In Stephen R. Holmes’ The Quest for the Trinity: The Doctrine of God in Scripture, History, and Modernity he summarizes the doctrine of the Trinity, received from the fourth century, as the following (on p. 146, repeated on pp. 199-200):
– The divine nature is simple, incomposite, and ineffable. It is also unrepeatable, and so, in crude and inexact terms ‘one’.
– Language referring to the divine nature is always inexact and trophic; nonetheless, if formulated with much care and more prayer, it might adequately, if not fully, refer.
– There are three divine hypostases that are instantiations of the divine nature: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
– The three divine hypostases exist really, eternally, and necessarily, and there is nothing divine that exists beyond or outside their existence.
– The three divine hypostases are distinguished by eternal relations of origin – begetting and proceeding – and not otherwise.
– All that is spoken of God, with the single and very limited exception of the language which refers to the relations of origin of the three hypostases, is spoken of the one life the three share, and so is indivisibly spoken of all three.
– The relationships of origin express/establish relational distinctions between the three existent hypostases; no other distinctions are permissible.
What has changed in modern discourse on the doctrine of the Trinity? What is said differently?
Tomorrow I will post my full review of the book. It is a good one!