Saturday, 19 June 2010

Let the Father be Father

After reading a lot of Gunton, Eastern theologians and the frequent mention of perichoresis and koinonia and other terms like that...

Beginning to realise there seem to be another problem arising

On one hand - by making the Trinity this unknowable 'God' - the divine 'stuff'
you tend towards modalism... the One Person God - which is the god of philosophy
and all the characteristics thereof...

On the other though... you make Trinity totally equal in role - the inter-related Persons who are exactly like each other
- now you get community, freely inter-connecting, inter-relating persons
but the total lack of any form of hierarchy and structure
plus a NEW divine 'stuff' - the love/relationship between the Three - instead of this being the Spirt

Yet the Father has always been Father to the Son,
not simply in the incarnation
but from Eternity

He has always been 'greater'
you may want to distinguish that Jesus is also God like God
but yet the Father has always been a Father, and the Son always 'lesser' than the Father hierarchically

But this is a great thing - especially to the Son
since the Son has always somewhere 'to rest His head' - on the 'bosom of the Father'

this would then flow into family structure, church eldership etc
we love having a father, we should love having elders
they are where we can rest our head
be refreshed by, encouraged, admonished, and sent out from them again

this is the structure for Eternity...

and it is in that structure you see the role of the Spirit
not at all like the Father or the Son
but totally 'other' yet uniting the otherness of Father and Son
again something completely different, yet the same oneness

The Spirit is sent from the Father to the Son, and returns to the Father from the Son,
The Spirit is sent from the Son to the church, and returns to the Son from the church

As the Spirit is sent from the Father to the Son, the Son is sent out by & with the Spirit (and in that - also with the Father)
As the Spirit returns from the Son to the Father, the Son is drawn back to the Father by the Spirit
It is the same dynamic with Christ and the church

He must flow from the Source Fountain, and then, like the rain that falls, returns, accomplished in His work - He does NOT flow upwards.

In this we see better the Trinity...
and we begin to love and respect and treasure authority and those above us,
yet we never lose the sense of community, and friendship
for our Father is our Friend
Just like He is to Jesus

There is no need for Trinitarian "equality" (in our understanding)....
there is no need for the church to be "equal" with Jesus - yet we will be truly Divine

Gregory of Nazianzus - "I should like to call the Father the greater, because from Him flows both the equality and being of the equals"

The Father always is Father... He longs for His Son to be like Him, in His Father-hood - hence the creation, but yet as He perfects His Son, He is also made even greater in His perfection
this is the unchanging God


Glen said...

* I like the emphasis on the concrete particularity of the Persons and their non-reversible relations. Equality does *not* mean a flat hierarchy.

* Do we also want to say that Jesus is greater as servant? The Father is the great Sender, the Son is the great Sent One...

* As you apply the hierarchy point to church, marriage etc I think it's important to stress the ontological equality point (lest we become misogynists!)

* You're right to react against any notion of "perichoresis" being the glue in between the Persons (as though 'love' were a fourth thing in the trinity). Perichoresis simply describes the way that the Three are (i.e. *in* each other).

yemsee said...

Hey Glen...

Jesus the servant.. .
the question is, is Jesus greater because He serves the Father, or is He the great servant because He's seen the great service His Father serves Him with

church and marriage - need to also take in to account "no male no female in Christ" - our state is not permanent, but intermediary.. we are ontologically the bride in Christ