News

Loading...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Trinitarian Meditations

The doctrine of the trinity is the reason that the Scientific Revolution occurred in a Christian culture and not in any other one. By making the Son and the Holy Spirit co-equal with the Father, the laws that govern the world (the logos, the second person of the trinity) and the energy that animates it (the spirit, the third person) were declared holy in their own right, rather than being mere illusion (as in, say Hinduism) or the arbitrary and unfathomable commands of the Father (Islam). As Collingwood noted, the Church Fathers were faced with a delicate yet crucial metaphysical problem: how to balance transcendence and immanence in their metaphysics. They solved it in a brilliant fashion. (Scripture hints at their solution, but it hints at other possible solutions as well, which is why, say, Arianism remained a plausible alternative to Trinitarianism for so long: sole scriptura is an arbitrary principle, and could not have resolved this issue.)

4 comments:

  1. Where does Scripture hint at the divinity of the Spirit? Surely not in the Gospels. Do the synoptics even hint at the co-equal divinity of the Son?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is an easy way to prove it does, without lots of debate of specific passages:

      1) Martin Luther was smarter than you or me.
      2) Luther knew scripture better than you or me.
      3) Luther sought to purge from Christianity everything not found in scripture.
      4) Luther never tried to get rid of the doctrine of the trinity.
      5) QED, the doctrine of the trinity finds support in scripture.

      Delete
  2. I agree with premises 1), 2), and 4). The flaw with 3) and therefore with 5) is that I strongly suspect Luther was a tendentious thinker insofar as he was operating within a certain paradigm and was not inclined to come to conclusions that varied too far from the received Christian tradition. Less tendentious, I suppose, than most theologians (of any religion) at most times, but still limited.

    I'm genuinely curious about whether there are any passages to debate about at all. I imagine there are in the Epistles, since I don't know the material very well and there's clearly a lot of interesting/far out philosophy in there. I doubt there's anything to debate in the Gospels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unknown, all I'm am claimimg is that smart people can and have found a scriptural basis for the doctrine. I am neither enough of an expert on scripture nor someone with enough time to become one to delve into the issue of whether or not scripture really contains the doctrine. For one thing, because I don't care: I think "sola scriptura" is nonsense.

      Delete