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35 minutes ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Thanks for responding, InCognitus. I enjoy that so many folks here are knowledgeable, and yet I don't want to be annoying with my questions.

You ask good questions.  No good question is annoying. :) 

And I was pretty sure I was missing the exact point of your question, so I'm glad you clarified, although I'm still not sure I'm getting exactly what you are asking (but I'll try).

36 minutes ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I'm not hoping for a continuation of animal sacrifice, or the Jewish temple (with the veil rent and so on). At the same time, I'm not really considering preparation as much as I'm trying to wrap my head around whether or not Latter-day Saints see a shift from the OT assumption that everyone is unworthy--temple unworthy, showing up with a sin offering--to a notion of temple worthy to attend the temple.

Being temple worthy is a relative phrase, because everyone is unworthy in the sense that all have sinned.  But the atonement of Jesus Christ makes it so that each one of us can prepare to attend the temple outside the temple:  Through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and by continuing to have faith in Christ by keeping his commandments.  So people who go through that process can show up to the temple with the sin offering already completed in the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I think the real shift from the OT assumption of those who showed up with a sin offering (and they were not even able to enter into the structure of the temple), to being fully admitted into the temple, was at first a backward shift that occurred in Exodus 32, when Israel broke their covenant with God.  Because prior to that point the preparation was much different, and God was preparing the people to be a "kingdom of priests, a holy nation" (Exodus 19:6, compare 1 Peter 2:9), and they were all getting ready to go up to Mount Sinai (the temple) to see God.  There was a sanctification process that prepared them for that event.

In Exodus 19, Moses laid the covenant before the elders of Israel and they agreed that they would keep the covenant (verse 8).  And the LORD commanded Moses to sanctify the people (verse 10 and 14), and the priests sanctified themselves (verse 22) in preparation for them to go up into the presence of the LORD.   And in Chapter 24, Moses again presented the covenant before the people, and they made offerings and sprinkled blood on the alter, and again the people said they would obey the covenant (verse 7).  And then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up and "saw the God of Israel" (verses 9-11). 

And when Jesus came and brought the new covenant, it was a forward shift, in that it restored much of what was being offered to Israel in the beginning.  But it is more than that, because Jesus was the final sacrifice for sin, and he "perfected for ever them that are sanctified", and therefore we can have "boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus", as it says in Hebrews 10:14-23:

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Heb 10:14  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Heb 10:15  Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
Heb 10:16  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
Heb 10:17  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb 10:18  Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Heb 10:19  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Heb 10:20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
Heb 10:21  And having an high priest over the house of God;
Heb 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Heb 10:23  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

This is how someone can be "worthy" to enter the temple.  All of the elements of Israel's preparation are outlined in those verses above, and they are provided to those who are sanctified, in Christ and his atonement. 

And the apostle Paul admonished Christians to walk "worthy" of the Lord unto all pleasing, in Colossians 1:9-10:

"For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God"

36 minutes ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Specifically, is being temple worthy an indication of being in a state of grace for Latter-day Saints?

Yes, definitely.

36 minutes ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Is being temple worthy something that is a matter of a Latter-day Saints' obedience to commandments/performance of works?

Being truly "worthy" to enter can only come through the grace of Christ, through faith in Christ and repentance. 

If you look over the temple recommend interview questions here, you'll notice that at least five of the fifteen questions are entirely faith based, and some have to do with repentance and other preparation, but there are other questions that ask if you are obeying specific commandments.  And if you look at those commandments you'll realize that many people may not have kept some of those commandments their entire lives.  So obviously, the past commission of sin would rule out the idea that it is the performance of works that makes one worthy to enter.  But past sins can be forgiven, and if the individual has repented and is striving to keep their covenants and is currently obeying those commandments, then they are considered worthy to enter.

37 minutes ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I'm having thoughts about the Epistle to the Hebrews' warning against relapsing into OT worship, and at the same time am thinking about Paul's teaching in 1 Cor. 3 that the church is the temple of God.

I see the Epistle to the Hebrews pointing toward future temple worship, by having "boldness" to enter in to the holiest place (as described above).  The statements by Paul that "ye are the temple of God" in 1 Corinthians 3 are both of the individual and of the church collectively.  It is for the individual (as it is clarified in 1 Corinthians 6:15-20) and for the church (as it is said in Ephesians 2:19-22).  But Paul, making the analogy of the temple of God in those verses does not replace the use of an actual temple, or otherwise there wouldn't be the specific references to the temple in the book of Revelation, for example.

5 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

The tabernacle and Old Testament temples had some variation over time, but that's not really the main point here. Maybe we can have a discussion another time as pertains to the arrangement of temple artifacts, the singularity of the temple, and so on.

I think the biggest variation is the change in approach from the way it was done prior to Israel breaking their covenant in Exodus 32 compared to what happened after that point, as I explained above.  God wants all of his people to have access to the temple (the Holy Mountain).  

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8 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Specifically, is being temple worthy an indication of being in a state of grace for Latter-day Saints?

In a sense, yes. One must be able to tell your "confessor" (bishop) that you are temple worthy before both him and God.  Lying to God is not advisable, since He knows the truth anyway.

Google "LDS temple recommend questions" for a list.

Just being in the temple brings with it a desire to improve.  So yes we approach as sinners, but in enough of a state of grace to learn more how to improve 

So it's kind of both sides of being somewhat righteous at the moment, but desiring to become better.

That aspect is not unlike going to confession before communion, even without mortal sin. One wants to be the best one can, before coming to the presence of the Lord

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5 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

In a sense, yes. One must be able to tell your "confessor" (bishop) that you are temple worthy before both him and God.  Lying to God is not advisable, since He knows the truth anyway.

Google "LDS temple recommend questions" for a list.

Just being in the temple brings with it a desire to improve.  So yes we approach as sinners, but in enough of a state of grace to learn more how to improve 

So it's kind of both sides of being somewhat righteous at the moment, but desiring to become better.

That aspect is not unlike going to confession before communion, even without mortal sin. One wants to be the best one can, before coming to the presence of the Lord

I was hoping you would respond to his question given your familiarity with Catholicism.  I'm pretty sure I was overthinking his question, and you are much more succinct :) 

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38 minutes ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

When a prophet dies, are that prophet's teachings less authoritative than are the teachings of the current prophet?

Officially? Yes. And perhaps the best way to illustrate this is that you will see the LDS Church and its leadership occasionally correct the teachings of past prophets - but never the current prophet.

Practically though, many people tend to hold on to their gospel hobbies. This means that if their closely held theologies or biases were supported by past prophets but not the current one, they tend to privilege the prophets of the past. And we see this through history. The one that has perhaps gotten the most airtime in the last two hundred years was the decision to abandon polygamy - leading to a bunch of splinter groups holding to prophetic teachings of the past over prophetic teachings of the present.

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I have my own FF question…what is the issue of eternal submission of the Son to the Father?  As I am reading a few articles discussing the controversy of this belief gaining in popularity, it appears to be heretical that there is an eternal hierarchy of authority of the Father over the Son. Have I misunderstood the belief (gotten it backwards maybe) and if so, what is the actual belief and if I haven’t, why is this such an issue?

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6 hours ago, Calm said:

I have my own FF question…what is the issue of eternal submission of the Son to the Father?  As I am reading a few articles discussing the controversy of this belief gaining in popularity, it appears to be heretical that there is an eternal hierarchy of authority of the Father over the Son. Have I misunderstood the belief (gotten it backwards maybe) and if so, what is the actual belief and if I haven’t, why is this such an issue?

I have not heard anything of this, apparently a Utah thing? You are speaking I presume of LDS folks?

Some references would help me at least

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8 hours ago, Calm said:

I have my own FF question…what is the issue of eternal submission of the Son to the Father?  As I am reading a few articles discussing the controversy of this belief gaining in popularity, it appears to be heretical that there is an eternal hierarchy of authority of the Father over the Son.

Echoing @mfbukowski. I'll assume you're asking about Trinitarian beliefs. My take is that Eternal Submission reflects the eternal sameness of the Trinity; it seems to be in line with Trinitarianism as a whole.

 

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3 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I have not heard anything of this, apparently a Utah thing? You are speaking I presume of LDS folks?

Some references would help me at least

No, Trinitarian beliefs…Will get the article that confused me.

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12 hours ago, Calm said:

I have my own FF question…what is the issue of eternal submission of the Son to the Father?  As I am reading a few articles discussing the controversy of this belief gaining in popularity, it appears to be heretical that there is an eternal hierarchy of authority of the Father over the Son. Have I misunderstood the belief (gotten it backwards maybe) and if so, what is the actual belief and if I haven’t, why is this such an issue?

"We all live in eternal submission
Eternal submission, eternal submission
We all live in eternal submission
Eternal submission, eternal submission

"… And our friends are all aboard
Many more of them live next door
And the band begins to play."

image.png.f2fd74940ecb006ae78c255fbc315cdc.png

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15 hours ago, Calm said:

I have my own FF question…what is the issue of eternal submission of the Son to the Father?  As I am reading a few articles discussing the controversy of this belief gaining in popularity, it appears to be heretical that there is an eternal hierarchy of authority of the Father over the Son. Have I misunderstood the belief (gotten it backwards maybe) and if so, what is the actual belief and if I haven’t, why is this such an issue?

 

5 hours ago, Calm said:

No, Trinitarian beliefs…Will get the article that confused me.

Calm, hi

Those articles might help. I will wait to see. For now, it doesn't sound like any kind of credible Catholic controversy to me. I do not know how a Catholic that understands Christ's submission to His Father in heaven, or even His human parents on earth could think these relationships are ever dissolved.

This is part of why Catholics hold that Mary now has such influence in Heaven. As Mother of God, while still a creature and inferior in that respect, there is a relationship in heaven between her and her Son that makes Him obedient. It was like that here below too. Remember the wedding feast at Cana? Jesus had a mild objection to Mary's implied request for a miracle about the wine. He reminds her that "my time has not come". She gets some servants to come by and tells them "Do whatever He tells you" (always good advice). And heh. Jesus does what she "told" Him, and changes the water into wine.

Also Jesus tells His disciples that if they loved Him, they would be glad that He was returning to be with the Father, "for the Father is greater than I." Some have mistakenly understood this to mean that though Jesus was God's Son, it was in some inferior sense. Unlike all biological offspring with which we are familiar, where creatures reproduce "after their kind", are we to think that when God the Father and God the Son reveal their relationship, that the Son is not "after the kind" of the Father? That would be as much confusion as revelation! The sense in which the Father is eternally greater has to do with their relationship, not superiority of being.

Neither the President, nor the Pope, nor any parent is a greater kind of being than any of those fellow human beings over whom they have some authority. Authority is seldom about who is the greater being, but who has attained or been appointed to the higher office. I hold that this is the Catholic sense in which the Father is greater than the Son, and that Jesus is stating to His disciples as an eternal truth. However one understands the Godhead, it would not seem like the Son could at some point need to proclaim that the Father is no longer "greater".

(It is late, I hope all who are interested will be able to find the biblical references that for sake of time I have failed to provide. I would be happy to do that later upon request.)

Edited by 3DOP
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2 minutes ago, 3DOP said:

 

Calm, hi

Those articles might help. I will wait to see. For now, it doesn't sound like any kind of credible Catholic controversy to me. I do not know how a Catholic that understands Christ's submission to His Father in heaven, or even His human parents on earth could think these relationships are ever dissolved.

This is part of why Catholics hold that Mary now has such influence in Heaven. As Mother of God, while still a creature and inferior in that respect, there is a relationship in heaven between her and her Son that makes Him obedient. It was like that here below too. Remember the wedding feast at Cana? Jesus made an objection to Mary's implied request for a miracle about the wine. He objects, because "my time has not come". She gets some servants to come by and tells them "Do whatever He tells you" (always good advice). And heh. Jesus does what she "told" Him, and changes the water into wine.

Also Jesus tells His disciples that if they loved Him, they would be glad that He was returning to be with the Father, "for the Father is greater than I." Some have mistakenly understood this to mean that though Jesus was God's Son, it was in some inferior sense. Unlike all biological offspring with which we are familiar, where creatures reproduce "after their kind", are we to think that when God the Father and God the Son reveal their relationship, that the Son is not "after the kind" of the Father? That would be as much confusion as revelation! The sense in which the Father is eternally greater has to do with their relationship, not superiority of being.

It is not because the President, or the Pope, or any parent is a greater kind of being than any of those over whom they have some authority. Authority is seldom about who is the greater being, but who has attained or been appointed to the higher office. I hold that this is the Catholic sense in which the Father is greater than the Son, and that Jesus is stating to His disciples as an eternal truth. However one understands the Godhead, it would not seem like the Son could at some point need to proclaim that the Father is no longer "greater".

(It is late, I hope all who are interested will be able to find the biblical references that for sake of time I have failed to provide. I would be happy to do that later upon request.)

 

I am also interested in this topic and what it means to Catholics, because it is one that has always puzzled me.  I think it's fair to conclude that Jesus is not inferior to his Father in the sense of his nature (as a biological son would not be inferior to his natural father), but I think the question is whether or not Jesus is eternally subject or subordinate to his Father, or even whether or not God the Father is the very God of Jesus Christ.  The topic of subordinationism probably has been negatively influenced by the Arian Controversy, but I would say, based on things I have read in the early Christian Fathers, that all of the orthodox theologians prior to the Arian Controversy were subordinationists.  And I think the Bible makes it clear that Jesus is eternally subject to the Father.  And that's why it is a question that has puzzled me.  So I hope to see more on this topic at some point. 

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19 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

I think it's fair to conclude that Jesus is not inferior to his Father in the sense of his nature (as a biological son would not be inferior to his natural father), but I think the question is whether or not Jesus is eternally subject or subordinate to his Father, or even whether or not God the Father is the very God of Jesus Christ. 

One of the Church's best lessons is that leadership is just another job - and that hierarchy alone might define one's responsibility but never one's value.

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1 hour ago, 3DOP said:

Those articles might help. I will wait to see. For now, it doesn't sound like any kind of credible Catholic controversy to me. I do not know how a Catholic that understands Christ's submission to His Father in heaven, or even His human parents on earth could think these relationships are ever dissolved.

I agree, and even from an LDS point of view.

"Self Determination" is voluntarily taking upon oneself a law which one sees as necessary for the greater good of all.

In the USA, we drive on the right side of the road to avoid total chaos by each person picking their own side.

I see no problem with Christ pledging to voluntarily honor his father as "his leader".

Considering the three are one Being and mind, and presumably don't argue a lot ;), what's the difference anyway?

As a respectful son, I'd accept a "boss" with whom I will always agree, every day of the week !

;)

 

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I got onto the train from a link provided by Nehor, iirc, about another heretic belief:

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2022/september-web-only/heresy-theology-bible-literacy-rise-evangelical-heretic.html
 

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To recap, the survey showed that evangelical respondents expressed a confusing and sometimes incoherent mix of beliefs. Most affirmed the Trinity, but 73 percent at least partially agreed with the statement that “Jesus was the first and greatest being created by God the Father,” which is, of course, the teaching of the heretic Arius…

I understand that Jesus being created is heretical, but not sure about what the problem is with subordination (which is mentioned in the additional articles).
 

 I read these links that article provided for additional info and got really confused. 
https://www.reformation21.org/blogs/the-eternal-subordination-of-t.php
 

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Goligher's posts sharply criticized advocates of the eternal subordination of the Son position (hereafter ESS) for projecting the subordination of the Son to the Father within the work of redemption (the economic Trinity) back into the inner life of God (the immanent Trinity). Within his posts, he accuses those who teach the eternal subordination of the Son of 'reinventing the doctrine of God' and 'doing great dishonor to Christ.'   
 
The eternal subordination of the Son has been a popular doctrine in certain complementarian contexts, being used either to ground the submission of women and authority of men in the life of the Trinity, or, perhaps more commonly, to defend such a position against the charge that naturally hierarchical relations are necessarily oppressive by means of a weak analogy. Goligher implies that, in order to advance a legalistic account of gender roles, a certain group of complementarians are wittingly yet surreptitiously moving the Church away from the historic form of its Trinitarian faith. He concludes:   
 
Before we jettison the classical, catholic, orthodox and reformed understanding of God as He is we need to carefully weigh what is at stake - our own and our hearers' eternal destiny.   
 
Carl Trueman soon joined his voice to Goligher's. In both Trueman and Goligher's pieces, the controversy is framed as one between different forms of complementarianism.  Given these initial salvoes, it is unsurprising that the ensuing controversy has been a fraught and occasionally quite an unedifying one. In Goligher's posts, the stakes of the discussion were ramped up from the outset, suggesting conscious divergence from historic Trinitarian orthodoxy on the part of complementation ESS advocates.   

 

https://www.dennyburk.com/a-brief-response-to-trueman-and-goligher/

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Recently, Carl Trueman and Liam Goligher have published a series of very serious accusations against those who affirm an eternal relation of authority and submission among the Trinitarian persons. Goligher in particular says that the view is heresy and idolatry. He identifies Wayne Grudem by name as guilty of this supposed error, but of course the accusation implicates Bruce Ware and a host of others who hold to this view as well.

I am guessing at the meaning because I am not sure about the meaning of their basic conflicting premises of the relationship between Father and Son, I think I am missing nuance.

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Calm said:

I think I am missing nuance.

That's charitable! ;)

 

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On 10/27/2022 at 6:06 AM, Calm said:

I have my own FF question…what is the issue of eternal submission of the Son to the Father?  As I am reading a few articles discussing the controversy of this belief gaining in popularity, it appears to be heretical that there is an eternal hierarchy of authority of the Father over the Son. Have I misunderstood the belief (gotten it backwards maybe) and if so, what is the actual belief and if I haven’t, why is this such an issue?

Thanks, as always. for asking. I enjoy the conversations all of us have in this thread, and know that questions around the Trinity are probably in abundance.

There is, as you might imagine, an abundance of thought on this topic. Athanasias, Aquinas, and Bonaventure (!), all had things to say on this, and it intersects topics taken up at multiple Councils. I'll see if I can pull together a thought or two that are reasonably succinct. 

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On 10/27/2022 at 6:06 AM, Calm said:

I have my own FF question…what is the issue of eternal submission of the Son to the Father?  As I am reading a few articles discussing the controversy of this belief gaining in popularity, it appears to be heretical that there is an eternal hierarchy of authority of the Father over the Son. Have I misunderstood the belief (gotten it backwards maybe) and if so, what is the actual belief and if I haven’t, why is this such an issue?

3DOP had some good things to say, and I'll see if I can share my understanding. One of the difficulties I've discovered when discussing theology with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that it's rare when LDS and Catholics are using the same words with the same, or even sufficiently similar, meanings. I'll try to avoid speaking the Catholic dialect of Trinitarian-ese, and at least will explain what I'm getting at in 'shared language' as much as I can.

Interestingly enough, the conversations around eternal submission are rooted in the Church's challenges leading up to the Council of Nicaea. I say 'interestingly,' because the conversations between Trinitarians and LDS remind me of the pre-Nicene struggles. If we imagine ourselves to be in a pre-Nicene world, maybe we can see one another as proto-Christians or possible Christians, instead of through less helpful terms. This imagined perspective, a way of bracketing a conversation, may be especially useful in dialogue between LDS and Catholics, because, unless I am mistaken, both groups believe that Peter had the keys. That means that we can have some agreement on a starting point, even if Catholics believe in a continuation of apostolic authority and LDS believe that Peter returned in a heavenly visitation and gave his keys to Joseph Smith. 

So, if we imagine ourselves in a pre-Nicene world, the Arians posit a Son that is eternally submissive to the Father because, in Arian thinking, 1) The Son is a creature, i.e., "there was a time when the Son was not" (a famous Arian saying), and therefore 2) The Son is not Eternal, 3) The Son cannot be of the same Divine Nature as the Father (because the Son was created by the Father), and 4) The Son must be submissive to the Divine Will of the Father.

The perspective championed by Athanasias, and that the pre-Nicenes who agree with him see as having proceeded from Christ and the apostles, and through the Holy Spirit, is that there is one Divine Nature (Trinitarians will also use 'Being' and 'substance' to refer to God's Divine Nature, or the "what" of God) of three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (with 'Persons' referring to the "who" of God).

The argument between the Arian and Athanasian perspectives is concerning what theologians call the 'economy' of God, or the relations between the Persons of God.

The perspective championed by Athanasias sees the relations between God to be processional, that is, that the Son eternally proceeds from the Father and the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and from the Son (and to Peter and the Church, btw. Also, filioque alert, for Eastern Orthodox folks). However, and this is a central idea, just because the Son eternally proceeds from the Father--is 'sent' by the Father, only says and does what he has seen the Father say and do--and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son to the Church--the Son and the Holy Spirit proceed to us by the Divine Will, which is as much theirs as it is the Father's. So, in the Athanasian perspective there is no eternal submission of the Son to the Father. We can discuss Christ's Human Nature and its implications if we need to--I believe this is what 3DOP is getting at in his comments concerning submission.

This processional idea is very, very deep in Trinitarian theology, and for Catholics, in cosmology (procession is interwoven into the fabric of the Nicene Creed--"God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God," into the Mass, into devotional practices; it's eternal in another sense). In this perspective, the Persons fully possess the Divine Nature and Divine Will, and they do not share it. Moreover, and perhaps this is all I should have written, this processional idea clarifies that "The Son has nothing that he has not received from the Father, and that the Father has nothing he has not given to the Son. The One has the Divine Nature as unreceived; the other as received: but each has It in Its totality, and there is no shadow of inequality between them." (Sheed, Theology and Sanity, 1947, 115).

 

 

 

Edited by Saint Bonaventure
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4 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

3DOP had some good things to say, and I'll see if I can share my understanding. One of the difficulties I've discovered when discussing theology with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that it's rare when LDS and Catholics are using the same words with the same, or even sufficiently similar, meanings. I'll try to avoid speaking the Catholic dialect of Trinitarian-ese, and at least will explain what I'm getting at in 'shared language' as much as I can.

Interestingly enough, the conversations around eternal submission are rooted in the Church's challenges leading up to the Council of Nicaea. I say 'interestingly,' because the conversations between Trinitarians and LDS remind me of the pre-Nicene struggles. If we imagine ourselves to be in a pre-Nicene world, maybe we can see one another as proto-Christians or possible Christians, instead of through less helpful terms. This imagined perspective, a way of bracketing a conversation, may be especially useful in dialogue between LDS and Catholics, because, unless I am mistaken, both groups believe that Peter had the keys. That means that we can have some agreement on a starting point, even if Catholics believe in a continuation of apostolic authority and LDS believe that Peter returned in a heavenly visitation and gave his keys to Joseph Smith. 

So, if we imagine ourselves in a pre-Nicene world, the Arians posit a Son that is eternally submissive to the Father because, in Arian thinking, 1) The Son is a creature, i.e., "there was a time when the Son was not" (a famous Arian saying), and therefore 2) The Son is not Eternal, 3) The Son cannot be of the same Divine Nature as the Father (because the Son was created by the Father), and 4) The Son must be submissive to the Divine Will of the Father.

The perspective championed by Athanasias, and that the pre-Nicenes who agree with him see as having proceeded from Christ and the apostles, and through the Holy Spirit, is that there is one Divine Nature (Trinitarians will also use 'Being' and 'substance' to refer to God's Divine Nature, or the "what" of God) of three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (with 'Persons' referring to the "who" of God).

The argument between the Arian and Athanasian perspectives is concerning what theologians call the 'economy' of God, or the relations between the Persons of God.

The perspective championed by Athanasias sees the relations between God to be processional, that is, that the Son eternally proceeds from the Father and the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and from the Son (and to Peter and the Church, btw. Also, filioque alert, for Eastern Orthodox folks). However, and this is a central idea, just because the Son eternally proceeds from the Father--is 'sent' by the Father, only says and does what he has seen the Father say and do--and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son to the Church--the Son and the Holy Spirit proceed to us by the Divine Will, which is as much theirs as it is the Father's. So, in the Athanasian perspective there is no eternal submission of the Son to the Father. We can discuss Christ's Human Nature and its implications if we need to--I believe this is what 3DOP is getting at in his comments concerning submission.

This processional idea is very, very deep in Trinitarian theology, and for Catholics, in cosmology (procession is interwoven into the fabric of the Nicene Creed--"God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God," into the Mass, into devotional practices; it's eternal in another sense). In this perspective, the Persons fully possess the Divine Nature and Divine Will, and they do not share it. Moreover, and perhaps this is all I should have written, this processional idea clarifies that "The Son has nothing that he has not received from the Father, and that the Father has nothing he has not given to the Son. The One has the Divine Nature as unreceived; the other as received: but each has It in Its totality, and there is no shadow of inequality between them." (Sheed, Theology and Sanity, 1947, 115).

 

 

 

I think you are right that the problem is cultural language; we rarely use the word "nature" as in "the nature of God", "substance" is never used, "proceed" has no theological meaning to us. We have no distinction between created and uncreated.

I think that Origen was on the border, as I recall, between what we might consider to be the "apostasy", he kind of straddles the line.

Plotinus and later, imo, confirms the split.

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42 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I think that Origen was on the border, as I recall, between what we might consider to be the "apostasy", he kind of straddles the line

This quote from Origen (<--in the link) would probably fall into that category.

But whether that type of doctrine is "apostasy" would depend on if you are looking back at what he wrote based on doctrinal shifts made later on, or if you were examining his doctrines as one of his contemporaries.  I pointed this out once before, but Origen was working on his commentary on St. John (the source in the link I made above) when he was under examination by two councils because of his ordination to the priesthood, which was disputed by Demetrius.  And during that time it was said (according to the Catholic Encyclopedia article:  Origen and Origenism), "St. Jerome declares expressly that he was not condemned on a point of doctrine":

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Towards 218, it would appear, the empress Mammaea, mother of Alexander Severus, brought him to Antioch (VI, xxi). Finally, at a much later period, under Pontian of Rome and Zebinus of Antioch (Eusebius, VI, xxiii), he journeyed into Greece, passing through Caesarea where Theoctistus, Bishop of that city, assisted by Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem, raised him to the priesthood. Demetrius, although he had given letters of recommendation to Origen, was very much offended by this ordination, which had taken place without his knowledge and, as he thought, in derogation of his rights. If Eusebius (VI, viii) is to be believed, he was envious of the increasing influence of his catechist. So, on his return to Alexandria, Origen soon perceived that his bishop was rather unfriendly towards him. He yielded to the storm and quitted Egypt (231). The details of this affair were recorded by Eusebius in the lost second book of the "Apology for Origen"; according to Photius, who had read the work, two councils were held at Alexandria, one of which pronounced a decree of banishment against Origen while the other deposed him from the priesthood (Biblioth. cod. 118). St. Jerome declares expressly that he was not condemned on a point of doctrine.

Origen at Caesarea (232)

Expelled from Alexandria, Origen fixed his abode at Caesarea in Palestine (232), with his protector and friend Theoctistus, founded a new school there, and resumed his "Commentary on St. John" at the point where it had been interrupted.

So apparently his teachings weren't considered "apostasy" at that particular time.

Edited by InCognitus
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I am rephrasing to confirm whether I get it or not.

Those who believe Christ is eternally submissive (Arians) see it as Christ having to submit.  It is not a choice of his to submit because it is an inherent part of his nature as the Son is a created and therefore inferior person (being?).

Athanasius and his followers see Christ as fully equal by nature since he has the same nature, but Christ has also chosen to submit as the Son to the authority of the Father even though it is probably more of a symbolic relationship in the sense that as they have the same nature and will, the Son makes the same choices as the Father anyway.

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Going a slightly different direction, so different post…

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4) The Son must be submissive to the Divine Will of the Father.

Is humanity defined as eternally submissive even though by sinning they rebel?  If so, how are they so defined (perhaps because in the end God damns or saves us and we must submit to that eventually eternal state whether we want to or not)?
 

And if humanity is not defined as eternally submissive, why must the Son be?

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On 10/29/2022 at 10:19 AM, Saint Bonaventure said:

3DOP had some good things to say, and I'll see if I can share my understanding. One of the difficulties I've discovered when discussing theology with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that it's rare when LDS and Catholics are using the same words with the same, or even sufficiently similar, meanings. I'll try to avoid speaking the Catholic dialect of Trinitarian-ese, and at least will explain what I'm getting at in 'shared language' as much as I can.

Interestingly enough, the conversations around eternal submission are rooted in the Church's challenges leading up to the Council of Nicaea. I say 'interestingly,' because the conversations between Trinitarians and LDS remind me of the pre-Nicene struggles. If we imagine ourselves to be in a pre-Nicene world, maybe we can see one another as proto-Christians or possible Christians, instead of through less helpful terms. This imagined perspective, a way of bracketing a conversation, may be especially useful in dialogue between LDS and Catholics, because, unless I am mistaken, both groups believe that Peter had the keys. That means that we can have some agreement on a starting point, even if Catholics believe in a continuation of apostolic authority and LDS believe that Peter returned in a heavenly visitation and gave his keys to Joseph Smith. 

So, if we imagine ourselves in a pre-Nicene world, the Arians posit a Son that is eternally submissive to the Father because, in Arian thinking, 1) The Son is a creature, i.e., "there was a time when the Son was not" (a famous Arian saying), and therefore 2) The Son is not Eternal, 3) The Son cannot be of the same Divine Nature as the Father (because the Son was created by the Father), and 4) The Son must be submissive to the Divine Will of the Father.

The perspective championed by Athanasias, and that the pre-Nicenes who agree with him see as having proceeded from Christ and the apostles, and through the Holy Spirit, is that there is one Divine Nature (Trinitarians will also use 'Being' and 'substance' to refer to God's Divine Nature, or the "what" of God) of three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (with 'Persons' referring to the "who" of God).

The argument between the Arian and Athanasian perspectives is concerning what theologians call the 'economy' of God, or the relations between the Persons of God.

The perspective championed by Athanasias sees the relations between God to be processional, that is, that the Son eternally proceeds from the Father and the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and from the Son (and to Peter and the Church, btw. Also, filioque alert, for Eastern Orthodox folks). However, and this is a central idea, just because the Son eternally proceeds from the Father--is 'sent' by the Father, only says and does what he has seen the Father say and do--and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and from the Son to the Church--the Son and the Holy Spirit proceed to us by the Divine Will, which is as much theirs as it is the Father's. So, in the Athanasian perspective there is no eternal submission of the Son to the Father. We can discuss Christ's Human Nature and its implications if we need to--I believe this is what 3DOP is getting at in his comments concerning submission.

This processional idea is very, very deep in Trinitarian theology, and for Catholics, in cosmology (procession is interwoven into the fabric of the Nicene Creed--"God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God," into the Mass, into devotional practices; it's eternal in another sense). In this perspective, the Persons fully possess the Divine Nature and Divine Will, and they do not share it. Moreover, and perhaps this is all I should have written, this processional idea clarifies that "The Son has nothing that he has not received from the Father, and that the Father has nothing he has not given to the Son. The One has the Divine Nature as unreceived; the other as received: but each has It in Its totality, and there is no shadow of inequality between them." (Sheed, Theology and Sanity, 1947, 115).

St Bonaventure, hi.

Very well explained. I need to back away from something I should not have said up above. I should not have been so dogmatic. I think Catholics can disagree on this question, and remain firmly with St. Athanasius and the rest of the post Nicene Church Fathers. My position is that when Christ declares that the "Father is greater than I", He is giving us an eternal truth. It was true before and after the Incarnation. This is why I believe in the eternal subordination of the Son.

It is of grave importance that we learn that the Maker of Heaven and Earth, God the Son, co-equal with the Father in every way except that as Sheed explains, the Father has the divine nature unreceived, while the Son has the same divine nature received. But I fear that if we deny the Son is eternally subordinate, we will miss another important truth that the Son came to teach. This would be regarding the harmonious hierarchy within the Godhead. Equality of nature? Yes and it is defined. Equality of relationship? I think the answer is in the negative, but the implication of it is undefined by the Church. Harmonious obedience is necessary to every just hierarchy. Many of our frustrations regarding obedience to authority can be reduced by reflecting on the fact that the Son seemed to relish His subordinate position to the Father. When somebody asked if the Lord had eaten anything, Jesus replied, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me." His meat? It was nourishment to His soul to "do the will of Him that sent me."  

 There is a text from St. Paul which points to the harmonious hierarchy which should exist among equals in nature who are have unequal relationships:

"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (I Cor. 11:3)

But I will stop there, feeling pretty certain you will have a response that I will find to be at least plausible, and perhaps convincing. Many of the Fathers quote Jn 14:28 (The Father is greater...) and immediately defend his co-equality of nature while pointing to His lesser relationship to the Father. I do not know of any who answer the question we are specifically discussing about eternal subordination. I am putting forth my reasoning, being aware that we cannot allow that the Persons of the Blessed Trinity could be pictured as having separate ideas about what is good. There is only one will, but it seems that in that one will, is a desire to reveal the Three Persons to man in a way which makes them unequal as to relationship. It is made more mysterious by their One Divine Nature. Anyway, I truly look forward to any criticism you may have about "my" explanation. 

I do not know if you go to the Traditional Mass. If you do, Happy Feast Day (Christ the King)! If not, I know yours is at the end of next month, and a Blessed Lord's Day to you.

Rory     

Edited by 3DOP
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