Love and the Trinity

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mattrose
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Love and the Trinity

Post by mattrose » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:43 pm

Disclaimer: I am not one to insist upon a certain understanding b/w the relationship b/w the Father, Son & Spirit as a test of orthodoxy, BUT I also believe the best way to find truth is to boldly put a belief out their and subject it to scrutiny. In this post I will be using bold language to make a case for the doctrine of the Trinity...
I believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is essential (in the sense that it is most consistent with) a theology of love. The Bible says that God is love. I am of the school of thought that LOVE is God's core characteristic. Indeed, all other 'attributes' of God are simply His love playing out in context. I believe belief in the Trinity is part and parcel with this theology.

The Father, Son & Spirit are, and always have been, a loving relationship. In trinitarian thought, love is not just something God does... love is something God is. God is a loving relationship. There was never a reality where only the Father existed. If such a time had existed, love could only be at best a potential attribute to be displayed at some future date.

In Islam, for example, God is rigidly one. He created, primarily, in order to have creation submit to Him. How could love be a core characteristic for Allah if, before creation, He was without relationship entirely? Likewise, how could the Christian God have love as a core characteristic without any essential relationship? The Christian God is love. The Christian God is the loving relationship b/w Father, Son & Spirit.

Technically, my view could be maintained with some modification from 3 to 2. What is essential is that the concept of 'God' is made up of loving relationship (whether that be b/w 3 or 2), but I see no reason to reject the vast majority trinitarian position.

In my opinion, it is time we stop ignoring the concept of trinity as a mysterious concept. It is time we stop thinking of it as an important peace of doctrinal information that has no real effect on our lives. The Trinity means that God IS love. God-love becomes the core concept of Christianity because of the reality of the Trinity.

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Paidion
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by Paidion » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:56 pm

Wouldn't the Father and the Son [(who IS the Spirit (2 Cor.3:7)] be sufficient for that love relationship without proposing a third divine Individual?

Excuse me for not reading your post thoroughly. I see you have dealt with this as a possibility.
Paidion

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steve7150
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by steve7150 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:27 pm

The Father, Son & Spirit are, and always have been, a loving relationship. In trinitarian thought, love is not just something God does... love is something God is. God is a loving relationship. There was never a reality where only the Father existed. If such a time had existed, love could only be at best a potential attribute to be displayed at some future date.








When you say "there was never a reality" i assume you mean that there was never the reality of a loving relationship and that love could only be at best a potential attribute.
I think if God is love this means love exists whether or not a relationship exists because "love" is God himself, it is far greater then a potential attribute or an actualized attribute. As long as God is, love is.
For whatever it matters i do think there was a time when the Word of God and Spirit of God came forth from God and became entities.

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mattrose
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by mattrose » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:24 pm

steve7150 wrote:I think if God is love this means love exists whether or not a relationship exists because "love" is God himself, it is far greater then a potential attribute or an actualized attribute. As long as God is, love is.
For whatever it matters i do think there was a time when the Word of God and Spirit of God came forth from God and became entities.
My argument is that God cannot be love in isolation from some relationship. Relationship is essential to the godhead if we want to insist on a theology with love at is core.

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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by steve7150 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:30 am

My argument is that God cannot be love in isolation from some relationship. Relationship is essential to the godhead if we want to insist on a theology with love at is core.










Right and i see it the opposite which is since God is Love , as long as God is, then love is. Relationship puts love into action but love still existed in the Father even if at some point he was alone. The point being that since love is not just an attribute but it is the Father's character therefore love can exist alone even if it was not yet put into action.

Take even an attribute like justice. Was God just before He judged anyone? I would say yes.

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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by Singalphile » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:37 am

I like the idea very much. It seems like a good idea to help explain and understand the God-head. I think steve7150's point is also true, though.

I wonder what, if anything, you'd make of the fact that the God-head (i.e, the Trinity) was not made known until the time of Christ. Was their any purpose for that late revelation related to what you're saying?
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

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mattrose
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by mattrose » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:15 pm

steve7150 wrote:Right and i see it the opposite which is since God is Love , as long as God is, then love is. Relationship puts love into action but love still existed in the Father even if at some point he was alone. The point being that since love is not just an attribute but it is the Father's character therefore love can exist alone even if it was not yet put into action.
I understand. We are definitely in disagreement. I don't believe love can exist alone.
Take even an attribute like justice. Was God just before He judged anyone? I would say yes.
I believe justice is something love does in a given context. There was no need for justice before sin. God's love (the core characteristic) took the form of justice (an attribute) in the context of a fallen world.

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mattrose
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by mattrose » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:17 pm

Singalphile wrote:I like the idea very much. It seems like a good idea to help explain and understand the God-head. I think steve7150's point is also true, though.

I wonder what, if anything, you'd make of the fact that the God-head (i.e, the Trinity) was not made known until the time of Christ. Was their any purpose for that late revelation related to what you're saying?
It is really the same reason God was willing to work through violence in the Old Testament. The people weren't yet ready to comprehend the true source of power (sacrifice). Nor were they ready to understand the true source of love (divine relationship).

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Paidion
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by Paidion » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:22 pm

I wonder what, if anything, you'd make of the fact that the God-head (i.e, the Trinity) was not made known until the time of Christ.
I'm sure you realize that my belief is that the Trinity was NOT made known at the time of Christ, nor at any other time.
There was never a reality where only the Father existed.
It may surprise you that I agree with this statement. Unlike Arius, who affirmed that there was a time at which the Son did not exist, I affirm that there was no such time. Even though the begetting of the Son was a single act, there was never a time at which He did not exist. This may seem contradictory since it is a very difficult concept that time actually had a beginning. There was no "before". The early Christians stated that the "begetting of the Son" was the first of God's acts. There were no other events previous to that act, since there was no "before". From our point of view, if the begetting of the Son was a single act, then the Father had to exist at least a split second prior to this act.

Even the original Nicene Creed affirmed that the Son was begotten "before all ages". The later Trinitarians apparently thought this was a contradiction and so altered the Nicene creed to read "eternally begotten" (whatever that means) instead of "begotten before all ages."

My understanding is:
Because the begetting of the Son was the first event, that event marked the beginning of time. For nothing happened BEFORE that event since there was no "before". A wise man put it this way: "The Father preceeded the Son causally, but not temporally."

Thus:
There was never a reality where only the Father existed.
For that little word "was" implies a time where only the Father existed, and there was no such time.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Homer
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by Homer » Wed Nov 27, 2013 10:59 pm

Paidion,

You wrote:
My understanding is:
Because the begetting of the Son was the first event, that event marked the beginning of time. For nothing happened BEFORE that event since there was no "before". A wise man put it this way: "The Father preceeded the Son causally, but not temporally."

Thus:

There was never a reality where only the Father existed.

For that little word "was" implies a time where only the Father existed, and there was no such time.
So you are saying God existed before time began, or no? And if God existed prior to when time began, he existed outside time (or said another way, was timeless)? And if He existed in a timeless state, couldn't He do so now? Or be both inside and outside time? Perhaps inside as the Son?

It seems to me if God is eternal, it must be both into the past and future.
The early Christians stated that the "begetting of the Son" was the first of God's acts. There were no other events previous to that act, since there was no "before".
You have stated this multiple times; could you tell us where you find these statements? Are both sentences from the early Christians? I'm assuming so since you follow with "From our point of view....".

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