Friday, October 11, 2013

Hyperphysica in Protestant Dogmatics

Hyperphysica (from the Greek, ὑπερϕυσικὰ): hyperphysical; beyond the physical; a term applied to the eternal generation of the Son in order to emphasize the difference between divine and creaturely generation.  The term is also used by orthodox Lutherans to characterize the illocal presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Lord’s Supper. – Richard Muller

Johannes A. Marck (Reformed)

“Est Vera haec Generatio aeterna et hyperphysica, propria tamen, non metaphorica; et describitur ut aeterna ac incomprehensibilis ejusdem numero Divinae Essentiae communication, a Patre facta Filio, ex Col. i. 15. “qui est imago Dei invisibilis, primogenitus omnis creaturae.”  Heb. i.3.  ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ.  Col. Ii.9.  ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ κατοικεῖ πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τῆς θεότητος σωματικῶς, etc.”

This real generation is eternal and hyperphysical, yet genuine, not metaphorical; and is described as an eternal and incomprehensible communication the same in number of the divine essence, made from the Father to the Son.  Ex. Colossians 1:15 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creatures.  Hebrews 1:3 “Who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his hypostasis,” “Colossians 2:9 “For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” etc.

Johannes Maccovius (Reformed)

IV.  “Generatio quae in Deo est, non est physica sed hyperphysica.  Hinc liquet quam inepte argumentantu Sociniani, qui, ut tollant generationem quae est in Deo, argumenta sua proferre solent ex generatione physica; at haec nihil praeter nomen cum hyperphysica commune habet, ergo Argumentatio illorum non procedit.  Quod autem sit hyperphysica, liquet; quia Dues natura non est, sed aliquid supra naturam.”

IV.  The generation that is in God, is not physical but hyperphysical.  Hence it is clear how inept the argument of the Socinians is, who take the generation that is in God- their argument they usually bring forth is from physical generation- but this has nothing in common with the hyperphysical besides the name.  The argument of theirs, therefore, does not follow.  But that it is hyperphysical, it is evident, because God is not natural, but someone supernatural.

“V.  Generatio quae in Deo est, etsi sit hyperphysica, tamen non est metaphorica, sed proprie dicta.

Adversarii dicunt eam non proprie dictam esse generationem, qui non est generatio Physica.  At quam inepte, nam hic etiam dici posset, Deus non habet esse Physicu, Ergo, Deus non habet esse, proprie dictum.”

V.  The generation that is in God, although it may be hyperphysical, nevertheless is not metaphorical, but genuinely called.

Opponents say it is not genuinely stated to be a generation, which is not a physical generation.  But, how inept, for here too it might be said that God does not possess a physical being.  Therefore, God does not have being, genuinely stated.

Conrad Emil Lindberg (Lutheran)

“Generatio and also spiratio are described especially by the following negative and positive terms…non physica, sed hyperphysica, because the natural birth of man is not a real analogy, although the expression birth is the only relatively adequate human expression that can be used to set forth the activity of the Father in producing the Son.”

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Filioque in Boethius?

Was this doctrine in the western church this early (beginning of the sixth century)?

"It cannot be said that God became Father by the addition to His substance of some accident; for he never began to be Father, since the begetting of the Son belongs to His very substance; however, time predicate father, as such, is relative. And if we bear in mind all the propositions made God in the previous discussion, we shall admit that God the Son proceeded from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost from both, and that They cannot possibly be spatially different, since They are incorporeal."

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Origen on Platonic Ideas and the Renovated World

"Our Lord and Saviour also points out a certain other world besides this visible one, which it would indeed be difficult to describe and make known. He says, I am not of this world. For, as if He were of a certain other world, He says, I am not of this world. Now, of this world we have said beforehand, that the explanation was difficult; and for this reason, that there might not be afforded to any an occasion of entertaining the supposition that we maintain the existence of certain images which the Greeks call ideas: for it is certainly alien to our (writers) to speak of an incorporeal world existing in the imagination alone, or in the fleeting world of thoughts; and how they can assert either that the Saviour comes from thence, or that the saints will go there, I do not see. There is no doubt, however, that something more illustrious and excellent than this present world is pointed out by the Saviour, at which He incites and encourages believers to aim. But whether that world to which He desires to allude be far separated and divided from this either by situation, or nature, or glory; or whether it be superior in glory and quality, but confined within the limits of this world (which seems to me more probable), is nevertheless uncertain, and in my opinion an unsuitable subject for human thought."  - De Principiis Book 2, Chapter 3.6, emphasis mine

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Three Pinciples of Nature

Materia - the potential and determinable part of a composite, i.e., that from which something arises or of which it consists, synonym of subiectum ex quo, the opposite of forma.

Forma - the actualizing principle that makes a thing to be what it is, the opposite of materia.  In the ontological order it is the formal cause, the form-giving principle, and is very much the same as essentia, natura, quod quid erat esse, quidditas, species, and substantia; in the logical order it is species, idea, exemplar, and imago.  In the thought of St. Thomas, it is a concept of great variety and fecundity, and generally signifies actuality in contrast to the potentiality of matter, or determination of quality or kind in contrast to the indeterminancy of matter.  It is not something pre-existing, but is conceived of as being united with primary matter to constitute the substance of a thing.  Other forms, called accidental, then appear to clothe the substance with its predicamental accidents.  Some forms, the angels and human souls, exist independently of matter; but most forms disappear when the composite of which they are the principle of actual existence is dissolved.

Privatio - Lack of what should be present, synonym of defectus, the opposite of habitus and perfectio

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Johannes Maccovius - Theological Distinctions, Part I.I

Chapter I: Concerning Sacred Scripture

 I. The Word of God is received either as scripture and called the prophetic word, or as the Son of God, that it is, and is called the internal word ἔμφυτος, as John 1: 2, 3, 4.  That (former) word is the accidental word, this (latter) the essential.

1. Richard Muller in his dictionary of terms states the verbum internum is that “which testifies to the human heart concerning the truth of the written or external Word (verbum externum),” whereas to Maccovius, the internal word is referring to the Logos.

2. It is interesting that Maccovius uses the Prologue of John’s gospel as a reference to internal word, when the only time emphutos is found in scripture is 
in James (1:21).

3. I am not sure how the prophetic word is considered accidental, as “the word of the Lord endures forever.”  Perhaps he is referring to the medium of revelation, and not the revelation per se.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Gregory Nazianzen on the Problem of Trinitarian Analogies

"I have very carefully considered this matter in my own mind, and have looked at it in every point of view, in order to find some illustration of this most important subject, but I have been unable to discover any thing on earth with which to compare the nature of the Godhead.  For even if I did happen upon some tiny likeness it escaped me for the most part, and left me down below with my example.  I picture to myself an eye*, a fountain, a river, as others have done before, to see if the first might be analogous to the Father, the second to the Son, and the third to the Holy Ghost.  For in these there is no distinction in time, nor are they torn away from their connexion with each other, though they seem to be parted by three personalities.  But I was afraid in the first place that I should present a flow in the Godhead, incapable of standing still; and secondly that by this figure a numerical unity would be introduced.  For the eye and the spring and the river are numerically one, though in different forms." St. Gregory Nazianzen, Oration 31, Chapter 31, emphasis mine.  *note: eye = source

Hmm, I wonder what Greg would think of the Cerberus analogy.