justin_gatlin — 2017-09-11T19:50:21-04:00 — #1
Karl Rahner writes: "Jesus is not simply God in general, but the Son. The second divine person, God’s Logos, is man, and only he is man. Hence there is at least one “mission,” one presence in the world, one reality of salvation history which is not merely appropriated to some divine person, but which is proper to him. Here we are not merely speaking “about” this person in the world. Here something occurs “outside” the intra-divine life in the world itself, something which is not a mere effect of the efficient causality of the triune God acting as one in the world, but something which belongs to the Logos alone, which is the history of the one divine person, in contrast to the other divine persons"
As quoted in Millard J. Erickson, God in Three Persons: A Contemporary Interpretation of the Trinity (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1995), 292.
Is he correct? (For our non-trinitarians, I do not feel like your input will be constructive here; let's not take this into a debate outside the creedal bounds of orthodox theology. We have plenty of that already.)
tyrone_howard — 2017-09-11T23:19:46-04:00 — #2
Trinitarian or not, the answer is the same.
Yes. Unless there are limitations attributed to each divine person
justin_gatlin — 2017-09-11T23:59:44-04:00 — #3
I don't think that is necessarily true. If Jesus is eternally the Son, it seems like being born as the Son, in a role of submissive equality, would be natural. If there is distinction between coequal members of the godhead, one of those distinctions could be the appropriate one to become flesh.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-09-12T02:52:49-04:00 — #4
Rahner is making a lot of "hot air words" which really say basically "nothing". The simple reason why is,
he is incorrect.
dave_l — 2017-09-12T06:44:10-04:00 — #5
I have trouble understanding Karl Rahner in the paragraph you provided. But from what I understand I perhaps view the trinity a bit differently.
This is how I understand the Trinity. God is one Spiritual essence with three centers of will, knowledge and consciousness called persons. Each eternal and equal, of the same single spiritual substance. Revealed in the heart only to those born-again, as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Just as a husband and wife are equal but serve different roles, some greater in one than the other, the Father knows all and performs his unique role. The Son has knowledge revealed to him by the Father. And his primary role is to glorify the Father. And the Holy Spirit carries out the triune will of God in all in the universe, spiritual and physical.
But the Trinity was in Christ the spokesman Colossians 2:9. And He displayed properties unique to each. Jesus said some of the eternal decree only the Father knew Matthew 24:36. And the Holy Spirit would comfort and bring his words to the disciple's memory after he left John 14:15; John 14:26. And that he would no longer be speaking to them, but through them by the Holy Spirit.
And especially in the crucifixion where we see God’s combined wrath for sin. And the fathomless love that caused the innocent Son to absorb the Father’s wrath for sin on the cross. In the place of the Father’s elect sinners. And the Holy Spirit giving them a new and subjectively lovable nature in the New Birth. And God, then treating the justified as though they never sinned, by it glorifying His wisdom, goodness, mercy and holiness.
tyrone_howard — 2017-09-12T07:17:05-04:00 — #6
Then limitations are imposed. Its either they can or cant do anything. Ill back off though now because - as you requested no rabbit trails and I would probbaly begin one.
hamilton_ramos — 2017-09-13T09:48:40-04:00 — #7
I do not adhere to the modern trinity definition using the term person in the modern way.
The Bible is clear that Jesus is a divine substantive reality of God allowed to have life in Himself, so that He could come down to Earth to lay that life for the elect.
The very term hypostasis was coined to acknowledge the fact that God is beyond any person concept we can think of, because our limited contextual human experience bans us from understanding God's reality.
If you look at the Bible, it clearly says who is Jesus' Father:
Mat 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ occurred in this way. His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
Mat 1:20 But as he was considering these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
As hard as modern trinity definition trinitarians want to have the above verses to say that Jesus was come "through" the H.S., it is clear that the Bible plainly states that the Holy Spirit is Jesus' Father.
So it can be deduced that the Holy Spirit and the Father are not two different persons (in the modern definition way), which makes sense because God is Spirit.
Look at it this way: the Holy Spirit when manifested in our realm, appears to be a different person from the Father, because here He is a divine Substantive Reality (hypostasis), that acts on many believers at the same time (think of the tongues as of fire), and that yet is One. (something a modern term person cannot do).
So just as when God said "Let us make humankind in our image and according to our likeness,...", notice that not three persons stood up, but only one (Adam), and Adam had three substantive realities that were not different persons, but integral components: body, soul, spirit.
So is to an extent with God, Father and Spirit could be likened to soul and spirit, and the particularity of Jesus is that He was to become God's body:
The image of the invisible God, where the fullness of the Deity dwells bodily.
So yes, Jesus is special, because He is a substantive reality (like a reflection of a person in a mirror), but that was allowed to have life in Himself, to sacrifice for the elect.
Once that mission was done, then Jesus became the New Temple of God (to which the church is the body of Christ, i.e. the living stones in the new temple).
God inveiled Himself of humanity to be in a shape that He could relate to us in a Celestial Body.
Note that great men of God knew this:
Isa 9:6 For a child has been born for us; a son has been given to us. And the dominion will be on his shoulder, and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Have you noticed that this Awesome Being is "Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace", at the same time... not different persons.
Look at the prophecy by a real undisputed prophet:
Zec 14:9 And Yahweh will be king over all the earth; on that day Yahweh will be one and his name one.
Nowhere does Zechariah speak of three different persons (in modern term).
Then you have John the apostle in Patmos: Revelation 1: 10 - 18, He saw One Being, and if you study the characteristics of that Being, many of the same characteristics Yahweh of OT are present.
John did not see three different persons but One IAW Deut 6:4.
One of the hardest verses to explain for modern person term trinity definition is the following:
Rev 7:17 because the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and will lead them to springs of living waters, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
The Lamb in the midst of the throne? does that mean that Yahweh the creator of all is a little bit to the left? I do not think so.
God is one.
Different perspective to foster further research, reflection and comment, not to polemicize.
dave_l — 2017-09-13T10:00:17-04:00 — #8
Jesus is both Son of the Father spiritually and eternally, without beginning or end. And the Son of Man physically in time through the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary. The Father cannot forever be the Father without the Son. And the Son cannot forever be the Son without the Father. But God always was the Father as the Father. And the Holy Spirit always the Holy Spirit. And the Son always the Son before and after the incarnation.
justin_gatlin — 2017-09-13T10:09:21-04:00 — #9
This is exactly Rahner's position. The persons of the Trinity have different eternal roles, so the Son was necessarily the one to become flesh. It is not a limitation, as if the Father and Spirit lacked the power to take on bodily form, but the manifestation of a spiritual reality.
justin_gatlin — 2017-09-13T10:11:13-04:00 — #10
This is not the sense I mean "could." God is free, but always acts in accordance with His own nature. The question is whether or not it would have been equally in accordance with His nature for the Father or Spirit to become flesh.
hamilton_ramos — 2017-09-13T10:13:41-04:00 — #11
Nice conjecture, and conjecture is all that it is.
We know Jesus was the Logos of God working as a master workman with the Father at the creation of our realm.
All was created through that Logos and for that Logos (thus Logos is an integral part of God), the Logos made flesh before crucifixion was a divine substantive reality of God allowed to have life in Himself, not God the Father, because Yahweh the creator of all cannot die.
Jesus died, because He was the image of the invisible God (substantive reality), allowed to have life in Himself to precisely die for the elect, and become perfect, so that He could become the New Temple of God, where the fullness of the Deity (Father and Spirit) dwell bodily.
If you see, what Isaiah, Zechariah, John the Apostle saw, was actually what seems to be a merge between the Ancient of Days and the Son of man.
This is the primary revelation of the Jewish, God is one, and that is why they reject the modern definition of trinity using the modern definition of person in it.
We should have stayed with the hypostasis word.
The old trinity definition I adhere to is:
Love relation between Divine Substantive realities.
Much better, less misunderstanding.
Once the fullness of Deity dwells bodily in the New Temple Jesus Christ, the Father / Son different perceptual event as experienced by us disappears.
Then Zechariah 14:9 prophecy applies, and Revelation 7:17 makes sense.
dave_l — 2017-09-13T10:23:30-04:00 — #12
Jesus, the eternal Son of the eternal Father became flesh. The Son of God did not die on the cross, the Son of Man did. The perfectly sinless human body God prepared as a sacrifice.
tyrone_howard — 2017-09-13T10:24:59-04:00 — #13
That's why I have to step away.
I believe they could. I even believe they Did. I don't believe they have "separate" natures. SO I tried to answer specifically in view of could the Father, who is limitless, and without a nature(Just as God does not Love, he Is Love).
To go further would open up Rabbit TRails, like ifI were to say:
It is my belief The Fullness of the Godhead became Incarnate through Jesus The Messiah. I think though that begins to give way to my belief contrary to the "commonly-Preached" Trinitarian Doctrine if I was to expound any more, and You kindly asked for us to not do it on this Thread.
@Gao_Lu explained the Trinity to me once, and I believed/Agreed with everything he said. When reading the Creed regarding the trinity, I disagreed with Numerous Points. i.e. calling the being, that is the father "a person", and the being is the Holy Ghost, " a person" and the being that is the Logos, "a person", and some other points, more notably that we must worship 3 to be saved.
hamilton_ramos — 2017-09-13T10:31:30-04:00 — #14
I do not know what Bible you are reading, but notice:
Rev 1:13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching to the feet and girded around his chest with a golden belt,
The Apostle that knew Jesus best recognized some of Him in the vision.
And that wonderful Being said it clearly:
Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead person, and he placed his right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last,
Rev 1:18 and the one who lives, and I was dead, and behold, I am living forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of Hades.
If this is not the Son of God, then who is it?
Is funny how the same people that keep teaching that Zechariah prophecized that Jesus was to enter untriumphantly in Jerusalem, seldom teach one of his most important prophecies:
Zec 14:9 And Yahweh will be king over all the earth; on that day Yahweh will be one and his name one.
Zechariah did not mention anything about any trinity, he was crystal clear there was going to be One at the end the same way it was at the beginning.
dave_l — 2017-09-13T10:33:24-04:00 — #15
In the resurrection, God exalted the Son of Man, deifying him forever. “God raised up this Jesus, of which we all are witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this which you now see and hear.” (Acts 2:32–33)
hamilton_ramos — 2017-09-13T10:42:21-04:00 — #16
I do not read in the verse what you try to imply:
"God exalted the Son of Man, deifying him forever."
This again sounds to me like the gnostic christian beliefs that mere mortals will eventually have self-existence like God in a deification process, which I have pronounced elsewhere as a lie, not IAW biblical revelation.
To partake of eternal life, does not make created Beings self-existent.
Jesus was different altogether, because He was not created to begin with. After His perfection by death in the cross, He became what He was destined to be altogether:
The New Temple of God, where the fullness of Deity dwells bodily.
Jesus is the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Slain Lamb from before the foundation of the World, the Logos acting as a Master Workman in the creation of the World, and now the New Temple of God.
Eph 1:10 for the administration of the fullness of times, to bring together all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in him
Easy to see, for those that want to do the will of God.
dave_l — 2017-09-13T10:48:35-04:00 — #17
If you use the english dictionary to define person, you will not grasp the use of the word person in the creeds. In english persons = people. The trinity is not 3 people. But person, the spirit that leaves the body behind at death is the closest word they could find. In this sense I define person as the spiritual essence of will, knowledge and consciousness. And the single spiritual essence called God exists with three distinct centers of will, knowledge and consciousness. The Father knows things the Son or Holy Spirit do not know....proving they are not one and the same.
dave_l — 2017-09-13T10:52:50-04:00 — #18
Where did Jesus go upon being resurrected from the tomb? Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:20–21)
hamilton_ramos — 2017-09-13T11:15:16-04:00 — #19
I agree with this, celestial Body of resurrected Christ, and the true Church happens to be part of that celestial body.
But being a living stone in the celestial body of Christ, does not give us any self-existence whatsoever.
Our eternal life will always be dependent of the only self-existent Being: God.
Any group teaching that humans will eventually achieve self-existence (throught deification, etc) is out of alignment with the Bible.
tyrone_howard — 2017-09-13T11:41:11-04:00 — #20
Justin asked that we didn't have this discussion here
next page →