Friday Theology.

There is a lot of noise and drama and anxiety happening. This post is mainly for my peace of mind: to concentrate down on what I need to do I need to ignore for some time what is happening in this world.

So theology. Aquinas on defending the number within the trinity: there are not multiple gods as the Hindus and the neopagan Maori assert, but one, with three persons. Note that Aquinas asserts we are made similarly, which would imply that we are truly made in God’s image.


1 From what has been said, then, one must hold that in the divine nature three Persons subsist: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, distinguished from one another by relations only. For the Father is distinguished from the Son by the relations of paternity and innascibility; the Son from the Father by the relation of sonship; the Father and the Son from the Holy Spirit by spiration, so to say; and the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son by the procession of love, by this He proceeds from each of Them.

2 Beside these three Persons, no fourth in the divine nature can be asserted. For the divine Persons, since they agree in essence, cannot be distinguished except by relation of origin, as is clear. These relations of origin one must understand not as a procession which inclines to what is without—for what proceeds thus is not co-essential with its principle—one must understand them as proceeding within.
Of course, a thing which proceeds and remains its own principle is found only in the operation of the intellect and will, as was made clear.
Hence, the divine Persons cannot be multiplied save by the requirements of the procession of the intellect and will in God. It is, of course, not possible that there be in God more than one proceeding within His understanding, because His act of understanding is one, simple, and perfect, for in, understanding Himself He understands all things else.
And thus, there can be in God but one proceeding of the Word. In like manner, too, must the proceeding of Love be one only, for the divine will act is one and simple—by loving Himself He loves all things else.
Therefore, it is not possible that in God there be more than two Persons proceeding: one by way of intellect, as Word—namely the Son; the other by way of Love, as the Holy Spirit. There is also one Person who does not proceed—namely, the Father. Therefore, in the Trinity there can be only three Persons.

3 Again, let the divine Persons be distinguished by proceeding. But the mode of a person in proceeding can be but threefold: namely, to be altogether not proceeding, which is the Father’s mode; to be proceeding from one who does not proceed, which is the Son’s; to be proceeding from one who Proceeds, which is the Holy Spirit’s. Therefore, it is impossible to assert more than three Persons.

4 We grant, of course, that in other living things relations of origin can be multiplied—for example, in human nature there can be many fathers and many sons—but in the divine nature this is altogether impossible. For sonship, since in one nature it is of one species, cannot be multiplied except by matter or by subject; this is also the case with other forms. Hence, since in God there is neither matter nor subject, and since the relations are themselves subsistent (which is clear from what was said above) it is impossible that there be a plurality of sonships of God. The same reasoning holds for the other Persons. Thus, in God there are only three Persons.

5 Of course, an objector may say that in the Son who is perfect God there is infinite intellective power, and thus He can produce a word; in like fashion, since there is in the Holy Spirit infinite goodness which is the principle of communication, He will be able to communicate the divine nature to another person.
But such a one ought to consider that the Son is God, as begotten not as begetting; and so the intellective power is in Him as proceeding in the way of the Word, and not in Him as producing the Word. Similarly, since the Holy Spirit is God as proceeding, there is infinite goodness in Him as the Person receiving, and not in Him as communicating the infinite goodness to another. For the Persons are not distinguished from one another except by relations, as is clear from the things said above.
Therefore, all the fullness of divinity is the Son, numerically identical with that in the Father, but with the relation of birth, as it is in the Father with the relation of active generation. Hence, if the relation of the Father be attributed to the Son, all distinction is removed. And the same reasoning holds for the Holy Spirit.

6 Now, this divine Trinity has a likeness in the human mind which we can consider. For the mind itself, because it understands itself, conceives within itself a word. And this is nothing but the intelligible intention of the mind, which is called the mind understood and exists within the mind. When this mind further loves itself, it produces its very self in the will as beloved. Of course, it does not proceed further within itself, but the cycle is concluded when by love it returns to the very substance from which the proceeding began by the intention understood.
The proceeding extends to external effects when from love of itself it proceeds to make something. Thus, three things are discovered in the mind: the mind itself, the source of the proceeding, existing in its nature; and mind conceived in the intellect; and mind beloved in the will. For all that, these three are not one nature, for the mind’s act of understanding is not its being; and its will act is neither its being, nor its act of understanding. For this reason, also, the mind understood and the mind beloved are not persons, since they are not subsisting. Even the mind itself existing in its nature is not a person, for it is not the whole which subsists, but a part of the subsistent; namely, of the man.

That is a very long bit of Aquinas, so a shorter extract from Calvin, on where humility comes from: self examination, and a honest assessment of our state.

I have always been exceedingly delighted with the words of Chrysostom, "The foundation of our philosophy is humility;" and still more with those of Augustine, "As the orator, when asked, What is the first precept in eloquence? answered, Delivery: What is the second? Delivery: What the third? Delivery: so, if you ask me in regard to the precepts of the Christian Religion, I will answer, first, second, and third, Humility." By humility he means not when a man, with a consciousness of some virtue, refrains from pride, but when he truly feels that he has no refuge but in humility. This is clear from another passage, "Let no man," says he, "flatter himself: of himself he is a devil: his happiness he owes entirely to God. What have you of your own but sin? Take your sin which is your own; for righteousness is of God." Again, "Why presume so much on the capability of nature? It is wounded, maimed, vexed, lost. The thing wanted is genuine confession, not false defence." "When any one knows that he is nothing in himself, and has no help from himself, the weapons within himself are broken, and the war is ended." All the weapons of impiety must be bruised, and broken, and burnt in the fire; you must remain unarmed, having no help in yourself. The more infirm you are, the more the Lord will sustain you. So, in expounding the seventieth Psalm, he forbids us to remember our own righteousness, in order that we may recognise the righteousness of God, and shows that God bestows his grace upon us, that we may know that we are nothing; that we stand only by the mercy of God, seeing that in ourselves eve are altogether wicked. Let us not contend with God for our right, as if anything attributed to him were lost to our salvation. As our insignificance is his exaltation, so the confession of our insignificance has its remedy provided in his mercy. I do not ask, however, that man should voluntarily yield without being convinced, or that, if he has any powers, he should shut his eyes to them, that he may thus be subdued to true humility; but that getting quit of the disease of self-love and ambition, under the blinding of which he thinks of himself more highly than he ought to think, he may see himself as he really is, by looking into the faithful mirror of Scripture.

Pride, self pride and self esteem are lethal. Yes we were made in the image of God, but that image is now broken, and we have become fools.

All I know is right now the stupid is really hurting.