Without the Son the Father Has Neither Existence Nor Name

Many people fear that the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son implies a sort of subordination of the Son to the Father, as the Son is dependent upon the Father for his being.  However, Gregory is able to reverse this sentiment and say that the Father is dependent on the Son for his being.  To be a father, after all, is to have a son.  Gregory explains:

For he who truly believes in the One sees in the One Him Who is completely united with Him in truth, and deity, and essence, and life, and wisdom, and in all attributes whatsoever: or, if he does not see in the One Him Who is all these it is in nothing that he believes. For without the Son the Father has neither existence nor name, any more than the Powerful without the Power, or the Wise without Wisdom. For Christ is ‘the Power of God and the Wisdom of God,’ so that he who imagines he sees the One God apart from power, truth, wisdom, life, or the true light, either sees nothing at all or else assuredly that which is evil. For the withdrawal of the good attributes becomes a positing and origination of evil.

~ Against Eunomius 2.4

Advertisements
This entry was posted in church history, gregory of nyssa by Steven Wedgeworth. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the pastor of Christ Church in Lakeland, FL. He is also a founder and general editor of The Calvinist International. A graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson, MS), a full-time minister, and occasional classical school teacher, Steven lives in Lakeland, FL with his wife, son, and daughter.

3 thoughts on “Without the Son the Father Has Neither Existence Nor Name

  1. “Many people fear that the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son implies a sort of subordination of the Son to the Father,”

    Why?

    “…as the Son is dependent upon the Father for his being.”

    Indeed, he most definitely is.

    “However, Gregory is able to reverse this sentiment and say that the Father is dependent on the Son for his being. ”

    The Son is the eternal ‘Power & Wisdom’ of the Father, but the Son is not the personal source of the Father as the Father is of the Son.

  2. (cont.)

    “To be a father, after all, is to have a son.”

    The definition of divinity as (ingenerate) causality “Fatherhood” was the shared assumption of the Arian heresy & its Filioquist refutation. The Son must cause a person to be equally divine with the Father.

  3. That’s not what Steven is saying Nyssa is saying, nor what Nyssa is saying, nor what Steven is saying, though. Am I missing sometihng?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s