Why Didn’t All Three Die For Me?

This was a question I asked when I was still an heretical unitarian subordinationist (I know, I know, they improperly called it subordinationalism).

Any way, I was wondering how us Trinitarians should answer this question when it is asked to us by a non-Trinitarian, possibly a modalist or a subordinationist. So this post is more so I can examine the best ways to respond to this question and hear from you on this as opposed to me saying anything.

How many have even thought of this in regard to Trinitarian teaching? Why didn’t all three willingly come to die for us especially if they loved us? Over to you guys.


About newenglandsun

A student. Male. Passionate. Easily offended. Child-like wonderer. Growing in faith, messing up daily.
This entry was posted in Answering Oneness, Christology, Jesus is God. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Why Didn’t All Three Die For Me?

  1. Excellent question. I’ll give it a go.

    Trinitarian theology professes one God in three Persons who each fully possess the divine nature. Though all three divine Persons are equally God, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they’re all exactly the same in every way. For instance, there is a priority of being within the Trinity. Though each member of the Trinity is coeternal with the others and none are created, the Father has a certain primacy in that He is the first principle of all being.

    The Father eternally generates the Son in a perfect act of self-gift which the Son reciprocates in an equally eternal and perfect manner. This is the Holy Spirit, who is Himself a divine Person since the total self-gift of a divine Person could lack neither divinity nor personhood. Thus it is said that the Son is eternally generated by the Father, and the Spirit is eternally spirated.

    Thus we see that the Trinity is composed of three divine Persons. The Father, Son, and Spirit aren’t just masks that God wears when acting in various capacities. This fact dispenses with modalism.

    As for subordinationism, Son of God isn’t just a symbolic title for Jesus. as John makes clear, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is the divine Logos: God the Son. Natural philosophy supports this point. A father is one who communicates life and being to his child. This gift includes the begotten being’s nature. A son shares his father’s nature. Therefore, God the Son has the same divine nature as the Father and is coequal with Him.

    The Father and the Son are the same God, but they’re not the same Person (though three Persons subsisting in one Being exceeds limited human experience, it contains no logical contradiction). The Father alone is the origin of the Son. The Son is likewise begotten only of the Father. That’s why the Son, and only the Son, was and could have been sent from the Father alone. Being sent by the Father is what it is to be the Son. The Father is eternally the one who sends.

    This isn’t to say that the Son’s mission is a potency that the Father lacks. The Son receives everything He has from the Father, and the Father loses nothing in the giving. Rather it’s the Father’s will that the Son exercise this divine mission, which arises from His eternal generation by the Father. “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.” John 8:42.

    • Your comments are always appreciated on this blog! 🙂

      I knew it had something to do with the relationship of the Father and Son. It clicked on me as I was running on the tread mill today. I just wasn’t sure entirely how. The primacy of the Father in the Trinitarian relationship considered does explain why it was the Son and not the Spirit or the Father that died for humanity.

      Don’t you just love metaphysics? By the way, I did get that Bulgakov book although I think I’ll read Tolstoy and Dostoevsky before getting around to it. Also got Etienne Gilson’s (French Roman Catholic metaphysicist) The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. I’ll read them in my free time this semester. 😀

      • You humble me, sir. Your posts are always welcome.

        I do love metaphysics, because the goal of all true philosophy is wisdom; and Wisdom is a Person. The Logos is generated by an act of the divine intellect. The Spirit is spirated by an act of the divine will. John 1:12 reveals the Father’s will to grant us the same self-gift of divine sonship. Christ came to give us the capacity to receive it, which is grace; i.e. the Holy Spirit. That is theosis–becoming sons of God.

        I’m familiar with Gilson and have found him to be excellent. Happy reading!

      • Metaphysics, moral philosophy, existentialism, epistemology, philosophy of God, and philosophy of religion are my favourites! 😀

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