Friday, June 10, 2016

One Divine Will in the Trinity

D. Butner Jr. gives a number of examples of Fathers and later writers teaching that there is one divine will. I'm afraid the stamina is failing me for typing them all out accurately and fully, but here's a taste:

Gregory of Naziansus:

the passage [John 6:38] does not mean that the Son has a special will of His own, besides that of the Father, but that He has not; so that the meaning would be, "not to do Mine own Will, for there is none of Mine apart from, but that which is common to, Me and You; for as We have one Godhead, so We have one Will

Fourth Theological Oration (Oration 30), section 12


The will of the Father and of the Son is one, and their operation is inseprable. (The Trinity, II.5)

For Gregory of Nyssa in all Trinitarian action there is one motion and disposition of the good will which proceeds from the Father through the Son to the Spirit.  (Answer to Ablabis: Not Three Gods)

John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith 1.8 argues that there is only one will in God. The persons are distinguished only by their relations of origin.

Gregory Palamas (see Butner, p139)

Anselm of Canterbury (see Butner, p140)

Hugh and Richard of St Victor (Butner, p141)

2nd Helvetic Confession (Butner, p142)

John Owen and William Ames (Butner, p142)

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