Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Nicene Creed, Council of Ephesus and Cyril of Alexandria: the Son of God begotten from the Father's essence


A number of Reformed folk (including Calvin himself) are quite adamant in their doctrinal stance concerning what is meant by the concept of the Son of God being begotten from God the Father; specifically, that the Son is begotten from the Father's person ONLY, emphatically denying that it is also from the Father's essence/substance (οὐσία).

Persons following this blog are well aware that the original Nicene Creed explicitly contradicted the above denial; yet once again, from the opening of the Nicene Creed of 325 we read:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible ; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father... (NPNF - 2nd series, Vol. 14, The Seven Ecumenical Councils, p. 3 - bold emphasis mine.)

The Nicene and post-Nicene Fathers of the 4th and 5th centuries who wrote on this subject were almost unanimous in their assent of the above. I have recently provided selections from some of those Church Fathers (e.g. Athanasius, Basil), and at this time would like to add Cyril of Alexander's assessment (which was officially adopted at the 3rd Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431). After quoting the entire Nicene Creed of 325, Cyril continued with:

Following in all points the confessions of the Holy Fathers which they made (the Holy Ghost speaking in them), and following the scope of their opinions, and going, as it were, in the royal way, we confess that the Only begotten Word of God, begotten of the same substance of the Father... (Ibid.. p. 202 - bold emphasis mine.)

Now, what I find interesting is the fact that most confessional Reformed folk claim they accept the creeds and definitions of the 1st four Ecumenical councils; and yet, a number of those same folk deny that the Son of God was begotten from the essence/substance of the Father. How can this be anything but a blatant contradiction?


Grace and peace,

David

72 comments:

Justin said...

Hello David,

Philip Schaff comes to the same conclusions, but does note that some of the "later Nicene fathers" speak of a communication of hypostases only, but unfortunately does not give any references.

http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=YUU_AAAAYAAJ&num=15&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA682

Ken said...

some reformed and Calvin said -

that the Son is begotten from the Father's person ONLY,

not of the same substance -

Can we get references to that? in Calvin and the Reformed

David Waltz said...

Hi Justin,

Thanks much for taking the time to post, and providing the selection from Schaff.

I immediately remembered that section from Schaff, but had entirely forgotten the following portion:

"Yet this expression may be more correctly understood, and is in fact sometimes used by the later Nicene fathers, as giving the Son and Spirit only their hypostases from the Father, while the essence of deity is common to all three persons, and is co-eternal in all." (3.682)

As you mentioned, Schaff, "unfortunately does not give any references" as to who he thinks those "later Nicene fathers" were. But, in his next chapter (The Post-Nicene Trinitarian Doctrine of Augustine) of the volume he writes:

"He [Augustine] eliminated the remnant of subordinationism, and brought out more clearly and sharply the consubstantiality of the three persons and the numerical unity of their essence." (3.684)

This suggests that Augustine was the first to clearly delineate the doctrine that the Son and HS derive only "their hypostases from the Father".

And further, Schaff in his lengthy footnote on page 683 references George (Bishop) Bull's "Defensio fidei Nic.", which: "treats quite at large of the subordination of the Son to the Father, and in behalf of the identity of the Nicene and ante-Nicene doctrine proves that all the orthodox fathers, before and after the council of Nice, 'uno ore docuerunt naturam perfectionesque divinas Patri Filoque competere non callateraliter aut coordinate, sed subordinate ; hoc est, Filium eandem quidem naturam divinam cum Patre communem habere, sed a Patre communicatam ; ita scilicet ut Pater solus naturam illam divinam a se habeat, sive a nullo alio, Filius autem a Patre ; proinde Pater divinitatis, quae in Filio est, origo ac principium sit," etc.'"

The English translation of the above Latin reads:

...with one accord taught, that the divine nature and perfections belong to the Father and the Son, not collaterally or co-ordinately, but subordinately ; that is to say, that the Son has indeed the same divine nature in common with the Father, but communicated by the Father ; in such sense, that is, that the Father alone hath the divine nature from Himself, in other words, from no other, but the Son the Father; consequently that the Father is the fountain, origin, and principle, of the Divinity which is in the Son.

Once again, thanks much for your post; you have prompted me to type up a thread on George Bull's keen assessments.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Right now I am in the 'thick' of working on a new thread, so my response at this time will be brief. I am quite sure (from memory) that Calvin mentions in his Institutes that it is only the person of the Son that is begotten, and not His essence (do not want to break from my current studies to pin-point it—try Book 1.13).

Just last week I re-read Warfield's, "Calvin's Doctrine of the Trinity", and in that lengthy essay he penned:

The point of view which adjusted everything to the conception of “generation” and “procession” as worked out by the Nicene Fathers was entirely alien to him. The conception itself he found difficult, if not unthinkable; and although he admitted the facts of “generation” and “procession,” he treated them as bare facts, and refused to make them constitutive of the doctrine of the Trinity. He rather adjusted everything to the absolute divinity of each Person, their community in the one only true Deity; and to this we cannot doubt that he was ready not only to subordinate, but even to sacrifice, if need be, the entire body of Nicene speculations. Moreover, it would seem at least very doubtful if Calvin, while he retained the conception of “generation” and “procession,” strongly asserting that the Father is the principium divinitatis, that the Son was “begotten” by Him before all ages and that the Spirit “proceeded” from the Father and Son before time began, thought of this begetting and procession as involving any communication of essence. His conception was that, because it is the Person of the Father which begets the Person of the Son, and the Person of the Spirit which proceeds from the Persons of the Father and Son, it is precisely the distinguishing property of the Son which is the thing common to Father and Son, and the distinguishing property of the Spirit which is the product of the procession, not the essence which is common to all three persons. (The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield - Volume V - Calvin and Calvinism, Baker 1981 reprint, p. 258 - bold emphasis mine.)

If I have time tomorrow, I will work a bit deeper on this issue for you.


Grace and peace,

David

city said...

thanks for sharing..

Lvka said...

Christ is born, glorify Him.

Christ from Heaven, come meet Him.

Christ on earth, lift up your souls.

Sing to the Lord all the earth,

and joyfully praise Him, for He has been most-glorified.

Merry Christmas, Dave !

Lvka said...

Your birth, oh Christ our God, has shown the world the light of truth: for through it those that worshipped the stars have been taught by the star to worship You, the Sun of righteousness, and have come to know You, the Sunrise from on high.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK08_Xk7Umw

David Waltz said...

Hi Lvka,

Thanks much for your posts, and the YouTubelink.


God bless,

David

Nick said...

These kinds of posts are great. For some reason, I think Photios and post-Palamas Eastern Orthodoxy have come down on the side that only persons are begotten.

David Waltz said...

Hi Nick,

Thanks much for taking the time to comment; in your post, you wrote:

==These kinds of posts are great.==

It is good to know that you are finding some value in these threads that are reflecting on the early Church Fathers and Creeds.

==For some reason, I think Photios and post-Palamas Eastern Orthodoxy have come down on the side that only persons are begotten.==

This is the first time that I have heard this. I am certainly no expert on either Photios or Palamas, so I would be very interested in hearing what our EO brothers have to say on this.

For the 'record' modern EO theologians like Fathers Behr and Hopko emphasize the monarchy of God the Father, and that the Son is begotten from his essence.

I could be wrong on this, but I thought Calvin was the first to DENY that the Son was begotten from the Father's essence. This does not mean that theologians prior Calvin did not affirm that the Son was begotten from the Father's 'person' (i.e. hypostasis); but rather, that in this affirmation, the begotteness from the Father's essence was not excluded.


Grace and peace,

David

Nick said...

I have actually not known how to properly understand this. The 'options' are that the Son is begotten of (a) the Father's essence alone, (b) the Father's person alone, or (c) both the Father's essence and person. It seems that 'C' is the correct option, but then why does the Creed speak only of being begotten of the same nature?




David Waltz said...

Hello again Nick,

Yesterday, you posted:

==I have actually not known how to properly understand this. The 'options' are that the Son is begotten of (a) the Father's essence alone, (b) the Father's person alone, or (c) both the Father's essence and person. It seems that 'C' is the correct option, but then why does the Creed speak only of being begotten of the same nature?==

IMO, the original Nicene Creed allows for only one "correct option": "C".

Basil, in his 125th epistle/letter, affirms this assessment. (See THIS THREAD for a complete English translation of the letter.)


Grace and peace,

David

Ryan said...

To say the Son is begotten of the person of the Father but not of the essence of the Father makes no sense, for while an essence can be considered apart from an individual, an individual cannot be considered apart from his essence.

This is why it seems to me that those who do not consider the "second person" to be a Son by [the Father's] nature must rather consider Him to be a Son by adoption, even if it's an eternal adoption. For it's not the person of the Son who is generated per se but rather a personal property of the person.

Drake Shelton said...

David,

I am begining to be persuaded by Samul Clarke's homoiousios position. My friend Michael and I have been digging to the roots of these issues and I am faced with a problem with homoousios that I see no solution for.

It appears to me that only the Father has the ability to cause another divine person. Though the formal necessity to cause the Son is in his hypostasis, the ability, power and energy to accomplish that is in his nature. If that is the case, there is a difference between the Father's nature and the Son's. However, if we make the necessity to cause a formal one and not an efficient one, we could say that all three persons have the ability to cause but only the father's hypostasis carries the formal necessity to cause and that would retain the homoousios. Thus, the son would be omnipotent, but his hypostasis carries no formal necessity to caue, thus the filioque would be avoided.

Any thoughts?

Lvka said...

Yes, Drake.

The Father is the Arche of the Holy Trinity, and Arche means Root. Just like the root or admin in certain computer operating systems. Now, the root or admin shares the same resources [nature] as the rest of other guest users... but NOT the same rights [or powers] over those same resources as them. The other users only have as mush power over those shared resources as the root or admin is willing to give them.

+ Saints William and Linus, pray for us ! +

Drake Shelton said...

Lvka, that was good.

David Waltz said...

Hi Ryan,

Last Sunday evening, you posted:

==To say the Son is begotten of the person of the Father but not of the essence of the Father makes no sense, for while an essence can be considered apart from an individual, an individual cannot be considered apart from his essence.

This is why it seems to me that those who do not consider the "second person" to be a Son by [the Father's] nature must rather consider Him to be a Son by adoption, even if it's an eternal adoption. For it's not the person of the Son who is generated per se but rather a personal property of the person.==

This is virtually identical to Bishop Bull's assessment; note the following:

But this proposition is especially worthy of attention on account of certain moderns, who obstinately contend that the Son may properly be called aὐτόθεος, i. e. God of Himself. This view is inconsistent both with the hypotheses of those who maintain it, and with catholic consent. They say, I mean, that the Son is from God the Father, as He is Son, and not as He is God ; that He received His Person, not His essence, or Divine Nature, from the Father. But this is self contradictory; for, as Petavius rightly says, "The Son of God cannot be begotten by the Father, unless He receive from Him His nature and Godhead." For what else is it 'to be begotten,' than to be sprung from another, so as to have a like nature ? he who is begotten must necessarily have [his] nature in such wise communicated by him [who begets,] as in it to be like him who begets [him.] Unless indeed Christ, in that He is the Son of God, is not God; or receives a relation only from the Father without [receiving] Godhead. I add, that in this case Person cannot be conceived of without essence, unless you lay down Person in the Godhead to be nothing else than a mere mode of existence, which is simple Sabellianism. (DEFENSIO FIDEI NICÆNÆ , Vol. 2, Book IV, p. 565)



[http://archive.org/details/defensiofidei02bulluoft]


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Drake,

Yesterday, you wrote:

==It appears to me that only the Father has the ability to cause another divine person. Though the formal necessity to cause the Son is in his hypostasis, the ability, power and energy to accomplish that is in his nature. If that is the case, there is a difference between the Father's nature and the Son's.==

I am not so sure that the Son DOES NOT have the 'ability' to 'cause' another divine person; he may have the ability to do so, but has not done so. But, if he does have that ability, it is derivative, as are all his attributes and abilities.

Now, concerning the divine nature, and it's relationship between the Father and the Son, I think Bishop Bull has given us an excellent assessment:

>>1. RESPECTING the subordination of the Son to the Father,

His origin and principle, we have incidentally, and THE SON, when engaged on other points, spoken not a little in the preceding books ; it is, however, an argument not unworthy of a more careful discussion by itself in a separate book ; especially as at the beginning of our work we put it forward as a distinct head of doctrine delivered in the Nicene Creed, and which we proposed to establish by testimonies out of the ancients. Respecting this subordination,, then, let the following be our first proposition :

THE FIRST PROPOSITION.

THAT decree of the council of Nice, in which it is laid down that the Son of God is 'God of God,' is confirmed by the voice of the catholic doctors, both those who wrote before, and those who wrote after, that council. For they all with one accord taught, that the divine nature and perfections belong to the Father and the Son, not collaterally or coordinately, but subordinately ; that is to say, that the Son has indeed the same divine nature in common with the Father, but communicated by the Father ; in such sense, that is, that the Father alone hath the divine nature from Himself, in other words, from no other, but the Son the Father; consequently that the Father is the fountain, origin, and principle, of the Divinity which is in the Son. (DEFENSIO FIDEI NICÆNÆ , Vol. 2, Book IV, pp. 556, 557.)>>

[http://archive.org/details/defensiofidei02bulluoft]


Grace and peace,

David

Justin said...

==It appears to me that only the Father has the ability to cause another divine person. Though the formal necessity to cause the Son is in his hypostasis, the ability, power and energy to accomplish that is in his nature. If that is the case, there is a difference between the Father's nature and the Son's.==

I am not so sure that the Son DOES NOT have the 'ability' to 'cause' another divine person; he may have the ability to do so, but has not done so. But, if he does have that ability, it is derivative, as are all his attributes and abilities.

I wonder what a Thomist would say in regards to this, seeing as the doctrine of actus purus would seem to create conflict here. I also wonder the same thing with Photius's argument in his Mystagogy of the Spirit producing a 4th person - it seems the argument is aggravated within a scholastic framework.

Drake Shelton said...

Justin,

As of now, I am in agreement from the clarification that Lvka made. The Son has the ability to cause another divine person but not the authority, not the right.

Ken said...

http://bloggingtheology.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/jesus-is-not-god-bible-verses/#comments

See above, where Paul Williams, a British Muslim who came from a Christian background, and claims to have been an Evangelical for while. (He claims he had a born-again evangelical experience.)

He is using the writings of Kermit Zarley - "Servetus the Evangelical" - who denies the Trinity and the Deity of Christ, to bolster his point.

A lot of the same kinds of arguments that Muslims and modern Arians, Jehovah's Witnesses, One-ness folks - they are using the same verses, and similar arguments against the Deity of Christ and against the Trinity, that you guys are making in saying that "the only God" or "the one God" is only the Father's person.

It seems to me that since Theos is used of Jesus in John 1:1, 20:28; 1:18; 5:17; Romans 9:5, 1 John 5:20; Hebrews 1:8 - along with the other texts and information, the development into the Doctrine of the Trinity as one God from all eternity in essence and nature/substance, but three in persons/personal relationships - seems right, taking all the verses into account.

One of the big problems is our understanding of time and eternity, because by emphasizing the Monarchy of the Father so much, it can be taken as the Son and the Spirit are lower and implies that they came into existence at a later time than the Father - and that communicates 2 other little gods - and that is shirk in Islam and is also against Monotheism.

It seems to me that one substance (generic and number) and three eternal persons protects Monotheism and guards against tritheism and guards against Unitarianism better than your view does.

Ken said...

And also the Monarchy of the Father can be affirmed in the sense of the roles, that is affirmed in the "economic Trinity" - different roles of the persons - the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The Father has a more authoritative role by nature in that He is Father; and the Son and the Spirit are only hinted at in the OT.

Nick said...

Ken,

You're sounding like an Arminian.

Ken said...

David,
Warfield's statement does not seem to be saying exactly what you are saying and even the bare statement of Nicea seems to be a little different than Cyril of Alexandria's statement.

If I recall, you said that Augustine was the first one to change the traditional understanding of "same substance" to "one substance" - and that seems to be a numeric oneness and a generic oneness and from there Calvin developed that thought further with "auto-theos" (I take your word on that - I have not had to the time to study all that from Calvin).

But there is also a hierarchy and difference of roles, that the "one nature-three person" view also affirms, it seems nit-picky to call other Christians heretics on this issue - so it doesn't seem right to call Augustine, Calvin, Warfield and others heretics on this issue.

That view seems easier to explain both the oneness of God and the three-ness of the persons and also the Deity of Christ, etc.

Ken said...

Nick,
How does Arminianism have anything to do with the issues of the Trinity?

Ryan said...

Ken,

"It seems to me that one substance (generic and number) and three eternal persons protects Monotheism and guards against tritheism and guards against Unitarianism better than your view does."

In what sense is the divine nature numerically one? In the sense that what "divine nature" means is numerically distinct, or in the sense that the persons of the Trinity share one mind, will, etc.?

Nick said...

Ken,

I was kind of joking, but when you say things like the following it's as if I was listening to an Arminian making a case why the 'cold hard logic' of Calvinism doesn't take all the details into account:

"It seems to me that since X is used in ... along with the other texts and information, the development into the Doctrine ... seems right, taking all the verses into account. One of the big problems is our understanding of time and eternity"

Is this not how Arminians argue against the Reformed ideas of Predestination, Election, etc?

My intention is not to take this thread off topic; I was just attempting some humor.

Ken said...

Ryan,
It seems to me that the Divine Nature is numerically one (one substance/essence/nature) because there is only one God. That there is only one God necessitates that. The view that Drake and I guess that you (correct me if I am wrong) and David W. and Mark (?) and others (?) are promoting sounds like One God, the Father, and two little gods. That is weird.

The persons have different minds, wills, and emotions - that is what it means to be a person. Yes, I believe God has emotions(Genesis 6:5; Ephesians 4:30, I John 4:8), but He is without moods-swings - which is what the classic impassibility of God was trying to communicate.

Ken said...

Nick,
Thanks for the clarification and attempt at humor. I didn't discern that it was humor, but now I get your point - your point is about the method of argumentation in regard to time.

Getting back to the Trinity issues, don't you agree that Augustine was right to take "same substance" to "one substance" ? (Since there is only One God) - that is what David Waltz wrote in earlier threads - that Augustine was the one who took it beyond the Nicean Creed and then Calvin took it further with autotheos.

About "our understanding of time and eternity" -

If all three persons are eternal back to eternity past, then both autotheos and homo-ousias, the Nicean Creed, and eternal generation, and some sort of hierarchy that the Father is greater in His role - they all make sense.

But when one says, "only the Father is the one true God" as if the Son and the Holy Spirit are not God, then that doesn't make sense.

Ken said...

God has emotions - should have had Genesis 6:6, not Genesis 6:5

Nick said...

I don't know where Augustine said "one God" refers to "one nature," but I remember when I looked this up on one of David's old threads I saw that Augustine and Aquinas interpreted the "I believe in one God" in the Creeds as referring to the Person of the Father.

Ken said...

David W. wrote that Augustine took it from "same substance" ( homo-ousia) to "one substance" ( mono-ousia) for God.

Nick said...

What post was that?

Ken said...

http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/search/label/Monarchy%20of%20God%20the%20Father

It was somewhere in all of these posts - I spent some time trying to find it exactly - but cannot yet - maybe David W. can help us find the exact post and/or comment box when he gets the time.

Ryan said...

Ken,

"It seems to me that the Divine Nature is numerically one (one substance/essence/nature) because there is only one God. That there is only one God necessitates that. The view that Drake and I guess that you (correct me if I am wrong) and David W. and Mark (?) and others (?) are promoting sounds like One God, the Father, and two little gods. That is weird."

Is it? Who (not what) does the New Testament refer to in every instance in which a reference is made to the "one God" or "[only] true God"? Is it not rather weird to say the "one God" is the divine nature when no Scriptures say that?

"The persons have different minds, wills, and emotions..."

Then I do not see how you avoid tritheism. If the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Spirit is God, then while the meaning of [the one] God (i.e. "divine") may be distinct from everything else, there are still three divinities and hence three Gods. Human nature too is one substance - you and I are homoousios - and yet you acknowledge multiple humans, do you not?

Ken said...

multiple humans yes, but there is only one God. Since the Son Jesus is also called God, Theos, θεος - John 1:1; 20:28; 1:18; Romans 9:5; 1 John 5:20; Hebrews 1:8; John 8:56-58; John 5:17; John 10:30, etc. - This means that the Son is homo-ousias - of the same nature - and since there is only one God, the oneness applies to the nature/substance of the Trinity and the three-ness applies to the persons/personal relationships.

The classic formulation is "One God in nature/substance/essence; three in person".


Don't you agree that the persons have different wills, minds, emotions?

David Waltz said...

Hello Ken,

My, you were quite busy yesterday! I have only about 30 minutes before I head down to the beach for a run (low tide is at 10:14), so my response at this time will be brief—upon my return (and a shower [grin]), I plan to spend more time on your posts.

In your 01-02-13 11:30AM post, you wrote:

==A lot of the same kinds of arguments that Muslims and modern Arians, Jehovah's Witnesses, One-ness folks - they are using the same verses, and similar arguments against the Deity of Christ and against the Trinity, that you guys are making in saying that "the only God" or "the one God" is only the Father's person.==

First, the "One-ness folks" (i.e. Modalists, Patripassians, Sabellians, et al.) should not be included in your above list for they favor the verses that most Augustinian/Latin Trinitarians use to defend their particular notion of the Trinity. In fact, the historic Arians lumped the Catholic Trinitarians and the Modalists, Patripassians, Sabellians, together because they were "using the same verses, and similar arguments against" the Arian position.

Second, I have never argued that the that "'the only God' or 'the one God' is only "the Father's person", but rather, that the 'the only God' or 'the one God' spoken of in the Bible and original Nicene Creed is the Father of the Son of God. It is that Being (essence and person) Who is always the referent when such phrases as 'the only God', 'the one God', et al. are employed. You have yet to provide any verse/s wherein such phrases are used in reference to the Son of God.

4 minutes later, you posted:

==And also the Monarchy of the Father can be affirmed in the sense of the roles, that is affirmed in the "economic Trinity" - different roles of the persons - the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. The Father has a more authoritative role by nature in that He is Father; and the Son and the Spirit are only hinted at in the OT.==

The above is one of the favorite arguments of the Modalists, Patripassians, Sabellians—I can see why some Eastern Orthodox theologians have labeled the Augustinian/Latin version of the Trinity as 'modalism'.


More later, the Lord willing...


Grace and peace,

David

Drake Shelton said...

Ken is Count Ad-hocula.

Numeric substance precludes three minds and wills Ken. If there is only one being there is by definition only one mind.

Ryan said...

"...the oneness applies to the nature/substance of the Trinity and the three-ness applies to the persons/personal relationships."

Again, two points: firstly, why is there one God but not one man? Men are homoousios just as the Trinity are homoousios. Secondly, where in Scripture can you substitute "one [divine] nature/substance/essence" for "one God" without a loss of meaning?

"Don't you agree that the persons have different wills, minds, emotions?"

Of course. But this is a reason generic unity is insufficient to avoid tritheism.

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Back from my run...

In your 01-02-13 11:45 AM post, you penned:

== David,
Warfield's statement does not seem to be saying exactly what you are saying and even the bare statement of Nicea seems to be a little different than Cyril of Alexandria's statement.==

Here is what I wrote in the opening post of this thread:

>> A number of Reformed folk (including Calvin himself) are quite adamant in their doctrinal stance concerning what is meant by the concept of the Son of God being begotten from God the Father; specifically, that the Son is begotten from the Father's person ONLY, emphatically denying that it is also from the Father's essence/substance (οὐσία).>>

Then in the combox I provided a selection from Warfield; here is part of that quote again:

>>...it would seem at least very doubtful if Calvin, while he retained the conception of “generation” and “procession,” strongly asserting that the Father is the principium divinitatis, that the Son was “begotten” by Him before all ages and that the Spirit “proceeded” from the Father and Son before time began, thought of this begetting and procession as involving any communication of essence. His conception was that, because it is the Person of the Father which begets the Person of the Son, and the Person of the Spirit which proceeds from the Persons of the Father and Son, it is precisely the distinguishing property of the Son which is the thing common to Father and Son, and the distinguishing property of the Spirit which is the product of the procession, not the essence which is common to all three persons. (The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield - Volume V - Calvin and Calvinism, Baker 1981 reprint, p. 258 - bold emphasis mine.)>>

Note that Warfield states that Calvin did not think that conceptions of "generation", "procession" and "begotten" involved "any communication of essence", but rather, is was "the Person of the Father which begets the Person of the Son".

Now, that is certainly NOT the conception portrayed in the original Nicene Creed. And lest you think the esteemed Warfield may have misunderstood Calvin, the following is what Calvin himself wrote:

"Yet we teach from the Scripture that God is one in essence, and hence that the essence of both the Son and the Spirit is unbegotten;" (Institutes, Library of Christian Classis edition, volume XX, Book I, Chapter XIII.25, page 153 - bold emphasis mine.)

On the next page Calvin states:

"Thus his essence [the Son's] is without beginning; while the beginning of his person is God himself." (Ibid. page 154)

If you still think that I have been inaccurate, could you please be specific?


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

If you still think that I have been inaccurate, could you please be specific?

I will confess up front that I find the whole subject hard to grasp/understand, in the way that you and others talk about it. I had never heard these details before. I had always thought that there were only one doctrine of the Trinity - that God is one in nature/substance/essence but three in person/personal relationships; yet there is also a differentiation of roles in what is known as the aspect of "the economic Trinity" (I confess that is also nebulous to me.)

The two quotes from Calvin are helpful for clarification in this discussion - thank you for that - I am learning a lot.

"Yet we teach from the Scripture that God is one in essence, and hence that the essence of both the Son and the Spirit is unbegotten;" (Institutes, Library of Christian Classis edition, volume XX, Book I, Chapter XIII.25, page 153 - bold emphasis mine.)

Since Calvin does not define what he means by "unbegotten" in that statement, it sounds like he is saying the essence of the Son and the Holy Spirit is eternal into the past and without beginning. (which is confirmed by the second quote.) It sounds like he means that the essence/nature of the Son and H.S. always existed, which is orthodox, I would think.

"today, I have begotten You" (Psalm 2:7; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5) sounds like when Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, as does Luke 1:34-35 seems to communicate.

The second quote confirms the eternality of the divine nature.

"Thus his essence [the Son's] is without beginning; while the beginning of his person is God himself." (Ibid. page 154)

But the person of the Son is eternal also, so the second part is confusing. Maybe that is where Calvin is saying something close to your Monarchy of the Father concept - that the Son's source is from the Father, but both essence and persons are eternal. The whole concept of "eternal generation" and "eternal begetting" are difficult concepts to even make in the mind. Normal linguistic concepts of "generation" and "begetting' imply "coming into being"; and that is where the struggle is.

But John 1:1 is clear that in eternity past, the Word was with God [ points to relationship and person]; and the Word was God [ demonstrating homo-sousia - same nature/essence/substance.]

I will try to explain what I meant by Cyril's statement seemingly a little different than Nicean in another post. Sorry if I didn't address what you think I should; as I still don't fully understand it all.

Ryan said...

Ken,

"I had always thought that there were only one doctrine of the Trinity - that God is one in nature/substance/essence but three in person/personal relationships..."

If you think about it, the idea that a divine nature can be three persons makes no more sense than the idea human nature can be x number of persons. Natures should be predicated of persons, not persons of nature. Jesus is human and divine: that is, Jesus has a human nature and a divine nature. Human and divine are not Jesus + some other sum of individuals.

I too had been taught that virtually every nominally Christian group believed the same doctrine of the Trinity. But it's just not true. The hard truth is that the doctrine of the Trinity as understood by [nominal] Christians in general has degressed rather than progressed since the time of the Nicene fathers.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

My defintion of the word "God" is autotheos. I affirm only one person is auto-theos and that is the Father. This therefore precludes any other person being called God. Therefore, your accusation that I affirm two little gods fails.

Ken said...

Drake,
Then Jesus the Son is not Deity in your paradigm. Not only is He not God in the flesh, etc. He is not a lower god.

this seems to be a denial of the Deity of Christ and the Trinity.

Yet, you believe that the Son is eternal and homo-ousias, right?

If the Son is eternal like rays from the Sun (the Father), and of the same nature, then the Son is God also - John 1:1; and always was God. But I understand better the autotheos and Monarchy issue better - the Father is the source of the Son, but there was still no time that the Son was not. That is a hard concept to hold both in the mind at the same time.

It seems more of a language issue. You seem to object to formulations of language rather than doctrine itself.

You wrote:
"This therefore precludes any other person being called God."

So, the Son is not God? What about John 1:1 ? and all the other passages I mentioned above - John 1:18; John 20:28; 1 John 5:20; Romans 9:5; Hebrews 1:8

The Holy Spirit is not God? Acts 5:3-5

You may say, they are Theos by nature/substance, but they are allowed to be called "the only God" or "autotheos". that is the main point you seem to be saying.

I understand the Monarchy of the Father better and that He is the source, but if both of the other persons are by nature Theos, then both views of the Trinity are biblical and orthodox; it seems to me.

When one aspect of the doctrine of the Trinity is pushed, then others are distorted.

There has to be some mystery in this, ultimately.

Ken said...

If you think about it, the idea that a divine nature can be three persons makes no more sense than the idea human nature can be x number of persons.

It does to me, since God is God and unique and NOT like humans. God is uncreated and eternal; but human beings are many and created by God. It makes sense because the formula "God is one nature and three persons" comes from harmonizing all the relevant verses together.

I am not accusing of this, but, the argument, " It doesn't make sense" -

sounds like Muslims and Oneness Pentecostals and Jehovah's witnesses that I have witnessed to over the years - Muslims since 1983; and JWs and others since 1977.

Ryan wrote:
"Natures should be predicated of persons, not persons of nature. "

I don't understand that statement above.

Jesus is human and divine: that is, Jesus has a human nature and a divine nature.

Yes

Human and divine are not Jesus + some other sum of individuals.

I don't understand that last sentence.

Ken said...

Ryan wrote:

If you think about it, the idea that a divine nature can be three persons makes no more sense than the idea human nature can be x number of persons.

When I wrote, "It does to me, since God is God and unique and not like humans . . . "

I was only agreeing with the first part of your sentence,

"If you think about it, the idea that a divine nature can be three persons makes no more sense

I disagree with the last part of this sentence and the comparison "than"

sorry, I didn't read it or understand it carefully; I am only saying that "one nature in three persons" makes sense, from the Biblical data; I am not affirming that a human nature can be a plural of persons, as the next part of your comparison says.

than the idea human nature can be x number of persons.

I agree that a human nature cannot be x number of persons; but God as one nature and three persons, does makes sense, only because the Bible affirms it.

John 1:1 affirms both that
the Word was with God from all eternity (in eternal personal relationship)
and
the Word was God (same nature)

therefore, One God, three persons (adding the other texts on the Deity of the Holy Spirit)

Ken said...

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible ; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father... (NPNF - 2nd series, Vol. 14, The Seven Ecumenical Councils, p. 3 - bold emphasis mine.)

the phrase "only begotten" is not defined here. It could be talking about eternal generation from eternity past, or it could be understood as the conception in the womb of Mary. Since both the nature of Christ as Deity / the Word is eternal and the person of the Son/the Word are both eternal; it seems like nick-pickiness to harp on John 17:3 and John 5:44 as locking up linguistic talk so as to call others "heretics" who say "one nature in three persons" and "the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Spirit; yet there is only One God."

It seems wooden and legalistic to restrict language that way and make it a dogma so much that one would separate from all the other Trinitarians. It is like "King James Onlyism" in its dogmatism and Jehovah's Witnesses in their dogmatic methods. (like the word Trinity is not in the Bible, therefore you are not allowed to use it or believe it.

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Drake seems quite busy with his own blog, so I thought I would step in and lend some assistance...

Drake posted:

==Ken,

My defintion of the word "God" is autotheos. I affirm only one person is auto-theos and that is the Father. This therefore precludes any other person being called God. Therefore, your accusation that I affirm two little gods fails.==

And you responded with:

==Drake,
Then Jesus the Son is not Deity in your paradigm. Not only is He not God in the flesh, etc. He is not a lower god.

this seems to be a denial of the Deity of Christ and the Trinity.==

Note the following from Drake's blog:

Sean Gerety: “The problem for Shelton is that neither numeric or generic unity has any similarity to his Unitarian or semi-Arian scheme where only the Father is the one true God.”

Drake Shelton: >>> How many times do we have to say this to him? When I am using the word “God” and say that the Father is the One God I am not using it like the Nicene Creed when it says that Christ is God from God. I am using it to refer to the one who is autotheos. If when the word “God” means divine with respect to nature then yes, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are God. But that is very confusing to people and so for the benefit of the consciences of the saints I use the word "God' to refer to the Father and "divine" to refer to the nature of Father, Son and Spirit. Sean does not care for the conscience because he is a hybrid Papist. Notice how Sean never answers how his view escapes tri-theism. If there are three beings that are God in a generic sense, he has three gods. The only escape is to an ad hoc assertion that he does not want it to mean that. (link to thread)

In the Bible and early Church Fathers the term God/Theos is used in different senses. Sometimes it is a title; sometimes it is a synonym of Godhead/Theotēs; and sometimes it is used in reference to the one, sole, Supreme Being Who is the Cause/Source of everything else that exists.

Anyway, sincerely hope I have been of some assistance.


Grace and peace,

David

Ryan said...

"It does to me, since God is God and unique and NOT like humans."

But in what sense is He not like humans that allows us to say a nature is three persons? The fact the nature is eternal does not seem relevant.

"It makes sense because the formula "God is one nature and three persons" comes from harmonizing all the relevant verses together."

None of the passages you cited ever predicates a person of the divine nature, so why do you think this?

"I don't understand that statement above."

Again, to use my example from the last post with which you agreed:

//Jesus is human and divine: that is, Jesus has a human nature and a divine nature.//

Human nature and divine nature are predicates in the proposition. Jesus is the subject. It's not the other way around. The predicates describe the subject. "Human" and "Divine" are descriptions of Jesus. What I am saying is that it makes no sense to say "Jesus" (person) describes "Human" or "Divine" (nature). "Jesus" is not in the definition of either human or divine nature. Rather, divine and human nature is in the definition of Jesus. That's because natures are predicates of persons. Persons are not predicates of nature.

"I am only saying that "one nature in three persons" makes sense, from the Biblical data"

I agree with this too. But notice the difference between your statements:

"God is three persons"
"God in three persons."

Where God = divine nature. "Is" and "In" are different. To say God "is" three persons is to say the nature is the subject and the persons are the predicates which describe that subject. As I hopefully showed above, this doesn't make sense. To say "God in three persons" is to say that there are three persons of whom the divine nature may be predicated; that is, the divine nature describes the persons (though not exhaustively). This is true.

However, I would be more careful in assuming what "God" means, for Scripture uses "God" to refer to a person, not a nature, at least 99% of the time, if not 100%.

"I am not affirming that a human nature can be a plural of persons, as the next part of your comparison says."

My point is I don't see what difference between divine nature and human nature allows you to intelligibly say divine nature can be a plurality of persons.

"I agree that a human nature cannot be x number of persons; but God as one nature and three persons, does makes sense, only because the Bible affirms it."

The Bible does not affirm that. You have provided no instance in the Bible in which any one of the Trinitarian persons (let alone all of them) are predicated of the divine nature. Even in your citations, the persons are the subjects, not the predicates. Even in your citations, the nature is the predicate, never the subject. For instance, you cite John 1:1 - "the Word was God." Again, "the Word" is the subject. "God" is the predicate. You can't change that to somehow mean "God is the Word."

Ken said...

Who is this Sean Gerety person?
(In an easy identifying manner without ad hominem - what does he himself claim to be?)

-------

Most of the last 2 posts were very helpful in understanding - I understood Drake's stuff through David W. better than I did Ryan and all the subject/predicate issues. ( I will have to read that over 10 more times slowly to even understand it. smile - except for the very last part - "God is the Word" is wrong, because that sounds like all of God is all of the Word, who is the second person of the Trinity, and that is not right, so I understand that aspect. The Father is not the Son / Word.

David Waltz finally gave a clear understanding of Drake's view.

I can see that both your Monarchy view and the view that most Protestants are taught ( One God in three persons) - both are in the pale of orthodoxy and Biblical and none of them fall into tritheism nor modalism nor Arianism.

I see no reason to argue against the "one God in essence/ substance and three in persons/personal relationships" formulation.

Ryan said...

"I will have to read that over 10 more times slowly to even understand it."

Ha. I am accustomed to speaking in certain terms, and it is a hard habit to break. I'll keep trying.

""God is the Word" is wrong, because that sounds like all of God is all of the Word, who is the second person of the Trinity, and that is not right, so I understand that aspect. The Father is not the Son / Word."

Yes, exactly. But consider what happens if you change that to "God is the Father, Son, and Spirit." Now, the Father is unbegotten whereas the Son is begotten, right? Even if we define begotten and unbegotten how Calvin did rather than the early church did, these are contradictories. In other words, a thing cannot be both "begotten" and "unbegotten," right? But that's exactly what happens if we say "God is the Father, Son, and Spirit."

"I can see that both your Monarchy view and the view that most Protestants are taught ( One God in three persons) - both are in the pale of orthodoxy and Biblical and none of them fall into tritheism nor modalism nor Arianism."

That's a good start at any rate!

"I see no reason to argue against the "one God in essence/ substance and three in persons/personal relationships" formulation."

Well, if Scripture depicts the one God as a person rather than an essence or nature, I'd say that's certainly worth arguing about.

Sean Gerety is, like Drake and myself, a Calvinist and a Scripturalist. We agree on many things, but the recent discussions we've been having with him on the Trinity on facebook and through his blog (godshammer.wordpress.com) has led him to believe we are Unitarians, semi-Arians, etc. rather than Trinitarians or Christians. We think his position leads to tritheism.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

If one position affirms one being/subject and another 3 being/subjects we have radically different positions. Someone is wrong here.

Sean is actually being introduced to a real Unitarian in the last few days. If he is honest he'll recant his accusations against us Nicene Monarchists.

Ken said...

Drake,
Thanks for continued response. I am learning a lot; but I confess that I may not know how to formulate my thoughts/questions - so bear with me. A lot of the struggle is in linguistic categories and word meanings and as always, as I said before, the aspect of how we humans understand time and eternity. Admittedly, eternity past and future are difficult concepts for our little minds to grasp when we think long on the subject. Space is also a difficult concept when we start thinking about "what is out there beyond the last star and planet? more space?

So, are you saying your view is one being/subject and two objects/predicates? what are the Son and Spirit, if they are are not divine beings?

I don't know what to do with the word itself "being" - because God is a being, but so is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - they are each divine beings - having their own mind, will, and emotions - but they always act in harmony with each other - i think that is part of the statement, "the Father and I are one" and "I always do the things that are pleasing to My Father" and "I have come to do the will of My Father", etc. and of the Holy Spirit - "He always glorifies Me" and "testifies of Me", etc.

So, I don't they are radically different - there has to be mystery beyond all the texts and theology that we have discussed here and what you and others have debated over in other forums.

Ken said...

typo

Should have been

So, I don't think they are radically different -

Nick said...

What is your take on the Monothelite issue? If Will is not a property of nature, then that means it's a property of person, which means 3 Wills in God and 1 will in the Incarnate Son.

I don't see how this can work with generic unity either, for in the case of Bob, Jim, and Tom, all generically have human nature but the will between/among them is not the same.

That said, I'm still thinking through the generic/numeric issue to visualize it better.

Ken said...

I thought the Monothelite issue was only about Christ's two wills - since He has two natures - He has a divine will and a human will. (Luke 22:42) The mono-thelitism was deemed a heresy because it seems to deny the humanity and real human will of Christ.

Ryan said...

Nick,

"If Will is not a property of nature, then that means it's a property of person, which means 3 Wills in God and 1 will in the Incarnate Son."

If I am not mistaken, a "nature"is simply the list of attributes a subject must possesses in order to be classified among other subjects under a given genus. Take the genus "divine." The persons of the Trinity may each univocally but distinctly have the attributes associated with divine nature predicated of them. Each possesses eternality, goodness, omniscience, energy, etc. These are all predicates they must possess in order to be classified as divine - so the will can and does pertain to the divine nature - and these predicates mean the same thing in each instance of predication, but the individual person is the one who possesses them.

Similarly, the Father, Son, and Spirit are each persons. "Person" means the same thing in each instance of prediciation, and to be a person is a necessary (though insufficient) condition for being classified as divine. But they are distinct persons because the possession of the predicate is distinct. That is, the Father, Son, and Spirit are distinct subjects as evidenced by their individuating properties. So with personhood, so too with will.

That is my understand, at least.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken,

"so are you saying your view is one being/subject and two objects/predicates? what are the Son and Spirit, if they are are not divine beings?”

No. That is your view. My view says the Trinity is three beings. One of the those beings is the source of the other two and thus he is the One God, the Father.

“I don't know what to do with the word itself "being" - because God is a being, but so is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - they are each divine beings”

>>>I could not describe for you more accurately the Neoplatonic Paganism behind your view of God. You just affirmed 4 subjects. God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The reason why you said it like this is because the system you believe was designed right off of Neoplatonism. There is a monad/one behind all things and at the tip of the hierarchy of being. All other beings are manifestations of this One.

“they are each divine beings - having their own mind, will, and emotions”

>>>Above you said, “It makes sense because the formula "God is one nature and three persons" comes from harmonizing all the relevant verses together.”

Above you acknowledged one nature and thus one being. Now you are acknowledging three beings. This is indicative of the confusion this system operates off of. There is no harmony to it Ken.

If there is only one nature, then there is only one mind, and will. I am not getting into the emotion issue, but I don’t believe God has emotions. The only way to hold to this is to say that mind and will pertains to hypostasis and not nature. That is absurd for one, and for two it falls into the problems that Nick listed above.

“So, I don't they are radically different - there has to be mystery beyond all the texts and theology that we have discussed here and what you and others have debated over in other forums.”

>>>So if there is mystery what gives you the right to deny what the bible says directly and unequivocally (John 17:3, 1 Cor 8:6) and leap out into Neoplatonic metaphysics to say that God is a nature that manifests itself as three predicate persons?

Lvka said...

Uhm... I never said that the Son has the power or ability to cause or generate another divine Person... God forbid ! All I said (in my semi-humorous approach) was that the Father never communicated to Him this power or ability in the act of generation. Nor is this ability (called fatherhood) included in what is understood by divine substance in the first place. For instance, babies cannot procreate, yet that does not make them less human. Women also aren't fathers, nor can they ever be, but that also doesn't make them less human. All three sexes share the same human nature, and -albeit humans are sexuate- this does not mean that all humans have the same sex. Just as Eve shares Adam's essence, but not his sex, albeit being taken from his nature, so do the Son and Spirit share the Father's essence, but not His distinctive personal attribute. And as Eve and Seth both come from Adam's body, but in two distinct ways, so do the Son and Spirit also come from God the Father's essence, but in two different ways. It's all very simple, really.

Lvka said...

Also, personhood and "mind" or will are not the same: otherwise Apollinarianism wouldn't have been condemned as a heresy by the early Church. Since all three Persons have the same nature, they also have the same mind (thoughts) and the same will (intentions). That is what the Sixth Ecumenical Council and Maxim Martyr taught. The divine Persons are not divided against one another, as humans are, because of sin, and there is no egoism or self-centeredness in them, so their minds and wills are not divided, but the same, as also their nature is the same.

Ken said...

Thanks Drake,
I think I finally understand the problem that you are having with that view of the Trinity. I don't believe in 4 different entities/beings; only three, sharing in one and the same nature/substance.

Muslims use John 17:3 and 1 Cor. 8:6 to deny that Jesus is God; yet you also said that - ( I paraphrase) - "the Son and the Holy Spirit are Theos in the sense that . . . "

Once we do that, then John 1:1 and other passages must be harmonized with John 17:3 and John 5:44 and I Cor. 8:6.

Not everything can be said in one verse.

Thanks for this post-graduate level seminar on the doctrine of the Trinity.

I don't really even know what Neo-Platonism is, except I have heard it talked about in discussions about Augustine and Church history, etc. -

I need to study and think about these things more deeply.

Drake Shelton said...

Ken, I leave you with Hilary of Poitiers, On the Trinity (Book VII), Section 12,


“12. And now let us see whether the confession of Thomas the Apostle, when he cried, My Lord and My God, corresponds with this assertion of the Evangelist. We see that he speaks of Him, Whom he confesses to be God, as My God. Now Thomas was undoubtedly familiar with those words of the Lord, Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God is One. How then could the faith of an Apostle become so oblivious of that primary command as to confess Christ as God, when life is conditional upon the confession of the Divine unity? It was because, in the light of the Resurrection, the whole mystery of the faith had become visible to the Apostle. He had often heard such words as, I and the Father are One, and, All things that the Father has are Mine, and, I in the Father and the Father in Me ; ****and now he can confess that the name of God expresses the nature of Christ, without peril to the faith. Without breach of loyalty to the One God, the Father******, his devotion could now regard the Son of God as God, since he believed that everything contained in the nature of the Son was truly of the same nature with the Father. No longer need he fear that such a confession as his was the proclamation of a second God, a treason against the unity of the Divine nature; for it was not a second God Whom that perfect birth of the Godhead had brought into being. Thus it was with full knowledge of the mystery of the Gospel that Thomas confessed his Lord and his God. ******It was not a title of honour; it was a confession of nature.***** He believed that Christ was God in substance and in power. And the Lord, in turn, shows that this act of worship was the expression not of mere reverence, but of faith, when He says, Because you have seen, you have believed; blessed are they which have not seen, and have believed. For Thomas had seen before he believed. But, you ask, What was it that Thomas believed? That, beyond a doubt, which is expressed in his words, My Lord and my God. No nature but that of God could have risen by its own might from death to life; and it is this fact, that Christ is God, which was confessed by Thomas with the confidence of an assured faith. Shall we, then, dream that His name of God is not a substantial reality, when that name has been proclaimed by a faith based uponcertain evidence? Surely a Son devoted to His Father, One Who did not His own will but the will of Him that sent Him, Who sought not His own glory but the glory of Him from Whom He came, would have rejected the adoration involved in such a name as destructive of that unity of God which had been the burden of His teaching. Yet, in fact, He confirms this assertion of the mysterious truth, made by the believing Apostle; He accepts as His own the name which belongs to the nature of the Father. And He teaches that they are blessed who, though they have not seen Him rise from the dead, yet have believed, on the assurance of the Resurrection, that He is God.”

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/330207.htm

Drake Shelton said...

Lvka,

I think your view of numeric being is the point of break between us. You think of person as hypostasis not as a whole ontological package of both being and hypostasis. In order for the Son to be homoousios with the Father on the Nicene Defintion, he must have the same abilities because he is not simply a hypostasis but an entire being. True, if he does not have the authority he does not de facto have the ability, but that is speaking ad extra, not ad intra.

Lvka said...

The Nicene definition does not include personal attributes in what is called divine essence. Nicaea never said that the Son must be either unbegotten or a second Father in order to be divine: that's what the Arians and Saint Augustine argued, not discerning betwen that which is common (essence) and that which is particular (hypostatic property).

Lvka said...

To beget is not a nature-related property, albeit essence is indeed being passed down through the act of begetting.

Drake Shelton said...

Lvka,

I don't think you faced what I said about numerical beings and the idea of persons as being hypostases.

"To beget is not a nature-related property, albeit essence is indeed being passed down through the act of begetting."

>>>I agree. But the power and ability top beget is something ad intra, while the act of begetting is ad extra.

Lvka said...

That's probably because I haven't got the faintest clue what "numerical beings" is supposed to mean... :-)

And intra or extra to what ? Essence ? Person ?

Person = personhood + personal attributes + essence + energies.

(The first two cannot be shared; the third is shared with other divine beings; the fourth and last is shared with creation).

Drake Shelton said...

Lvka,

Do you believe that the Godhead contains three beings or one being?

Ken said...

Drake,
Thanks for the quote from Hillary of Poitiers! I have copied it and am meditating on it and thinking about it.
In Christ,
Ken T.

Lvka said...

"Beings" in the modern sense of the word (ie, persons), or "being" in the older sense of the Nicene Creed ? (ie, nature)

The Godhead has three divine Persons sharing in the same nature.

Drake Shelton said...

In the older sense. Yeah I figured you would say one. That is the Latin view Lvka, not the Nicene. I have shown this for some time now.

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

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

Lvka said...

No. The Latin view would be that God is three divine Persons.

God/Godhead. Is/has. There's a tiny little difference there... :-)