Monday, May 29, 2006

Son Forsaken But Not Without Father

How do we hold together the cry of dereliction (“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”) and perichorisis, mutual indwelling (“I am in the Father and the Father is in Me?”) and inseperable operation (Augustine: “The Son is Not Without the Father” etc.)?

Is it just that God the Son was temporarily abandoned according to his human nature? Is that all there is to say? The Son of God was abandoned as a man, just as he died as a man. Was this a unique moment? Unique for the intra-Trinitarian life? A change in God, or merely a change in relations between God and the God-Man?

What are the limits of orthodoxy here / legitimate ways of speaking / The Reformed Consensus / what Garry says in CD4.3?

Is there an original and significant PhD here or is it a tired old question to which all right thinking people already know the one simple and easily explainable answer? Professor Mason?

3 comments:

Ros said...

So - following your line re. the death, do you also want to say that the Father (as he mutually indwells the Son) was also abandoned by the Father? Seems tricky to me!

matthew said...

Well, I think probably that's right: the Son was abandoned according to his human nature; and it involved a change in relations between God and teh God-man; that seems a happy way of putting it.

We'd obviously want to be careful to avoid implying divine mutability, which must entail a denial of change in relations ad intra.

A connected question is troubling though: what was the relationship between the two natures as the Son died? In my thinking, I think I slip too easily towards Nestorianism; but if Son as God was not separated from the Father, but the Son as man was; if the Son as God was judge, whilst the Son as Man was judged, where does that leave "not divided"? Perhaps both those ways of putting it are unhelpful.

Not really thought about it; dunno anything about the RO (Reformed, not Radical!) consensus; sorry. Do you fancy taking on a second PhD? Consecutively or concurrently with the first?

Marc Lloyd said...

Mmmm. I think I agree with all you say, Deacon Matthew.

We mustn't seperate the natures in Christ.

We need to always keep on saying that the real God really dies - though as a man, in the humanity of the Son.

We need Father Dr Tom Weinandy it seems to me.

I think we should distinguish unhelpful or potentially unhelpful things to say and down right wrong or stupid things to say at each point too.

I remember loving Father Tom's chapter in Does God Suffer? on theolgogical method: we locate and clarify the mystery rather than solving puzzles, sort of thing.

We can't pin point the truth or state it exhaustively in all its fullness and connections, but we can know what field of truth there is and is not.

Or to put it another way, we can pinpoint the truth, if we think in 3D: the truth is exactly there, but it goes all the way up and down so that we cant see the end of it.

Does that make sense?