Author Topic: St. Augustine, Love and the Holy Trinity.  (Read 146 times)

Offline Xavier

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St. Augustine, Love and the Holy Trinity.
« on: December 25, 2019, 11:55:18 AM »
This thread is to consider whether there is a legitimate consideration, from the fact that "God is Love", as St. John the Apostle teaches, to the fact that it is superior for God Almighty to be a Holy Trinity than be a mere monad. Now, the Knowledge of God as Holy Trinity as such is received through Divine Revelation, as St. Augustine says, "O Lord God, we firmly believe You are a Trinity, for Truth would never have said, "Be Baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit", unless you were a Trinity. Nor would He have commanded us to be baptized in the Name of One Who was not Lord God." But St. Augustine made an argument as to the fittingness of this Divine Dogmatic Truth.

And, from memory, it goes something like this: God is Love and is Perfect in Himself. But to be Perfect in Love, it is required there be a Person Who is Loved. And it is fitting that there is a Person Who is Love. Hence, it is fitting that, God is not a Monad, but a Holy Trinity. And it is superior for Him to be such. In the Holy Trinity, there is the Person Who Loves, i.e. the Father; the Person Who is Beloved, i.e. the Eternally Begotten Word and Son of God. And the Third Person, the Holy Ghost, the Person Who is Love, Who Proceeds from Both. For as Jesus said "The Love with which you loved Me may be in them and I in them ... you loved Me before the foundation of the world", St. Augustine says the Person Who is Love is especially predicated of the Holy Ghost, just as the Son is especially called the Beloved son. Thoughts on this consideration? Probably requires a little refinement.

But it may be useful, against Jews, Muslims, Arians, JWs etc, in showing that it is fitting that Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the One Lord God in Whose One Name we are Baptized, is a Holy Trinity.

Comments?
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Offline Daniel

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Re: St. Augustine, Love and the Holy Trinity.
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2019, 02:18:54 PM »
I don't like it. And, if used on people who don't accept the dogma of the Trinity, it sounds like question begging.

Quote from: St. Augustine
"O Lord God, we firmly believe You are a Trinity, for Truth would never have said, "Be Baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit", unless you were a Trinity. Nor would He have commanded us to be baptized in the Name of One Who was not Lord God."
God does as He wants. No man is in the position to say what God 'would' or 'would not' have commanded.
Why wouldn't God command that we be baptised in the name of some creature? Or why wouldn't He command that we be baptised in the name of one or two divine persons rather than all three? It doesn't seem to follow that God couldn't have wanted to do either of these things.
Would it have been 'unfitting' that God do either of these things? Maybe... but I'm not sure how we can ever know whether or not it's 'unfitting'... especially if you're approaching this without already having accepted the dogma of the Trinity.

And, from memory, it goes something like this: God is Love and is Perfect in Himself. But to be Perfect in Love, it is required there be a Person Who is Loved. And it is fitting that there is a Person Who is Love. Hence, it is fitting that, God is not a Monad, but a Holy Trinity. And it is superior for Him to be such. In the Holy Trinity, there is the Person Who Loves, i.e. the Father; the Person Who is Beloved, i.e. the Eternally Begotten Word and Son of God. And the Third Person, the Holy Ghost, the Person Who is Love, Who Proceeds from Both. For as Jesus said "The Love with which you loved Me may be in them and I in them ... you loved Me before the foundation of the world", St. Augustine says the Person Who is Love is especially predicated of the Holy Ghost, just as the Son is especially called the Beloved son. Thoughts on this consideration? Probably requires a little refinement.
But who says that perfect love requires that the Lover and the Belovèd be two distinct persons? Why can't one person love himself, and be loved by himself, with a perfect love?
Further, why does the Love itself need to be a person?
And why doesn't this lead to an infinite regress? (e.g. the mutual love between the Father and the Holy Ghost spirates a fourth person, and the mutual love between the Father and the fourth person spirates a fifth person, and so on)
Also, the predication seems wrong. The mapping of Lover onto the Father, Belovèd onto the Son, and Love onto the Holy Ghost seems forced. Why not just say that God is Lover, that God is Beloved, and that God is Love? (But this would not require three persons.)

Quote from: Xavier
But it may be useful, against Jews, Muslims, Arians, JWs etc, in showing that it is fitting that Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the One Lord God in Whose One Name we are Baptized, is a Holy Trinity.
While many theologians think so, I disagree. I think it's best just to acknowledge it as a mystery which we can't even begin to make sense of. A mystery that can only be believed in through faith.