Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

25 Comments

  1. Mario
    November 24, 2014 @ 8:32 am

    @ Jaco

    The deeper I delve into the matter of “pre-existence”, the more I become persuaded that it is THE “original sin” of Christianity, meddling with Philo’s toxic mix of Judaism and Hellenism.

    So much so that even in recent debates here I have seen people who are advocates of “pre-existence” resort to the desperate gambit of affirming that it would not have been Justin Martyr, but even the author of the Prologue to John’s Gospel that would have “metabolized” and “christened” Philo’s notion of the logos as deuteros theos.

    By comparison, the “trinity” is the inevitable outcome of trying to put right this “original sin”, but avoiding to consider the way that, even after “original Nicea” (325) was still open: that of considering Jesus as the true Son of God, begotten of the Father NOT “before all ages” (pro pantôn tôn aiônôn – a clause that was added ONLY at Constantinople in 381, as very few people know or seriously consider), BUT as God’s Logos, “incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary”. Where the mystery undergirds the miracle, and gives sense to it.

    A book I have found stimulating is “The Humanity and Divinity of Christ. A study of Pattern in Christology”, by John Knox (1901 – 1990), Cambridge Publishing, 1967. Paradoxically, the author, apparently, supports the doctrine of the “trinity”.

  2. Jaco
    November 24, 2014 @ 6:45 am

    You’re right. I think his book is more like a compilation of essays over a period of time where former and recent (evolved) positions have been lumped together. At least he is quite thorough on Paul. He is, in my opinion, much more evidence-driven than the hopelessly theologically biased NT Wright. JAT Robinson has taken Dunn to task for his “amphibious” position on John. G.B. Caird has also denied pre-existence in John.

    Sorry, just a few loose comments above…

  3. Mario
    November 24, 2014 @ 6:16 am

    “Clearly, in his student’s mind, the mentor simply did not believe that John believed in the personal pre-existence of Jesus.”

    The strange thing is that, on the one hand, Dunn, in passages like the one quoted from p.58, is so uncritically adamant that “the Johannine writings the divine sonship of Jesus is grounded in his pre-existence”, while, on the other hand, he dismisses any other “evidence” of “personal pre-existence” from the NT (Paul, Hebrews) in equally adamant terms. 🙁

  4. Jaco
    November 24, 2014 @ 4:37 am

    You are quite correct in your observation, Mario. When I worked through Dunn’s volume a few years ago, I went over these apparent contradictions again and again. Recently I pointed it out to one of Dunn’s former students, James McGrath. McGrath was amazed to see that anything approaching the personal pre-existence of Christ could have been written by Dunn. Clearly, in his student’s mind, the mentor simply did not believe that John believed in the personal pre-existence of Jesus.

  5. Mario
    November 23, 2014 @ 10:44 am

    Browsing through James Dunn’s “Christology in the Making: A New Testament Inquiry Into the Origins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation” (Eerdmans, 1980, 2nd edition [revised reprint] 1996), I just read a sentence, that puts Dunn’s alleged subscription to the PERSONAL character of the “pre-existence” of Christ, according to John’s Gospel, in serious jeopardy. Compare for yourself.

    [1] “To sum up, it is quite clear that in the Johannine writings the divine sonship of Jesus is grounded in his pre-existence …” (Christology in the Making, cit., p. 58)

    … BUT THEN …

    [2] “… the revolutionary significance of v.14 [John 1:14] may well be that it marks ‘not only the transition in the thought of the poem from pre-existence to incarnation, but also the transition from impersonal personification to actual person’. [120]” (Christology in the Making, cit., p. 243)

    Note 120 appended to the phrase ‘not only … actual person’ (in italics in the original) clarifies that the phrase is sourced from H. Langkammer, ‘Zur Herkunft des Logostitels im Johannessprolog’, BZ 9, 1965, pp.91-4.

    Later on in the same note, after citing “Schnackenburg, ‘John I’, who insists on ‘the personal character’ of the Johannine Logos throughout, since ‘the prologue (or Logos-hymn) is oriented from the start to the incarnate Logos’” (and others, who insist on ‘personal pre-existence’), Dunn comments:

    “But it by no means necessarily follows that at the pre-Johannine stage the Logos poem envisaged a ‘personal’ [italics] Logos prior to v.14”

  6. Mario
    November 5, 2014 @ 4:21 pm

    [Sean – November 2, 2014 at 1:26 pm]
    …the author of John’s gospel believed in the real preexistence of Christ …

    [Mario – November 2, 2014 at 5:22 pm]
    This is affirmed, at best, on your own “authority”: we may refer to it as Sean-dogma …

    [Sean – November 2, 2014 at 6:09 pm]
    Even James D.G. Dunn … acknowledges [sic!] that the author of John’s gospel believed in the real preexistence of Christ.

    “To sum up, it is quite clear that in the Johannine writings the divine sonship of Jesus is grounded in his pre-existence blah blah blah …” (Christology in the Making: A New Testament Inquiry into the Origins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation, second edition, p. 58)

    Of course, the fact that Dunn “says so” isn’t proof that this reading of John is correct, either. [phew!]

    [Sean – November 4, 2014 at 7:25 am]
    The way I interpret that text [Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the solemn truth, before Abraham came into existence, I am!’” – John 8:58] is the only way it makes any sense to me in light of context and grammar, yet most Trinitarians insist on either connecting it to Ex. 3:14 or to passages in Isaiah, or both, while Socinian-type Unitarians just can’t bring themselves to even entertain the possibility that John believed in the personal preexistence of the Son.
    So we state our cases, agree to disagree, and hope that continued contemplation will bring greater light in time. [# … wouldn’t it be loverly … #]

    COMMENT
    So you have yet another authority to lean on, for your bold claim, on “John and pre-existence”. At least you are sensible enough to add that “of course, the fact that Dunn ‘says so’ isn’t proof that this reading of John is correct, either.”

    Let’s sum up the positions:

    1. Sean [with his host of “authorities”] says: “John believed in the personal pre-existence of the Son”.
    2. John says: Jesus was a man, a mere man, a “second Adam” who “did not seek to repeat Adams sin”.
    3. Mario says: Jesus was the Incarnation of God’s Logos (NOT a “pre-existent person”, NOR a mere man – like a prophet), BUT the God-man, very much in the sense, if you will, of Greek mythology (the father is a god, the mother is a mortal), except that in this case the god is the One and Only God, and what Jesus and God have in common (the “genetic patrimony”, if you will) is precisely God’s essential attribute (or power), the Logos.

    For some reason BOTH 1. AND 2. “can’t bring themselves to even entertain the possibility that John believed” in the Logos that “was in the beginning, and was with God, and was God” [John 1:1] and “became flesh” [sarx egeneto – John 1: 14] in/as Jesus in the sense of 3. …

    … and I couldn’t care less whether 3. has 1 or 100 or 0 “authorities” to support it. 🙂

  7. Sean Garrigan
    November 4, 2014 @ 7:25 am

    “No other interpretation makes any sense to me!”

    I understand how you feel, believe me. There are biblical accounts that are so clear to me that I find it honestly perplexing that so many can’t see it. John 8:58 is a classic example: The way I interpret that text is the only way it makes any sense to me in light of context and grammar, yet most Trinitarians insist on either connecting it to Ex. 3:14 or to passages in Isaiah, or both, while Socinian-type Unitarians just can’t bring themselves to even entertain the possibility that John believed in the personal preexistence of the Son.

    So we state our cases, agree to disagree, and hope that continued contemplation will bring greater light in time.

  8. John
    November 3, 2014 @ 11:19 pm

    Saen
    I’m afraid that I don’t ‘get it’.
    Verse 6 reads
    “Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped’ NAB

    The scriptures tell us that man is made in God’s image – and there are numerous Trinitarians out there telling us that the word ‘form’ is somehow different.

    Is the truth not simple.

    The first Adam’s ‘sin’ was to reach out and try to equate himself with God ( Genesis 3 verse 5 )

    Christ did not try to equate himself with God but emptied himself (of his human ego ) and became humble and obedient even unto death on the cross.

    No other interpretation makes any sense to me!

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree!

    Blessings
    john

  9. Sean Garrigan
    November 3, 2014 @ 7:16 am

    “I have not encountered people who regard the chapter as evidence for the pre-existence of Christ.”

    Well, in my experience most scholars hold that Philippians 2:6 is talking about how a the Son existed in God’s form in heaven before taking the form of a servant on earth. That’s how I read the account as well. Dunn has come under criticism for his interpretation, though some of the criticism is probably motivated by Trinitarian presuppositions. Philippians 2 and John 1 are two of the most sacred cows in the Trinitarian’s pasture, and most people seem determined to see what they want to see in them. As J.C. O’Neill once pointed out:

    “Every subsequent scribe and commentator was sure the sense was orthodox, although none could quite explain the precise force of the sentence; and there the words have stood, causing more and more trouble as the constraints of orthodoxy loosened, until the time has come for calling up the last resort, the resort of conjecture in order to recover good sense.” (Hoover on hARPAGMOS Reviewed, with a Modest Proposal Concerning Philippians 2:6)

    In other words, commentators interpret Philippians 2 in light of the presupposition of orthodoxy (=Trinitarianism). Set that presupposition aside and it’s easier to make sense of the text. O’Neill’s novel proposal was to suggest that the text is corrupt, and that a “not” is missing. His “restored” translation goes like this:

    “who being in the form of God thought it not robbery not to be equal with God” (ibid, p. 448)

    When I first read this I was perplexed. After all, who would waste their time thinking about how it’s not robbery not to be equal with God? Well, O’Neill clarifies what he means by that rendering is in book “Who Did Jesus Think He Was?”:

    “That would mean that the one who was in the form of God did not think the express will of God he should be born as a man to be robbery of his supreme position alongside God; he freely accepted the will of the Father.” (p. 87)

    So far I haven’t encountered a single person who has adopted O’Neill’s proposal.

  10. John
    November 2, 2014 @ 10:43 pm

    Sean
    I accept that the majority of Evangelical Christians regard Philippians CHapter 2 as evidence of early Trinitarian thinking. I have not encountered people who regard the chapter as evidence for the pre-existence of Christ.
    The ‘kenotic’ view of Philippians 2 makes no sense to me – and the ‘second Adam’ view takes care of my objections.
    As the NAB Bible states in a footnote ‘ verses 6-8 where Christ is the subject of every verb and verses 9-11 where God is the subject of every verb’.
    This man, Jesus Christ did not seek to repeat Adams sin and emptied himself of human ego and humbled himself -became obedient even to death on the cross.

    Note that the ‘humbling’ and ‘obedience’ are joined to ‘death on the cross.’ and there is no suggestion of pre-existence here.

    The vast majority of people will see what they want to see – and are frequently plain wrong!

    Blessings
    John

  11. Sean Garrigan
    November 2, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

    “…and even bucks the concensus reading of Philippians 2”

    Realizing how loaded this statement is, as few verses have admitted a broader spectrum of interpretative opinion, I thought I should clarify that by “bucks the consensus” I’m referring specifically to the near consensus view that Philippians 2 teaches the preexistence of Christ.

  12. Sean Garrigan
    November 2, 2014 @ 6:09 pm

    “This is affirmed, at best, on your own “authority”: we may refer to it as Sean-dogma…”

    LOL:-) Actually, it’s affirmed by virtually everyone who’s studied John’s gospel at both the lay level and the academic level. Even James D.G. Dunn — who is probably quoted more often than any other scholar by Socinian-type Unitarians because of his own views on preexistence in the NT (I’ve said this before) — acknowledges that the author of John’s gospel believed in the real preexistence of Christ.

    “To sum up, it is quite clear that in the Johannine writings the divine sonship of Jesus is grounded in his pre-existence; whatever their context of meaning the readers could scarcely mistake this. The Johannine circle have an understanding of Jesus’ divine sonship which is without real parallel in the rest of the NT, of a sonship which even on earth was an unclouded and uninterrupted enjoyment of a relationship with the Father which was his before the world began and which would continue to be his after his return to the Father.” (Christology in the Making: A New Testament Inquiry into the Origins of the Doctrine of the Incarnation, second edition), p. 58

    Of course, the fact that Dunn “says so” isn’t proof that this reading of John is correct, either. Still, he’s well known for rejecting the notion that Christ’s preexistence is taught in most of the NT, and even bucks the concensus reading of Philippians 2. He’s no Simon Gathercole (i.e. someone who manages to see preexistence all over the place), yet he finds that John’s conception of Jesus is “is grounded in his pre-existence”. (ibid)

    What is it about this understanding of John that Socinians find so unacceptable?

  13. Mario
    November 2, 2014 @ 5:22 pm

    @ Sean

    “…the author of John’s gospel believed in the real preexistence of Christ …”

    This is affirmed, at best, on your own “authority”: we may refer to it as Sean-dogma … 😉

  14. Sean Garrigan
    November 2, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

    “If the identification between the logos and “‘a god’ who is ‘with God’” was “explicit”, as you claim, then the (preincarnated) logos would be a PERSON, NOT “the PERSONIFICATION of God’s Truth and Wisdom”. The two cannot both be true.”

    That’s correct, and since the author of John’s gospel believed in the real preexistence of Christ, this would have to be reshaped accordingly. Reshaping teachings in light of the Christ event and presenting them anew was common practice for the NT writers, just as reshaping biblical teaching in light of modern thought, forms of historiography, and science is common today.

  15. Mario
    November 2, 2014 @ 1:13 pm

    @ Sean

    So, now that I have provided you with substantial evidence that Justin Martyr virtually carbon-copied his concept and his terminology regarding the logos from Philo Judaeus (who died about 50 years before he was born), and, more in general, from Hellenistic Judaism, you now step back to the even more daring affirmation that it would have been John the Evangelist himself that would have substantially reflected, in the Prologue to his Gospel, an idea of logos that was well established in the Hellenistic Judaism of his day. What you don’t say (or don’t know) is that, however “hard” and “compressed” the language of John’s Prologue, only through Hellenistic glasses can one read in the logos that “was in the beginning with god and was god” anything essentially different from the fully scriptural (Hebrew) dabar. By the way, the prejudiced thought that the Gospel of John was “in sync” with Hellenistic thought, has proved to be unfounded when the DSS became available.

    The reference to the article by Paula Fredriksen (by the title “Gods and the One God. In antiquity all monotheists were polytheists”, in Bible Review, Feb 2003) is a real boomerang, so much so that, contrary to what she says (“… Justin Martyr … argued that another god [YHWH], not the High God, was the deity revealed in the Septuagint”), you have to write that “Justin was led into error in equating Jesus with YHWH”.

    As for your quotation from Michael D. Marlowe’s introduction to the online article “In the beginning was the ????? …” (bible-researcher.com/logos.html), I wonder if you have noticed that, in your quotation, the logos in John’s prologue is floatingly referred to (before the incarnation) as a “who” and as a “what”.

    Jesus Christ was certainly a PERSON (in the OBVIOUS sense of the word person).

    The logos, before the Incarnation (John 1:14) was, at most “the PERSONIFICATION of God’s Truth and Wisdom”.

    Personification (also known as prosopopoeia) is a figure of speech, in which an inanimate object or an abstraction is given personal qualities.

    If the identification between the logos and “‘a god’ who is ‘with God’” was “explicit”, as you claim, then the (preincarnated) logos would be a PERSON, NOT “the PERSONIFICATION of God’s Truth and Wisdom”. The two cannot both be true.

  16. Sean Garrigan
    November 2, 2014 @ 8:48 am

    That fit’s pretty well with John’s gospel’s presentation of the LOGOS as “a god” who was used by God as the agent of creation. Though Justin was led into error in equating Jesus with YHWH, and possibly considering YHWH to be the son of the high God of antiquity (see http://www.bu.edu/religion/files/pdf/Gods-and-the-One-God.pdf [p. 49]), it’s certainly possible that he took his cue in developing the LOGOS-Christ in terms of a second god from John. As one commentator pointed out:

    “The contrasts between Philo and John, which the scholars here want to emphasize, should not obscure the fact that John is using a word which was already full of meaning for Jewish readers in his day. When he asserts that the logos became flesh he is indeed saying something that was never dreamt of by Philo or the Greek philosophers; but in all other respects it is their logos — the cosmic Mediator between God and the world, who is the personification of God’s Truth and Wisdom — that John is referring to when he asserts that Christ is its incarnation.” (http://www.bible-researcher.com/logos.html)

    As I said, this is probably impossible prove definitively, but it certainly seems possible that Justin may have embraced Philo’s “second god” concept because the Gospel of John explicitly identifies the LOGOS as “a god” who is “with God”.

  17. Mario
    November 2, 2014 @ 6:17 am

    @ Sean

    “It’s possible that he [Justin Martyr] got that [the notion of the logos as deuteros theos] directly from John’s gospel, though that’s admittedly impossible to prove. Adela Yarbro Collins seems to concur: [quotation from King and Messiah as Son of God, pp. 175 & 176]”

    The book jointly written by Adela Yarbro Collins and John Joseph Collins shows that their knowledge of the relationship between Justin and Philo, and, more in general, between Justin and Hellenistic Judaism, is very superficial. On the other hand, Erwin R. Goodenough, in his book on Justin Martyr (The theology of Justin Martyr, 1923), shows that most of the titles applied to the logos by Justin (ca.?100 – 165 AD) are the same as those used by Philo (ca. 25 BCE –50 CE) and other Hellenistic Jewish writers: theos, kyrios, angelos, dynamis, anatolê, litha, petra, archê, hemera (or phos), sophia, anêr, antrôpos, Israel, Jacob, etc. (op. cit. pp. 168-172).

    Coincidence? Nah!

    But there is more. Here is a passage from Justin himself:

    “I shall give you another testimony, my friends,” said I, “from the Scriptures, that God begat before all creatures a Beginning, [who was] a certain rational power [proceeding] from Himself, who is called by the Holy Spirit, now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos; and on another occasion He calls Himself Captain, when He appeared in human form to Joshua the son of Nave (Nun). ” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, ch. 61)

    As you can easily check for yourself, while Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue, names John the Baptist about 20 times, not once does he name John the Evangelist.

  18. Sean Garrigan
    November 1, 2014 @ 4:02 pm

    “P.S. Justin’s “original sin” is that of filching from Philo the notion of the logos as deuteros theos.”

    It’s possible that he got that directly from John’s gospel, though that’s admittedly impossible to prove. Adela Yarbro Collins seems to concur:

    Quote
    “…the third clause of John 1:1 may be translated either “the word was God” or “the word was a god.” Justin Martyr apparently understood the passage in the latter way. According to Henry Chadwick, “Justin had boldly spoken of the divine logos as ‘another God’ beside the Father, qualified by the gloss ‘other, I mean, in number, not in will.'” (King and Messiah as Son of God), pp. 175 & 176
    End Quote

  19. Mario
    October 29, 2014 @ 10:25 am

    P.S. Justin’s “original sin” is that of filching from Philo the notion of the logos as deuteros theos.

  20. Mario
    October 28, 2014 @ 4:15 pm

    @ Dale

    [at 2:38 pm] “Well, see what he says this week. He argues that historically, the really influential portion of the Bible was Psalm 82, read in a certain way.”

    It will be interesting to read/hear. Certainly my “solution” is more “compact” than his. And I would be interested to hear how else 1 Cor 15:28 could be “unpacked”.

    [at 2:40 pm] “This idea of ‘the Holy Spirit’ as the church is new to me. Do you find that phrase with that meaning in the NT anywhere?”

    I am not sure what you do you mean by “that phrase with that meaning”. Anyway, of all the books of the NT, Acts, in particular, is imbued with the evidence that the Holy Spirit (which, of course, I read as an essential attribute of God, NOT as a “person” – not until it is fully “incarnated” in the Church, anyway) is the “life principle” of the Church.

    [at 2:43 pm]

    “Arguably, for some of the early catholics, e.g. Tertullian, Origen, Jesus is both divine by nature and divine because of another. For these guys, the one God eternally emanates Jesus (Origen) or a finite time ago share some of his divine nature with Jesus (Tertullian). It’s not clear in either case that they’d agree that Jesus was then divine (in a lesser way) by God’s choice, or by grace. But derivat[iv]ely, I think yes – though they don’t quite put it that way.”

    Let me clarify my two-step criticism of the claim that “the one who deifies must be divine by nature”.
    1. It would be sufficient, for the purpose of deification, that “the one who deifies” (Jesus) does it by the “deifying power” that God has bestowed upon him with the Resurrection/Ascension.
    2. But, as it happens, Jesus is “divine by nature”, because he is the Incarnation of God’s Eternal Logos. So, if it makes sense to tackle the mystery of the Incarnation so casually, there must be a purpose for the Incarnation. The traditional (esp. Western) answer is: “because only a person endowed with divine nature can at-one”. Eastern Christianity concentrates more on the theosis view. Even if Western Christianity insists more on the “forgiveness of sins”, ultimately (and certainly in an eschatological perspective) the two perspectives coincide. I believe that the reason for the necessity of Jesus’ divine nature (which, AFAIAC, coincides with the logos) is quite different: only a person who shared completely in God’s logos could be capable of doing God’s Will so perfectly, while remaining free.

    The trouble with Tertullian and Origen etc. (all the way back to Justin Martyr and all the way forward to the Cappadocian scoundrels) is that they almost casually “flirted” with Greek categories (mostly those provided by Platonism, through the mediation of Philo). To clear the mess AND preserve Biblical monotheism, ultimately, the only solution they could invent was the (co-equal, co-eternal, tri-personal) “trinity”. There is a conceptual an historical necessity that leads all the way, from Justin “original sin” to the Cappadocian “trinity”.

  21. Dale
    October 28, 2014 @ 2:43 pm

    “Why should “the one who deifies [Jesus] be divine by nature”, rather than because God, the Father Almighty has made him Lord (almost) on a par with Himself, and has therefore bestowed that “deifying power” on Jesus?”

    This, I think, is an important question. Arguably, for some of the early catholics, e.g. Tertullian, Origen, Jesus is both divine by nature and divine because of another. For these guys, the one God eternally emanates Jesus (Origen) or a finite time ago share some of his divine nature with Jesus (Tertullian). It’s not clear in either case that they’d agree that Jesus was then divine (in a lesser way) by God’s choice, or by grace. But derivately, I think yes – though they don’t quite put it that way.

  22. Dale
    October 28, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

    “In the end, with the general resurrection and judgment, God will be perfectly ARTICULATED in a Trinity: the Father, His Son Jesus Christ (that is His incarnated and resurrected Logos), and the Holy Spirit, that is the Church Triumphant, that is all the elect.”

    This idea of “the Holy Spirit” as the church is new to me. Do you find that phrase with that meaning in the NT anywhere?

  23. Dale
    October 28, 2014 @ 2:38 pm

    “What is the root of this belief? I affirm that, if we have to pick a single verse of the Christian Bible to sum”

    Well, see what he says this week. He argues that historically, the really influential portion of the Bible was Psalm 82, read in a certain way.

  24. Mario
    October 28, 2014 @ 7:39 am

    At 13:38 (of 33:08 of the podcast), Dr. Carl Mosser says:

    “… the idea [of the Church Fathers] being that in order for Jesus to deify people – to make them immortal, incorruptible, glorious, divine in that sense – he himself must be divine. But the way the argument goes is that human beings are made theos by grace – or by participation – but the one who deifies must be divine by nature, must be divine in and of his own being and not by participation in another or by grace of another.”

    Now, it is not clear if Mosser is simply representing the argument of the Church Fathers, or if (contra von Harnack) he is making it his own. In any case the argument is flawed on at least two accounts:
    1. Why should “the one who deifies [Jesus] be divine by nature”, rather than because God, the Father Almighty has made him Lord (almost) on a par with Himself, and has therefore bestowed that “deifying power” on Jesus?
    2. Jesus is indeed “divine by nature”, in that he is the Incarnation of God’s Eternal Logos. This does NOT mean that God’s Eternal Logos is a pre-existent, or even eternal person (in the obvious sense of the word “person”). And, in fact, God “made Jesus both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36; cp. Phil 2:9-11).

  25. Mario
    October 28, 2014 @ 6:54 am

    Let’s get to the essence of this “deification” (or “theosis”) thingy. What is the root of this belief? I affirm that, if we have to pick a single vers of the Christian Bible to sum up the foundation of this doctrine, it is this:

    “When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Cor 15:28)

    What does Paul mean when he says, “… that God may be all in all”? Is he just using hyped language? Does he not really mean what he says?

    I believe he does, in an eschatological sense. But first one has to let go of a classical theistic prejudice, viz. that whatever is predicated of God would be unchanging.

    In the end, with the general resurrection and judgment, God will be perfectly ARTICULATED in a Trinity: the Father, His Son Jesus Christ (that is His incarnated and resurrected Logos), and the Holy Spirit, that is the Church Triumphant, that is all the elect.

    God is NOT a (co-eternal, co-equal, tri-personal) “trinity”, God WILL BE an all-encompassing trinity, in the end: the Trinity is NOT eternal, NOR protological, BUT the eschatological Truth on God.

    This is how God will spectacularly mock all “trinitarians”, who pretend to have found confirmation of the doctrine of the “eternal trinity” in the scripture …