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Thread: God: Trinity, Eternal Son, Eternal Generation.

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    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    God: Trinity, Eternal Son, Eternal Generation.

    Everybody has some kind of idea about God.

    Now in Christian theology there are in use extra Biblical terms used to explain what are regarded by Christians as Biblical concepts.

    The Trinity is the name of the explanation that God has been revealed as three Persons: God the Father, Son of God and the Holy Spirit.

    The eternal Son is the idea that the Son of God was always the Son and as so was the Son prior to the incarnation.

    The concept of eternal generation of the Son from God the Father is an explanation claimed to be necessary for the Trinity and eternal Son concepts to be true.

    Yet the latter concept of eternal generation is in fact dependant on the other two concepts being believed prior to it. Not the other way around.

    From the New Testament we know that the three persons, the Father (John 17:3, 11) and the Son of God (John 5:18; John 20:28) and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:4-5) are each identified as God.

    Now it was Dr. Walter Martin's arguments in his book Kingdom of the Cults against teaching of the eternal Son which caused me to look at the concept of the Son of God being the eternal Son. I concluded that the concept was to be believed (Isaiah 9:6; Proverbs 30:4 and 1 John 4:9).

    Now much later in regards to the concept of eternal generation, looking at the Biblical use of the term "begotten" I rejected that concept as anti-Biblical (Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33).

    Now generally Christians who reject the concept of eternal generation also reject the idea of Son of God being the eternal Son prior to the incarnation and resurrection. But do not reject the Trinity, the three Persons being God, the Word and the Holy Spirit. And now being the Father, (the now) eternal Son (Hebrews 13:8) and the Holy Spirit - since the incarnation and the bodily resurrection of the Son of God.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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    tWebber
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    eternal generation---oxymoron? ...eternal=always existing, generation=comes into existence ?...if it is generated, it cannot be eternal and if its is eternal, it cannot be generated at some later point....?...

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    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    eternal generation---oxymoron? ...eternal=always existing, generation=comes into existence ?...if it is generated, it cannot be eternal and if its is eternal, it cannot be generated at some later point....?...
    Most Christians who believe in the Son of God being always the eternal Son, being always the Son of God accept the notion of eternal generation. Of the Christians who reject the concept of eternal generation they typically also reject that the Son of God was always the Son. But they are trinitarian believing that the Word [the Logos] of God was always God (John 1:1) with God (John 1:2) but became the Son in the incarnation (John 1:14).

    Now I personally deny the concept of eternal generation, but do hold that the Logos (with God John 1:2) was always the Son. I hold the view of the eternal Son of God. And that the Trinity explanation is necessary if there is to be God. And God being the Creator.

    Now traditional Islam rejects the Christian view of the Trinity on the grounds that where the Quran explicitly teaches against tritheism [4:171] is to be understood to disallow the concept of the Trinity explanation of One and only true God (John 17:3). True Christians who accept the Trinity explanation also reject tritheism.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    eternal generation---oxymoron? ...eternal=always existing, generation=comes into existence ?...if it is generated, it cannot be eternal and if its is eternal, it cannot be generated at some later point....?...
    if you have an eternal flashlight that has always been shining a light beam you would have an eternal generation of the light beam. The light beam would not exist if not for the flashlight generating it, and it has been generating it for eternity.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by 37818 View Post
    Most Christians who believe in the Son of God being always the eternal Son, being always the Son of God accept the notion of eternal generation. Of the Christians who reject the concept of eternal generation they typically also reject that the Son of God was always the Son. But they are trinitarian believing that the Word [the Logos] of God was always God (John 1:1) with God (John 1:2) but became the Son in the incarnation (John 1:14).

    Now I personally deny the concept of eternal generation, but do hold that the Logos (with God John 1:2) was always the Son. I hold the view of the eternal Son of God. And that the Trinity explanation is necessary if there is to be God. And God being the Creator.

    Now traditional Islam rejects the Christian view of the Trinity on the grounds that where the Quran explicitly teaches against tritheism [4:171] is to be understood to disallow the concept of the Trinity explanation of One and only true God (John 17:3). True Christians who accept the Trinity explanation also reject tritheism.
    Christianity is difficult---but of the 2 concepts, the change from "Word" to "Son" seems to better fit the concept of "incarnation" which occurs in time (beginning/end) therefore the generation and death of the "incarnate" can work---but if one says "son " is eternal---then did he or did he not die?....the whole purpose of generation/begotton was to die right?

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    if you have an eternal flashlight that has always been shining a light beam you would have an eternal generation of the light beam. The light beam would not exist if not for the flashlight generating it, and it has been generating it for eternity.
    interesting---so if this activity of "generation" goes on for eternity---it means it is going on at present too?...and will continue in the future?.....

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    tWebber
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    I think eternally begotten follows from two things:
    * The Son comes from the Father
    * There was never a time when the Son wasn't there

    From what you say, I suspect you reject the first.

    I'm not an expert in philosophy, so I'm going to point to a web reference that I don't know much about: http://www.credomag.com/2013/04/17/c...ty-of-the-son/. There's a classical concept of "aseity," that God is "autotheos," God in himself, and doesn't get it from anyone else. The author of that web page thinks that for many theologies, this classical idea contradicts the equally well-established classical idea of eternal generation. If the Son is generated from the Father, it would seem that he is not "autotheos" (God in himself). The author maintains that according to Calvin and other theologians, Christ's essence was common to the whole Trinity. Since the essence is what makes the Trinity God, this means that the Son is God in himself because autotheos applies to the common essence, in which he shares. Generation, however, applies to the person, to the specific relation between Father and Son that defines the separate Person. This seems to me to be a reasonable way to deal with the question.

    (I should note that personally I hold typical modern theology, in which these kinds of questions really don't make any sense.)
    Last edited by hedrick; 10-09-2017 at 07:19 PM.

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    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    interesting---so if this activity of "generation" goes on for eternity---it means it is going on at present too?...and will continue in the future?.....
    Yes.

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    interesting---so if this activity of "generation" goes on for eternity---it means it is going on at present too?...and will continue in the future?.....
    That's what eternal means.

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    tWebber 37818's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Christianity is difficult---but of the 2 concepts, the change from "Word" to "Son" seems to better fit the concept of "incarnation" which occurs in time (beginning/end) therefore the generation and death of the "incarnate" can work---but if one says "son " is eternal---then did he or did he not die?....the whole purpose of generation/begotton was to die right?
    The disagreement between Christians is over when the Word became the Son. The two main views. 1) The Word was always the Son before the incarnation (John 1:14; John 1:18; John 17:24; 1 John 4:9). 2) The Word became the Son in the incarnation (John 1:14; Luke 1:35).

    The concept of eternal generation came about to explain how the Son was the eternal Son.
    Last edited by 37818; 10-10-2017 at 08:02 AM.
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

    . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

    Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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