My discussion with Ken Temple on the Trinity

Ken said: “Madmanna
I hope you are still looking here.

Are you Trinitarian?
How do you explain the existence of the Son from all eternity past?

The Son was not created, but eternally generated means He always existed and there not created, because the early church distinguished “created” from “eternally generated”.”

Hi Ken, yes I am trinitarian.

I agree that the Son is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father. More than that the bible does not tell us in my view.

I don’t believe in the generation theory because, as I see it, this makes the Son dependent for his existence on the Father and would seem to violate the unity of God’s being. The part of God that is generating and the part that is generated can’t be exactly the same in essence can they? God speaks as an one undivided person in the OT. Are we supposed to believe that he generates himself?

Obviously we can’t project all the possible meanings of a human father and son on to the being of God. Maybe the words father and son as applied to God don’t have a metaphysical meaning but just a relational one. I don’t know.

Do the Father and the Son call each other by those names in eternity past before anything was created? It wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t but these are the names by which they have revealed themselves to us and by which they should be worshipped. I guess there must be some quality that makes the Father and the Son differ from each other so that they have this fixed relation to each other which can never be changed, I believe that the bible is silent on this and it is better for us not to try and reason about this if God has not given us the means to do so. Perhaps other christians have better thoughts on this than I do. Endless discussion about the nature of the trinity is a waste of time. Life is too short. I have commented a few times at Dale Tuggys trinity site but basically it’s a waste of time in my view. No one is going to shift their position because of these arguments.

Madmanna,
Thanks for your explanation.

Do you think the “today” of Psalm 2:7 and Hebrews 1 and 5 is about the incarnation?

Do you think before the incarnation, Jesus is just the Word (logos) in eternity past?

Is the Son the Son, and the Father the Father in eternity past?

Don’t you think John 17:1-5, especially verse 5 speaks to the eternality of the Son into the past? (along with John 1:1 and Philippians 2:5-8 (existing in the form / nature of God)

You are right is that there comes a point where cannot go any deeper. (Like the Muslims demanding things in words for their own demands and satisfaction, rather than accepting the earlier revelations established for 600 years before Islam.)

“Madmanna,
Thanks for your explanation.”

Hi Ken, thanks for your challenging questions.

Quick answers.

“Do you think the “today” of Psalm 2:7 and Hebrews 1 and 5 is about the incarnation?”

No. In my view they are about the investiture of Jesus with his messianic offices. Probably at his baptism.

I would interpret Hebrews 5 in this sense: “5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.”

Do you think before the incarnation, Jesus is just the Word (logos) in eternity past?

Yes.

Is the Son the Son, and the Father the Father in eternity past?

In my view, no. Hebrews 1 v 5 “And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” which seems to suggest that there was a time when this relationship did not exist.

Of course they are the eternal persons of the Godhead who became these things to each other in time. Potentially they are eternally Father and Son to each other but not actually until the incarnation.

“Don’t you think John 17:1-5, especially verse 5 speaks to the eternality of the Son into the past? (along with John 1:1 and Philippians 2:5-8 (existing in the form / nature of God)”

Yes, but the eternality of the Word as the incarnated Son.

John did not say that the Son became flesh but that the Word became flesh.

I hope that the Holy Spirit leads us in to all truth and I welcome correction if I am wrong.

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4 Responses to My discussion with Ken Temple on the Trinity

  1. θ says:

    “madmanna says: John did not say that the Son became flesh but that the Word became flesh.”

    Maybe you are already a Unitarian without realising. Thanks for admitting the truth. Indeed the person of Sonship is something that is generated from the Word.

  2. madmanna says:

    I am a trinitarian unitarian. Or a unitarian trinitarian.

    The truth of God’s being must be paradoxical to the human mind.

    The God that the pure unitarian, Muslim or otherwise, conjures up for himself is not transcendental, therefore not real.

  3. θ says:

    Trinitarians are non-Biblical believers.
    They wrongly designate “personality” to two impersonal attributions (the Word and the Spirit) which the Bible never teaches.
    So bad, they also degrade God to be a person which the Bible never teaches.
    Worse they designate “divinities” on two persons which the Bible never teaches.
    Worst, they designate the unity in nature of three persons by referring to a Biblical forgery.

  4. θ says:

    Transcendetalism is not fit for human heart. Thinking about the infinite essence of God would just burn the mind, putting a tremendous stress on the head, casting out one from reality into delusion and illusion. Contemplating too much on infinity is so hazardous for our health.

    Moslems are enjoined to be mindful of Allah’s graceful visible actions that bring practical goodness and wisdom, no matter how small or simple it is. We are prohibited to ponder too much on Allah’s unseen essence as we don’t have knowledge about it, hence it would be vain.

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