On Divine Unity and Diversity (Plural-Unity)
Now that Ramadan is over, it is time to reply again to Ozair's comments to my first piece on this subject from April 14th, two posts down. In that I accused Ozair of changing the subject, all the while accusing Ted of trying to. Again, for their debate Ozair insisted on the topic—it could only be the trinity, nothing else. But Ozair does not even understand it himself, which is apparently why he changed it to the incarnation of God. The doctrine of the trinity is really that simple—There is one God who has one Essence with three persons. Period. It entails nothing necessarily about the nature of the man that was Jesus. Again, the way that the debate question was framed excludes any discussion about incarnation, so it does not concern the Arians, the Apollonians, or the Nestorians whose heresies were unrelated to the trinity. The matter of the trinity is confined to questions about Yahweh's nature, his plural-unity, not Jesus. (Also, since Allah has plural attributes in what sense is he 'absolute one' in the Islamic sense?) See Appendix 1 of my book, The Reason of Reason.
Francis Schaeffer provides an eloquent discussion of divine plurality-within-unity in his excellent book, He is There And He Is Not Silent, although he uses the word “diversity” instead of plurality. Here I want to offer a summary of his thinking on this subject starting with an overview of this short book should you like to read it (only 80 pages plus appendices). I highly recommend it. The main argument we are concerned with is Schaeffer’s conviction that only the existence of a tri-personal God, i.e. the trinity, can make sense of both diversity and unity in reality. This is also my conviction for which I will offer my own commentary. But allow me to come back to this specific point in the fifth paragraph after a bit more overview of the whole book should you like to read it. Or you can skim down.