The “Patrological Problem”

That phrase is from Jenson, but Augustine captures it nicely here:

“Mais on ne peut donner à la Trinité entière le nom de Père, si ce n’est peut-être dans un sens relatif aux créatures et à cause de notre adoption divine. Et en effet, cette parole de l’Ecriture : « Ecoute, Israël, le Seigneur ton Dieu  est seul Seigneur ( Deut., VI, 4 )», ne doit point s’entendre du Père à l’exclusion du Fils et du Saint-Esprit. Cependant nous pouvons avec raison appeler Père ce Dieu unique, parce qu’il nous engendre par sa grâce à la vie spirituelle. Mais on ne saurait dans aucun sens nommer la sainte Trinité Dieu le Fils.”

De Trin. V.11.12

When most Christians say “God,” they are intending the Father; likewise, when most Christians say “Father,” as in prayer, they are intending God simpliciter. While this is by no means adequate taken on its own, the intuition is correct, particularly when compared with the alternate possibilities of identifying the Holy Trinity simply by the name “Son” or “Holy Spirit.” This relatively stronger identification of the full triune identity with the Father is what we traditionally call his “monarchy”: the Father is simply “God,” while the Son and the Spirit are “God from God,” equally in dignity and eternity, but taking that dignity and eternity from the Father.

I don’t think that propounds any heresies: Lord God, Father, Son, and Spirit, forgive me if they do.

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