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Stock Image. Paul, "Are you saying that 'sending the son' is 'essential to the father'?

The Son is eternally submissive to the Father, though not eternally sent into the world. I don't think Ron is collapsing the difficulties of distinguishing the two, but recognizing that one cannot isolate consideration of what is "God, the Father" from what is "God, the Son" and "God, the Holy Spirit" as Scripture has revealed them each to be as the persons of the one true God.

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You said over at your blog that problems arise in the interpretation of the terms and their relations in the argument--but isn't this the case in all arguments where the terms are not defined in detail? The whole point that Ron is making is that when Scriptural premises are used to interpret the terms and relations of the argument, the appearance of contradiction is removed--thus showing that the only cause for the appearance of contradiction was in the mind of the interpreter, and not in the formulation itself.

The fact that many find an appearance of contradiction is itself not evidence of a paradox, but it can in this case be evidence that most do not approach the Trinity on the basis of Scriptural premises--which, in any construction or debate would be the first place friend or foe should go to find the definitions of the terms, since the Trinity is a Biblical doctrine.

When one approaches the debate from grounds other than those upon which it is framed, how can one avoid misinterpretation leading to the appearance of contradiction? Perhaps I am wrong, but in watching you go back and forth with Ron, it seems that you wish to use extra-biblical premises numerical identity, "is" of predication apart from the context of Biblical premises God is one in nature, three in person.

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What do you think? Hi Joshua, First, I'll point out the scope of my post.

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Ron had seemed to claim that the idea that there are any theological paradoxes was just a naive, backwoods view. I met that challenge and also claimed that my intent wasn't to deny that people hadn't tried to meet these challenges and argue the merits of the case. I take it that my post was successful in demonstrating the legitimacy of the view that some people find some doctrines paradoxical. Moreover, Ron's attempts at showing no paradox exists has only, for me at least, solidified the idea that successful resolutions of the paradox do not, at least currently, exist.

However, that is consistent with some people believing that they have resolved the paradox in an orthodox manner. Anyway, all I see from Ron is, boiled down to essentials, a resolution that looks like this: The Bible denies polytheism, the Bible affirms monotheism, the Bible affirms there exist three divine persons, and by the way here's a couple formal distinctions, ergo, no paradox. Those familiar with the literature and who appreciate the problem may be excuse for finding this underwhelming. Continued from above Your first paragraph was hard to understand just what you were claiming, but I detected at least one problem that seems to afflict some in this debate.

But maybe you can say that one angle is the triangle since they have a "ontological relationship" with the other angles and the sides especially if we suppose this triangle exists eternally. The problem is that it sure looks like the creeds are saying that the father who is numerically distinct from the son is numerically identical to God, and so is the son.

They claim the father and son are the same God. But on Ron's view, it is strictly false to claim that the person of the father is God.


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Well, asserting social trinitarianism doesn't really solve the problem for me. Your third paragraph doesn't help me because Ron has not in any sense shown that there is no problem of the trinity. Nothing he has said has relieved the tension. Now, maybe he can do so, but he hasn't here. There's quite a lot he needs to do still.

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So the prima facie apparent paradox still stands. I'm sure you believe that the person who died on the cross and achieved salvation for his people is Jesus Christ, and I'm sure you believe that "the virgin Mary's" firstborn son is Jesus Christ. The is here is the ''is of identity, and logic tells us that "the person who died for the sins of his people" is identical to "the Virgin Mary's firstborn son. When the Bible says something like "the father is God" or "Jesus is God," I'm asking if they're asserting 'identity' or 'predication' or 'constitution' or what.

Lastly, I am perplexed as to why you don't chide Ron for using terms like "ontological relationship" and "essential properties" and the like, for they are "extra biblical premises" he's bringing to bear on the discussion. Paul, Let me briefly address some of the things you wrote to Josh.