Love and the Trinity

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backwoodsman
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by backwoodsman » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:21 am

darinhouston wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:42 pm
The social trinity and a proof based on love seems really desperate to me. But, it begs two questions. First, if God can’t be complete without expressing His love in eternity, then what do you do when considering that the greatest expression of love is to lay down your life for another — that didn’t happen prior to Creation. So, was God incomplete by failing to be able to express the fullness of His love?

God is likewise essentially Creative. How can He be complete in His creativity prior to Creation?
I'm not prepared to defend Matt's idea because it seems to me to go beyond what the Bible means by "God is love." But this objection to it seems to me equally flawed.

I believe God is not subject to time for the same reason He's not subject to space. Some call this a philosophical argument, but it's not; it's an argument from physics (time is a dimension of the physical universe, without which the physical universe as we know it couldn't exist) and logic (since God created the physical universe, there's no reason He'd be subject to any part of it unless He explicitly made it so, as Jesus did (Phil. 2:5-8)). Most have no problem with the idea that God is everywhere in space at once, but seem to balk at the idea that He's also everywhere in time at once, even though the two are really the same idea.

So, getting back to your questions: For God, there's no "before" or "after"; He sees it all in a way we can only call "all at once." To Him, there is no "prior to Creation;" whatever is true now of His love, creativity, relationships among the Godhead, etc., isn't "before" or "after" anything; it just _is_. No doubt that's a woefully inadequate way to think of it, but it seems it's the best we time-bound creatures can do.

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darinhouston
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by darinhouston » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:08 pm

backwoodsman wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:21 am
darinhouston wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:42 pm
The social trinity and a proof based on love seems really desperate to me. But, it begs two questions. First, if God can’t be complete without expressing His love in eternity, then what do you do when considering that the greatest expression of love is to lay down your life for another — that didn’t happen prior to Creation. So, was God incomplete by failing to be able to express the fullness of His love?

God is likewise essentially Creative. How can He be complete in His creativity prior to Creation?
I'm not prepared to defend Matt's idea because it seems to me to go beyond what the Bible means by "God is love." But this objection to it seems to me equally flawed.

I believe God is not subject to time for the same reason He's not subject to space. Some call this a philosophical argument, but it's not; it's an argument from physics (time is a dimension of the physical universe, without which the physical universe as we know it couldn't exist) and logic (since God created the physical universe, there's no reason He'd be subject to any part of it unless He explicitly made it so, as Jesus did (Phil. 2:5-8)). Most have no problem with the idea that God is everywhere in space at once, but seem to balk at the idea that He's also everywhere in time at once, even though the two are really the same idea.

So, getting back to your questions: For God, there's no "before" or "after"; He sees it all in a way we can only call "all at once." To Him, there is no "prior to Creation;" whatever is true now of His love, creativity, relationships among the Godhead, etc., isn't "before" or "after" anything; it just _is_. No doubt that's a woefully inadequate way to think of it, but it seems it's the best we time-bound creatures can do.
My only response is to say that your line of argumentation would negate the original proposition I would think, not support it. That being that if God is love then He could not ever have been without others in His godhead with whom to express and receive love. His love would be manifest in time, but since God is always existing in that time, He is never without that expression of love. The same would go for my proposition that there could not ever have been a time when the greatest expression didn't exist (sacrificial laying down of one's life, for example). If His unbound ontological existence covers my example, then it covers the original proposition as well, so that a later (in our timeline) person who gives/receives that love would fit that requirement of God being love.

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Homer
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by Homer » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:38 pm

Backwoodsman,

Interesting point re space and time!

It seems to me that if God is love and the greatest expression of that love is to lay down your life for another, it would be gratuitous to lay your life down where there is no need. The argument as stated would not apply where there was no sin.

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darinhouston
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by darinhouston » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:33 pm

Homer wrote:Backwoodsman,

Interesting point re space and time!

It seems to me that if God is love and the greatest expression of that love is to lay down your life for another, it would be gratuitous to lay your life down where there is no need. The argument as stated would not apply where there was no sin.
That’s interesting — and maybe a good point. But, what about Creativity being an essential aspect of God’s nature? How is He creative before creation. (I can’t wrap my head around the time stuff)


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mattrose
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by mattrose » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:29 pm

darinhouston wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:42 pm
Back to the OP, I was discussing this elsewhere and had the following further thoughts.

The social trinity and a proof based on love seems really desperate to me. But, it begs two questions. First, if God can’t be complete without expressing His love in eternity, then what do you do when considering that the greatest expression of love is to lay down your life for another — that didn’t happen prior to Creation. So, was God incomplete by failing to be able to express the fullness of His love?

God is likewise essentially Creative. How can He be complete in His creativity prior to Creation?

And so on…
When one expresses a nature, it doesn't make the nature more or less of a reality.

Nature gets expressed in different ways in different contexts. Every expression helps us to better understand the nature. Jesus death helps US to best understand God's nature as self-giving love. It doesn't help God understand God's self better. God's loving nature has always been complete. God's expression of His nature on the cross was to benefit us.

I wouldn't say 'God is creativity'... I would say that love naturally aims to share its love. Love overflows to creation. Creation flows from love. Creation is not an equally essential trait of God as love is in my view.

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darinhouston
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by darinhouston » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:27 pm

mattrose wrote:
darinhouston wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:42 pm
Back to the OP, I was discussing this elsewhere and had the following further thoughts.

The social trinity and a proof based on love seems really desperate to me. But, it begs two questions. First, if God can’t be complete without expressing His love in eternity, then what do you do when considering that the greatest expression of love is to lay down your life for another — that didn’t happen prior to Creation. So, was God incomplete by failing to be able to express the fullness of His love?

God is likewise essentially Creative. How can He be complete in His creativity prior to Creation?

And so on…
When one expresses a nature, it doesn't make the nature more or less of a reality.

Nature gets expressed in different ways in different contexts. Every expression helps us to better understand the nature. Jesus death helps US to best understand God's nature as self-giving love. It doesn't help God understand God's self better. God's loving nature has always been complete. God's expression of His nature on the cross was to benefit us.

I wouldn't say 'God is creativity'... I would say that love naturally aims to share its love. Love overflows to creation. Creation flows from love. Creation is not an equally essential trait of God as love is in my view.

Is God “essentially” Holy?


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mattrose
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by mattrose » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:38 am

To my mind, 'holy' is an adjective that describes the noun 'love' when describing God's essential nature.

God is holy love

This way of saying it helps us to remember that when we say 'God is love'... we should not be pouring in a worldly definition of love. We must, instead, pour in a biblical definition of love. 'Holy' may be one of the best ways (if not THE best ways) to further define the kind of love we are talking about. God's love is the kind of love that is pure. It's not the contemporary 'anything goes' kind of love. It's not the 'whatever makes you happy' kind of love. It's the love that is actually best for us, sometimes described as 'tough' love.

In some sense, I don't have any problem with saying holiness is 'essential' to God. It's not that different from saying 'God is light' in my opinion. It's about God's utter and complete goodness. But I think, at this point, one would just be re-iterating and fleshing out the definition of 'God is love'.

Even in my own circles, I'm probably a bit extreme here. I think most of my fellow wesleyan pastors would prefer to say God is 'holy' and 'love' in proper balance. I'd just rather say 'God is love' and make sure to describe that love as holy. I don't think there's anything needing balance in God's character. God's essential nature is not at odds with itself.

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21centpilgrim
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Re: Love and the Trinity

Post by 21centpilgrim » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:29 pm

How does the scripture it use the word 'holy'? Our preference of how we like to view it is obsolete.
Then those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and loved to think about him.

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