Habemus Altare

Are Father, Son, and Spirit always present in the actions of the other (or do they ever act separately)?

St. Gregory of Nyssa put it like this: The Father wills it, the Mind of God (the Son) thinks it, and the Spirit of God expresses it. There is a play on words here in the Greek, pneuma, which means wind, breath, and Spirit.

So imagine the wind expressed in the speaking of a word, the Breath of Life in the Speaking of the Word. Gregory’s point is that the Spirit expresses within time and space what the Father wills and what the Mind (Son) of God thinks - so that God’s Word is heard.

Note the identity here - what the Father wills, the Mind thinks, and the Spirit expresses are all the same. All three participate in Each Other and are present in what we creatures experience within time and space.

So, Gregory concluded, it is never correct to imagine that they act separately.

One might ask, “why does this matter?” Gregory’s teaching - which was ultimately enshrined in our creeds - brings to light a common error we’ve seen operative in modernity: the idea that the Spirit can express something other than the Truth of the Son. Some Christians have equated Spirit with Reason and suggested that the Spirit can lead to a different truth than that which the Son is.

The Rev. Craig Uffman in “Is Spirit another name for Reason?

My thoughts: The Spirit could not lead us to contradict the Bible if it clearly prohibited same-sex unions between Christians. We only have the license to bless them because we believe they are compatible with the message of Jesus and the witness of the Scriptures.

  1. affcath posted this