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    Quotables: The Baptized Body

    September 28, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    The Baptized Body

    Though its radical implications have not always been recognized, Trinitarian Christianity is fundamentally hostile to all forms of impersonalism. The debates concerning the Trinity in the early church elevated “personhood” and “personality” to an ontological status. As John Zizioulas puts it, for the early fathers, being is communion. God didn’t first exist as a monad or an unrelated substance and then proliferate into three persons; that would make unified being more original than diverse communion. Nor did God first exist as three separate individuals who later entered into a divine social contract for their mutual protection and benefit. God has always been three Persons in perfect loving communion; God has always been the One God; He exists as the One God as three Persons. Communion is the eternal, necessary form of God’s existence.


    Think of the Athanasian arguments for the eternity of the Son: If the Son is not eternal, then the Father is not eternally Father. If the Son came into being at some {timeless} moment in eternity, then the Father became Father at that same {timeless} moment. If the Father is eternally, necessarily, unchangeably Father, he must eternally, necessarily, and unchangeably have a Son. At the same time, Athanasius notices that the Father’s Fatherhood is entirely dependent on the fact that He has a Son. The Father’s character as Father is relative to the Son; He is Father in relation to the Son.

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    1 Comment

  • Reply Mystie September 28, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    You didn’t tell me you were on to this one yet. 🙂 I want to reread this one in light of the other covenant children books I’ve read lately.

    First chapter two of Leisure, though. 🙂

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