Dale Tuggy Responds

Dr Dale Tuggy has responded to the first three articles of my review of his book What is the Trinity?

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Do skip over to his blog and read through his responses. I’m sure he’d be delighted if you’d leave a comment or two. And then come on back and share with us your assessment.

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4 Responses to Dale Tuggy Responds

  1. A lot to chew on there. Here are my immediate thoughts:

    A bit disappointed each party put so much focus on debating what side of the fence a particular historical opinion by a particular person happened to be on. What I am more interested in is the meat – the metaphysics and the theology. The historical debate is, to me, less interesting (and, honestly, less important – one wants to know Truth more than one wants to know what some and so thought about that Truth.)

    It was only in Tuggy’s third response where the metaphysical meat actually starts to get chewed on. (I realize he probably wanted very much to defend his – from his perspective – maligned interpretation of Church history. I totally get that. I’m not criticizing him for doing this, only observing what I would like to read more of: the metaphysical arguments.)

    I’d like more content like stuff in Tuggy’s third response where he is splitting the distinction between the eternal generation of the Father and that generation still being (potentially) a contingent act. That is good stuff. The debate ought to make both sides work for what they say, just like he’s doing there. It’s a lot harder for sure, but everyone is the better for it.

    I’ll just throw out some potential ideas for the two schools of Kimel and Tuggy to throw around.

    – If God is simple, how does this square with the real relations that exist in the Godhead? I.e. if the triune relations are “real,” how does God still lack distinction?
    – Is there a difference between a distinction and a relation?
    – How, if the essence of the Son is different from that of the Father, does one make sense of John 1:1 – in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God? Does God not necessarily have a Word – i.e. a conception – of Himself? And if he does have such a conception, and if this conception is a perfect conception, is it not possible that it is itself a person, standing in in relation to the conceiver as something “eternally begotten”?
    – If God is not triune, is he not only contingently a loving being? Further, does he not depend on the created world in order to participate in love? But how can one whole modal experience to God – a whole genus of being, as it were – depend on the world? Would it not have to pre-exist in him first?
    – Is the Logos a creature/something created?
    – Does a unitarian conception of God provide any way by which God unites himself “personally” to humanity?

    Personally, I’d enjoy you guys going back and forth on these questions, rather than debating historical points – points which don’t give us better glimpses of God as he really is.

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  2. Iain Lovejoy says:

    There seems to be a certain amount of unnecessary needle going on here, which is a shame since both sides seem to be sincerely trying to grapple with a difficult issue.
    That aside, what Dr Tuggy doesn’t seem to grapple with is the problem created by creation ex nihilo that trinitarianism is intended to solve: unless you abandon ex nihilo, there are no degrees of divinity so either Christ is one God with the Father or he isn’t God at all. Dr Tuggy has to pick one or the other or abandon ex nihilo: does he actually do any of these in his book?

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