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Do Lutherans actually teach the eternal procession of the Spirit from the Son?

Discussion in 'Theologia Crucis - Lutherans' started by FireDragon76, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As soon as I hear about the trilemma, I'm out the door. I'm not even able to conceive of how it would fail because of Auschwitz.

    A couple of the essays are okay. I found Narnia very edible as a kid and almost unreadable as an adult.

    I do wonder what Lewis and Chesterton offer to people. I am totally unable to find either an acceptable apologist. Chesterton is the better writer, but kind of a one-trick pony.
     
  2. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    Well, what gain would it be to argue with anyone much about how the Spirit proceeds (with Eastern Orthodox, or for that matter any group), when it comes down to very fine theological stuff, or even about individual understanding for that matter, unless it involves something that instead matters to salvation itself? Consider first how we do know that the Spirit cannot be predicted by us --

    John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes. You hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

    We just learn we cannot try to say what or what not the Spirit will or will not do very much. And I take this same caution then additionally for trying to say too much one way or another about other things that are ultimately above us, ala Isaiah 55:8-9. And...isn't this the ultimate answer to such controversies also? -- that we not place so much emphasis on esoteric theological points, us believers. We should not allow esoteric theological ideas that do not affect the way of salvation (we don't need to know how the Spirit proceeds in order to be regenerated or sanctified over time) to be a way to divide us by arguing over our understandings. And isn't the solution then to point out how it's ultimately above us (such questions, including many others also) to begin with?
     
  3. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think some would consider this not a fine point, but a revealed truth not to be messed with. i.e. - it is indeed above us...to change the Creed without the consent of the whole Church (which is what we Orthodox say Rome did).

    That said, the Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith by St. John Damascene says stuff similar to what you just said:

    "But neither do we know, nor can we tell, what the essence of God is, or how it is in all, or how the Only-begotten Son and God, having emptied Himself, became Man of virgin blood, made by another law contrary to nature, or how He walked with dry feet upon the waters. It is not within our capacity, therefore, to say anything about God or even to think of Him, beyond the things which have been divinely revealed to us, whether by word or by manifestation, by the divine oracles at once of the Old Testament and of the New."
     
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  4. tampasteve

    tampasteve Lutheran Messianic Staff Member Purple Team - Moderator Supporter

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    I have enjoyed reading this thread, though it is above me to comment with anything better than has been said. I did want to add that this has to be one of the most level headed discussions on this topic I have read. Very nice!
     
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  5. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Speaking only personally, the Filioque isn't something I'm going to fall on my sword over. I tend to make it a habit of, when talking about the Procession of the Spirit, placing the Filioque in square brackets, largely to be ecumenical.

    Again, just personally, I think I can kind of understand both sides of the debate, and can appreciate what both sides are saying.

    Sans-Filioque, the Procession of the Spirit from the Father is about retaining the Monarchy of the Father, something that is important in Trinitarian theology; as in Trinitarianism the Father is the Fount of Deity, and the Son is "God of God" because He is of the Father's own Essence; likewise the Spirit shares in the same Essence of the Father by His eternal Procession.

    Filioque, the Procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son is about the perichoresis of the Trinity, and I'll admit here my own influence from Augustine's talk about Love, where the Spirit's movement from Lover to Beloved, as the Love between Father and Son and Son and Father.

    Likewise, Sans-Filioque, the criticism is that the Procession of the Spirit from the Father alone is criticized as though the Spirit is "another Son", as though the Father has "two begottens" as it were.

    Likewise, Filioque, the criticism is that the Procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son results in "two begetters" in a way; where the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as though by "one principle".

    So, speaking only for myself, I would want to retain the Monarchy of the Father as well as the mutual spiration-in-love as there is that perichoretic movement of the Three Persons, with Father, Son, and Spirit moving as love in action between the Eternal Persons of the Trinity. How do we best articulate this? How do we articulate this without the angst and the baggage and bad blood of history?

    -CryptoLutheran
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  6. A Shield of Turquoise

    A Shield of Turquoise New Member

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    The bare usage of the "filioque" itself does not necessarily imply the eternal procession of the spirit from the Son, as that was defined at Lyons and Florence. For example, St Maximus the Confessor, in the 7th century, was asked about the Latins' addition to the creed (since he was appealing to Rome for support against monotheletism) and he replied that the phrase was orthodox so long as it was understood that it did not imply the Son as an eternal source of the Spirit with the Father.

    To be honest I find both the Latin and Orthodox arguments about filioque to be hopelessly speculative and obscure. These are rationalizations introduced to justify and harden an existing division- to score points, as it were- and I don't think the divines on either side really know what they're talking about.
     
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  7. Daniel9v9

    Daniel9v9

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    For what it's worth, Engelder in Popular Symbolics (CPH, 1934) sums up this doctrine from a Lutheran perspective as:

    "I believe in the HOLY GHOST, THE LORD AND GIVER OF LIFE, WHO PROCEEDETH FROM THE FATHER AND THE SON." Nicene Cr. Ath. Cr., 22. S. A., P. 1. F. C., Th. D., VIII, 73. Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds, as from the Father, John 15, 26, so also from the Son. The Holy Spirit bears the same relation to the Son as to the Father, being "sent" by the Son as by the Father, John 15, 26; 14, 26; 16, 7; Gal. 4, 6. Moreover, Scripture distinctly calls Him the "Spirit of His Son," Gal. 4, 6; "the breath of His lips," Is. 11, 4; the "Spirit of His mouth," 2 Thess. 2, 8. The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Christ, Rom. 8, 9. Finally, the Holy Ghost is certainly spirated by Him who, when He breathed on His disciples, said: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," John 20, 22."
     
  8. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    I think this highlights very different thought processes between East and West.

    In the West we frequently point to the giving of the Spirit by Christ, such as we read in the Gospels. But is this indicative of the eternal spiration of the Spirit, or of the dispensation of the Spirit? Are these part of the same reality, or two different ideas. The East has never denied those things said above, that He is the Spirit of the Son, that the Son sends the Spirit, that the Son breathed and gave the Spirit to His apostles etc.

    The question is if the Son is co-Spirtator(?) with the Father in the Spirit's eternal Procession/Spiration.

    That the Spirit is through the Son is denied by none.
    Likewise, that the Spirit is given by and from the Son through this dispensation of Christ's work (i.e. the dispensing, the giving, the sending of the Spirit through Christ and in Christ's name and from Christ etc as we read in the Gospels and elsewhere) is denied by none.

    It really boils down to if the Spirit's eternal Processions is as much from the Son as from the Father; rather than through the Son (which is agreed) and economically dispensed by the Son through His ministerial and Incarnate work (which is agreed).

    Ultimately I think it comes down to this question: What is the Procession of the Holy Spirit? What does that actually mean?

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  9. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

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    Works for me.
     
  10. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    I'll explain that once I have figured out what "only-begotten of the Father" means. :D

    We're only given those terms in John (at least off the top of my head) and IMHO is that they are used to differentiate that the relationship between the persons of the Trinity distinct from each other even though we cannot know what they are. If we could explain them then God wouldn't be God.
     
  11. A Shield of Turquoise

    A Shield of Turquoise New Member

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    I think "eternally proceeds" is quite a stretch of interpretation of the cited scripture texts unless one is relying on the interpretative lens of the councils of Lyons and Florence.
     
  12. Newtheran

    Newtheran Well-Known Member

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    It's the issue of the
    Filioque
    A Latin term meaning "and the Son.""

    The non-conciliar addition of this term to the Nicene Creed by the Roman Patriarchate and the unilateral authority power which it sought to take upon itself with this declaration was one of the main drivers of the division Christian Church in 1054 AD and the formation of what we know today as the Roman Catholic Church.

    "Its inclusion in the Creed is a violation of the canons of the Third Ecumenical Council in 431, which forbade and anathematized any additions to the Creed, a prohibition which was reiterated at the Eighth Ecumenical Council in 879-880."

    Filioque - OrthodoxWiki

    As Lutherans, sometimes we are stuck with what we inherited from the Papacy. :)
     
  13. A Shield of Turquoise

    A Shield of Turquoise New Member

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    The problem with the argument using the Third Ecumenical Council is that said council was speaking of the original creed formulated at Nicaea, not the "Niceno-Constantinopolitan" creed used today, which was not widely known at the time. So if we interpret Ephesus to forbid any change in the creed's wording, then even without the filioque the current version of the Nicene Creed would have be to be considered in violation. More likely the Council of Ephesus meant no addition to the substance of the faith.
     
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