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February 01, 2013

Comments

Hi Mr. Wallace,

I'd like to discuss the notion in your link that each of the persons of the Trinity posses all of the omni attributes.

In Mark 13:32 Jesus says:

“But as for that day or hour no one knows it – neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son 41 – except the Father.

This, to me, makes it pretty obvious that Jesus was not omnicient, at least during his time on earth. Do you have another interpretation for that verse, or did you overlook it in the article?

The Bible also speaks of God as not only forgiving, but forgetting our sins. I don't think that must count against the omniscience of God.

In the case of forgetting, I think we can take that as the firm determination not to use our sinfulness in any of His reckonings. He still knows that we sinned, but from a practical standpoint, He might as well not know.

Now, I don't know whether you could use that same move to speak of the Son's 'absence' of knowledge. But it seems promising.

One thing we know for sure is that there is just one entity who is God. His name is YHWH, and Jesus is identified with YHWH in the Bible...by my count, many more times than the Father and the Holy Spirit combined. So whatever properties are essential to that entity are essential to the entity that is Christ (because the two entities are not two, but one and the same).

How would the Son's lack of knowledge of the day of His returning get analyzed. Well, for starters, let's eliminate some of the ways that it can't be analyzed.

The first is that He set aside His omnipotence, omnipotence etc. when He was incarnated. If that's what happened, then it was not God who was incarnated, because those features are essential to God. And if that's what happened, then the being so generated has no power to save.

The second is sometimes used for omnipotence, but won't work for omniscience. The fact that God has the power, let's say, to call a thousand angels to rescue Him from the cross does not imply that He will exercise that power. Christ could be as omnipotent as you like and still submit Himself to death.

The same won't work for omniscience because knowledge is not the unrealized potentiality to act as is power, but the reality of the justified true belief of a proposition.

Another alternative that won't work is to imagine that somehow the Son of God knows, but the Son of Man does not. That Christ's Divine 'part' knows, but His human 'part' doesn't.

Whatever the Person of Christ does, He does it through both of His natures. So we can't say that Jesus-Man doesn't know, but Jesus-God does.

However, the second person of the Trinity is distinguished from the others precisely by what He does. Only Jesus tasted death. The Father didn't taste death, and the spirit didn't taste death.

Does that mean that the Father doesn't know death? Is this another limitation on Divine knowledge?

No, quoting the Athanasian Creed, we say "there are not three almighties, but one almighty." By the same token, we could extend that idea to say that there are not three-all-knowings, but one all-knowing. It is one undivided being, God, who is almighty, all-knowing and so on. YHWH is all those things. And Christ is YHWH. Likewise, the Father and the Spirit are YHWH.

But YHWH does not know death because of the Father or the Spirit...He knows death because of Christ's essential work. The very work that distinguishes Christ from the Father and the Spirit. Likewise, YHWH does not know the day of judgement because of Christ or the Spirit, but because of the Father's essential work. The very work that distinguishes the Father from the Son and the Spirit.

This ties in to the bit about forgetting sins in that the Son does not know the day of judgement because that does not play any practical role in His essential work...even though it does play and essential role in the work of another Person, the Father, who, like the son, is YHWH.

But for all practical purposes the all-knowing Christ does not know the day of judgement.

Drop the term 'trinity'and refer to is as unity of spirit at God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. These are not three persons, but three aspects of God just like a person can be a father, brother, son or water can be vapor, rain or snow. Even Jesus said that God is a Spirit!

The trinity of ancient times was Nimrod, Simerimus (his mother/wife) and her illegitmate son Tammuz, and there were the three persons of the trinity whose memory is celebrated at Easter and Christmas and has been since the 3rd generation from Noah. If I am wrong here, please feel free to correct me. This is why the Muslems have a problem with the trinity as it refers to the pagan trinity and this is why the Jews have problems with this term also. Both believe there is only one God and trinity is a bogus term to describe YHWH of the Bible and it causes many a lot of confusion - and the Bible teaches that God is not the author of confusion.

Sandra, I agree that the doctrine of the Trinity causes lots of confusion among those who don't believe it, though it is clearly taught in many places in scripture.

But, you're right. God is not the author of confusion. Who do you suppose is?

WL,

I have not the time or energy to dive into the beauty of the Triune. I wish I did. Love's Triune is a large part of why, or how, He has brought me to see Him more clearly.

I wholly agree with your post here. I wonder, what of this next one, as, maybe, not a "seperate" road, but instead, just one more "layer" over yours?


There is a place where it is said that the Son was made perfect through suffering. God is perfect. He is not made perfect. And so there is a place, or layer, or vector wherein the Son is as we are, though without sin. The Son, at least while IN His suffering could have said, “Though innocent, I am not perfect. I am being-made-perfect, and suffering is part of what is doing this.” I risk putting words into His mouth there, but I mean it as an extension of that other verse of the Son being made perfect through suffering, which involves Time, in Hebrews is it? This is that marvelous reality of Word, the Uncreated, becoming manifest Corporeal. God-In-Man, Man-In-God. Uncreated-Created. Underived-Derived. I see no problem with the Son saying such things prior to that point in Time (and Time is a funny thing where the Son is concerned) when Corporeal finally assimilates with Word fully – Post Resurrection. Immutable. Perfect. From before Time, and into Time, and again external to Time. I say Immutable in His direction; I guess at it in ours over that horizon. Speaking of Time, of Days and of Hours, we speak of that which is irrelevant to the Uncreated, to Word, though is a Thing which is relevant to Corporeal, to Created. And there we find, or hear, our singular amalgamation of multiple distincts speaking from within Time, from within Suffering.

Clarification:

By, "...our singular amalgamation of multiple distincts speaking from within Time, from within Suffering" I refer to the amalgamation of that which is Uncreated Word and that which is Created Corporeal.

Austin,

When Jesus was on earth he was both God and human at the same time. As for not knowing the day nor the hour, Jesus is referring to His human nature. Just like how He could get hungry, tired, weary, etc. Accordingly, the Expositor's Bible Commentary Abridged NT edition has this to say about it:

"And Jesus, at his ascension, clearly said that it was not the disciples 'to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority' (Act 1:7). A map of the future would be a hindrance, not a help, to faith. Their responsibility--and ours--is to get busy and do his work without being concerned about date setting.

"Jesus' ignorance of the day or hour of his return must be understood in terms of the NT teaching concerning the Incarnation. A genuine Incarnation involved such lack of knowledge. Jesus purposely laid aside temporarily the exercise of his omniscience as part of what was involved in his becoming a human being." (Page 190).

Hope this helped!

Sandra Jeffery

"Drop the term 'trinity'and refer to is as unity of spirit at God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. These are not three persons, but three aspects of God just like a person can be a father, brother, son or water can be vapor, rain or snow. Even Jesus said that God is a Spirit!"

As a young christian I was also introduced to this idea of three modes of God, but found out later that this is an ancient error. It is an old heresy called Modalism. I am afraid that scriptures teach clearly that there are three distinct persons involved in the godhead. When Jesus prayed to the father, he was actually communicating (not with himself) but with another distinct person. There is a description of a loving relationship between the father and the son and you need more than one person to establish a relationship between them. So, there is no question about the fact that the scriptures teach the concept of a trinity(three distinct persons).

SCBLHRM-

There are things that make God perfect. For example, His knowing everything is one of the things that makes him perfect. That's not the same as saying that He was once imperfect and became perfect because of something.

I firmly believe that part of the reason that God is omniscient is because of the knowledge He has in virtue of taking all our sins and pains to Himself. This is knowledge He has because of the work of Christ. God would not be omniscient without the work of Christ.

WisdomLover

"God would not be omniscient without the work of Christ."

Just out of curiosity, prior to the completion of the work of Christ, would you say that God was omniscient, on your view?

Louis-

"Prior" is a strange word to use when talking about the creator and sovereign of time.

God is eternally omniscient. That means that He knows everything from eternity. For every piece of knowledge He has, there is a reason He has that knowledge. He has His knowledge, in particular, of all human experience because of the work of Christ. A work that is accomplished both through His human and Divine natures.

There is no such thing as God-And if we speak of kind. Such as what we mean when we speak of Evil, for Evil is the Isolated-Self. Love is I, and You, and the embrace of these Perfect Distincts within the Third Perfect Distinct of Love which is the Singular-We or the I-You. Evil is not God-And but rather is God-Less-Two and exists, or is found, in the Uncreated: “I” exists in God. Or, such as Agency Among and Between Distinct Selves; this exists in the Uncreated. To know the whole is to know the part by default. If we mean to speak of Number, then we find that Pantheism is false, for there are I’s that exist which are not God, there are Agencies which exist which are not God, for God creates. There is nothing He creates which is God-And.


Within the Uncreated the Motion into I exists, is Good, is Lovely, and is Life. I-AM, or, My-Will is a Good-Thing within the Uncreated. Self is not in and of itself Evil. Because that Motion is found within the Uncreated, it will be found within any created self fashioned in Love’s Image. Now, within the Triune we find this: Self-Sufficiency. However, Power cannot create God, and, so, any Created Self in Love’s Image will have in its reality the I, the You, and the I-You, and so forth, only, by the Created’s necessary dependency on the Uncreated-Other for its very life there is a necessary Open Door to what we mean by Evil, which is I-Alone, or My-Will, or Privatized-Good, or the Isolated-I which, for any created self, means Death for all created “things” / “selves” whatsoever have a necessary Dependency on Other for life/existence.


Self, or, I. Volition. Agency. You. We.
All these are found in God. Uncreated. And as such are Good, and Lovely. But we find necessary differences in the Uncreated Self and the Created Self for Power cannot created God.
When the Created Self does what Lucifer, or Adam, did, which is to choose Self over Other, I over You, I over We, and shout My-Will, then that Motion by that Created Self is, in itself, a Good Motion for such is found in God, only, the end result achieved, or the destination reached, by that Motion for any and all Created Selves will necessarily differ from the result/destination within the Uncreated for within God there is Self-Sufficiency and He Alone can shout I-AM, My-Will, and so forth, and find but Life, more Life, and only Life: there are no “bad motions” within the Triune. But this cannot be so for the Created Self who finds itself absolutely dependent on Other for Life. God has no such dependency.


God knows the Whole: He therefore Knows the Parts by default. Any created Self who knows the Whole will know the parts necessarily. And so forth. God is enough.


Now, on Wisdomlover’s dissection of Knowing into This/That between/among Persons: When it comes to Know, and to Keeps-On-Knowing, we find that Epistemology itself is Triune. We find the same Fabric within the Triune where Knowing is concerned it seems. First, Uncreated Knowing (within the Triune of Love’s I, You, and I-You) is not merely within Self. It, Knowing, is also that which occurs both In and By reference to Other. Ben loves this and thinks it a proof of agnosticism, but it ends up a testimony of the Triune Fabric of just Every-Thing. In Knowing, we find that which is Known purely within/by/of the First Distinct called the Context of The-Self, and, we find that which is Known purely within/by/of the Second Distinct called the Context of The-Other, and, we find that which is Known purely within/by/of the Third Distinct called the Context of Self-Other where the Singular Context that just is The-Whole-Show houses all Contexts. Knowing is Triune. Epistemology is Triune.


Further, we find here that subtle hint of Christ when He speaks of the Father not only Knowing the Son (and vise versa) and of the Son not only Knowing the Father (and vise versa) but, also, or in addition to “that knowing”, there is that other nuance of Keeps-On-Knowing. And here there is a bridge to the Transcendent vs. Immanent modes of Knowing-Among-And-Between-Real-Selves.


In Knowing, we find within the Triune that which is The-Self, and, we find that which is The-Other, and, we find that which is the Singular We of Self-Other. This is Love. I. You. We. And of course mixed all inside of these is Volition, Will, and so on, and so on. And we see here a window into how Wisdomlover’s description of Know/Knowing taking place not as just One-Single-Lump but instead there is that which is Known by,in,of the Father, and by,in,of the Son, and so too with the Spirit. Any Man or Woman who has fully loved his or her spouse, and been fully loved in return, knows this Triune Fabric of Love’s Embrace within Knowing. Is it I? Yes. Is it You? Yes. Is it I-You or a Singular-We? Yes. And each is Distinct from the other in Capacity, in Agency, in Know, In Keeps-On-Knowing, and so on and so on worlds without end. That which I know is not that which I and my Wife know. And so on. We are one, my wife and I. She is not I. I am not Her. Neither is We.


God is Love.


Now, Evil, or Suffering, or what we call the Isolated-Self here enters. (It’s a bridge to Knowing) This is a Thing or State known by God from within from before all worlds. Self, or, “I”, is Uncreated. And, “You” is Uncreated (in the Triune). And, I-You is Uncreated (in the Triune). And we see here how it is that the Isolated-Self (which for us, or any created self, is Death, but for Him is just more of God) can exist here inside of Time and be, though Isolated and thus Suffering (what is Love without the fullness of the Other if not pain?) and say of that which is Known In-This-Self “it is not all that is known”.


We think it odd that the Son say such here within Time, but, even before Time itself Each Distinct within Love’s Triune of I, You, and We still will say “I know THIS, He knows THAT, We know ALL” and so on, and so on, worlds without end. Christ’s statement on Knowing is just what Knowing is, what Epistemology just is: Triune. We, you and I the created, are in His Image and we too Know in that same fashion: we know by and in the Self and by and in relation to other things outside the Self and by the Singular Context that just is the Singular “We” of all of it together. That just is the triune topography of Uncreated Knowing, and we are made in His Image.


Time:


All of these Uncreated Patterns we are talking about pours Himself/Itself into Time, and we find Uncreated Word touching Created Corporeal. All-Sufficiency pours Himself into Insufficiency, and, Insufficiency, there within Time, finds itself in something which could be described as this:


Being-Filled-Up-By-All-Sufficiency.
Thus Time. Thus Being-Made-Perfect.

Why?


Love entails Volition, not a magical snap of the fingers. If it were by God’s Volition alone, He could snap His fingers and “poof”, my wife both appears and loves me. But with an Entity which is to be in Love’s Image, that process won’t work, for those very same Motions Among and Between Real Selves which we find within Uncreated Love must necessarily appear in the Created Person’s love of Self/Other, if that Person is to mirror in some fashion Love’s Patterns within the Triune. Thus, rather than Gods-Volition-Alone, there must be the Creative Act, and then there must be a pause, for….for… for what? Well, for the Created-Other to, in like manner, Volition-ate. We find then that the process of “Being-Made-Perfect” is thus necessary even without Sin, for, whether we sin or not there must be that Divine Pause. Thus Time.


Now, once the Pause, and thus Time, and once the Volition-ate, then: that Final Amalgamation of Word-Corporeal. The Immutable. Love begets yet more Love, and this forever. That’s just what Love does. Then: we find no more need of time, and, so….. Time Ends.

God is Love.

WinsdomLover

"God is eternally omniscient. That means that He knows everything from eternity."

I'm with you so far and concur to this point.

"For every piece of knowledge He has, there is a reason He has that knowledge."

Yes...because it is an existing feature and he is omniscient. The combination of those two things is the reason for his knowledge of it.

" He has His knowledge, in particular, of all human experience because of the work of Christ."

Let's say that man had never fallen and there was no need for the work of redemption. Do you think that God would have knowledge of "all human experiences" under those circumstances?

" A work that is accomplished both through His human and Divine natures."

There is no question that the son did indeed posses the two natures. For the most part we see pretty much eye to eye. I just needed some clarification on some key points on your perspective.

""Prior" is a strange word to use when talking about the creator and sovereign of time."

Well, there are a couple of schools of thought on the issue of time and its relationship to god. But that's not that critical an issue so, I don't feel a need to dig into that. Though I must admit it is an interesting topic.

Evil is not God-And. Justice is not God-And. Mercy is not God-And. Love is not God-And.

Louis-

Mostly you are agreeing with me. You do pose this hypothetical:

Let's say that man had never fallen and there was no need for the work of redemption. Do you think that God would have knowledge of "all human experiences" under those circumstances?
Well, the person of Christ is essential of God...No Christ=No God.

Now, we often gloss the Trinity in our prayers by praying to the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier. I'm not sure how helpful that really is. Apart from the fact that Christ also had a hand in creation (without Him was not anything made that was made), the titles for Christ and the Holy Ghost seem to presuppose the Fall. But those persons of the Trinity would exist even in an unfallen world.

So what I'm getting at is this. I think Christ's work is such that God has knowledge of all human experience through it. The fact that it took the form it took ending in crucifixion and worked out as a redemption is a consequence of the Fall. Had Man not fallen, then Christ's work would have looked different, but still would have been what accounts for God's knowledge of human experience.

John-

You quoted this from page 190 of the Expositor's Bible Commentary:

Jesus' ignorance of the day or hour of his return must be understood in terms of the NT teaching concerning the Incarnation. A genuine Incarnation involved such lack of knowledge. Jesus purposely laid aside temporarily the exercise of his omniscience as part of what was involved in his becoming a human being.
I don't think this can be right.

For starters, while it is a fact about human beings that they are not omniscient, it does not follow from that that that is part of human nature and therefore part of the Nature of Christ. It is a fact about human beings that they hate God. It does not follow that that is part of human nature (at least unfallen human nature) and therefore part of the nature of Christ.

One thing to recognize is that Christ did not take on fallen human nature. He is the second Adam because He took on unfallen human nature. So many of the shortcomings that we recognize in humanity because of the Fall need not be attributed to Christ.

A second thing to recognize is that Christ still has His human nature, and He will have it forever. So anything you want to say about what Christ's human nature implies, be prepared to say that Christ's human nature will imply that from now on.

If some shortfall from the Divine Attributes were implied by the presence of human nature, then Christ would have given up being God from now on by taking on human nature. But it is not as though there are two other beings, the Father and the Holy Spirit, that could continue shouldering the load of Deity. God is One Undivided Being named YHWH. And Christ is YHWH. If Christ gave up being God, then so did YHWH.

The commentary also attempts to draw a parallel with omnipotence by suggesting that Jesus had omniscience, but He did not exercise it.

But this is a conceptual hash.

I agree that, for example, Jesus can have the power to raise his arm and yet not raise his arm. What's more, the fact that He does not raise His arm would not count against His omnipotence. He has an unexercised power: the power to raise His arm.

Now, suppose we said that Jesus can have the power to know the day of His coming and yet not know the day of His coming. Could we likewise say that the the fact that Jesus does not know the day of His coming should not count against His omniscience?

No, and it's quite obvious why.

Omniscience is not the power to know everything, it is.knowing.everything. The claim that Jesus does not know the day of His coming is logically incompatible with the claim that Jesus is omniscient.

Power is something one exercises, and one can have a power and still not exercise it. Knowledge is not something one exercises...it is something one has.

Now, I think we can understand the Matthew 24:36 passage about whether the Son knows the day of His coming in terms of an act the God does not perform. But it is not the act of exercising knowledge, which is a category error (you might as well say that God smelled a number). It is acting upon the knowledge one has.

I think we need not view Jesus' claim in Matthew as a claim of true ignorance, any more than YHWH's claim, in Jeremiah 31:34 is a claim of true ignorance (through forgetfulness). Both claims use hyperbolic language meant to convey the strength of God's determination not to use a piece of knowledge that He has. In the case of Jeremiah, the knowledge of our sin, and in the case of Matthew, the knowledge of the second coming.

Point of clarification -

When I said that "Jesus can have the power to raise his arm and yet not raise his arm.", I did not mean that Jesus had the power to work a contradiction...the contradiction of raising His arm and yet not raising his arm"

Instead, what I meant is that even if Jesus did not raise his arm at a given moment, He might still have had the (unexercised) power to raise His arm at that moment.

SCBLHRM-

I don't think I know what you mean by "God-And". A lot of your remarks, I think, turn on understanding this idea (which I don't).

WisdomLover

"Had Man not fallen, then Christ's work would have looked different, but still would have been what accounts for God's knowledge of human experience."

Thank you for your explanation. Have you ever considered that Christ's incarnation might have been partly in order that, at judgment time, no one can point an accusing finger at god and say "You haven't gone through what us human beings went through, so who are you to judge?" Through the incarnation, that kind of accusation is off the table and all who are guilty, stand guilty before god without excuse. What think you?

WisdomLover

"One thing to recognize is that Christ did not take on fallen human nature. He is the second Adam because He took on unfallen human nature. So many of the shortcomings that we recognize in humanity because of the Fall need not be attributed to Christ."

Yep...you have it right here. What I would like to add perhaps to flesh this out a little more, if you don't mind, is that the way that Jesus was conceived was unique and thus we can expect that the nature of that conception and indeed the incarnation made it possible for him not to have inherited the fallen human nature. Which of course makes perfect sense...when you think about it.

"You haven't gone through what us human beings went through, so who are you to judge?"

And isn't this charge based on the idea that God lacks sufficient knowledge to judge?

I am not sure Word-Corporeal in Christ can still physically die. He may be able to; but it's a guess of sorts. We have a hint in Revelations which runs in the other direction. I am not sure the Son of Man is still in the process of being made a perfect Captain (through suffering). He may be, but it's a guess of sorts. We have several hints of His resurrected state which run in the other direction. It may be less precise to equate that vector of Human-ness fully with Omni, Omni, Omni as if there were no limits to the man, of the man.

And so it may not be necessary to say such things of that Human-ness from now on. It will not, it is hinted, be necessary to say such things of us from now on either. Just as, it is less precise to equate that Man's bleeding, of being-made-perfect, with a lack of Omni, Omni, Omni, of Word, and, specifically, of Word-Corporeal in those other vectors.

Regarding Knowing; a move on our part which makes God dependent in some fashion on creating to on some level complete His Knowing is a move which cannot work it seems. Now, having said that, I am of the opinion that there has never been a “first” creative act within/by the Uncreated, just as, there has never been, it seems to me, a “first” of any of the Uncreated’s innate qualities. Is there a first Agency-Of-Man? Well, I think so. But that is not an Agency which He Himself (God) needs in some way to fulfill some part of Himself where Knowing is concerned. Can we say Man’s Agency has always existed? Well, we have Genesis which speaks, not of His creative beginning, but of our Beginning and so I would move away from that notion. Move to where I am not sure, but then, this all gets into deep waters.

This is all a rough sketch on my part due to time and energy constraints on my end here. I may be entirely mistaken about just everything whatsoever. Nevertheless, God forgive me, I am enjoying my new found ability of entering italics !

WisdomLover

"

"You haven't gone through what us human beings went through, so who are you to judge?"

And isn't this charge based on the idea that God lacks sufficient knowledge to judge?"

Only if by knowledge, you mean experiential knowledge. But that entails the issue of failing due to temptation. So, if god were stripped down to human level, if you will, and then experienced what we do, the accuser is making a charge that god would fail just like other humans, under those conditions and limitations. Jesus is evidence to the contrary. So, what I raised was an issue of evidence at a trial, rather than the issue of omniscience on the part of god. He might intellectually know what mankind goes through, but that cannot be presented as evidence against the specific charge I pointed to. Only experiential knowledge counts as evidence against that charge.

I do mean experiential knowledge. And Christ's experience of the human condition isn't limited to His own sinless life in the face of temptation. He also took on the sins of the whole world. In that act He experienced what it was like to fail also. He experienced what it was like for me to fail in every single one of my failures.

Louis,

Knowing Pain is not Knowing being Sinful. Evil is some other entity. It is not more than God, but less. I haven't the time but Privation and Part vs. Whole comes into that discussion.... Also, Volition may or may not remain intact in a fallen state; I will not answer that here but I mention this only to alert us to how that would necessarily weigh in on Jesus' experience relative to ours. Finally, God cannot be made dependent on any Non-Infinite Creation to somehow complete His Whole, as per my brief post above to some degree......


I enjoy the easy stance of tossing in comments from afar while not diving in with you; I know.... very interested but time is short on my end. Apologies.

We find in God’s Interior the presence of Love’s Eternally-Sacrificed-Self moving Among and Between those infinite embraces of the I, of the You, of the I-You which is our Singular-We. We find in Him Multiple Perfect Distincts. Personhood, and Will, and Intention, and Agency, and Perfection itself are not as ours, laying flat within a uni-coordinate topography but instead exist forever within a Triune Topography. There is a place where we find within Him the Self Who is [This but not That] saying to the Self Who is [That but not This] “Let Us Create” and, also, in like manner, “Prepare for Me a Body”. Because Perfection itself is Triune, I will assert that these moves are not “Necessary” in the way we commonly use that term, but I don’t mean to argue the point as I know it is a contentious statement. I will just say that Perfection has Distinct This-But-Not-That’s and That-But-Not-This and so forth found necessarily within the Triune and this weighs in on both Creating and on Eden when we dive in further. Further, it seems that such Motions within Him are without Time. Whatever we find in Him, we do not, it seems, find it “First Happening” but rather Forever Present. We here in Time witness Christ in Gethsemane, and we say of this, “This is His ‘moment of choice’ to love….” And so forth. Only, it wasn’t His moment of Any-Thing, for such does not exist within Him (First Moments), only, it is but the Timely-Manifestation of those Interior Motions which just are Everywhere and Always. Here Christ’s Choice, God’s Choice, Love’s Offer, Perfection’s Distinctions, is/are left intact and simultaneously we defeat the Atheist’s assertion that God could have ceased to exist there in Gethsemane or else Christ never did choose and so His Volition is a Con whereas ours is Real. No. The Incarnation is a Perfect Amalgamation of Real and of Real. This is one reason Wisdomlover’s analogy holds when it comes to Know, or to Epistemology’s Triune Dissection within the Triune and within Time: Time does not fatally change anything, but only manifests to us here within Time something which does not change, is not changed, never changes. Now, here within Time we find the Divine Pause I mentioned earlier where Corporeal Volition manifests necessarily as a Process given Love’s Image relative to the Created….. Thus Time. That is the short version. Unlike Him, I haven’t the time…. There are some interesting nuances dealing with the Triune and Time at this link here.

We find in God’s Interior the presence of Love’s Eternally-Sacrificed-Self moving Among and Between those infinite embraces of the I, of the You, of the I-You which is our Singular-We. We find in Him Multiple Perfect Distincts. Personhood, and Will, and Intention, and Agency, and Perfection itself are not as ours, laying flat within a uni-coordinate topography but instead exist forever within a Triune Topography. There is a place where we find within Him the Self Who is [This but not That] saying to the Self Who is [That but not This] “Let Us Create” and, also, in like manner, “Prepare for Me a Body”. Because Perfection itself is Triune, I will assert that these moves are not “Necessary” in the way we commonly use that term, but I don’t mean to argue the point as I know it is a contentious statement. I will just say that Perfection has Distinct This-But-Not-That’s and That-But-Not-This and so forth found necessarily within the Triune and this weighs in on both Creating and on Eden when we dive in further. Further, it seems that such Motions within Him are without Time. Whatever we find in Him, we do not, it seems, find it “First Happening” but rather Forever Present. We here in Time witness Christ in Gethsemane, and we say of this, “This is His ‘moment of choice’ to love….” And so forth. Only, it wasn’t His moment of Any-Thing, for such does not exist within Him (First Moments), only, it is but the Timely-Manifestation of those Interior Motions which just are Everywhere and Always. Here Christ’s Choice, God’s Choice, Love’s Offer, Perfection’s Distinctions, is/are left intact and simultaneously we defeat the Atheist’s assertion that God could have ceased to exist there in Gethsemane or else Christ never did choose and so His Volition is a Con whereas ours is Real. No. The Incarnation is a Perfect Amalgamation of Real and of Real. This is one reason Wisdomlover’s analogy holds when it comes to Know, or to Epistemology’s Triune Dissection within the Triune and within Time: Time does not fatally change anything, but only manifests to us here within Time something which does not change, is not changed, never changes. Now, here within Time we find the Divine Pause I mentioned earlier where Corporeal Volition manifests necessarily as a Process given Love’s Image relative to the Created….. Thus Time. That is the short version. Unlike Him, I haven’t the time…. There are some interesting nuances dealing with the Triune and Time at this link here.

Interesting: On Time, Tenses, Eternity, Mind, and God there is this link here.

Wisdomlover:


I believe it was you who first got me thinking about Evil and of calling it or approaching it as something which is either privatized good or else it is "less of good" rather than the actual presence of a positive thing (evil) of which God is not in possession. If a Positive Thing then it would be God-And, and so forth. Now, I arrive at this same conclusion as you initially offered me, and which I did not agree with. Only, I arrive at it, as I arrive, it seems, at most things: from the angle or flavor of Love’s Triune. In Him we find “I”, and, of course, “You”, and, of course, “We” or I-You, and so forth all of which house love’s innate embraces. Evil is that shout of the “I” thrice-fold in Pride’s Fall of I, I, and only I. It is so much so, it is so extreme, that it is in fact “I and not You”. Mine and not Thine. Now, Lucifer and Adam, that first Adam, make this move. This motion is not, in itself Evil for we find just this Motion (among others) within God. In Him there is of course something which only He can have: Self-Sufficiency. There are not bad moves He can make. I. You. We. All is God, God is all. However, any Created Self necessarily finds itself “dependent” on Other (on You and not I) for both existence and for life. Thus, the door to Death is, short of Immutability, is necessarily available to any created self. I say necessarily, but this only depends on whether or not such a created self is to be in God’s Image. If not, then Will, and Volition, and Agency, and so forth, need not be afforded it. But, if so, then those Real-Qualities necessarily must be found. Now, should such a created self (which we are) choose to Motion into Self, not in Love’s Give-And-Take, but in that fatal pride called Insist, well then, that self will find itself in nothing less than Death, or, simply, God-Less, or, by definition, in a state which is Love-Less, as God just is love, for when any created “I” stands apart-from God, it, lacking Self-Sufficiency, cannot be “Alive” in the sense that God and those attached to Him are. Now, I agree whole heartedly with C.S. Lewis here who tells us that we do in fact, like parasites, attach ourselves to God, and, even worse, He, Love Himself, deliberately has this pattern as but a refection of the Cleaving-Unto which just is Life and which just is Love and so forth.


“God is a host who deliberately creates His own parasites; causes us to be that we may exploit and take advantage of him. Herein is love. This is the diagram of Love Himself, the inventor of all loves." (C.S. Lewis)


"And that, by the way, is perhaps the most important difference between Christianity and all other religions: that in Christianity God is not a static thing-not even a person-but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance. The union between the Father and the Son is such a live concrete thing that this union itself is also a Person." C.S. Lewis

"God is Trinity. He is fundamentally a relationship: a lover, a beloved and the love between them. In other words, God is a complete openness and receptivity to the other. He is love. Now, we believe we are made in the image of God. Thus, we become fully alive to the degree that we imitate God." (R. Barron)

Evil is thus “I”, whereas, Love, God, is/are that Triune state we taste as “I-You-We”. Evil is less-good. Yet, “I” is in and of itself “Good”. And so forth.


Now, there is a place where Evil is a Positive-Entity, and that is due to the fact Actual-Agents. Because there are Real-Persons, Real Created Persons, there is Real, Positive Evil via-the-agent-being-evil. If there were no God, there would be no Good, but, there is God, thus there is Real, Positive, Objective Good. We can use this same approach with Evil: Evil is, first, Less-Of-God, and then, whatever Agent houses this Vacuum of Love-Less, being a Positive-Thing in and of itself (the Agent or Created Person), is thus, in this sense, Positive or Objective-Evil.

God thus grounds Good, and, Person, and, Lack-Of-Good. And, because He grounds Person, we find that, if a Person is Evil (love-less), then there will be a Tangible Thing which you and I call evil, which is the Agent, the Person, and, the thing that makes him such is his interior of Love-Less. I say love-less for two reasons. First, God is Love, and second, we cannot know what evil is but for Love’s I-You-We, and Evil, being but that Privatized-I, or the Isolated-Self, or Hell’s Alone, is thus by definition Love-Less for it is not Love’s I-You-We (Community, Triune) but is instead a fierce imprisonment within the Self.


Evil is not God-And, but is God-Less-Two.


This is rushed. Forgive typos.

I haven't read through all the comments; so, I apologize up front if this was covered. I like how "WisdomLover" answered the first respondent above, with one exception:

Another alternative that won't work is to imagine that somehow the Son of God knows, but the Son of Man does not. That Christ's Divine 'part' knows, but His human 'part' doesn't.

Whatever the Person of Christ does, He does it through both of His natures. So we can't say that Jesus-Man doesn't know, but Jesus-God does.

While I agree that everything that Jesus does is to be attributed to the Person of Christ (the communicatio idiomatum), I'll counter your assertion in this way: Certainly, God does not grow weary or sleep, however the Person of Christ did sleep. Yet, using the "communication of attributes", one can say Jesus Christ never sleeps nor slumbers. So, Jesus Christ slept (in His human nature), yet Jesus Christ could not sleep (in His divine nature)! I'd think it possible the same could apply to Christ's not knowing the day of His return.

However, some food for thought (again, I apologize if this is mentioned above): Given that only the Father knows, this necessarily implies that the Holy Spirit does not know either!

Epistemology is fundamentally Triune in its topography. We find this to be true in God, and, we find it to be true in us also. Both Knowing and Keeps-On-Knowing reflect this eternal and uncreated pattern. Within our own experience we find this flavor of Knowing. We Know in The-Self, and, also, we Know by The-Self. Should one have just no contact whatsoever beyond, external to, Self, one will Know some-things (hunger, pain, fatigue, a rush of energy, and so forth) yet one will not Know everything. Further, we Know in The-Other, and, also, we Know by The-Other. Should one have just no contact whatsoever beyond, external to, The-Other, one will know some-things (their voice, their perspectives, and so forth) yet one will not Know everything. We are not done yet. Thus far we have that Context that just is that which is Known necessarily-and-only via The-Self, and, we have another Context that just is that which is Known necessarily-and-only via The-Other. Finally, we come to the Everywhere and Always, the All-Context, that which swallows up whole All-Things, and it is that which we Know in and by the Singular-Context of the Singular-We which is that which is Known within Love’s embrace of the I-You, of Self-Other. Now, let us not error here by asserting that this last arena of Knowing is merely A + B. It is, only, it is that and-more. An (imperfect) analogy may help: What I know, I know. And, what my wife knows, she knows. Now, the two of us together have an odd sort of Perspective when it comes to just anything for we find here a specific sightline which is unique from just mine plus hers. I will tell you that the longer we are married, the fuller this is being realized. In that Eternal Uncreated it of course Is-Full in both presence and expression. “…..in Christianity [alone] God is not a static thing- not even a person -but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance. The union between the Father and the Son is such a live concrete thing that this union itself is also a Person." (C.S. Lewis) Our good friend Ben loves this and thinks it a proof of agnosticism, but it ends up a testimony of the Triune Fabric of just Every-Thing, including Knowing. In Knowing, we find that which is Known purely within/by/of the First Distinct called the Context of The-Self, and, we find that which is Known purely within/by/of the Second Distinct called the Context of The-Other, and, we find that which is Known purely within/by/of the Third Distinct called the Context of Self-Other where the Singular Context that just is The-Whole-Show houses all Contexts which just is the Everywhere and Always. Knowing is Triune. Epistemology is Triune.

Within all this we find that Christ’s statement here within Time is just that exact same statement He makes outside of Time. Time fatally changes nothing at all. Before Time itself Each Distinct within Love’s Triune of I, You, and We will still say “I know THIS in and of My-Self, He knows THAT in and of Him-Self, We know ALL within Self-Other” and so on, and so on, worlds without end. Thus flowing from this we find that one Entity Knows either various-things, or, instead/also, in-various-modes which the other Two do not. One among Three necessarily knows either things or in-modes which the other Two do not. Christ’s statement on Knowing is just what Knowing is, what Epistemology just is: Triune. Such is a Timeless, Uncreated Topography.

If I may repeat myself: M-Theory’s mathematically incomprehensible Triune Topography emerges fated to a fabric of Omnipresence, Omnipotence, and Omniscience. Epistemology itself is laced all through with its own Triune Topography as the Self knows within the Self and within Relation and by Relation and these are so with both the Known and with the Keeps-On-Knowing. Ontology reveals its Triune Topography within Being’s singular and pleural amid the I and the You and the singular I-You for Being itself regresses to Love's embrace among the I and the You wherein the Singular-We streams uncreated.


Craig,

“Given that only the Father knows, this necessarily implies that the Holy Spirit does not know either!”

It seems such may be the case.

Epistemology is Triune. Flowing from this we find that one Entity Knows either various-things or, instead/also, in various modes which the other Two do not. One among Three necessarily knows either ‘things’, or, ‘in-modes’ which the other Two do not.
My last post a few moments ago dived into this explanation in more detail with an attempt at dissecting the Triune Topography of Epistemology.

Craig,

"I like how "WisdomLover" answered...."


Yeah. I know. Get used to it.....

;)

scbrownlhrm,

I've barely dived into the discipline of theological philosophy; so, it'll take me just a bit to fully wrap my head fully around what you've been saying, though I believe I have the gist. However, it seems you are describing perichoresis, a term I've first read in Oliver Crisp's excellent Divinity and Humanity [(Current Issues in Theology series) 2007, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK]. Crisp uses the term not just for the Trinity, but for the hypostatic union [see chapter 1]. He differentiates these by using person-perichoresis (Trinity) and nature-perichoresis (hypostatic union), though some may prefer coinherence for the latter.

With the former in mind, you may be aware of Thomas Morris' idea that this 'dance' between and among the Trinity could possibly result in a condition of the Triune Godhead in which one 'Person' could be "omniscient-unless-freely-and-temporarily-choosing-to-be-otherwise, a logically necessary property of deity" [Crisp, p 145, cited from Morris The Logic of God Incarnate (c) 1986 Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY and London, UK, p 99] , in order to account for what some deem Jesus' lack of omniscience during the period of His earthly ministry. However, Morris rejects this on account of divine immutability, while favoring a "two-minds" view [Morris, pp 71-107], which Crisp does not develop.

I like how Crisp has developed his nature-perichoresis as a way of explaining the Incarnation. In this view, the divine nature 'penetrates' the human in the Person of Christ asymmetrically (one way) via omnipresence; however, no divine attributes are actually transferred. Thus, His omnipresence 'holds together’ (my phraseology) the two natures in the Person of Christ in hypostatic union without confusion, yet the human nature is not compromised by any divine attribute which is not congruent with the limitations of humanity. In this view, the human nature is limited in knowledge, in power, and to physical location, while the divine nature is yet functioning to the full. This not only allows for the Word to function extra carnem via the so-called extra calvinisticum (I prefer extra catholicum), the Word is able to perform all divine functions in the Person of Christ during the period of His earthly ministry, with the only limiting factor the necessary constraints of the human nature. Thus, this explains how He was able to perform the miraculous such as walking on water, calming storms, etc. via the hypstatic union, as opposed to the Holy Spirit – the latter view, unfortunately, gaining traction in the Church.

Craig I will have to wait on thoughts for hypostatic union and so forth. I would offer that the Holy Spirit is at least part of the how/way Jesus' power is sourced, namely because we are told of His baptisim in the Spirit for Fire, and also, some charged Him of using Satan's power to do miracles, and His response was to charge them with blaspheming of the Spirit and so forth. That is not to say that His own Self is of no use to Him there in the miraculous, only to say that that Other Self we call the Spirit seems linked or tied to those same acts via Jesus' own words.

I will have to digest the rest of your post more slowly.

Sorry, I did not mean to imply that the Holy Spirit had no role whatsoever in Christ's incarnation. In addition, I may have overstated my case just a bit; my intention was not to attempt to solve the mystery of the Incarnation. I'm just very passionate about dispelling the notion that Jesus Christ did all the miraculous via the Holy Spirit. That's Biblically not supportable when one looks at, among other things, John 5:21-27 in which the Son provides both eternal life and judgment in the then-present, thereby inaugurating realized eschatology.

Which brings up a side note: mentioned in WisdomLover's first comment is a differentiation of Son of Man as Christ's humanity and Son of God as Christ's divinity. Barth has done this very thing. Yet, this section in the Gospel of John noted in the preceding paragraph shows the Gospel writer quoting Jesus as referring to Himself as both the Son of Man and the Son of God, the terms seemingly interchangeable, with Son of Man specifically having been given the "authority to judge", which, in my mind, indicates the term's usage as of/for His divine nature. I hope that doesn't come across as being pedantic.

For clarification:

There are generally two views of Christ operating as from the Holy Spirit rather than His inherent divinity. Each of these are term functionalist kenosis by Crisp.

In the more extreme view, the Word retained all divine attributes, yet did not use any of these during the period of the Incarnation (or up until the Resurrection). This view then excludes the extra calvinisticum aka extra catholicum which doesn't allow the Word to sustain/uphold the cosmos [Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:3], which makes it Biblical unsupportable on its face.

The 'weaker' view allows for Christ to utilize His divine attributes in the full extra carnem, thereby affirming the extra catholicum. The Word, however, is restricted in toto within the Person of the Incarnate Christ. Yet, as shown in the previous comment, this view violates John 5:21-27 [and Mark 4:35-41, as I see it].

Craig,

Another avenue is Will's Triune Topography. "Thy Will and not My Will" draws Distinctions among Wills. That is not to say God's Will is not One. But it is to say within His Will we find necessary Perfect Distincts, where A is prefect but is not B, and, B is perfect but is not A, and, C is perfect and is neither A nor B, and so on. Such is the Uncreated for, when we speak of Person, we speak of Volition. Triune in Personhood leads us to Triune in Will. That is a doorway or avenue by which to view the various This-But-Not-Thats manifesting within a singular amalgamation. This is not an explanation of that amalgamation, only a suggested Eternal Quality of the Uncreated which must impact that manifestion. If Person is Triune, then Will is Triune, and, then Volition is Triune. Perfection is not as we often think; it is not Uni-Linear. It is, Perfection itself is, Triune. First the Son tells us He forgives man, or men, of sins. At another time He motions in another direction, "Father, forgive them...." Each Motion is totally, fully, uniquely God-Sourced.

This is the first time I've heard of this concept of Tri-wills. After pondering just for a moment, I don't see this as viable, as the Triune Godhead cannot be in opposition to Himself; therefore, each individual will must be congruent to the One Will, if you will (;-)). I see the term "Person" when used with respect to the Trinity as a convention, rather than a somewhat strict differentiation between the Father, Son and Spirit. I hope that is coming across the way I intend, as it's difficult to frame thoughts when speaking of the Triune Godhead.

I'd say that Crisp's view would better harmonize the seeming incoherence of Jesus speaking "Father, forgive them...." at one moment, yet He Himself forgiving sins in another. It seems to delineate the two natures while keeping them in harmony. But, I can understand how some may view this as Nestorian, or quasi-Nestorian.

I see a differentiation between those Three Agencies there within the Uncreated. And, I see them as One Undifferentiated. I embrace both. And, I see us, that is, you and I and us, in His Image in some core features as to what defines us, via reflecting Him, and so on. I see neither My Will as the Will to Sin, and, also, Tempation is not, in and of itself, a sin, for Christ is tempted as we. In God we find, not Temptation, but, This which is not That, and so forth. There is the "My" and the "Will" of Christ, and, I think such fits in without Sin quite easily. That is, without Imperfection. But then, this all speaks of the Uncreated's Motions within the Triune prior to Time, the manifestation of which we witness here within Time.

I see a differentiation between those Three Agencies there within the Uncreated. And, I see them as One Undifferentiated. I embrace both.

I agree 100%; however, I apparently don't envision quite as strong a delineation between the 'Persons' of the Trinity as you.

I enbrace, or try to embrace "fully One", and, "fully three".

Language is odd. We find in Him this language, "Let Us create......"

There is here one who speaks, and, one who is spoken too, and so forth. Yet, God is One.

I use the word fully in both directions. Some may say that leads to contradictions. But then, so goes the Trinity. His topography is not as ours.... the Straight line trying to embrace the Cube and all that......

Still working on your terms and references to other frameworks.... not familiar with them so...well... chewing.....


Clarification,

My stated "prior to Time" is silly. More like, "outside Time....."

I suppose in a way, my views could be a corrective too far, as I've witnessed others make a too strong differentiation between the 'Persons' of the Trinity. For example, in the Word of Faith (or Word/Faith), one of the basic beliefs is that "God" used the Word of Faith (as if "Word" here is a force and "God" needed faith) in the creation account of Genesis. Therefore, "God" himself had faith in this force; and, consecutively we, too, can use this creative force, assuming we obtain enough 'faith'. Most folks don't understand that this is underlying 'truth' of this segment of what I term hyper-charismaticism. To be quite frank, it's rank and blasphemous heresy that promotes witchcraft. But, I digress.

To assist you in your 'chewing', here's a Tyndale Bulletin of the first chapter of Crisp's work I referenced earlier. It explains perichoresis (both aspects) AND the communcatio idiomatum:

http://tyndalehouse.com/tynbul/library/TynBull_2005_56_1_07_Crisp_PerichoersisProblems.pdf

In viewing the document quickly, I'm not sure if Crisp specifically states that Leo's Tome is the primary backdrop to the Chalcedonian Definition/Creed, which it is.

“The Trinity is a contradiction”. “Multiple Perfect Distincts” gets us there, however.
“Three Perfect Wills” is a contradiction. Again, Multiple Perfect Distints.


And, there is this which I will borrow from Lewis. How is it that the Non-Trinitarian or those who are suspect of the Triune in either Personhood, Agency, Will, Epistemology, or Ontology in which Personhood regresses to the I and the You wherein Love’s Embrace within the Singular-We streams uncreated, or with Perfection itself argue that a Cube’s Straight Lines somehow fail to possess Distinct Coordinates? Does each Line in a Cube possess and occupy the Same-Direction? The Same-Relation? The Same-Coordinates?

Of course not.

But all those Distinct Lines are part of One-Singular-Whole which Itself (the Whole) possesses yet Another -Distinct-Set-Of-Coordinates wholly Unique from Each-Line of which It is comprised. I. You. We. This is Love’s Triune. God just is love.

Would we use "logic" to argue that a Cube’s Straight Lines somehow fail to possess Distinct Coordinates or insist that each Line in a Cube FAILS to possess and occupy the Same-Direction? The Same-Relation? The Same-Coordinates?

Of course not.

But all those Distinct Lines are part of One-Singular-Whole which Itself (the Whole) possesses yet Another -Distinct-Set-Of-Coordinates wholly Unique from Each-Line of which It is comprised.


What this means is, it is not a contradiction in Logic to describe reality this way in something as simple as a cube. In the Triune not only is Logic still intact as in the cube but also we have far more room to move within given that we speak of just so much more than mere physical direction.

"FAILS" shoud have read "DOES possess and occupy..."

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