The more you think about hard stuff, the more opinions you get. I’ve taught philosophy of religion, modern philosophy, logic, and metaphysics courses, and so I have some fairly developed views. Based on theoretical (and non-theological considerations), here are some things I don’t believe in, because I think they’re impossible:
relative identity relations
time travel to the past
properties (whether tropes or universals) – yes, I’m a nominalist
persons/selves which are or are “constituted by” relations or relationships
multiple selves that count as one self because they’re so intimately aware of one another’s thoughts
I’m not going to argue these points here. My point is simply that in light of the above metaphysical convictions, I can’t believe in various Rational Reconstructions of the Trinity doctrine. In order corresponding to the above list:
Peter van Inwagen’s or Peter Geach’s relative identity trinitarianism (these we haven’t yet discussed here at trinities)
Brower’s and Rea’s constitution theory
group mind Social Trinitarianism as discussed by Brian Leftow in his “Anti Social Trinitarianism”
Leftow’s version of Latin Trinitarianism
misc. medieval theories, such as Henry of Ghent’s
some recent versions of Social Trinitarianism
General rule: when any philosopher looks at a Rational Reconstruction of some Christian Doctrine, he finds that Reconstruction unsatisfactory for various reasons. Other than the Two Minds approach to the Incarnation, I can’t think of exceptions to this rule. Anyone? Note that this isn’t even bringing in considerations about the Bible or how the new-fangled theory fits with Tradition.
In sum, one can’t help but admire the cleverness and ingenuity of Rational Reconstructors. Sadly, non-philosophers generally don’t understand such theories or the motivations for them, while other Christian philosophers mostly reject the Rational Reconstruction in question. This is disappointing and disturbing.
Before I move on to Resistance, though, I’d like to ask one more question: