Contents of the article
Voici ma carte faite pour le combo couleurs de l’été proposé par Minipouce :
Voici la carte d’anniversaire que j’ai faite pour Nathanaël qui aime beaucoup les chevaux :
Je vous montrer aujourd’hui deux cartes de condoléances parce qu’hélas il en faut parfois :
Voici ma carte faite pour le concours estival proposé par Cindy du forum Scraperlipopettes : à gagner, des tampons ! Résultats mi-septembre !
Hé oui, encore une carte inspirée de Pinterest :
J’adore ces tampons chiens et chats, merci Pipaule de me les avoir prêtés !
Aujourd’hui, encore une carte d’après une idée de Pinterest :
Voici une carte faite comme ça pour le plaisir, d’après une idée trouvée sur Pinterest Avast! Antivirus Pro Premier Internet Security 2013 v8.0.1482 Mega PackLe fond est travaillé aux encres et le reste est fait de tampons :
Je vous montre aujourd’hui la carte d’anniversaire que j’ai faite pour les cinq ans de Capucine, ma petit nièce :
Voici la carte que j’ai envoyée pour féliciter les heureux parents d’une petite fille :
Femme avec poitrine enorme et gros seins
(cliquez pour nous retrouver sur Facebook)
FABRICATION de VITRINES et COMPTOIRS
Vitrine Center est fabricant de Comptoirs, Vitrines d'exposition, Fermetures de gondoles, Kiosques et Stands depuis 1989.
Nous réalisons des vitrines d'exposition en verre et aluminium de dimensions Standards (tarifs sur demande),
ainsi que des Vitrines Sur mesure (Devis Gratuit), dans de faibles délais.
Toutes nos vitrines sont fabriquées en verre Trempé (fonds, cotés, tablettes, portes...).
Notre équipe vous accueillera dans notre salle d' Exposition sur place.
Visitez notre atelier de fabrication et de montage sur place.
Vous pouvez enlever le matériel ou nous nous occupons de la livraison, l'installation et du transport de vos vitrines.
Devis Gratuit dans la semaine.
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Qui sommes nous
Nous sommes une "TPE" de type SARL créée en 1989 et domiciliée à Aubervilliers 93.
Nous sommes spécialisés dans la fabrication de vitrines d'intérieur en verre trempé avec un encadrement aluminium.
Ou sommes nous
VITRINE Center est basée à Aubervilliers dans une petite zone industrielle accès libre dans la journée et parking disponible.
Notre adresse est: 61 Rue du Landy, Parc Valad, Bâtiment B 13, 93 300 AUBERVILLIERS: Tél: 01 43 52 60 37, e-mail: [email protected], Fax: 01 49 37 15 28.
Que fabriquons nous Notre Produit:
Nous concevons et sommes depuis 1989 fabricants de vitrine haute, vitrine basse, vitrine comptoir, vitrine murale, vitrine plate, vitrine table, vitrine de gondole, vitrine kiosque et stand modulaire, avec un encadrement en alu et du verre trempé.
Nous fabriquons des vitrines standards (voir tarif) mais aussi et surtout des vitrines sur mesure.
Nous mettons à votre disposition un site Internet et une brochure tarifée pour toutes les vitrines standards. Vous pouvez aussi télécharger une fiche devis de chaque modèle ou nous la demander soit par mail soit par téléphone.
Sur le site vitrinecenter vous pouvez, dans la l'onglet ''contact'' nous faire soit une demande de tarif soit une demande de devis avec vos dimensions et les différentes options.
Au 61 rue du Landy 93300 Aubervilliers, nous avons une salle d'exposition (show-room) au 1er étage pour présenter notre gamme de vitrines. Vous pouvez aussi visiter notre atelier et dépôt.
Pour toute vitrine sur mesure un devis ou facture pro forma sera faite avec les renseignements utiles (dimensions, couleurs, équipements, etc....). A partir de l'accord d'un devis, d'un bon de commande ou d'une commande avec le règlement partiel (acompte) ou total demandé, nous lancerons la fabrication de la ou des vitrines.
Photos et Dessins 3D:
Nous tenons à votre disposition des photos des différentes vitrines réalisées au fur et à mesure, dont une partie est visible dans l'onglet ''Sur Mesure et Réalisations'' de notre site Internet .
Nous pouvons aussi vous fournir les dessins 3D de nos modèles de vitrines standards et sur mesure et réaliser un dessin 3D de votre modèle à fabriquer.
Les 3D sont réalisés au format skp, Google SketchUp, exportés puis envoyés par mail, au format photo JPEG.
dans tous les cas, nous restons propriétaire de nos photos et dessins 3D, ceux-ci ne pouvant être utilisés qu'après demande et avec notre accord.
Qui sont nos client
Des magasins individuels ou enseignes, petites et grandes surfaces, des marques, des musées, des hôtels, des collectivités, universités ou collèges, des mairies, des agenceurs, des loueurs, des particuliers, bref, tous les gens qui veulent exposer, présenter, protéger, vendre et mettre en valeur tout objet commercial ou de collection.
Nos références client:
En page d'accueil de notre site Internet www.vitrinecenter.com,vous trouverez une liste non exhaustive de nos clients professionnels et collectivités publiques.
Comment fabriquons nous
Nous disposons d'un atelier sur place avec le stock des différents composants des vitrines. En moyenne, sans tenir compte des couleurs de l'alu et du mélaminé, une vitrine nécessite 70 composants.
L'aluminium est filé et anodisé ou peint (peinture Epoxy au four) en longueur de 6 mètres puis stocké puis débité à la demande sur place.
Le mélaminé est stocké en panneau de 2800 x 2070 mm puis débité sur place.
Les verres sont débités en usine puis passés au four de trempe. Tous nos verres sont trempés (sauf contre indication) c'est à dire sécurisés ou ''securit". Le verre trempé à pour particularité d'être plus résistant et plus souple. Ne jamais poser un verre trempé ou non, sur du carrelage ou du béton mais toujours sur un tapis ou du carton. Si le verre trempé, suite à un choc, vient à casser, il explose en mille morceaux (comme la vitre latérale de votre voiture) mais ne blesse personne gravement d'où le terme sécurisé ou ''securit''.
Conception des vitrines:
Profils verticaux en aluminium, 1/4 de rond par défaut ou carré sur demande, section 26 mm ou 32 mm.
Traverses horizontales en aluminium hauteur 32.5 mm, 46 mm ou 70 mm selon les dimensions de la vitrine, des contraintes techniques ou du souhait du client.
Connexion des éléments de la structure ou encadrement alu entre eux, avec des pinces spéciales en alu (clé allen 6 pans de 4 ou 5 mm).
Verre trempé de 4, 5, 6 ou 8 mm selon les besoins ou contraintes.
Les cotés et fond sont insérés dans des réducteurs en PVC noir pour garantir l'étanchéité. Les tablettes sont en joint polis (bord lisse) soit en 5mm, soit en 6mm, soit en 8mm d'épaisseur ou plus selon la largeur et les éventuelles contraintes ou demandes du client en rapport avec charge ou le poids des objets à présenter.
Les tablettes sont posées sur des taquets en acier avec un revêtement amovible plastique souple noir anti-dérapant, qui coulissent dans le montant vertical pour assurer un réglage au millimètre. Par défaut au montage, les tablettes seront réglées avec un intervalle identique en fonction du nombre de tablettes demandé.
Les portes coulissantes en verre sont en 5mm ou 6mm et sont montées sur un système de trains de billes en acier inoxydable, qui coulisse de chaque coté avec un différentiel d' 1 pour 2. Ce système est silencieux et facile d'utilisation et d'entretien. La serrure, fixée sur la porte, est toujours en option.
Les portes battantes en verre sont en 6mm, montées sur des charnières en acier chromé et équipées d'une serrure fixée sur le verre qui sert de poignée. Les charnières peuvent être à gauche ou à droite et la serrure peut être en bas ou en haut, selon le désir ou impératif du client.
Les dessous et dessus sont en mélaminé de 8mm.
L'éclairage de type spot halogène, spot LED ou bandeau LED est livré prêt à brancher avec, par défaut, un câble de 2 x 0.75 mm² (type lumière) de 2 mètres de longueur une prise 2P sans interrupteur.
Les vitrines sont toujours livrées sur vérins (vis de 8mm et pied en plastique noir) réglables en hauteur de 10 à 40 mm pour un réglage (mise à niveau) parfait de votre vitrine par rapport à votre sol.
Les vitrines Murales sont livrées avec 2 pattes de fixations coulissantes dans la traverse haute arrière et, pour le bas, une cornière alu satiné 20x20 mm à fixer au mur sur laquelle la vitrine sera posée.
Le délai de fabrication d'une vitrine varie en fonction du modèle et des couleurs.
De 48 heures à 10 jours pour un modèle standard et de 8 à 15 jours ouvrés pour des vitrines sur mesure. Délai moyen donné à titre indicatif mais nous savons aussi faire des ''miracles''!
Les vitrines sont montées (pas de kit) sauf les tablettes et les portes coulissantes en verre, ce que nous appelons un pré-montage en atelier. Les vitrines doubles ou à plusieurs modules sont pré-montées de la façon suivante: 1 module complet et le ou les cotés complets. Le tout prêt à être assemblé (avec 1 clé 6 pans de 4 ou 5mm). Une notice de montage de principe est jointe à la vitrine.
Les tablettes et portes sont emballées séparément dans des cartons spécifiques.
Enlèvement par vos soins:
Toutes nos vitrines peuvent être mises à disposition à notre atelier d'Aubervilliers. Prévoir le véhicule adéquate pour réaliser l'enlèvement. Notre équipe se fera un plaisir de vous aider à bien charger vos vitrines.
Les livraisons peuvent être faites par nos soins sur Paris et la région parisienne (départements 75, 92, 93, 94, 91, 77 ou 78) ou bien en France sur demande et après étude et chiffrage de notre part.
Dans le cadre d'une livraison par nos soins, nous pouvons installer la ou les vitrines entièrement avec les tablettes et les portes. Sur demande, les vitrines murales peuvent être fixées au mur (les chevilles et vis adéquates sont fournies par le client).
Nous débarrassons les films de protection et cartons d'emballage.
Les vitrines sont pré-montées sauf tablettes et portes, puis placées sur une ou plusieurs palettes en bois. La palette est filmée et cerclée.
la palette est enlevée à notre atelier par notre transporteur soit en messagerie soit en affrètement selon le poids et le volume. Puis elle sera remise à un transporteur régional ou local proche de chez vous.
Le transporteur final vous livrera la palette devant votre magasin ou domicile (camion avec hayon). Pour un transport national il faut compter 48 à 96 heures en moyenne selon la destination. Vitrine Center vous informe de la date d'enlèvement à Aubervilliers par un mail, un message téléphonique ou de type texto (sms).
une facture règlementaire et détaillée avec le taux et le montant de la TVA ainsi que le mode de règlement vous sera adressée par mail ou courrier.
Conditions générales de vente:
Pour tout autre renseignement complémentaire d'ordre législatif ou légal, veuillez vous reporter à nos conditions générales de vente ou CGV en fin de tarif ou sur le site vitrinecenter.com.
|VITRINE Murale VM 413 / à partir de 550 € HT|
| Hauteur : 130 cm Largeur : 125 cm Profondeur : 25 cm |
Vitrine Murale présentée: VM 413 - Verre trempé, Alu Naturel Satiné, Mélaminé Hêtre - 2 tablettes verre 8 mm réglables, fond mélaminé, cotés verre, dessous dessus mélaminé, portes coulissantes sur roulement à billes.
livrée avec 2 supports de fixation murale (sans vis ni cheville) pour le haut, 1 cornière 20x20 Alu Satiné pour le bas.
IMAGE 3D / NUANCIERS / ECLAIRAGE COMPLEMENTAIRE
Autres possibilités et options:
Couleur Alu et Méla (voir nuancier), nombre de tablettes, Fond Verre ou Miroir, Toit éclairant 3 spots Halogène ou LED, serrure MorphVox Pro
Dimensions Standards: DEMANDE de TARIF
Autres Dimensions: DEMANDE de DEVIS
|Vitrine VA 1105003|
| Hauteur : 181 cm Largeur : 103 cm Profondeur : 43 cm |
Aluminium : Alu Poli
Mélaminé : Gris
Ouverture par double portes battantes en façade
Vitrine Center - Vitrines et Comptoirs en verre et aluminium
This supplementary document discusses the history of Trinitytheories. Although early Christian theologians speculated in many wayson the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, no one clearly and fully assertedthe doctrine of the Trinity as explained at the top of the main entryuntil around the end of the so-called Arian Controversy. (See 3.2 belowand section 3.1 of thesupplementary document on unitarianism.) Nonetheless, proponents of such theoriesalways claim them to be in some sense founded on, or at leastillustrated by, biblical texts.
Sometimes popular antitrinitarian literature paints “the”doctrine as strongly influenced by, or even illicitly poached fromsome non-Christian religious or philosophical tradition. Divinethreesomes abound in the religious writings and art of ancient Europe,Egypt, the near east, and Asia. These include various threesomes ofmale deities, of female deities, of Father-Mother-Son groups, or ofone body with three heads, or three faces on one head (Griffiths1996). However, similarity alone doesn't prove Christian copying oreven indirect influence, and many of these examples are, because oftheir time and place, unlikely to have influenced the development ofthe Christian doctrine of the Trinity.
A direct influence on second century Christian theology is the Jewishphilosopher and theologian Philo of Alexandria (a.k.a. Philo Judaeus)(ca. 20 BCE - ca. 50 CE), the product of Alexandrian Middle Platonism(with elements of Stoicism and Pythagoreanism). Inspired bythe Timaeus of Plato, Philo read theJewish Bible as teaching that God created the cosmos by his Word(logos), the first-born son of God. Alternately, or viafurther emanation from this Word, God creates by means of his creativepower and his royal power, conceived of both as his powers, and yet asagents distinct from him, giving him, as it were, metaphysicaldistance from the material world (Philo Works; Dillon 1996,139-83; Morgan 1853, 63-148; Norton 1859, 332-74; Wolfson 1973,60-97).
Another influence may have been the Neopythagorean Middle PlatonistNumenius (fl. 150), who posited a triad of gods, calling them,alternately, “Father, creator and creature; fore-father,offspring and descendant; and Father, maker and made” (Guthrie1917, 125), or on one ancient report, Grandfather, Father, and Son(Dillon 1996, 367). Moderatus taught a similar triad somewhat earlier(Stead 1985, 583).
Justin Martyr (d. ca. 165) describes the origin ofthe logos (= the pre-human Jesus) from God using threemetaphors (light from the sun, fire from fire, speaker and hisspeech), each of which is found in either Philo or Numenius (Gaston2007, 53). Accepting the Philonic thesis that Plato and other Greekphilosophers received their wisdom from Moses, he holds that Plato inhis dialogue Timaeus discussed the Son (logos), as,Justin says, “the power next to the first God”. And inPlato's second letter, Justin finds a mention of a third, the HolySpirit (Justin, First Apology, 60). As with the MiddlePlatonists, Justin's triad is hierarchical or ordered. And Justin'sscheme is not, properly, trinitarian. The one God is not the three,but rather one of them and the primary one, the ultimate source of thesecond and third.
Justin and later second century Christians influenced by Platonismtake over a concept of divine transcendence from Platonism, in lightof which
no one with even the slightest intelligence would dare toassert that the Creator of all things left his super-celestial realmsto make himself visible in a little spot onearth. (Justin, Dialogue, 92 [ch. 60])
Consequently, any biblical theophany (appearance of a god) onearth, as well as the actual labor of creation, can't have been theaction of the highest god, God, but must instead have been done byanother one called “God” and “Lord”, namelythe logos, the pre-human Jesus, also called “the angelof the Lord”.
Another influence may have been the Neoplatonist Plotinus'(204–70 CE) triad of the One, Intellect, and Soul, in which thelatter two mysteriously emanate from the One, and “are the Oneand not the One; they are the one because they are from it; they arenot the One, because it endowed them with what they have whileremaining by itself” (Plotinus Enneads, 85). Plotinuseven describes them as three hypostases, and describes theirsameness using homoousios (Freeman 2003, 189). Augustinetells us that he and other Christian intellectuals of his day believedthat the Neoplatonists had some awareness of the persons of theTrinity (Confessions VIII.3; City X.23).
Many thinkers influential in the development of trinitarian doctrineswere steeped in the thought not only of Middle Platonism andNeoplatonism, but also the Stoics, Aristotle, and other currents inGreek philosophy (Hanson 1988, 856–869). Whether one sees thisbackground as a providentially supplied and useful tool, or as anunavoidably distorting influence, those developing the doctrine sawthemselves as trying to build a systematic Christian theology on theBible while remaining faithful to earlier post-biblicaltradition. Many also had the aim of showing Christianity to beconsistent with the best of Greek philosophy. But even if the doctrinehad a non-Christian origin, it would would not follow that it is falseor unjustified; it could be, that through Philo (or whomever), Godrevealed the doctrine to the Christian church. Still, it is contestedissue whether or not the doctrine can be deduced or otherwise inferredfrom the Christian Bible, so we must turn to it.
2. The Christian Bible
2.1 The Old Testament
No trinitarian doctrine is explicitly taught in the OldTestament. Sophisticated trinitarians grant this, holding that thedoctrine was revealed by God only later, in New Testament times(c.50–c.100) and/or in the Patristic era (c. 100–800).They usually also add, though, that with hindsight, we can see that anumber of texts either portray or forshadow the co-workingof the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
For example, in Genesis 18, Yahweh appears to Abraham as three men,and the text has often been read as though the men spoke as one, withone voice. What is this, they urge, if not an appearance of, or even atriple temporary incarnation of the three persons within God's nature(Other interpretations identify Yahweh with one of the men, the onewho stays behind while the others travel to Sodom in Genesis 19.)
In numerous other passages, many Christian readers hold, thepreincarnate Son of God is mentioned, or even appears in bodily formto do the bidding of his Father, and is (so they believe) sometimescalled the “angel of the Lord”. Some have even identifiedthe preincarnate Christ as Michael, protecting angel over Israelmentioned in the books of Daniel, Jude, and Revelation.
And in several passages, Yahweh refers to himself, or is referred tousing plural terms. Non-trinitarians usually read this as a plural ofmajesty, a form of speech which occurs in many languages, or aconversation between God and angels, while trinitarians often read thisas a conversation between the persons of the Trinity.
In sum, Christians read the Old Testament through the lens of theNew. For example, the former speaks of God asworking by his “word”, “wisdom”, or“spirit”. Some New Testament passages call JesusChrist the word and wisdom of God, and in the Gospel of John, Jesustalks about the sending of another comforter or helper, the“Holy Spirit”. Thus, some Christians claim the door wasopen to positing two divine intelligent agents in addition to“the Father”, by, through, or in whom the Father acts, oneof whom was incarnated in the man Jesus. In opposition, otherChristian readers have taken these passages to involveanthropomorphization of divine attributes, urging that Greekspeculations unfortunately encouraged the aforementionedhypostasizations.
2.2 The New Testament
The New Testament contains no explicit trinitarian doctrine. However,many Christian theologians, apologists, and philosophers hold that thedoctrine can be inferred from what the New Testament does teach aboutGod. But how may it be inferred Is the inference deductive, or is itan inference to the best explanation And is it based on what isimplicitly taught there, or on what is merely assumed there ManyChristian theologians and apologists seem to hold it is a deductiveinference.
In contrast, other Christians admit that their preferred doctrine ofthe Trinity not only (1) can't be inferred from the Bible alone, butalso (2) that there's inadequate or no evidence for it there, and even(3) that what is taught in the Bible is incompatible with the doctrine.These Christians believe the doctrine solely on the authority of laterdoctrinal pronouncements of the True Christian Church (typically oneof: the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox tradition, or themainstream of the Christian tradition, broadly understood). SomeCatholic apologists have argued that this doctrine shows the necessityof the teaching authority of the Church, this doctrine beingconstitutive of Christianity but underivable from the Bible apart fromthe Church's guidance in interpreting it. This stance is not popularamong Christians who are neither Catholic nor Eastern Orthodox. (2)would be the main sticking point, although some groups deny all three.
Many Christian apologists argue that the doctrine of the Trinity is“biblical” (i.e. either it is implicitly taught there, orit is the best explanation of what is taught there) using three sortsof arguments. They begin by claiming that the Father of Jesus Christ isthe one true God taught in the Old Testament. They then argue thatgiven what the Bible teaches about Christ and the Holy Spirit, theymust be “fully divine” as well. Thus, we must, as it were,“move them within” the nature of the one God. Therefore,there are three fully divine persons “in God”. While thismay be paradoxical, it is argued that this is what God has revealed tohumankind through the Bible.
The types of arguments employed to show the “fulldivinity” of Christ and the Holy Spirit work as follows.
- S did action A.
- For any x, if x does action A, x is fully divine.
- Therefore, S is fully divine.
E.g., A = non-culpably pronouncing the forgiveness of sins,non-culpably receiving worship, raising the dead, truly saying “BeforeAbraham was, I am”, creating the cosmos.
- The Bible applies title or description “F”to S.
- For any x, if the Bible applies title“F” to x, then x is fullydivine.
- Therefore, S is fully divine.
E.g., F = the first and the last, a god, the God, oursavior
- S has quality Q.
- For any x, if x has quality Q, then x is fully divine.
- S is fully divine.
E.g., Q = sinlessness, omniscience, the power to performmiracles, something Christians should be baptized in the name of
While such arguments are deductively valid, they suffer from acrucial ambiguity: What is meant by “fully divine” Untilthis is made clear, it isn't clear which of the trinitarian theories isbeing argued for. A person being “fully divine” might,according to various theorists, amount to being constituted by thematter-like divine nature, being identical to God, being a mind of God,being a way God relates to himself or the world, and so on. Further,the epistemic status of each argument's second premise may depend on what“divine” means.
Opponents of these sorts of argument typically give biblicalcounterexamples to the second premise (e.g., humans who arecalled “gods” but aren't divine in the relevant sense,humans who are authorized by God to forgive sins but aren't divine inthe relevant sense). In other cases, they also challenge the firstpremise (e.g., Jesus denied being omniscient, there are inadequategrounds to say that the Son of God created the cosmos).
Another form of argument runs as follows.
- Passage E is a true prophecy predicting that the God of Israel, Yahweh, will do action A.
- Passage F truly asserts that the prophecy in E was fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.
- Therefore, Jesus Christ just is the God of Israel, Yahweh.
Opponents reply that this argument is invalid; it is possible for thepremises to be true even though the conclusion is false. Even though theprediction “George W. Bush will conquer Iraq” may be saidto be fulfilled by the actions of General Smith, it doesn't followthat Smith and Bush are one and the same. Rather, Smith acted as theagent of Bush. Similarly, Yahweh acts through his servant Jesus.Another disadvantage of this argument is that even if it is sound, theconclusion is undesirable. If Jesus and God are held to be(numerically) identical, and one adds that the Father is “fullydivine” in this same sense, i.e. the Father is numericallyidentical to God, then it logically follows that Jesus just is (isnumerically identical to) the Father. And yet, according to anytrinitarian, some things are true of one that are not true of theother. This is why nearly all trinitarian theories decline to identifymore than one of the three persons with God. On the other hand, someembrace this as a mystery —something which appearscontradictory but is in fact true. (See main entry section 4.2.)
This traditional case for the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit maybe best construed not as a collection of deductive arguments, butrather as an inference to the best explanation, an attempt to inferwhat best explains all the biblical texts considered together. In thisgenre, however, alternate explanations are rarely explored in anydetail, much less shown to be inferior.
Many arguments of the above types date back to ancient times, and havebeen repeated in similar forms whenever mainstream trinitarianism hasbeen attacked (Beckwith 2007; Bowman 2007; Bowman and Komoszewski2007; George 2006; Stuart 1834; Waterland 1856a-e). A number of welldeveloped refutations of these arguments dating from the 17th to 19thcenturies have been largely forgotten by present-day theologians,philosophers, and apologists (Burnap 1845; Clarke 1978;Crellius Racovian; Crellius 1691; Emlyn 1746; Haynes 1797; Lardner 1793;Lindsey 1776, 1818; Norton 1859; Nye 1691b; Priestley 1791a-c; Wilson1846).
3. Development of Creeds
3.1 Up to 325 CE
3.1.1 The One God in the Trinity
Early Christianity was theologically diverse, although as time wenton a “catholic” movement, a bishop-led, developingorganization which, at least from the late second century, claimed tobe the true successors of Jesus' apostles, became increasinglydominant, out-competing many gnostic and quasi-Jewish groups. Still,confining our attention to what scholars now call this“catholic” or “proto-orthodox” Christianity,it contained divergent views about the Father, Son, and HolySpirit. No theologian in the first three Christian centuries was atrinitarian in the sense of a believing that the one God istripersonal, containing equally divine “persons”, Father,Son, and Holy Spirit.
The terms we translate as “Trinity”(Latin: trinitas, Greek: trias) seem to have comeinto use only in the last two decades of the second century; but suchusage doesn't reflect trinitarian belief. These late second and thirdcentury authors use such terms not to refer to the one God, but ratherto refer to the plurality of the one God, together with his Son (onWord) and his Spirit. They profess a “trinity”, triad orthreesome, but not a triune or tripersonal God. Nor did they considerthese to be equally divine. A common strategy for defending monotheismin this period is to emphasize the unique divinity of the Father. ThusOrigen (ca. 186-255),
The God and Father, who holds the universe together, issuperior to every being that exists, for he imparts to each one fromhis own existence that which each one is; the Son, being less than theFather, is superior to rational creatures alone (for he is second tothe Father); the Holy Spirit is still less, and dwells within thesaints alone. So that in this way the power of the Father is greaterthan that of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and that of the Son ismore than that of the Holy Spirit... (Origen, First, 33-4[I.3])
Many scholars call this strain of Christian theology“subordinationist”, as the Son and Spirit are always insome sense derivative of, less than, and subordinate to their source,the one God, that is, the Father. One may also call this theologyunitarian, in the sense that the one God just is the Father, and notequally the Son and Spirit, so that the one God is“unipersonal”.
While views about the Spirit remained comparatively undeveloped,and as in the New Testament the Spirit was not worshiped, in thesecond and third centuries catholic Christianity came to attribute a“a divine nature” to Jesus, and to firmly establish hisbeing called “God”. Language which had been very unusualin the first century (Harris 1992) now became the norm; Jesus was now“God” or “a god”, but not the one trueGod. (e.g. Novatian, Trinity, ch. 31; Justin First,ch. 13) This divine Son (i.e. the pre-human Jesus) was mysteriously“generated” by God either just before creation (late 2ndto early 3rd c. “logos theologians” or in timelesseternity (from Origen on).
While these developments were new, the worship of Jesus was not. Asagainst earlier theories that it developed only slowly and because ofGentile influence, recent work has shown that Jesus was worshippedalongside God in the earliest known Christianity (Hurtado 2003,2005). While the basis cited for this practice in the New Testament isGod's post-resurrection exaltation of Jesus (Hurtado 2003, 640-1), itwas now assumed that its basis was Jesus' having something divinewithin him.
An important transitional figure is the pugnacious butphilosophically sophisticated Tertullian (ca. 160-225). He was pressedon one side by catholic Christians who objected to late second centurylogos christology on which the pre-human Jesus (the“Word”, Greek: logos of John 1) was God'sinstrument of creation. They considered this scheme of two creatorsand a divine Jesus to be inconsistent with monotheism(Tertullian Praxeas, ch. 3). He was pressed on the other sideby catholics now called “monarchians” who held that thedivine element in Jesus was the Father himself. Some of these thoughtJesus to be a man empowered and indwelt by God, while others thoughtthat Jesus and the Father were one and the same - the same self andthe same god (Heine 1998). Tertullian mocked as“patripassians”, for the implication of (at least thesecond sort of view) that the Father suffered when Jesus wascrucified, something widely assumed to be impossible.
In opposition to these he asserted and developed logos christologyin a unique way. Here is a graphic illustration of Tertullian'strinity - not a triune God, but rather a triad or group of three, withGod as the founding member.
Under the influence of Stoic philosophy, Tertullian believes thatall real things are material. God is a spirit, but a spirit is amaterial thing made out of a finer sort of matter. At the beginning,God is alone, though he has his own reason within him. Then, when itis time to create, he brings the Son into existence, using but notlosing a portion of his spiritual matter. Then the Son, using aportion of the divine matter shared with him, brings into existencethe Spirit. And the two of them are God's instruments, his agents, inthe creation and governance of the cosmos.
The Son, on this theory, is not God himself, nor is he divine inthe same sense that the Father is. Rather, the Son is“divine” in that he is made of a portion of the matterthat the Father is composed of. This makes them “onesubstance” or not different as to essence. But the Son isn't thesame god as the Father, though he can, because of what he's made of,be called “God”. Nor is there any tripersonal God here,but only a tripersonal portion of matter - that smallest portionshared by all three. The one God is sharing a portion of his stuffwith another, by causing another to exist out of it, and then thisother turns around and does likewise, sharing some of this matter witha third.
Against the common believers concerned with monotheism, Tertullianargues that although the above process results in two more who can becalled “God”, it does not introduce two more gods - notgods in the sense that Yahweh is a god. There is still, as there canonly be, one ultimate source of all else, the Father. Thus, monotheismis upheld. The one God is unipersonal both at the start and the end ofthis process. Nor are the persons equally divine; Tertullian holdsthat the Son is “ignorant of the last day and hour, which isknown to the Father only.” (Tertullian, Praxeas, ch. 27;Matthew 24:36)
What is Tertullian's answer to his “monarchian”critics First, he strongly emphasizes that these are truly three;none of the three is identical to any other. They are“undivided” in the sense that the Father, in sharing someof his matter, never loses any; rather, that matter comes tosimultaneously compose more than one being. The chart above mightsuggest that this portion of matter is one thing with three parts; butit is conceived of merely as a quantity of matter. The Father is oneentity, the Son is a second, and the Spirit is a third. Nor are theyparts of any whole; the latter two simply share some of the Father'sdivine stuff. Tertullian does not argue that the three compose orotherwise are the one God. Instead, Tertullian replies that a king mayshare his one kingdom with subordinate rulers, and yet it may still beone kingdom. Likewise, God (i.e. the Father) may share the governanceof the cosmos with his Son (Praxeas, ch. 4)
Despite these fundamental differences from later orthodoxy,Tertullian is now hailed by trinitarians for his use of the term“Trinity” (Latin: trinitas) and his view that it(at the last stage) consists of three persons with a common or shared“substance”.
3.2 325–381: The Arian Controversy
It was only in response to the controversy sparked by the Alexandrianpresbyter Arius (ca. 256–336) that a critical mass of bishopsrallied around what eventually became standard language about theTrinity. This controversy was complex, and has been much illuminatedby recent historians (Ayres 2004; Freeman 2008; Hanson 1988; Pelikan1971; Rubenstein 1999; Williams 2001). It can be briefly summarized asfollows. Arius taught, in accordance with an earlier subordinationisttheological tradition, that the Son of God was a creature, made by Godfrom nothing a finite time ago. Some time around 318–21 acontroversy broke out, with Arius' teaching opposed initially by hisbishop Alexander of Alexandria (d. 326). Alexander examined andexcommunicated Arius. Numerous churchmen, adhering to subordinationisttraditions about the Son rallied to Arius' side, while others,favoring theologies holding to the eternal existence of the Son andhis (in some sense) ontological equality with the Father, joined hisopponents. The dispute threatened to split the church, and a series ofcouncils ensued, variously excommunicating and vindicating Arius andhis defenders, or their opponents. Each side successively tried to winthe favor of the then-current emperor, trying to manipulate imperialpower to crush its opposition.
From the standpoint of later catholic orthodoxy, a key episode in thisseries occurred in 325, when a council of bishops convened by theEmperor Constantine (ca. 280–337) decreed that the Father andSon were homoousios (same substance or essence). Arius andhis party were excommunicated. The intended meaning of ousiahere was far from clear, given the term's complex history and use, andthe failure of the council to disambiguate it (Stead 1994,160–72). They most likely settled on the term because it wasdisagreeable to the party siding with Arius. This new and ambiguousformula fanned the flames of controversy, as subordinationists andanti-subordinationists understood the phrase differently when signingon to it, and later argued for conflicting interpretations of it.
By the time of the council of Constantinople (381 CE), ananti-subordinationist reading, vigorously championed by Alexandrianbishop Athanasius (d. 373) had the upper hand; homoousios wasunderstood as asserting the Father and Son to not merely be similarbeings, but in some sense one being. While it stopped short of sayingthat the Holy Spirit was homoousios with the Father and Son,the council did say that the Holy Spirit “is worshiped andglorified together with the Father and the Son”, and added in aletter accompanying their creed that the three share “a singleGodhead and power and substance” (Leith 1982, 33; Tanner 1990,24, 28). Over the ensuing period the same sorts of arguments used topromote the divinity of the Son, were reapplied to the Holy Spirit,and eventually inhibitions to applying homoousios to the HolySpirit evaporated.
Athanasius and others in the prevailing party argued that thesalvation of humans requires the Son and Holy Spirit to be equallydivine with the Father. This kind of argument depends on variouscontroversial models of salvation, such as the one on which salvationinvolves the “deification” or “divinization” ofhumans, which can only be accomplished by one who is himself divine(Rusch 1980, 22–23). Despite shifting convictions about what salvationis and how God accomplishes it, this basic sort of argument remainspopular—that if Christ and/or the Holy Spirit were not in some sense“fully divine”, then humanity couldn't be saved by theiractions. (For an influential medieval argument, see Anselm Cur.)Perhaps the most currently popular such argument is that ourforgiveness by God, an infinitely valuable being, requires an atoningsacrifice of infinite value. Hence, Christ has to be fully divine, asonly a fully divine being has infinite value.
3.3 The pro-Nicene Consensus
Around the time of the very messy Council of Constantinople (Freeman2008, 91-104; Hanson 1988, 791-823), as imperial and ecclesial forcesbegan to systematically extinguish subordinationist groups in theeastern and western empires (Wiles 1996, 27–40), the kind oftrinitarianism which finally prevailed within the mainstreaminstitutions of Christianity began to gel into a recognizable form.Following Hanson (1988) and Ayres (2004) we call this the“pro-Nicene consensus”. This consensus spanned theeast-west (Greek-Latin) divide. Thus, to present this view wesummarize the accounts of two influential theorists, one from eachside of this cultural and linguistic divide: Gregory of Nyssa, andAugustine of Hippo.
3.3.1 Gregory of Nyssa
Gregory of Nyssa (ca. 335–ca. 395) is now known as one of theCappadocian Fathers, the other two being his older brother Basil ofCaesarea (ca. 329–79) and Gregory Nazianzus(329–89). These three active bishops are credited withestablishing a consistent terminology for the Trinity, namelyusing hypostasis or prosopon for what God is threeof, and ousia (along with phusis) for what God isone of. (On their lives, careers, and extant writings, see Ayres 2004and Hanson 1996.) We look briefly at Nyssa's views here, asillustrating several points about the pro-Nicene consensus.
Nyssa notoriously compares the Trinity to three human beings (NyssaAnswer, 256). Largely on this basis, he (and the otherCappadocians) have been interpreted as proto-social trinitarians (see section 2.1 of the main text), holding the three persons to be three subjects of consciousness and action,of the same kind, homoousios in the way that any twoexamples of a natural kind are, such as two humans (Plantinga 1986).However, it has been objected that the three human analogy wassuggested by his opponents; it is neither Nyssa's only nor his mainanalogy for the Trinity (Coakley 1999).
In Nyssa's letter An Answer to Ablabius: That We Should Not Thinkof Saying There are Three Gods he responds to an objection passedon by his correspondent, the younger bishop Ablabius: even thoughthree men share a single humanity, we call them “threemen”, so if Father, Son, and Holy Spirit share a singledivinity, why shouldn't we call them “three gods”(Nyssa Answer, 256–7) After a flippant answer, heargues that both ways of speaking are on a par, but they are bothincorrect; that is, both talk of many gods and of many men involve“a customary misuse of language” (257). In both cases, heargues that the general term refers to the single, common nature. Moreaccurately, he adds, the term “godhead” refers only to adivine operation of seeing or beholding, as “His nature cannotbe named and is ineffable” (259). Moreover, the Bible ascribesthis operation equally to each of the three (260). Does it not followthat there are three seers, “three gods who are beheld in thesame operation” (261) Nyssa argues that it does not.
In the case of men… since we can differentiate the action of each while they are engaged in the same task, they are rightly referred to in the plural….With regard to the divine nature, on the other hand, it is otherwise….Rather does every operation which extends from God to creation… have its origin in the Father, proceed through the Son, and reach its completion by the Holy Spirit. For the action of each in any matter is not separate and individualized. But whatever occurs… occurs through the three Persons, and is not three separate things….we cannot enumerate as three gods those who jointly, inseparably, and mutually exercise their divine power… (261–2; cf. 266, Nyssa On the Holy Trinity))
We're unable to differentiate, Nyssa thinks, any distinct works of thepersons. The word “deity” (or “Godhead”)signifies only a certain work. Therefore, we're unable to count, andshouldn't speak of three distinct deities (261-4).
A problem with Nyssa's argument is that words like“work”, “operation”, and “action”can refer to either an activity (exercise of a thing's powers) or theresult thereof. Thus, a series of plannings and drawings, etc., or theresulting building can be called what a certain architect did (or hiswork, operation, action). And one thing or event may be the result ofa great many activities by different agents, as when dozens ofconstruction workers contribute their actions to one result, such as abuilding (or the coming into existence of a building). Nyssa siezes onexamples of the actions of the Father, Son, and Spirit having a singleresult. But though their “operation” (i.e. result) is one,it doesn't follow that they or their actions are one. Moreover, Nyssaspeaks of the divine persons in the plural, and holds them todiffer. While the divine nature is “undifferentiated”, thethree persons differ causally.
To say that something [i.e. the Father] exists without generationexplains the mode of its existence. But what it is is not made evidentby the expression. (267)
Thus, while it is left unclear what the persons are, it is emphasizedthat a distinction between them hasn't been obliterated. Being aPlatonist about universals, he holds that the Three share oneuniversal nature (i.e. deity). But he is hard pressed to show why itdoesn't follow that there are three gods (264-6). In the end, his mainaim is simply to uphold the mysterious tradition passed down tohim (257; cf. Nyssa Great, ch. 1-3).
The bedrock of pro-Nicene trinitarianism is a metaphysics of God asunique, simple (lacking any sort of parts, composition, or differingintrinsic aspects), and therefore incomprehensible (we can't grasp all truthsabout God, or any truths about God's essential nature) and ineffable(such that no human concept applies literally to it). Thus as Ayresnotes,
Pro-Nicenes assume that one can draw no analogies between God and creation that will either deliver knowledge of God's essence or that can involve us in grasping clearly where and why an analogy fails. (Ayres 2004, 284)
Any analogy offered is therefore quickly supplemented by others. Itsopponents view this as obfuscation, while its proponents consider thediffering analogies to be complimentary and in some sense informative.While pro-Nicenes hold the persons to be (somehow) distinct, they showlittle interest in developing a metaphysical account of what it is tobe a divine person. In sum, the Nicene pattern of speech and thoughtabout the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is held by them to bespiritually beneficial, but it doesn't admit of clarification. Thisview is strongly mysterian (see main entry, section 3).
Augustine is arguably a one-self trinitarian. For him, the one Godis the Trinity. And this one God is almost always addressed anddescribed using personal pronouns. He is an object of our love, asmuch as our neighbors and ourselves, and he has all the features of aself described in the main entry, section 1.1. He is a simple,timeless, and perfect self, a subject of complete knowledge, whofreely creates all other things, and who exists in a truer or deeperway. The true believer can not say “that there are not threesomethings [in the Trinity], because Sabellius fell into heresy bysaying precisely that.” (Augustine, Trinity, 227[VII.3.9]; cf. City 425 [X.24], 462 [XI.10]) One must say“three persons”, but for Augustine these are not threeselves.
His mammoth On the Trinity (Latin: De Trinitate) hasbeen endlessly mined by later theologians. In it, Augustine isconcerned to defend Pro-Nicene trinitarianism against lingering“Arianism” and other heresies, confessing that this“is also my faith inasmuch as it is the Catholic faith”(70 [I.2.7]). He argues that the Bible implicitly teaches this sortof trinitarianism, on which the rest of the book is an extendedmeditation. This meditation, he concedes, fails to yield much by wayof understanding. He holds that sin has corrupted our minds, so thatwe can't understand the doctrine, which we should still hope tounderstand in the next life (230–2 [VII.4], 430 [XV.6.45], 435[XV.6.50]). At the end he confesses “among all these things thatI have said about that supreme trinity… I dare not claim thatany of them is worthy of this unimaginable mystery” (434[XV.6.50]). Indeed, near the beginning he pictures the whole book as agrudging concession to certain unnamed Christians, “talkativereason-mongers who have more conceit than capacity”, whoconclude that their teachers don't know what they are talking about,simply because those teachers are reluctant to speak of deep truths(67 [I.1]). Augustine's goal is not so much to understand the Trinityand communicate this to others, but rather to say some things thatwill deliver a small shred of understanding, which may entice thereader to pursue the experience of God (434–7[XV.6.50-1]). Because of this dim view of what humans are equipped tounderstand, much of the book is actually about how to talk about theTrinity, rather than about the Trinity itself. We may at least confessthe correct doctrine, even if only later we come to understand whatwe've been saying.
Despite this pronounced negative mysterian note (see section 3.1 of the main entry), Augustine dose seem to have a rudimentarymetaphysics of the Trinity, which he uncritically receives, and doesnot think can be significantly developed.
Augustine suggests that the standard creedal term“person” (Greek: hypostasis or prosopon;Latin: persona) is adopted simply so that something may besaid in answer to the question “What is God three of”(224–30 [VII.3], 241 [VIII.1.1], 398 [XV.1.5]) The term“person”, he thinks, signifies a genus, but it is one forwhich we can provide no species. In contrast, “divineessence” names neither a genus nor a species, and functionssomewhat like a mass-term. It is supposed to be one in the items whichshare it, and to make them, in some sense, numerically one (Cross2007).
On the Trinity is famous for what later authors call its “psychological analogies” of the Trinity. Augustine reasons that if we can't catch intellectual sight of the Trinity directly, at least we can see reflections, images, or indications of the Trinity in the created realm, above all in the highest part of human beings (the mind), who are made “in the image and likeness of God” (Augustine Trinity, 231 [VII.4.12]; Genesis 1:26). In the human mind we may encounter several “trinities”, given here in the order that they somehow correspond to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
- lover, loved object, the lover's love for that object (255 [VIII.5.13])
- the mind, its knowledge, its love (272–5 [IX.1])
- the mind's remembering itself, understanding itself, and willingitself (298–9 [X.4])
- memory, understanding, and will (374–82 [XIV.2–3)
- the mind's remembering God, understanding God, and willing God(383–92 [XIV.4–5])
- existing, knowing that one exists, loving the fact that one exists(Augustine City, 483-4 [XI.26];cf. Confessions 264-5[XIII.11])
These are taken to be “images” of the Trinity, with thefinal three being in some sense the most accurate. (He also discussesa few “trinities” or threefold processes which he doesn'thold to be images of the Trinity.) Although he apparently considersthe contemplation of these to be helpful in the pursuit of God, in thelast section (Book XV) of On the Trinity, Augustine emphasizesthat even these are “immeasurably inadequate” to representGod (428 [XV.6.43]). The main reason is that these three are activities which aperson does or faculties a person has, whereas God “justis” his memory, understanding, and will; the doctrine of divinesimplicity thus renders the mental analogies at bestminimally informative. Further, temporal processes seem ill-suited torepresent the nature of an essentially immutable God.
Augustine holds that God is simple and thus essentiallyimmutable. Words which are predicated “accidentally” ofcreatures, such as good or wise, are predicated of Godessentially. Applied to us, these words signify properties we happento possess, and which we might have not possessed, but applied to God,they all indicate the same thing, God's simple essence. What aboutterms such as “Father” and “Son” As God can'thave accidental features, these can't be predicated accidentally. ButAugustine doesn't want to say that they are essentially predicatedeither. He suggests that they are relationally predicated, that is,applied to God not because of his essence or accidents, but ratherbecause of how God is related to himself. He explores but ultimatelyrejects the idea that all true predication of God is relational (BooksV-VII). He finally holds that some terms apply equally to each of thethree divine persons, whereas certain relational terms apply primarilyto one of the three. In sum,
This Trinity is one God: it is simple even though it is aTrinity… because it is what it has, except insofar as onePerson is spoken of in relation to another. (Augustine City,462 [XI.10])
The Trinity, and also each “person” has as it were onlyone ingredient: the divine essence which is the one God. It ismysterious how extrinsic relations, the sole subject of which is thissimple entity, could make it contain three inter-related“persons”. But Augustine thinks that no what understandswhat those are anyway; the doctrine is in the end a negativemystery. See main entry, section 3 onmysterianism. See Thom 2012, ch 2 for a formal treatment ofAugustine's theory.
Most later trinitarinas interact in some way with Augustine's hugebody of work on the topic, and many consider that they are followingin his footsteps. (See sections 4.1, on Thomas Aquinas, and 4.2, on John Duns Scotus, below, and section 2.1 of the main text.) Augustine's medieval successors all reject three-self approaches to the Trinity (Cross 2012, 26-7).
Important medieval philosopher-theologians not discussed here whodevelop Augustine's trinitarianism include Boethius(ca. 480–525), Anselm of Canterbury (1033–1109) (Marenbon2003, 66–95; Mann 2004), and Peter Abelard (1079–1142)(Brower 2005; Marenbon 2007).
3.3.3 The “Athanasian” Creed
The so-called Athanasian Creed (also known by the Latin words itbegins with, as the Quicumque vult) is a widely adopted andbeloved formulation of the doctrine. It shows strongAugustinian influence, and is thought to be the product of an unknownearly 6th century writer. Contemporary philosophical discussions oftenbegin with this creed, at it puts pro-Nicene trinitarianism into amemorably short and palpably paradoxical form.
It reads, in part,
Whoever wants to be saved should above all cling to the catholic faith. Whoever does not guard it whole and inviolable will doubtless perish eternally. Now this is the catholic faith: We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being. For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is still another. But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, coeternal in majesty. What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit. Uncreated… infinite… eternal… And yet there are not three eternal beings, but one who is eternal… Almighty is the Father… And yet there are not three almighty beings, but one who is almighty. Thus the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God: And yet there are not three gods, but one God….not three lords, but one Lord. As Christian truth compels us to acknowledge each distinct person as God and Lord, so catholic religion forbids us to say that there are three gods or lords. The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten; the Son was neither made nor created, but was alone begotten of the Father; the Spirit was neither made nor created, but is proceeding from the Father and the Son. Thus there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three spirits. And in this Trinity, no one is before or after, greater or less than the other; but all three persons are in themselves, coeternal and coequal; and so we must worship the Trinity in unity and the one God in three persons. Whoever wants to be saved should think thus about the Trinity. (Anonymous Athanasian)
By the latter part, it follows by the indiscernibility of identicalsthat no person of the Trinity is identical with any other. And by theearlier part, it seems to follow that there are thus at least threeeternal (etc.) things. But it asserts there's only one eternalthing. Hence, the creed seems contradictory, and has been attacked assuch (Biddle 1691, i; Nye 1691a, 11; Priestley 1871, 321). Showingwhere the above argument for inconsistency goes wrong is a majormotivation of recent Trinity theories (see sections 1 and 2 of the main entry).In contrast, mysterians hold that it somehow goes wrong, though no onecan say quite where.(See section 3 of the main entry.) Finally, some simply reject the creed.
4. Medieval Theories
Church council decisions are treated by Catholicism and Orthodoxymuch like supreme court decisions in American jurisprudence. Whileearly rulings may be bent and twisted to meet new needs, they are atleast in theory inviolable precedents. Thus, the structure of Christianchurches ensured that these boundaries weren't violated, and theorizingabout the Trinity from around 400 CE until the Reformation (ca. 1517)was forcibly kept within the bounds of creedal orthodoxy. Thus, mostmedieval trinitarian theories are essentially elaborations on thepro-Nicene consensus in a more confident and metaphysical mode. Thatis, they adhere strictly to the creedal statements as well as writingsof their tradition's most authoritative church fathers, but are lessreticent to give fuller accounts of what the persons are and how theyare related to one another and to God or the divine essence.
There were short-lived exceptions to this conformity; periodically,allegedly tritheistic trinitarian theologies were proposed and quicklysuppressed (Erismann 2008; Pelikan 1978, 264–7; Pohle 1919, 255–63;Tavard 1997; see also the section on Tritheism in the entry on John Philoponus).
4.1 Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas sets out a highly developed and difficult trinitariantheory (Summa Contra Gentiles 4.1–26, SummaTheologiae I.27–43). God is “pure act”, that is,he has no potentialities of any kind. God is also utterly simple, withno distinct parts, properties, or actions. We may truly say, though,that God understands and wills. These divine processes are reflexiverelations which are the persons of the Trinity. The Word eternallygenerated by God is a hypostasis, what Aristotle calls afirst substance, which shares the essence of God, but which isnonetheless “relationally distinct” from God. The personsof the Trinity, as they share the divine essence, are related moreclosely than things which are merely tokens of a kind (e.g.,identical twins), but he seems to hold that none are identical toeither of the others (they are truly three). Aquinas developsAugustine's idea that the “persons” of the Trinity areindividuated by their relations. For Aquinas, the relations Paternity,Sonship, and Spirithood are real and distinct things in some sense“in” God, which “constitute and distinguish”the three persons of the Trinity (Hughes 1989, 197). The persons aredistinct per relationes (as to their relations) but notdistinct per essentiam (as to their essence or being). In thewords of one commenter,
[For Aquinas,] relations both constitute and distinguish the divine persons: insofar as relations are the divine essence (secundum res) [i.e. they're the same thing], they constitute those persons, and insofar as they are relations with converses, they distinguish those persons. (Hughes 1989, 217)
But how may these relations be, constitute, or somehow give rise tothree divine hypostaseis when each just isthe divine essence For if each is the divine essence, won't it followthat each just is (i.e. is identical to) both of the others as wellAquinas holds that it does not follow—that would amount tomodalism, not orthodox trinitarianism. To show why it doesn't follow,he distinguishes between identitas secundum rem et rationem(sameness of thing and of concepts) and mere identitas secundumrem (sameness of thing). To the preceding objection, then, Aquinassays that the alleged consequence would follow only if the persons werethe same both in thing and in concept. But they are not; they aremerely the same thing.
This move is puzzling. Aquinas holds that the three are not merelysimilar or derived from the same source, but are in somestrong sense the same, but not identical (i.e. numericallythe same) which he appears to understand as sameness in both thing andconcept. Even this last is surprising; one would think that forAquinas “sameness in thing” just is identity, and that“sameness in concept” would mean that we apply the sameconcept to some apparent things (whether or not they are in fact oneor many). Christopher Hughes holds that Aquinas is simply confused,his desire for orthodoxy having led him into this (and other)necessary falsehoods. On Hughes's reading, Aquinas does think of“sameness in thing” as identity, but he incoherently holdsit to be non-transitive (i.e. if A and B areidentical, and B and C are identical, it doesn'tfollow that A and C are identical), while in somecontexts assuming (correctly) that it is transitive (Hughes 1989,217–40).
The interpretation of Aquinas on these points is difficult. Otherrecent philosophers, more sympathetic to Aquinas' trinitarian theory,have not tried to salvage the entire theory, but have, with the help ofvarious distinctions not explicitly made by Aquinas, sought to salvagehis basic approach. This involves developing and trying to vindicatehis apparently mode-based approach to the persons (which seem to beGod's relating to himself in three ways), showing how these relationsmay in fact be substantial persons, or specifying a relation which thepersons may each bear to the divine essence which is something short of(classical, absolute) identity but much like it. (See sections 1 and 2.1 of the main entry.)
4.2 John Duns Scotus
Richard Cross argues that John Duns Scotus (1265/6–1308) has“one of the most compelling and powerfully coherent accounts ofthe Trinity ever constructed” (Cross 2005, 159).
Realists about universals hold that in addition to individual humans,there is a universal thing, or “common nature” called“humanity” (Each individual human, for example Peter, isan “instance of” this common nature, humanity. Similarly,the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three“exemplifications” of the “universal” called“divinity”.) However, divinity, unlike humanity, is not“divided in” its instances or exemplifications; that is,while three instances of humanity amount to three humans, threeexemplifications of divinity don't amount to three divine beings.Rather, each of the three exemplifications (Father, Son, and HolySpirit) is the one God. Thus, the persons are related to God somewhatas concrete things are related to the universals of which they areexamples (Cross 1999, 61–71). Indeed, the divine nature oressence is a universal, although it is also a substance(a.k.a. substantial individual, subsistent thing, thing with perse existence) (Cross 2005, 181). Further, though it is asubstance, it is also “that power in virtue of which a divineperson can produce other divine persons” (Cross 2005, 206).
How are the persons related to each other They have the divinenature in common. They are related to each other in a way somehowsimilar to two physical objects which are simultaneously made of thesame stuff or matter (this is merely an analogy—Scotus doesn'tbelieve God or any divine person to be partly composed of matter). Thepersons, as it were, partially but don't entirely“overlap”, as each is also partly composed of a uniquepersonal property, not had by the two others. Each person, in Scotus'sterms, is “essentially identical” with the divine essence,but not “formally” or “hypostatically”identical. In the same way, Peter is essentially identical withhumanity, but isn't formally identical with it, having his ownhaecceity (his own individual essence, or “thisness”) nothad by any other human. But whereas Peter and Paul are “reallydistinct”, the persons of the Trinity are not, at least if being“really distinct” implies being separable (Cross 1999, 69).Further, as Cross explicates this view, the divine nature or essence isnothing more than “the overlap of” the persons, which savesit from being some fourth divine thing in God (Cross 2005, 166).Nonetheless, it is metaphysically “prior to” the persons,in the sense of being the form in virtue of which the three relationsobtain. Moreover, this essence “immediately determines” theFather, and only through him is it determined to the Son and Spirit.This process is causal, but does not imply, Scotus holds, that the Sonand Spirit are subordinate to the Father, or that they are imperfect orless divine than he (Cross 2005, 176–80, 245–8).
The Son and Spirit are produced willingly but necessarily, the Sonbeing the divine Word as generated by God's memory, as had by theFather. The Holy Spirit is God's love for his own essence. LikeAugustine, he holds that the persons are distinguished by theirrelational properties, but he does this on the basis of churchtradition, not because he finds anything impossible in the suppositionthat the persons are distinguished by absolute (non-relational)properties. While the relational properties of paternity, sonship, andbeing spirated constitute the three persons, he denies that those aretheir only unique properties (Cross 1999, 62–7). Theseproperties are supposed to explain why the persons, unlike the divineessence, are not communicable (Cross 2005, 163).
Is it possible for anything to be related as Scotus thinks the membersof the Trinity are to the divine essence As Cross asks, “if thedivine essence is indivisible, how can it be instantiated by threedifferent persons” (Cross 1999, 68) Scotus claims that thedivine essence is “repeatable” or“communicable” without being “divisible”(Cross 1999, 68). He gives a soul-body analogy: just as theintellective soul is equally in each organ without being“divided” or composed of parts, so the divine essencerelates to the three persons. But the divine essence is the onlyuniversal, he holds, which is commmunicable in this way.
Scotus gives some perfect-being and other arguments to the effectthat there must be two and only two productions within God, and onlyone unproduced producer (the Father, not the divine nature in him).Moreover, the divine essence, being a “quiddity”(exemplifiable or communicable thing) exists in or as somenon-exemplifiable thing or suppositum, here, the person of theFather (Cross 2005, 127–52).
This theory hasn't been much discussed; few Christian thinkers past orpresent have claimed to understand it. Since the Reformation era, manytheologians and philosophers have been impatient with this sort ofconfident metaphysical speculation, preferring to dismiss it aslearned nonsense. However, Cross has painstakingly laid out itsmotivations and content. See Thom 2012, ch. 10 for formallyexplication of the theory and Paasch 2012 for critical evaluation andcomparison with other medieval theories.
5. Post-Medieval Developments
Starting in the great upheaval of the sixteenth century ProtestantReformation many Christians re-examined the New Testament and rejectedmany later developments as incompatible with apostolic doctrine,lacking adequate basis in it, and often as contrary to reason as well.Initially, many Reformation leaders de-emphasized the trinitariandoctrine, and seemed unsure whether or not to confine it to the samewaste bin as the doctrines of papal authority andtransubstantiation (Williams 2000, 459–60). In the end, though,those in what historians call the “MagisterialReformation” decisively fell in line on behalf of creedalorthodoxy (roughly in line with the pro-Nicene consensus), whileother groups, now described as the “Radical Reformation”,either downplayed it, ignored it, or denied it as inconsistent withthe Bible and reason. This led to several controversies betweencreedal trinitarians and what came to be called“unitarians” (earlier, “Socinians”) aboutbiblical interpretation, christology, and the Christian doctrine ofGod, from the mid 16th to the mid 19th centuries. (See thesupplementary documenton unitarianism.)
As history played out, the practically non-trinitarian groups andsome of the antitrinitarian groups evolved into trinitarian ones.Although unitarian and alternative views of the Trinity haverepeatedly re-emerged in various Christian and quasi-Christianmovements, the vast majority of Christians and Christian groups todayat least in theory adhere to the authority of the Constantinopolitanand “Athanasian” creeds. At the same time, theologians havelamented that many Christian groups are arguably functionallynon-trinitarian (though not antitrinitarian) or nearly so in theirpiety and preaching.
In recent theology, the Trinity has become a popular subject forspeculation, and its practical relevance for worship, marriage, genderrelations, religious experience, and politics, has been repeatedlyasserted. (See section 2.2 of the main text.) It has fallen to Christian philosophers and philosophically aware theologians to sort out what precisely the doctrine amounts to, and to defend it against charges of inconsistency and unintelligibility.
The doctrine's basis or lack of basis in the New Testament, sovehemently debated from the 16th through the 19th centuries, is notpresently a popular topic of debate. This is probably because sometheologians hold the attempt to derive the doctrine from the Bible tobe hopelessly naive, while other theologians, many Christianphilosophers and apologists accept the common arguments(see section 2.2 above)as decisive. Again, the postmodern view that there are no better orworse interpretations of texts may play a role in quenching interestamong academic theologians. Finally, it may simply be that trust inthe mainstream tradition, or in various particular Christiantraditions, currently runs high; many confess trinitarianism simplybecause their church officially does, or because it and/or themainstream tradition tells them that the Bible teaches it. Distrust ofcouncils and post-biblical religious authorities has largelyevaporated, even among Protestants from historically anti-clerical andnon-creedal groups. Ecumenical movements, and anti-sectariansentiments probably also play a role in deflecting attention from theissues, in that to many it seems perverse to attack one of the fewdoctrines on which all the main, dominant Christian groups are inagreement hotspot shield elite full
Trinity > History of Trinitarian Doctrines (Stanford .
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Trinite (christianisme) — Wikipedia
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