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John Courtney Murray, The Problem of God, p. 41. II. The Biblical Basis. Deuteronomy 32.39 ... will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • Doctrine of the Trinity

Church history is the history of the exposition
of Scripture
  • I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other
    gods before me. (Ex. 20.2)
  • No one is good but God alone.
  • (Lk. 18.19)

The Koran sura 4 (The Woman)
  • "4.171"    O followers of the Book! do not
    exceed the limits in your religion, and do not
    speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the
    truth the Messiah, Isa Jesus son of Marium is
    only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He
    communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him
    believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and
    say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you
    Allah is only one God far be It from His glory
    that He should have a son, whatever is in the
    heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and
    Allah is sufficient for a Protector.
  • "4.172"    The Messiah does by no means disdain
    that he should be a servant of Allah, nor do the
    angels who are near to Him, and whoever disdains
    His service and is proud, He will gather them all
    together to Himself.

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  • a work of the Greek Spirit on the soil of the
  • History of Dogma, I, p. 17

Dogmatic Christianity stands between
Christianity as the religion of the Gospel. .
.and Christianity as a religion of the cultus,
sacraments, ceremonial and obedience. . .It is
always intellectual Christianity, and therefore
there is always the danger here that as knowledge
it may supplant religious faith, or connect it
with a doctrine of religion, instead of with God
and a living experience. Adolf von Harnack,
History of Dogma, I, p. 16
Next, I. . .turn to those who divide and cut to
pieces and destroy that most sacred teaching of
the Church of God, the Divine Monarchy, making it
as it were three powers and separated substances
hypostaseis and godheads three. I am told that
some among you who are catechists and teachers of
the Divine Word, instil this notion, who are
diametrically opposed, so to speak, to Sabellius
opinions for he blasphemously says that the Son
is the Father, and the Father the Son, but they
in some sort preach three Gods, as dividing the
sacred Monad into three substances foreign to
each other and utterly separate. For it must
needs be that that with the God of the Universe
the Divine Word is united. . . Dionysius of Rome
(259-64) Letter against the Sabellians

I. The Force of Harnacks Charge
Thirty Nine Articles
  • There is but one living and true God,
    everlasting, without body, parts, or passions of
    infinite power, wisdom, and goodness the Maker,
    and Preserver of all things both visible and
    invisible. And in the unity of this Godhead there
    be three Persons, of one substance, power, and
    eternity the Father, the Son, and the Holy
  • Article One

Augsburg Confession
  • Our Churches, with common consent, do teach that
    the decree of the Council of Nicaea concerning
    the Unity of the Divine Essence and concerning
    the Three Persons, is true and to be believed
    without any doubting that is to say, there is
    one Divine Essence which is called and which is
    God eternal, without body, without parts, of
    infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, the Maker
    and Preserver of all things, visible and
    invisible and yet there are three Persons, of
    the same essence and power, who also are
    coeternal, the Father the Son, and the Holy
    Ghost. And the term "person" they use as the
    Fathers have used it, to signify, not a part or
    quality in another, but that which subsists of
  • Article I

  • Isaiah 61-8 RSV In the year that King Uzziah
    died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high
    and lifted up and his train filled the temple.
    2 Above him stood the seraphim each had six
    wings with two he covered his face, and with two
    he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And
    one called to another and said "Holy, holy, holy
    is the LORD of hosts the whole earth is full of
    his glory." 4 And the foundations of the
    thresholds shook at the voice of him who called,
    and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I
    said "Woe is me! For I am lost for I am a man
    of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a
    people of unclean lips for my eyes have seen the
    King, the LORD of hosts!" 6 Then flew one of the
    seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal
    which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7
    And he touched my mouth, and said "Behold, this
    has touched your lips your guilt is taken away,
    and your sin forgiven." 8 And I heard the voice
    of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who
    will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send

Scripture versus Dogma
  • Narrative context
  • God as person
  • Existential impact
  • Paradoxical relatedness
  • Isaiah 68-11 8 Then I heard the voice of the
    Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go
    for us?" And I said, "Here am I send me!" 9 And
    he said, "Go and say to this people 'Keep
    listening, but do not comprehend keep looking,
    but do not understand.' 10 Make the mind of this
    people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their
    eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes,
    and listen with their ears, and comprehend with
    their minds, and turn and be healed." 11 Then I
    said, "How long, O Lord?" And he said "Until
    cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses
    without people, and the land is utterly desolate.
  • See also Mark 411-12, along with parallels
    (Mt. 13.10-15, Lk. 8.9-10) and related passages
    (Jn. 12. 39-41, Acts 28. 26-27).
  • Not myth

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)
The mind moves inevitably from the question of
what things are to us. . . To the deeper question
of what they are in themselves. . .The human
mind moves from description to definition. John
Courtney Murray, The Problem of God, p. 41
II. The Biblical Basis
Deuteronomy 32.39
  • See now that I, even I, am he
  • there is no god besides me.
  • I kill and I make alive
  • I wound and I heal
  • and no one can deliver from
  • my hand.

Isaiah 45.6-7
  • that men may know, from the rising of the sun and
    from the west, that there is none besides me I
    am the LORD, and there is no other.
  • I form light and create darkness, I make weal and
    create woe, I am the LORD, who do all these

  • AlmightyGod does all things
  • El Shaddei
  • 2 Corinthians 618 and I will be a father to
    you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says
    the Lord Almighty."
  • Revelation 18 "I am the Alpha and the Omega,"
    says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is
    to come, the Almighty.
  • See also Revelation 48, 1117, 153, 167,
    1614, 196, 1915, and 2122.

  • Dynamic Monarchianism
  • (adoptionism)
  • A human being is anointed, the Word is not
    anointed. The Nazarine our Lord is anointed. For
    the Word is greater than the anointed one, i.e.,
    Christ, since the anointed one became great
    through Wisdom.
  • Paul of Samosata (3rd century) A New Eusebius,
    p. 261
  • Modalistic Monarchianism
  • (modalism Patripassianism, Sabellianism)
  • for he blasphemously says that the Son is the
    Father, and the Father is the Son, but they in
    some sort preach three Gods, as dividing the
    sacred Monad into three substances foreign to
    each other and utterly separate.
  • Dionysius of Rome Letter against the Sabellians

Subordination to the Father
  • Matthew 624 24 "No one can serve two masters
    for a slave will either hate the one and love the
    other, or be devoted to the one and despise the
    other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
  • Luke 1819 19 Jesus said to him, "Why do you
    call me good? No one is good but God alone.
  • Matthew 69 9 "Pray then in this way Our
    Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
  • Luke 2242 42 "Father, if you are willing,
    remove this cup from me yet, not my will but
    yours be done."
  • Matthew 2746 46 And about three o'clock Jesus
    cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lema
    sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have
    you forsaken me?"
  • Luke 2346 46 Then Jesus, crying with a loud
    voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commend
    my spirit." Having said this, he breathed his
  • Romans 13-4 3 the gospel concerning his Son,
    who was descended from David according to the
    flesh 4 and was declared to be Son of God with
    power according to the spirit1 of holiness by
    resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our

Christ as Divine
  • 2 Corinthians 44 4 In their case the god of
    this world has blinded the minds of the
    unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light
    of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the
    image of God.
  • Colossians 115 15 He is the image of the
    invisible God, the firstborn of all creation

Pre-existence of Christ
  • John 11-3 NRS John 11 In the beginning was the
    Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
    God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All
    things came into being through him, and without
    him not one thing came into being. What has come
    into being
  • Philippians 25-11 5 Let the same mind be in you
    that was1 in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was
    in the form of God, did not regard equality with
    God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied
    himself, taking the form of a slave, being born
    in human likeness. And being found in human form,
    8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the
    point of death -- even death on a cross. 9
    Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave
    him the name that is above every name, 10 so
    that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11
    and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ
    is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  • Romans 832 32 He who did not withhold his own
    Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not
    with him also give us everything else?
  • 2 Corinthians 89 9 For you know the generous
    act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was
    rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that
    by his poverty you might become rich.

Christ is God
  • 1 John 520 20 And we know that the Son of God
    has come and has given us understanding so that
    we may know him who is true1 and we are in him
    who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the
    true God and eternal life.
  • John 1030 30 The Father and I are one."
  • John 1036-38 36 can you say that the one whom
    the Father has sanctified and sent into the world
    is blaspheming because I said, 'I am God's Son'?
    37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then
    do not believe me. 38 But if I do them, even
    though you do not believe me, believe the works,
    so that you may know and understand1 that the
    Father is in me and I am in the Father."

Holy Spirit
  • John 1416-17 16 And I will ask the Father, and
    he will give you another Advocate,1 to be with
    you forever. 17 This is the Spirit of truth,
    whom the world cannot receive, because it neither
    sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he
    abides with you, and he will be in1 you.
  • Romans 89 9 But you are not in the flesh you
    are in the Spirit,1 since the Spirit of God
    dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the
    Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Trinitarian Formulation
  • Matthew 2819 19 Go therefore and make
    disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
    name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy

  • Essential Trinity
  • Economic Trinity

Finite Knowledge
  • S O

Economic Trinity
  • Father
  • Spirit Spirit
  • Spirit
  • I Son

Andrei Rublev 1360?- 1430 The Trinity
  • Genesis 181-8 NRS Genesis 181 The LORD
    appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he
    sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of
    the day. 2 He looked up and saw three men
    standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from
    the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to
    the ground. 3 He said, "My lord, if I find favor
    with you, do not pass by your servant. 4 Let a
    little water be brought, and wash your feet, and
    rest yourselves under the tree. 5 Let me bring a
    little bread, that you may refresh yourselves,
    and after that you may pass on-- since you have
    come to your servant." So they said, "Do as you
    have said." 6 And Abraham hastened into the tent
    to Sarah, and said, "Make ready quickly three
    measures of choice flour, knead it, and make
    cakes." 7 Abraham ran to the herd, and took a
    calf, tender and good, and gave it to the
    servant, who hastened to prepare it. 8 Then he
    took curds and milk and the calf that he had
    prepared, and set it before them and he stood by
    them under the tree while they ate.

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Origen and Tertullian
  • Ousia
  • hypostasis
  • Substantia
  • persona

. . .the essential dynamism of human
intelligence. When it functions without any bias
induced by faulty or prejudicial training, the
mind moves inevitably from the question of what
things are to us (the phenomenological question)
to the deeper question of what things are in
themselves (the ontological question). The human
mind moves from description to definition. In
this case, it moves from the reality of the Gods
presence to inquiry into the reality of the God
who is present. Murray, The Question of God,
p. 41
Socrates on Arius (c.318)
  • Alexander (Bishop of Alexandria) attempted one
    day, in the presence of the presbyters and the
    rest of his clergy, too ambitious a discourse
    about the Holy Trinity, the subject being Unity
    in Trinity.
  • Arius, one of the presbyters under his
    jurisdiction, a man possessed of no
    inconsiderable logical acumen, thinking that the
    bishop was introducing the doctrine of Sabellius
    the Libyan, from love of controversy advanced
    another view diametrically opposed to the opinion
    of the Libyan, and, as it seemed, vehemently
    controverted the statements of the bishop. If,
    said he, the Father begat the Son, he that was
    begotten has a beginning of existence and from
    this it is evident that there was when the Son
    was not. It therefore necessarily follows that he
    had his essence from the non-existent.
  • A New Eusebius, p. 321

Arius Letter to Alexander c. 320
  • Our faith from our forefathers, which also we
    have learned from thee, Blessed Pope, is
    this--We acknowledge One God, alone Ingenerate,
    alone Everlasting, alone Unbegun, alone True,
    alone having Immortality, alone Wise, alone Good,
    alone Sovereign Judge, Governor, and Providence
    of all, unalterable and unchangeable, just and
    good, God of Law and Prophets and New Testament
    who begat an Only-begotten Son before eternal
    times, through whom He has made both the ages and
    the universe and begat Him, not in semblance,
    but in truth and that He made Him subsist at His
    own will, unalterable and unchangeable perfect
    creature of God, but not as one of the creatures
    offspring, but not as one of things begotten. . .

Arius Letter (cont)
  • And God, being the cause of all things, is
    Unbegun and altogether Sole, but the Son being
    begotten apart from time by the Father, and being
    created and founded before ages, was not before
    His generation, but being begotten apart from
    time before all things, alone was made to subsist
    by the Father. For He is not eternal or
    co-eternal or co-unoriginate with the Father, nor
    has He His being together with the Father, as
    some speak of rel ations, introducing two
    ingenerate beginnings, but God is before all
    things as being Monad and Beginning of all.
    Wherefore also He is before the Son. . .

Development of Dogma
  • What Nicea introduced was
  • the communal affirmation of the content of faith
    employing a nonscriptural concept

  • When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you
    into all the truth for he will not speak on his
    own authority, but whatever he hears he will
    speak, and he will declare to you the things that
    are to come.
  • He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine
    and declare it to you.

Basil the Great
  • Father Fatherhood Unbegotten
  • Son Sonship Begotten
  • Spirit Sanctification Proceeds

Gregory of Nanzianzus
  • The Old Testament proclaimed the Father
    manifestly, and the Son more hiddenly. The New
    Testament manifested the Son, and suggested the
    deity of the Spirit. Now the Spirit himself is
    resident among us. . .
  • Orations 31.26

  • 2 Corinthians 317 17 Now the Lord is the
    Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
    there is freedom.

Gregory of Nanzianzus
  • The Old Testament proclaimed the Father
    manifestly, and the Son more hiddenly. The New
    Testament manifested the Son, and suggested the
    deity of the Spirit. Now the Spirit himself is
    resident among us. . .
  • Orations 31.26

  • Third Council of Toledo 589 Credo in Spiritum
    Sanctum qui ex patre filioque procedit ("I
    believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the
    Father and Son")
  • Montanism
  • Joachism (Joachim of Fiore 1135-1202) three
    ages laity, priests, monks
  • Enthusiasts in Reformation Karlstadt, Müntzer,
    Swenckfeld, Frank
  • Pentecostalism

Common Elements of Spirit Driven Movements
  • Individualistic interpretation of scripture
  • Devaluation of ecclesiastical hierarchy
  • Anti-sacramentalism
  • Political radicalism
  • Spiritual ecstasy

Four Levels of the Spirit
  • 4. Nicene Creed
  • And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator
    of Life, who proceeds from the Father.
  • Together with the Father and the Son he is
    worshiped and glorified he spoke through the
  • In one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
  • I profess one baptism for the remission of sins.
  • I expect the resurrection of the dead and the
    life of the world to come.
  • Amen.

  • 3. Acts 18 8 But you will receive power when
    the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will
    be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and
    Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
  • John 2022-23 22 When he had said this, he
    breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the
    Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any,
    they are forgiven them if you retain the sins of
    any, they are retained."

  • 2. 1 Corinthians 121-3 NRS Now concerning
    spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not
    want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when
    you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray
    to idols that could not speak. 3 Therefore I
    want you to understand that no one speaking by
    the Spirit of God ever says "Let Jesus be
    cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord"
    except by the Holy Spirit.
  • 1 Corinthians 142-5 2 For those who speak in a
    tongue do not speak to other people but to God
    for nobody understands them, since they are
    speaking mysteries in the Spirit. 3 On the other
    hand, those who prophesy speak to other people
    for their upbuilding and encouragement and
    consolation. 4 Those who speak in a tongue build
    up themselves, but those who prophesy build up
    the church. 5 Now I would like all of you to
    speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. One
    who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in
    tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the
    church may be built up.

  • Acts 217-21 17 'In the last days it will be,
    God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon
    all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall
    prophesy, and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams. 18 Even
    upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days
    I will pour out my Spirit and they shall
    prophesy. 19 And I will show portents in the
    heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood,
    and fire, and smoky mist. 20 The sun shall be
    turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before
    the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day.
    21 Then everyone who calls on the name of the
    Lord shall be saved.'
  • Acts 242-47 42 They devoted themselves to the
    apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the
    breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 Awe came
    upon everyone, because many wonders and signs
    were being done by the apostles. 44 All who
    believed were together and had all things in
    common 45 they would sell their possessions and
    goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any
    had need. 46 Day by day, as they spent much time
    together in the temple, they broke bread at home
    and ate their food with glad and generous hearts,
    47 praising God and having the goodwill of all
    the people. And day by day the Lord added to
    their number those who were being saved.

The fascination that the doctrine of the Holy
Spirit has for the Christian mind, and its
meaning in the Christian faith as a whole, cannot
be properly understood without an awareness of
spiritism which has always informed the Christian
soul. The Holy Spirit belongs in the invisible
world filled with angels and demons. Of course,
Person in the Trinity is one thing, and
spirit is another. . .Down deep, as it were, in
the Christian soul, the Holy Spirit is he who
replaces, neither too clearly nor too completely,
the spirits, the good spirits, who have been from
the beginning, mans help in a world where weal
and woe are exasperatingly intermixed and
unmanageable. Joseph Haroutunian, in Alan
Richardson, A Dictionary of Christian Theology.
P. 320
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