Friday, April 29, 2011

Update to Alternative Responses to Jay Dyer

Mr. Drake Shelton (you may recall him as the person who wrote: "I was ashamed of Turretinfan's responses to this so I decided to devote the past year and a half to these issues.") has apparently provided yet more responses to Jay Dyer, although I couldn't find any direct reference to Dyer in the article. Mr. Shelton explains, "I just thought you didn't have a clue what you were talking about when you spoke with Jay and I thought I could help you not look so unfit to teach theology to people." I'm always thankful for the assistance of people like Mr. Shelton, who can help me look less unfit to teach theology. Under the circumstances, however, you may excuse me if I simply report, rather than endorse, his responses.

-TurretinFan

76 comments:

Coram Deo said...

TF,

You're just lucky that Drake Shelton hasn't seen fit (yet) to give you a mouth full of broken teeth for smart-aleck posts like this, in addition to your general theological ineptitude!

After all, the Scriptures are replete with such examples of brotherly "tough love".

For example:

1 Cor. 13

Phil. 2:3

1 Tim. 5:1

Eph. 4:1-3

In Christ,
CD

beowulf2k8 said...

Jay Dyer's first statement that "to be a consistent Calvinist you must be" 1. "Nestorian, in that the Logos cannot assume a fallen human nature" is headed in the right direction, but I think he used the wrong term.

Nestorius was not concerned with keeping Jesus from having a fallen nature, obviously, but with Mary being called "mother of God." So he said Mary was only Jesus' mother as man but not as God, hence only Christotokos not Theotokos.

Calvinism, on the other hand, asserts that Jesus' flesh is different from ours. Nestorius did not do this. But the docetists did, the docetists I mean that allowed for him to have a body, even to have flesh, but only celestial flesh. There were docetists who claimed Jesus had no body at all, or that his body was pure spirit or soul and he had no flesh. But there were also the celestial flesh docetists. Marcion's understudy, Apelles, for example believed that on Jesus' way down from heaven he put together a body of flesh by taking atoms from the stars during his descent. Calvinism does sort of also give Jesus a celestial body, in the sense that he does not take the same flesh as us. The theory is that he is somehow not a descendant of Adam but constitutes a new race, even though Mary from whom most orthodox Christians would not doubt he derived his flesh is clearly a descendant of Adam! Somehow the Calvinists see that Mary is a descendant of Adam but don't want to allow Jesus to be one. Somehow Mary, of the race of Adam, spawns a new species in Jesus. Its very similar to the celestial flesh speculations of certain Gnostic groups.

And point 11, that a consistent Calvinist is "An agnostic, in that human reason is so damaged by the fall and total depravity, it cannot accurately reason about God and ever attain certainty." I would point out that according to the story in Genesis, Adam and Eve did not lose intellectual capacity or become ignorant as a result of the fall, but rather "their eyes were open" and God says "behold man has become as one of us to know good and evil." The story in Genesis does not teach a loss of moral capacity due to the fall, but a gaining of moral capacity. The doctrine of total depravity, therefore, is not from Genesis, but from some Manichean mythe.

beowulf2k8 said...

By the way, I'd like to encourage Mr. Shelton to create a blog. When the initial treatise (or whatever is the proper word here) is on a blog that allows comments, it is not fair for your response to be on a static website. In this case, your opponent, Mr. Dyer, may be replied to, as may Turretinfan your colleague of whom you are ashamed, but you may not. There is nothing to be gained by a response that is mere dogmatic assertion. Your response should be on a blog where it can be debated.

beowulf2k8 said...

Interestingly enough, Mr. Shelton, although defending against Jay's assertion that you are a Nestorian in point 1, when you get to point 2 about Manicheanism you begin to talk about how Catholic mariology evolved over time until they finally made her "Theotokos," a term which you clearly disaprove of. Thus, you end up admitting to being a Nestorian, since (as I explained above) Nestorianism is the position that Mary is only Christotokos but not Theotokos, despite the fact that Nestorians still view Jesus as God. This highlights the reason why your response should be on a blog. Stuff like this needs to be discussed at more length, and both you and Dyer clearly need the help of someone more exercised in distinguishing clearly between the ancient 'heresies' (a person such as myself).

louis said...

Calvinism does not "assert that Jesus' flesh is different from ours" just because it affirms that he did not have a fallen nature. Adam was not created with a fallen nature. Therefore, one does not have to be fallen to be fully human. To be fallen is to be sinful, and Christ was without sin. He was fully human, but without sin, the second Adam, but unlike Adam he was obedient unto death.

Jonathan said...

Because TurretinFan is clueless when it comes to blogging and utterly inept at linking to other people's posts I (being filled with shame at the spectacle) feel the need to repost the link to Drake Shelton's alternative responses to Jay Dyer.

See here: http://olivianus.thekingsparlor.com/concerning-orthodoxy/-free-choice-in-maximus-the-confessor-by-joseph-p-farrell-reviewed-by-drake-shelton

beowulf2k8 said...

"Calvinism does not ''assert that Jesus' flesh is different from ours'' just because it affirms that he did not have a fallen nature." (louis)

So where then do you Calvinists locate the fallen nature if not in the flesh and how can anything other than flesh be inherited? Basically what you just said is that there is no fallen nature in our flesh. You're well on your way to Pelagianism. Congratulation on waking up.

c.t. said...

beowulf, forgive me if this is a stupid contribution because I havn't been following the conversation, but the image of God, which is what took a hit in man at the fall - not totally obliterated, but distorted and effected negatively in various ways, let's say - is not associated with the flesh.

c.t. said...

Beowulf, you wrote:

* * * * * * *
The "fall" of man

Not only is man created in God's image in Genesis, but after man eats the forbidden fruit he is even more like God prompting God to say "Behold the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil." So much for Calvinism right there! Not only did the "fall" not take away man's knowledge of good and evil, but it increased it. Not only did the "fall" not make man less like God, but it made him more like God. Man was created in the image of God originally. But when he "fell" he was even more like God than when he was created.
* * * * * * *

You're leaving out sin. Prior to the fall man - Adam - had the ability to sin and the ability to not sin. After the fall man had the ability to sin, and the *inability to not sin.* This in no way makes fallen man 'more like God.'

After the fall man was in bondage to sin. And death. Adam before the fall wasn't. God isn't.

c.t. said...

Christianity doesn't even begin until you know that you are a sinner.

beowulf2k8 said...

C.T., There is no passage in Genesis that says that as a result of the "fall" man lost the ability to refrain from sin. Nor do I find any such foolishness anywhere in the Old Testament. In fact Ezekiel 18 is very clear that the opposite is the case. Even Paul in Romans 1 and Romans 2 clearly says that there are Gentiles who do not even have the written law and yet "do the things of the law, by nature." In other words, they have the ability to refrain from sin. Every time prior to your conversion that you refrained from cheating on your wife, you showed that the natural man has the power to refrain from sin. So don't give me that load of crap. Your insane (and it is insane) idea that as a result of the "fall" man lost the ability to refrain from sin DOES NOT COME FROM THE BIBLE but from some Manichean myth that Augustine was never able to fully leave behind.

C.T., seriously, read what you quoted of me again. Before the "fall" Adam and Eve had no concept of good and evil. After the "fall" God says "Behold the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil." In other words, before the "fall" man was like a monkey or any other animal with no concept of morality, and after the "fall" he all of the sudden knows about and cares about morality. He is more like God, not in all regards, in regards to his now knowing about morality, for before he had no knowledge of good and evil or any distinction between them, but now even God himself must give testimony that "Behold the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil." Man did not actually fall, but was raised from being a dumb animal to being what we think of as human today. An evolutionist could read this story of Adam and Eve and their "fall" as being the point where monkeys evolved into homo sapiens! Not that I am endorsing that reading, but the similarity in concepts is astounding.

c.t. said...

>C.T., There is no passage in Genesis that says that as a result of the "fall" man lost the ability to refrain from sin.

Not even speaking of original sin, it just takes *one* active sin to fall afoul of the law. And it's fallen man's nature to sin. So inability to not sin means, man can no longer save himself by following the law. You're bit by original sin, then your bit by active sin due to your sinful fallen nature. You are a venomous snake, in other words, and even if by some strange string of events you never strike with your fangs, you still have poison in you that you can't remove. That poison is part of your fallen nature, just as striking with your fangs is part of your nature. When Isaiah says all our good works are as filthy rags it's because we have poison in it. We are fallen. Guilty and polluted from the fall.

An aside to this: the doctrine of total depravity doesn't mean man can do no good acts or think no good thoughts, etc. It means man can't turn to God on his own without being drawn by God.

c.t. said...

On your second point, it was part of God's plan of redemption for Adam to fall. Now, God's sovereignty and man's responsibility is another discussion, but yes, for man to develop and not be a mere robot man had to know good and evil. Nevertheless the Bible makes it clear that this gift comes of necessity fraught with severe circumstances. Bondage to sin, death, and hell being three.

I wouldn't say Adam, by the way, was as much a blank slate regarding right and wrong as you suggest. Adam knew what God had commanded him to do, and he knew there were bad consequences that would follow from not obeying God's command. Again, Adam had the ability to sin. He wasn't in a state of glorification where he would have the *inability to sin.*

Adam knew good and evil after he transgressed in the sense that the consequences of his fall took effect. Adam knew good and evil after his fall in that the law was written on his heart yet his will - his new fallen will - was no longer in accord with that law. He knew the good from the law, and he knew the evil from his own now-fallen nature.

The role of Eve and the Devil in bringing this about is not small, it should be said, though it doesn't exonerate Adam in the least degree.

Adam rebelled from God, pure and simple. He obeyed the word of the Devil rather than the word of God. This doesn't make him more like God, rebelling from God and taking the Devil's word over God's word.

Jesus, notice, the Second Adam, in His confrontation with the Devil *didn't* rebel from the word of God, but cited God's word as the truth to the Devil's lies.

By the way, a 'fall' means just that. To fall you have to be at a higher level than where you are afterwards.

Also, you have to realize that Adam was not complete in the Garden, in the sense of a glorified being. Adam was in a state of probation in the Garden. It would have taken an eschatological act on the part of God for Adam to be glorified as believers will be at the consummation. Adam failed that probation, but that is God's plan as it is playing out as we speak.

beowulf2k8 said...

The problem, C.T. is that you continue to argue based on a systematic theology that was constructed based on a Manichean myth and then import it into the text of Scripture. I honestly have no problem with you using Pagan texts (as you do on your blog) in your theology, or using Manichean myths, or incorporating Gnostic themes, as long as you ADMIT IT. But what you, and really all Calvinists do, is put together a systematic theology based on Pagan and Gnostic myths, and then pretend you read it all right there in Genesis 3!!!!!! It ludicrous. Genesis 3 is NOT the story of a fall. Period. It is only interpreted that way by people who are imposing Pagan and Gnostic themes onto the story due to holding these themes as presuppositions. Why do the Jews, for example, see no fall here? no total hereditary depravity? Why is it only the heirs of "St." Augustine, who everyone knows was a Manichean from age 17-26, who see Manichean themes in Genesis 3? Its obvious. Augustine's heirs are importing those themes into a text that DOES NOT support them.

c.t. said...

I probably should address this:

>"C.T., There is no passage in Genesis that says that as a result of the "fall" man lost the ability to refrain from sin."

Christians believe the entire Bible is the revealed word of God and meant to be. It is not a 'gotcha' to say the full doctrine of sin is not laid out in the first book of the Bible. Whether it is or it isn't.

>"Nor do I find any such foolishness anywhere in the Old Testament. In fact Ezekiel 18 is very clear that the opposite is the case. Even Paul in Romans 1 and Romans 2 clearly says that there are Gentiles who do not even have the written law and yet "do the things of the law, by nature." In other words, they have the ability to refrain from sin."

You're still operating under a faulty understanding of total depravity and carrying that over to how you are viewing sin. Fallen man has inability to not sin simply because he is born with original sin. Active sinning the first chance he gets is really just the topping on the cake. And, again: sin is defined against God's law. To save yourself by not sinning you have to have no original sin, and you then have to never actively sin (i.e. you have to be Jesus Christ). This is impossible for fallen man, hence fallen man's inability to not sin.

As for all having the law written on their hearts, this doesn't mean original sin doesn't exist, nor does it mean active sinning never takes place. Really it means that no one has an excuse or can pretend to not know he has a Creator. It convicts of rebellion.

beowulf2k8 said...

"As for all having the law written on their hearts, this doesn't mean original sin doesn't exist"

This will be my last post on this thread because I don't want to try TF's patience too much. But yes, it does mean original sin (as some inherited taint or guilt) does not exist. What we inherit from Adam and Eve is not a taint but the knowledge of good and evil. We inherit moral capacity from them, not inability. That moral capacity does, as you say "mean that no one has an excuse or can pretend to not know he has a Creator." And that's the very point. The idea of total inability in Calvinism is that no man can know God or respond to God without the special grace that is given only to the elect. But what you yourself just said has torn this idea to shreds. We inherit from Adam an Eve a knowledge of our Creator and of what he wants from us morally. And we obviously are able to act on it. Otherwise, non-Christians would always sin. Rather we find sin is an oddity in the life of man virtuous pagans who only occasionally sin, and only small sins at that. In other words, you've just proven that there is no total inability. Mankind does know God BY NATURE prior to any revelation or any special grace, and can and does seek to please God, to live as morally as they can. Yes they don't live in total perfection, simply because its impossible, not as a result of the fall, but as a result of existence. That's beside the point. The point is they know God and are capable of responding. Therefore any argument that says a man must first be elect and then given faith because nobody can respond to God on his own--its total garbage. You yourself just disproved it. You disproved Calvinism. Have a good weekend.

c.t. said...

Beowulf, talking about Homer doesn't mean I use pagan texts to somehow inform biblical doctrine. I don't. Leaving that aside... (Actually I can think of the post you were reading, and I may have crossed a line there, but I was speculating about what Heaven will be like, and we all use analogies and so on from General Revelation and elsewhere when we speculate about Heaven. I probably should have added that it is speculation only.)

>The problem, C.T. is that you continue to argue based on a systematic theology that was constructed based on a Manichean myth and then import it into the text of Scripture.

Maybe systematic theology (the gold standard for it that is, Reformed Theology) is based on the whole counsel of Scripture and not things like Manichean myth or ancient Chinese hydrolics or what have you.

>Why do the Jews, for example, see no fall here? no total hereditary depravity?

Because they don't have the Holy Spirit which is the Spirit of truth and discernment. They don't recognize the New Testament as the word of God and hence don't read the Old Testament in the light of the New. They don't know their own smell. They are currently asleep to the truth. Many reasons. The Israelites though who had faith in the coming Messiah knew of the fall. Any who are saved by faith, prior to the Incarnation and after it, know of the fall.

louis said...

"Basically what you just said is that there is no fallen nature in our flesh."

No, what I said is that there is no fallen nature in Jesus Christ, and that does not prevent him from being fully human, anymore than it prevented Adam from being fully human before the fall.

"how can anything other than flesh be inherited?"

He was conceived of woman and the Holy Spirit.

c.t. said...

Well, if that's your last comment, so be it. You almost had me abandoning the apostle Paul and Augustine, and Calvin and all the first and second generation reformers, the Reformation itself, and the Puritans for beowulf2k8. Just in case I capitulate later even without any more comments by you have you written a systematic theology or commentary on the Bible that I can study to get things right before I die?

Turretinfan said...

I had thought about removing B2k8's comments. I see that others have already invested time and energy responding to him.

So, I guess it can stand.

Drake Shelton said...

Forgive my sharp tongue I have serious issues that I need to deal with in my sanctification. I have allowed previous wrongs to give me a universal hostility to most Christians. I publicly apologize for my insolent language. I am face to face with the fact that I have no Church to attend in this country and the reality of it is enough to drive you crazy.

I must confess that the Eastern complaints about the Western Doctrine of God are justified. I am a Scripturalist and I have found many of the same complaints against the West in Dr. Clark's works. Second, I do not consider Turritanfan my brother. His doctrine of God and Simplicity is Neo-Platonic and it culimates in the Filioque clause. I simply cannot find these doctrine anywhere in the Bible. The Doctrine of Divine Simplicity is clearly Neo-Platonic and eliminates the possibility of plenary verbal revelation which is Plotinus' whole point that language involves distinctions and the One has no distinctions.
Plenary Verbal Revelation would then be ipso facto elimated. The Anchoretic Churches exhibit this aspect of Neo-Platonism in their disciplines of silence. I believe it was Ignatius who taught that Silence was the Language of Heaven. This is a very popular notion in most Pagan Eastern religions and is indicative of the No-Platonism very apparent in early Christianity through Origen and Augustine and most importantly Dionysius the Areopagite who turned out to have Plagairized Proclus [Guess what, also a Neo-Platonist].

Also,real distinctions among the divine persons and the possibility of distinguishing the nature from the will becomes incoherent. This is a return to Origen. Muller points out the ways that the Scholastics have distinguished the persons but it all surrounds the fundamental error of seeing the nature as the principle of unity instead of the Father. Then Nature becomes the primary person that includes three other persons/relations. Thus Van Til's paradox of one person and three persons. I have read Scholastics chide Van Til for this but Van Til was simply keeping with the Scholastic Tradition. Augustine said the same thing.

At this point I am trying to learn everything I can about Cyril Lucaris, who refused to believe the Dark Age Roman Church's Philosophical Structure in juxstaposition to his Reformed Soteriology. He denied Filioque.

I have made my website and my blog private because I am currently making these complaints official to my Presbytery and every other Reformed Minster I know. I am awaiting their response.

Drake Shelton said...

Subscription to comments

Coram Deo said...

Drake,

Are there any other true Christians except for you?

Would you care to name a few of your brothers in Christ?

I'm saddened to discover that either you or TF are headed to hell even now as I type this words.

In Christ,
CD

Drake Shelton said...

I should have clarified what I meant by that. I hold to Rutherford's view of Ecclesiology in Free Disputation. He admits that the doctrines that someone has to believe or reject in order to go to heaven or hell are mysterius and almost impossible to discern. Obviously faith in Christ is required but how much understanding of Christ does he have to have? I don't know. What we are trying to discern in theology is what doctrines the Church should hold its communicants accountable to. So I will not say that TFan is going to hell. What I am saying is that I reject his terms of communion if they be the doctrines in the Westminster Confession. The Westminster confession is the best confession of faith I know of, but the errors on God are too big for me to come into communion with a Church that subscribes to it. So in a visible Church way he is not my brother, though he may be going to heaven.

Coram Deo said...

Thanks for the clarification.

Obviously you're a smart enough guy, and from what I've gleaned from your comments hither and thither, from your profile, and from your blog before going private you have a pretty firm grasp of Christian theology; and in fact you hold to quite refined views on several points as you've demonstrated here and elsewhere.

But have you considered the possibility that you're being overly narrow in some of your "distinctives" to the point of becoming unnecessarily schismatic?

I'm not trying to be a smart aleck here, but as you admit above you have publicly said some pretty harsh things about other professing believers; things which some might say smack of spiritual pride.

Do you think it's reasonable for a believer to "settle" for a church with a few imperfections, like he has and to faithfully serve the Lord and His people to the best of his God-given ability in a community called together by Christ; or do you consider such churches to be false churches, and basically synagogues of Satan?

I'm reminded of A.W. Pink's legacy, which is probably not one to emulate.

Just asking.

In Christ,
CD

Drake Shelton said...

"I'm not trying to be a smart aleck here, but as you admit above you have publicly said some pretty harsh things about other professing believers; things which some might say smack of spiritual pride."

Ok. But most of my tongue lashings are out of frustration that we don't have a master in Reformed Churches. I am extremely frustrated with American Protestant Religion. I know numerous Reformed Scholars that do not believe in the eternal generation of the Son. Call me spiritualy proud but I am going to tongue lash a man like that.

"Do you think it's reasonable for a believer to "settle" for a church with a few imperfections"

What kind of imperfections?

Rutherford's defintion is that if a doctrine logically or practically necessitates a distinct visible administration then that doctrine obligates one to sepearate and accuse the opposition of heresy. The Filioque has clearly done that in Church History.

As long as a Church holds to the same doctrine of God [which requires a certain epistemology], the Trinity, Christology, Worship and Soteriology as I do, I will commune with it. I am sepearting over a doctine of the Trinity. That's huge right? Right!?


"or do you consider such churches to be false churches, and basically synagogues of Satan?"

This is an enormous issue that I cannot say I have figure out yet.

beowulf2k8 said...

Drake, you need to start a blog.

Turretinfan said...

D.S.:

It's important to distinguish between the positions people hold and the logical implications of the positions people hold.

"I know numerous Reformed Scholars that do not believe in the eternal generation of the Son."

WCF 2:3 states: "III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son."

I'm not sure how someone could legitimately be "Reformed" while denying that.

And yes, the WCF does affirm the doctrine affirmed in the filioque. But that does not mean, necessarily, that we affirm all the arguments of the Latins in defense of that doctrine.

-TurretinFan

Drake Shelton said...

Beowulf

I have a blog but it is on private while I discuss these issues with my presbytery. If I make it public I am setting myself up to be charged with heresy.

Drake

Coram Deo said...

Filioque for the masses.

CD

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN,

Chapter 6 of Rutherford’s Free Disputation reads,
Ans. 3) “if ye worship a bit of an ash-tree, or a bit of bread, ergo, the half of your God, or the quarter thereof, is baked in an oven, ergo, there is a lie, and an abomination in your right hand; then the denial of logical consequences in Religion, and the teaching thereof to others, may be, and is an heresy, and punishable by the Magistrate, as Deut. 13. and Exod. 32. so Christ rebukes Matth. 22. Sadducees as ignorant of the Scripture, when they denied but the consequence or a logical connexion, as God is not the God of the dead but of the living, ergo, the dead must rise again, and Abraham must live, and his body be raised from the dead. And 2. the idolaters who were to die by the Law of God, Exod. 32. Deut. 13, denied not the true God more than our false teachers do now. We see no reason why none should be false teachers, but such only as deny fundamentals, and that pertinaciously, though these by Divines be called Heretics.”

So here the logical consequence is binding upon you as a heresy. In his writings Against Separation, Part One, Q. 1, Distinction 1, he says,

“One may believe that Christ is the Son of God by a Divine Faith, as Peter does (Matt. 16.17), and yet doubt of the necessary fundamental consequences. Ergo, Christ must be delivered into the hands of sinners, and be crucified…so may Peter and the apostles doubt of a fundamental point of Christ’s rising from the dead (John 20:8-9) in an act of weakness, and yet have saving faith in Christ, as it is likely many of the Saints at Corinth denied an article of their faith , the rising again of the dead. One act of unbelief makes not an infidel.”

So here again Rutherford is not denying that a logical consequence binds one upon pain of heresy and sin. However, that does not mean that that person is going to hell. I agree completely. But depending on your sense of logical consequence I reject that a person is free from the logical consequences of their assertions, EVEN THOUGH THE INFERENCE MAY NOT OCCUR TO THEM AT THE MOMENT. Just read 1 Cor 15. Paul accuses the Corinthians of denying Christ’s resurrection in linea recta, as a logical consequence.

Turretinfan said...

D.S.:

I didn't say that people are free from the logical consequences of their views, only that we should be careful to distinguish between their views and the logical consequences of them.

If my views contradict Scripture either directly or based on the logical consequences of my views, I welcome the correction of Scripture with respect to them.

On the other hand, I don't necessarily agree with every attempted "logical consequence" asserted by every critic. Jay Dyer is an obvious example of someone who claims that there are logical consequences to "X" but upon investigation it turns out he's not properly analyzed "X" or reached unjustifiable conclusions from "X."

In other words, one defense to Jay's accusation is that "X" does not have the logical connection to a heresy that he claims.

-TurretinFan

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN,

Agreed but are we not then saying that Jay's accusation are then not logical? It would appear so.
Second, could you show me a passage in the Bible that asserts or implies that metaphysical composition is corruption and metaphysical simplicity is perfection?

Third, do you acknowledge the ad intra - ad extra distinction in God? That is, the distinction between the economic and ontological trinity?

Turretinfan said...

"Agreed but are we not then saying that Jay's accusation are then not logical? It would appear so."

Yes, of course.

"Second, could you show me a passage in the Bible that asserts or implies that metaphysical composition is corruption and metaphysical simplicity is perfection?"

a) I'm not sure that saying it equals "corruption" is necessarily true.

b) Will you grant me that the Bible teaches God's self-existence? If so, what would be the ontological basis for metaphysical composition in God?

"Third, do you acknowledge the ad intra - ad extra distinction in God? That is, the distinction between the economic and ontological trinity?"

Yes, though I think you have flip-flopped them in your Latin descriptions.

-TurretinFan

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN,

“a) I'm not sure that saying it equals "corruption" is necessarily true.”

>>Turretin Volume 1. 3rd Topic. Q 7
“Proof that God is perfectly simple.
IV. This proved to be a property of God: (1) from his independence, because composition is of the formal reason of a being originated and dependent (since nothing can be composed by itself , but whatever is composed must necessarily be composed by another; now God is the first and independent being, recognizing no other prior to himself) ; (2) from his unity, because he who is absolutely one, is also absolutely simple and therefore can neither be dived nor composed; (3) from his perfection, because composition implies ***********IMPERFECTION******************* inasmuch as it supposes passive power, dependency and mutability. ”

Institutes of Elenctic Theology Volume 1 (P & R Publishing: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1992), pg. 191

“b) Will you grant me that the Bible teaches God's self-existence? If so, what would be the ontological basis for metaphysical composition in God?”

>>I will grant that the Father has no metaphysical source. But the Son and the Spirit do. So if by ‘God’ you mean the Father, which is perfectly good Greek Triadology, then fine, but you can’t say that because you are Scholastic and so you must say that God is some Being/Person that includes three other persons which are nothing but modes of an absolute monad. The ontological basis that Proclus rejected composition was the idea that the One was a monad with no distinctions and thought required distinctions between subject and predicate. The Bible however talks about God having thoughts (Psalm 92:5). It is stated explicitly in 1 Cor 2:16 and Rom 11:34. Also there is the theological premise that we humans have rational faculties made in the image of God. There are therefore distinct Ideas in God.

“Yes, though I think you have flip-flopped them in your Latin descriptions.”

>>I did not intend any order there. They were two distinct sentences. Ad-intra is obviously ontological and ad- extra is obviously economical.

Most of my work is done then. I am currently in the middle of a 2 month debate with a so called Confessional Puritan Presbyterian who refuses to believe in eternal generation and the economical/ontological distinction.

I am so glad I don’t have to jump through those hoops with you. It is amazing to me how ignorant Confessionalists are of their own confession. As you pointed out the Confession clearly teaches eternal generation. Maybe Robert Reymond, BB Warfield,Lorraine Boetnner and many others should have taken that a bit more seriously.
If you believe in the distinction:

1. Do you acknowledge that the doctrine of the eternal procession of the Spirit concerns the ontological trinity not the economical? If so, 2. Can you show me a passage from the scripture that teaches the procession of the Spirit or the sending of the Spirit that does not terminate upon a created nature in the economy of salvation?

Turretinfan said...

Imperfection and corruption are not the same thing. The elect angels are not corrupt, but they are imperfect, in that they depend for their existence on God. They are created.

God alone is self-existent. I will address your remaining points in due course, Lord willing. The theme likely will be that your comments risk treating the Son and the Spirit as created beings.

- TurretinFan

Drake Shelton said...

Tfan

You say that imperfection and corruption are not the same thing. Can you give me something else besides your opinion to prove this?

Ds

Turretinfan said...

I suppose you could just get out a dictionary and discover that imperfect means "lacking in perfection" whereas corruption indicates some kind of decay or loss of what was previously there. The angels lack the perfection of self-existence but have not experienced decay.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

"So if by ‘God’ you mean the Father, which is perfectly good Greek Triadology, then fine, but you can’t say that because you are Scholastic and so you must say that God is some Being/Person that includes three other persons which are nothing but modes of an absolute monad."

a) Of course, we reject the modalistic error, as you know.

b) One being in three persons is our view - not one person plus three persons or one person in three modes.

c) The relation of the procession of the Spirit and the begetting of the Son to the self-existence of God may be an inscrutable mystery. Nevertheless, we reject the idea that there is an ontological subordination of the Son and the Spirit, notwithstanding any economic subordination.

Perhaps (c) preempts your remaining questions. I'll await your response.

-TurretinFan

Drake Shelton said...

Tfan

I was under the impression the corruption was an antonymn of perfection. Either way could you show why composition implies imperfection from scripture? There are distinctions between the ideas in the mind of God. This does not imply that they are created.

Drake

Turretinfan said...

"I was under the impression the corruption was an antonymn of perfection."

Look, I can understand how you made the mistake you did, but there's no need to try to justify it.

"Either way could you show why composition implies imperfection from scripture?"

A rational explanation is already provided above (by Turretin as quoted by you), namely that (to simplify) composition requires a composer and consequently prevents the perfection of self-existence.

Presumably the answer to your question, as asked, is "yes, but it would be tortuous."

"There are distinctions between the ideas in the mind of God. This does not imply that they are created."

Turretin, of course, denies that God's knowledge is not simple.

-TurretinFan

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN

"Look, I can understand how you made the mistake you did, but there's no need to try to justify it."

Justify what? Words have their meanings in the context of their use. You can point to dictionaries all you want. In the context of simplicity when one moves toward the One one moves toward THE GOOD from a place of less to good to more Good. Plotinus says,
"Each thing that is called one, is a unit to the degree that it possesses being. Consequently the less being, the less unity it has; and the more being, the more unity."
VI. ix. On the Good or the One
.25

The One was the Good on his model. To then approach the One was not simply to move from dependence to independence. Or from inability to ability. There is something moral to it.

Have you ever read anything on Plotnius and Neo-Platonism TFAN or are you just going to try to play semantic games with me?

Drake Shelton said...

That last quote from Plotinus is from Dr. Clark's book Helenistic Philosophy, pg 260

Drake Shelton said...

Plotinus says again,
“The soul SUFFERS, draws away from the unit, and is not absolutely/one, when it takes knowledge of something,; for knowledge requires speech and reason and reason is multiple. The soul thus passes beyond the unit and FALLS into number and plurality. ”
Clark, Hellenistic Philosophy pg. 265
This is again a contrast between Unity and Corruption. Not some mere dependency.

Turretinfan said...

You are seriously trying to justify your position that "imperfection" meant "corruption" even after I both told and explained to you that it does not?

And your justification, as it now appears, is your understanding of Plotinus (specifically, your apparent understanding that lack of unity implies moral imperfection).

But this doesn't support your position that "imperfection" means "corruption."

Neither the part of "The Good, or the One" that you quoted or any other part of it suggests that imperfection is the same as corruption.

Maybe you would be better off just admitting your mistake rather than attempting to justify yourself?

Drake Shelton said...

So the reference for the First Plotinus Quote was Ennead 6 Tractate 9 Section 1 Verse 25-30
Second Reference was Ennead 6 Tractate 9 Section 4 verse 4-5

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN
One of the definitions of corruption is mortal imperfection.

Miriam Webster's Dictionary on Corruption:

"1 a : impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle: depravity
b : decay, decomposition
c : inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means
d : a departure from the original or from what is pure"

Definition D makes my use of the word even clearer in the light of Simplicity.

Drake Shelton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Turretinfan said...

And you think this justifies your conclusion that "imperfection" in Turretin means "corruption"?

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN
“"Agreed but are we not then saying that Jay's accusation are then not logical? It would appear so."

Yes, of course.”
>>Then you have yet to show why heresy if deduced by logical consequence is still not heresy.
You said,

“I didn't say that people are free from the logical consequences of their views, only that we should be careful to distinguish between their views and the logical consequences of them.”

>>Distinguish what? If someone’s theology logically necessitates a certain heresy then the position is heresy.

“a) Of course, we reject the modalistic error, as you know.”

>>You assert that you are not modalistic but you cannot show the difference. Robert Letham wrote a book titled Through Western Eyes (Mentor: Geanies House, Fearn Ross-Shire, IV20 1TW, Great Britain, 2007) in which these arguments were given an audience by the Presbyterian Reformed. Letham says in replying to the problems posed by Simplicity, “A tendency towards modalism – by blurring the distinctions between the three persons - is therefore endemic in Western Trinitarianism”. (pg. 223) Letham admits, In the West, the danger of modalism is very real, evident in all Western theology down to Barth and Rahner. If we start with the divine unity, expressed in the idea of absolute divine simplicity, the persons become problematic as real, personal, permanent, irreducible, and eternal ontological distinctions…Indeed. most Western Christians are practical modalists.”(pg. 238)

Sabellius “who regarded Father, Son, and Spirit not as three distinct persons, but simply as varying ‘modes’ or ‘aspects’ of the deity.” (The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware, pg. 213) So then what does the Protestant Scholastic says? Turretin says, 3rd Topic Q. 27
“Thus the person may be said to differ from the essence not really…but modally as a mode from the thing (pg. 278)…the Orthodox hold…Against the Tritheists they reject the real or essential distinction because although there are more persons than one mutually distinct, yet there is only one essence. But they hold TO A MODAL DISTINCTION because as the persons are constituted by personal properties as incommunicable MODES OF SUBSISTING, so they may properly be said to be distinguished by them. (pg. 279)”

Institutes of Elenctic Theology Volume 1 (P & R Publishing: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1992)

Drake Shelton said...

“One being in three persons is our view - not one person plus three persons or one person in three modes.”

Turretin was an Aristotelian after the tradition of the West.

Aristotle stated that primary substance was the Subject/Person.

Aristotle Metaphysics,
Book 7 Part 3
“Now the substratum is that of which everything else is predicated, while it is itself not predicated of anything else. And so we must first determine the nature of this; for that which underlies a thing primarily is thought to be in the truest sense its substance….By matter
I mean that which in itself is neither a particular thing nor of a certain quantity nor assigned to any other of the categories by which being is determined. For there is something of which each of these is predicated, whose being is different from that of each of the predicates (for the predicates other than substance are predicated of substance, while substance is predicated of matter). Therefore the ultimate substratum is of itself neither a particular thing nor of a particular quantity nor otherwise positively characterized; nor yet is it the negations of these, for negations also will belong to it only by accident.”

Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book 1 Part 1

“(The reason is that experience is knowledge of individuals, art of universals, and actions and productions are all concerned with the individual; for the physician does not cure man, except in an incidental way, but Callias or Socrates or some other called by some such individual name, who happens to be a man. If, then, a man has the theory without the experience, and recognizes the universal but does not know the individual included in this, he will often fail to cure; for it is the individual that is to be cured.)"

Clark says in Thales to Dewey,
“All expressions that are not composite (Aristotle means nouns and verbs, each standing alone and not in a sentence) signify substance, quantity, quality, relation, place, time, position, state, action, or affection. A man and horse are substances; two feet long is a quantity; white is a quality; double is a relation; sitting is a term of position; shod or armed is a state; to cauterize is an action; and to be cauterized is an affection. The most important of these is substance or reality.” (pg. 95)… “Although these ten are called categories or predicates, substance in its primary sense is not a predicate at all. The primary and basic realities are individual things, such as Socrates or Mt. Olympus, and these are always subjects and never predicates.” (pg. 95)

TFAN you most certainly do posit substance the One Person that has three persons/relations. AUGUSTINE ADMITTED THIS! Read his On the Trinity, Chapter 9 in an article HE TITLED “All are Sometimes Understood in One Person.” Read it here if you don’t believe me.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf103.iv.i.iii.ix.html

You posit One person with three modes. This is why I cannot say you are my Christian brother.

Turretinfan said...

Accusing me of believing what I explicitly reject doesn't seem much wiser than trying to justify your mistakes rather than correcting them.

Did you read above where I explicitly denied modalism?

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN,
"And you think this justifies your conclusion that "imperfection" in Turretin means "corruption"?"

>>That is what it meant to Plotinus and he is the Master of this doctrine though Parmenides coined it. Where else did Turretin get this doctrine? Read his section in Volume 1 again. He does not give a single passage of scripture to prove this doctrine, he just starts quoting fathers. Muller is more honest: The following is based on Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics by Richard A. Muller, Vol. 3(Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2003)
“The utter simplicity of the divine unity corresponds to nothing within the comprehension of the creature and cannot be defined in any way by the creature.”
Muller, pg. 234
“Scripture does not identify God as ‘in every respect most absolutely simple.” Muller quoting John Howe
Muller, pg. 280
Turretin gives this issue a wopping 3 1/2 pages in his Institutes so he doesn't develop much of what he means or where he got the doctrine from. From my reading of Muller, Turretin, Aquinas, Nathaniel Culverwell and Van Til among others, this view of Simplicity is the exact reason why positive predication of God is denied by the Protestant Scholastics (See Brakel below) and analogical predication is needed. Speaking of the issues of predication and the finite/infinite problem “Brakel expressly cautions we are very unfit to comprehend anything about God who is an infinite Spirit. Can a small bottle contain an entire ocean? How then can finite being comprehend an infinite Being?” (Muller, pg. 200) You see on Brakel’s view as well as Plotinus the One is totally other.
The issue is the same consequences that Plotinus had of the One the Scholastics are having of God. So how else can Turretin escape Plotinus' inference? If he takes simplicity he has to take the whole logical package ergo, though Turretin may not say or admit to directly the exact words "moral imperfection" that is the logical inference.

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN

"Did you read above where I explicitly denied modalism?
"

Did you not read where I specifically acknowledge you saying that and replied,

"You assert that you are not modalistic but you cannot show the difference."

I gave arguments showing why your view logically necessitates it. Your assertions are just that, assertions.

beowulf2k8 said...

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin again? I forgot.

This all looks very similar to the FV argument that if scripture says something it must be OK to confess it. So if scriptures speaks about an arm of the Lord then it shouldn't be considered heresy to say the Lord has an arm. The position that every time an arm of the Lord is mentioned you must give some big disclaimer about the Lord not having an arm is absurd. Yet on penalty of being condemned as a heretic this is what you Calvis do to each other. The FV guys are therefore more rational. Drake, you ought to join the FV guys. Quit worrying about whether your self-appointed 'presbytery' might prosecute you as a heretic, open a public blog, and publicly put forth your FV theology, and be happy. Why waste your time on hardened heretics like your self-appointed presbyters anyway? If they want to condemn people for confessing with scripture that God has an arm, then let them do it, knowing with full assurance that in the end they are the ones who will be condemned, for "with what measure you mete" you will be judged, and "if you show no mercy none will be shown you"--and they show no mercy but condemn everyone on every little thing. These men, then, are condemned to hell by their own standard--so why be so afraid of them?

Coram Deo said...

It's saddening to learn that TF is really a Sabellian/Modalist, even though he explicity denies it.

Wrong God = idolatry = hell.

I'm very sorry to hear that you're headed to hell in a hand-basket TF.

I would suggest repenting, but it doesn't seem to matter what you may confess or believe anyway since you're logically hell bound regardless.

CD

Drake Shelton said...

Beowulf,

FV Theology? Where did you get that idea? I am not remotely close to FV Theology.

Drake Shelton said...

Turretin was an Aristotelian after the tradition of the West. Aristotle stated that primary substance was the Subject/Person.

Aristotle Metaphysics,
Book 7 Part 3
“Now the substratum is that of which everything else is predicated, while it is itself not predicated of anything else. And so we must first determine the nature of this; for that which underlies a thing primarily is thought to be in the truest sense its substance….By matter
I mean that which in itself is neither a particular thing nor of a certain quantity nor assigned to any other of the categories by which being is determined. For there is something of which each of these is predicated, whose being is different from that of each of the predicates (for the predicates other than substance are predicated of substance, while substance is predicated of matter). Therefore the ultimate substratum is of itself neither a particular thing nor of a particular quantity nor otherwise positively characterized; nor yet is it the negations of these, for negations also will belong to it only by accident.”

Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book 1 Part 1
“(The reason is that experience is knowledge of individuals, art of universals, and actions and productions are all concerned with the individual; for the physician does not cure man, except in an incidental way, but Callias or Socrates or some other called by some such individual name, who happens to be a man. If, then, a man has the theory without the experience, and recognizes the universal but does not know the individual included in this, he will often fail to cure; for it is the individual that is to be cured.)”

Clark says in Thales to Dewey,
“All expressions that are not composite (Aristotle means nouns and verbs, each standing alone and not in a sentence) signify substance, quantity, quality, relation, place, time, position, state, action, or affection. A man and horse are substances; two feet long is a quantity; white is a quality; double is a relation; sitting is a term of position; shod or armed is a state; to cauterize is an action; and to be cauterized is an affection. The most important of these is substance or reality.” (pg. 95)… “Although these ten are called categories or predicates, substance in its primary sense is not a predicate at all. The primary and basic realities are individual things, such as Socrates or Mt. Olympus, and these are always subjects and never predicates.” (pg. 95)


TFAN you most certainly do posit substance the One Person that has three persons/relations. AUGUSTINE ADMITTED THIS! Read his On the Trinity, Chapter 9 in an article HE TITLED “All are Sometimes Understood in One Person.” Read it here if you don’t believe me.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf103.iv.i.iii.ix.html
You posit One person with three modes. This is why I cannot say you are my Christian brother.

Turretinfan said...

D.S.:

So, let's get this straight:

Based on the chapter heading of "On the Trinity" 1:9, you conclude that Augustine was a modalist?

Perhaps you ought to actually read what the chapter says. To paraphrase, he's saying that sometimes when one person of the Trinity says "I will do [such and such]" that person of the Trinity is not excluding the others.

But, of course, I don't expect you to admit that you're wrong about this, just as you won't admit that "imperfection" in Turretin doesn't mean "corruption" (something anyone who is L5 in English would be able to figure out) and just as you won't admit that it is only you who asserts that I hold to "one person" as opposed to "three persons."

But let me ask you, have you read the so-called Athanasian Creed?

http://www.ccel.org/creeds/athanasian.creed.html

Of course, it is a "Latin" creed, one created by some Western theologian(s) prior to the Great Schism, but nevertheless it explains the difference between the Trinity and modalism, as well as between the Trinity and a variety of other errors.

I'm sure you don't accept it (because of the double procession, at least), but you ought at least to realize that holding to the Athanasian creed is rejecting modalism.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

And, of course, I should point out that there are two problems with your appeal to Plotinus:

1) Even assuming Turretin is influenced by Plotinus (directly or indirectly), one cannot assume that everything Plotinus says is accepted by Turretin.

2) Moreover, Plotinus doesn't say that every kind of imperfection (with respect to simplicity) is a moral imperfection.

- TurretinFan

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN,

With your supposed criticisms of my use of Augustine, On the Trinity, made a video here a while ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x0oOHV5A6I&feature=related

The whole video concerns Augustine's teachings more or less but begining with 6:15 and on I deal with that article in detail. Do you seriously think I would make accusations against Augustine like that without making absolutely sure I was right? I am a scripturalist. The whole foundation of my philosophy comes from his De Magistro. I was devastated to learn these things.

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN,

"But, of course, I don't expect you to admit that you're wrong about this, just as you won't admit that "imperfection" in Turretin doesn't mean "corruption" (something anyone who is L5 in English would be able to figure out)"

Now I am remembering why I gave you a tongue lashing earlier. You are in all respects unprepared to have these conversations. But that is what American religion is all about right TFAN? Who cares about the history of the world. Let's just read the Bible and see if we can make some sense out of it? LOL!

Drake Shelton said...

Yes I have read the Athanasian creed a number of times. The filioque is modalism. Joseph P Farrell summarizes the problem:

“So strong an influence is the definition of simplicity for Saint Augustine that he says, “to God it is not one thing to be, another to be a person, but it is absolutely the same thing . . .

[Quoting Augustine, Trinity, 5.11.12.] It is the same thing to Him to be as to be a person.” “God” for Saint Augustine, thus, “did not mean directly” the means to attempt to distinguish the persons from each other. Having assumed an absolute simplicity, the persons can no longer be absolute hypostases, but are merely relative terms to each other, thus occurring on an even lower plane than the attributes proper. “The terms (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are used reciprocally and in relation to each other.”… Because both the Father is a spirit and the Son is a spirit, and because the Father is Holy and the Son is Holy, therefore . . . since, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one God, and certainly God is Holy, and God is a spirit, the Trinity can be called also the Holy Spirit.

That is, since the name Holy Spirit defines attributes “suitable to both the Father and the Son,” He becomes the new principle of unity in God, the “substantial and consubstantial love of both” the Father and the Son. In short, the Holy Spirit is the very essence from which the whole process began. He does not in turn cause a new person and so on ad infinitum but, as Thomas Aquinas was to observe, “the cycle is concluded when . . . it returns to the very substance from which the proceeding began.” Having begun with a definition—simplicity—the process has ended with the same definition, after a dazzling display of sublime, if not confusing, dialectics.”

The point is, the West emphasized Simplicity so much that it confused the nature and the person and confused the distinct properties of the persons. Therefore, the West posited a distinct property of the Father (causing) to the Son, thinking that causality was an attribute of divine nature, instead of a personal property in their defense of the Son’s full deity.

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN,

"1) Even assuming Turretin is influenced by Plotinus (directly or indirectly), one cannot assume that everything Plotinus says is accepted by Turretin.

2) Moreover, Plotinus doesn't say that every kind of imperfection (with respect to simplicity) is a moral imperfection."

1. I already stated proved that one does not have to directly admit of a certain doctrine directly if the logical consequence is necessarily there.

2. If a degree of distinction is a degree of moving away from the Good what else can he mean?

Turretinfan said...

And again, there's a difference between saying that Augustine's view reduces to X and saying that Augustine held to X.

Farrell, being an EO guy, is unsurprisingly hostile to "Western" explanations and especially to Augustine.

But even Farrell does not say what you say.

Just as Augustine does not say what you suggest he does ...

And just as Plotinus does not hold to the views you ascribe to him ...

And just as I don't hold the views you ascribe to me ...

And just as Turretin does not hold to the views you ascribe to him ...

But you continue to mouth off, oblivious to the facts.

Take this exchange as an example:

Me: "But, of course, I don't expect you to admit that you're wrong about this, just as you won't admit that "imperfection" in Turretin doesn't mean "corruption" (something anyone who is L5 in English would be able to figure out)"

Thee: "Now I am remembering why I gave you a tongue lashing earlier. You are in all respects unprepared to have these conversations. But that is what American religion is all about right TFAN? Who cares about the history of the world. Let's just read the Bible and see if we can make some sense out of it? LOL!"

I'll make a little prediction: You'll refuse to hear the church just as you've refused to hear me, and either voluntarily or involuntarily depart out.

I hope my prediction is wrong, indeed I will pray that it is. For now, though, as far as I'm concerned you're not welcome to continue posting comments here.

The problem may be me, or it may be you, but I think it's you, and this is my blog. So, be gone and don't come back until you can acknowledge your mistakes.

Drake Shelton said...

Tfan,

"But even Farrell does not say what you say."

Actually Farrell and Clark are the persons who introduced me to these things.

In Farrell intro to his A Theological Introduction to the Mystagogy of Saint Photios he says,

"As a consequence of our synoptic view of the filioque problem, we shall not be able to examine every text related to the subject, but will only be able to portray in very broad strokes the progress of Neoplatonic simplicity and its accompanying dialectic through the history of Western trinitarian thought."

The whole point of Farrell's essay is to show how Divine Simplicity is Neo-Platonist and the resulting consequence is filioque.

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN, your list of things I accuse people of when they don't directly say them completely ignores the numerous arguments that I have given why their positions logically necessitate these accusations.

Turretinfan said...

"Saint Photios saw in the filioque nothing less than a comprehensive restatement of all the ancient trinitarian problems: modalism, Arianism, Macedonianism, and even polytheism. All these things, according to Photios, are implications of the filioque doctrine."

Notice the careful wording. "Photios saw ..." and "implications of ..."

And later in the essay: "The Carolingians, in so doing were entirely faithful to the logic of Saint Augustine’s position. But they totally ignored Saint Augustine’s own discomfort with the modalist implications of his theology, and were not at all faithful to his more critical and traditional spirit."

And later again: " There is, thus, in the doctrine of the filioque an ubiquitous, nascent binitarianism,109 a tendency that Saint Photios does not hesitate to call “semi-Sabellianism.”110"

And again: "In the final analysis, the filioquist triadology has no real Trinity, but only a dyad of Father-Son opposed to Essence-Spirit.11"

Photios' arguments may be wrong, as may Farrell's, but I wouldn't dismiss them out of hand as I am dismissing you here, because they are able to make the necessary distinctions.

Drake Shelton said...

Things I have not dealt with:

1.You said,

“A rational explanation is already provided above (by Turretin as quoted by you), namely that (to simplify) composition requires a composer and consequently prevents the perfection of self-existence.”
Dr. Clark answered this in his Trinity book. .] “…[Footnote] Some bright sophomore who has studied Hume and Kant may here wonder aloud how there can be a collection without a collector. Must there not be a transcendental unity of apperception? Then an uneducated farm lad comes along and tells how a hundred hornets collected under the eaves of the barn.” Gordon Clark, The Trinity. ( Jefferson, Maryland: The Trinity Foundation, 1985), pg. 106.

I simply reject the idea that a collection requires a collector. However, the distinctions in God are Ideas in his mind so it’s not like there are pieces of substance stuck together. Muller in an exposition of Bonaventure, in explaining the Scholastic doctrine of Simplicity says, “there is something prior to every imperfect or composite being.” (Muller Vol. 4, pg. 41) Now, if real distinctions imply temporal sequence, does this mean that the divine essence is before the persons? Or does it mean that one divine person is before another divine person? He cannot have it both ways. One or the other is true. If the persons are inside the essence, then this simply makes a sequential mess of the whole thing. The idea in Greek Triadology is that the Father is the auto-theos. He is the One God and that WITH God (John 1) ETERNALLY is his Word and his Spirit. The principle of unity is the Father. One God because one Father. One Divine Will because One Father. One operation because One Father. The West replaces Father with Nature. Timothy Ware says, “The Cappadocians, followed by later Orthodox theologians, answer that there is one God, because there is one Father.” (The Orthodox Church, New Edition by Timothy Ware [Penguin Books: Strand, London, 1997], pg. 214-215) Lossky says, “ ’A single God because a single Father’, according to the saying of the Greek Fathers.” (pg. 58) Lossky, Vladamir, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church Chapter 3 (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press: Crestwood, NY, 1976) [I accessed this here: http://jbburnett.com/resources/lossky/lossky_myst1-trinity.pdf]


2.“1) Even assuming Turretin is influenced by Plotinus (directly or indirectly), one cannot assume that everything Plotinus says is accepted by Turretin.”

You have essentially admitted that Turretin’s Simple God is Plotinus’ One with the admission: ““Turretin, of course, denies that God's knowledge is not simple.”

Drake Shelton said...

Things you still have not answered

1.I said,

“The ontological basis that Proclus rejected composition was the idea that the One was a monad with no distinctions and thought required distinctions between subject and predicate. The Bible however talks about God having thoughts (Psalm 92:5). It is stated explicitly in 1 Cor 2:16 and Rom 11:34. Also there is the theological premise that we humans have rational faculties made in the image of God. There are therefore distinct Ideas in God.”
““Turretin, of course, denies that God's knowledge is not simple.”
So then you are admitting the exact point that Plotinus used to propose that distinctions between subject-predicate eliminate thoughts and Mind in the One. This is pretty much the last nail in the coffin man.

2. “Agreed but are we not then saying that Jay's accusation are then not logical? It would appear so." Yes, of course.” >>Then you have yet to show why heresy if deduced by logical consequence is still not heresy. “I didn't say that people are free from the logical consequences of their views, only that we should be careful to distinguish between their views and the logical consequences of them.”
>>Distinguish what? If someone’s theology logically necessitates a certain heresy then the position is heresy.”

This exchange here shows yet again that you have failed to separate the logical inferences of an assertion with an assertion. If an assertion leads to a heresy the assertion is heresy. Read 1 Cor 15.

3.The Letham quote.

4.My Turretin quotes where he distinguished the persons the same way as Sabellius, that is modally.

5.My Aristotle quotes where Primary substance is Subject.

6.My statement, “2. If a degree of distinction is a degree of moving away from the Good what else can he mean?”

7.You said,
“And again, there's a difference between saying that Augustine's view reduces to X and saying that Augustine held to X.”

I already answered this with the Rutherford quotes.

Drake Shelton said...

TFAN,

You said,

“Notice the careful wording. "Photios saw ..." and "implications of ..."

>>Notice the careful wording that I gave from Rutherford,

“then the denial of logical consequences in Religion, and the teaching thereof to others, may be, and is an heresy, and punishable by the Magistrate, as Deut. 13. and Exod. 32. so Christ rebukes Matth. 22. Sadducees as ignorant of the Scripture, when they denied but the consequence or a logical connexion, as God is not the God of the dead but of the living, ergo, the dead must rise again, and Abraham must live, and his body be raised from the dead.”

I have made the statement that I am arguing against the logical implications of Scholasticism on numerous occasions now.

You said,

“Photios' arguments may be wrong, as may Farrell's, but I wouldn't dismiss them out of hand as I am dismissing you here, because they are able to make the necessary distinctions.”

>> I am not here to promote myself and I could care less if you dismiss me in your seared and obviously bitter conscience. I have given quotations by major Christian writers to base every position I hold to.

Turretinfan said...

D.S.:

1) Your Eastern Orthodox sources are a damaged reed. If you lean on them, your hand will be pierced by them (see 2 Kings 18:21 and Isaiah 36:6).

2) Your Eastern Orthodox sources may think they have a "gotcha" in that the original formulation of the Creed only states that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, but when they add "and not the Son" the onus is on them to establish that, not on the Latins (or the Reformed). Their quasi-dogmatic denial of the filioque is not a privileged position.

3) Farrell mentions the inconvenient testimony of Cyril, while omitting the similarly inconvenient creed provided by Epiphanius.

the Spirit the Comforter, uncreate, who proceedeth from the Father, receiving of the Son (ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον, καὶ ἐκ τοῦ Υἱοῦ λαμβανόμενον) (source)

Perhaps you won't care for Ambrose comment:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf210.iv.ii.ii.xii.html

But at least you should try to locate some relatively contemporary discussion of the creed, so you can see what the creed meant in its original context (if that matters to you).

I'll leave my last point for a new comment, since it is important.

Turretinfan said...

Lastly, I've already told you that you are not welcome to comment here once. Take heed and don't comment her until you are ready to admit your mistakes.

beowulf2k8 said...

"Where did you get that idea? I am not remotely close to FV Theology."

Your rejection of 'divine simplicity'.

Randall van der Sterren said...

Fan: "And yes, the WCF does affirm the doctrine affirmed in the filioque. But that does not mean, necessarily, that we affirm all the arguments of the Latins in defense of that doctrine."

What distinguishes the Reformed doctrine of the filioque and that of the Latins? Which arguments are not affirmed?

Turretinfan said...

RvdS:

Any arguments from appeals to the authority of the Roman bishop would not be accepted, as an obvious example.

As for differences between the doctrines, I suspect that most of the differences lie in the defense of the doctrine as opposed to the doctrine itself. But those can have a way of bundling themselves back up into the doctrine.

- TurretinFan