Samuel Clarke's "Scripture of the Doctrine of the Trinity"

Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by Doulos McKenzie, May 17, 2017.

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  1. Doulos McKenzie

    Doulos McKenzie Puritan Board Freshman

    I have begun reading Samuel Clarke's "Scripture of the Doctrine of the Trinity." Have any of y'all on the board read it? And what are you thoughts on it if you have?
     
  2. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I have not read the book myself. If you're going into it, however, it might be best to be aware that Clarke is usually considered unorthodox. Certainly the thesis maintained that, "The Father (or First Person) is, absolutely speaking, the God of the Universe..." is either incorrect or so badly expressed as to call into question the competence of the writer. Contrast that with the confessional doctrine (WLC 9):
    Q. 9. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
    A. There be three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory; although distinguished by their personal properties.​
     
  3. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Junior

    He did not see Jesus as fully God?
     
  4. Doulos McKenzie

    Doulos McKenzie Puritan Board Freshman

    It is not quite that simple. He views the Son as being of the exact same nature as the Father, but he also denys the concept of a multi-personal God. He sees the Father as occupying the chief role in the position of God. It is very complex and I don't think I can adequately explain it very well. I would encourage you to just read the book.
     
  5. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Junior

    Kind of how Dr Grudem see eternal subordination within the Godhead then?
     
  6. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    He denied the consubstantiality of the Son. This leaves one vacillating between Arianism and polytheism.
     
  7. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Why, exactly?
     
  8. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Senior

    Run. Do not walk to the nearest exit.
     
  9. Doulos McKenzie

    Doulos McKenzie Puritan Board Freshman

    I just think it is an Interesting view. I think it is fun to read about unorthodox view points. It makes you become more sure of your own position while enjoying learning about different view points. This is the same reason why I like reading stuff from NT Wright, not because I agree but because it is interesting.
     
  10. Doulos McKenzie

    Doulos McKenzie Puritan Board Freshman

    Is there something wrong with reading books with opposing viewpoints? I never said I agree with his conclusions.
     
  11. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I am glad it has been your experience so far that reading the unorthodox has strengthened you in the proper posture. With regard to recommending the same reading, however, it's good to be aware that people's mileage varies. What is stimulating in one case may prove deceptive or depressive in another.
     
  12. Doulos McKenzie

    Doulos McKenzie Puritan Board Freshman

    My intent in recommending the book was in order that he could better understand Clarke's position. My intent was not to lead any brothers on the board. I probably should have clarified that in the original post. My bad.
     
  13. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    To whom were you recommending it? New Christians? Mature Christians? It could really lead new Christians astray. I've seen it personally, with painful consequences.
     
  14. Doulos McKenzie

    Doulos McKenzie Puritan Board Freshman

    I just recommend it to David in an earlier post in order to understand Clarke's position because I did not feel I could adequately explain it.
     
  15. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Understood and appreciated, Jonathan. Witnessing several apostasies from the faith really serves to underscore the urgency of Paul's words that the one who thinks he stands must take heed lest he fall.
     
  16. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Junior

    He would deny Jesus as being very God of very God then?
     
  17. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Depends on what you mean by "very," "of," and "God."
     
  18. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Junior

    As the creeds confessed him as being!
     
  19. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Does "of God" mean that the Son is God of himself (autotheos), or does it mean that he derives his Godhood from the Father? It's not immediately self-evident.
     
  20. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Junior

    He is eternally begotten from/of the Father, made up of the "same stuff" correct?
     
  21. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    He used the words but denied the sense in which they were understood by the orthodox. The orthodox regard this as being necessary to the divine nature whereas Clarke referred it to an act of the Father's will, which makes it voluntary, and of the same kind of act as creation.
     
  22. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Junior

    He would then have been affirming that Jesus was like God first and greatest created being, like the JW do?
     
  23. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    It depends on how well established a person is in the faith and the purpose for which he is reading heterodox material. I wouldn't encourage someone who is a "novice" in the faith to read hetetodox material in case he gets blown off course, which.would be a tragedy for which I felt partially responsible.

    An established man may resd heterodox material in order to refute it, otherwise he may be wasting his time when he could be reading orthodox material.

    There may be some writers that mix heterodox marerial with "useful" or "new" insights that can be used by the orthodox. Again only men who are established.in the faith should read this stuff and that with a purpose to sift out what may be valid for their use in the understanding of Scripture.

    Sent from my C6903 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  24. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    It seems to be more subtle than that. Shedd (History of Christian Doctrine, 1:386-387) distinguishes between high and low Arianism and identifies Clarke's problem with "his failure to discriminate carefully between the essence and the hypostasis. Hence, in quoting from the Scriptures, and the Fathers, he refers to the essential nature phraseology that implies subordination, and which was intended by those employing it, to apply only to the hypostatical character." In other words he attributed to the "essence" what only belongs to the "person."
     
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  25. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Junior

    So he would make a distinction between the quality Jesus had within Himself, and those given to Him by God the Father?
     
  26. Doulos McKenzie

    Doulos McKenzie Puritan Board Freshman

    A simple Google search would answer most of you questions brother.
     
  27. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Junior

    He would seem to have aspects of Unitarian viewpoints in his theology regarding the nature of God and the persons of Him?
     
  28. Doulos McKenzie

    Doulos McKenzie Puritan Board Freshman

    Are you asking a question or making a statement? And like I said a simply google search could answer your questions. Or simply read his short book on the subject.
     
  29. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Junior

    Asking the question, as was having a hard time trying to get what he really thought on this issue online
     
  30. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    The opposite is likely the case, if I understand your question correctly. He claimed Jesus was God because of the voluntary act of the Father. This means that the Son was not a necessary existence, but depended upon the Father; whereas traditional theism confesses that God exists necessarily -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
     
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