On the Eternal Communicating Love of God

This post is regarding the following video.

[----]:

Thanks for the link. If I’d summarize, I guess I’d see him saying this: “”Unity and diversity in the community of the Trinity.” I suppose he has put it as well as anyone probably could. There MUST be a Trinity because our God speaks to others before we came around. God is love who loved some other entitie(s) before we came around. He also seems to be implying that the heart of God is seen even in ourselves when we have that God-like compassion to, contemporarily speaking, do relief work in Haiti, or try to help someone in a really bad situation.

Does the eternal God require an eternal object? Certainly, [----], we are made in the image of God. And Jesus is the quintessential representative of God who tells us, shows us, reveals to us what God is like and how to be like God is. Yet it is Jesus himself who says, very simply that the greatest commandment is to know that “God is one” In Mark 12:28-30. But that’s not the main point. The primary point for this issue comes when he says what the I don’t think Ravi Zacharias added much to the discussion in his comments on dimensions. He starts off with the assumption that that is the way that it is with God. I can grant that all he said, geometrically speaking, is true. But the greater question is How does he know that this is the way it is with God?

Jesus says that the greatest commandment is that God is one. But he says the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). How are we to love our neighbor unless we first recognize that the focus of perfect love can be oneself? And if we are made in the image of God, does this not teach us that God loves himself? He can rightly love himself throughout all eternity and not have to love anything or anyone else. That he may have created a firstborn Son in pre-human history is a possibility (Colossians 1:15-17; even John 1:1-2 if we granted that the Logos was Jesus before the world was made, not necessarily my view, mind you.).

We may even grant that Jesus beheld the glory of the Father (John 12:41; Isaiah 6:1ff) at some point in the past before human history began. But we can’t say that this had to be an eternal communicating love. Why? Because in the only passage in the Bible that mentions what we as the antitype of love are, it is proper self-love that is certainly typical in the model in our perfect God. Does the perfect God create other objects of love? Certainly. Does he cease to be God if he loves only himself? Certainly not.

Christ’s divinity, then, is not presented in a blatant definition even if he were creator or even if at some point in pre-human history past he came to be God’s Son and became an object of God’s love after God perfectly loved himself.

Of course you are going to have to explain the concept of being eternally begotten, which is nonsense, or non-sense. To beget is to cause to be born. Jesus is only begotten because there was at least one millisecond in prehistory where he did not exist as God’s Son–the millisecond before God made the statement, “You are my Son. TODAY I have become your Father.” Or, in the King James Version: “Thou art my Son. Today I have begotten thee” (Psalm 2:7; Luke 1:35).

As an example, consider that we are told in Ephesians 5 that Christ loved the church (not an eternal love, I might add). We might even compare that with the example of the love expressed between spouses. But it is not the first love that is supposed to be present for the love of a man’s perfect neighbor, which, is, of course, one’s wife or husband. A man has to love himself and then love others. At least that’s what Jesus says in Mark 12:31: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I actually am coming from the assumption that God never had any problem with self-esteem. And he doesn’t want us to either; indeed, I need to imitate that as well in my own self-conception, and then transfer my love of self to my love of others in hugs, in meeting others’ needs, in being “there” for people, and a hundred other ways I want to show it. The love God had for himself indeed was manifested in his decision to beget a Son by the power of his holy spirit.

But must we presume the existence of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as an eternal triune connection of communicating love. The Father by himself loved himself. And why not? We might (wrongly) think it is the ultimate depiction of selfishness to love ourselves. Then why did Jesus say love others as we love ourselves if that did not presuppose self-love?

Additionally, doesn’t this whole thing suggest the presumption of the eternal deity of Jesus? I think about how Philippians 2:5-8 is often used to teach teaches that Jesus was divine. Consider the passage as it reads in the New American Standard Bible:

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross.

Simply put this is an image of God passage, much like Genesis 2-3. Some scholars call it Adam-Jesus Christology. Namely it is a counter statement to what Adam did. The phrase “form of God” essentially is the same thing as “image of God” found in Genesis 1:26. Adam existed in the image of God (“in our image,” yes, I will respond to that pronoun if you wish). Then Satan tempted this man who was in the image or form of God to “be like God” (Genesis 3:5). And what did Adam-1 do? He reached and grasped the fruit and sought equality with God. Jesus, according to Philippians 2 existed in God’s form or image and reversed what Adam had done. By not regarding equality with God as a thing to be grasped at all, in humbling himself Jesus, who is Adam-2, did what Adam-1 should have done. The attitude and actions of humble obedience that he did embrace, as opposed to trying to grasp equality with God, won him immortality, glory, and honor to which everyone, one day, must bow.

Paul makes it clear that Jesus is Adam-2 in Romans 5, as even Trinitarian scholars have said, about the teaching of Philippians 2 (Example: “Adam Christology in the Philippians 2 Hymn,” Emerging from Babel Blog. Retrieved January 8, 2010. This isn’t an irrelevant tangent, [----]. Jesus has to exist into eternity and be loved into eternity for the God that Ravi Zacharias describes to exist. Actually, all he needs is a binity rather than a Trinity, and interestingly, he doesn’t really work out how the Holy Spirit as a person in the “being” of God must come into the picture. But as is evident in the Scripture I pointed out earlier, Psalms 2:7, which is used to describe Jesus in various New Testament passages, God “beget” Jesus “Today.” It happens at a point in time. It isn’t, as the video presents, something that must carry on into eternity between the ever-present persons of the godhead. To beget, or to become the Father of, is again something that happens at a point in time. Carry over the idea of Jesus’ begettal by the power of God’s spirit in Luke 1:35.

To summarize, God is love and he appropriately loves himself. He begets the Son, either in history previous to our own (one interpretation of Colossians 1:15 which speaks of Jesus as “firstborn”). Or he begets Jesus as one object of his love at his conception in Mary. Either way, he is begotten at a time called “Today.”

Danny Andre

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