Check Mate; Theological Communism Monday, Dec 31 2012 

John Hull, Emeritus Professor of Religious Education at the University of Birmingham, states in his, The Holy Trinity and Christian Education in a Pluralist World ,

“There is no hierarchy of power, no monarch from whom the Son and then the Spirit emanate, but a society of perfect order in perfect equality. ‘The Father is in me and I am in the Father’ (John 10:38). ‘The oppressed struggle for participation at all levels of life, for a just and egalitarian sharing while respecting the differences between persons and groups; they seek communion with other cultures and with other values. . .’. Leonardo Boff continues ‘For those who have faith, the trinitarian communion between the divine Three, the union between them in love and vital interpenetration, can serve as a source of inspiration, as a utopian goal that generates models of successively diminishing differences’.(58)”

Where oh, where did he get this idea? Hull states in his Karl Marx on Capital: Some Implications for Christian Adult Education,

“Just as the Father, notes Marx, in the Holy Trinity differentiates himself from the Son in the process of the eternal begetting of the Son and yet the Father and the Son remain one, and are also of one age since neither has a temporal priority, so capital differentiates itself into money and into commodities. ‘The Son, and by the Son the Father, is begotten. So soon does their difference vanish and they again become one.’ [Marx, The Capital, Volume 1, Part 2, Chapter 4-DS] Marx goes so far in denying the subordination of the Son because he wants to deny the monarchic principle. He wants a dynamic Trinity of complete mutuality between Father and Son, in which value is conceived by capital and made manifest through process.”

Is it any wonder then, that the Roman Catholic Church, having assumed this heretical denial of the Father’s Monarchy, would later develop communist economics? See Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question 55, Article 7, Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, and the Jesuit’s Reductions.


I contaced Professor Hull about this article. He replied,

“Dear Drake

The article to which you refer, “Karl Marx on Capital”, was published in
Modern Believing, Volume XXXVIII, No 1, January 1997, pp 22-31.

The comment of mine you mention does not claim to be based upon a new
quotation from Karl Marx but, as the context indicates, is a reflection
of my own upon the Trinitarian significance of the quotation from Marx
which immediately precedes it, i.e. (footnote 15) Capital 1973, Vol. 1,
p.154. Marx is making the point that capital both differentiates itself
from money/commodity whilst at the same time being reunited with it. The
implication of this is that he is drawing upon Western views of the
Trinity, in which the three are co-equal, co-eternal and of a single
essence, in contrast with what tended to be the Eastern view, which, as
you know, emphasised the monarchy of the Father. This would not do for
the purposes of Marx because it would deny to capital its strange
ability to move in and out of money and commodities.

I have not had time to get out Capital and check the quotation in note
15, to which my comment applies. If this is not correct, I am all at sea
because I have not got time to search through Capital to find it! But I
hope my explanation will show that an additional quotation was not in

Best wishes”





Dabney Backs Off of Making Filioque a Dogmatic Doctrine Monday, Dec 31 2012 

R.L. Dabney states,

“To the dispassionate mind, the dispute cannot but appear of small importance, and the grounds of both parties uncertain. The basis on which the idea itself of an eternal and necessary relation of procession rests, seems to me scarcely sufficiently solid without the analogy of the Son. It is composed of the facts that the Holy Ghost is called the Spirit, of the Father, and that in one solitary passage, (John xv: 26,) it is said, He “proceedeth from the Father.” All parties admit, that if there is such an eternal relation as procession, it is inscrutable. On the one hand, the Greeks rely on the fact that He is never said to proceed from the Son; and on the ancient view of the Greek scholastic fathers, that the Father alone is the [Arche] or […Theou]. On the other hand, the Latins urge, that the Holy Ghost is stated to be related to the Son, in the Scriptures, in every way, except procession, just as He is to the Father. He is the ” Spirit of the Son,” as well as the Spirit of the Father, (and they suppose the very name, Spirit, expresses His eternal relation as much as the word procession.) He is sent by the Son, and He is sent by the Father; He shows the things of the Son as much as those of the Father; for Christ says, (John xvi: 15,) “All things that the Father hath are mine.” But as Dick well observes : unless it can be proved

that spiration, mission, and speaking the things of Christ, exhaust the whole meaning of procession, the demonstration is not complete. And since the whole meaning of procession is not intelligible to human minds, that quality of meaning cannot be known, except by an express assertion of God Himself. Such an express word we lack; and hence, it appears to me, that this is a subject on which we should not dogmatize.” Systematic Theology, Lecture 18, pg. 198-199

Subordination: An Affirmation of Distinct Species Entirely? I deny Monday, Dec 31 2012 

In a recent comment Sean Gerety replies to Ryan Hedrich’s statement

“Generic unity pertains to unity among species due to a common genus. Mentioning an individuating property of the Father about which we disagree does not show my view of generic unity to be defective”


“Actually it does since for you the Son and Spirit are ontological inferiors to whom you attach the predicate “divinity” but who lack deity as you consider only the Father as the one true God. Per you and Drake (the father of your error) God the Father is a different species entirely and a superior one at that.”

What is the basis for his accusation? Gerety states,  

“Wolves and Labradors may be both canines, but no one would be stupid enough to confuse a black lab with a wolf.”

>>>This is a straw man argument. A Black Labrador is not begotten from the being of a Wolf.  Yet the Son is begotten from the being of the Father.

Thus Sean’s basis for his accusation of our view, “God the Father is a different species entirely” fails.

Sean Gerety Comes Out of the Closet Saturday, Dec 29 2012 

This going to be brief but, at a recent Triablogue post,  Sean Gerety praises Steve Hays saying:

“A brilliant refutation of everything Drake and Tuggy stand for. With your permission, I’d like to repost this on my blog (FWIW I look forward to the scowls from Drake and his followers confirming I’m a closet Vantillian after all, when in fact I have no tolerance for Unitarians and other deniers of the Son. I have my disagreements with Vantillians, but this isn’t one of them).”

Oh but Sean, Steve openly admits he rejects the Nicene Creed 325 and Nicene Theology in general. Have you not followed this? Sean’s admission of his connection with Van Tillians here is very satisfying. It was like watching Cardinal Wolsey admit his allegiance with hell while the court mocked his hypocritical life.  This comment on Steve’s blog was the knife that Wolsey put to his throat.

Just as a sweep up:  in this blog Steve conflated work and nature, thus collapsing activity onto nature. All of my readers are very familiar with this. Neoplatonism’s Monad, has no distinction between nature, will and activity. Thus to be is the same thing as to create, is the same thing as to be wise, is the same thing as to be a person, is the same thing as to be merciful, etc. It is a complete conflation of the ontological and economical trinity. Lastly, he wrote a fractional response to my advisor’s post which nowhere affirmed that the Trinity has one will, as to faculty. We have all affirmed generic unity. Thus there is three wills in eternity with respect to faculty, and one will with respect to object. Thus, all three wills, will the same divine decree. The Son and Spirit obey the Father’s will.  This is not even in the same universe as Unitarianism. Unitarianism would deny the first affirmation of three volitional faculties in eternity right off the press.  This is why I stopped debating Steve. The man is utterly incompetent and a pathalogical liar. He doesn’t even consider how I am going to respond to his posts, and he will never escape my Monad radar. I am going to catch you on it every time Steve. This is a result of your cavalier view of the Bible and Church History that you feel in your self-proclaimed Papacy, that you can do anything you want with.  Watching you reinterpret the Bible on your own authority over there at Triablogue is sickening. I am making such easy work of you Steve because of this. I have submitted to lawful courts and to ancient wisdom. You only to your hubris. My view is taught directly in the Bible. Your view is nowhere to be found.

Boycott Django in Kentucky; Jamie Foxx’s Attempt at Race War Exposed in His Recent Movie Friday, Dec 28 2012 

Jamie Foxx has recently made a movie, demonizing the antebellum South and the land and peoples of my ancestry once again, providing an occasion for racial agitation between blacks and whites in America, providing false justification for the invasion and displacement of white men in America by way of illegal immigration, and once again providing occasion for men to blaspheme the social structure given to Moses by Almighty God. I have not seen this movie, but from what I understand from reading and watching his introduction of it on Saturday Night Live, this movie will most likely run along the typical Jacobin-Jesuit party lines. Before one comes to make a moral judgment concerning Southern Slavery, one must come to make a judgment on Philosophy in general. How does one know whether something is right or wrong? Come to think of it, how does one know anything at all? When someone honestly studies the history of Empiricism, he will be left empty handed. Secularists cannot define sensation or show how it produces thinking, cannot define what physical reality is, cannot escape the formal fallacy of induction, and cannot demonstrate how mathematics represents our physical reality. Having been disappointed with secularism, the Western man faces 3 primary choices, all of which claim the same Abrahamic root and all of which leave this man with no escape concerning the issue of slavery: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Before I continue I want to make clear that I am not advocating that black people in America today should be enslaved. I suggest that the solutions offered by black civil rights leaders like Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey should be pursued to address the problems associated with the black community in America today. The fact is, the Bible is full of Scriptures concerning slavery and its administration in society. First, I want to make clear that there is a distinction between a slave TRADE and the INSTITUTION of slavery. The former is condemned in Exo 21:16. The latter is clearly condoned by God. First, there are two primary categories: Natives and Foreigners. For natives, Exo 21:2-6, 22:1-4, Lev 25:39, and Deut 15:12-15 explain that slavery was imposed upon some for crime or voluntarily entered into as a financial safety net in a case of a financial emergency. Exodus 21:16 strongly condemns kidnapping a man and bringing him into a slave market when it says, He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death. The duration of the lawful, native slavery was only 6 years, not hereditary. However, with regard to foreigners, in Lev 24:22, 25:35-37, 44-46 and Exo 21: 20-27, we see that the terms were a bit different and the slaves could be held hereditarily. Now God did forbid cruelty and severity in slave holding as defined by Exo 21:20-27. Some may object that the beatings in Exo 21 are not uncruel in themselves. This is only because we live in a very lawless and effeminate society that this seems cruel. Beatings are required for the CHILDREN of slave holders (Prov 23:13), much more for his slaves. Now to the New Testament. First, 1 Tim 1:9-10 repeats Moses’ prohibition of man stealing. Paul repeats Moses’ commands to treat slaves with justice and without cruelty in Col 4:1 Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven, but he never prohibits the institution itself, and so far from revolution he states, “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters”, Eph 6:5. I DID NOT WRITE THOSE SCRIPTURES! IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THEM YOU ARE NO FOLLOWER OF ABRAHAM AND MOSES! YOU ARE A COMMUNIST. THAT IS GOD’S LAW. WHO ARE YOU TO REPLY AGAINST GOD? As I have shown in my Did The White People Of This Original Colony Of Virginia Kidnap Africans To Make Them Their Slaves? my ancestors in Virginia did not send a single vessel to Africa to kidnap slaves, but did everything they could, with taxes and petitions, to keep the slave trade away from their shores. The English government, manipulated by our most powerful religious enemies, the Jesuits, forced upon us the African slave trade to insight a race war. This was the first race war. It failed. Abraham Lincoln’s civil war, the second race war, was not about slavery. You may cry, Neo-Confederate conspiracy, not History! On the contrary, Lincoln stated in his letter to Horace Greeley, “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.” The issue was not slavery, but federalism. That is, this war was fought to change our citizenship from a sovereign state citizenship, to mere subjects of an empire. This was to culminate into a military industrial complex, whereby these United States were to be turned into a Roman War Machine. (A very interesting topic for another time) This race war succeeded, in part. Now in the 21st century, the same Jesuitical powers that originally started the African slave trade in the late 15th century, are pursuing yet another race war. That is where we find ourselves today as we are faced with Jamie Foxx’s new movie, Django. This movie is designed to demonize the white men here in America, by way of misrepresenting and twisting and demonizing the actions of white men in the past. This is nothing new. The abolitionists in the mid 19th century were doing this and their lies were exposed. What lies you ask. Well, the lies that will most likely characterize this movie Django:

Lie #1: The South forbid the slaves to read and write.

Ans. Wrong. After the Nat Turner rebellion which murdered about 60 people, Virginia passed a law that no stranger, black, or person outside of the family or not approved by the family could educate the black slaves. The Nat Turner rebellion was shown to stem from abolition propaganda and thus protections were needed. (Code of Virginia, 1849, Chapter 198, Sections 28-33). The families of the slaves educated them. Such an example can be found in the Sabbath Schools, such as the one administered by Stonewall Jackson. There are many books concerning this topic.

Lie #2: The South treated the slaves like cattle and gave them no day of rest.

Ans. Wrong. The Slaves were given a Sabbath rest as protected by law. The Code of Virginia, 1849, Chapter 196, Section 16 states, “If a free person, on a Sabbath day, be found laboring at any trade or calling, or employ his apprentices, servants or slaves in labour or other business, except in household or other work of necessity or charity, he shall forfeit two dollars for each offence; every day any servant, apprentice or slave is so employed, constituting a distinct offence.” I don’t have that right today!

Lie #3: The South gave preferential treatment to whites and denied blacks proper justice in their courts.

Ans. Sure the whites were treated with preference. They were the people who established the government. Jews were given preferential treatment to foreigners in the Mosaic law as we have seen above. That does not mean that the Southern system denied blacks proper justice. Yes, there were cruel and inhuman treatments of blacks, but those were the vast minority of the occasions and they were sins of individuals not indicative of the Southern system. The abuse of an institution does not warrant the destruction of it. Men of all races abuse their wives. Does that mean the institution of marriage  should be abrogated? And take that seriously my American friend. There are women who extend the abolishment of slavery into the marriage sphere. The commune is an institution well known to practice community conjugal relationships. Every government I am aware of has committed terrible acts of cruelty to their own people and the peoples of other countries. Does that mean that the institution should be abrogated? Again, my American friend, take into consideration that this abrogation is a popular anarchist sentiment among the very idealistic groups who supported abolition.

The Code of Virginia, 1849, Chapter 191, Section 9, criminalizes acts of violence committed by either a white man or a black man. In Commonwealth v. Carver. June T. 1827. 5 Rand’s Rep. 660, as recorded in A Practical Treatise on the Law of Slavery by Jacob D. Wheeler (pg. 254), this law was judged to be applicable to the victim: a black slave. In Souther v. The Commonwealth. 7 Grattan, 673, 1851, Simeon Souther was convicted of second degree murder for abusing his slave Sam, without intention to kill; yet the slave did die on this occasion. For his cruelty he was convicted of 2nd degree murder and confined to the penitentiary where he died. Moreover, kidnapping and selling people into slavery was punished with confinement to the penitentiary 3-10 years. (The Code of Virginia, 1849, Chapter 191, Section 17). Not only was slavery by kidnapping forbidden, but if one found himself the victim of such a crime, a slave could sue for freedom if he was detained unlawfully. (The Code of Virginia, 1849, Chapter 106)

Lie #4: The Southern system did not protect Black slave women from rape.

Ans. Wrong! The rape of a woman was condemned in The Code of Virginia 1849, Chapter 191, Section 15. R.L. Dabney says,

“…while many indictments are found against black men for rape of white women, none exist, in the history of jurisprudence, against white men for rape of black women. And this, not because there would have been any difficulty in making the indictment lie: but because, as the most experienced lawyers testify, the crime is unheard of on the part of white men amongst us.”(Defence of Virginia, 1867, page 233)

If one wishes to investigate the men who perpetrated the most rape in the South, it was the Yankee invading Army. One such mass rape was under the 18th Ohio, Union army brigadier general, Ivan Turchaninov in Athens Alabama, April, 1862. One can simply look at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2008 Statistical Tables, table 42, to see that white men raped 0% of the Black women represented by this investigation. This is traditionally indicative of this study. As a member of the infamous White male demographic, I can assure you that white men are in the vast majority, interested in two kinds of women: White women and Asian women. I have lived in multi-cultural societies my entire life and I have known zero white men who had a black girlfriend or a black wife. As a rule, we are not very interested in black women. You see, the Yankee establishment is a factory of lies. They have been caught lying by many Northern investigators themselves before the Civil War. One such man was John A. Quitman, who was born in New York, and was raised and educated in the Yankee establishment. He then moved to Mississippi in 1820. In 1823 he wrote to Col. Brush, (And remember, this was written in 1823)

“…On public holidays they have dinners equal to an Ohio barbecue, and Christmas, for a week or ten days, is a protracted festival for the blacks…They are strongly attached to ‘old massa’ and ‘old missus,’ but their devotion to ‘young massa’ and ‘young missus’ amounts to enthusiasm…In short, these ‘niggers,’ as you call them, are the happiest people I have ever seen, and some of them, in form, features, and movement, are real sultanas.

So far from being fed on ‘salted cotton-seed,’ as we used to believe in Ohio, they are oily, sleek, bountifully fed, well clothed, well taken care of, and one hears them at all times whistling and singing cheerily at their work. They have an extraordinary facility for sleeping. A negro is a great night-walker. He will, after laboring all day in the burning sun, walk ten miles to a frolic, or to see his ‘Dinah,’ and be at home and at his work by daylight next morning. This would knock up a white man or an Indian. But a negro will sleep during the day—sleep at his work, sleep on the carriagebox, sleep standing up; and I have often seen them sitting bareheaded in the sun on a high rail-fence, sleeping as securely as though lying in bed. They never lose their equipoise, and will carry their cotton-baskets or their water-vessels, filled to the brim, poised on their heads, walking carelessly and at a rapid rate, without spilling a drop. The very weight of such burdens would crush a white man’s brains into apoplexy. Compared with the ague-smitten and suffering settlers that you and I have seen in Ohio, or the sickly and starved operators -we read of in factories and in mines, these Southern slaves are indeed to be envied. They are treated with great humanity and kindness. I have only heard of one or two exceptions. And the only drawback to their happiness is that their owners, sometimes, from extravagance or other bad management, die insolvent, and then they must be sold to the highest bidder, must leave the old homestead and the old family, and pass into the hands of strangers.” (Life and Correspondence of John A. Quitman by John Francis Hamtramck Claiborne, Volume 1, page 83-84.)

The Patriarchal Christian culture of the South must rise again. Look at your country reader. We have the highest crime rate among all 1st world countries, we are flooded with sex trades, marital and relational chaos, and our country has killed over 50 million unborn children since Roe v. Wade in the name of Women’s Rights; which said movement spawned out of abolition!  The world hates us. In the 1870s Southern writers predicted this would happen as a result of Yankee ideas. This is the result of a series of social choices that this country has made in the last 150 years. These choices all stemmed out of the Jacobinism of the French Revolution which laid the foundations for Communism. These are the cold, merciless facts no matter how they make you feel.  I trust you will rethink the mis-education you have received and begin resisting the Yankee’s conquering social disaster by boycotting Django and exposing the lies of the liberal media and the entertainment industry.

Greek Considerations with Reference to John 10:30, ed. by Drake Shelton Friday, Dec 28 2012 

sdott_errata_grammarThe following is the work of one of my many advisors. Thanks man, great work!

The errata in SDotT that precedes page 1 basically summarizes the entire argument (attached).

As you know, Greek can place the term “One” in masculine, feminine, or neuter form:

(H)EIS | MIA | (H)EN
Masc. Fem. Neut.

This is lost in english reading, but of course we believe that every point of grammar is fully inspired.

For example, neither The Father, nor The Son, nor The Holy Ghost are ever once referred to as “One” by the term “Mia” (feminine) – this would be absolutely inappropriate, as scripture reveals all three Persons to be masculine. This is already evident by the Names “Father” and “Son” (Male / Male), but many argue that the Spirit of God is an impersonal “force” or “energy.” The strongest proofs I know of to refute this are in John’s Gospel – where the term “Ekeinos” meaning “that one” is translated as “He” with reference to The Spirit of God (a Masculine single Person).It is accurately translated as “He” because the masculine form of Ekeinos is used; if feminine it would need to be translated “She,” if neuter then “It.”

Each verse below must be translated as “He” in english, because of the masculine form of “Ekeinos” (“that one”).

Joh_14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He (masculine noun) shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Joh_15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He (masculine noun) shall testify of me:

Joh_16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, He (masculine noun) will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Joh_16:14 He (masculine noun) shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

The above examples are extremely important because it shows that grammar is not only significant, it is critical. The Christian Church is already using the gender specified by these nouns to prove doctrine of Divinity – namely, the personality of the Holy Spirit, against the pagan notions that he is an impersonal force.

With that in mind, here are the monotheistic passages which specifically use the term “One” in scripture:

Mat. 19:17 “None good but One (HEIS) – God”
Luk_18:19 HEIS ” ” ” ” ”
Mar_10:18 HEIS ” ” ” ” ”

Rom_3:30 HEIS One God / justify circumcision and uncircumcision by Faith
Mark 12:29 / Mark 12:32 “The Lord thy God is One Lord” HEIS / Well you have said the truth for there is One God” HEIS
Joh_8:41 (H)ENA (Accusative Singular Masculine) / We have One Father : God
1Co_8:4 HEIS – None other God but One
1Co_8:6 HEIS / HEIS – One God the Father / and One Lord Jesus Christ
[Demonstrating One Person – The Father and then One Person – The Son]



Gal_3:20 HENOS / HEIS
A Mediatior is not a Mediator of one (one person – “(H)ENOS” Genitive Singular Masculine)
But God is One (person – “(H)EIS” Nominative Singular Masculine)
[this is a good one.]


Eph_4:6 HEIS – One God and Father of All

1Ti_2:5 HEIS (One) God | HEIS (One) Mediator
[also great – both are (H)EIS – One God (Single Person – The Father) and One Mediator (Single Person – The Son) ]

Jas_2:19 | HEIS Thou believest there is ONE God

In every instance above, “One” is placed in the Masculine Singular form, demonstrating one male person. Samuel Clarke argues in his errata that this is the only way to appropriately signify God as a single Personality by this term (since God can never be referred to as female, and that if the neuter form were to be used it would make God an “it” and not a person – as with the Holy Ghost argument from John’s Gospel above).


In stark contrast to these passages, John 10:30 uses a different form of the term “One.” For anyone who has been following the generic vs. numeric unity arguments, this one pretty much jumps off the page:

Joh 10:30 I and my Father are One (“(H)EN”).

Here, in a passage where many fall into sabellianism (numeric unity) it is clear that God has something else in mind. My first reaction was that the text is suggesting they are “One Kind” or “One Class” as in the ‘same genus’ – that both are Divine Persons. We later worked through the context and it appears to be referring to their unity according to their wills in salvation – that Christ is the Good Shepherd who wills to save, and that God His Father, who is greater than all, also wills for their salvation (surprisingly, offering an even deeper comfort). Looking again at the errata, Samuel Clarke makes the same argument – that they are not ‘(H)eis – One Person’ but that they are ‘(H)en – one and the same thing as to the exercise of Power.’ (ie. they are of one “(H)en” accord in the matter of salvation).


Another text in which “(H)en” demonstrates generic unity is 1 John 5:7 and 5:8. Manuscript opinions aside, both verses use the term in a way that signifies Generic Unity.

1Jn 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one (“(H)en”).
1Jn 5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one (“(H)en”).

I John 5:8 shows the usage clearly – “These three agree in one.”

The History of the Reformed Apostasy from the Monarchy of the Father and the only Begotten Son in Herman Bavink edited by Drake Shelton Friday, Dec 28 2012 

The following is the work of mark Xu with my edition. Thanks Mark!

“The first person is, and is called, the Father because he stands in a unique relation to the Son and the Spirit, etc. (ibid., V, 5), just as the appellative “Lord,” “Creator,” etc., denote God’s relation to his creatures but do no introduce any change in his being (ibid., 16,17). Secondly and consequently, Augustine had to reject the dualism construed earlier between the Father and the Son. The Son, being himself true God, is no less hidden and invisible than the Father and is perfectly equal to the Father. All subordinationism is banished. Augustine goes even further than Athanasius. The latter still allowed for some subordination (C. Arian. I, 59) but Augustine has abandoned all trace of the idea that the Father is the real, the original God. He bases himself on the essence of God, which is present equally in all three persons. Although he still calls the Father the fountainhead or first principle of the deity (De trin., IV, 20), in his mind it has another meaning. It does not mean that deity logically exists first in the Father and is then imparted by him to the Son and the Spirit. The Father can only be called Father because it is as person, not as God, that he is the Father of the Son. In that sense Augustine also reads the Nicene phrase “very God of very God (De trin., VII, 2,3).”

Herman Bavink Reformed Dogmatic, Lib 2 P. 287

It appeared, first of all, in the form of subordinationism. According to this view, the Son is indeed eternal, begotten from the essence of the Father, not a creature and not brought into being out of nothing, yet inferior and subordinate to the Father. The Father alone is God (ο θεοσ); he alone is the fountain of deity. The Son is God (θεοσ) having received his nature from the Father by communication. This was the teaching of Justin, Tertullian, Clement, Origen, and others. It was also the teaching of the semi-Arians, Eusebius of Caesarea and Eusebius of Nicomedia, who gave the Son a place “outside of the Father” and called him “like the Father in essence (ομοιουσιοσ). In latter times this was the position of the Remonstrants *54, the supernaturalist, and many theologians in modern times.

*54 Remonstrant Confession, art. 3; J. Arminius, Opera theologica (Leiden: Godefridum Basson, 1629), 232ff

Second, it reappeared in its ancient form, the form it has in Arius himself, in numerous post-Reformation theologians, especially in England. Milton, for example, held that the Son and the Spirit were created by the free will of the Father before the creation of the world, and were only called “God” by virtue of their office, like the judges and magistrates in the Old Testament. With minor modifications this was also the view of W. Whiston, whose Arianism triggered a spate of polemical counter writings, of S.Clarke, P. Maty, Dan Whitby, Harwood, of many Remonstrants in the Netherlands, and in a later period, of the Groningen theologians. * 59

*59 P. Hofstede de Groot, De Groningen Godgeleerdheid in Humne Eigenaadigheid (Groningen: Scholtens, 1855), 160ff.

A third form in which Arianism reappeared is Socinianism. Its position was that the Father is the one true God. The Son is a holy human being, created by God through an immediate supernatural conception, and did not exist before that conception. He was created for no other purpose than to proclaim a new law to humankind. After completing this task, he was elevated to a position in heaven, where he became a partaker of divine grace. The Spirit is no more than a divine power. This Socinianism spread from Poland to Germany, The Netherlands, England, and America. In the last-mentioned two countries its representatives were John Biddle, Nathanael Lardner, Theophilus Lindsey and Joseph Priestley, the founder of the Unitarian Society, and others, Thus Socinianism passed into Unitarianism.

Ibid. Lib 2 P. 291, 292


All that was worked out in greater detail by Augustine. He does not derive the Trinity from the Father but from the unity of the divine essence, nor does he conceive of it as accidental but rather as an essential characteristic of the divine being. It belongs to God’s very essence to be triune. [TRINUNITY THEN DOES NOT BELONG TO PERSONS BUT TO THE ESSENCE. THUS THE PERSONS ARE NOT SUBJECTS BUT ATTRIBUTES/PREDICATES OF THE ESSENCE.-DS] In that regard personhood is identical with God’s being itself. “For to God it is not one thing to be and another to be a person, but it is altogether the same thing” (De trin, VII, 6). For if being belonged to God in a absolute sense, and personhood in a relative sense, the three persons could not be one being. Each person, therefore, is identical with the entire being and equal to the other two or all three together. With created beings that is different. One person does not equal three but, says Augustine, “in God it is not so, for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit together are not a greater being than the Father alone or the Son alone; but these three substances or persons, if they must be so called, are at one and the same time equal to each individually” (De trin., VII, 6) “In the full Trinity one is only as much as the three are altogether, nor are two any more than one. They are, moreover, finite in themselves. So each [person] is in each [person], and all are in each, and all are one” (De trin., VI, 10). The Trinity itself is as great as each person in it (De trin., VIII, 1) Accordingly, the distinction between being and person and between the persons among themselves cannot lie in any substance but only in their mutual relations. “Hence, whatever is said concerning God with respect to himself is both said of each person individually, that is, f the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and at the same time of the Trinity itself, not in the plural but in the singular”(De Trin., V, 8). “Moreover, whatever the individual parts are called in the same Trinity, they are in no way so called relative to themselves but relative to one another or to the creature, and therefore it is obvious that these things are said with respect to their relations and not to their essence” (De Trin., V, 11) ……. The difference really exists, namely, in the mode of existence. The persons are modes of existence within the being; hence, the person differ among themselves as one mode of existence differs from another, or – as the illustration has it – as the open palm differs from the closed fist.


Ibid. Lib 2 P. 303, 304

The distinctness of the individual persons, therefore, arises totally from the so-called “personal properties”: 1) paternity (“unbegottenness,” active generation, and active spiration) 2) filiation or sonship, passive generation, active spiration; 3) procession or passive spiration. These personal attributes, in the nature of the case, add nothing substantially new to the being. A human person who becomes a father does not fundamentally change, but only acts in a relation that had been foreign to him earlier. So as the divine being is not substantially different from being Father, Son, and Spirit but only relationally. One and the same being is, and is called, “Father” when it is understood in his relation to the same being in the person of the Son. The persons differ individually only in that one is Father, the other Son, and the third Spirit.

In each of the three persons, we might say, the divine being is completely coextensive with being Father, Son, and Spirit. Paternity, filiation, and procession, so far from being accidental properties of the divine being, are the eternal modes of existence of, and the eternal immanent relations within, that being.


Ibid. Lib 2 P. 305


Finally, the three persons are, by generation and spiration, related to each other in an absolute manner; their personal distinctness as subjects completely coincides with their immanent interpersonal relationships. The Father is only and eternally Father; the Son is only and eternally Son; the Spirit in only and eternally Spirit. And inasmuch as each person is himself in an eternal, simple, and absolute manner, the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. The Father is God as Father; the Son is God as Son; the Holy Spirit is God as Holy Spirit. And inasmuch as all three are God, they all partake of one single divine nature. Hence, there is but one God, Father Son, and Holy Spirit. May he [HE? DON’T YOU MEAN IT? -DS]be praised forever!


Ibid. Lib 2 P. 306

Postscript from the editor: As the reader chews on the above I ask him to evaluate the teaching of Bavink, who was a big influence on Van Til, and compare them with the view of the Trinity espoused by Sean Gerety. They are, in my estimation, identical. Gerety’s rejection of Van Til’s view of the Trinity is then simply semantical and superficial. It is the view espoused at this blog and that of Ryan Hedrich’s, which is in most keeping with the intention and direction of Gordon Clark’s Scripturalism.

Steve Hays and Special Pleading Wednesday, Dec 26 2012 

It has become abundantly clear that Steve Hays thinks he can appeal to completely unverifiable and undefinable concepts in a debate over Theology Proper. When I accuse him of worshiping three gods, he simply appeals to anthropomorphic tri-theism and thus over-rules any inquiry into his view by falling back on the unverifiability and undefinability  of his words.  He claims that eternal generation cannot be true because it is a metaphor. I ask him what he means by metaphor and he simply cops out by saying that the Bible does not define metaphor. Thus any dialogue with this man is a waste of time. I went to great trouble to read through his Trinitarian writings. I spent over a month reading through all of his material and writinging a summary of his debates with Dale Tuggy. The man has not dealt with even a fraction of my material. I appreciate that he had the guts to allow these issues to be placed before his blog forum publicly, but his replies were terribly unconvincing, vague and dismissive. I have much bigger issues to deal with right now. I have no more time for Steve’s games.

A Biblical Defense of the Right to Bear Arms and To Use them Within a Body Politic Against Tyrant Rulers, and Religious Apostates from Lawful Covenants Wednesday, Dec 26 2012 

Psa 149: 5 Let the godly ones exult in glory; Let them sing for joy on their beds. 6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, 7 To execute vengeance on the nations And punishment on the peoples, 8 To bind their kings with chains And their nobles with fetters of iron, 9 To execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the Lord!

“for we may defend ourselves against many whom we must not pray against, to wit, our private enemies, for whom we are commanded to pray: yet nobody will deny but we may resist their violence: and likewise, we are commanded to pray for kings, when invested with God’s authority; but when their degeneration looses us from from that obligation to pray for them, and allows us to pray against them when they turn enemies to God (as we see in the prayers of the psalmist) then also we may more warrantably resist them by defensive arms.”

Alexander Shields, A Hind Let Loose, pg. 715

The following is based on A Hind Let Loose Head V by Alexander Shields

First, I would like to say that the Puritan view of defenseive arms condemns rising in arms over private injuries as David’s killing of Saul would have been. (1 Sam 24:10, 12, 13; 1 Sam 26:9-10). We condemn rising in arms to force the government to be of our religion if that government has not already covenanted. But, if a government has apostasized from a religious covenant, that government may be assaulted by whatever means necessary to bring it back under that lawful covenant.  If a government has deliberately defiled religion by force of arms,  the covenanted people of God may defend their religion and their rights against force by whatever means necessary, even violence proved:

1. Abraham violently resisted the King of Sodom; and may I remind the reader that this was before the theocracy.

Gen. 14: 12 They also took Lot, Abram’s nephew, and his possessions and departed, for he was living in Sodom. 13 Then a fugitive came and told Abram the Hebrew. Now he was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner, and these were allies with Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. 16 He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and the people.

2. Violent resisting of a King, which said King was brought as judgment upon Israel, thus the people of God may resist God’s judgments.

Judges 3: 10 The Spirit of the Lord came upon him [Othniel], and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the Lord gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, so that he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. 11 Then the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died. (Thus resisting of God’s judgments is lawful)

3. Another King violently resisted, and assassinated, who also was God’s judgment on Israel.

Judges 3: 12 Now the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord. 13 And he gathered to himself the sons of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and defeated Israel, and they possessed the city of the palm trees. 14 The sons of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. 15 But when the sons of Israel cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up adeliverer for them, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man. And the sons of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 Ehud made himself a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length, and he bound it on his right thigh under his cloak. 17 He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 It came about when he had finished presenting the tribute, that he sent away the people who had carried the tribute. 19 But hehimself turned back from the idols which were at Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” And he said, “Keep silence.” And all who attended him left him. 20 Ehud came to him while he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And he arose from his seat. 21 Ehud stretched out his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh and thrust it into his belly. 22 The handle also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not draw the sword out of his belly; and the refuse came out. 23 Then Ehud went out into the vestibule and shut the doors of the roof chamber behind him, and locked them.

4. A group of men, aligned with our violent rebellion, rebuked the followers of Jephthah for not conducting rebellion without leadership and are routed for it. Thus the Lord blesses rebellions who have no noble or government leadership.

Judges12:1 Then the men of Ephraim were summoned, and they crossed to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the sons of Ammon without calling us to go with you? We will burn your house down on you.” 2 Jephthah said to them, “I and my people were at great strife with the sons of Ammon; when I called you, you did not deliver me from their hand. 3 When I saw that you would not deliver me, I took my life in my hands and crossed over against the sons of Ammon, and the Lord gave them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?” 4 Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought Ephraim; and the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they said, “You are fugitives of Ephraim, O Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim and in the midst of Manasseh.” 5 The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan opposite Ephraim. And it happened when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the men of Gilead would say to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” 6 then they would say to him, “Say now, ‘Shibboleth.’” But he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it correctly. Then they seized him and slew him at the fords of the Jordan. Thus there fell at that time 42,000 of Ephraim.

Kiel & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

“Jephthah’s War with the Ephraimites, and Office of Judge. – Judges12:1. The jealousy of the tribe of Ephraim, which was striving afterthe leadership, had already shown itself in the time of Gideon in sucha way that nothing but the moderation of that judge averted openhostilities. And now that the tribes on the east of the Jordan hadconquered the Ammonites under the command of Jephthah without theco-operation of the Ephraimites, Ephraim thought it necessary toassert its claim to take the lead in Israel in a very forcible manner.”[1]

5. A godly man who recognized the occupation of the Philistines took upon himself to terrorize the Philistines even though his own countrymen had sold out to the rule of the Philistines, thus the will of God over rules the will of the people.

Judges 15:4 Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took torches, and turned the foxes tail to tail and put one torch in the middle between two tails. 5 When he had set fire to the torches, he released the foxes into the standing grain of the Philistines, thus burning up both the shocks and the standing grain, along with the vineyards and groves. 6 Then the Philistines said, “Who did this?” And they said, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he took his wife and gave her to his companion.” So the Philistines came up and burned her and her father with fire.7 Samson said to them, “Since you act like this, I will surely take revenge on you, but after that I will quit.” 8 He struck them ruthlessly with a great slaughter; and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam. 9 Then the Philistines went up and camped in Judah, and spread out in Lehi. 10 The men of Judah said, “Why have you come up against us?” And they said, “We have come up to bind Samson in order to do to him as he did to us.” 11 Then 3,000 men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Do you not know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?” And he said to them, “As they did to me, so I have done to them.” 12 They said to him, “We have come down to bind you so that we may give you into the hands of the Philistines.” And Samson said to them, “Swear to me that you will not kill me.” 13 So they said to him, “No, but we will bind you fast and give you into their hands; yet surely we will not kill you.” Then they bound him with two new ropes and brought him up from the rock. 14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him. And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him mightily so that the ropes that were on his arms were as flax that is burned with fire, and his bonds dropped from his hands. 15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, so he reached out and took it and killed a thousand men with it. 16 Then Samson said,

 “With the jawbone of a donkey,
Heaps upon heaps,
With the jawbone of a donkey
I have killed a thousand men.”

17 When he had finished speaking, he threw the jawbone from his hand; and he named that place Ramath-lehi. 18 Then he became very thirsty, and he called to the Lord and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19 But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi so that water came out of it. When he drank, his strength returned and he revived. Therefore he named it En-hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day. 20 So he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines.


6. Some traitors to their race, their nation and their ansestors says that we may resist when the government makes us sin but that is all. On the contrary, the people of God resisted their King Saul’s tyrannical legislation because he had no authority to oblige an oath on his people. To abstain from honey is not a sin yet the people lawfully resisted him. It was their right and moreover their duty to use force in preserving life. Thus the popular idea that Christians should submit to authority and rebel only if the government forces them to sin is inaccurate.

 1 Sam 14: 24 Now the men of Israel were hard-pressed on that day, for Saul had put the people under oath, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food before evening, and until I have avenged myself on my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food. 25All the people of the land entered the forest, and there was honey on the ground. 26 When the people entered the forest, behold, there was a flow of honey; but no man put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath… 43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” So Jonathan told him and said, “I indeed tasted a little honey with the end of the staff that was in my hand. Here I am, I must die!” 44 Saul said, “May God do this to me and more also, for you shall surely die, Jonathan.” 45 But the people said to Saul, “Must Jonathan die, who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Far from it! As the LORD lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people rescued Jonathan and he did not die. 46 Then Saul went up from pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.

7. David took Goliath’s Sword to defend himself against Saul.

1 Sam 21: 9 Then the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, behold, it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod; if you would take it for yourself, take it. For there is no other except it here.” And David said,  “There is none like it; give it to me.”

Rutherford complains,

“Royalists make David’s act of not putting hands on the Lord’s anointed an ordinary moral reason against resistance, but his putting on of armour they will have extraordinary”. (Lex Rex pg. 169) David’s coup is mentioned in 1 Chroon 12:23-40.

8. The prophet Elisha commanded violent resistance to the messenger of a King come to oppress the people of God.

2 Kings 6:32 Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. And the king sent a man from his presence; but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold the door shut against him. [The Hebrew word here is lachats which can mean squeeze, oppress, afflict or thrust against. [2]

9. Abstinence from violent rebellion against Tyranny is cursed.

Judges 5: 16 Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. 17 Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches. 18 Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.19 The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money. 20 They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.21 The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength. 22 Then were the horsehoofs broken by the means of the pransings, the pransings of their mighty ones. 23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.

10. Promised deliverance from absolute oppression by violence.

Gen 49: 19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

Deut 33:20 And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.


11. The blessing of God in overthrowing wicked tyrant rulers.

Isa 14:1 When the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob. 2 The peoples will take them along and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the land of the Lord as male servants and female servants; and they will take their captors captive and will rule over their oppressors.3 And it will be in the day when the Lord gives you rest from your pain and turmoil and harsh service in which you have been enslaved, 4 that you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon, and say, “How the oppressor has ceased,
And how fury has ceased! 5 “The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked,
The scepter of rulers 6 Which used to strike the peoples in fury with unceasing strokes,
Which subdued the nations in anger with unrestrained persecution.

12. Defensive Violence defended by precept. If someone is violently hostile toward us, we can return the favor.

“Num 25: 16 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Be hostile to the Midianites and strike them; 18 for they have been hostile to you with their tricks, with which they have deceived you in the affair of Peor and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of the leader of Midian, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague because of Peor.”

13. Violence may be pursued when a city of one’s own covenanted nation has lapsed into idolatry.

Deut 13: 12 “If you hear in one of your cities, which the Lord your God is giving you to live in, anyone saying that 13 some worthless men have gone out from among you and have seduced the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’ (whom you have not known), 14 then you shall investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly. If it is true and the matter established that this abomination has been done among you, 15 you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying it and all that is in it and its cattle with the edge of the sword. 16 Then you shall gather all its booty into the middle of its open square and burn the city and all its booty with fire as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God; and it shall be a ruin forever. It shall never be rebuilt.

14. Violence may be pursued to rescue those being oppressed unjustly.

Prov 24:11 Deliver those who are being taken away to death, And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.12 If you say, “See, we did not know this,” Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work?

Isa 1: 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow…23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

15. God givers a command to his people to deliver themselves from tyranny.

Zech 2: 7 Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. kjv

Thus runs contradictory to those who say that we must wait for God to deliver us supernaturally.

16. Christ commanded his disciples to provide themselves with a sword for defense.

Luke 22: 35 And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” 36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.

Notice how the context includes literal, physical objects needed for everyday life. This is no spiritual metaphor.

17. To wish for violence to be done to belligerent enemies of God is encouraged in the OT imprecatory psalms and these imprecations are continued in the New Testament.

Gal 5:12 I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.

Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!

 Acts 23:3 Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?”

Gal 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel  contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!


Those who teach that men, and especially Christian men do not have the right to defend themselves with violence should not be considered Christians but traitors to their country and to God. They are doing little else than preparing us for invasion. To them, I say according to Psalm 109:

6 Appoint a wicked man over him,
And let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7 When he is judged, let him come forth guilty,
And let his prayer become sin.
8 Let his days be few;
Let another take his office.
9 Let his children be fatherless
And his wife a widow.
10 Let his children wander about and beg;
And let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes.
11 Let the creditor seize all that he has,
And let strangers plunder the product of his labor.
12 Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him,
Nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children.
13 Let his posterity be cut off;
In a following generation let their name be blotted out.

14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord,
And do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out.
15 Let them be before the Lord continually,
That He may cut off their memory from the earth;
16 Because he did not remember to show lovingkindness,
But persecuted the afflicted and needy man,
And the despondent in heart, to put them to death.
17 He also loved cursing, so it came to him;
And he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him.
18 But he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment,
And it entered into his body like water
And like oil into his bones.
19 Let it be to him as a garment with which he covers himself,
And for a belt with which he constantly girds himself.
20 Let this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord,
And of those who speak evil against my soul.

The Early Fathers on John 14:28 Monday, Dec 24 2012 

 John 14:28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

In recent weeks we have seen so called Reformed apologists deny the eternal generation of the Son, deny the subordination of the Son to the Father and belligerently  affirm that John 14:28 merely asserts a functional subordination to the Father in the economia. This interpretation is a complete innovation and has no historical credibility, except for an ambiguity in Basil the Great.[1] Here then I catalog a series of Early Fathers on the interpretation of John 14:28 affirming an ontological subordination that pertains not to a denial of homoousios but an affirmation of the Father’s hypostatic Monarchy and the Son’s subordination to the Father as his source and origin:

Alexander of Alexandria, Epistles on Arianism and the Deposition of Arius 1.12

“That He is equally with the Father unchangeable and immutable, wanting in nothing, and the perfect Son, and like to the Father, we have learned; in this alone is He inferior to the Father, that He is not unbegotten. For He is the very exact image of the Father, and in nothing differing from Him. For it is clear that He is the image fully containing all things by which the greatest similitude is declared, as the Lord Himself has taught us, when He says, My Father is greater than I. John 14:28 And according to this we believe that the Son is of the Father, always existing. For He is the brightness of His glory, the express image of His Father’s person.”[2]

Athanasius, Discourse 1 Against the Arians. 58, 

“But since he has here expressly written it, and, as has been above shown, the Son is Offspring of the Father’s essence, and He is Framer, and other things are framed by Him, and He is the Radiance and Word and Image and Wisdom of the Father, and things originate stand and serve in their place below the Triad, therefore the Son is different in kind and different in essence from things originate, and on the contrary is proper to the Father’s essence and one in nature with it. And hence it is that the Son too says not, ‘My Father is better than I John 14:28,’ lest we should conceive Him to be foreign to His Nature, but ‘greater,’ not indeed in greatness, nor in time, but because of His generation from the Father Himself , nay, in saying ‘greater’ He again shows that He is proper to His essence.”[3]

Eusebius of Caesarea to Euphration of Balanea

“(2.) For the Son of God himself, who quite clearly knows all things, knows that he is different from, less, and inferior to the Father, and with full piety also teaches us this when he says, “The Father who sent me is greater than me” [John 14:28].”[4]

Gregory Nazianzen, Fourth Theological Oration (Oration 30),

“VII. As your third point you count the Word Greater; and as your fourth, To My God and your God. And indeed, if He had been called greater, and the word equal had not occurred, this might perhaps have been a point in their favour. But if we find both words clearly used what will these gentlemen have to say? How will it strengthen their argument? How will they reconcile the irreconcilable? For that the same thing should be at once greater than and equal to the same thing is an impossibility; and the evident solution is that the Greater refers to origination, while the Equal belongs to the Nature; and this we acknowledge with much good will. But perhaps some one else will back up our attack on your argument, and assert, that That which is from such a Cause is not inferior to that which has no Cause; for it would share the glory of the Unoriginate, because it is from the Unoriginate. And there is, besides, the Generation, which is to all men a matter so marvellous and of such Majesty. For to say that he is greater than the Son considered as man, is true indeed, but is no great thing. For what marvel is it if God is greater than man? Surely that is enough to say in answer to their talk about Greater.”[5]

Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of John (Book II).6

“Thus, if all things were made, as in this passage also, through the Logos, then they were not made by the Logos, but by a stronger and greater than He. And who else could this be but the Father?”[6]

(Book VI).23

“or the Father who sent Him, He who is theGod of the living as Jesus Himself testifies, of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, and He who is greater than heaven and earth for the reason that He is the Maker of them, He also alone is good and is greater than He who was sent by Him.”[7]

On Origen: Leo Donald Davis, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787),

“The Father is called by Origen ho theos, the God, while the Son is simply theos, God by participation and sharing in the Father’s divinity. The Father is I consequence greatr than the Son, for as Christ said, ‘The Father is greater than I,’ and the Son is in turn greater than the Holy Spirit.” (pg. 49)

Hilary of Poitiers, On the Councils, or, De Synodis or On the Councils, The Faith of the Easterns (Schaff, NICENE AND POST-NICENE FATHERS VOLUME IX),

“11…For it is plain that only the Father knows how He begot the Son, and the Son how He was begotten of the Father. There is no question that the Father is greater. No one can doubt that the Father is greater than the Son in honour, dignity, splendour, majesty, and in the very name of Father, the Son Himself testifying, He that sent Me is greater than I. And no one is ignorant that it is Catholic doctrine that there are two Persons of Father and Son; and that the Father is greater, and that the Son is subordinated to the Father, together with all things which the Father has subordinated to Him, and that the Father has no beginning and is invisible, immortal and impassible, but that the Son has been begotten of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, and that the generation of this Son, as is aforesaid, no one knows but His Father.”[8]

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