Beau Branson on the “Neglected” Monarchy of the Father

Here’s a good summary of Dr Beau Branson’s formulation of the Monarchy of God the Father, according to his reading of St Gregory of Nyssa. Read through and share your thoughts.

Thought Life

Recently I encountered a presentation that made me shed my Western Christian eyes. It was given by Beau Branson (freely available at his website) on what he calls the “neglected” doctrine of the “monarchy of the Father.”

In this post I will summarize some key points of his five-part presentation. While I will cover a number of Branson’s key points, I don’t want to suggest that my summary is in any way a replacement of what Branson says. I simply want to introduce readers to Branson’s conception of Monarchical Trinitarianism, and to encourage further engagement on the topic. At the end of this post I’ll also link to a number of resources he uses and recommends in the presentation.

I should also make it clear that Branson is not trying to convince anybody in this presentation that Monarchical Trinitarianism is true. He does say he accepts the view though…

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3 Responses to Beau Branson on the “Neglected” Monarchy of the Father

  1. Fr Aidan Kimel says:

    My quick take: aseity has everything to do with the distinction between the Creator and creature. Because the world is freely created ex nihilo, we are permitted (perhaps required) to distinguish between the immanent Trinity (God would be Triadic even if he had not created) and the economic Trinity (God in relation to the world). Regarding the latter, each divine Person shares in the attribute of aseity. I find it confusing to suggest otherwise. Hence I tentatively suggest that it is appropriate to distinguish between God unoriginate (referring to the Father) and the divine aseity. Does that make sense?

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    • Robert Fortuin says:

      Indeed. One would have to establish that agennetos makes a substantial difference to the divine persons – a point which St Gregory of Nyssa repeatedly refutes in his writings. Agennetos, Gregory argues, does not make the Son substantially different, be it ad intra or ad extra, from the Father. Upon this argument Gregory drives home his point that agennetos does not support his detractors’ claim – Christ to Gregory, although begotten, is in all ways consubstantial with the Father. We cannot use agennetos to drive a dividing line within the Trinity. Gregory makes clear to lay the dividing line between the Uncreate and the created.

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  2. I had a monarchist friend at my old church. He was telling me about his reading of Vladimir Lossky and his comments about the monarchy of the Father. My friend drew from this that humanity functions as an icon of the Trinity in the political relations that are seen in a monarchy. The patriarch is the fountain of the kingdom, his kin possess the inheritance, the people emanate from the monarch. I wonder if this is why monarchism died as a philosophy faster in the West than in the East.

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