostatic subordination does not imply creatureliness. The Other two persons are subordinate to the Father at the level of person/hypostasis not nature. It is for you to prove that my view treats them like creatures. The whole point of the Monarchy of the Father is that activity is sourced in him. It makes perfect sense then that prayer would be offered to the boss alone.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

Robert Letham wrote a book titled Through Western Eyes (Mentor: Geanies House, Fearn Ross-Shire, IV20 1TW, Great Britain, 2007) in which these arguments were given an audience by the Presbyterian Reformed. Letham says in replying to the problems posed by Simplicity, “A tendency towards modalism – by blurring the distinctions between the three persons - is therefore endemic in Western Trinitarianism”. (pg. 223) Letham admits, In the West, the danger of modalism is very real, evident in all Western theology down to Barth and Rahner. If we start with the divine unity, expressed in the idea of absolute divine simplicity, the persons become problematic as real, personal, permanent, irreducible, and eternal ontological distinctions…Indeed. most Western Christians are practical modalists.”(pg. 238)

Sabellius “who regarded Father, Son, and Spirit not as three distinct persons, but simply as varying ‘modes’ or ‘aspects’ of the deity.” (The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware, pg. 213) So then what does the Protestant Scholastic say? Turretin says, 3rd Topic Q. 27
“Thus the person may be said to differ from the essence not really…but modally as a mode from the thing (pg. 278)…the Orthodox hold…Against the Tritheists they reject the real or essential distinction because although there are more persons than one mutually distinct, yet there is only one essence. But they hold TO A MODAL DISTINCTION because as the persons are constituted by personal properties as incommunicable MODES OF SUBSISTING, so they may properly be said to be distinguished by them. (pg. 279)”

Institutes of Elenctic Theology Volume 1 (P & R Publishing: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1992)

Modes of the One numeric substance, not three ontologically distinct persons.

Ryan said...

Ken,

I am a little late to this conversation, but I thought I'd share my understanding and summary of Drake's view (found here). I think it puts in simplified language why phrases like "Triune God" are inaccurate, what "God" means, how to respond to accusations of tritheism, etc.

In my opinion, Drake and others on this board have for so long been used to discussing this issue in certain terms that they have a hard time putting themselves back into the situation of a person who, like I was, is looking for a simpler introduction to Trinitarianism. What they are saying may be true, but for you and me, it's like trying to play catch-up. We can get glimpses of truth but have difficulty understanding why they find these truths incompatible with what the mainstream Reformed position teaches. That's why I would recommend reading through the above link. Hope it helps!

David Waltz said...

Hi Ryan,

Nice to see you back at AF (though it has been quite sometime since your last visit if I remember correctly).

Thanks much for the link to your summation of Drake's Triadology—IMO, it is excellent—I recommend to everyone reading this thread to take the time to read it for themselves.

Hope to see you more often here at AF...


Grace and peace,

David

Jnorm said...

David, I should have time to answer you on Friday.

Jnorm said...

Ken said:
"Either way, a Muslim will accuse both you and I (and all of us here in this discussion) of blasphemy and polytheism or Shirk (ascribing partnership to someone other than the only God) - unless the Holy Spirit opens the heart (Acts 16:14) and spiritual eyes and spiritual ears to hear the truth. John 6:44 (to gain clarity on the doctrine of the Trinity - is the reason why I want to discuss the issue and understand it better - in order to do more effective and clear evangelism with Muslims and discipleship of former Muslims. )"


I think you should check these two links out:
PHILOPONIAN MONOPHYSITISM INSOUTH ARABIA AT THE ADVENT OFISLAM


To learn more about the tri-theism of John Philoponus, go here:
Beware of the Tri-Theists



After reading this you will understand why I am focusing on the unity within the Godhead.

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
">>>You have asserted it without explaining it. If the three persons are manifestations or if the One God manifests himself in three persons as Prestige exposed Athanasius as teaching, then the source is the being, not the Father. That is, if the one-ness of God pertains to his being, not his Monarchy, then the source is the being not the person of the Father."


Someone is giving me a book by an Orthodox Athanasian scholar who disagrees with a number of western scholarly views about Saint Athanasius, and so I'm going to wait until I read that first before I say anything in that regard. This is the book here:
Saint Athanasius of Alexandria: Original Research and New Perspectives

And so, If you don't mind, I'm going to wait before giving you a response in regards to what Saint Athanasius taught.

But in regards to me, I believe the Father to be the Source. I also believe the Essence to be the Essence of the Father, and so you can't make me believe the Essence to be the Source. You can't pin me with that, because it ain't true.



Drake said
">>>Then you are not prepared to have this conversation. It is clear now that you did not think through this issue before you came here. You are flying by the seat of your pants so to speak while trying to claim that you have established my error while you yourself have no established view yet to hold me to."


What it means is I'm not prepared to go in certain directions in this conversation. What it does not mean is that I'm not prepared to talk about Triadology at all in any kind of way.

I don't have to know everything in order to have a hunch that something isn't right. As of right now, and this could change in the future, but as of right now, it seems as if you want to stress some kind of tri-theism (hypostasis and nature being synonymous, and you don't seem to have any inter-communion, no connection.....etc.) on one hand and some kind of arianism (you don't believe in worshiping and praying to them) in regards to the Son and Holy Spirit on the other.



Jnorm said...

Drake said:
">>I have never heard or read of any Christian ever praying to the Holy Spirit. Can you show me a theology manual in your church which directs prayer to the Holy Spirit (Notice I did not say where prayer is offered in the name of the Holy Spirit)? I can show you none in any protestant Church."


I know we have something, but I don't have the time to check at the moment. I'll try and do so either on Friday or Saturday if time permits.


Drake said:
">>Hypostatic subordination does not imply creatureliness. The Other two persons are subordinate to the Father at the level of person/hypostasis not nature. It is for you to prove that my view treats them like creatures. The whole point of the Monarchy of the Father is that activity is sourced in him. It makes perfect sense then that prayer would be offered to the boss alone."


What was the practice of Pre-nicene Christians (outside of Origen and his hardcore followers)

What was the practice of Nicene and post nicene christians (outside of the radical Arians)?

Jnorm said...

Drake,


I was re-reading Free Choice in Saint Maximus as well as the Disputes with Pyrrus. And this is what I found out.

1.) We believe will to be a faculty of Nature

However, We also believe the Hypostasis to make use of it. And we call that the mode of willing. For humans, it's called a gnomic will (I'll explain what this is later. I don't have the time now)

But the gnomic will is hypostatic.


2.) we don't use the term gnomic will in regards to the Three Divine Hypostasis within the Godhead.

We don't have a name for it. But we do believe in 3 wills.

As seen here:

pages 125-126 from the book "Free Choice in Saint Maximus the Confessor (chapter 5: The Psychology of wiling in the Eschaton and in Christ)" by Joseph Farrel
Quote:
"In creation it is "God who acts according to His own unique will in a unique motion moved by a unique operation." It is nevertheless the case that "each of the three hypostases." It is nevertheless the case that "each of the three hypostases operates according to His hypostatic property." Consequently, for St. Sophronius, just as the Father "is the eternal source both of the divine nature and of the divine hypostases, He is also the source of the design of the Economy." (89) And thus "Christ is Himself the revelation of the Father because He has as His hypostatic mode being the accomplishing of the will of the Father."(90) For St. Sophronius, then, the distinction between existence and mode of existence, and the corresponding distinction between the will and the mode of willing, had as its only aim to render an account of God's freedom of action,(91) For St. Sophronius, the mode of willing peculiar to the Father is precisely that of "good pleasure" or benevolent design, that of the Son is the obedience which He offers to the Father.

This classification of the divine modes of willing, and its terminology, is repeated by St. Maximus. While there are its terminology, is repeated by St. Maximus. While there are not three gnomic wills in God, there are nevertheless three wills in God, "aaccording to good pleasure, according to Economy, and according to consent."(92) Since Maximus is willing to apply the category of the "mode of willing" to the Holy Trinity, and since he also refuses to ascribe three gnomic wills in God,(93) the conclusion now becomes unavoidable that the gnomic will is a very special case or type of the mode of willing; it is, as it were, a mode of the mode of willing. But if this is the case, what kind of mode of mode of willing is it?"



I hope this helps. I gotta go

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

"What was the practice of Pre-nicene Christians (outside of Origen and his hardcore followers)

What was the practice of Nicene and post nicene Christians (outside of the radical Arians)?"

>>>I have no idea. What is the relevance?

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm, I am very familiar with Farrell's book. From what I remember he refused to say that Christ had a gnomic will as well.

Was that quote an admission that I was right about the three wills as well? Well this just seems to be an all out wash for me. You first criticized my three minds affirmation, then you backed off of that criticism. Then you criticized my three wills affirmation and now it seems you are backing off that as well. I have had so many people including Romanists twist their tongues around the issue of which divine persons should receive prayer and I won't be surprised if you come around to my view on that as well. When that happens I will have hit the tri-fecta, no pun intended.

Ken said...

Thanks Ryan for the link to your summary of Drake's Triad-ology. You really messed me up and messed up my lack of time for this; and I confess I will have to read it again several times. But you are easier to understand for sure.

So, do you think Drake is right and that Augustine and Calvin and everyone after them are heretics?

Thanks Jnorm for the links about Najran and the Philoponian Monosphysites! You also messed me up - since it was very interesting and I started reading it and looking up words and areas that I was not familiar with (Axum, Himyar, and that in those days some western writers called Ethiopia and Arabia Felix sometimes as "India". (that was weird) ).

You both really messed me up and my time and now I am not getting other work done.

Jnorm - So, do you think the Qur'an's mis-understanding of the Trinity comes solely from the "Tri-theistic" Monophysites of Najran? (the use of "thalatha" ( ثلاثا ) (three) in Surah 4:171 and 5:73?

Or did they also get "Tri-theism" ideas from the Orthodox who were praying to Mary and had icons and statues to Mary; and that the Arabs may have heard the Ephesus Council phrase, "mother of God" ?
(based on Surah 5:116 and 5:75 - (both Mary and Jesus ate their daily food - implying that the Qur'an is against both the Deity of Christ, and that the Arabs thought the Christians thought Mary was one of the three gods) ??

(along with the Collyridians sect in N. Arabia that Ephiphanius mentions?)

Ken said...

Mark,
Thanks for answering my questions to you about your background, etc. Praise God for His work in your heart and that God is working among all nations - Psalm 86:9; Rev. 5:9.

Are you Presbyterian and do you go to a Presbyterian Church there in Greenville, SC?

Did you come to Christ while in China?

Were you raised atheist or Christian or Buddhist or Tao-ism or something else?

Ryan said...

Ken,

"So, do you think Drake is right and that Augustine and Calvin and everyone after them are heretics?"

I do think Drake is right on most of these points. As I said in my summary, I still have a few reservations with respect to what theory of time is true, whether a different reality could be compatible with who God is (e.g. a reality without creation), and whether the filioque is tenable (I lean towards "no" but haven't committed), but these appear to be relatively incidental to the fundamentals of Trinitarianism and monotheism on which I would say Drake and I agree.

As for Augustine and Calvin, I am no historical theologian and wouldn't presume to call them heretics, but I think Augustine in particular was badly influenced by Neoplatonic philosophy.

Sorry to have messed you up, but it is an important and interesting doctrine! :)

徐马可 said...

Hi Ken,

Amen! For the Kingdom of this world will be one day the kingdom of God and his Christ. Both China and America will one day bow down before God and worship.

Yes, I go to presbyterian church in Greenville. Drake and I used to go to the same school (BJU), and same church before he left to KY.

And yes I was converted in my early 20's in China before we immigrated here. I was raised in a 5 generation RC home, in those days services were still in Latin if I am not mistaken.

China is dead in her spirit, Buddhism and Taoism is not believed since the Mao Revolution. People may still practice it, but not in the level of faith, but only superstition. I have visited the holy mountain of Taosim, the Wudang in early 2000's. The monks there did not appear to pratice religion in faith but for profit. Taoism has a trinity, too, by the way.

Thanks,

Mark

Ken said...

messing me up more -

on page 61, footnote 41 of the article that Jnorm linked to - about the Najran Monophysites -

it mentions the "one-qnomos" theology of the Monophysites.

Interesting, the term "qnomos" is where the Arabic and Farsi words for "hypostasis" / person are from - اقنوم = uqnoom - but no one (regular Farsi speaking Iranians that I know) really knows what that word means - most Iranians don't know - only a scholar from an Assyrian or Orthodox or RC background (very few and rare among Iranians) would even what the word means. When I try and use it in explaining the doctrine, no Iranian knows what it means. It is a foreign term, and appears to be based on the Syriac word qnomos, which is probably from the Greek word, gnomos = γνομος

We have to use the more normal word for "person" - shakhs شخص in order to communicate person.

An Arabic speaking missionary I spoke to said they don't use the word "shakhs"; only "uqnoom".

But the footnote in the article uses the term for hypostasis as if it is "nature" = physis. It appears that phusis and hypostasis was interchangeable for the Monophysites (Mia-physites).

Ryan and Mark,
Thanks for the other comments.

Bob Jones University is one place I would never even consider going to.

How was your experience there?

Ryan,
Drake says that Augustine and Calvin are heretics in their doctrine of the Trinity. That is strange to me.

More than strange; it is something that is too much for words, for if true, it shakes up a lot of history and my understanding of things.

Ryan said...

Let God be true though every one were a liar.

Jnorm said...

David wanted me to respond to his five propositions. As seen from this thread here:
http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2012/03/5-propositions-concerning-god-and.html

Proposition One:
There is but one God, the Father.


I agree



Proposition Two:
There are in the Godhead three (not mere names or modes) truly distinct persons (hypostases)—the Father, the Son or Word of God and the Holy Ghost.


I agree! They are not mere names or modes, but truly distinct Divine Persons(Hypostases/Subjects/Identities).



Proposition Three:
These three Persons are 'one' in ousia, essence ('one' used here in a generic sense)—i.e. the three Persons are ὁμοούσιος (homoousios), not μονοούσιος (monoousios).


I agree with certain qualifications, for if both the Son and Holy Spirit are derived from the Father and if their link to the Father is unbroken then that type of unity is going to look different than the unity you and I have as humans.

Which goes back to what I said here:

In regards to homoousios:

1.) What is the difference between 2 copper pennies one foot away from each-other from that of a stream of water coming from a river? Both represent a form of homoousios, but one is divided where the other is undivided.


2.) What is the difference between 2 copper pennies one foot away from each-other from that of light and its radiance? Both represent a form of homoousios, but one is divided where the other is undivided.


And so I agree, but with certain qualifications. Because for me, in order for their to be One God, both the Son and Holy Spirit must be connected to the One God, or else we will have three gods. Or One God and two creatures.




Proposition Four:
There is but one beginning/cause (μοναρχία, monarchia), one font/fountain or principle of Divinity (πηγὴ θεότητος), God the Father, Who alone is aὐτόθεος, God of and from Himself; the Son and Holy Spirit deriving their Divinity (ousia, essence) and personhood from Him; the Son by generation, and the Holy Spirit by procession.


I agree 100% with no qualifications! And this is all I mean in response to your Third Proposition.



Proposition Five
Because the Son and Holy Spirit derive both their Divinity (ousia, essence) and personhood (hypostasis), from God the Father, this derivation is not limited only to the person of the Father, or the Divinity of the Father; but rather, from both the person and Divinity of the Father.



I agree, however, I would also include activity as well.
Page 125-126 from the book "Free Choice in Saint Maximus the Confessor by J. Farrel
quote:
"Consequently, for St. Sophronius, just as the Father "is the eternal source both of the divine nature and of the divine hypostases, He is also the source of the design of the Economy.""

Also, to say what you said in proposition # 5 is to also say that the Divine Essence/Nature is the Divine Essence/Nature of the Father. Which means, it's impossible to believe in a quaternity. This would also imply a certain form of numeric unity.

You said you accept a form of numeric unity. I do too! Which is why I don't see anything wrong with the Nicene-Constantinople 1 Creed of 381 A.D.

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
">>I have never heard or read of any Christian ever praying to the Holy Spirit. Can you show me a theology manual in your church which directs prayer to the Holy Spirit (Notice I did not say where prayer is offered in the name of the Holy Spirit)? I can show you none in any protestant Church."



Will this due?
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
quote:
"O Heavenly King, the comfortor, the spirit of Truth, Who art present everywhere and fillest all things; Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life; come and abide in us and cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O Gracious One."


I have Vespers tonight, and so I'll listen extra carefully at our prayers. I'll also listen extra carefully tomorrow at Orthros and the Divine Liturgy.

I also have two service books, and one prayer book. I'm also ordering another book about having a daily prayer rule.
This book here:
How To Live a Holy Life
by Metropolitan Gregory of St. Petersburg


And so I'll keep checking



Drake said
"I can show you none in any protestant Church."

Does this include all versions of the Anglican book of common prayer?

Also, protestants came from Rome, and I don't know if Rome had a strong Trinitarian ethos like the Christian East. I could be wrong, but I think we(EO) have prayers directed to the Godhead(all Three Divine Persons) as well. I have to check the service books to make sure, for I'm just going off memory right now.

Jnorm said...

Drake
"Jnorm, I am very familiar with Farrell's book. From what I remember he refused to say that Christ had a gnomic will as well."

True


Drake said
"Was that quote an admission that I was right about the three wills as well? Well this just seems to be an all out wash for me. You first criticized my three minds affirmation, then you backed off of that criticism. Then you criticized my three wills affirmation and now it seems you are backing off that as well.

I'm not backing off the 3 natures criticism for I'm not a Mono/Mia Physite for one. And two, I believe in the Person vs Nature distinction.



Drake said:
"I have had so many people including Romanists twist their tongues around the issue of which divine persons should receive prayer and I won't be surprised if you come around to my view on that as well. When that happens I will have hit the tri-fecta, no pun intended."


I conceded on minds and wills, but I don't think I will on natures and prayer.

Jnorm said...

Ken said
"Thanks Jnorm for the links about Najran and the Philoponian Monosphysites! You also messed me up - since it was very interesting and I started reading it and looking up words and areas that I was not familiar with (Axum, Himyar, and that in those days some western writers called Ethiopia and Arabia Felix sometimes as "India". (that was weird) )."

Yeah, alot of people don't know that Ethiopa played a role in early Islamic history. There are a number of muslim holy sites in Ethiopia. In fact, if it wasn't for a mercyful Ethiopian king, Islam propbably would of died out very early. We have Ethiopians and Coptic Egyptians that visit our parish and so I'm friends with a number of OO folk that sometimes talk about such things in history.



Ken said
"Jnorm - So, do you think the Qur'an's mis-understanding of the Trinity comes solely from the "Tri-theistic" Monophysites of Najran? (the use of "thalatha" ( ثلاثا ) (three) in Surah 4:171 and 5:73?

Or did they also get "Tri-theism" ideas from the Orthodox who were praying to Mary and had icons and statues to Mary; and that the Arabs may have heard the Ephesus Council phrase, "mother of God" ?"


The Christian west have statues(3-diminsional), the norm in the Christian East is two-diminsional paintings. However, because of westernization you will find things in modern times that shouldn't be. But this era(the 6th and 7th centuries) was before the time of any westernization and so no. They(in the East) didn't have statues of the Theotokos back then.

Also, the Mono/Mia-physites embrace the 3rd Council. Thus, they too call Mary Theotokos! And they too embrace Icons!

You see, the Icon issue is a theological issue about Christology. And so even-though they don't officially embrace the 7th Ecumenical council, they obviously do accept the ethos of it in practice.

Also, don't forget, that at Nicea in 325 A.D. in where they gathered for the first Ecumenical council, there was religious art (what we would now call Icons).

The Dyophysite vs Mono/Mia-physite split happened latter in time, and so we both had Icons (religious art).

Also, the Philoponians were an off shoot of the main Mono/Miaphysite bodies. And so their emphasis of the Theotokos could of been a distortion of the regular Mono/Miaphysite position due to their tri-theism.

Ken said...

Thanks Jnorm for your comments.

I already knew about Najran (in Islam they call it the Najran delegation/conference/debate and Islamic scholars give that as the background for the Qur'an calling Jesus the "word of God" and "a spirit from Allah"; and Ethiopia in the Islamic history, but I didn't know about the specific "Philoponian" sect of the Miaphysites.

Is there solid historical evidence that no statues existed at the time of the 6th and 7th Centuries in Christian art and devotion?

If that is an established historical fact, ok, I accept that.

Still, the flat icons and people bowing down in front of them and kissing them and praying to them gave the Muslims the wrong impression.

The icons of Mary and prayers to Mary gave the Muslims the wrong impression - Surah 5:116 and 5:72-75 show that they thought the Trinity was the Father, the Son, and the Mother.

Although they use the three and the article distinguishes between "three" ثلاثه and the technical word for Trinity الثاموث - Muslims still see both of them as communicating "three gods" as the both have the "three" or "threeness" root.

In my experience with Arab Muslims for 10 years, and Iranians for over 20 years, they all see any word that has any kind of "three" ness in it as polytheism and contraction to "oneness" and "God is one".

Lord willing, I will comment on the other issues another time. No more time left for me.

Ken said...

sorry - should have been

الثالوث

not

الثاموث

Jnorm said...

Ken
"Is there solid historical evidence that no statues existed at the time of the 6th and 7th Centuries in Christian art and devotion?"

It could have existed in Rome, and other parts of the Christian West, but I thought we were talking about the Christian East.

If we are talking about the Christian East then no! No religious statues!

Icons yes!


Ken said
Still, the flat icons and people bowing down in front of them and kissing them and praying to them gave the Muslims the wrong impression.



There is nothing wrong with flat Icons, there is nothing wrong with bowing down in front of them, and there is nothing wrong with kissing them and praying in front of them. Muslims are just going to have to get over it!

Muslims visit our parishes from time to time and they don't seem shocked by what we do. And sometimes they kiss them(Icons) too!

They also like some of our Saints, and so it is what it is.


Ken said
The icons of Mary and prayers to Mary gave the Muslims the wrong impression - Surah 5:116 and 5:72-75 show that they thought the Trinity was the Father, the Son, and the Mother.


The Father, Son, and Mother was a wrong impression. But if Hypostasis and Nature are inter-changeable and if you advocate tri-theism then it may also influence ones Christology which may also influence ones Maryology.

But I don't blame the Icons for it because we have Icons of other Saints as well, and we bow in front of them as well, and we kiss them too, and pray in front of them too, and so it had to be something else.



Ken said
In my experience with Arab Muslims for 10 years, and Iranians for over 20 years, they all see any word that has any kind of "three" ness in it as polytheism and contraction to "oneness" and "God is one".

Then don't mention the word 3. Just ask them if they believe Allah was always with His Kalimat?

I don't know if they believe Allah has a Spirit or Breath of Life, but I'm sure you know.

There are other ways to talk about the Trinity without mentioning the Word Trinity.

For if God was always with His Word and Breath/Spirit then that's our Trinity in primitive terms. So tell them that!




Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

"Drake said:

“Will this due?
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
quote:

"O Heavenly King, the comfortor, the spirit of Truth, Who art present everywhere and fillest all things; Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life; come and abide in us and cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O Gracious One."

>>>Yeah sure, you have now admitted something that is indistinguishable from the worship of three gods.

“Does this include all versions of the Anglican book of common prayer?”
>>>Every place I found the Holy Spirit mentioned in prayer he was not the subject, i.e. “God grant us by the Holy Spirit” etc.


“Also, protestants came from Rome, and I don't know if Rome had a strong Trinitarian ethos like the Christian East. I could be wrong, but I think we(EO) have prayers directed to the Godhead(all Three Divine Persons) as well. I have to check the service books to make sure, for I'm just going off memory right now.”

>>>Yeah that would pretty much seal the deal that you are sabellian or quaternists, so please get those resources.

“I'm not backing off the 3 natures criticism”

>>>Then you have made your recantation of the 3 minds accusation meaningless. In this context, numeric nature and mind is synonymous with me. To accept three homoouios minds is to accept three numeric natures. Thus to deny 3 numeric natures is to deny three minds.

Thank you for the three minds and wills recant and it can be only perfected by an accompanying recant of the monothelitism accusation against calvinism, and a recant of three objects of prayer, the former one though I lust for more, though the latter would benefit your own soul of course.

Jnorm said...

Drake said
">>>Yeah sure, you have now admitted something that is indistinguishable from the worship of three gods."

How so? I stressed this whole entire time the Indivisible and Undividedness of the Godhead. The Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit are in Union. And so you can't pin tri-theism on me. Remember, I didn't stop my criticism of your 3 natures view. I believe that both the Son and Holy Spirit share the Father's Essence/Nature/Substance. For the Son is Begotten from the Father while the Holy Spirit Proceeds from the Father.

Tertullian
quote
"I will therefore not speak of gods at all, nor of lords, but I shall follow the apostle; so that if the Father and the Son, are alike to be invoked, I shall call the Father “God,” and invoke Jesus Christ as “Lord.” But when Christ alone (is mentioned), I shall be able to call Him “God,” as the same apostle says: “Of whom is Christ, who is over all, God blessed for ever.”

For I should give the name of “sun” even to a sunbeam, considered in itself; but if I were mentioning the sun from which the ray emanates, I certainly should at once withdraw the name of sun from the mere beam. For although I make not two suns, still I shall reckon both the sun and its ray to be as much two things and two forms of one undivided substance, as God and His Word, as the Father and the Son."


Tertullian (against the modalist Praxis)
"Since they are unwilling to allow that the Son is a distinct Person, second from the Father, lest, being thus second, He should cause two Gods to be spoken of, we have shown above that Two are actually described in Scripture as God and Lord. And to prevent their being offended at this fact, we give a reason why they are not said to be two Gods and two Lords, but that they are two as Father and Son; and this not by severance of their substance, but from the dispensation wherein we declare the Son to be undivided and inseparable from the Father,—distinct in degree, not in state. And although, when named apart, He is called God, He does not thereby constitute two Gods, but one; and that from the very circumstance that He is entitled to be called God, from His union with the Father."

And so you can't pin tri-theism on me.

Jnorm said...

(Against the modalist praxis)

Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent Persons, who are yet distinct One from Another. These Three are one essence, not one Person, as it is said, “I and my Father are One,”in respect of unity of substance not singularity of number.


The singularity of number in this context is in reference to Person, not Essence/Nature. For Tertullian, (long before the Cappadocian Fathers some century and a half latter) had a Person vs Nature/Essence distinction.

The Christian West had this distinction before the Christian East.

And so even though the Persons are distinct, the Nature/Essence is not.


And one more thing, the worship of the Divine Persons is Pre-Nicene!


Justin Martyre

"Our teacher of these things is Jesus Christ, who also was born for this purpose, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judæa, in the times of Tiberius Cæsar; and that we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is the Son of the true God Himself."


Justin Martyr
"and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore, knowing them in reason and truth, and declaring without grudging to every one who wishes to learn, as we have been taught."


It's actually Christian to worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit! There is nothing wrong with that!

Jnorm said...

Drake said
">>>Yeah that would pretty much seal the deal that you are sabellian

Impossible! I just quoted Tertullian against Praxis! In his refutation against a real Modalist, he showed the distinctions in Persons while preserving the unity in Essence/Nature.



Drake said:
"or quaternists,"

Impossible! For the Divine Essence/Nature is the Divine Essence/Nature of the Father!

Thus, you can't pin me with that either.

Jnorm said...

I forgot to give the link to the other Tertullian passage I quoted.

The Paraclete is Distinct from the Father and the Son as to Their Personal Existence, but One and Inseparable from Them as to Their Divine Nature.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“Tertullian (against the modalist Praxis) …we have shown above that Two are actually described in Scripture as God and Lord.”

>>I reject this statement because the word God is ambiguous.

“…And to prevent their being offended at this fact, we give a reason why they are not said to be two Gods and two Lords, but that they are two as Father and Son; and this not by severance of their substance, but from the dispensation wherein we declare the Son to be undivided and inseparable from the Father”

>>So the one-ness of God pertains to their numeric nature, not the hypostasis of the Father. The same monadism of the Latin Church.


“—distinct in degree, not in state.”

>>>Degree not state? Degrees pertain to proportion (not proportionality) and measurement which your view of God does not allow because substance and hypostasis are huperousia on your view. Huperousia, excludes categories of proportion, thus degrees. Moreover, the Monadism of your view is again breaking through the surface. Degrees pertain to the proportion something is present. What you are then saying is that the Father is a proportion of the One God and the Son a different proportion and the Holy Spirit a different proportion. Since you probably will not admit the proportion language you will probably fall back on the traditional manifestation language where the Father is a manifestation of the one God as is the Son and HS. So your one God is not the Father but the Monad that displays itself in three manifestations.


“And although, when named apart, He is called God, He does not thereby constitute two Gods, but one; and that from the very circumstance that He is entitled to be called God, from His union with the Father."”

A union is only meaningful when one subject/numeric nature is united to another numeric nature/subject.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

"
“Impossible! I just quoted Tertullian against Praxis! In his refutation against a real Modalist, he showed the distinctions in Persons while preserving the unity in Essence/Nature.”

>>No he gave a distinction in degrees. That is not an ontological distinction. That is a modal distinction.



“Impossible! For the Divine Essence/Nature is the Divine Essence/Nature of the Father!"

>>>But if there is three minds, then their needs to be three divine essences. If you deny this your appeal to a plurality of persons is meaningless.

Ryan said...

Drake, when you say that there needs to be three divine essences or three numeric natures, is that equivalent to stating that there needs to be three distinct subjects of whom the attributes of deity may be univocally predicated?

David Waltz said...

Hi Jnorm,

Thanks much for taking the time to share your thoughts on my "5 propositions"; it seems that on most of the points, we are very close. With that said, I would like to comment on the following that you wrote:

==In regards to homoousios:

1.) What is the difference between 2 copper pennies one foot away from each-other from that of a stream of water coming from a river? Both represent a form of homoousios, but one is divided where the other is undivided.==

Me: For me, the "copper pennies" analogy must be restricted to the finite realm, while the stream/river analogy (I prefer lake/river) can be used to reflect infinity. Allow me to explain a be further...

If one has an infinite, pure lake, and this lake produces an infinite, pure river from itself, then, I think we have an analogy from the natural order that is truly an apt description of the relationship between the Father and the Son; keeping in mind, of course, that the river's infinity is derivative.

==And so I agree, but with certain qualifications. Because for me, in order for their to be One God, both the Son and Holy Spirit must be connected to the One God, or else we will have three gods. Or One God and two creatures.==

Me: Agreed.


Grace and peace,

David

Drake Shelton said...

Ryan,

Correct.