Thursday, 2 April 2009

Jesus and the immanent Trinity

“If God is neither a quasi-Hegelian organizing principle, nor an abstract postulate, nor yet an agent among other agents, what is to be said of him? Christian practice begins to answer that question by repeating the story of Jesus: what is to be said of God is that Jesus of Nazareth was born, ministered in such and such a way, died in such and such a way, and was raised from death. This is an odd statement, in that it treats the narrative of a human being as predicated of a substance or subject which is God…. God is what is constitutive of the particular identity of Jesus; that is what can be said of him, and it is what the homoousion of Nicaea endeavoured to say…. The ‘essential’ or ‘immanent’ Trinity can finally be characterized only as that which makes this life (and death and resurrection) possible and intelligible.”

—Rowan Williams, “Trinity and Ontology,” in Christ, Ethics and Tragedy: Essays in Honour of Donald MacKinnon, ed. Kenneth Surin (Cambridge UP, 1989), 79-80, 83.

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