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Paul Helm on the Imago and Trinity

December 12, 2016

In the latest Helm’s Deep – Modern Trinitarian fads vs. Augustine, Calvin

The Trinity is used in another way as a ‘model’ of being human. Moderns have postulated what have always seemed to me to be extravagant ideas about the imago as relations between Individuals in union, mirroring the mutual indwelling of the three persons of the Godhead. A trinity-like community with others, being as the Lord of creation is tri-personal. It seems to have been forgotten that the three trinitarian persons are one substance, God himself.

To avoid this then maybe they veer towards another modern fad, understanding the Trinity as social, as three persons sharing one divine nature, three individuals of one unique kind. But (again) the trinitarian persons are persons of the numerically one God, not members of a trio of divine persons each in some sense generically divine. In any case there is a distinction between thinking of human nature as having a Trinitarian structure, which was Augustine’s view; and it consisting in one human being as having a perichoretic relationship with others.

 

 

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