Calvin, Classical Trinitarianism, and the Aseity of the Son

Hardcover | August 23, 2012

byBrannon Ellis

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For much of his career as a Reformer John Calvin was involved in trinitarian controversy. Not only did these controversies span his career, but his opponents ranged across the spectrum of theological approaches-from staunch traditionalists to radical antitrinitarians. Remarkably, the heart ofCalvin's argument, and the heart of others' criticism, remained the same throughout: Calvin claimed that the only-begotten Son of the Father is also, as the one true God, 'of himself'. Brannon Ellis investigates the various Reformation and post-Reformation responses to Calvin's affirmation of the Son's aseity (or essential self-existence), a significant episode in the history of theology that is often ignored or misunderstood. Calvin neither rejected eternal generation, nor merelytoed the line of classical exposition. As such, these debates turned on the crucial pivot between simple unity and ordered plurality-the relationship between the processions and consubstantiality-at the heart of the doctrine of the Trinity. Ellis's aim is to explain the historical significance andexplore the theological implications of Calvin's complex solidarity with the classical tradition in his approach to thinking and speaking of the Triune God. He contends that Calvin's approach, rather than an alternative to classical trinitarianism, is actually more consistent with this tradition'sfundamental commitments regarding the ineffable generation of God from God than its own received exposition.

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For much of his career as a Reformer John Calvin was involved in trinitarian controversy. Not only did these controversies span his career, but his opponents ranged across the spectrum of theological approaches-from staunch traditionalists to radical antitrinitarians. Remarkably, the heart ofCalvin's argument, and the heart of others' ...

Dr. Brannon Ellis is an independent scholar.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:August 23, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199652406

ISBN - 13:9780199652402

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Calvin on the Aseity of the Son: The 1559 Institutes as Entry-Point2. The Autothean Controversies: Calvin s Complex Solidarity3. The Theological Shape of the Autothean Debates: Eternal Generation s Role in Classical Trinitarianism4. Identity, Distinction, or Tension in Trinitarian Language?: Loose Approaches to the Son s Aseity5. Tension In Distinction: Classical and Mainstream Reformed Approaches to the Son s Aseity6. The Irreducible Triunity of God: The Reformed Minority Report s Strict Distinction of the Two Ways of Speaking7. Of Himself, God Gives Himself