7. Triune God - Dramatis Personae

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Scripture speaks of God

It does this by speaking of God in relation to creation and a people. It does not do this by speaking of God using abstract language, in impersonal and majestic ways, or by speaking of God in terms of God's self.

Justo Gonzalez

He argues that in their efforts to introduce Christianity to the Greco-Roman world, Christians began interpreting their God in Platonic terms, with the result that they introduced an aristocratic god, one who would serve to support the privilege of the higher classes.

Gregory of Nyssa

He said the following: "With regard to the divine nature, on the other hand, it is otherwise. We do not learn that the Father does something on his own, in which the Son does not co-operate. Or again, that the Son acts on his own without the Spirit. Rather does every operation which extends from God to creation and is designated according to our differing conceptions of it have its origin in the Father, proceeds through the Son, and reach its completion by the Holy Spirit."

The Doctrine of the Trinity

This is the answer to the question, "Who is God?" It is not the answer to the questions "What is the Christian analogy to 'ice, water, and steam?'" or "How do we figure out how to be a decent community?" or "What does genuine human love and self-giving look like?"

appropriation

This term allows us to speak of distinctions without thereby implying either a separation of diminution of the persons of the Trinity.

Proven the existence of the God of Abraham

Gonzalez points out that when, with the help of Thomas Aquinas' "five ways" we have proven that everything that exists has a first cause, we have NOT done this.

An Idol

Gonzalez clams that any God whose existence can be proven is this.

Divine Omnipotence

According to Gonzalez, this does NOT mean that God has the power to do any and all things.

Gregory of Nyssa

He does NOT teach that when we speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we should think of this as three distinct gods, and not merely three persons or ways of being.

Modalism

In light of this challenge, we must answer "yes" to the question, "Must the Father and the Son be eternally distinguished within the Godhead?"

Actualist Ontology

An ontology in which dynamic and active categories are preeminent. An example of this would be the notion of covenant where God acts to establish and carry out a promise to Israel.

Social Trinitarianism

The lecture has taught us to reject this as an effective analogy by which we can imitate the dynamic sharing and self-offering of the three persons.

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