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St_Worm2


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PostPosted: 09-18-2016 4:01 pm
Post Number: 25369
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While in a discussion with an EO concerning the Filioque, the "origin" of both the HS and the Son were brought up.

My question is not about the Filioque and whether the EOC or the RCC is correct, rather, my questions are about the members of Trinity and the understanding of the nature ("origin"?) of the Godhead.

Both the RCC and the EOC believe/teach that the Father is the "Source" of the Godhead.


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245 The apostolic faith concerning the Spirit was confessed by the second ecumenical council at Constantinople (381): "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from the Father."71 By this confession, the Church recognizes the Father as "the source and origin of the whole divinity".72 But the eternal origin of the Spirit is not unconnected with the Son's origin: "The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is God, one and equal with the Father and the Son, of the same substance and also of the same nature. . . Yet he is not called the Spirit of the Father alone,. . . but the Spirit of both the Father and the Son."73 The Creed of the Church from the Council of Constantinople confesses: "With the Father and the Son, he is worshipped and glorified."74

246 The Latin tradition of the Creed confesses that the Spirit "proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque)". The Council of Florence in 1438 explains: "The Holy Spirit is eternally from Father and Son; He has his nature and subsistence at once (simul) from the Father and the Son. He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration. . . . And, since the Father has through generation given to the only-begotten Son everything that belongs to the Father, except being Father, the Son has also eternally from the Father, from whom he is eternally born, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son."75

247 The affirmation of the filioque does not appear in the Creed confessed in 381 at Constantinople. But Pope St. Leo I, following an ancient Latin and Alexandrian tradition, had already confessed it dogmatically in 447,76 even before Rome, in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon, came to recognize and receive the Symbol of 381. The use of this formula in the Creed was gradually admitted into the Latin liturgy (between the eighth and eleventh centuries). The introduction of the filioque into the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed by the Latin liturgy constitutes moreover, even today, a point of disagreement with the Orthodox Churches.

248
At the outset the Eastern tradition expresses the Father's character as first origin of the Spirit. By confessing the Spirit as he "who proceeds from the Father", it affirms that he comes from the Father through the Son.77 The Western tradition expresses first the consubstantial communion between Father and Son, by saying that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque). It says this, "legitimately and with good reason",78 for the eternal order of the divine persons in their consubstantial communion implies that the Father, as "the principle without principle",79 is the first origin of the Spirit, but also that as Father of the only Son, he is, with the Son, the single principle from which the Holy Spirit proceeds.80 This legitimate complementarity, provided it does not become rigid, does not affect the identity of faith in the reality of the same mystery confessed. ~Catechism of the Catholic Church


My first question is this, how can the Son and the HS, who both the EOC and the RCC believe/teach to be w/o beginning, have their "source" in the Father?*

*(actually, the RCC teaches that the HS has His "source"/"origin" in both the Father and the Son, that He "proceeds" from them both .. as you can see for yourself in the posited excerpt from the CCC above).

I have always believed that the HS "proceeding" (whether from the Father alone, or from both the Father and the Son), was a "procession" in the sense that He chose to go forth and act upon/carry out the wishes of the Father and/or the Son, not that His "procession" was speaking of His "origins" in the Father (or in the Father and the Son).

My second, similar question (since the subject has been broached) involves the Son (Who is, "begotten, not made"). How can the Son exist from everlasting/without a beginning .. and also be, "begotten"? In what sense is He "begotten"?

Thanks. Apparently I know far less about the nature of the Godhead than I thought I did if my EOC friend is correct, so your help in understanding all of this would be greatly appreciated.

Yours in Christ,
David
p.s. - edit: just so no one gets the wrong idea, I don't hold to any of this business about the Son and the HS finding their "source" in the Father, as if They were somehow "created" by Him, but since the RCC and the EOC believe it, I'd like to figure out why they do.

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DrWhofan1


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PostPosted: 09-19-2016 11:29 am
Post Number: 25385
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Interesting topic!

Since God is father/Son/Spirit eternall, and concept of source/origin would have to meet that condition...

Believe it was CS Lewis that stated that the eternal love between Father and Son is the Holy Spirit, but thast is just finite mind trying to comprehend God!

Also brings into the concept was the Son eternall begooten of the father, or was He begotten in that sense when became Born as Jesus Himself?

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St_Worm2


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PostPosted: 09-19-2016 12:59 pm
Post Number: 25386
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DrWhofan1 wrote:
Interesting topic!

Since God is father/Son/Spirit eternall, and concept of source/origin would have to meet that condition...

Believe it was CS Lewis that stated that the eternal love between Father and Son is the Holy Spirit, but thast is just finite mind trying to comprehend God!

Also brings into the concept was the Son eternall begooten of the father, or was He begotten in that sense when became Born as Jesus Himself?


Hey DWF, I'm not sure what I think about this particular EOC/RCC theological stance yet (except that I can't think of any Biblical evidence to support it  Wink), but you're right, it is interesting! I'm sure they have a way of explaining it, so I'll see if one of my online friends, who is an EOC priest/theologian, can do that for me (or at least point me in the direction of an EOC article that will).

I'll also head back over to the section of the RCC's CCC that I posited above and check out their Scriptural references.

As for the Son being "eternally begotten", there is no question that both the RCC and EOC believe that He is, so the question becomes, how do they explain their understanding of the Father being the "source" of the Son (since they clearly teach the Son is w/o a beginning of days .. i.e. Hebrews 7:3)?

If you come come up with anything, please let me know (and I'll do the same, of course).

In Christ,
David

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PostPosted: 09-19-2016 1:15 pm
Post Number: 25387
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We are entering deep waters here of the mysteries of God, so let's approach the subject with much fear and trembling.

Think of the phrase, "In the unity of the Godhead."

Western theology begins at this point. One God possessing full Godhead.

I think using the word "source" opens up too many distractions based upon modern notions that require much qualifications to prevent misunderstandings. The Father is unbegotten. As such God the Father is the ever-flowing fountain of the divine essence. He communicates this essence to the Son. He with the Son communicates this essence to the Spirit. The communication is eternal. It did not happen one time and then stop.

The first communication is called begetting; the second communication is called procession. Call the communication whatever one pleases, it is the communication itself which is important. So we say the Father begets the Son, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from Father and the Son. The begetting is also often termed generation. The procession is also sometimes called spiration.

Berkhof writes:

    This procession of the Holy Spirit, briefly called spiration, is his personal property. Much of what was said respecting the generation of the Son also applies to the spiration of the Holy Spirit, and need not be repeated. The following points of distinction between the two may be noted, however:
    (1) Generation is the work of the Father only; spiration is the work of both the Father and the Son.
    (2) By generation the Son is enabled to take part in the work of spiration, but the Holy Spirit acquires no such power.
    (3) In logical order generation precedes spiration.

    It should be remembered, however, that all this implies no essential subordination of the Holy Spirit to the Son.

    In spiration as well as in generation there is a communication of the whole of the divine essence, so that the Holy Spirit is on an equality with the Father and the Son

    The doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son is based on John 15:26, and on the fact that the Spirit is also called the Spirit of Christ and of the Son, Rom. 8:9; Gal. 4:6, and is sent by Christ into the world. Spiration may be defined as that eternal and necessary act of the first and second persons in the Trinity whereby they, within the divine Being, become the ground of the personal subsistence of the Holy Spirit, and put the third person in possession of the whole divine essence, without any division, alienation or change.

    When one begins with the unity of God these personal properties are the means by which Godhead is understood to belong to a distinct mode of subsistence within the undivided substance.


Altering the personal properties so as to deny the filioque (fill-ee-oh-qwee) serves to create a new "stream" (using the above analogy of "fountain").

Once the filioque is denied, there is now no longer one stream
--> Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

A second stream has been created
--> Father, Son; Father, Holy Spirit.

There is no longer an unity of three but two unities of two.

Accordingly, the unity of God is maintained in the western theological tradition by what is called the communication of Godheadóbegetting and procession. "Person" or "subsistence" depends on personal properties, i.e., properties which are unique to a person in relation to other persons. In the words of our Larger Catechism, there is something "proper" in these relations, that is, "divinely proper." To detract from any property of the Son in relation to the Holy Spirit is to make Him inferior to the Father.

The EO objection in relation to the Holy Spirit is removed by a simple acknowledgement that the unique person of the Holy Spirit also consists in a unique property, and that property is to proceed from the Father and the Son from all eternity.

If this were not accepted as the Holy Spirit's distinct property He would not be the third person of the Trinity but would be a second second person. This means He would be a second Son. His very name, Spirit, is suggestive of an altogether unique relation in union with Father and Son which nullifies the objection. The Holy Spirit is the person upon whom the communication of Godhead finally terminates. In this capacity the Spirit is Himself the bond of union and communion between Father and Son. Likewise, in the ad extra works (works outside the Goddhead) of the Trinity, this unique relation finds expression in His distinctive function in connection with the creation of, providence over, and redemption of, the worldó He is the Spirit of life and communion.
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PostPosted: 09-20-2016 11:24 am
Post Number: 25403
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So was there a temporary subordination of the Son to the father, and Spirit to father/Son, or that an eternal distinction between the truine God?

All equally God, but with different "roles" to perform, always done in unity and same purpose?

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PostPosted: 09-20-2016 1:35 pm
Post Number: 25404
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DrWhofan1 wrote:
So was there a temporary subordination of the Son to the father, and Spirit to father/Son, or that an eternal distinction between the truine God?

All equally God, but with different "roles" to perform, always done in unity and same purpose?
I do not know who you come to that conclusion from my post above. There is no ontological subordination of Father, Son, or Holy Spirit to one or the other Persons. Any subordination is an economic subordination as to roles.

The Son is eternally generated (begetted) by the Father. The Holy Spirit is eternally proceeding (spirating) from the Father and the Son. There was never a time when they were not, for they eternally are.
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St_Worm2


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PostPosted: 09-20-2016 10:19 pm
Post Number: 25418
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Thanks Patrick  Good Post

I will, no doubt have a question or two, but I want to continue to consider what you wrote a bit more first (and I will certainly try to keep your opening admonition in mind).

Thanks for your help with this very important (but very difficult) subject!

In Christ,
David

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