Procession of the Holy Spirit – Letham

Status
Not open for further replies.

JM

Puritan Board Doctor
4.4.2 Differences between the Eastern and the Western Churches

In the east, stress falls on the Father as the source of the personal subsistence of the Son and the Spirit. The Father is the guarantor of the unity in the Godhead, the source, and the cause of the Son and the Spirit. Thus, the Spirit proceeds from the Father. In the West, the Arian threat led to an emphasis on the oneness of the Father and the Son. The filioque is intended to undergird this; the dual procession serves to safeguard the Son’s status. Following Augustine, the Spirit is the bond of union between the Father and the Son.

Augustine broached the subject in De Trinitate:

It is not without meaning that in this Trinity only the Son is called the Word of God, only the Holy Spirit is called the gift of God, and God the Father is the only one by whom the Son is generated and from whom the Spirit principally proceeds. I added ‘principally’ because we discover that the Spirit proceeds also from the Son. This is also the Father gives to him [the Son], not that he exists at any point without having it, but whatever he gave to his only-begotten Word he gave in begetting him. Therefore, he begat him so that the common gift should proceed from him also, and the Holy Spirit should be the Spirit of both.

For Augustine, the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as one principle of origination. The Father is the sole principle of deity, the Son is begotten by the Father, and from their common love proceeds, as a single principle, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit proceeds first from the Father and the by the Father’s gift at no interval from both in common.

Page 135/6 from Systematic Theology by Robert Letham
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Mostly accurate. The East = Personal unity of the Father/ West = substantial unity is more accurate after Augustine than before, as Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Nazianzus will say things like God is an ocean of being, which more highlights the unity of essence.
 

JM

Puritan Board Doctor
Mostly accurate. The East = Personal unity of the Father/ West = substantial unity is more accurate after Augustine than before, as Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory of Nazianzus will say things like God is an ocean of being, which more highlights the unity of essence.
I thought Letham's work on the Trinity was solid? Now I know better.

Thank you
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I thought Letham's work on the Trinity was solid? Now I know better.

Thank you
It's good. I've read through it a half dozen times. He is following the research of de Regnon on the East vs. West dichotomy. It's not wrong as long as we apply it after Augustine (and probably Maximus as well). Letham has read the sources. I just disagree with his historical analysis. I agree with his theological conclusions (for the most part).
 

JM

Puritan Board Doctor
It's good. I've read through it a half dozen times. He is following the research of de Regnon on the East vs. West dichotomy. It's not wrong as long as we apply it after Augustine (and probably Maximus as well). Letham has read the sources. I just disagree with his historical analysis. I agree with his theological conclusions (for the most part).
I have his updated work on the Trinity. Any thoughts on that title?

Thanks
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top