Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Athanasius: on God, His Son/Word and the Godhead - part 1


I recently received an email from a friend and brother in Christ who has been in dialogue with a Reformed pastor who maintains that Athanasius' view of God and the Godhead (i.e. doctrine of the Trinity) is virtually identical to that of Augustine. This is nothing 'new', for this same notion is espoused by the vast majority of Catholic, Evangelical, and Reformed folk I have dialogued with on this topic. Unfortunately, the "vast majority" have 'got it wrong', for there exists some substantial differences between Athanasius and Augustine on this issue. I shall begin this new series on Athansius with the opening portion of his 4th "Discourse/Oration with the Arians", which is one of the best examples (there are quite a few spread throughout his large corpus of writings) of his thought on God, His Son/Word, and the Godhead [please note that in the following selection, Newman consistently translates οὐσια as 'substance', though I prefer the term 'essence']:

1. THE Word is from God ; for the Word was God, and again, Of whom are the Fathers, and of whom Christ, who, is God over all, blessed for ever. Amen. And since Christ is God from God, and God's Word, Wisdom, Son, and Power, therefore but One God is declared in the divine Scriptures. For the Word, being Son of the One God, is referred to ; Him of whom also He is; so that Father and Son are two, yet the Unity [μονάδα] of the Godhead [θεότητος] is indivisible and inseparable. And thus too we preserve One Origin of Godhead and not two Origins, whence there is properly a divine Monarchy. And of this very Origin the Word is by nature Son, not as if' another origin, subsisting by Himself, nor having come into being externally to that Origin, lest from that diversity a Dyarchy and Polyarchy should ensue ; but of the one Origin He is proper Son, proper Wisdom, proper Word, existing from It. For, according to John, in that Origin was the Word, and the Word was with God, for the Origin was God ; and since He is from It, therefore also the Word as God.

2. And as there is one Origin and therefore one God, so one is that Substance [οὐσια] and Subsistence [ὑπόστασις]  which indeed and truly and really is, and which said I am that I am, and not two, that there be not two Origins; and from the One, a Son in nature and truth, is Its proper Word, Its Wisdom, Its Power, and inseparable from It. And as there is not another substance, lest there be two Origins, so the Word which is from that One Substance has no dissolution, nor is a sound significative, but is a substantial Word and substantial Wisdom, which is the true Son. For were He not substantial, God would be speaking into the air, and having  a body, in nothing differently from men; but since He is not man, neither is His Word according to the infirmity of man. For as the Origin is one Substance, so Its Word is one, substantial, and subsisting, and Its Wisdom. For as He is God from God, and Wisdom from the Wise, and Word from the Rational, and Son from Father, so is He from Subsistence Subsistent, and from Substance Substantial and Substantive, and Being from Being.

3. Since were He not substantial Wisdom [ουσιώδης σοφία] and substantive Word [ενούδιος Λόγος], and Son existing, but simply Wisdom and Word and Son in the Father, then the Father Himself would have a nature compounded of wisdom and reason. But if so, the forementioned extravagances would follow; and He will be His own Father, and the Son begetting and begotten by Himself; or Word, Wisdom, Son, is a name only, and He does not subsist who owns, or rather who is, these titles. If then He does not subsist, the names are idle and empty, unless we say that God is Very Wisdom and Very Word. But if so, He is His own Father and Son ; Father, when Wise, Son, when Wisdom ; but these things are not in God as a certain quality ; away with the dishonourable thought; for it will issue in this, that God is compounded of substance , and quality. For whereas all quality is in substance, it will  clearly follow that the Divine One, indivisible as it is, must be compound, being severed into substance and accident.

4. We must ask then these reckless men ; The Son was proclaimed as God's Wisdom and Word ; how then is He such ? if as a quality, the extravagance has been shewn ; but if God is that Very Wisdom, then it is the extravagance of Sabellius. Therefore He is as an Offspring in a proper sense from the Father Himself, according to the illustration of light. For as there is light from fire, so from God is there a Word, and Wisdom from the Wise, and from the Father a Son. For in this way the Unity remains undivided and entire and Its Son and Word, is not unsubstantive, nor not subsisting, but substantial truly.

5. For unless it were so, all that is said would be said only in notion  and without a meaning. But if we must avoid that extravagance, then is a true Word substantial. For as there is Father truly, so Wisdom truly. In this respect then they are two ; not because, as Sabellius said, Father and Son are the same, but because the Father is Father and the Son Son ; and they are one, because He is Son of the Substance of the Father by nature, existing as His proper Word. This the Lord said, viz. I and the Father are One ; for neither is the Word separated from the Father, nor was or is the Father, ever Wordless; on this account He says, I in the Father and the Father in Me. (Discourses/Orations Against the Arians, Book IV.1-5 - English translation by John Henry Newman from A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church series, volume 19, Saint Athanasius: Select treatises in controversy with the Arians, Pt. 2, 1842, pp. 512-516 - bold emphasis mine.)

[Online pdf copy: HERE; alternate American edition, with some revisions - HERE; Migne's Greek text (PG 26)- HERE]

Contra Augustine, Athansius' 'One God' is the Father, not the Trinity; and yet, he forcefully maintains that the Godhead [θεότητος] is 'One' (i.e "the Unity" [μονάδα]). So, while maintaining the Monarchy of God the Father—that is the "one Origin" (in a number of texts, he substitutes 'Fountain' for 'Origin')—he also defends the view that the Son is also God, because via eternal begetting, the Son has the same essence/substance of the Father. But, though the Son is essentially 'God from God', and the essence of the two are 'one' he remains distinct from the Father, and 'substantially' so, such that in a very real sense they are 'two'.

More later, the Lord willing.


Grace and peace,

David

91 comments:

Drake Shelton said...

David,

Excellent post!

“so that Father and Son are two, yet the Unity [μονάδα] of the Godhead [θεότητος] is indivisible and inseparable…

so the Word which is from that One Substance has no dissolution…

and Being from Being…

or Word, Wisdom, Son, is a name only, and He does not subsist who owns, or rather who is, these titles”

>>>So the monad language IN ATHANASIUS does not pertain to numeric nature but to their indivisibility! Three minds and wills, inseperable, and eternal, one God and Father of all! Shema Yisrael!

Ryan said...

"...he also defends the view that the Son is also God, because via eternal begetting, the Son has the same essence/substance of the Father."

To clarify, David, you would say that he has the same essence/substance in a generic sense, right? So it would be the same (or at least similar to) the way in which my father and I have the same essence/substance. Otherwise, it seems you think Athanasius would be promoting numeric unity.

Am I right or completely off base here?

Justin said...

David, thank you for posting this.

David, Drake, Ryan - here is one thing I have wondered with the generic/numeric unity discussion. How can you have generic unity if there is an eternal emanation. In my reasoning (which may be the problem!), emanation has to terminate for an individuated, numeric essence to occur. Thus, if the Son and Spirit are eternally receiving their essence from the father, there is never a point when derivation stops and they have their own distinct essence. To use the water analogy, only when the stream of water stops receiving flow from the fountainhead will it be its own individual water-source, even though they both share the same generic H20 nature. Until then it would seem the stream of water and the fountain are numerically the same.

- Justin

Ryan said...

"Thus, if the Son and Spirit are eternally receiving their essence from the father, there is never a point when derivation stops and they have their own distinct essence."

The way you phrase the point assumes that generation is temporal. To argue that generation must "stop" is to imply that it "started." But the whole point of qualifying that the generation of the Son is eternal is to avoid this line of reasoning. The derivation is logical, not temporal.

Analogously, the divine declaration that an individual is righteous in Christ is logically dependent on the individual's having come to saving faith, but there is no temporal displacement between the two soteric events.

The difference, of course, is that a change occurred in the individual (he was formerly an unbeliever), whereas no change occurs in the intra-Trinitarian relationships. There has been no time that the Father wasn't the Father, nor any time that the Son wasn't the Son - and even this phrasing assumes that the persons of the Trinity are temporal, which is arguably false. The relationship is eternal.

Jnorm said...

Justin,

That was the point I made in the other thread.


Ryan,

When you say it's logical, the impression I get is "not actual, not really so....etc". The Eternal Generation of the Son is actual Reality to me, and not just some abstract thought or some abstract proposition. And so the Son is actually and really undivided from His Father. Or else you would have some kind of tri-theism or One God and two creatures.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

"When you say it's logical, the impression I get is "not actual, not really so....etc"."

>>>That is due to your pantheism and Eutychianism which becomes abundantly obvious in your sacramentology where the word "corporeal" is synonymous with "real".

"The Eternal Generation of the Son is actual Reality to me, and not just some abstract thought or some abstract proposition."

>>>By "real" again you mean "corporeal" which you made abundantly clear in our previous dialogue with your assertion that the Father has a body.

"And so the Son is actually and really undivided from His Father. Or else you would have some kind of tri-theism or One God and two creatures."

>>>You were proven wrong with your criticism of my three minds and three wills affirmation (which you admitted), you were proven wrong with your Monothelitism accusation against Calvinism (Which you have yet gathered the honesty to admit), so why should we take anything you say seriously when you make such brandish accusations that have been answered so many times already?

Drake Shelton said...

I also notice that both Jnorm and Justin as well as every other monadist I have come across, bases their view of numeric nature on material analogies. But guys, material objects are composite while the monad is simple, thus providing no grounds for any analogy with a meaningful uni-vocal element.

Jnorm said...

Drake said
">>>So the monad language IN ATHANASIUS does not pertain to numeric nature but to their indivisibility! Three minds and wills, inseperable, and eternal, one God and Father of all! Shema Yisrael!"


You are making it seem as if the words "indivisible and inseparable" (in this letter) have nothing to do with the Three Hypostasis being "One in Essence".

Why?

Either that or you are making a distinction between the words Nature and Essence.

I could be wrong, but from my reading of this letter, Saint Athanasius, seems to be saying that the "indivisible and inseparableness" is both in regards to perichoresis as well as "One in Essence". I say this because the Son is of the same Essence as the Father.

As seen by this quote here:

" And as there is not another substance, lest there be two Origins, so the Word which is from that One Substance has no dissolution, nor is a sound significative, but is a substantial Word and substantial Wisdom, which is the true Son. For were He not substantial, God would be speaking into the air, and having a body, in nothing differently from men; but since He is not man, neither is His Word according to the infirmity of man."


This other quote is in regards to perichoresis:

"and they are one, because He is Son of the Substance of the Father by nature, existing as His proper Word. This the Lord said, viz. I and the Father are One ; for neither is the Word separated from the Father, nor was or is the Father, ever Wordless; on this account He says, I in the Father and the Father in Me."

And so it would seem as if it's in reference to both!

Jnorm said...

David, some Western Scholars try and make it seem as if Saint Athanasius believed such a thing in his later years.

And so, what date was this letter written in?

Also, do you know where I can find Saint Athanasius's Festal Letter 36 anywhere online?

It's where he accepts the Treis Hypostasis language along with his usual Mia Hypostasis language.

If so, then it shows that he had a way to talk about the particulars (God, His Son, and His Spirit) along with what the Particulars had in common (The Father's Essence).

Jnorm said...

Drake,

God is Spirit and so I don't mean "corporeal". Tertullian, the one I used in the other thread did mean "corporeal", but that's where everyone disagrees with him (including myself). No, I believe the Son is actually and really undivided from His Father in an immaterial kind of way.

Which is also why I tried to stress the difference between Begetting in the Godhead (I quoted Saint Athanasius on this in the other thread) vs what begetting means in regards to humanity.


The physical analogies I used was to get the Indivisible and Undividedness point across.

Jnorm said...

Drake said
">>>You were proven wrong with your criticism of my three minds and three wills affirmation (which you admitted), you were proven wrong with your Monothelitism accusation against Calvinism (Which you have yet gathered the honesty to admit), so why should we take anything you say seriously when you make such brandish accusations that have been answered so many times already?"


1.) I still believe Will to be a faculty of Nature. I just also believe there to be Three modes of willing in the Godhead as well. And so I stopped my criticism of your 3 wills view, and your 3 minds view, but I never stopped my criticism of your 3 natures view.



2.) I never changed my mind about the Godhead being Indivisible and Undivided.


3.) I never changed my mind about the Son having the same Essence and Nature as the Father.


4.) Why should I change my mind in regards to the Monothelite charge? What for? I still need more info in order for me to do that.
a.) I need to know what Charlse Hodge thought about the wills of Christ

b.) I need to know if his rejection of a certain type of will or freedom in Christ is similar to our rejection of Christ having a gnomic will

c.) The federal headship view threw a wrench into my system, but it only causes more problems than it solves.


d.) The Reformed view that Monergy is only in regards to Regeneration while Synergy in regards to Sanctification doesn't really solve the problem of the Mono-thelite charge, for it starts out the same. And not only that. With Rob's new post that mentioned the issue in passing.

It brought to my attention something I once knew but forgot. As seen here:
Calvinism, Monergy, and Synergy

And so, Monergy creeps in the Reformed category of Sanctification because of the issue of P.O.T.S.

I wasn't thinking about this when I made the charge the first time. And then you have to think about the saints in Heaven. You guys are Monergists even in regards to that.


And so no! At this point in time, I don't think I have to drop the charge just yet. Not when I'm still reading Hodge and them. And when the whole Soteriological system breaks down into Monergy again.

That whole P.O.T.S. thing blurs the Reformed categories.

Ryan said...

"When you say it's logical, the impression I get is "not actual, not really so....etc"."

By parity of reasoning, then, would you argue that the logical dependence of justification on saving faith is not actual? If you were making an objection, there's not really much else I can respond to...

David Waltz said...

Hi Drake,

So good to hear that you appreciated the post. Have a lot more to post on this issue as time allows, so hope you (and others who may be interested) 'stay tuned'.

You wrote:

==>>>So the monad language IN ATHANASIUS does not pertain to numeric nature but to their indivisibility! Three minds and wills, inseperable, and eternal, one God and Father of all! Shema Yisrael!==

That is how I read Athanasius. He is so clear on the Father being "the one God", the "one Origin", to read his monad language in the Augustinian/Western sense amounts to gross misreading of his basic theology. Certainly Athansius maintains that Father communicates His essence to the Son, and that He is "in the Son" and the Son is "in the Father", but as you well know, this is speaking of a generic understanding of homoousios, not a strict, absolute numeric understanding, which Athansius would recognize a form of Sabellianism.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Ryan,

So good to see you participating in this new thread. You posted:

==To clarify, David, you would say that he has the same essence/substance in a generic sense, right? So it would be the same (or at least similar to) the way in which my father and I have the same essence/substance. Otherwise, it seems you think Athanasius would be promoting numeric unity.

Am I right or completely off base here?==

Generic sense for sure; to read Athanasius in an absolute numeric sense is a huge mistake IMO. In later posts I will supply selections from Athanasius will solidify what he said in the opening excerpt of this thread—his basic theology remains consistent throughout his entire writing career—Athansius was a big supporter of the monarchy of God the Father.


Grace and peace,

David

Ryan said...

"Generic sense for sure; to read Athanasius in an absolute numeric sense is a huge mistake IMO. In later posts I will supply selections from Athanasius will solidify what he said in the opening excerpt of this thread—his basic theology remains consistent throughout his entire writing career—Athansius was a big supporter of the monarchy of God the Father."

Sounds good. I appreciate it.

David Waltz said...

Hello Jnorm,

You posted the following for Drake, but I hope you do not mind much if I share my own take on the matter before Drake weighs in:

==You are making it seem as if the words "indivisible and inseparable" (in this letter) have nothing to do with the Three Hypostasis being "One in Essence".==

In my view, the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son from the Father's own essence (which Athanasius clearly affirms on a number of occasions) is incompatible with the Augustinian/Western view that the Son is autotheos. Athanasius affirms that the Son is "one" with the Father's essence; but, because it is clearly a derivative communication, the Father remains "the one God", the "one Origin" indicating that the 'oneness' spoken of must be read in a generic sense. All mankind is "one" with Adam in essence, but all of us receive that essence by communication. (BTW, Athanasius does not shy away from using the 'two men' analogy when discussion the relationship between the Father and the Son.)

In your next comment, you asked:

==David, some Western Scholars try and make it seem as if Saint Athanasius believed such a thing in his later years.

And so, what date was this letter written in?==

They try to justify this claim by the fact that Athanasius rarely appealed to the term homoousios in his earlier writings. What they fail to realize is that he did so because of the abuse of the term by modalists/Sabellians. As the Neo-Arian threat grew, he employed the term much more, fearing their threat much more than the Sabellians; but IMO, his basic theology remained the same throughout his entire life.

The 4th Discourse referenced in my opening post was certainly one of Athanasius' later works (probably well after 362 AD); though, some liberal scholars have argued that in was not even written by Athanasius (based on the later date, and stylistic differences). However, as time allows, I hope to post a number of other selections from his corpus that affirm what was written in the 4th Discourse.

As for the 36th Festal letter, will do a little research and see if I can find an English translation for you.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Ooops...noticed a few typos in my responses—please try and ignore them—I was/am in big hurry because I am expecting an ISP tech to show up any moment, and do not no how long my internet service will be down.

Justin said...

Say, what do you all think of this:

"The concern aroused by the threat of modalism produced very mixed reactions to Nicaea's ruling for the term 'homoousion'. Following Athanasius, Nicaea stressed that the Son is born of the essence of the Father: the Son is not an extension of the Father's essence, but a complete and independent entity. The Cappadocians insisted that these three persons are indeed three complete entities. They made an important characteristic alteration to one familiar analogy. In the phrase 'light from light' the Creed uses the analogy of light to represent the unity of the Father and the Son; just as light emanates rays that cannot be separated from their source, the Son is inseparably one with the Father. The Cappadocian Fathers found that this analogy needs clarification, because just as rays of light could be construed as the extension of the light source, so the Son could be thus construed as the necessary outworking of God. So rather than repeating 'light of light', the Cappadocians spoke of three suns or three torches." John D. Zizioulas, Lectures in Christian Dogmatics, p. 62


It would seem to me that my question and analogy was already addressed.

David Waltz said...

Hi Justin,

Thank you so much for the reference—very interesting—was not aware that the 3Cs used either the "three suns" or "three torches" analogies (though I was/am aware of the "three men" analogy). With your reference in hand, I found the following online site that I am sure most will be quite interested in:

Lessons in Christian Dogmatics

One of the links provided, takes you to:

The three suns of the Cappodocians

Sure wish Dr. Zizioulas had cited references...


Grace and peace,

David

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“You are making it seem as if the words "indivisible and inseparable" (in this letter) have nothing to do with the Three Hypostasis being "One in Essence".

Why?”

>>>The Definition of Faith of the Council of Chalcedon,

"This one and the same Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son [of God] must be confessed to be in *******two natures, unconfusedly, immutably, indivisibly, inseparably***** [united], and that without the distinction of natures being taken away by such union".

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xi.xiii.html

Here we have two natures pertaining to both generic and numeric nature united indivisibly and inseparably, thus proving that this language does not mean one numeric substance pertaining to cardinal numbers.

“Either that or you are making a distinction between the words Nature and Essence.”

>>>In this context, no.

“I could be wrong, but from my reading of this letter, Saint Athanasius, seems to be saying that the "indivisible and inseparableness" is both in regards to perichoresis as well as "One in Essence". I say this because the Son is of the same Essence as the Father.”

>>>First, then you would be admitting that the indivisible-ness between them is the definition of one in essence, thus agreeing with my statement above. Then you are met with a big problem for he says, “so that Father and Son are two”. And if you admit these are two minds and wills you must admit they are two numeric substances, of the same generic substance.

"As seen by this quote here:

"And as there is not another substance, lest there be two Origins, so the Word which is from that One Substance has no dissolution, nor is a sound significative, but is a substantial Word and substantial Wisdom, which is the true Son. For were He not substantial, God would be speaking into the air, and having a body, in nothing differently from men; but since He is not man, neither is His Word according to the infirmity of man."

>>>1. Does he mean there is not another substance THAT IS AN ORIGIN? 2. Or does he mean there is not another DIVIDED substance from the One Father? 3. or what?


“God is Spirit and so I don't mean "corporeal". Tertullian, the one I used in the other thread did mean "corporeal", but that's where everyone disagrees with him (including myself). No, I believe the Son is actually and really undivided from His Father in an immaterial kind of way.”

>>>So then you contradict your Triadology with you Sacramentology.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“Which is also why I tried to stress the difference between Begetting in the Godhead (I quoted Saint Athanasius on this in the other thread) vs what begetting means in regards to humanity.”

>>>But I showed your imprecise use of the word “difference”. Is it an absolute difference? If yes, then the word gives us no knowledge and the son’s personhood has not been revealed to us. Is it a proportional difference? If yes, is it an analogy of proportion or proportionality?

“The physical analogies I used was to get the Indivisible and Undividedness point across.”

>>>But here is your problem: We contrasted your material indivisible with a logical indivisible. This you rejected, so again you are faced with a big problem, material analogies are only meaningful insomuch as they provide a UNIVOCAL ELEMENT between the physical created object and the spiritual uncreated object. This you cannot do because to you corporeal means real. On our view, logic is something uncreated. Thus appealing to that kind of indivisibility is very real. On your view logic is created as is language and all linguistic predication, thus you are left with material analogies as I showed you in my two videos on predication and God.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb3UcMvUa_g
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM2Kl4oT1qM



“1.) I still believe Will to be a faculty of Nature.” I just also believe there to be Three modes of willing in the Godhead as well. And so I stopped my criticism of your 3 wills view, and your 3 minds view, but I never stopped my criticism of your 3 natures view."

>>>So the mode is divisible from the substance? Oh but jnorm, I thought all things are inseparable meaning one in numeric essence in the Godhead. And if you appeal to a logical distinction between the will and the mode of willing you have just stepped on your toes earlier from saying that logic is not real in eternity. Secondly, if you make the pluralities of mind and will not 3 ontologically different things, pertaining to cardinally numeric substance, but modes of one mind, we are right back to all the problems in our previous dialogue. You have then denied three minds. You don’t know what you believe do you Jnorm? I told you before that I thought you were unprepared for these conversations and I stick by that statement now. It is clearly not that you have failed to study, it is that your Neoplatonic system is full of holes.

“2.) I never changed my mind about the Godhead being Indivisible and Undivided.”

>>>You have yet to provide a meaningful definition of what you mean by indivisible. You have given us a material analogy but that is not going to wash.


“3.) I never changed my mind about the Son having the same Essence and Nature as the Father.”


>>>You have too many questions to answer before you can even appeal to pluralities of subject like Father and Son. How can a person be simply a mode of a single mind? How can something simple be a mind at all? Assuming upon the hierarchy of being what subject unites distinctions between thoughts within that mind and what subject unites subject and predicate within a single thought? Etc.


“4.) Why should I change my mind in regards to the Monothelite charge? What for? I still need more info in order for me to do that.”

>>>You were already given the info Jnorm.

“a.) I need to know what Charlse Hodge thought about the wills of Christ”

>>>No you don’t because that statement pertained to consubstantiality not passivity.

“b.) I need to know if his rejection of a certain type of will or freedom in Christ is similar to our rejection of Christ having a gnomic will”

>>>No, you don’t because I already showed that monothelitism is a debate only for LFWers.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“c.) The federal headship view threw a wrench into my system, but it only causes more problems than it solves.”

>>>So then you admit that your monothelitism argument was erroneous and you have now changed your argument from monothelitism to consubstantiality. Man up Jnorm. Play the man. Admit yet again that you and your neoplatonic theologians have been mistaken.

“d.) The Reformed view that Monergy is only in regards to Regeneration while Synergy in regards to Sanctification doesn't really solve the problem of the Mono-thelite charge”

>>>I never said that synergy pertained only to sanctification. I also pointed to conversion-Chapter 13 systematic theology.

“for it starts out the same.”

>>>That is exactly what it does NOT do. Christ is not under the COW, which is a point J-dyer erroneously made numerous times, therefore not subject to the totally depraved nature that demands passivity. We have been through this numerous times Jnorm.

“And not only that. With Rob's new post that mentioned the issue in passing.”

>>>Rob?

“It brought to my attention something I once knew but forgot. As seen here:
Calvinism, Monergy, and Synergy”

>>Gene bridges is a Baptist Jnorm! This is priceless. Does you quote a relevant theologian associated with the Reformation? No! You quote a Baptist blogger! Priceless!

“And so, Monergy creeps in the Reformed category of Sanctification because of the issue of P.O.T.S.”

>>>That strikes me as meaningless seeing that if the Christian’s life was monergistically determined the word “perseverance” would be meaningless. Second, you are collapsing the word monergy onto all forms of determinism thus showing your open theism. You are also collapsing the concept of causality onto the concept of agency. and you are collapsing the concept of merit onto agency.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“I wasn't thinking about this when I made the charge the first time. And then you have to think about the saints in Heaven. You guys are Monergists even in regards to that.”

>>>Again collapsing determinism onto monergy and vice versa and moreover, made parallels between the sinner and Christ that I have already shown don’t wash, thus completely destroying your monothelitism accusation.

“And so no! At this point in time, I don't think I have to drop the charge just yet. Not when I'm still reading Hodge and them. And when the whole Soteriological system breaks down into Monergy again.”

>>I have already done that study Jnorm and that is why I so easily exposed your error and now that you have belligerently with cowardice refused to admit your error.

“That whole P.O.T.S. thing blurs the Reformed categories.”

>>>That is an assertion that you have yet proved. Again, you are collapsing merit onto agency. Yes sanctification is all of grace meaning we do not merit our sanctification. However, that does not mean that we have no AGENCY in that process. You are making the same mistake that Hyper-Calvinist Baptists make collapsing merit onto agency. No wonder you quoted one. I deal with this in detail in Chapters 9-15 in my ST. Look for the sections dealing with the difference between meritorious causes and instruments of application.

Drake Shelton said...

Justin and Jnorm,

If it is the case that “only when the stream of water stops receiving flow from the fountainhead will it be its own individual water-source, even though they both share the same generic H20 nature. Until then it would seem the stream of water and the fountain are numerically the same.” would it not also follow that personhood, nature, will, essence, existence,energy, thought, mercy, omniscience, eternality, etc. are also numerically the same?

Justin said...

"would it not also follow that personhood, nature, will, essence, existence,energy, thought, mercy, omniscience, eternality, etc. are also numerically the same?"

>> If those are properties of nature then I guess they would have to unless they are personal properties, which, perhaps personhood would be or else you fall into modalism. On that note, has any theologian/school ever sat down and enumerated which properties belong to the hypostasis and which belong to the essence besides the typical ones (Aseity, begottenness, spiration)?

Also, if you posit the Cappadocian view of three distinct natures, wouldn't it follow that only the Father is "almighty," because there cannot be three that are almighty, and only the Father can be "most-holy" because there cannot be three that are "most-holy," most-wise, etc? This is where it seems you have to have one numeric nature or else you deny essential attributes to the other too persons.

Thoughts?

Justin said...

David, I checked out the site you linked. Thank you. It looks to be much of what is in the book I referenced. I too, wish he would have cited his sources, but I think I found one of them - Gregory Nazianzen mentions the analogy the in his fifth oration, section 14.

http://www.synaxis.org/cf/volume30/ECF00011.htm

Drake Shelton said...

Justin,

"would it not also follow that personhood, nature, will, essence, existence, energy, thought, mercy, omniscience, eternality, etc. are also numerically the same?"

>> If those are properties of nature then I guess they would have to”

>>>Well, personhood, energy, will, existence and thought would not pertain to essence on Jnorm’s view but energy, existence and will would pertain to NATURE. Just like in Plotinus, thought would be created, thus the divine Nous is created.

On my view personhood and will would not pertain to essence (I have no category of energy outside of essence). Existence, thought, mercy, omniscience, and eternality would pertain to essence among other things. Therefore, the nouses are uncreated. Will would pertain to nature.

“unless they are personal properties, which, perhaps personhood would be or else you fall into modalism.”

>>>If you admit that thought is one you have ipso facto denied the eternal existence of thought because thought requires subject and predicate distinction. You are already in monadism and modalism.

If essence and existence are numerically one then you have denied univocal predication: http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/taking-steve-hays-to-task-on-archetypalectypal-knowledges-dependency-on-divine-simplicity/

If nature and will are numerically one then you deny creation: http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/time-and-eternity-in-gordon-clark-and-georges-florovsky-hyper-determinism-refuted-by-drake/


“On that note, has any theologian/school ever sat down and enumerated which properties belong to the hypostasis and which belong to the essence besides the typical ones (Aseity, begottenness, spiration)?

>>>Not that I know of. The Father’s personal property of unbegotten-ness is just a synonym for aseity, independence, almighty, and absolute.

“Also, if you posit the Cappadocian view of three distinct natures, wouldn't it follow that only the Father is "almighty,"

>>>Yes. I wrote something on that here: http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/who-is-the-alpha-and-the-omega-the-almighty/

“because there cannot be three that are almighty, and only the Father can be "most-holy" because there cannot be three that are "most-holy," most-wise, etc? This is where it seems you have to have one numeric nature or else you deny essential attributes to the other too persons.”

>>>I see no contradiction between derivation and absolute holiness and wisdom. That is I do not see how being derived lessens one’s holiness or wisdom. At best it would show a differentiation in the mode and circumstance of one’s wisdom and holiness, not the substance of it, therefore providing no problem for homoousios.

Iohannes said...

David,

Thanks for this post. I will need to read it again to get a better idea, but it goes a long way towards answering the concern I've sometimes heard raised that the Cappadocians watered down St Athanasius on the godhead.

On a different but related note, have you written anything, or do you have any posts planned, on the filioque in Maximos the Confessor?

Blessings in Christ,
John

Drake Shelton said...

Justin, I want to elaborate on y statement above, "The Father’s personal property of unbegotten-ness is just a synonym for aseity, independence, almighty, and absolute."

You say these are essential attributes. If they are you are basically saying that the property of the father is common to all three persons thus making a father out of all three persons thus laying the groundwork for filioque.

David Waltz said...

Hello again Justin,

Thanks much for your response—you posted:

== David, I checked out the site you linked. Thank you. It looks to be much of what is in the book I referenced. I too, wish he would have cited his sources, but I think I found one of them - Gregory Nazianzen mentions the analogy the in his fifth oration, section 14.

http://www.synaxis.org/cf/volume30/ECF00011.htm==

As soon as I checked out the link you provided, I immediately knew that I had completely forgotten Naziazen's reference to "three suns joined to each other" (Fifth Theological Oration - On The Holy Spirit [traditionally termed the 31st Discourse] - page 322 in NPNF volume VII). In fact, I even quoted this passage in an older thread !!!

>>What is our quarrel and dispute with both? To us there is One God (εἷς θεός), for the Godhead is One (μία θεότης), and all that proceedeth from Him is referred to One, though we believe in Three Persons. For one is not more and another less God ; nor is One before and another after ; nor are They divided in will or parted in power ; nor can you find here any of the qualities of divisible things ; but the Godhead (θεότης) is, to speak concisely, undivided in separate Persons ; and there is one mingling of Light, as it were of three suns joined, to each other. When then we look at the Godhead (θεότητα), or the First Cause (πρώτην αἰτίαν), or the Monarchia (μοναρχία), that which we conceive is One ; but when we look at the Persons in Whom the Godhead (θεότης) dwells, and at Those Who timelessly and with equal glory have their Being (ὄντα) from the First Cause (πρώτης αἰτίας) there are Three Whom we worship. (Orations, 31.14 , The fifth theological oration - NPNF 7.322)>> (LINK)

I must be getting old !!! (Grin)

Anyway, thanks again for the link. I would like to recommend to you (and others) that you read the thread linked to above, including the comments.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi John,

So good to see to back; you wrote:

==Thanks for this post. I will need to read it again to get a better idea, but it goes a long way towards answering the concern I've sometimes heard raised that the Cappadocians watered down St Athanasius on the godhead.==

Thanks to Justin's link, I went back and reread the thread that I linked to above—IMO, the selection from Athanasius becomes even more interesting with that thread (and our discussions therein) in mind.

==On a different but related note, have you written anything, or do you have any posts planned, on the filioque in Maximos the Confessor?==

Sadly, no to both; but certainly something to think about if, and when, I start delving more deeply into the fliloque.

BTW, if you ever feel the urge to publish your thoughts on the issues we have been covering over that past couple years, I would like to invite you to do so here at AF as a guest contributor.


God bless,

David

Drake Shelton said...

David,

"and there is one mingling of Light, as it were of three suns joined"

>>Wow! Great find!

David, I have been posting alot from Samuel Clark's book and still have not found anything that really ruffles me with reference to how the attributes in the Son and in the Father may differ in some way. He thinks there is some difference pertaining to how the Son's attributes and eternality are derived. It seemed to me he was confusing the personal property of the Father here. Do you have any posts at AF on this issue?

Iohannes said...

David,

Thank you for the invitation. Recently I started a new job, for which I am grateful, but which is more demanding than my old position was. The schedule won't allow me to comment more than occasionally, but I hope to keep following the posts and discussions here.

Blessings in Christ,
John

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
"Justin and Jnorm,

If it is the case that “only when the stream of water stops receiving flow from the fountainhead will it be its own individual water-source, even though they both share the same generic H20 nature. Until then it would seem the stream of water and the fountain are numerically the same.” would it not also follow that personhood, nature, will, essence, existence ,energy, thought, mercy, omniscience, eternality, etc. are also numerically the same?"


At this point in time I would say

1.) Personhood, no! Not numerically the same Person!

The Three Persons are undivided, but distinct. And so, in regards to the fact that they are undivided, they are numerically one communion of Persons in that sense. But not in the sense of being the same Person. They are Three Separate Persons undivided! Think of perichoresis.(one of the two ways I mentioned above) In fact, the quote that David gave is another good example of Perichoresis!
Quote:
"but the Godhead (θεότης) is, to speak concisely, undivided in separate Persons ; and there is one mingling of Light, as it were of three suns joined, to each other."

Think of it(the mingling) as One Sun being eternally generated by the First Sun while the Third Sun eternally proceeding from the First. Don't think of it as all three suns existing eternally separately and divided only to shake hands (light mingling) every now and then.

They were always undivided as separate Persons. And so the light mingling is Eternal. But Perichoresis is mostly an example of how all Three Persons in the Godhead are Personally in communion with Each other as Persons.


2.) nature, yes! Numerically the same Nature!

3.) Will, yes! Since Will is a faculty of Nature, there is One Will in that sense. However, in another sense, there are Three who exercise the mode of willing.

4.) Essence, yes! If we are making the word Nature synonymous with the word Essence then yes! Numerically the same Essence! If we are not making the two mean the samething then I'll have to wait till I review to see what happened in later centuries.


In regards to the others, I will have to review. It might take some hours or days. But in regards to the word "Eternal", we see the Persons as being co-eternal! And so that would fit more with Persons! But I'll review just to make sure. And if You want to see the word "existence" as referring to the word Being. Then I would probably answer it like I did number one!

For the Father is the Source and so their(the other Two Persons) existence comes from the Father's Existence, and is Eternally Undivided from His Existence!

So even if you want to have Three Existences, you can't have them divided! This is why I backed down from criticizing your Three Wills and Three minds view, for I knew (from reading some of the fathers, witnesses, and schismatics) that if you had them as being undivided then it would work. And so I continued to focus more and more on the Godhead being Indivisible and Undivided when arguing with you!


I'll have to review in order to answer the other ones.

Jnorm said...

David Waltz said:
"In my view, the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son from the Father's own essence (which Athanasius clearly affirms on a number of occasions) is incompatible with the Augustinian/Western view that the Son is autotheos. Athanasius affirms that the Son is "one" with the Father's essence; but, because it is clearly a derivative communication, the Father remains "the one God", the "one Origin" indicating that the 'oneness' spoken of must be read in a generic sense. All mankind is "one" with Adam in essence, but all of us receive that essence by communication. (BTW, Athanasius does not shy away from using the 'two men' analogy when discussion the relationship between the Father and the Son.)"

What exactly did you want me to disagree with? I shied away from using the "two men" analogy because you and Drake in the other Thread rejected the 2nd Ecumenical council because of it's numeric interpretation of homoousios.


So why should I be bold in using that analogy without qualifiers when going back and forth with you and Drake? My goal from the very beginning was to stress the Unity of the Godhead! At that time, I thought that analogy was feeding the false interpretation of three divided Divine Persons.

This is why I continuously quoted Saint Athanasius as saying:

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"



David, it was the rejection of the Nicene-Constantinople-1 Creed by you and Drake that caused me to be cautious of the example. (I used it myself in the past, but this time around I saw it used by Drake in a way I never used it, and so I shied away from it in the other thread.)

Jnorm said...

David Waltz said
"==David, some Western Scholars try and make it seem as if Saint Athanasius believed such a thing in his later years.

And so, what date was this letter written in?==

They try to justify this claim by the fact that Athanasius rarely appealed to the term homoousios in his earlier writings. What they fail to realize is that he did so because of the abuse of the term by modalists/Sabellians. As the Neo-Arian threat grew, he employed the term much more, fearing their threat much more than the Sabellians; but IMO, his basic theology remained the same throughout his entire life."


Thanks! In the other thread, I think I mentioned his core theology as being the same, even-though he evolved over the decades. Drake totally ignored my quotes. He thought I was playing Church politics or something.

The whole time, I was simply trying to show how someone in the 4th century and who was at the original council of Nicea interpreted it. Especially in regards to using the Three human individual example of homoousios. He saw a difference in regards to the begetting of the Divine Father and the Divine Son vs human Fathers and Sons.

My goal the whole entire time was to show unity in the Godhead. Yes I'm flawed, yes I made mistakes, but that's what I tried to do.


David Waltz said
"The 4th Discourse referenced in my opening post was certainly one of Athanasius' later works (probably well after 362 AD); though, some liberal scholars have argued that in was not even written by Athanasius (based on the later date, and stylistic differences). However, as time allows, I hope to post a number of other selections from his corpus that affirm what was written in the 4th Discourse.

Please do! I would love to see that! Thanks!


David Waltz said
As for the 36th Festal letter, will do a little research and see if I can find an English translation for you."


Wow! Thank you very much! This would go a long way in alot of things!


Jnorm said...

David Waltz, in responding to Ryan, you said:
"Generic sense for sure; to read Athanasius in an absolute numeric sense is a huge mistake IMO. In later posts I will supply selections from Athanasius will solidify what he said in the opening excerpt of this thread—his basic theology remains consistent throughout his entire writing career—Athansius was a big supporter of the monarchy of God the Father.


Grace and peace,

David"




What do you mean by the words "absolute numeric sense"? Especially the word "absolute", for you seem to be making a distinction between the words "numeric unity" and "absolute numeric unity".


Am I reading you wrong here? If not, then why am I arguing against you guys about the Nicene-Constantinople-1 Creed?

Jnorm said...

Ryan said
"By parity of reasoning, then, would you argue that the logical dependence of justification on saving faith is not actual? If you were making an objection, there's not really much else I can respond to..."



I'm not a Calvinist. Nor am I Reformed, and so, how do you want me to answer that? In a way that a Reformed protestant would?

But if memory serves me well, I recall in a debate between a Roman Catholic and a Reformed Protestant, that the protestant distinction between Justification and Sanctification isn't really chronological in where Justification must always happen first, while Sanctification second.

Someone said that in reality they are simultaneous.

If this is true in regards to the protestant distinction between Justification and Sanctification, then why can't it also be true for the protestant distinction between Justification and Saving Faith?

To me, the simultaneous-ness would be the actual! The REAL!

Where-as the distinction of which comes first, would be the synthetic! The artificial!

For it's not real! It's not actual! It's just put that way for argument sake. But not because it's actually so!


I'm sorry if I didn't answer your question in the way that you wanted me too!

But I'm no longer a protestant, and even when I was, I was never a Reformed protestant. I went straight from Baptist, to Anglo-Catholic, to Orthodox.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“1.) Personhood, no! Not numerically the same Person!”

>>>Same script I have been reading for a while now. An appeal to the word “person” without its own numeric nature is meaningless.

“2.) nature, yes! Numerically the same Nature!”

>>>Then numerically one in mind not three. Your tongue is twisted here.

“3.) Will, yes! Since Will is a faculty of Nature, there is One Will in that sense. However, in another sense, there are Three who exercise the mode of willing.”

>>>Not so on your view Jnorm because as you have admitted in our last dialogue:

“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.”

A hypostatic use or mode of the natural will is called a gnomie. So the Godhead has three gnomies and one will on your view, WHILE YOU DENY THAT DIVINE PERSONS HAVE GNOMIES.

“4.) Essence, yes! If we are making the word Nature synonymous with the word Essence then yes!”

>>>But that is not the case with your view as you know. You gloss nature broader than essence, i.e. the energies around the essence.

“For the Father is the Source and so their(the other Two Persons) existence comes from the Father's Existence, and is Eternally Undivided from His Existence!”

>>>But you want their relationship to be something physical instead of logical like Ryan and myself affirm. That is our core difference! We believe they are logically inseparable. You believe they are organically or physically inseparable, and thus seem to fall prey to the idea that the logos is a creation.


Ryan said...

"I'm not a Calvinist. Nor am I Reformed, and so, how do you want me to answer that? In a way that a Reformed protestant would?"

Please, if you're going to sidestep my questions, make it less obvious. I am well aware of our different view of justification. But you would equate "justification" with "being in a state of grace" or something similar, would you not?

Then answer me this: though we are justified by faith - that is, the justification of an individual at least logically depends on his faith or lack thereof - is there any believer who is not justified? It is clear that there is no one justified who does not have faith. But is there any believer who is not, as you would say, in a state of grace? If so, what if that person died? It seems equally apparent that there is not believer who is not in the "state of grace" peculiar to justification.

Whether justification is a process or not is irrelevant to the point of my question. Assuming your agreement with the above - and I see no grounds on which you could disagree - it is quite obvious you yourself hold to a distinction between logical and temporal distinctions, and your criticism of our view of eternal generation on that score cannot hold.

David Waltz said...

Hi Drake,

Last Friday, you posted:

== David, I have been posting alot from Samuel Clark's book and still have not found anything that really ruffles me with reference to how the attributes in the Son and in the Father may differ in some way. He thinks there is some difference pertaining to how the Son's attributes and eternality are derived. It seemed to me he was confusing the personal property of the Father here. Do you have any posts at AF on this issue?==

I do not. If you get the time, could you cite the pages from Clarke's book that touch on this issue?


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello Jnorm,

Yesterday, you asked the following:

==What do you mean by the words "absolute numeric sense"? Especially the word "absolute", for you seem to be making a distinction between the words "numeric unity" and "absolute numeric unity".==

I have basically addressed this in my response to the following that you posted in another thread:

>>[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.==

[David]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.>> (LINK)

ADS means that there is only the "infinite, pure lake"; it does not allow for "an infinite, pure river".

cont'd

David Waltz said...

You then followed the above with:

== Am I reading you wrong here? If not, then why am I arguing against you guys about the Nicene-Constantinople-1 Creed?==

I already weighed in on this in a previous thread:

[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?==

[David]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. (LINK)

Grace and peace,

David

Jnorm said...

Ryan said
"Please, if you're going to sidestep my questions, make it less obvious."

Why should I pretend to be what I'm not? I'm not Reformed so why should I sound like one?


Ryan said
" I am well aware of our different view of justification. But you would equate "justification" with "being in a state of grace" or something similar, would you not?"


I'm not a Roman Catholic, so why should I agree to that?


Ryan said
"Then answer me this: though we are justified by faith - that is, the justification of an individual at least logically depends on his faith or lack thereof"

Explain the differences of:


1.) Then answer me this: though we are justified by faith - that is, the justification of an individual at least logically depends on his faith or lack thereof"

2.) Then answer me this: though we are justified by faith - that is, the justification of an individual at least Chronologically depends on his faith or lack thereof"

3.) Then answer me this: though we are justified by faith - that is, the justification of an individual at least Ontologically depends on his faith or lack thereof"

Jnorm said...

Drake shelton said
">>>Same script I have been reading for a while now. An appeal to the word “person” without its own numeric nature is meaningless."

According to who? Aristotle, and monophysite tri-theists?

tri-theism
quote
" A more serious schism was that of the Tritheists, also known as the Cononites from their leader Conon, one of the early associates of Jacob — they were also known as the Philoponists from John Philoponus (d.c. 565). According to the extant sources the origin of Tritheism occurred in a most casual way. In a meeting with the Chalcedonians John Philoponus allegedly asked: "If you speak about two natures, why do you not also speak of two hypostases since nature and hypostasis are identical?" The Chalcedonian response was that they would indeed do so "if we considered nature and hypostasis identical, but as a point of fact we distinguish between the two." The Chalcedonian reportedly continued by proposing that John Philoponus, if he held nature and hypostasis to be identical, should therefore speak of three natures in the Godhead. His reply allegedly was: "Then, we will do so." When the astonished Chalcedonian exclaimed that to do so would be to teach Tritheism, John reportedly replied that "in the Trinity I count as many natures, essences, and Godheads as I do hypostases.""


Drake, I already told you a thousand times that just because you think it's meaningless doesn't mean it is. All it means is that it's meaningless to you. Now, I also said a thousand times that the Godhead is undivided in Essence/Nature (I also told you that I wasn't a materialist). In the 4th century I don't see a major difference between these two words in regards to this issue. Your stress on 3 natures in the Godhead borders on tri-theism. But since you only worship the Father alone and not also His Son and Spirit, that would make it seem as if you border on the view of One God and two creatures. If you are going to ignore what I say and put words in my mouth then why shouldn't I ignore what you say? Stick to what I say and don't add to it. But regardless, you made the same mistake as the Mono-physite tri-theist in the quote above.


Jnorm said...

Drake said
">>>Then numerically one in mind not three. Your tongue is twisted here."

My tongue isn't twisting, When I stopped criticing your view of three wills and three minds it was because I was reading a number of church fathers, witnesses, and schismatics who believed that Reason came from Reason (Turtellian, even-though he was a materialist, he still said it), and Wisdom from the Wise (Saint Athanasius, from this very letter) .......etc. However, unlike you, they both believed that the Son was of the Same Essence as the Father and undivided in that same Essence. Tertullian in a more materialistic way for he thought that spirit was some form of material substance, while Athanasius and the others in an immaterialistic way. I didn't change my mind because of reasoning from you. I changed my mind because of the Fathers of the Church, Christian witnesses of the Church, and Schismatics who split from the Church. That's why I changed my mind.

When I stopped my criticism of 3 wills it was because of a book I re-read. I didn't stop because of some logical propositions from Drake shelton independent from church fathers, witnesses, and schismatics. If I'm going to change my mind about something it's going to be because of the Church Fathers, Ecumenical councils or something similar to that. So no, don't get it twisted!



Drake said
>>>Not so on your view Jnorm because as you have admitted in our last dialogue:

I know what my view is Drake. Compare what I said in the last thread in it's fullness with what I just said here.

quote from the last thread:
"""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:"""""



Now compare that to what I said here:


quote:
"“""3.) Will, yes! Since Will is a faculty of Nature, there is One Will in that sense. However, in another sense, there are Three who exercise the mode of willing.”"""


Drake, I said the samething! Why you think I said something different is beyond me.

Jnorm said...

Drake said
"A hypostatic use or mode of the natural will is called a gnomie. So the Godhead has three gnomies and one will on your view, WHILE YOU DENY THAT DIVINE PERSONS HAVE GNOMIES."

Why are you playing around? If you read the book, then you should already know that the term gnomic will is just one form or kind of "mode of willing". It makes sin possible, this is why humans have a gnomic will while the Godhead does not. For sin is not possible with the Godhead! Were you trying to be deceptive on purpose? For you should already know this! Were you trying to push me to explain something? You should already know this!


Look, when we say that Will is a faculty of nature, what we mean is the ability, power, and capacity to reason is of nature. However, the actual employment of it is of the Person.

And so, will is a faculty of nature, but the particular mode of employment of the will is of the Person.

You read the book and so why are you playing around?

The Godhead has One Will in regards to Nature, but Three Modes of Willing in regards to Hypostasis! In Christology, Jesus has Two Natural Wills, but One Mode of Willing!

Thus, our Triadology and our Christology is consistent.


Drake said
>>>But that is not the case with your view as you know. You gloss nature broader than essence, i.e. the energies around the essence.


Oh, I see what your talking about now. You are mixing two different topics together. In this conversation about One Nature/Essence in the Godhead, I'm not even focused on the Essence vs Energies distinction at the moment. But this should show you that our embrace of the Nicene-Constantinople-1 Creed in regards to numeric unity is different from the Augustinian West! You keep forgetting that the 2nd Ecumenical council was mostly an Eastern Christian council. The Cappadocians believed in the Essence vs Energies distinction, I have to review in regards to Saint Athanasius, but this should show that our interpretation of Simplicity is different, but you should know this already.



Drake said
">>>But you want their relationship to be something physical instead of logical like Ryan and myself affirm.

Your not paying attention. I said I'm not a materialist. Using physical examples is standard christian usage. The examples I used can be found among the early christians.

In answering Ryan I said, """To me, the simultaneous-ness would be the actual! The REAL!""". Does this sound materialistic to you?


Drake said
"That is our core difference! We believe they are logically inseparable."

Exspand on this.


Drake said
"You believe they are organically or physically inseparable, and thus seem to fall prey to the idea that the logos is a creation."

I already told you what I believe. You're just putting words in my mouth. How many times must I say """immaterial"""? I'm the one that told you that you were taking the human individual metaphor too far, and you said you didn't even see it as a metaphor! And you are calling me a materialist? I'm the one that told you that there was a difference between Divine Persons and human persons! Divinity is immaterial, humanity is not!

So point the finger at yourself before pointing it at me! I'm not here to play games, so why are you playing them?

Jnorm said...

Drake, do you believe Jesus to be two Persons? If numeric Nature = Person and if Jesus has Two numeric Natures, then wouldn't this make you a Nestorian all over again? Either that or some type of Monophysite. You already embrace the Nature = Person view of the Monophysites!

So why aren't you a Mono-Physite?

Jnorm said...

David Waltz,

Would it be hard for Rome to read Absolute Divine Simplicity into the original Nicene creed?

I say this because most of the people who gathered at Nicea were moderate Origenists right? And Origen believed in the Neo-Platonic interpretation of Absolute Divine Simplicity right?

I could be wrong, but didn't he also advocate generic unity in regards to homoousios too?

If so, and I could be wrong about all this, but if so, then this would mean one could hold to a neo-platonic view of ADS regardless of the different interpretations of generic vs numeric homoousios.


Like I said, I could be wrong about all this, but if it was possible for Origen to believe in both a generic homoousios and ADS then sticking to the original Nicene Creed wouldn't be the silver bullet to the problem.

However, wouldn't the silver bullet be making a distinction between Essence and Energies?

Ryan said...

"Why should I pretend to be what I'm not? I'm not Reformed so why should I sound like one?"

Who asked you to?

"I'm not a Roman Catholic, so why should I agree to that?"

Because arguing the contrary is facile. You and I both know that in some way, shape or form you think that justification entails the imputation, impartation, or infusion of grace. Take your pick as to which it will be, it makes no difference to my point. But it would be nice if you would quit stalling and admit that. Whichever you choose, I will ask the same question: is there such an individual as a believer who has not "received" - however you want to qualify that - the grace peculiar to justification? If so, then are you not suggesting believers in the gospel could conceivably die condemned in sin? If not, then are you not implicitly admitting the fact that there may be a logical-causal distinction without a chronological-temporal distinction?

As for your request, 1) merely means that saving faith or belief in the gospel is a precondition for justification, not that there can be a time at which such a person can be considered not-justified. The latter is what 2) means. I haven't stated 3), so I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. It's not relevant to my argument.

Are you going to answer my questions or not?

Ryan said...

"If numeric Nature = Person and if Jesus has Two numeric Natures, then wouldn't this make you a Nestorian all over again?"

I could be wrong - Drake may confirm or deny - but it seems to me Drake has argued that a numeric nature is a necessary condition for personhood, not a sufficient condition.

Drake Shelton said...

David,

I have been identifying our view as Nicene Monarchism. Is that a good title you think?

David Waltz said...

Hi Jnorm,

Thanks for responding; you posted:

==Would it be hard for Rome to read Absolute Divine Simplicity into the original Nicene creed?==

Me: IMO, one has to do great violence to certain phrases of the NC(325), especially when the anathemas are included, to maintain ADS.

==I say this because most of the people who gathered at Nicea were moderate Origenists right? And Origen believed in the Neo-Platonic interpretation of Absolute Divine Simplicity right?==

Me: First, Origen WAS NOT a Neo-Platonist—Plotinus' writings did not become available until at least a generation after the death of Origen—some scholars though have tried to identify him as a Middle-Platonist. Second, I think "moderate" or 'modified' "Origenists" is a fairly accurate description of the vast majority of the bishops assembled at NC(325).

==I could be wrong, but didn't he also advocate generic unity in regards to homoousios too?==

Me: It is difficult to discern exactly what Origen's position was on the relationship between the Father and Son was—one thing for certain concerning that relationship is that he was anything but ADS—he may have held to "generic unity in regards to homoousios", but I suspect that he was a full blown subordinationist. Origen was fond of Wisdom 7:25 and Heb. 1:3, and even went as far as stating that the Father and the Son are "two Gods".

For an excellent assessment of Origen's use of homoousios see Christopher Stead's, Divine Substance, pp. 209-216.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Drake,

"Nicene Monarchism"; great term !!! Me likes...


Great and peace,

Daivd

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm said...

“I'm not a Roman Catholic, so why should I agree to that?”

>>Well your comrade Kabane the Christian openly espoused Robert Sungenis’ book Not by Faith Alone as being representative of the EO view.

“According to who? Aristotle, and monophysite tri-theists?”

>>>You yourself admitted three minds Jnorm. If you think the nature is numerically singular then it is only one mind. Prov 23:7 affirms that personhood requires intellect, thus numeric nature.



"If you speak about two natures, why do you not also speak of two hypostases since nature and hypostasis are identical?"

>>>This means numerically identical not logically identical.


“The Chalcedonian response was that they would indeed do so "if we considered nature and hypostasis identical, but as a point of fact we distinguish between the two."

>>>This does not explain how they are distinct.

“The Chalcedonian reportedly continued by proposing that John Philoponus, if he held nature and hypostasis to be identical, should therefore speak of three natures in the Godhead. His reply allegedly was: "Then, we will do so." When the astonished Chalcedonian exclaimed that to do so would be to teach Tritheism, John reportedly replied that "in the Trinity I count as many natures, essences, and Godheads as I do hypostases.""

>>>I have already answered this a hundred times. Godhood pertains to hypostasis not nature. That was Philopnus’ mistake.

“Drake, I already told you a thousand times that just because you think it's meaningless doesn't mean it is”

>>>Seeing your tongue is twisted in affirming three minds and at the same time one numeric nature I don’t take your assertion seriously. You are a confused pup.

“All it means is that it's meaningless to you.”

>>>You affirmed three minds after denying it, and still retain singular numeric nature. I will take no lectures on meaning from you sir.


“Now, I also said a thousand times that the Godhead is undivided in Essence/Nature (I also told you that I wasn't a materialist). In the 4th century I don't see a major difference between these two words in regards to this issue. Your stress on 3 natures in the Godhead borders on tri-theism.”

>>> Godhood pertains to hypostasis not nature.

“But since you only worship the Father alone and not also His Son and Spirit, that would make it seem as if you border on the view of One God and two creatures.”

>>>>>> Godhood pertains to hypostasis not nature thus eliminating the idea that Son and HS are creatures. You worship three gods.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“If you are going to ignore what I say and put words in my mouth then why shouldn't I ignore what you say? Stick to what I say and don't add to it. But regardless, you made the same mistake as the Mono-physite tri-theist in the quote above.”

>>>I have answered everything you have said in detail while you continually ignore core issues: numeric nature while affirming three minds, you ignore the Cappadocian three suns issue, you confuse will as faculty with mode of will, you ignored the gnomie issue and skirted that as well. I could go on and on.

“Drake said
">>>Then numerically one in mind not three. Your tongue is twisted here."

>>>Yet again you fail to explain how you could affirm one numeric nature and also three minds at the same time.

“I know what my view is Drake.”

>>You thought you knew what your view was just a few weeks ago before you changed to 3 minds and wills. Later you address the gnomie issue but skirt around the problem. You failed to distinguish a gnomie from the hypostatic use of the faculty of will when describing divine persons, so just like a typical modalist you make nominal distinctions without giving any coherent meaning to them.


“.) 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)”

>>This is so typical of modalists. You want to make nominal distinctions with no meaningful distinction. Its one numeric nature and three minds because you want that to mean that. You want a hypostatic mode of willing to not be a gnomie because you want that to mean that, etc.

“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.”

>>See you admit it.

"“""3.) Will, yes! Since Will is a faculty of Nature, there is One Will in that sense. However, in another sense, there are Three who exercise the mode of willing.”"""

Drake, I said the samething! Why you think I said something different is beyond me.”

>>You just quoted yourself and then affirmed you said the same thing as yourself. Huh?

“Why are you playing around? If you read the book, then you should already know that the term gnomic will is just one form or kind of "mode of willing". It makes sin possible, this is why humans have a gnomic will while the Godhead does not. For sin is not possible with the Godhead! Were you trying to be deceptive on purpose? For you should already know this! Were you trying to push me to explain something? You should already know this!”

>>>You are confusing the object of one’s will in the genus of ethics, sin, with the constitution of that will in the genus of being. We are not talking about ethics here Jnorm, we are talking about metaphysics.

“Look, when we say that Will is a faculty of nature, what we mean is the ability, power, and capacity to reason is of nature. However, the actual employment of it is of the Person.”

>>>I agree. The difference is, I think a single numeric nature precludes a plurality of persons. A necessary condition for a distinct personhood is a distinct singular rational faculty.

“And so, will is a faculty of nature, but the particular mode of employment of the will is of the Person.”

>>>Ditto from my reply above.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“You read the book and so why are you playing around?”

>>>Because you are falling back on a meaningless distinction between gnomie and divine hypostatic modes of willing based on a confusion between ethics and metaphysics.

“The Godhead has One Will in regards to Nature, but Three Modes of Willing in regards to Hypostasis! In Christology, Jesus has Two Natural Wills, but One Mode of Willing!

Thus, our Triadology and our Christology is consistent.”

>>>Thus making persons modes of a single numeric substance. That is modalism. Secondly, your affirmation that the word inseparable necessarily implies numeric substantial identity is inconsistent with Christology because in Christ we have two numeric natures that are inseperable, yet another point I have brought up a couple times that you have failed to respond to.




“You are mixing two different topics together.”

>>>No I’m not. I am distinguishing essence and nature on your view because that is what your people say. I am trying to represent your view accurately. I understand your view of simplicity is different in that ads for you pertains to nature-energies while it pertains to essence with the west.

I have openly defended your church from this misrepresentation: http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/james-anderson%E2%80%99s-mistaken-interpretation-of-eastern-triadology/

I just make the argument that ultimately it produces the same monad.


“Your not paying attention. I said I'm not a materialist. Using physical examples is standard christian usage. The examples I used can be found among the early christians.”

>>No you nominally asserted that you were not a materialist. You have failed to explain how.

“In answering Ryan I said, """To me, the simultaneous-ness would be the actual! The REAL!""". Does this sound materialistic to you?”

>>>How is that any different from our affirmation of logical inseparablility?


"That is our core difference! We believe they are logically inseparable."

Exspand on this.”

>>You first from above.

“Drake, do you believe Jesus to be two Persons? If numeric Nature = Person and if Jesus has Two numeric Natures, then wouldn't this make you a Nestorian all over again?”

>>>Nature numerically equals person, not logically. That is, a person is the same numeric thing as its nature. Nature is not logically the same thing as hypostasis. The one thing, the Logos, personalized a set of human faculties. Thus one hypostasis and two sets of things. One person two natures.

“Either that or some type of Monophysite. You already embrace the Nature = Person view of the Monophysites!”

>>>Your understanding of distinction and identity (equals:=) are very simplistic. These words can mean many things.

“So why aren't you a Mono-Physite?”

>>>Because nature does not logically equal person only with regards to numeric substance.

Drake Shelton said...

Ryan,


“I could be wrong - Drake may confirm or deny - but it seems to me Drake has argued that a numeric nature is a necessary condition for personhood, not a sufficient condition.”

>>>That is correct.

Jnorm said...

I don't see how one can call their view """Nicene Monarchism""" if they reject the Triadology of both Saints Alexander of Alexandria and Athanasius of Alexandria! How can you hold to 3 natures and 3 essences like the monophysite tri-theist John Philoponus and still claim to hold to Nicea?

I don't fully understand your logic view, but that view wasn't the standard that the ancient christians used to defend Orthodoxy! Can you embrace their examples? Is your logic view at odds with their view? If yes, then you can't claim to be a defender of the Nicene view!

If no, then you shouldn't have a problem with both the Son and Holy Spirit being of the Father's Nature, and Essence.



Alexander of Alexandria in 324 A.D. (a year before the council of Nicea)
Alexander’s Letter to Alexander of Constantinople
quote
"To assert that the brightness of the Father’s glory [Heb 1:3] “once did not exist,” destroys also the original light of which it is the brightness. If there ever was a time in which the image of God [2 Cor 4:4] was not, it is plain that God, whose image he is, is not always. (28.) No, if the express image of God’s Person did not exist, then he was separated from the one of whom he is ever the express image. Hence it may be seen, that the sonship of our Savior has not even anything in common with the sonship of men."

The doctrine of perichoresis

Saint Athanasius on behalf of Saint Alexander of Alexandria from the years 318 A.D. to about 325 A.D.
http://www.fourthcentury.com/index.php/urkunde-4b
quote:
"(14.) How can one be mutable and susceptible of change who says of himself, “I am in the Father, and the Father is in me” [John 10:38; 14:10, 11]; and “I and the Father are one” [John 10:30]; and again through the prophet, “Look at me because I am, and I have not changed” [paraphrase Mal 3:6 (LXX)]?"


You can't call your view """Nicene Monarchism""" if you reject perichoresis!


(from the same link)
Will as a faculty of Nature (something both sides seemed to believe in)

quote
"(10.) Someone asked them whether the Word of God could turn to evil, like the devil has. And they were not afraid to answer, “Yes, he could. Since he is begotten, his nature is able to change.”

(11.) We then, assembled with almost one hundred bishops of Egypt and Libya, have anathematized these things that were said by the group around Arius and those who have shamefully followed along with them.""


They linked will as being a faculty of Nature, thus this isn't just a post Nicea Cappadocian thing! So can you really claim to be a """Nicene Monarchism"""? I know I can claim that! But can you?

Jnorm said...

They being both sides!

For one side said: (The soon to be defenders of Nicea)
quote
"""(14.) How can one be mutable and susceptible of change who says of himself, “I am in the Father, and the Father is in me”""


as well as (the soon to be defenders of Nicea)
quote
"(11.) They say God created all things out of nothing, and they have the audacity to count the Son of God among rational and irrational creatures. As a necessary consequence of this teaching, they affirm that he is by nature able to change, and capable of either good or evil. Thus, by their hypothesis that he was created out of nothing, they overthrow the testimony of the Divine Scriptures, which declares the unchangeable nature of the Word and the Divinity of the Wisdom of the Word, which Word and Wisdom is Christ [cf. 1 Cor 1:24].""



and the other side said (the arians)
quote
"""(10.) Someone asked them whether the Word of God could turn to evil, like the devil has. And they were not afraid to answer, “Yes, he could. Since he is begotten, his nature is able to change.”"



So both sides linked will as being a faculty of nature! Thus this is not modalism!

David Waltz said...

Hi Jnorm,

Earlier today, you wrote:

==I don't see how one can call their view """Nicene Monarchism""" if they reject the Triadology of both Saints Alexander of Alexandria and Athanasius of Alexandria! How can you hold to 3 natures and 3 essences like the monophysite tri-theist John Philoponus and still claim to hold to Nicea?==

Me: I accept the Triadology of Athanasius (we don't have enough extant writings from Alexander for me to make a firm judgment on his theology), and I hold to ONE nature concerning the three persons of the ONE Godhead. Do not forget that I have stated on a number of occasions that I accept the theology of the Chalcedonian Definition (as does Drake).

And:

==You can't call your view """Nicene Monarchism""" if you reject perichoresis!==

Me: I accept the perichoresis of the three persons of the ONE Godhead, while rejecting ADS. I can only speak for myself, but I get the sense of a 'strawman' being built...


Grace and peace,

David

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

We have already established from Davis and Kelly that the Nicene Creed meant a generic unity of three numeric natures.

You need to give up apologetics man. Please just throw in the towel. From these last few threads we have been in, you avoid dozens of issues, you continously re-assert addressed issues, you can't seem to follow arguments. It is very frustrating.

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
"Jnorm,

We have already established from Davis and Kelly that the Nicene Creed meant a generic unity of three numeric natures."


NOPE! We agreed of generic unity! And I believed that a form of numeric unity was implicit, for it was already built in when one looks at the issue of simplicity as viewed by the Christians of the 4th century, and Divinity in general.

I told you that you were reading all kinds of extra stuff into their words of "human individuals". I said you were taking the metaphor too far!


This is why I kept saying that:

1.) There was a difference between Divine Persons and human persons!

2.) I continuously quote Saint Athanasius, but you ignored it!

3.) I continiously focused on unity by way of the modals that Christians always used when talking about their Triadology.


So no!



Drake said:
"You need to give up apologetics man. Please just throw in the towel. From these last few threads we have been in, you avoid dozens of issues, you continously re-assert addressed issues, you can't seem to follow arguments. It is very frustrating."

Frustrating? You are the one claiming to represent something you can't really represent!

Stop claiming to represent Nicea, then I'll stop criticizing your view.

Jnorm said...


Drake,


Nor can you really represent Chalcedon!

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

Jnorm,

"I told you that you were reading all kinds of extra stuff into their words of "human individuals". I said you were taking the metaphor too far!"

And I responded that your accusation failed because my distinction among individual humans is essentially a distinction of minds not necessarily of material bodies.

"Nor can you really represent Chalcedon!"

No, it is you who cannot represent Chalcedon because Chalcedon uses the word "consubstantiality" of Christ's DIVINITY and HUMANITY thus in your own words taking the metaphor too far.

Thirdly, your affirmation of numeric substance turned out to mean inseparability which I showed cannot prove numeric unity of substance because Christ's humanity and divinity are inseparable says Chalcedon but distinct with reference numeric and generic substance.

These are things I have stated over and over and over again and you continually avoid them and I continue to bend over backwards to keep saying them over and over again.

Jnorm said...


Drake said:
"And I responded that your accusation failed because my distinction among individual humans is essentially a distinction of minds not necessarily of material bodies."

How did my accusation fail? Listen to what you said again! You said, ""because my distinction among individual humans is""

Now what did I say? I said ""I told you that you were reading all kinds of extra stuff into their words of "human individuals""".

Drake, you just proved me right! You read your personal view of individual humans into the words of Leo Donald David, and J.N.D. Kelly!

Ok, I was wrong about the human body part, I totally forgot that your view of the human individual is different. What makes your view of the human person different from the gnostic view is not important at this time. What is important is knowing why you thought it was ok to see the Godhead in exactly the same way as human individual minds(because your view sees human beings as essentialy individual minds)?



Drake said
"No, it is you who cannot represent Chalcedon because Chalcedon uses the word "consubstantiality" of Christ's DIVINITY and HUMANITY thus in your own words taking the metaphor too far."


Before the Incarnation, the Son was just homoousios with the other Identities within the Godhead, however, after the Incarnation, He was also homoousios with us. This is what that means as seen below:

"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"

And so at the Incarnation, the Second Person of the Trinity became like us, and so no, it's not taking the human metaphor too far, for it's no longer a metaphor in regards to the second Person post Incarnation. But it would be taking the metaphor too far in regards to the Father and Holy Spirit!

So why did you take the metaphor too far?



Drake said
"Thirdly, your affirmation of numeric substance turned out to mean inseparability which I showed cannot prove numeric unity of substance because Christ's humanity and divinity are inseparable says Chalcedon but distinct with reference numeric and generic substance."


It proves numeric unity of substance because the inseparableness of Same Nature is not like the insepableness of different Natures.

The Divine Nature and the human Nature of the Second Person of the Trinity are Hypostatically joined together! Meaning, They are joined within His Divine Person!

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all have the same Nature and Essence, because both the Son and Holy Spirit are of the Father's Nature and Essence.


Chalcedon says they are distinct because they are different Natures! Which should be understanble! But you are not suppose to believe the Godhead to have different natures. Drake, there is only ONE DIVINE NATURE!

Also, in regards to the human nature, do you believe Christ to have a human mind? If so it's of Nature! This was settled in the 2nd council, in which the 4th council embraced and saw as Ecumenical! But you reject the second council, and so how can you embrace Chalcedon while rejecting the 2nd council?

How can you attack Mind and Will being of Nature, when you are suppose to accept Christ having a human mind and soul because of Nature?



Drake said
"These are things I have stated over and over and over again and you continually avoid them and I continue to bend over backwards to keep saying them over and over again."


I recall you saying this maybe once or twice before! No where near as many times as me saying the samething over and over and over again! Also I didn't avoid them! I was thinking about them, and reading. I am also thinking about what some of the others have said, I didn't forget about it.

Jnorm said...

Ryan said:
"Who asked you to?"

Implicitly you did!


Ryan said:
"Because arguing the contrary is facile. You and I both know that in some way, shape or form you think that justification entails the imputation, impartation, or infusion of grace."

You are assuming we have the same interpretation of the word "Grace"! We do not! So once again, why should I pretend to be something I'm not? If I played your game then I wouldn't be able to stay true to what I am.


Ryan said:
"Take your pick as to which it will be, it makes no difference to my point. But it would be nice if you would quit stalling and admit that."

I already told you that I'm not a Roman Catholic! So why should I pick between imputation, impartation and infusion? Why must the options be limited to that? Why can't all the above also be an option? I'm just saying.


Ryan said:
"Whichever you choose, I will ask the same question: is there such an individual as a believer who has not "received" - however you want to qualify that - the grace peculiar to justification?"


What do you mean by the word "received"? Do you mean it in the same way as receiving a smack on the face? Receiving a spanking? Or do you mean it in the way of a Tight End receiving the football? A child receiving a birthday gift?

What do you mean by the word Justification? Do you mean it in reference to Christ's Death or Resurrection? Or both?

Also, what do you mean by the word "Grace"? Is it merely an attitude of God toward those he loves? Is it created? Or uncreated? Is it particular or universal?


Ryan said:
"If so, then are you not suggesting believers in the gospel could conceivably die condemned in sin?"


What type of distinction would you call this?



Ryan said:
" If not, then are you not implicitly admitting the fact that there may be a logical-causal distinction without a chronological-temporal distinction?"

So you are calling Once Saved Always Saved or the Reformed P.O.T.S. a quote on quote ""logical-causal distinction""? But don't you Reformed guys believe in secondary causes as played out in time and space? A chain in the process? Meaning, someone is suppose to preach the Gospel, the elect person hears the Gospel preached, the Holy Spirit indwells the elect Person, thus regenerating them according to you guys, the elect person is now able to have faith, and because of this the elect person in now justified.

Would you call each step a logical-causal distinction without a chronological-temporal distinction?

Jnorm said...

Ryan said
"As for your request, 1) merely means that saving faith or belief in the gospel is a precondition for justification,"

Ok, If this is all you mean, then I accept, so let's go back to your Triadology now. What do you mean by what you say in regards to that?


Ryan said
"not that there can be a time at which such a person can be considered not-justified. The latter is what 2) means."

ok, so in Triadology you are not talking about this. Good!


Ryan said
"I haven't stated 3), so I have no idea what that's supposed to mean. It's not relevant to my argument"

But if you are talking about "real distinctions" then shouldn't you talk about this as well? You seem to be saying that Logical distinctions are real distinctions too! Ok, I'm open to the idea, so let's go back to your Triadology.



Ryan said
"I could be wrong - Drake may confirm or deny - but it seems to me Drake has argued that a numeric nature is a necessary condition for personhood, not a sufficient condition."

So what is Jesus then? If Drake believes in Three numeric natures in the Godhead because of how he interpreted ""Three human individuals"" then what is Jesus post Incarnation?

Does Drake believe Jesus to be Two Numeric Natures? He must believe Jesus to have a human soul and mind, if not then he's in Big Time trouble!

His interpretation of human individuals essentially being minds will cause problems with His Christology. For how will he avoid Nestorianism on one-hand or some form of Mono-physitism on the other? Especially Apollinarian Monophysitism?

Ryan said...

"Implicitly you did!"

False. In fact, just the opposite, for the point was to show that even your theology admits of a distinction between logical and temporal causation.

"You are assuming we have the same interpretation of the word "Grace"!"

No, I am assuming that you have *A* view of justification and that your view of justification involves *A* view of grace. The particular differences you protest for are NOT RELEVANT to the fact you have a view, period. I'm not asking you to answer according to my view; I'm asking you to quit stalling and admit that you have one of your own. Or are you so theologically inept that you are only able to tell me what you DON'T believe?

"Why must the options be limited to that?"

Why can't you just tell me your own view?

"What do you mean by the word "received"?"

LOL. You are ridiculous. I said received **however you want to qualify that**. I'm not trying to make you answer according to the Reformed view.

"What do you mean by the word Justification? Do you mean it in reference to Christ's Death or Resurrection? Or both?"

Again, irrelevant. The fact is, you have a view of justification and grace. You think grace is somehow conferred in justification. I don't know how you define grace or justification, but I don't need to know. Are you going to tell me that on your view, grace is not linked to justification? Please. Quit playing around. We both know you're just trying to evade my question.

"What type of distinction would you call this?"

A temporal one. If a believer can be unjustified, then time has elapsed between his coming to faith and his [initial] justification. Now, answer the question.

"So you are calling Once Saved Always Saved or the Reformed P.O.T.S. a quote on quote ""logical-causal distinction""?"

No. I am saying that if you deny a believer can be unjustified, you must agree that faith can cause justification without time elapsing. Thus, you would agree that a logical distinction can be made without a temporal one, which is just what our view of eternal generation entails. I have no idea how you inferred eternal security from anything I said. You must be losing it.

"But don't you Reformed guys believe in secondary causes as played out in time and space? A chain in the process? Meaning, someone is suppose to preach the Gospel, the elect person hears the Gospel preached, the Holy Spirit indwells the elect Person, thus regenerating them according to you guys, the elect person is now able to have faith, and because of this the elect person in now justified."

Of course there are secondary causes. The point is that time does not elapse between every single one. Regeneration causes faith, but there is no regenerate unbeliever. Faith causes justification, but there is no unjustified believer. Thus, there is a logical distinction without a temporal one.

Do you think there is such a thing as an unjustified believer? No? But don't you think faith causes [initial] justification? Yes? Then you admit my point.

"Would you call each step a logical-causal distinction without a chronological-temporal distinction?"

Not each step, just the ones I mention above. Time obviously elapses between the preaching and believing of the gospel, for instance.

Ryan said...

"Ok, If this is all you mean, then I accept, so let's go back to your Triadology now. What do you mean by what you say in regards to that?"

Reread my reply to Justin at the beginning of this comment thread. It's crystal clear. Eternal generation involves a logical distinction, not a temporal one. There is not time at which a believer is unjustified even though faith causes justification. Similarly, there is no time at which the intra-Trinitarian relationships were something else even though eternal generation connotes derivation or causality in the Father's communication of the divine essence to the Son.

"You seem to be saying that Logical distinctions are real distinctions too!"

Of course. I said so from the beginning.

"So what is Jesus then? If Drake believes in Three numeric natures in the Godhead because of how he interpreted ""Three human individuals"" then what is Jesus post Incarnation?"

He is a divine person - thus, He has a divine nature - with an assumed human nature.

Remember, a numeric nature is necessary for personhood, not sufficient. To say there are three divine persons, then, requires three numeric natures. It does not follow that two numeric natures predicable of Christ (one divine, one human) requires two persons.

"Does Drake believe Jesus to be Two Numeric Natures? He must believe Jesus to have a human soul and mind, if not then he's in Big Time trouble!"

As I understand it, Jesus HAS two numeric natures, not IS two numeric natures. The natures do not comprehend the Son, as they do not, for instance, entail His properties. Yes, Jesus has a human soul or mind. But the human nature is assumed. The Son did not assume a person, the Son assumed a human nature into His person.

"His interpretation of human individuals essentially being minds will cause problems with His Christology."

I believe his definition of person is a shorthand for "center or system of consciousness." The Son has two minds but only one system of consciousness. So it may be a bit imprecise to say a mind implies a person, but it's only relevant when talking about the Incarnation, as the Son is the only person whose system of consciousness involves more than one mind.

Again, Drake can correct any misunderstandings I may have.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“NOPE! We agreed of generic unity!”

>>>This is becoming a complete circus! You do not believe in generic unity. Just because you typed out the words does not mean you have come to terms with the definition, and that is why you keep avoiding my question that I have typed out numerous times now: How do you explain your affirmation of one numeric nature while affirming three divine minds?

“And I believed that a form of numeric unity was implicit, for it was already built in when one looks at the issue of simplicity as viewed by the Christians of the 4th century, and Divinity in general.”

>>>Again, repeat again, you are collapsing the idea of inseparability with numeric unity.

“I told you that you were reading all kinds of extra stuff into their words of "human individuals". I said you were taking the metaphor too far!”

>>>You typed it out but you did not show or define your distinctions. Is it a proportional metaphor-analogy of proportion, an analogy of proportionality, a mutual exclusion? You don’t say. I have made the issue, as I do with all human ontological connection to the divine, an analogy of proportion. With reference to Christ’s humanity, the incarnation is not a participation but a hypostatic union, thus a human person is not participating in a divine person, but a divine person is personalizing a set of human faculties. I understand that not all human activity can be predicated of the divine, however, that does not exclude the proportion that can be predicated of the divine and that is the intellectual activity of man as I have made clear numerous times and you continue to ignore it- thus the Clarkian idea of the image of God. And I’ll say another thing again that you will avoid answering again: What EO book on the philosophy of language can you provide as a standard reference to clear this up? Oh that’s right you don’t have one. But you see I do: Its called Language and Theology by Gordon Clark. He taught that man univocally participates in the objects of God’s knowledge not the manner of God’s knowing (essence) thus affirming the traditional analogy of proportion.

“This is why I kept saying that:

1.) There was a difference between Divine Persons and human persons!”

>>>I have already addressed and agreed to this but you won’t show what you mean by “difference”. I have admitted that the two categories are not jointly exhaustive, but overlap at the level of intellect and when speaking of the particular persons of those categories connect univocally/ontologically at God’s objects of knowledge not the manner of his knowing.

“2.) I continuously quote Saint Athanasius, but you ignored it!”

>>I have already addressed this. This issue is not about Athanasius. This is about the meaning of the Nicene Creed. As I showed from Davis, Athanasius was still confused about “being” and “hypostasis” at the end of his ministry.

“3.) I continiously focused on unity by way of the modals that Christians always used when talking about their Triadology.”

>>>And I focused instead on the meaning of the Nicene Creed.

“Frustrating? You are the one claiming to represent something you can't really represent!”

>>>You have failed to prove this. You have a lot of work to do. I am going to make a list of issues you need to address to prove your point.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“Stop claiming to represent Nicea, then I'll stop criticizing your view.”

>>>At this point you need to explain how three minds are consistent with your idea of singular numeric nature pertaining to cardinal numerics.

“How did my accusation fail? Listen to what you said again! You said, ""because my distinction among individual humans is""

Now what did I say? I said ""I told you that you were reading all kinds of extra stuff into their words of "human individuals""".

Drake, you just proved me right! You read your personal view of individual humans into the words of Leo Donald David, and J.N.D. Kelly!”


>>>So then you agree that God has a material body just like I thought from before! You think the distinctions among material bodies is erroneous precisely because you think God has one physical body. Thank you for proving my point! Now to the issue of personhood:

1.David and I already spoke about this issue: http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2011/10/conservative-reformed-baptist-professor.html

Drake: “I would be most interested in how you understand personhood.”

David: “I have relied on Boethius' definition.”

Drake: “Could you refer me to a book, article, or something on Boethius'definition?”

David: “You asked and you shall receive:

"Wherefore if person belongs to substances alone, and these rational, and if every substance is a nature, and exists not in universals but in individuals, we have found the definition of person: 'The individual substance of a rational nature.'" (Contra Eutychen, III – from the Loeb Classical Library, Boethius – The Theological Tractates & The Consolation of Philosophy, p. 85 – translated by Stewart, Radn & Tester.)==”

Drake: “The substance of a rational nature, yeah I read that in Aquinas and in AA Hodge when I was studying for my Christology paper. Do you see any difference between that and consciousness? If so, what?”

David: “Consciousness for sure, but more (IMHO), in that Boethius (as do most Eastern/Greek fathers), makes a clear distinction between οὺσία and ὑπόστασις, with οὺσία corresponding to what we would term being/essence/nature, and ὑπόστασις with person/individual. ”

Drake: “Agree 100%. It's just that when I read McGukin on Christological Controversies he said that Cyril refused to equate personhood with consciousness.

Also, if personhood is seated in consciousness would this not draw you away from the Pelagian idea of arbitrary action and arbitrary nature, putting personhood in being and ergo putting God in being demanding a denial of essence and energy?”

After this David ceases response. I think I understood where you were coming from, but as we can see, my definition of person is quite ancient and as I have already established from Davis, Athanasius still had no established definition even at the end of his ministry. So you are left empty-handed with the idea that my definition of person is a mistaken reading into the Nicene Creed from its established definition of person because there is no established definition.

“What is important is knowing why you thought it was ok to see the Godhead in exactly the same way as human individual minds(because your view sees human beings as essentialy individual minds)?”

>>>Well you parenthetic statement answered your own question.

“Before the Incarnation, the Son was just homoousios with the other Identities within the Godhead, however, after the Incarnation, He was also homoousios with us.”

>>>Exactly. The same word that identified unity among individual humans was used to identify the unity among divine persons. Thus agreeing with me not you.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“And so at the Incarnation, the Second Person of the Trinity became like us, and so no, it's not taking the human metaphor too far, for it's no longer a metaphor in regards to the second Person post Incarnation. But it would be taking the metaphor too far in regards to the Father and Holy Spirit!”

>>>Your lack of precision continues to be taxing. Are you saying that the word generic unity is a metaphor when used of divine persons but literal when speaking of human persons? If so, is the metaphor an analogy of proportion or proportionality? That is, does the metaphor offer only a proportional univocal understanding of what a divine person is or is the metaphor itself a representation of a created object known as personhood?

“So why did you take the metaphor too far?”

>>>I need to know what you mean by metaphor before we go on. See the statement directly above.

“It proves numeric unity of substance because the inseparableness of Same Nature is not like the insepableness of different Natures.”

>>>1.I affirm logical inseparability. You as in most of your categories have no clear definition, and yours, IMO sound very much like an organic or some kind of physical inseparability. So let us get into this. On my view of inseparability (logical) it is logically necessary to the hypostasis (not nature; speaking logically not with reference to numeric substance) of the Father to have a Son. That relationship is a logical, eternal necessity, therefore they are inseparable. However, it is not an inseparability of nature. If the Father’s nature required to cause a son, then this must continue infinitely with all three divine persons, and as we all know (I think I am still trying to convince Ryan of this) this is the fundamental problem of the Filioque. So on my view the inseparability of the divine persons pertains logically to the hypostases not natures. Therefore, I reject the idea that the “inseparableness of Same Nature is not like the insepableness of different Natures” as an unproved assumption because inseparableness (with reference to divine persons) does not pertain to Same Divine Nature, it pertains to hypostases and inseparable-ness of Christ’s natures, human and divine, pertains to nature not hypostasis.

2. Secondly, your assertion betrays your sacramentology because your view has the human nature of Christ very much, the same nature as the Logos’ as the human nature of Christ is said to be deified in the sense of acting like an omnipresent nature.

“Drake, there is only ONE DIVINE NATURE!”

>>>Then by definition there is only one mind, ergo, there in only one person.

“Also, in regards to the human nature, do you believe Christ to have a human mind? If so it's of Nature!”

>>>Yes.

“This was settled in the 2nd council, in which the 4th council embraced and saw as Ecumenical! But you reject the second council, and so how can you embrace Chalcedon while rejecting the 2nd council?”

>>>Because as we have already shown, there were confusions among the definitions.


“How can you attack Mind and Will being of Nature”

>>>When did I attack that?

“You are assuming we have the same interpretation of the word "Grace"!”

>>>Irrelevant. You still believe in grace.

“I already told you that I'm not a Roman Catholic! So why should I pick between imputation, impartation and infusion? Why must the options be limited to that? Why can't all the above also be an option? I'm just saying.”

>>>Why didn’t you respond to your buddy Kabane the Christian committing himself to Sungenis’ view thus the Roman view? You very much believe in an infusion view. The object of infusion, that is what is infused in the believer, is different between you and Rome, but that is another issue.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“What do you mean by the word "received"?”

>>>Theosis. You are going to try to play word games with Ryan on these issues and I’m going to nail you on it every time. I know your religion just as well as you do and these Jesuit games that you and Perry like to play at other Protestant websites is not going to work here.

“What do you mean by the word Justification? Do you mean it in reference to Christ's Death or Resurrection? Or both?”

>>>You are going to try to play the created vs. uncreated grace game and I can play this one too. Here is a question for you: What do you mean by the word energy? Are you referring to an uncreated object that pertains to the economy of salvation and yet at the same time constitutes God’s nature (distinct from essence) with reference to the ontological trinity? How is this not a flat contradiction? How is this not a complete collapsing of the ontological and economical trinity?

“Also, what do you mean by the word "Grace"? Is it merely an attitude of God toward those he loves? Is it created? Or uncreated? Is it particular or universal?”

>>>Oh, look at that: prediction fulfilled. Grace ad intra is a disposition of God towards a person pertaining to an eternal decree. As it is applied in the Economia, Grace is the Holy Spirit. Different graces are merely different operations of the HS-thus grace is uncreated-Edwards, Treatise on Grace.


“So what is Jesus then? If Drake believes in Three numeric natures in the Godhead because of how he interpreted""Three human individuals"" then what is Jesus post Incarnation?”

>>>One hypostatized divine numeric nature that has personalized a logically unhypostatized numeric human nature.

“Does Drake believe Jesus to be Two Numeric Natures? He must believe Jesus to have a human soul and mind, if not then he's in Big Time trouble!”

>>>Jesus clearly has a human mind and btw, mind and soul are synonyms with us clarkians.

“His interpretation of human individuals essentially being minds will cause problems with His Christology. For how will he avoid Nestorianism on one-hand or some form of Mono-physitism on the other? Especially Apollinarian Monophysitism?”

>>>By affirming two minds, one divine, hypostatized and serving as the hypostasis of the human.

Ryan said...

Drake,

"If the Father’s nature required to cause a son, then this must continue infinitely with all three divine persons, and as we all know (I think I am still trying to convince Ryan of this) this is the fundamental problem of the Filioque."

I see the problem as it is posed is critical to the Filioque, but my question in that post was why couldn't "causality" be a common predicate of the Father and Son but not the Spirit. I recognize that causality cannot be an attribute. It cannot pertain to nature.

I any case, this is just a hypothetical. I don't actually lean towards the Filioque because the above seems like ad hoc justification for, at best, a mere possibility. Still, it requires a refutation.

徐马可 said...

Hi Ryan,

You said:"I see the problem as it is posed is critical to the Filioque, but my question in that post was why couldn't "causality" be a common predicate of the Father and Son but not the Spirit"

I am not a student of philosophy, from a biblical standpoint, I think 1)the name of God signifinies causality, namely, he exists becuase he exists, and Jehovah God is one Jehovah, so it excludes all other persons; 2)St. Paul also affirms One God the Father, BY whom are all things, and One Lord, THROUGH whom are all things, so causality is the property of the Father alone, for there can only be one ultimate principle, that is God.

My two cents.

Thanks,

Mark

Drake Shelton said...

Ryan,

“I see the problem as it is posed is critical to the Filioque, but my question in that post was why couldn't "causality" be a common predicate of the Father and Son but not the Spirit.”

>>>Ubegotteness pertains to the person of the Father. That is his personal property. To be begotten is the son’s thus to be eternally caused.

“I recognize that causality cannot be an attribute. It cannot pertain to nature.”

>>exactly. It pertains to the personhoood of the father. To be caused to the son.




Ryan said...

"Ubegotteness pertains to the person of the Father. That is his personal property. To be begotten is the son’s thus to be eternally caused."

True, but that the Son was caused does not imply that He cannot be a cause of the Spirit. It seems like you are suggesting that the only way the Son could be a cause of the Spirit is if causality is an attribute. Why can't it be a predicate shared with the Father but not an attribute?

Mark,

"St. Paul also affirms One God the Father, BY whom are all things, and One Lord, THROUGH whom are all things, so causality is the property of the Father alone, for there can only be one ultimate principle, that is God."

Can't the Father be the ultimate principle even if the Filioque is true? If so, then Paul's statement about the causality of the Father does not necessarily preclude the Son.

Or are you both saying that in this context, causality implies aseity?

Drake Shelton said...

Ryan,

"True, but that the Son was caused does not imply that He cannot be a cause of the Spirit."


>>>Well it appear that the notion introduces time into the Godhead because in order for the Son to be a cause of the Spirit God would have to "FIRST" cause the Son and "NOW" that the Son is endowed with causal power he may subsequently cause the Spirit. Even taken in the logical order it subordinates the HS to the Son. This destroys true scriptural and orthodox subordination. True subordination has the Son and HS subordinate to the father at the level of person not nature, but if the Son caused the Spirit the hypostatic subordination of the Son to the Father would be lost thus losing their personal distinctions, the Son becomes a second Father, and the HS would then be subordinate to the Father and the Son.

"It seems like you are suggesting that the only way the Son could be a cause of the Spirit is if causality is an attribute."

>>>If the Son cause the Spirit and the Spirit did not cause the Son, this is admitted subordination of the Spirit to the Son. At the very least he would need to be the cause of some other divine person to retain equality with the Son. As Photius says, "For the procession of the Spirit from the Son is not contained in the procession from the Father.If we say this, then what does the Spirit gain which He did not already possess in His procession from the Father? For if it were possible for the Spirit to receive something and to declare what was gained, ******was He not imperfect without it?******"

"Why can't it be a predicate shared with the Father but not an attribute?"

>>>It affirms the imperfection of the Procession from the Father and asserts two processions,one from the Father and one from the Son. The former imperfect the latter perfect, and in doing so do we not then have a supremacy of the Son over the Father?

"Can't the Father be the ultimate principle even if the Filioque is true?"

>>>How could he be if his procession needs perfecting from the Son? Would not the Son and the Father be equals at the level of both hypostasis and nature then?

"Or are you both saying that in this context, causality implies aseity?"

>>>I am

Drake Shelton said...

Ryan,

Very interested in seeing what you think about my recent post:

http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/2321/


especially the last section

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
">>>This is becoming a complete circus! You do not believe in generic unity. Just because you typed out the words does not mean you have come to terms with the definition,"


Not true, for I said this more than once:
quote
"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."

You completely avioded the point I tried to make with this. I also quoted Saint Athanasius in this:


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),"

But you ignored that too!


I also quoted what he said the Creed meant by the term "One Essence"

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"


You ignored this too! And so I did more than just type the words out. I also explained why.


Drake said:
"and that is why you keep avoiding my question that I have typed out numerous times now: How do you explain your affirmation of one numeric nature while affirming three divine minds?"


Because the Unity is in two ways:

1.) Unity in Essence (Both the Son and Spirit are of the Father's Essence)

2.) Unity in Communion as Persons (Perichoresis, The Father is In the Son and Spirit and the Son and Spirit are in the Father)

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
">>>Again, repeat again, you are collapsing the idea of inseparability with numeric unity."

Because it's true! If the Divine Nature is both simple and Indivisible, than it's obviously a form of numeric unity. Our friend David made use of the word "infinity" to describe something similar. As seen in the other thread:
http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2012/09/basil-great-letter-cxxv-excellent.html
quote
"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."


The Source and it's derivative are of the same essence and they are inseparable, and so it's a form of numeric unity. Drake, when you were talking to Ken, why, even you said:
http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2012/09/basil-great-letter-cxxv-excellent.html
quote
"">>>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.""


Drake, if the Christian form of emanation means no creation, no Demiurges, and no lesser quality or difference in Essence. then even you would have to believe in a form of numeric unity too!

Ask yourself these questions:

1.) Is there any separation between the Source and the Emanation? If the answer is no then ask yourself

2.) Is the Essence of the Source and the Emanation the SAME? If the answer is yes, then you automatically have a form of numeric unity



Drake said:
">>>You typed it out but you did not show or define your distinctions."

I did both!



Drake said:
"Is it a proportional metaphor-analogy of proportion, an analogy of proportionality, a mutual exclusion? You don’t say. I have made the issue, as I do with all human ontological connection to the divine, an analogy of proportion."

I'm not a philosopher and so you must explain what you mean by all this. All I know is that the Father and Holy Spirit never became Incarnate and that the Divine Essence is simple and indivisible, and David used the terms Infinit and Eternal, and so this is why the analogy breaks down. Thus the metaphor can only go but so far.


Drake said:
"With reference to Christ’s humanity, the incarnation is not a participation but a hypostatic union, thus a human person is not participating in a divine person, but a divine person is personalizing a set of human faculties."

So what would you call the humanity of Christ? What kind of nature(in your system)?

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
"I understand that not all human activity can be predicated of the divine, however, that does not exclude the proportion that can be predicated of the divine and that is the intellectual activity of man as I have made clear numerous times and you continue to ignore it- thus the Clarkian idea of the image of God."

I didn't ignore it. I already mentioned that you were influenced by Gordan Clark. I also wondered what the difference was between the Gordan Clark view and the gnostic view? But regardless of all that, you were reading all this into the words "human individuals", when you shouldn't have.

If you want to claim the Nicene view as your own then you have to go by their understanding of "human individuals", as well as their analagies. This is why I quoted Saint Athanasius, and eventually Saint Alexander of Alexandria.


Drake said:
"And I’ll say another thing again that you will avoid answering again: What EO book on the philosophy of language can you provide as a standard reference to clear this up?"


Most EO books are still un-translated, but even if I were to find one you would still reject it because you reject Apophatic Theology. Your Clarkianism is purely Catophatic. Both Judaism and Christianity embrace a form of Apophaticism, and so if your philosophy of language can't integrate Apophaticism then it's foriegn to the ethos of Christianity. There is a podcast series by Fr. Hopko about "How we speak about God". I could be wrong, but I think he talks about the issue of language in two of the four podcasts.


Drake said:
"Oh that’s right you don’t have one. But you see I do: Its called Language and Theology by Gordon Clark. He taught that man univocally participates in the objects of God’s knowledge not the manner of God’s knowing (essence) thus affirming the traditional analogy of proportion."


What does this have to do with Nicea and the Nicene view? You see, you were reading all kinds of things into the words "human individuals". How did the people who gathered at Nicea understand the words "human individuals"? How did they understand the analagies? I already quoted Saints Alexander(mostly written by the younger Athanasius) and Athanasius.

But in reading what you said I do see the distinction you're making between objects of God's knowledge vs manner of God's knowing(essence). At this point in time I don't know all of what this means, but it seems as if you have a way of separating God's Essence from something else.



Drake said:
">>>I have already addressed and agreed to this but you won’t show what you mean by “difference”."

I don't wanna repeat what I already mentioned up above and so I will just say that the unity of the Divine Persons is real in the sence that they are inseparable and undivided in a way we're not. Their Essence is simple and Indivisible, and they are Eternal and Infinit.

Our unity can be nominal and notional at times, but such a thing isn't true with the Divine Persons!



Drake said
"I have admitted that the two categories are not jointly exhaustive, but overlap at the level of intellect and when speaking of the particular persons of those categories connect univocally/ontologically at God’s objects of knowledge not the manner of his knowing."


You're going to have to explain this some more. I know you got this from Gordan Clark, but it's a foriegn language. So what do you mean by all this?

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
">>I have already addressed this. This issue is not about Athanasius. This is about the meaning of the Nicene Creed."

Yes you addressed this, but your wrong in thinking that an Ecumenical council is isolated from the theology of a Church Father or Fathers and Witnesses. What you said would be like if someone said "This issue is not about Saint Cyril of Alexandria. This is about the meaning of the Third Ecumenical Council."

Or if someone said:

"This issue is not about Saints Sophronius and Maximus. This is about the meaning of the Sixth Ecumenical council."

Do you see what I'm getting at? You made a similar mistake with the Fourth Ecumenical council, in thinking it was isolated from Saint Cyril of Alexandria, the formula of re-union, the Cappadocian Fathers......etc.

Yes, this is about the meaning of the Nicene Creed! Which is why we are also looking at Saint Athanasius. Just like how Native Americans some centuries didn't waste anything from the animals they killed, so we Orthodox have a tendency to look at everything when talking about Ecumenical councils! We look at the actual declaration itself along with it canons and theology or theologies from various Church Fathers. Some Church Fathers are more authoritative than others on certain issues for this very reason.



Drake said
"As I showed from Davis, Athanasius was still confused about “being” and “hypostasis” at the end of his ministry."

I have a book that might dispute that claim. For Fr Dragas who is a Saint Athanasius scholar and professor said in his book "Saint Athanasius of Alexandria: Original Research and New Perspectives"
http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Athanasius-Alexandria-Perspectives-Theological/dp/1933275006
quote
"The only evidence adduced by those who deny the expression treis hypostaseis to Athanasius is his statement in Ad Afros 4, where Athanasius identifies ousia, hypostasis and hyparxis. But this text does not deal with the question of one or three hypostaseis but with the existential meaning of the term which is rejected by the Arians at the synod of Ariminium."



But why are you picking on Saint Athanasius when you keep saying that a hypostasis must have it's own numeric nature?



Drake said
">>>So then you agree that God has a material body just like I thought from before! You think the distinctions among material bodies is erroneous precisely because you think God has one physical body. Thank you for proving my point! Now to the issue of personhood:"

Where in the world did you get this idea from? I think I explained myself pretty well as to why your assertion is wrong. For whatever you say about me you will also have to say about those who gathered at Nicea. Thus, you will have to say about the real Nicene view. You see, you can't have it both ways! You can't attack me and claim to embrace Nicea.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

"Not true, for I said this more than once:
quote
"In regards to homoousios...2 copper pennies...stream of water"

>>>YET AGAIN, THIS CONVERSATION IS NOT ABOUT INANIMATE MATTER, IT IS ABOUT PERSONS! Drawing inferences from thoughtless physical objects simply re-affirms and provides foundation for my accusation that your theology proper is grounded on some kind of organic physical substance. I have already provided ancient representations that personhood, even divine personhood pertained to intelligent beings, not modes of physical inanimate objects.


“Drake said:
"and that is why you keep avoiding my question that I have typed out numerous times now: How do you explain your affirmation of one numeric nature while affirming three divine minds?"


[Jnorm] Because the Unity is in two ways:

1.) Unity in Essence (Both the Son and Spirit are of the Father's Essence)

2.) Unity in Communion as Persons (Perichoresis, The Father is In the Son and Spirit and the Son and Spirit are in the Father)”

>>>LOL! This did not address a single letter of what I asked you.


“Drake said:
">>>Again, repeat again, you are collapsing the idea of inseparability with numeric unity."

“Because it's true!”

>>>Then you are by definition a monophysite!


“If the Divine Nature is both simple and Indivisible, than it's obviously a form of numeric unity.”

>>>But the first affirmation is false. The divine nature is not simple. There is a nature will distinction and a distinction within thoughts.


“Our friend David made use of the word "infinity" to describe something similar. As seen in the other thread:
http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2012/09/basil-great-letter-cxxv-excellent.html
quote
"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."

>>>The Nicene Creed never mentions God’s infinity. Secondly, I don’t believe in the infinity of the DN. That is Plotinus’ emanationism.



“The Source and it's derivative are of the same essence and they are inseparable, and so it's a form of numeric unity.”

>>>You just re-asserted your position. An assertion is not an argument.


“Drake, when you were talking to Ken, why, even you said:
http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2012/09/basil-great-letter-cxxv-excellent.html
quote
"">>>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.""

>>>And I clearly denied Plotinus’’ view of emanation thus denying infinitude to the DN.

“Drake, if the Christian form of emanation means no creation”


>>>Who says that?


“1.) Is there any separation between the Source and the Emanation? If the answer is no then ask yourself”

>>>Spatially, no, which is exactly the category you are thinking under, yet again, showing your view of DN is physical. Logically, no. Numerically with reference to cardinal numbers and numeric nature, yes.

Drake Shelton said...

“2.) Is the Essence of the Source and the Emanation the SAME?”

>>>No. One pertains to constitution; the other to activity. Ah, you are showing your latin commitments here. OOOOO, this fruit is getting rather juicy! On the Latin view, ADS, means that essence and existence, will, and activity are all the same. Have we unmasked Jnorm for the Papist he truly is?


“I'm not a philosopher and so you must explain what you mean by all this.”

>>No problem. http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/analogy-of-proportionality-refuted-univocal-predication-defended/



“So what would you call the humanity of Christ? What kind of nature(in your system)?”

>>>Well, as in all human natures, the Genus from which the particular derives is an Idea in God’s mind. The particular with reference to essence is a rational being with a will. With reference to nature, more broadly glossed, you have a numerically singular physical body with a racial identity springing from one of the sons of Noah and a tendency towards good or evil in the genus of being. With reference to Christ, of course all his tendencies were directed towards the good, his racial identity sprung from Shem.



“I also wondered what the difference was between the Gordan Clark view and the gnostic view?”

>>No problem: http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/gnosticism-compared-with-scripturalism-by-drake/


“If you want to claim the Nicene view as your own then you have to go by their understanding of "human individuals"

>>>Well here is my problem. I already showed from Davis that Athanasius was still confusing being and hypostasis all the way to the end of his ministry and the next big philosopher is Boethius, and his definition of person is agreeable to my own.
.

“as well as their analagies. This is why I quoted Saint Athanasius, and eventually Saint Alexander of Alexandria.”

>>Seeing SAA was the mentor of Athanasius I see no improvement by appealing to him.


“Most EO books are still un-translated, but even if I were to find one you would still reject it because you reject Apophatic Theology. Your Clarkianism is purely Catophatic. Both Judaism and Christianity embrace a form of Apophaticism, and so if your philosophy of language can't integrate Apophaticism then it's foriegn to the ethos of Christianity.”

>>> Dr. Clark spent 60 years in the professional sphere disproving the idea that Apophaticism was necessary to Christianity. What you should have stated is that Jewish Kabbalism and Anchoreticism is Apophatic. If taken consistently Apophaticism is Adoptionist, because it affirms the analogy of proportionality. See your buddy Perry Robinson’s article: http://energeticprocession.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/a-deformed-christ/

And the quote from Grisham expositing Theodore,

“the radical “other-ness” of God, he insisted that the divine and human natures could not be hypostatically joined without corruption of the divine, Theodore held that there is an inhering dualism in Christ’s person”

The radical other-ness of God is the basis for Apophaticism.


“What does this have to do with Nicea and the Nicene view? You see, you were reading all kinds of things into the words "human individuals".”

>>EVERYTHING! On my view the categories of divinity and humanity overlap at the level of intellect, the image of God; Thus providing the ontological groundwork for a hypostatic union and a proportional similarity in the language spoken about divine and human persons.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“How did the people who gathered at Nicea understand the words "human individuals"?”

>>>There is no definition recorded in the documents of the First Ecumenical Council to answer that.

“How did they understand the analagies? I already quoted Saints Alexander(mostly written by the younger Athanasius) and Athanasius.”

>>And I already proved that Athanasius was confused at the end of his ministry.


“I don't wanna repeat what I already mentioned up above and so I will just say that the unity of the Divine Persons is real in the sence that they are inseparable and undivided in a way we're not. Their Essence is simple and Indivisible, and they are Eternal and Infinit.

Our unity can be nominal and notional at times, but such a thing isn't true with the Divine Persons!”

>>You need to deal with the analogy of proportionality article first.


“You're going to have to explain this some more. I know you got this from Gordan Clark, but it's a foriegn language. So what do you mean by all this?”

>>> The categories of divine and human are not mutually exclusive: Apophaticism. The categories of divine and human are also not Jointly exhaustive: An absolute Cataphaticism. The categories of divine and human proportionally overlap at the level of intellect and even at this level we do not have a full exhaustion. The exact area where divine and human ontology overlap is the objects of God’s knowledge. I am considering myself bent over backwards with how much detail I have given to every single statement you have made and frustrated at how ambiguous and dismissively you have answered mine.

“Yes you addressed this, but your wrong in thinking that an Ecumenical council is isolated from the theology of a Church Father or Fathers and Witnesses.”

>>Actually Chalcedon is a great example of how wrong you are. Cyril’s theology was changed greatly in this council as both Cyril and Nestorius were accepted on some levels and rejected on numerous levels.

“What you said would be like if someone said "This issue is not about Saint Cyril of Alexandria. This is about the meaning of the Third Ecumenical Council."

>>>Ha. There it is! You know very well the next council gave Cyril and Nestorius the red pen of fellowship.

“Or if someone said:

"This issue is not about Saints Sophronius and Maximus. This is about the meaning of the Sixth Ecumenical council."


>>>I have one word for you: Chalcedon.

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“Do you see what I'm getting at? You made a similar mistake with the Fourth Ecumenical council, in thinking it was isolated from Saint Cyril of Alexandria, the formula of re-union, the Cappadocian Fathers......etc.”

>>>With reference to Chalcedon and Cyril, you are wrong for the following 9 reasons:

1. Cyril mentions "metaphysical transformation" (Cyril, McGukin, Christological Controversies, 187), as the definition of the hypostatic union. I was reading Cyril in all the rest of the later councils and for that reason (the very thing you are saying I didn’t do) I misunderstood Constantinople 553, The Capitula of the Council VII.


2. Cyril is rejected in the Council of Chalcedon under the clause that the natures are without mixture.

3. Cyril's "Mia Physis" itself rejects two natures in one person. At the fourth session of Chalcedon "in two natures" was rejected (McGuckin 235) however due to Marcian’s threats it was settled as the default reading since there was nothing else anyone could agree on. (McGuckin 235, 236)

4. Cyril’s “one Incarnate nature of the divine Word” was clearly rejected by Chalcedon 451 A.D. Yet many, if I can say most, Cyrilians thought Chalcedon was Nestorian. Alan Spence says,

“How then are we to characterize the Definition of Chalcedon? Drawing on both
traditions it presented in confessional form the elements necessary for an
adequate or comprehensive Christology, which included the substantial unity of
Christ’s person and the full and active reality of both his manhood and his
Godhead. It is therefore a misunderstanding, I believe, to view it as a
framework within which a number of orthodox Christologies (including the
Alexandrian and Antiochene formulations) are possible. On the contrary, there
was no Christology to hand which was able to incorporate coherently its
various elements. Therein lay the Definition’s essential instability and the theological reason why the controversy lingered on in the centuries beyond
Chalcedon with such tragic consequences for the unity of the Church.”
Alan Spence, Incarnation and Inspiration John Owen and the Coherence of Christology (New York, T&T Clark, 2007), 147


5. Cyril's "One Enfleshed nature of the Logos" was a political move and effective one at that. I am not alone in this seeing that Chalcedon rejected it (McGuckin 213) and Cyril himself moved away from it later on (McGuckin 227).


6. The huge divisions between the Cyrilians i.e. Apollonarians, Monophysites, the
supporters of the Henotikon and the Chalcedonians. This came to such bitter division that
riots between them and the Chalcedonian monks in Constantinople 512 A.D. were incited
in such violent fashion that Monophysite houses were burnt and Monophysite imperial
commissioners were drove away with stones.

7. Chalcedon was rejected by many in the West and most of the Eastern Church as
Nestorian and still is by the Oriental Orthodox who make up 26% of Orthodox
Christianity to this day;

8. Those accused of heresy for denying the human nature and condemning Chalcedon i.e.
Flavian, Eutyches, Pope Leo I, Apollinaris, John the Grammarian, the Monophysites,
those who accepted the Henotikon, Severus, Emperor Anastasius, The Armenian Church
in toto in the 5th century, Timothy the Cat, and Philoxenus the Syrian Bishop to name a
few, were all understood to be Cyrilian

9. Cyril of Alexandria bribed the court in Ephesus to have Nestorius condemned.
Stephen M. Ulrich in his article, The Lynching of Nestorius says,

"After things had settled down in Constantinople, Theodoret came to Chalcedon
presenting views not far from those of Nestorius and found a considerable
amount of support. This may indicate that the support for Cyril's views may have
been artificially contrived through political alliances with Empress Pulcheria and
the wealth distributed by Cyril to members of the imperial court in the sum of
1400 pounds of gold shortly before the Council in 431. (Gregory 113)"

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“Do you see what I'm getting at? You made a similar mistake with the Fourth Ecumenical council, in thinking it was isolated from Saint Cyril of Alexandria, the formula of re-union, the Cappadocian Fathers......etc.”

>>>With reference to Chalcedon and Cyril, you are wrong for the following 9 reasons:

1. Cyril mentions "metaphysical transformation" (Cyril, McGukin, Christological Controversies, 187), as the definition of the hypostatic union. I was reading Cyril in all the rest of the later councils and for that reason (the very thing you are saying I didn’t do) I misunderstood Constantinople 553, The Capitula of the Council VII.


2. Cyril is rejected in the Council of Chalcedon under the clause that the natures are without mixture.

3. Cyril's "Mia Physis" itself rejects two natures in one person. At the fourth session of Chalcedon "in two natures" was rejected (McGuckin 235) however due to Marcian’s threats it was settled as the default reading since there was nothing else anyone could agree on. (McGuckin 235, 236)

4. Cyril’s “one Incarnate nature of the divine Word” was clearly rejected by Chalcedon 451 A.D. Yet many, if I can say most, Cyrilians thought Chalcedon was Nestorian. Alan Spence says,

“How then are we to characterize the Definition of Chalcedon? Drawing on both
traditions it presented in confessional form the elements necessary for an
adequate or comprehensive Christology, which included the substantial unity of
Christ’s person and the full and active reality of both his manhood and his
Godhead. It is therefore a misunderstanding, I believe, to view it as a
framework within which a number of orthodox Christologies (including the
Alexandrian and Antiochene formulations) are possible. On the contrary, there
was no Christology to hand which was able to incorporate coherently its
various elements. Therein lay the Definition’s essential instability and the theological reason why the controversy lingered on in the centuries beyond
Chalcedon with such tragic consequences for the unity of the Church.”
Alan Spence, Incarnation and Inspiration John Owen and the Coherence of Christology (New York, T&T Clark, 2007), 147


5. Cyril's "One Enfleshed nature of the Logos" was a political move and effective one at that. I am not alone in this seeing that Chalcedon rejected it (McGuckin 213) and Cyril himself moved away from it later on (McGuckin 227).


6. The huge divisions between the Cyrilians i.e. Apollonarians, Monophysites, the
supporters of the Henotikon and the Chalcedonians. This came to such bitter division that
riots between them and the Chalcedonian monks in Constantinople 512 A.D. were incited
in such violent fashion that Monophysite houses were burnt and Monophysite imperial
commissioners were drove away with stones.

7. Chalcedon was rejected by many in the West and most of the Eastern Church as
Nestorian and still is by the Oriental Orthodox who make up 26% of Orthodox
Christianity to this day;

8. Those accused of heresy for denying the human nature and condemning Chalcedon i.e.
Flavian, Eutyches, Pope Leo I, Apollinaris, John the Grammarian, the Monophysites,
those who accepted the Henotikon, Severus, Emperor Anastasius, The Armenian Church
in toto in the 5th century, Timothy the Cat, and Philoxenus the Syrian Bishop to name a
few, were all understood to be Cyrilian

9. Cyril of Alexandria bribed the court in Ephesus to have Nestorius condemned.
Stephen M. Ulrich in his article, The Lynching of Nestorius says,

"After things had settled down in Constantinople, Theodoret came to Chalcedon
presenting views not far from those of Nestorius and found a considerable
amount of support. This may indicate that the support for Cyril's views may have
been artificially contrived through political alliances with Empress Pulcheria and
the wealth distributed by Cyril to members of the imperial court in the sum of
1400 pounds of gold shortly before the Council in 431. (Gregory 113)"

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“I have a book that might dispute that claim. For Fr Dragas who is a Saint Athanasius scholar and professor said in his book "Saint Athanasius of Alexandria: Original Research and New Perspectives"
http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Athanasius-Alexandria-Perspectives-Theological/dp/1933275006
quote
"The only evidence adduced by those who deny the expression treis hypostaseis to Athanasius is his statement in Ad Afros 4, where Athanasius identifies ousia, hypostasis and hyparxis. But this text does not deal with the question of one or three hypostaseis but with the existential meaning of the term which is rejected by the Arians at the synod of Ariminium."

>>>This quote does not demonstrate the different meanings or definitions he had for each of those terms.


“But why are you picking on Saint Athanasius when you keep saying that a hypostasis must have it's own numeric nature?”

>>>So what?


Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

“I have a book that might dispute that claim. For Fr Dragas who is a Saint Athanasius scholar and professor said in his book "Saint Athanasius of Alexandria: Original Research and New Perspectives"
http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Athanasius-Alexandria-Perspectives-Theological/dp/1933275006
quote
"The only evidence adduced by those who deny the expression treis hypostaseis to Athanasius is his statement in Ad Afros 4, where Athanasius identifies ousia, hypostasis and hyparxis. But this text does not deal with the question of one or three hypostaseis but with the existential meaning of the term which is rejected by the Arians at the synod of Ariminium."

>>>This quote does not demonstrate the different meanings or definitions he had for each of those terms.


“But why are you picking on Saint Athanasius when you keep saying that a hypostasis must have it's own numeric nature?”

>>>So what?