The Trinity

Oliver D. Crisp

in Jonathan Edwards on God and Creation

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755295
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979486 | DOI:
The Trinity

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His “speculations” on the Trinity are taken up in Chapter 6, which considers how the divine persons of the Godhead are individuated. The chapter argues there are at least two arguments in Edwards's work that offer accounts of this internal differentiation within God. One, an idealist version of a traditional, Augustinian argument for distinct divine persons, is not successful. But a second line of reasoning in Edwards's thinking is more helpful. However, it does yield an idiosyncratic, though not, strictly speaking, unorthodox, account of the different divine persons according to which each divine person is distinguished by relations as well as attributes that are not shared in the divine essence. In this respect, Edwards goes beyond his Reformed heritage. In so doing he does end up with what appears to be a problem for his understanding of divine simplicity. But it is not a problem generated by his doctrine of excellencyper se; it is difficulty attendant on the peculiar manner in which he individuates the divine persons.

Keywords: Trinity; divine persons; individuation; properties; attributes; simplicity; essence; nature; a priori argument; Benjamin Warfield; Paul Helm

Chapter.  9221 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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