Is it fair to label ESS as quasi-Arianism?

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Irenaeus

Puritan Board Freshman

There's little new in this article - it briefly retreads well-worn ground by way of summarizing the errors of ESS. What it does do is put forward the assertion that ESS is not Arian or semi-Arian - an assertion repeated in this article and laid out in a series of Twitter posts.

I think he is arguing this distinction based on a literal technical definition of the term Arianism. Is it fair to appropriate a term for wider usage than it originally had, based on a salient but possibly non-central aspect of the original definition? For instance, the term "Arminian" is frequently used to loosely characterize non-Calvinist work-based soteriologies apart from their actual resemblance to classical or modern Arminian systems. "Catholic" or any number of variants is often used in a similar way: if it's works-based, employs a highly structured and elaborate liturgy, or quotes the church fathers - it's Catholic. And then, of course, we have the popular appropriation of labels such as Marxism and CRT, but I dare not veer where angels fear to tread... lol.

Likewise, the pejorative use of "Arian" refers, independent of the many other components of the Arian belief system, to a tendency to denigrate the Son in relation to the Father, which was the central error that the early church felt compelled to address. That tendency is very much present in ESS, as the second link points out in almost comedic fashion, juxtaposing the refrain of "It's not Arianism" with exposition of the similarities.

So in one sense, ESS is very different from Arianism, operating with very few shared cultural and philosophical presuppositions; but at the same time it is doing essentially - from the viewpoint of the integrity of the gospel and our understanding of Scripture's teaching - the same thing. In any culture, diminishment of Christ leads in a straight line away from the gospel message. So I have a hard time getting bent out of shape over the pejorative comparison even if it is inaccurate in a very technical and scientific sense.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I'm not saying it's Arian, I'm saying they say things only an Arian would say...

It's like an article I read on Andy Stanley and the 'unhitching' from the Old Testament. The guy addressed the fact that Stanley isn't technically a 'Marcionite.'
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
When you like the Danvers statement more than the Nicene Creed, your issues go deeper than Arianism.

Homoousion doesn't mean "Jesus is God." It means the Son and the Father are the same in their internal essential relations. ESS specifically names and denies that.
 

Irenaeus

Puritan Board Freshman
When you like the Danvers statement more than the Nicene Creed, your issues go deeper than Arianism.

Homoousion doesn't mean "Jesus is God." It means the Son and the Father are the same in their internal essential relations. ESS specifically names and denies that.
What do you mean by "the same in their internal essential relations"? Do they not relate as begotten and begetter?
 

Irenaeus

Puritan Board Freshman
Things like eternal generation, spiration, begetting are what distingish the persons. They don't fall under "internal relations."
So begottenness is a feature of the Son, and unbegottenness is a property of the Father. But it would be incorrect to say that the trait of begetting or being begotten characterizes the relationship between Father and Son.

Is that close to what you're saying?
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
So begottenness is a feature of the Son, and unbegottenness is a property of the Father. But it would be incorrect to say that the trait of begetting or being begotten characterizes the relationship between Father and Son.

Is that close to what you're saying?

Something like that. The word "relation" is being used in two different senses, and that might be my fault. I should have said something like "internal structure," though that could be problematic.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
When you like the Danvers statement more than the Nicene Creed, your issues go deeper than Arianism.
To be clear, The Danvers Statement says nothing about the nature of God and certainly nothing about ESS. So, I'm not sure why one needs to pit the two against each other. I believe the issue is with prominant proponents of the Danvers Statement, and not with the statement itself.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
To be clear, The Danvers Statement says nothing about the nature of God and certainly nothing about ESS. So, I'm not sure why one needs to pit the two against each other. I believe the issue is with prominant proponents of the Danvers Statement, and not with the statement itself.

I don't pit the two against each other. I'm just waiting for Owen to come out and affirm Nicea. When pushed on it, he will passive-aggressively tweet on how Scripture is our highest authority.
 

Irenaeus

Puritan Board Freshman
Something like that. The word "relation" is being used in two different senses, and that might be my fault. I should have said something like "internal structure," though that could be problematic.
What are the two senses in which it is being used?
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
What are the two senses in which it is being used?

Writers such as GL Prestige and Torrance used internal "relations" to mean "internal structure of the divine essence." Relation also means the connection between Father and Son. The latter is not how I am using it.
 
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