Re: God's history (Was God the interactor)

From: Terry M. Gray <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
Date: Mon Sep 05 2005 - 11:42:13 EDT

For both George and David here:

Are either or both of you trying to move "beyond" the formulations in
the Definition of Chalcedon or Athanasian Creed? (See http://
www.dtl.org/article/sims/creeds.htm for the texts here.) I hate to be
pedantic here but isn't much of this debate "simply" part of the
mystery of the Trinity or part of the mystery of the Incarnation. The
ancient creeds have been content to affirm what scripture affirms and
deny what it denies without necessarily pressing for logical
resolution--incomprehensible is what attribute of God that comes to
mind here. Also, distinctions are clearly made between the human
nature and the divine nature even though these exist in one person.
So while patripassionism is denounced, the suffering and death of the
God-man is not. Yet sometimes scripture itself uses language that is
not precise according to our theological formulation in attributing
to all persons of the Trinity that which is true (by our precise
formulations) of only one person. Thus, it is said, sometimes
scripture is emphasizing the union of the Trinity or the two natures
of Christ; sometimes it is emphasizing the distinctions. No where
does scripture bring it all together the way the creeds attempt to. A
Chalcedonian idea that I have found useful is "union without fusion";
"distinction without separation". Each of the historic heresies can
be seen as trying to undo this tension a bit.

Anyway, I'm sure that neither of you need me to lecture you on these
doctrines, but I was a bit curious as to what extent traditional
dogmatic reflection on these matters has entered your thinking. For
example, do either or both of you dismiss these creeds as being
unhelpful or irrelevant because they are too much influenced by Greek
thinking?

TG

________________
Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801
Received on Mon Sep 5 11:42:38 2005

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