Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Solution to a Common Objection to the Trinity

It is urged by critics of the most sublime mystery of the Trinity that Trinitarianism cannot rationally maintain the distinction of persons. They say correctly (for the sake of argument) that:
(1) The Father is God.
(2) The Son is God.
(3) The Holy Spirit is God.
But then on the basis of these three premises they say that the following set of propositions is false:
(4) The Father is not the Son.
(5) The Father is not the Holy Spirit.
(6) The Son is not the Holy Spirit.
They base their bogus conclusion on the axiom that things identical with the same thing are identical with each other. But this axiom that they mention in support of their hypothesis is true of absolute entities only.

We affirm that the Father and Son are both identical with the Divine Essence, i.e. that the Divine Essence is identical with each of two relations (paternity and filiation). We deny that the Divine Essence is identical with two absolute entities. Because these relations are by nature correlative, they are necessarily mutually opposed and thus distinct.

Moreover anti-Trinitarians say, “None of the three Persons in the Godhead can be infinite because each must lack something possessed by the others.” But a relation per se differs from quantity and quality in that it is not an intrinsic perfection. For a relation regards something other than itself. So the one infinite Divine Essence has the supreme perfection of the Godhead.

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