CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

[Note: the contents page for this series can be found here. The previous entry, chapter 22, can be found here.]

[This entry begins Chapter 23, "The Unity".]

Recently I have been talking about what it means for foundational reality to be self-existent. And for various reasons, I have concluded I ought to believe that the foundational reality, the one Independent Fact of all existence, must not be privatively self-existent, but instead positively self-sustaining--especially if (as I have also concluded) I ought to believe the IF is rationally active.

If, therefore, God (the rationally active Independent Fact) is self-sustaining, then I conclude that the most fundamentally basic action of God is His own 'upkeep', so to speak. Without this action, no other actions of God would be possible. Because this action remains eternally successful, all other actions of God are possible. If God acts in any other fashions than this, then He can act in those fashions only because He continually acts in this fashion.

'To actively cause to be' is 'to create'. God is His own Creator, as well as ours and everything else's.

But many languages (including my own) have a distinctive word for a certain type of creation--the type wherein the creator creates (or the producer produces) something of its own kind.

In English, we call this special variation of creation 'begetting'. A man begets men; but he creates a chair. We say he creates a statue, even though the statue is in many ways like a man, because the statue is nevertheless not the same kind of thing the man is.

When God creates Himself from all eternity, what He creates obviously is 'the same kind of thing' God is, in the deepest possible sense of the phrase: for what the self-existent God eternally creates, or generates, at the most primary possible level, is Himself God.

I may therefore metaphorically (though usefully) distinguish this special action from other actions He may take, and say thus: God begets Himself, and He creates everything else.

Putting it another way around, God is not 'created', but is self-begotten; whatever is 'created', is not-God (if anything not-God exists at all). This is how I will typically limit my use of 'creation' and its cognates, hereafter.

Now notice a unique feature of the Self-Existent: we have in plain view before us a conceptual action line, with a cause and a result on either 'side', although the cause and result are effectively the same at this (necessarily) irreducible level. If we wish to recognize the two sides of this action line, we may cogently do so by saying that in this way God is the Self-Begettor; and in that way God is the Self-Begotten.

And because I should not forget that God (as an active sentience) is a Person, I should simultaneously affirm that a Person is the Begettor and a Person is the Begotten.

I may therefore metaphorically (but usefully and adequately) describe God as both Father and Son.

Now let me see to what extent such a characteristic of Him is necessary, and to what limits I can develop this doctrine, along lines I have already established.

[Next up: the interpersonal Unity of God]


Registering for comment tracking.

Despite the season during which I am posting this, I am not establishing the Incarnation of God in this entry, or in this Section of chapters. Though obviously there are eventual topical connections to be made. {g}

(I hope to make this clear as I go along, too; but I thought I might head off some misunderstandings at the pass while I was registering for comment tracking.)


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