The Separation of Godhead


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The Godhead Cannot Be Separated

Eckhart's doctrine asserts behind God a predicateless Godhead , which, though unknowable not only to man but also to itself, is, as it were, the essence or potentiality of all things. But the sensuous and phenomenal, as such, so far as they seem to imply independence of God, are mere privation and nothingness; things exist only through the presence of God in them, and the goal of creation, like its outset, is the repose of the Godhead.

Regarding evil simply as privation, Eckhart does not make it the pivot of his thought, as was afterwards done by Boehme; but his notion of the Godhead as a dark and formless essence is a favourite thesis of theosophy. Eckhart's Godhead appears in Boehme as the abyss, the eternal nothing, the essenceless quiet "Ungrund" and "Stille ohne Wesen" are two of Boehme's phrases.

The great dogmatic work of the Eastern Church was the definition of that portion of the creed of Christendom which concerns theology proper - the doctrines of the essential nature of the Godhead , and the doctrine of the God head in relation with manhood in the incarnation, while it fell to the Western Church to define anthropology, or the doctrine of man's nature and needs.

Such a theory seems alone able to satisfy the practical instincts of the West, which did not concern itself with the metaphysical aspect of the Trinity, but with Godhead in its relation to redeemed humanity. The self of man is regarded as having limitations, whereas the Godhead is infinite and all-inclusive. Four of his books were of particular importance: Christian Nurture , in which he virtually opposed revivalism and "effectively turned the current of Christian thought toward the young"; Nature and the Supernatural , in which he discussed miracles and endeavoured to "lift the natural into the supernatural" by emphasizing the supernaturalness of man; The Vicarious Sacrifice , in which he contended for what has come to be known as the "moral view" of the atonement in distinction from the "governmental" and the "penal" or "satisfaction" theories; and God in Christ with an introductory "Dissertation on Language as related to Thought" , in which he expressed, it was charged, heretical views as to the Trinity, holding, among other things, that the Godhead is "instrumentally three - three simply as related to our finite apprehension, and the communication of God's incommunicable nature.

Mayor's show in London is the most conspicuous survival; the processions connected with royal coronations and with court ceremonies generally; the processions of friendly societies, so popular in Great Britain and America; processions organized as a demonstration of political or other opinions; processions forming part of the ceremonies of public worship.

In a narrower sense of "going forth, proceeding," the term is used in the technical language of theology in the phrase "Procession of the Holy Ghost," expressing the relation of the Third Person in the Triune Godhead to the Father and the Son. The Disciples are not Unitarian in fact or tendency, but they urge the use of simple New Testament phraseology as to the Godhead. Not three persons in the Godhead , but a threefold revelation of a God strictly one in person.

John of Damascus's theory of Enhypostasy Christ's manhood not impersonal, but made personal only through union with His Godhead is held by some to be the copingstone of this great dogmatic development. But if it be presupposed that the purpose of Christ's mission was to deify men by bestowing physical immortality, then we must assume, first, Christ's essential Godhead , and, secondly, the fusion of His divine and human natures.

The biblical authorities plainly set forth " the man Christ Jesus," but theological science failed to explain how Godhead and manhood came together in unity. They knew well that the centre of gravity in their own belief lay elsewhere than in the elaborately detailed scheme of relations within the Godhead or in the Theanthropic person. According to Luther, however, it is not merely in words that the attributes of the Godhead qualify Christ's human nature.

Ritschl 3 even speaks of the Reformed as teaching Kenosis in the modern sense; but it is to be feared they rather taught alternately the manhood and the Godhead than made a serious effort to show the compatibility of divine and human predicates in one person.


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If we are warranted in regarding the Second Person of the Godhead as in very deed " Himself vouchsafing to be made, " that great Becoming cannot well be suspended upon a contingency which might or might not arise; and theologians in general regard the sin of man as such a contingent event. Such speculative views are associated with the revival of another traditional piece of mysticism - the Holy Spirit the Copula or bond of union in the Godhead. We cannot take the Platonic speculations of Iamblichus about the nature and manifestations of Egyptian godhead as evidence for the belief of the peoples who first worshipped the Egyptian gods an innumerable series of ages before Iamblichus and Plutarch.

Within the eternal godhead our Savior always was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. Christ was sent, one of the persons took flesh by order and appointment of the whole godhead. In the final analysis, vital force, reason or anything are nothing but different aspects of the one and same supreme godhead.

The fullness once associated with the Godhead is, as it were, emptied out and become immanent. The Platonic or eclectic theism, which adopted the conception of the Logos, made a place for Christ in terms of philosophy within the Godhead.


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In fragments i. Hefele himself, one of the most learned and acute of Cyril's partisans, is compelled to admit that Nestorius accurately held the duality of the two natures and the integrity of each, was equally explicitly opposed to Arianism and Apollinarianism, and was perfectly correct in his assertion that the Godhead can neither be born nor suffer; all that he can allege against him is that "the fear of the communicatio idiomatum pursued him like a spectre.

In his letters to Celestine he had laid stress on the point that the teaching he attacked was derogatory to the Godhead and so he called its champions Arians.

The truths on which the writer loves to dwell are the sole godhead of Yahweh, His spirituality ch. A still more remarkable parallel to the later Neoplatonism is afforded by the Christian Gnostics of Alexandria, especially Valentinus and the followers of Basilides.

Oneness Pentecostalism

On the other hand, minds of a different and more concrete character so emphasize the distinctions God, Son and Holy Spirit, that a tritheistic construction appears - three individuals in the one Godhead : these individuals appearing, as for example in the Father and the Son, even in opposition to each other. To the doctrine of the Trinity of persons in the unity of the Godhead. In the Judaic tradition, however, in which the Godhead was imagined as gloriously veiled, nakedness was more likely to signify degradation, humiliation, or loss of personhood. The word usage examples above have been gathered from various sources to reflect current and historial usage.

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