God Triune in the Beginning – and for the 21st Century

The Church-of-the-future will need to set out, also in the various inter-relationships of human society — the full implications of the Father's paternity, the Son's filiation, and the Spirit's procession. For the Church needs to distinguish the various personal attributes of the Deity ontically (within Himself) — from their application economically (within man's world).

The Church has distinguished between the Ontological Trinity and His economic coming into man's world. The Church now needs to distinguish between the Father's ontic and His economic paternity; between the Son's ontic and His economic filiation; and also between the Spirit's ontic and His economic procession. Yet, if the Church does not emphasize also those ongoing economic movements — she will undermine her own credibility and indeed also humanity's perception even of the ontic realities which undergird the economic movements. See: Tertullian, Novatian, Hilary, Augustine, Van Ruler, Rahner, and Van Til.

By the Father's economic paternity, we mean implementing the recognition by Christians — in His Church and in God's world — of the full theologico-socio-cultural implications of Mal. 2:10f & Eph. 3:14f. By the Son's economic filiation, we mean implementing the recognition by Christians — in His Church and in God's world — of the full theologico-socio-cultural implications of Prov. 30:4-11f & I Cor. 12:12-20f. By the Spirit's economic procession, we mean implementing Christians' recognition — in His Church and in God's World — of the full theologico-socio-cultural implications of Gen. 1:1-28 & Isa. 63:10-19 & II Cor. 3:8-18.

Also the Holy Tri-n-ity as such, should be seen as being reflected in the various triuni-ties within God's tri-uni-verse. Such would include: past-present-future (within time); the two-heavens-and-the-one-earth (within Genesis 1:1's primordial tri-uni-verse); lengthbreadth-height (within dimensions); the triadic chord (within music); blue-yellow-red (within the primary colours); father-mother-child (within families); Preachers-EldersDeacons (within churches); Legislatures-Administrations-Judiciaries (within civic governments); Cities-States-Federations (within lands); and body-soul-spirit (within each

GOD TRIUNE IN THE BEGINNING — AND FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

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human). Note that the latter presupposes neither tri- nor di-chotom-y, but tri-unity. Indeed, "'ashrey" or triunely "blessed is the man" of God in Psalm 1:1f.

In Calvin's May 1537 Letter to Grynee, he wrote: "When we first heard that the Arian [or unitarian] heresy was imputed to us, and then a little afterwards the Sabellian [or modalistic] — none of these things very much disturbed us, seeing that our ears had long since been well seasoned against such calumnies…. Indeed, some short time previously [in 1536], we had drawn up and set forth a Catechism…where we testify that we embraced the Father, the Son and the Spirit under one essence of the Godhead — making nevertheless such a distinction between Each from the Other, that no room might be left for any crooked suspicion or ambiguity. We taught, certainly, that Christ is the true and natural Son of God Who had possessed the like essential Deity with the Father from all eternity….

"Our Confession was produced at length…. Christ was there affirmed to be that Jehovah Whom of Himself alone was always self-existent…. Certainly if the distinction between the Father and the Word be considered attentively, we shall say that the One is from the Other. However, if the essential quality of the Word be considered — insofar as He is one God with the Father, whatever can be said concerning God [the Father] may also be applied to Him the Second Person in the glorious Trinity.

"Now what is the meaning of the name Jehovah? What did that answer imply, which was spoken to Moses? I AM THAT I AM! Paul makes Christ the Author of this saying…. Nothing, indeed, could have been set forth more plainly — than the statement in our Confession, that Christ is that Eternal Word begotten by the Father before all time. Therefore, truly, unless we please to imagine a twofold deity — it behooves that we speak concerning His Essence not otherwise than as concerning the essence of the one God…. I consider this to be a matter of great moment…. Adieu; may the Lord Jesus fill you with His Spirit — so that with one mind and heart you may be enabled to extend the glory of His Name!"

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