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« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2010, 09:59:11 PM »

Given that you recognize that the Energies are eternal, I don't see what your point is. This appears to allow for the generation of the Son and the procession of the Holy Spirit to be Energies of the Father that result in a transmission of His Essence.
Yes, brother. That is my understanding too.  But I could not understand brother Isa's (and other EO's) contention that God's act of willing somehow denudes the Son and the Spirit of their divinity.  The only way to explain that is if brother Isa took God's act of willing as a temporal expression of God's Energy.

Blessings

Perhaps. We should probably just let him answer for himself now, however.
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« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2010, 10:13:35 PM »

Actually, in the form Shlomokh quoted, it does make the Holy Spirit a created being. One of the key distinctions between the Godhead and created being is that our existence is 'contingent'. We exist because God has chosen that we do so; creation was a 'willful act' on His part. The Godhead on the other hand is the 'I Am'. Divine existence is absolute and unconditional. By stating that the Holy Spirit is produced by a 'willful act' on the part of the Father and the Son, the above reduces the Holy Spirit to the level of a created being whom the Father and the Son willed into existence (i.e., by choice)--and thus they could will it out again.

As such, it's much stronger/worse than the actual Latin dogmatic/conciliar definitions of the filioque--though one can certainly see a line between the filioque and the above teaching.

A "willful act"? So is the Son created because the Father wills to beget Him? The Father as source of the Trinity could have, perhaps, been stingy and not poured Himself out into the Son. And by way of love, love always involves the will. 
No, the Father did not will to beget the Son, nor will for the Spirit to proceed.  Unlike Creation, where God had no obligation or compulsion to do it, the begetting and procession is a necessary and inherent part of His divinity.

No, it's not. The Father and His divinity is unoriginate, whereas the Son is originate and dependent upon the Father, as is the Spirit. To suggest that an unoriginate being is dependent upon the Son, an originate being, for His being is to dissolve the monarchy of the Father.

Not to mention that if the Son and Holy Spirit are also unoriginate, we have three separate deities. No, the Father is the fount of deity. That's how I have come to understand it, anyway (especially based on an article about the Filioque in the appendix of the Eastern/Greek Orthodox Bible).

Not that the Father ever existed alone (he didn't), but only the Father is self-existent deity/God by his own right (autotheos). The Son and Holy Spirit, while being equal to and co-eternal with the Father in every way, and having only one collective will, still derive their hypostases from the Father's hypostasis.

So then you recognize that the begetting of the Son and the proceeding of the Spirit is not a necessary and inherent part of the divinity of the Father?

I would say the Father's Person is the fountainhead of deity and the Divine Essence, as the only wholly unoriginate member of the Trinity (according to the Creed the Son and Holy Spirit have sources in the Father). The other Persons are deity and Divine Essence by virtue of their origin in the Father's Person.

I don't think I'm completely comfortable with the way you said it though, as it almost seems to say God could - even in theory - exist in a Unitarian state as the Father without the Son and Holy Spirit. Since God is the Trinity and only the Trinity, there must be three Persons within Him by definition. By absolute face value I would agree with what you said, but I tread very lightly in doing so.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 10:14:14 PM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2010, 10:52:15 PM »

"Ο ΩΝ," inscribed in the cross in Christ's halo, is a Greek translation of the immemorial Name of God YHWH, for, as He said, "He who hath seen Me hath seen the Father."

I understand what it means, though I suppose I'd translate the words as the "Being which creates Beingness". It seemed to me that the discussion might be heading in the direction of Subordinationism and the designation of Christ as Ο ΩΝ makes it clear that that is error.
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« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2010, 11:49:12 PM »

¿Do you think this is a matter for salvation?
Denial of the Divinity of the Spirit?  Yes.

I Agree. But I don''t  think that to try to understand His Nature, and His will as a divine person of the Only truth God, is a Mater of salvation, I rather think that To Believe in him as a person of Most Holly Trinity, not matter if we can or can not understand his mistery, is enough to be in the Truth of His existance.
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« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2010, 11:49:40 PM »

Dear brother bogdan,

I don't think I'm completely comfortable with the way you said it though, as it almost seems to say God could - even in theory - exist in a Unitarian state as the Father without the Son and Holy Spirit. Since God is the Trinity and only the Trinity, there must be three Persons within Him by definition. By absolute face value I would agree with what you said, but I tread very lightly in doing so.
God is not subject to change, so it is wholly improbable and impossible, even heretical, to assume that in his Divine Will in generating the Son and originating the Holy Spirit, that such Will could be subject to change.  The Divine Will is not like the will of a creature. Would you agree?

Blessings
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« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2010, 11:53:09 PM »

Dear brother bogdan,

I don't think I'm completely comfortable with the way you said it though, as it almost seems to say God could - even in theory - exist in a Unitarian state as the Father without the Son and Holy Spirit. Since God is the Trinity and only the Trinity, there must be three Persons within Him by definition. By absolute face value I would agree with what you said, but I tread very lightly in doing so.
God is not subject to change, so it is wholly improbable and impossible, even heretical, to assume that in his Divine Will in generating the Son and originating the Holy Spirit, that such Will could be subject to change.  The Divine Will is not like the will of a creature. Would you agree?

Blessings
Isn't generating, creating?
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« Reply #51 on: January 10, 2010, 12:24:06 AM »

Dear brother Isa,

Dear brother witega,

Actually, in the form Shlomokh quoted, it does make the Holy Spirit a created being. One of the key distinctions between the Godhead and created being is that our existence is 'contingent'. We exist because God has chosen that we do so; creation was a 'willful act' on His part. The Godhead on the other hand is the 'I Am'. Divine existence is absolute and unconditional. By stating that the Holy Spirit is produced by a 'willful act' on the part of the Father and the Son, the above reduces the Holy Spirit to the level of a created being whom the Father and the Son willed into existence (i.e., by choice)--and thus they could will it out again.

As such, it's much stronger/worse than the actual Latin dogmatic/conciliar definitions of the filioque--though one can certainly see a line between the filioque and the above teaching.
There is something you are forgetting in your criticism of the statement.  Latin Catholics do not distinguish between action and being within the Godhead - that's the idea of divine simplicity.  From your Byzantine perspective, you take a willful act of God (energy, if you will) as something that happens outside of the eternal moment.  But to Latins, who make no distinction between action and Being (energy and essence), the Father using His will to produce the Holy Spirit is something inherently natural to the very Being of the Godhead.  It occurs in the eternal moment.

Hope that helps.

Blessings,
Marduk

There is only one will in the Godhead. Divine simplicity doesn't mean reducing Him to simplistic terms so we can comprehend Him.
Your response does not address my comment at all.

Blessings

There is nothing to address: the Son and Spirit are not acts of the will of the Father.  The same will that the Father would be exercising would be the will of the Son and Spirit too, as there is one will in the Godhead.
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« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2010, 12:26:33 AM »

Dear brother bogdan,

I don't think I'm completely comfortable with the way you said it though, as it almost seems to say God could - even in theory - exist in a Unitarian state as the Father without the Son and Holy Spirit. Since God is the Trinity and only the Trinity, there must be three Persons within Him by definition. By absolute face value I would agree with what you said, but I tread very lightly in doing so.
God is not subject to change, so it is wholly improbable and impossible, even heretical, to assume that in his Divine Will in generating the Son and originating the Holy Spirit, that such Will could be subject to change.  The Divine Will is not like the will of a creature. Would you agree?

Blessings

I agree that the Trinity has one changeless Will, yes. The same Will that causes the self-existence of the Father also wills the begetting of the Son of the Father and the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father.

Quote from: Demetrios G.
Isn't generating, creating?

"Creating" is used to describe things coming into existence, and without their willing it. The Son and Holy Spirit are not created. The Son is begotten, and the Holy Spirit proceeds (though we don't know what the distinction is).
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 12:27:27 AM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2010, 12:36:50 AM »

Dear brother bogdan,

I don't think I'm completely comfortable with the way you said it though, as it almost seems to say God could - even in theory - exist in a Unitarian state as the Father without the Son and Holy Spirit. Since God is the Trinity and only the Trinity, there must be three Persons within Him by definition. By absolute face value I would agree with what you said, but I tread very lightly in doing so.
God is not subject to change, so it is wholly improbable and impossible, even heretical, to assume that in his Divine Will in generating the Son and originating the Holy Spirit, that such Will could be subject to change.  The Divine Will is not like the will of a creature. Would you agree?

Blessings

I agree that the Trinity has one changeless Will, yes. The same Will that causes the self-existence of the Father also wills the begetting of the Son of the Father and the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father.

Quote from: Demetrios G.
Isn't generating, creating?

"Creating" is used to describe things coming into existence, and without their willing it. The Son and Holy Spirit are not created. The Son is begotten, and the Holy Spirit proceeds (though we don't know what the distinction is).

Without there willing it there wouldn't be any existence. Just as the creed read. All things visible and invisible.
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« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2010, 12:58:26 AM »

Dear brother bogdan,

I don't think I'm completely comfortable with the way you said it though, as it almost seems to say God could - even in theory - exist in a Unitarian state as the Father without the Son and Holy Spirit. Since God is the Trinity and only the Trinity, there must be three Persons within Him by definition. By absolute face value I would agree with what you said, but I tread very lightly in doing so.
God is not subject to change, so it is wholly improbable and impossible, even heretical, to assume that in his Divine Will in generating the Son and originating the Holy Spirit, that such Will could be subject to change.  The Divine Will is not like the will of a creature. Would you agree?

Blessings
Isn't generating, creating?

Most of the anti-Arian Fathers explicitly taught that the Son is "generated", so I would certainly think not.
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« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2010, 12:59:41 AM »

Dear brother Isa,

Dear brother witega,

Actually, in the form Shlomokh quoted, it does make the Holy Spirit a created being. One of the key distinctions between the Godhead and created being is that our existence is 'contingent'. We exist because God has chosen that we do so; creation was a 'willful act' on His part. The Godhead on the other hand is the 'I Am'. Divine existence is absolute and unconditional. By stating that the Holy Spirit is produced by a 'willful act' on the part of the Father and the Son, the above reduces the Holy Spirit to the level of a created being whom the Father and the Son willed into existence (i.e., by choice)--and thus they could will it out again.

As such, it's much stronger/worse than the actual Latin dogmatic/conciliar definitions of the filioque--though one can certainly see a line between the filioque and the above teaching.
There is something you are forgetting in your criticism of the statement.  Latin Catholics do not distinguish between action and being within the Godhead - that's the idea of divine simplicity.  From your Byzantine perspective, you take a willful act of God (energy, if you will) as something that happens outside of the eternal moment.  But to Latins, who make no distinction between action and Being (energy and essence), the Father using His will to produce the Holy Spirit is something inherently natural to the very Being of the Godhead.  It occurs in the eternal moment.

Hope that helps.

Blessings,
Marduk

There is only one will in the Godhead. Divine simplicity doesn't mean reducing Him to simplistic terms so we can comprehend Him.
Your response does not address my comment at all.

Blessings

There is nothing to address: the Son and Spirit are not acts of the will of the Father.  The same will that the Father would be exercising would be the will of the Son and Spirit too, as there is one will in the Godhead.

Now you're talking absurd. That would be akin to saying that the Holy Spirit has to send Himself at Pentecost because if He didn't He wouldn't have the same will as the Son.
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« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2010, 01:52:59 AM »

Dear brother bogdan,

I don't think I'm completely comfortable with the way you said it though, as it almost seems to say God could - even in theory - exist in a Unitarian state as the Father without the Son and Holy Spirit. Since God is the Trinity and only the Trinity, there must be three Persons within Him by definition. By absolute face value I would agree with what you said, but I tread very lightly in doing so.
God is not subject to change, so it is wholly improbable and impossible, even heretical, to assume that in his Divine Will in generating the Son and originating the Holy Spirit, that such Will could be subject to change.  The Divine Will is not like the will of a creature. Would you agree?

Blessings
Isn't generating, creating?

Most of the anti-Arian Fathers explicitly taught that the Son is "generated", so I would certainly think not.

Well if your using "generate" means to "bring forth" out of pre-existing substance. I would agree. How ever, if your using it to mean  "bring forth" out of nothing. Than I wouldn't agree.


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« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2010, 02:39:38 AM »

Dear brother bogdan,

I don't think I'm completely comfortable with the way you said it though, as it almost seems to say God could - even in theory - exist in a Unitarian state as the Father without the Son and Holy Spirit. Since God is the Trinity and only the Trinity, there must be three Persons within Him by definition. By absolute face value I would agree with what you said, but I tread very lightly in doing so.
God is not subject to change, so it is wholly improbable and impossible, even heretical, to assume that in his Divine Will in generating the Son and originating the Holy Spirit, that such Will could be subject to change.  The Divine Will is not like the will of a creature. Would you agree?

Blessings

I agree that the Trinity has one changeless Will, yes. The same Will that causes the self-existence of the Father also wills the begetting of the Son of the Father and the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father.

Quote from: Demetrios G.
Isn't generating, creating?

"Creating" is used to describe things coming into existence, and without their willing it. The Son and Holy Spirit are not created. The Son is begotten, and the Holy Spirit proceeds (though we don't know what the distinction is).

Without there willing it there wouldn't be any existence. Just as the creed read. All things visible and invisible.

Sorry, I was unclear. When I said "without their willing it", I meant the created beings. Humans, angels, and animals are created, because the humans, angels, and animals did not will their own existence.

The Trinity does will His own existence, of course.
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« Reply #58 on: January 10, 2010, 02:53:21 AM »

Dear brother Isa,

Dear brother witega,

Actually, in the form Shlomokh quoted, it does make the Holy Spirit a created being. One of the key distinctions between the Godhead and created being is that our existence is 'contingent'. We exist because God has chosen that we do so; creation was a 'willful act' on His part. The Godhead on the other hand is the 'I Am'. Divine existence is absolute and unconditional. By stating that the Holy Spirit is produced by a 'willful act' on the part of the Father and the Son, the above reduces the Holy Spirit to the level of a created being whom the Father and the Son willed into existence (i.e., by choice)--and thus they could will it out again.

As such, it's much stronger/worse than the actual Latin dogmatic/conciliar definitions of the filioque--though one can certainly see a line between the filioque and the above teaching.
There is something you are forgetting in your criticism of the statement.  Latin Catholics do not distinguish between action and being within the Godhead - that's the idea of divine simplicity.  From your Byzantine perspective, you take a willful act of God (energy, if you will) as something that happens outside of the eternal moment.  But to Latins, who make no distinction between action and Being (energy and essence), the Father using His will to produce the Holy Spirit is something inherently natural to the very Being of the Godhead.  It occurs in the eternal moment.

Hope that helps.

Blessings,
Marduk

There is only one will in the Godhead. Divine simplicity doesn't mean reducing Him to simplistic terms so we can comprehend Him.
Your response does not address my comment at all.

Blessings

There is nothing to address: the Son and Spirit are not acts of the will of the Father.  The same will that the Father would be exercising would be the will of the Son and Spirit too, as there is one will in the Godhead.

Now you're talking absurd. That would be akin to saying that the Holy Spirit has to send Himself at Pentecost because if He didn't He wouldn't have the same will as the Son.

I think that's an instance of God's condescending himself for the sake of entering into Time and Space. Of course the Holy Spirit isn't waiting around for instructions from the Son. The Trinity, like the body, has one common Will; nobody is sending anybody to do anything, any more than your hands tell each other to do things. It simply happens because the Trinity is One.

We must be careful that we don't turn the metaphysical generative structure of the Trinity into a chain of command. The Persons of the Trinity are absolutely equal and the very prototype of perfect community, and there is no hierarchy within the Trinity. In the case of Pentecost, I think it was a manner of speaking so the Apostles could understand what was going to happen within Time.

And incidentally that is why the Filioque is wrong. The Nicene Creed describes the metaphysical structure of the Trinity outside of Time, not within Time. The Spirit was indeed sent by the Son - in a manner of speaking, within the confines of Time. But the Spirit's hypostasis, his Person, proceeds from the Father alone, period (John 15:26).
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« Reply #59 on: January 10, 2010, 05:33:08 AM »

Dear brother bogdan,

And incidentally that is why the Filioque is wrong. The Nicene Creed describes the metaphysical structure of the Trinity outside of Time, not within Time. The Spirit was indeed sent by the Son - in a manner of speaking, within the confines of Time. But the Spirit's hypostasis, his Person, proceeds from the Father alone, period (John 15:26).
I guess it's nigh time to get to the gist of the matter, and you have brought it up quite nicely.  For now, I would like to ask you where you get the notion that the sending of the Spirit is within the confines of time?  St. Palamas certainly did not teach it, the Synod of Blarchanae did not teach it, and neither did the Eastern Fathers before them.  I believe you will find that though many Eastern Fathers did teach about the manifestation of the Spirit through the Son, they taught that the manifestation is an action of the Godhead in Eternity, and not merely a temporal action. In fact, this is the basis that I have read some Eastern bloggers have used to try to establish a rapprochement between the Eastern and Latin Traditions, without giving up anything from either Tradition.

Furthermore, theologicially speaking (I mean notwithstanding the canonical issue of the addition of the text), the difference between the Latin and Eastern Churches on the matter is, like so much else, really only a matter of misunderstanding of terms - namely, the difference between the Greek word ekporeusai and the Latin word procedit, and the difference in understanding in the Latin and Eastern Traditions of the terms hypostasis, ousia and substance.  My purpose here as a Catholic of the Oriental Tradition, as in other threads I have participated in, is to foster rapprochement, not to demonstrate that the Catholic Church is right and the Eastern Orthodox Church is wrong. 

Unfortunately, I don't have the time right now to delve into this.  I don't expect to return until a week or more from now.  Until then, please use what I have stated as a basis for what we shall discuss, and, with prayer, come to a brotherly understanding.

Blessings,
Marduk
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« Reply #60 on: January 10, 2010, 04:38:58 PM »

For now, I would like to ask you where you get the notion that the sending of the Spirit is within the confines of time? 

Because Christ Himself says, "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you...". This definitively places the sending of the Holy Spirit as a temporal event, once which will occur at a later date than Christ's statement about what He will do in the future.

Quote
Furthermore, theologicially speaking (I mean notwithstanding the canonical issue of the addition of the text), the difference between the Latin and Eastern Churches on the matter is, like so much else, really only a matter of misunderstanding of terms - namely, the difference between the Greek word ekporeusai and the Latin word procedit, and the difference in understanding in the Latin and Eastern Traditions of the terms hypostasis, ousia and substance. 

That may have (probably was) true when the filioque was first introduced and spread through the West. However, with the synodical definiations made at Lateran IV and Florence, the Roman Church clarified that of the possibile interpretations of the filioque, they were going with the subordinationist one.

As to the discussion in the rest of this thread, so long as you assert "Will" into the origination of the Son and the Holy Spirit, you are in the same category as Arius, putting the Son and the Holy Spirit in the same category as created things rather than the Uncreate. Will always involves multiple options, whether its the simple duality of 'do or not do' or as infinitely open as which star in the night sky to you choose to study. God 'willed' to create the Universe, and thus we confess the possibility that He could have willed to not create the Universe. If the Father 'willed' to generate the Son and inspirate the Spirit, then we are confessing the possibility that He could will not to generate the Son or inspirate the Spirit.

Appealing to "God is not subject to change" does not alter this. God willed to create the Universe, and since God is not subject to change there was no *actual* possibility that He would change His mind and not create the Universe. But there because it was an act of will it remains at least a theoretical possibility. If the Father willed the Son and Holy Spirit into being, it might be as certain that they would exist as it is that the Universe would, as products of Who God the Father is. But they would still be like us, products of who God is--not God themselves.

(Note: this is different than the argument bogdan appears to be making. He is speaking of the the Godhead willing Itself into existence all by the same will. So the Divine Will which wills the Father into existence is the same will which wills the begetting of the Son and Procession of the Spirit, the Will which is shared by all 3 Persons of the Trinity. This is different from the claim earlier in the thread that the *Father* wills the Spirit into existence.)

Latin Catholics do not distinguish between action and being within the Godhead - that's the idea of divine simplicity.

Actually, this is the underlying problem with the filioque--why do Latin Catholics think they are qualified to comment upon anything *within the Godhead*, beyond what the Godhead has chosen to reveal to us?
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« Reply #61 on: January 12, 2010, 03:03:40 AM »

Dear brother witega,

I actually have some time, so permit me to respond to your thought-provoking post.

For now, I would like to ask you where you get the notion that the sending of the Spirit is within the confines of time?

Because Christ Himself says, "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you...". This definitively places the sending of the Holy Spirit as a temporal event, once which will occur at a later date than Christ's statement about what He will do in the future.
Do you seriously think that the manifestation of the Spirit in creation only came at Pentecost?  Can we suppose the Spirit did not manifest God to the world before then? Can we suppose the Son did not exist prior to his Incarnation that he was not present to manifest the Spirit to the world before then?  And if the manifestation of the Spirit through the Son occurred before Pentecost, how far back can we go?  I believe it was obvious to the Fathers of Blarchanae and Gregory Palamas, and many other Eastern Fathers before them that the Son did indeed manifest the Spirit even before Pentecost.  But they were not willing to limit that manifestation to temporality.  Why?  Let me cite St. Gregory Thaumaturgus from the third century (just one among many Eastern Fathers, to be sure) for the answer: “We acknowledge that the Son and the Spirit are consubstantial with the Father, and that the substance of the Trinity is one - that is, that there is one divinity according to nature, the Father remaining unbegotten, and the Son being begotten of the Father in a true generation, and not in a formation by will, and THE SPIRIT BEING SENT FORTH ETERNALLY FROM THE SUBSTANCE OF THE FATHER THROUGH THE SON."

The reason the Fathers assign the manifestation to Eternity is because these Fathers utilized the manifestation of the Spirit through the Son as direct proof of the Spirit’s unity in divinity with the Father and the Son.

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Furthermore, theologicially speaking (I mean notwithstanding the canonical issue of the addition of the text), the difference between the Latin and Eastern Churches on the matter is, like so much else, really only a matter of misunderstanding of terms - namely, the difference between the Greek word ekporeusai and the Latin word procedit, and the difference in understanding in the Latin and Eastern Traditions of the terms hypostasis, ousia and substance. 
That may have (probably was) true when the filioque was first introduced and spread through the West. However, with the synodical definiations made at Lateran IV and Florence, the Roman Church clarified that of the possibile interpretations of the filioque, they were going with the subordinationist one.
Lyon (not Lateran IV, IIRC) and Florence are conspicuous for repudiating the idea of a double procession.  I don’t recall any subordinationist implications from their decrees.  Can you clarify or give some quotes?

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As to the discussion in the rest of this thread, so long as you assert "Will" into the origination of the Son and the Holy Spirit, you are in the same category as Arius, putting the Son and the Holy Spirit in the same category as created things rather than the Uncreate… this is different than the argument bogdan appears to be making. He is speaking of the the Godhead willing Itself into existence all by the same will. So the Divine Will which wills the Father into existence is the same will which wills the begetting of the Son and Procession of the Spirit, the Will which is shared by all 3 Persons of the Trinity. This is different from the claim earlier in the thread that the *Father* wills the Spirit into existence.)
I don’t see the difference at all. But I do perceive that your statement “the Divine Will which wills the Father into existence” seems more obviously heretical than stating that the Father wills the Eternal Generation of the Son and the Eternal Origination of the Spirit.

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Latin Catholics do not distinguish between action and being within the Godhead - that's the idea of divine simplicity.
Actually, this is the underlying problem with the filioque--why do Latin Catholics think they are qualified to comment upon anything *within the Godhead*, beyond what the Godhead has chosen to reveal to us?
Inserting a distinction within the Godhead of Essence and Energy delves into the Godhead infinitely more than merely stating that God is simple.

Blessings,
Marduk
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