Fatherhood and Creation Ordinances

Another theological point that is of fundamental importance for Douglas Wilson’s Father Hunger is the creation ordinance of providing and protecting.  Wilson states:

The role of a father as a provider and protector is not an arbitrary assignment given to an arbitrarily selected group, regardless of any other consideration.  Here is the mandate given to Adam (Gen. 2:15)–God wants men both to work and protect.  Work has to do with nurture and cultivation, while protection refers to a man’s duty to be a fortress for his family.  We find a working definition of masculinity in the first few pages of the Bible. (18)

“Creation ordinances” are sort of the Christian version of “nature.”  But by nature, we don’t mean “just the way things are,” but rather, “the way God programmed things to be.” Continue reading

Trinitarian Basics- Part 4

Nature, Substance, Essence

The terms “nature,” “substance,” and “essence” all signify the same thing when speaking of the being of God in Trinitarian nomenclature.  We’ve previously mentioned the occasional confusion of “substance” and “person” (because of the meaning of hypostasis), and there is similar confusion in the possibility of distinguishing between “substance” and “essence,” however, the terms were eventually worked out into a consistent fashion.  Though “substance” and “essence” could mean different things when speaking of the creation, they meant the same when speaking of God.  Each word signified the single divine being.

Like we saw with “person,” the actual definition of these terms is quite bare.  Esse means “the act of existing.”  Essentia means “the whatness of a being.”  Natura also means essentia or quidditas: “the character of something.”  Substantia could have the connotation of material “stuff,” but in Trinitarian nomenclature it was always identified with the essence and thus spiritual, invisible, simple, and infinite. Continue reading