Tag Archives | Father

Are the Father, Son, and Spirit Equally Persons?

Here’s Karl Barth’s answer:

. . . even if the Father and the Son might be called “person” (in the modern sense of the term), the Holy Spirit could not possibly be regarded as the third “person.” In a particularly clear way the Holy Spirit is what the Father and the Son also are. He is not a third spiritual Subject, a third I, a third Lord side by side with two others. He is a third mode of being of the one divine Subject or Lord.

. . .

He is the common element, or, better, the fellowship, the act of communion, of the Father and the Son. He is the act in which the Father is the Father of the Son or the Speaker of the Word and the Son is the Son of the Father or the Word of the Speaker. (CD I,1, 469)

This sounds on the surface like a denial of full trinitarianism (and I am a little uncomfortable with it), but it shares much in common with the views of Augustine and Jonathan Edwards, both of whom tended to talk about the Spirit in ways that seem less than fully personal.

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Intratrinitarian Reconciliation?

The Theology of ReconciliationJenson, Robert W. “Reconciliation in God.” In The Theology of Reconciliation, edited by Colin E. Gunton, 158–66. London: T&T Clark, 2003.1

Jenson’s opening lines set the stage for his main thesis:

When I am invited to speak at a conference, I know I am supposed to indulge in the sort of trinitarian and christological speculation that skirts the edge of the sayable. So I have posed the question to myself: is there anything in God himself that might plausibly be called “reconciliation”? (158)

He goes on to argue that the traditional understanding of the Father begetting the Son and spirating the Spirit is inadequate because incomplete. He posits that the Spirit liberates the Father for the Son and reconciles the Son to the Father (158).

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  1. Cf. Amazon.

“Savior” in Titus

In my Bible reading a couple of days ago, I was struck by Paul’s use of Savior (σωτήρ) in Titus. Several things stood out to me. First, it occurs 6 times in the small letter of only 46 verses—twice per chapter. It occurs only 24 times in the whole NT. So it’s significant that 25% of the NT occurrences are in Titus.

Second, it occurs three times with reference to the Father and three times with reference to the Son. Paul alternates consistently between calling the Father then the Son our Savior. The occurrences in chapters 1 and 3 even occupy the same main thought.

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“To Him Be Glory Forever”

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed in the Grammatical Relationships section of the Bible Word Study report for εὐχαριστέω an interesting pattern regarding the objects of εὐχαριστέω. I wrote this in a blog post at the Logos Bible Software blog:

Of the 23 complements or objects of the verb (i.e., who is being thanked), they are nearly all God. The only human objects are Prisca and Aquila (Rom 16:3). The rest of the references are God—and arguably, God the Father. (Jesus is the object one time [Lk 17:16].) I realize that God can refer to the Triune God, but the contexts and general pattern suggest that the Father is in view.

Here are the data:

Thanks is given to

  • the Father (Col 1:11–12; cf. Jn 11:41)
  • God the Father through Jesus (Rom 1:8; Col 3:17)
  • God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Col 1:3–5)
  • God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 5:20)
  • God [who is distinguished in the context from Christ] (Rom 14:6; 1 Cor 1:4, 14; Phil 1:3-6; 1 Thes 2:13; 2 Thes 1:3; 2:13; Phm 4-5; Rev 11:17?; cf. Lk 18:11)
  • God [who is later identified as the Father] (1 Thes 1:2–4)
  • God [undefined in the immediate context] (Acts 27:35; 28:15; 1 Cor 14:18)

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