Narrative as hypostatic idiomata

Both in reading Paul Ricoeur’s Figuring the Sacred and in some discussions with fellow Reformed lay theologians, I am troubled by a possible future of Reformed trinitarianism:  we might become modalists.

That is not the point of this post, though.   One of the areas where I actually value Eastern Orthodox triadology is the insistent on maintaining the personal characteristics (idiomata) of the persons in the Trinity.  If we hold to too strong a doctrine of simplicity (idem simplicity) we run the risk of collapsing the personal distinctions in the Godhead to the bare essence.  I reject de Regnon’s thesis, but men fall prey to it regardless.

If we begin with an ontological essence of God and not the God revealed in the narrated life of Jesus of Nazareth, then we will posit a God who is not defined by Scripture at all.

4 comments on “Narrative as hypostatic idiomata

  1. John Bugay says:

    I was just listening to a lecture by Oliphint in which he posited that Aquinas did that very thing: he arrived at his doctrine of “simplicity” by following reason, then he pivoted to take his doctrine of the Trinity from the Scriptures. And in doing so, he confused some things.

  2. Matthew C says:

    Have you read James Dolezal’s God Without Parts? That’s a pretty strong defence of absolute divine simplicity. I would have liked him to have at least something about the Trinity and how simplicity relates to the Trinitarian life of God though..

    • I’ve listened to numerous interviews he has given, as well as read some journal articles he wrote. It’s probably the best modern defense of ADS. I don’t reject simplicity. I am just nervous about erecting a model that is no different from Islam or Cabala

  3. […] Perhaps this sheds knew-if unintended meaning–on the phrase “absolute truth.”  All of a sudden the term “absolute truth” sounds worryingly Hegelian.  It seems like–and after Hegel and Heidegger you really can’t argue otherwise–it is truth detached from the historical narrative, the particulars, the narratival idiomata. […]

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