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Author Topic: Augustines'/Aquinas' Trinity model  (Read 862 times) Average Rating: 0
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EkhristosAnesti
'I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."' - Psalm 91:2
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« on: September 04, 2004, 08:59:26 AM »

Im currently reading an article which is a refutation of an early muslim apologist who wrote one of the oldest polemical attacks on the Trinity. Much of the Christian defense is based on the Augustinian model of the Trinity. I want to paste a few passages from the article, and i hope someone can affirm their truth, or maybe critisize them for me maybe. Prima facie i see a few problems with the model presented. For example, doesnt this concept of the Trinity allow for even more than 3 hypostasis? Maybe power could be a 4th hypostasis? I hope someone can clear up my confusion. Heres a few passages from the article:

"In Christian theology, the divine foundational ego is the person of the Father who eternally generates the subsisting Truth or the Word. God knows Himself intellectually and loves Himself in a personal and eternal manner. This subsisting Love
is the Spirit that proceeds from both the Father and the Word."

"It is difficult to understand the divine personhood, because the objects of the divine intellect and will are not accidental properties, rather they are subsistent in the divine mind in a manner similar to the subsistence of the ego of a human person. God is all-knowing and all-known as well as all-loving and all-beloved. They are aspects of His divine personhood, because knowing truth (intellect) and loving the good (will) are
aspects of an intellectual mind. So, whatever we understand about the personhood of God, it must account for the fact that ego, knowledge, and love are subsistent in the personhood of God, i.e., they are not accidental to His divine personhood."

"Furthermore, the primary aspect of God’s knowledge is His own infinite selfknowledge. God’s omniscience is more than His knowledge of this finite creation. In fact, God learned nothing in the act of creating this universe. The creation of the universe did not change God’s knowledge, because God is immutable as well as allknowing. God knows His own power, wisdom, and being infinitely. As a result, He knows Himself as well as the possible worlds He could bring into existence, if He were
to will their existence. God infinitely knows Himself, so He is both the Knower and the Known. Also, God loves Himself, so He is both the Lover and the Beloved. What pertains to the
intellectual nature of God relates to the personhood of God, because the defining element of personhood is intellectuality. The ego, intellect, and will are all subsisting aspects of divine personhood. In the case of God, truth and love are not accidental to God’s personhood, as they are in human personhood. In stead they are each subsisting aspects of divine personhood. Thus, there must be more than one hypostasis in the personhood of God because the subsisting Ego does not alone account for the subsisting truth and subsisting love within the personhood of the one God."

"A function of the will is choice, and the will should choose the good and shun the evil, because it ought to love the good and to hate the evil. In God there is infinite and perfect goodness, so the divine will loves God with an infinite love. This aspect of the analogy points to the Holy Spirit. The speech in its knowledge and wisdom would indicate the Son, and the progenitor is a clear reference to the Father."
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"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
Grigorii
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2004, 04:59:28 AM »

Dearest to Christ EkhrisosAnisti,

Quote
For example, doesnt this concept of the Trinity allow for even more than 3 hypostasis? Maybe power could be a 4th hypostasis?

It appears that these quotes treats "truth" and "love" as attributes of God, and since they "subsisting aspects of divine personhood" they are hypostatized. However, God has many more personal attributes, and the same principle could therefore be applied, thus creating a Myriad instead of gaining insight of the Trinity. This article affirms that God is Trinity, but fails to explain that God cannot be Quaternity, or Pentity, or,...

IC XC

Grigorii
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EkhristosAnesti
'I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."' - Psalm 91:2
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2004, 08:12:29 AM »

Dear Grigorri,

Your reply confirms what i initially thought was a problem with this model, but there seems to be something missing. For example, the article defines "person" and "hypostasis", in a sense that God can have many hypostasis, yet only three persons (it doesnt explictly express so, but i believe its implied according to the following definitions). A "hypostasis" according to the article, is anything which individually self-subsists, and a "person" any hypostasis with intellectuality. They thus reason that since love being an object of the divine will, and knowledge an object of the divine intellect, that they are thus "aspects of His divine personhood, because knowing truth (intellect) and loving the good (will) are aspects of an intellectual mind." Could they reason that since power is no an aspect of the intellectual mind, that it is therefore not a person?

Another interesting note is that this model which essetnially shows conceptually and theoretically that the Trinity is a necessity - shows that to be both Knower and Lover, there must be an object of knowledge - the known, and an object of love - the beloved. But can the same be said of power in these respects? It doesnt sound like theres must be an object of power for God to be powerful. But in the end im confused with the relevance of htis in the first place, its simply another difference i note.

The thing is, theyre dividing things into subject (i.e. love) and object of the subject (i.e. beloved). Im confused because of the fact this article seems to define Christ as both a subject (knowledge) and an object (beloved) of a subject (love) which they define as the Spirit. So things are just getting so complex and confusing...i hope someone can make sense of it all.

Although it sounds like ive already made up my mind and you might be thinking "well if you think you have the answers, why bother asking in the first place". This is simply how i learn - im trying to defend this model as best i can, until someone can point out a flaw in my reasoning, and thats how i will understand whether this model is suitable or not.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2004, 08:13:47 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

"Philosophy is the imitation by a man of what is better, according to what is possible" - St Severus
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