Does God love Himself? Getting it right.

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InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
To express my thoughts more clearly, my understanding is that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit joined together in one and the same substance are "God." Does this change anything?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
To express my thoughts more clearly, my understanding is that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit joined together in one and the same substance are "God." Does this change anything?

Are you suggesting that the three Persons are like three parts which make up the whole?
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
To express my thoughts more clearly, my understanding is that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit joined together in one and the same substance are "God." Does this change anything?

Are you suggesting that the three Persons are like three parts which make up the whole?

It depends what you mean by "the whole." All the Persons are directly linked to their substance. However, as the persons of the Trinity are relational beings, they only have meaning in relation to each other. We cannot speak of the Father without the Son, or of the Holy Spirit without the Father. In other words, the persons of the Trinity are not simply directly linked to the same substance, but are also directly linked to each other for a meaningful relationship.

Now, I don't believe that God being a Trinity is why He is what He is in His substance anymore than God being what He is in His substance is why He is a Trinity. I simply believe both depend on each other and are essential to God as a whole. So, not only does the person of God the Father depend on the person of God the Son, or God's justice depend on His love, but the persons of the Trinity also depend on their substance, and vice versa. If you change the Trinity, the substance will also change, and vice versa.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
All the Persons are directly linked to their substance.

I am lost as to what you could mean by this statement. How is a person "linked" to his substance when the substance is what he is? In the Christian faith it is confessed that the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Ghost is God, and these three are one God. This is the doctrine of the Trinity. Is this something that you affirm?
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
All the Persons are directly linked to their substance.

I am lost as to what you could mean by this statement. How is a person "linked" to his substance when the substance is what he is? In the Christian faith it is confessed that the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Ghost is God, and these three are one God. This is the doctrine of the Trinity. Is this something that you affirm?

I do affirm that. The "link" that I'm talking about is the "link" in the diagram which is commonly used to visualize the Trinity. By saying a person of the Trinity is "linked" to His substance, I'm not saying the link is a medium between the two that unites them to each other. I'm simply distinguishing them from each other, not separating which would result in parts in God. The "link" is meant to clarify just that.

I've read the Reformed Confessions with proper commentaries on this, but I still don't get what exactly is meant by the word "is," when it is said, for example, that Christ is God. But whatever is meant, I'm sure the intention is not to make Christ the Father and the Holy Spirit which would be modalism. I could understand the statement if it meant that Christ belongs to God, but of course that would still not be accurate enough.
 

chuckd

Puritan Board Sophomore
I do affirm that. The "link" that I'm talking about is the "link" in the diagram which is commonly used to visualize the Trinity. By saying a person of the Trinity is "linked" to His substance, I'm not saying the link is a medium between the two that unites them to each other. I'm simply distinguishing them from each other, not separating which would result in parts in God. The "link" is meant to clarify just that.

Say there were a diagram that showed all human persons with lines connecting to the word "human." The persons are different from each other, but they are all human. It would be odd to say that an individual person is "linked" to "human." It's what they are, not what they are linked to.
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
I do affirm that. The "link" that I'm talking about is the "link" in the diagram which is commonly used to visualize the Trinity. By saying a person of the Trinity is "linked" to His substance, I'm not saying the link is a medium between the two that unites them to each other. I'm simply distinguishing them from each other, not separating which would result in parts in God. The "link" is meant to clarify just that.

Say there were a diagram that showed all human persons with lines connecting to the word "human." The persons are different from each other, but they are all human. It would be odd to say that an individual person is "linked" to "human." It's what they are, not what they are linked to.

Oh! I think I see my problem now. It has been my understanding that "God" in the middle of the diagram means only His substance and not both His substance and persons. But this still leaves me with the same problem that I've presented above concerning the statement that one person of the Trinity is "God." I obviously don't understand the meaning of the word "is" there.

I think it is odd that the Bible can speak of God as both "Him" and "Them." In the Genesis 1:26 God said (in plural) "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," and in Genesis 3:22 God said, ""Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil." So, if "they" refers to the three persons of the Trinity, then who (not what) does "He" refer to? Is it the Father (as especially in the New Testament it would seem to be the case)? Or is it the name of God ("I am that I am")?
 

chuckd

Puritan Board Sophomore
I do affirm that. The "link" that I'm talking about is the "link" in the diagram which is commonly used to visualize the Trinity. By saying a person of the Trinity is "linked" to His substance, I'm not saying the link is a medium between the two that unites them to each other. I'm simply distinguishing them from each other, not separating which would result in parts in God. The "link" is meant to clarify just that.

Say there were a diagram that showed all human persons with lines connecting to the word "human." The persons are different from each other, but they are all human. It would be odd to say that an individual person is "linked" to "human." It's what they are, not what they are linked to.

Oh! I think I see my problem now. It has been my understanding that "God" in the middle of the diagram means only His substance and not both His substance and persons. But this still leaves me with the same problem that I've presented above concerning the statement that one person of the Trinity is "God." I obviously don't understand the meaning of the word "is" there.

I think it is odd that the Bible can speak of God as both "Him" and "Them." In the Genesis 1:26 God said (in plural) "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," and in Genesis 3:22 God said, ""Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil." So, if "they" refers to the three persons of the Trinity, then who (not what) does "He" refer to? Is it the Father? Or is it a reference to the name of God ("I am that I am")?

The plural in Genesis is a "royal we" from my understanding, not referring to the Trinity. "God" in the middle of the diagram means only his divine substance or nature. Just like "human" in the middle would only mean the substance or nature "human." All people are human, but we are all different people. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all God, but they are different persons.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I do affirm that.

There is a mystery here which goes beyond our understanding. We can explain it to a certain extent but there comes a point where we are to stand in awe of the incomprehensible God. We must swim around the shoreline of revelation. If we attempt to go out into the depths the tide might carry us out to sea.
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
I do affirm that.

There is a mystery here which goes beyond our understanding. We can explain it to a certain extent but there comes a point where we are to stand in awe of the incomprehensible God. We must swim around the shoreline of revelation. If we attempt to go out into the depths the tide might carry us out to sea.

Matthew, I'm fully content with that answer. I believe this thread has served its purpose. As I said before, I'll come back to the main topic in another thread with a new view and more details. Thank you for your time.
 
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