Monday, July 7, 2014

Modifying Classical Theism and the Nature of the Trinity?

Today I read an article by Nate Shannon at the Reformation21 site titled Modifying Classical Theism: Chalcedonian Theology Proper and Reformed 'Tradition', which appears to be a continuation of the dialog between Drs. Scott Oliphint (here) and Paul Helm (here and here). Now, I have some thoughts of my own on the particulars of this topic as they directly relate to culture and worldview (here), but that will have to be a different post for a later time.

What caught my attention in Mr.Shannon's article was the the following assertion:
"With Vos, we say that relative to the divine essence, he is uncreated; relative to the human nature, created. The person is divine; and it is proper to worship the Son of God in the flesh, and every creature will."
This train of thought is repeat several times throughout the article and attributed to Geerhardus Vos in "Biblical Theology".

The idea that the Son of God would be referred to as created in any sense seems to slide into the Arian fallacy, which the Council of Nicaea specifically addressed centuries ago, resulting in the Nicene Creed. The second line of the Nicene Creed:

"And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made."
In addition, at the end of the statements of the original council were the "anathemas" in which was included:
"[But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable'—they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.]"
The impetus for the original Council of Nicaea was to respond to Arius, a Libyan presbyter in Alexandria, who had declared that although the Son was divine, he was also created. Based on this along with the fact that I am a huge advocate of Vos, I became very concerned. Therefore, I've assigned myself the task of searching Vos' Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments in an attempt to find the references to his statements that Jesus was created. Unfortunately, I do not have an electronic version to easily search, but if Vos held an Arian view of the Trinity as Shannon states, I'd really like to see it for myself.

No comments: