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 Post subject: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 7:58 am 
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One reason we are not polytheists is because, to be able to tell the difference between the different gods, we have to note what they lack when compared to each other.

One God will lack what another God has etc.

If that is the case in polytheism, how do we identify the different persons in the Trinity?
Surely Jesus doesn't lack something that the Holy Spirit or the Father has seeing as Jesus is God?
God by definition cannot lack anything so how do we determine the difference without seeing it as we do polytheistic gods?


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 8:43 am 
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The Persons of the Trinity are distinguishable only by their relations one to another.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 5:05 pm 
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Since the Persons are not three gods but one, the question of a "lack" does not arise. theJack is correct that the mutual relationships are the only way to distinguish Them.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2021 10:59 pm 
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IMO, The Eucharist. And the Sacraments.

It is impossible distinguish the persons of the Trinity otherwise. Or else, it's all just philosophical gibbery-jab. Philosophy is good and necessary (to a certain extent). However, simple illiterate Catholics who won't ever come close to the education/privilege that some of the members on this board have can become literal miracle workers with nothing but ardent devotion and fierce reverence of the Eucharist.

Within the confessional, the Priest who absolves sin says...

"God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son+, and the Holy Spirit.

This is only one formula, but I like it. Notice how the One God is first refereed to as "Father of mercies," as in this is how His People, "us" (Er, Assembly...maybe Nation, but that's pushing it) know the Creator since the Life, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the Son, Jesus Christ. That massive paradigm shift that occurred some 2000 years ago.

It goes on to say "through the ministry of the Church." The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church that is the Mystical Mother which gives birth to Men and Women in Christ...Christians. Jesus Christ, God the Son, was born to a Virgin who was prepared beforehand and was conceived by The Holy Spirit. We only call Him "The Son" because He was born, and born a male.

"May God give you pardon and peace," this is actually a petition on the part of the Priest. It is a prayer for pardon and peace, not necessarily a guarantee. The "peace" part is obvious, just going to confession doesn't bring peace. The "pardon" part, I think, is a little more tricky. Us Roman Catholics are not "Anti-Satisfactionists." I think here, Pardon is more a complete reparation of the effects of sin. Or, the Temporal Effects...the lasting damage that sin produces. While the eternal consequence is waived, the lasting damage must be repaired before entering into Heaven, as nothing unclean enters heaven. So, if it isn't paid off, or "satisfied" while on Earth, the Saved soul will still need to make the full reparation in Purgatory. Or be fully "Clean."

"I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, the Son+, and the Holy Spirit."
This is the Church flexing Her power outright, continuing the ministry of Divine Mercy (Salvation from God's Wrath) though this time through a simple and unworthy human being (the Priest) who has been granted the authority to do so. This authority is given to the Church and Her ministers of forgiveness in the same way Jesus was given to Mary...through the Holy Spirit. Scripture says He "breathed" on them, like a "wind" from the mouth of God Himself.

If you want to dig deeper into the specifics (i.e. have certainty of Salvation/Pardon/etc), you might end up in the same place as the Jesuits and Domincans did...an argument that was ended when the Pope basically told both sides to shut up. Or worse...you'll commit what I think is a decent interpretation of "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" which is to break communion, or sever yourself from the Household of God (koinonia?). This, I think, is to profess steadfast heresy (after being properly warned)...until death. It is, as the DR Bible puts it...to "dissolve Jesus." (1 John 4) This is said in the context of testing genuine theologians (doctors), it's not just the doctrine of the Incarnation that's being tested, but by what "spirit" the teachers are an agent for...Holy Men and Women (children of God) know when so called "christians" are fakers, not by the person, but by seeing through them- so to speak -to see by which spirit they're operating/moving/teaching from. I don't think that means the Holy Spirit can't operate in non-Catholics (I think quite the contrary, actually)...it just means your best bet is stay within the bosom of Holy Mother Church.

I also think this quote from St. Augustine is important to keep in mind,
Quote:
The reader of these reflections of mine on the Trinity should bear in mind that my pen is on the watch against the sophistries of those who scorn the starting-point of faith, and allow themselves to be deceived through an unseasonable and misguided love of reason.


My advice is don't try and dive too deep into the Trinity. I did and I literally almost committed suicide. I didn't though, because I'm a Roman Catholic, of the Latin Rite...and the sliver of that identity that remained (Grace?), gave me a way out. But as one Christian somewhere once wrote (if I'm remembering correctly:/) "A true Christian never leaves the cell." I think he was a Desert Father, not positive though.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 7:47 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Since the Persons are not three gods but one, the question of a "lack" does not arise. theJack is correct that the mutual relationships are the only way to distinguish Them.


We still distinguish different 'people' with what they lack though right? E.g. Tim lacks a beard, Jim lacks hair etc.

Could you explain the way we distinguish the persons of the Trinity by the mutual relationships please?


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 9:39 pm 
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No, we don't distinguish different people, in the case of humans, through what the lack (i.e, Tim lacks a beard, etc.). In general, when you ask what distinguishes A from B, you are asking about the principle of individuation. What makes this an individual and that an individual. In the case of two humans, the principle of individuation is our bodies (or, if you prefer, our matter). I am this body. You are that body.

God doesn't have a body, being pure form. So the principle of individuation can't be matter. The same applies to angels, btw. So take two angels. What distinguishes them, since it isn't this body and that? It this case, it is that they literally have different forms. In an analogous way that a cat is not a dog and a dog is not a tree, so this angel is not that angel. They are different kinds of things.

But just as God doesn't have a body, so that the principle of individuation can't be matter, all three Persons are consubstantial, meaning they are the same substance, the same form, meaning that the principle of individuation can't be their form, either! So the principle of individuation is the relations one to another. And to explain *that*, I'll defer to Fr Obi, since he has a way of getting across complex ideas rather succinctly.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 5:15 pm 
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The only way to distinguish between the Father and the Son is that the Father begets the Son and the Son is begotten by the Father. That's sufficient to individuate Them. Likewise, the only way to distinguish the Father and the Son from the Spirit is that the Father and Son spirate while the Spirit is spirated. ("Spirate" is the term used to distinguish the means by which the Son proceeds from the way that the Spirit proceeds.) That's sufficient to differentiate Them.


Last edited by Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tue May 25, 2021 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 10:39 am 
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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 11:45 am 
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:roll: I could have done that just as succinctly as long as I had 4000 words to do it in. :fyi:


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 1:11 pm 
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I'd be interested in your succinct 4,000 word take. Or at least the first 83 of them.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 2:34 pm 
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The only way to distinguish between the Father and the Son is that the Father begets the Son and the Son is begotten by the Father. That's sufficient to individuate Them. Likewise, the only way to distinguish the Father and the Son from the Spirit is that the Father and Son spirate while the Spirit is spirated. ("Spirate" is the term used to distinguish the means by which the Son proceeds from the way that the Spirit proceeds.) That's sufficient to differentiate Them.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 4:11 pm 
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Is there an echo in here?


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 4:39 pm 
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Huh. It's almost like you're saying you agree with me.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 6:27 pm 
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Well I learned a lesson today.

Never make a promise you have no interest in keeping. :barf: :rose:


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 7:02 am 
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What promises did you make? :scratch:


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 8:07 am 
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To be interested in your first 83 word response!

Reminds me of when I was a kid. I used to love, love, love Little Debbie swiss cake roles. Now, I'm fairly certain that those are exactly the same thing as devil squares, just in a different shape. But when I was in fourth grade, I ate some devil squares and proceeded later to throw up them up, as I was sick. Since that day, I have not been able to eat a devil square, though I still can enjoy a swiss cake roll from time to time. Same product, different package. But the package matters.

You can decide if my anecdote matters. :mrgreen: :laughhard :nooo:


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 8:20 am 
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I have no idea what we're talking about. But let me tell you a little story to see if it's relevant. I used to love, love, love Little Debbie swiss cake roles. Now, I'm fairly certain that those are exactly the same thing as devil squares, just in a different shape. But when I was in fourth grade, I ate some devil squares and proceeded later to throw up them up, as I was sick. Since that day, I have not been able to eat a devil square, though I still can enjoy a swiss cake roll from time to time. Same product, different package. But the package matters. :salut: :salut: :salut: :salut: :salut:


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 8:20 am 
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OK, wait...is this some kind of metaphor for modalism??


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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 9:51 am 
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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Identify the Different Persons of the Trinity?
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 9:34 pm 
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gherkin wrote:
Huh. It's almost like you're saying you agree with me.

:swoon


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