Author Topic: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?  (Read 402 times)

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Offline Isaiah53IsMessiah

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Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« on: August 19, 2017, 10:28:50 PM »
A lot of the scholarly work I have been reading on the Trinity in the early Church tend to favor the view that the Church Fathers held to Subordinationism beyond just in the relational sense. I have been reading the Fathers alongside, and as much as I don't like admitting it, it really seems like they are. Does anyone have additional information? Anything to the contrary?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 10:29:28 PM by Isaiah53IsMessiah »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2017, 10:49:20 PM »
Which Fathers?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

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Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Isaiah53IsMessiah

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2017, 10:55:17 PM »
Which Fathers?

From what I have read so far, mostly the 2nd century apologist which includes Justin Martyr, Tatian, Theophilus of Antioch, and Athenagoras of Athens; Tertullian too and Origen in the early to mid 3rd century, though I know both held to heresies, they both still have proved to be influential in the orthodox world. I also have read somewhere that Clement of Rome, an apostolic Father, is said to have held to it.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 11:02:10 PM by Isaiah53IsMessiah »
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2017, 11:08:41 PM »
Were any of those discoursing on the actual subject? It seems a little early.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Isaiah53IsMessiah

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2017, 11:19:03 PM »
Were any of those discoursing on the actual subject? It seems a little early.

Clement of Rome certainly didn't, too early indeed. Though some remarks he made have been pointed to as evidence. As for the apologist, yes they actually do. I suggest reading their works, particularly Justin Martyr who goes into the greatest detail in his "Dialogue with Trypho", and Tatian his student carries forward his ideas. Their theology is deemed by scholars as "Tow-staged Logos Theology." Tertullian further advances the idea and introduced much of the terminology Nicene orthoodxy later adopted in his "Against Praxeas". Interestingly enough, Origen seem to assert it the most while positing eternal generation of the Son that the apologist apparently denied, and this was due Clement of Alexandria's influence upon him who is said to have first come up with the idea.

Here is a little summary of the history of it that I found: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/trinity/trinity-history.html
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Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2017, 11:54:30 PM »
I've read the Justin dialog a few times. This is very interesting. I guess I'd just caution that secondary literature tends to build a narrative and the narrative can easily take on a life and purpose all its own. The secondary literature usually also adopts the view of a certain school or theory, often one that's frankly evolutionary and critical in tone. So I commend you for turning to the primary sources and other Orthodox for a different perspective.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Isaiah53IsMessiah

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2017, 12:01:32 AM »
I've read the Justin dialog a few times. This is very interesting. I guess I'd just caution that secondary literature tends to build a narrative and the narrative can easily take on a life and purpose all its own. The secondary literature usually also adopts the view of a certain school or theory, often one that's frankly evolutionary and critical in tone. So I commend you for turning to the primary sources and other Orthodox for a different perspective.

Well, this was the only place I could think of to go to ask other fellow Trinitarians about this.  ;) And yeah, I agree. I certainly am not completely convinced of everything that I had read in the secondary literature, especially after going to the primary sources. I don't have a problem with some theological developments though, the Church was just getting off the ground after all and all the terminology simply wasn't all there yet. The Trinity was there from the start, I think that is evident.
"God can be proved in five ways." - St. Thomas Aquinas

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2017, 12:07:20 AM »
A lot of the scholarly work I have been reading on the Trinity in the early Church tend to favor the view that the Church Fathers held to Subordinationism beyond just in the relational sense. I have been reading the Fathers alongside, and as much as I don't like admitting it, it really seems like they are. Does anyone have additional information? Anything to the contrary?

Try reading the actual fathers themselves rather than books merely ABOUT them and their thinking.  It will be worth it.
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Offline Isaiah53IsMessiah

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2017, 12:32:30 AM »
A lot of the scholarly work I have been reading on the Trinity in the early Church tend to favor the view that the Church Fathers held to Subordinationism beyond just in the relational sense. I have been reading the Fathers alongside, and as much as I don't like admitting it, it really seems like they are. Does anyone have additional information? Anything to the contrary?

Try reading the actual fathers themselves rather than books merely ABOUT them and their thinking.  It will be worth it.

That's what I have been doing.
"God can be proved in five ways." - St. Thomas Aquinas

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2017, 12:36:54 AM »
I've read the Justin dialog a few times. This is very interesting. I guess I'd just caution that secondary literature tends to build a narrative and the narrative can easily take on a life and purpose all its own. The secondary literature usually also adopts the view of a certain school or theory, often one that's frankly evolutionary and critical in tone. So I commend you for turning to the primary sources and other Orthodox for a different perspective.

Well, this was the only place I could think of to go to ask other fellow Trinitarians about this.  ;) And yeah, I agree. I certainly am not completely convinced of everything that I had read in the secondary literature, especially after going to the primary sources. I don't have a problem with some theological developments though, the Church was just getting off the ground after all and all the terminology simply wasn't all there yet. The Trinity was there from the start, I think that is evident.

Oh I didn't remember you are Catholic. Well, we share these Fathers all the same, certainly! You're right about development of terminology and argumentation as various subjects came under scrutiny by the Fathers. You seem to have a good perspective going in. I hope others here with greater knowledge can come contribute to your thread.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2017, 12:46:10 AM »
A lot of the scholarly work I have been reading on the Trinity in the early Church tend to favor the view that the Church Fathers held to Subordinationism beyond just in the relational sense. I have been reading the Fathers alongside, and as much as I don't like admitting it, it really seems like they are. Does anyone have additional information? Anything to the contrary?

Try reading the actual fathers themselves rather than books merely ABOUT them and their thinking.  It will be worth it.



That's what I have been doing.

Sorry.  When you say "scholarly work" I assumed you were reading books by scholars about the fathers.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2017, 12:46:30 AM by scamandrius »
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Offline Isaiah53IsMessiah

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2017, 01:12:08 AM »
A lot of the scholarly work I have been reading on the Trinity in the early Church tend to favor the view that the Church Fathers held to Subordinationism beyond just in the relational sense. I have been reading the Fathers alongside, and as much as I don't like admitting it, it really seems like they are. Does anyone have additional information? Anything to the contrary?

Try reading the actual fathers themselves rather than books merely ABOUT them and their thinking.  It will be worth it.



That's what I have been doing.

Sorry.  When you say "scholarly work" I assumed you were reading books by scholars about the fathers.

Well, I am. I am reading both.
"God can be proved in five ways." - St. Thomas Aquinas

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2017, 06:00:08 PM »
A lot of the scholarly work I have been reading on the Trinity in the early Church tend to favor the view that the Church Fathers held to Subordinationism beyond just in the relational sense. I have been reading the Fathers alongside, and as much as I don't like admitting it, it really seems like they are. Does anyone have additional information? Anything to the contrary?

Try reading the actual fathers themselves rather than books merely ABOUT them and their thinking.  It will be worth it.



That's what I have been doing.

Sorry.  When you say "scholarly work" I assumed you were reading books by scholars about the fathers.

Well, I am. I am reading both.

Then why not read them on their own without the intermediaries?
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2017, 06:09:22 PM »
I understand that to get Mina's input you have to go like this:

minasoliman
minasoliman
minasoliman
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2017, 07:59:20 PM »
I'm just an intermediary  ;)
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Isaiah53IsMessiah

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2017, 09:34:28 PM »
A lot of the scholarly work I have been reading on the Trinity in the early Church tend to favor the view that the Church Fathers held to Subordinationism beyond just in the relational sense. I have been reading the Fathers alongside, and as much as I don't like admitting it, it really seems like they are. Does anyone have additional information? Anything to the contrary?

Try reading the actual fathers themselves rather than books merely ABOUT them and their thinking.  It will be worth it.



That's what I have been doing.

Sorry.  When you say "scholarly work" I assumed you were reading books by scholars about the fathers.

Well, I am. I am reading both.

Then why not read them on their own without the intermediaries?

I have.
"God can be proved in five ways." - St. Thomas Aquinas

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2017, 09:58:40 PM »
Here's a related inquiry: When and under what circumstances was Subordinationism condemned?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Were the Church Fathers Subordinationist?
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2017, 10:22:37 PM »
As soon as you say "there was a time when the Son was not".
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.