Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Divine personhood

Among other things, Trinitarian debates swirl around the definition of personhood. How do we go about defining the term? Is it even proper to apply that term to the Godhead?

Typically, definitions of personhood (whether divine or human) begin with psychological models and philosophical analysis. There is, however, another way to approach the issue.

The Bible ascribes certain mental and moral attributes to God, viz. knowledge, love, mercy, patience, righteousness, volition, wisdom, wrath.

These are personal attributes. So we could define a divine person as the property-bearer of such attributes.

Of course, this is still open to psychological analogies and philosophical analysis–to further explicit the properties in view. But it’s a different way of approaching the issue. And it has more direct revelatory input.

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