PRCA's Covenant and Trinity: Simply Trinity or Social Trinity?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Wyres

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello there, I am new to the Puritan Board, and hope y'all bear with me.

I am reading the book Simply Trinity - The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Spirit by Matthew Barrett. It is a very engaging book. Even though I have yet to finish reading, I picked up something from his book about Social Trinity. I could not help but to relate it to the PRCA's system of their definition of Covenant and the way they view the Trinity. It seems to me, the PRCA's covenant and trinitarian views is somewhat quasi-Social Trinity, or perhaps even a variant of Social Trinity. I heard that David Engelsma tried to differentiate their views from the Social Trinity. However I am not very convinced but I can't put my finger to it. Can someone help me out on this? Thank you.
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Hello there, I am new to the Puritan Board, and hope y'all bear with me.

I am reading the book Simply Trinity - The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Spirit by Matthew Barrett. It is a very engaging book. Even though I have yet to finish reading, I picked up something from his book about Social Trinity. I could not help but to relate it to the PRCA's system of their definition of Covenant and the way they view the Trinity. It seems to me, the PRCA's covenant and trinitarian views is somewhat quasi-Social Trinity, or perhaps even a variant of Social Trinity. I heard that David Engelsma tried to differentiate their views from the Social Trinity. However I am not very convinced but I can't put my finger to it. Can someone help me out on this? Thank you.

There are some similarities but I don't think they are the same. Social Trinitarians define person as a center of self-consciousness and see the Trinity as something like three individual beings in the Godhead. The PRC guys don't do that.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Jacob, I have corresponded with Prof Engelsma in the past; if his email remains the same, what question might I ask him to get clarity on his view vis-à-vis social trinitarianism and classic trinitarianism?

Ming, apart from in his book, Trinity and Covenant, have you seen DJE distance himself from ST elsewhere?
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Jacob, I have corresponded with Prof Engelsma in the past; if his email remains the same, what question might I ask him to get clarity on his view vis-à-vis social trinitarianism and classic trinitarianism?

Ming, apart from in his book, Trinity and Covenant, have you seen DJE distance himself from ST elsewhere?

I don't think he is a social Trinitarian. I would ask him if he thinks the persons of the TRinity are covenantally related to each other aside from the pactum salutis.
 

Wyres

Puritan Board Freshman
Jacob, I have corresponded with Prof Engelsma in the past; if his email remains the same, what question might I ask him to get clarity on his view vis-à-vis social trinitarianism and classic trinitarianism?

Ming, apart from in his book, Trinity and Covenant, have you seen DJE distance himself from ST elsewhere?

The PRCA believes the covenant is ontological rather than soteric, and substituted covenant in Trinity in the place of covenant with Christ as the second Adam. They believes God’s covenant is the relationship between the three persons of the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The covenant is, said to be a relationship or bond of fellowship and friendship. It is from the start, the bond that makes the three persons of the Trinity one God. I believe Ronald Hanko describe it as such in his book "Doctrine According to Godliness", and the PRCA preach it, i.e. the definition of the covenant is purely to be a relationship or bond of fellowship and friendship. Engelsma's book Trinity and Covenant "conceives the life of God in himself as fundamentally family fellowship. The fellowship of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit determines the nature of God’s works in the creating and redeeming humanity. "

I quote a friend here: "what is made the foundation for the unity in the Godhead. Is it the relationship (covenant) of love, or is it the oneness of essence. Hanko in his book Doctrines According to Godliness appears to make it the covenant. This is very hard to separate from tritheism. All others who I have talked to here (current PRCA Seminary) about it reject that as the basis for unity, correctly maintaining that it is the oneness of essence that is the unity. With the relational unity being a consequence of that." So, if I understand the PRCA correctly, they still believe the covenant is opera ad intra, and not opera ad extra.

It's like they just replaces the word "community", "society" with the word "covenant". Not sure if you know what I am trying to say?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top