Thinking Trinity: The Jigsaw Puzzle of the Homoousion

Eclectic Orthodoxy

Once a believer has fully grasped the decisive significance of homoousion, there can be no returning to a more “biblical” or more “historical” Jesus; for the only Jesus that was and is is the incarnate Son eternally begotten from the substance of the Father. The homoousion represents the secret of our Lord’s personhood, a secret both intimated and implied in the New Testament, yet perhaps not so unambiguously asserted as to eliminate the possibility of misunderstanding. In the theological reflections of the first four centuries, we see theologians wrestling with the mystery of Christ and proposing various construals of his relationship with God. Some of their proposals may have initially appeared plausible, yet they were eventually deemed inadequate to the apostolic revelation. The secret kept eluding the conceptual apprehension of the Church.

I do not mean to suggest that in these early centuries Christians did not know Jesus as…

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1 Response to Thinking Trinity: The Jigsaw Puzzle of the Homoousion

  1. Mina says:

    St. Gregory the Theologian mentioned somewhere that the revelation of these truths were to be perfected gradually over time, and not in one fell swoop. The earliest Christians did not fully understand the idea of the Holy Spirit because it would be too much for the community to handle in their relative immaturity of their thinking.

    I remember one time an atheist debating with me and pretty much did not like this line of argumentation. I was telling him the same argument regarding the Old Testament, how the fullness of moral codes and theological ideas was not there, but continually maturing, and is continually maturing today. He replied to me by saying that he can teach his daughter a higher moral code that did not exist 5000 years ago. Why couldn’t God do the same for us “immature” societies 5000 years ago? Were our brains different? Unless I can prove to him that our brains evolve to allow ourselves an evolution of intelligence and spirituality, he was not buying it. I have to admit, that is a good argument, and I do wonder if there is any possibility to learn about any concrete evidence within our brains about whether we are getting more and more “intelligent” every generation. The only problem is how do we define “intelligence”? Sometimes, we see some aspects of ourselves become less and less intelligent every generation, rather than more.


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