ETS and the trinity: Augustine and “one will”
Fortunately this is the last of my language research posts on this topic. I will have some thoughts later on the value of linguistic research relating to the trinity. However in this post I will simply remark the fact that the trinity has “one will” – una uolentas, if you wish to google this in Latin. The Son is equal to the Father in potestas (exousia), in fact, he is one with the Father in exousia, and he is also one with the Father in will, and in working. Here is Augustine in De Trinitate, Book II, 9,
He will reply, I suppose, if he has a right sense in these things, Because the will of the Father and the Son is one, and their working indivisible. In like manner, then, let him understand the incarnation and nativity of the Virgin, wherein the Son is understood as sent, to have been wrought by one and the same operation of the Father and of the Son indivisibly; …
For perhaps our meaning will be more plainly unfolded, if we ask in what manner God sent His Son. He commanded that He should come, and He, complying with the commandment, came. Did He then request, or did He only suggest? But whichever of these it was, certainly it was done by a word, and the Word of God is the Son of God Himself. Wherefore, since the Father sent Him by a word, His being sent was the work of both the Father and His Word; therefore the same Son was sent by the Father and the Son, because the Son Himself is the Word of the Father. For who would embrace so impious an opinion as to think the Father to have uttered a word in time, in order that the eternal Son might thereby be sent and might appear in the flesh in the fullness of time?
And in De Trintate Book IV, 19,
In such wise that, whereas four things are to be considered in every sacrifice—to whom it is offered, by whom it is offered, what is offered, for whom it is offered,— the same One and true Mediator Himself, reconciling us to God by the sacrifice of peace, might remain one with Him to whom He offered, might make those one in Himself for whom He offered, Himself might be in one both the offerer and the offering.
In this way, the Son was sent to take on mortality die, but this is not a metaphor of a father exerting his authority and killing his submissive son, but rather the story of a God who himself became mortal and experienced death. The Son is one with the Father in will and working. He is both sent and sender, both priest and offering. There is no subordination here, but indivisibility of will. I will present some complementarian responses to this tomorrow.
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