3.3 Unit Assignment: Core Questions
Cross provides a broad, general approach to gods and demiurges among the Greek thinkers in the two or three hundred years after Christ. The Greek apologists and the writings of Irenaeus, as well as Clement and Origen, respond to the questions about the Trinity by using this paradigm. In this response, show how this Greek mindset of emanations and demiurges was used by the early church.
According to the Greek believes the word was created by an emanation who was trapped in a body of a mortal human. Spiritual knowledge of Gnosis was acquired through the direct interaction and experience of the mortal human.During the second century, the Gnosis ideas and beliefs spread across the Mediterranean.Christian moments played a great role in spreading the belief in some parts of the world.As such Irenaeus wrote a book in which he opposed the teaching of the Gnosis.He argued that true knowledge of Christ is in need as opposed to Gnostic groups who argued that the world was an accidental creation of an evil god.
Perhaps Augustine’s greatest contribution to the doctrine of the Trinity is found in his understanding of the names “Father, Son, and Spirit,” as relations. Using Cross’ explanation of these thoughts of Augustine, rehearse here the Augustinian doctrine of relations and evaluate it.
Augustine believed that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom; he helped formulate the doctrine of original sin and made seminal contributions to the development of just war theory. Augustine tried to reconcile his beliefs about free will, especially the belief that humans are morally responsible for their actions, with his belief that one's life is predestined. Though initially optimistic about the ability of humans to behave morally, in the end, he is pessimistic and thinks that original sin makes human moral behavior nearly impossible.If it were not for the rare appearance of an accidental and undeserved Grace of God, humans could not be moral. This brought a new understanding of the Trinity among the church
3. Cross attempts to summarize the thoughts of an American theologian, Jonathan Edwards, on the Trinity. In a one-page response, offer your summary of the flow of his ideas about the Trinity.
Jonathan Edwards' theory is related to the living, triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Edwards the greatest theologian of American antiquity, was a prolific writer and prodigious and also an innovative thinker. Although much attention could be given too many different areas of his thought, it is his Trinitarian thought that we are most concerned with in this paper. The paper will explore and evaluate the Trinitarian thought of Jonathan Edwards with specific attention given to three clear aspects: His explication of the Trinity “ad intra”, His understanding of the Trinity “ad extra”, and his teaching on the Holy Spirit.
The Trinity “Ad Intra”
Edwards begins his discussion with God being “infinitely happy in the enjoyment of himself,” and from this, arising a “most perfect idea of himself an exact image and representation.” This idea is the divine understanding and since God is love (1 Jn 4:8, 16), there is a beloved, "an eternal and necessary object." From this image, in turn, "arises" pure, perfect energy, that is, "the divine love, complacency, and joy." He goes on to explain on Christ as the idea of God by discussing various biblical texts which describe him as the image of God (2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15; Heb 1:3). He argues from this that an idea is “the most immediate representation,” and, thus, the more “primary image" of something. In sum, the mutual love and joy between the Father and Son give rise to the Holy Spirit.
The Trinity “Ad Extra”
Edwards' articulation of the life of the Trinity ad intra is reflected in his articulation of this same life ad extra. One of the key aspects of his thought in this area is his use of the Augustinian-idealist model, which, in sum, describes the delight and love every person of the Trinity has with one another. The Father is the lover, the Son represents the object of the Father’s love, and the Holy Spirit is the bond of love existing between the Father and the Son.
At another point, we find an in-depth discussion of the involvement of the Trinity in redemption. He begins by stating that "with respect to the creature," "there is a subordination of the persons of the Trinity," with the Son submitting to the Father, and the Holy Spirit submits to the Father and the Son, yet, at the same time, "each person is not inferior one to another in glory and excellency of nature."
The Holy Spirit
The Spirit is the connection of love between the Father and the Son. It is the breathing out of the divine essence which gives the connection between the Trinity ad intra and ad extra, the Spirit ad extra operates as he does ad intra which is, as the divine love/will be poured forth.
Edwards further argues for the equality of the Holy Spirit with the other persons of the Trinity. Interestingly, in arguing for the honor of each person, he says that the Holy Spirit is equal “for he is that divine excellency and beauty itself [which the Father and Son possess].”
Similarly, the Father and Son “are infinitely holy [and] happy,” yet, the Spirit is “holiness [and] infinite happiness itself.”
In my view, it is clear that Edwards’ love of the Triune God and his zeal to defend it, both directly and indirectly, against opponents is the same zeal that led him to the excesses detrimental to an orthodox account of the Trinity.
Seeking Understanding, Chapter 4 (“The Triune God”)
4. Migliore defines the terms "economic" Trinity and the "imminent" Trinity.
a. Define these terms with your own words.
Economic Trinity refers to that knowledge shared by God which is revealed to us by His presence and action in the economy of salvation history as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Immanent Trinity relates more to what God “is” and “how” he experiences Himself as a Tri
b. Migliore stresses that “responsible Trinitarian thinking must always begin "with the economic Trinity. Why is this the case? What difference would it make, begin with, the immanent Trinity?
Migliore stresses on a responsible Trinitarian beginning with economic trinity because the economic Trinity communicates and reveals the immanent Trinity. The difference is brought up by his argue that anything we know about the immanent Trinity is because of the economic Trinity and therefore actually is the economic anyhow. Migliore also says that anything we know about the Trinity is useful to us and that the idea that the Immanent Trinity is so far removed from us as to have no purpose would be ultimately useless anyhow. It is precisely, for this reason, more than any other, that Migliore challenges our definition of the traditional concept of what the immanent Trinity is.
Hall, Learning Theology with the Church Fathers, Chapter 3.
5. In this chapter, Hall presents the response of several early church fathers to an important question: how can the doctrine of the Trinity be legitimate as Christian doctrine when the Bible does not even use the word, Trinity? In your response, answer this question with the help of Hall's portrayal of early church fathers in this chapter.
After the completion of the New Testament, the fathers of the church introduced the doctrine of trinity which brought a lot of controversy in the church.The fathers of the church went father said the Trinity was an explanation of the divined revelation. During the fourth century, the doctrine was fully introduced to Christians, In conclusion, the doctrine of Trinity was full of contravenes in additional the doctrine was full of confusion and had no clarification to believe.
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