Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axioms 12 and 13 on the Trinity

These two axioms are very short, and fairly straightforward: Polanus wants to clarify that while the persons are distinguished by relations, this does not introduce composition in any way: the persons are not composed by relations, nor is God composed by relations. Constitution good; composition

Essay / Theology

Polanus: Axioms 10 and 11 on the Trinity

In these two axioms, Polanus teaches how to think about God in terms of essence and relation. One of the tricky parts of this is that essence and relation are two different ways of talking about the same thing in God, which is God. Several

Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axioms 7, 8, and 9 on the Trinity

In this little set of axioms, Polanus wants to show that the persons of the Trinity are distinguished by real, opposed relations. He is aware that this is a packed phrase, which contains and summarizes quite a few judgments. So he eases his way into

Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axiom 6b on the Trinity

Here’s our next conversation about the Trinity, following Polanus’ 18 Axioms. The main thing Polanus wants to clarify in this axiom is that when we speak of difference in God, it can never be difference in essence; it is instead difference in person. In the

Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axiom 5 and 6a on the Trinity

Axiom 5 is very short, but Axiom 6 is very long. So even though this is organizationally strange, we’re devoting one discussion to Axiom 5 and the first half of Axiom 6. But in our next discussion, we’ll only cover the second half of 6,

Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axiom 4 on the Trinity

In his fourth axiom on the Trinity, Polanus clarifies how the persons of the Trinity are related to each other by clarifying how they are related to the divine nature. To make the point, he contrasts the right answer, homoousioi, with a number of wrong

Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axiom 3 on the Trinity

Is the Son like the Father, or unlike the Father? More precisely, are the Father and the Son similar in essence, or dissimilar? It’s a trick question. “Similarity” is not a useful category for talking about God’s essence. In his third Axiom, Polanus helps us

Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axiom 2 on the Trinity

If I could provide you with links to a nice translation of Amandus Polanus’ Axioms on the Trinity within his Syntagma Theologiae, I would. But I can’t. What Ryan Hurd and I are doing in this set of conversations is posting Ryan’s new translation of

Essay / Theology

Polanus, Axiom 1 on the Trinity

Polanus (d. 1610) wrote 18 axioms on the Trinity. Ryan Hurd and I want to study them. So here’s our plan: Post Ryan’s translation of each axiom here at the Scriptorium, talk about it, post the video. Welcome to the first axiom: Axiom 1. The

Essay / Theology

Polanus: 18 Axioms (Intro)

Four hundred years ago, one of Protestantism’s most accomplished theologians published a series of eighteen guidelines (“axiomata”) for understanding the Trinity. They’re great. They have never been translated into English. Nobody talks about them. Until now! [cue movie trailer] When I stumbled upon Amandus Polanus’

Essay / Culture

“Growing Like Hell,” Tulsa, 1921

The King’s Business, the monthly magazine of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, published a strongly worded editorial in its September 1921 issue. With the arresting title, “Growing Like Hell,” managing editor Keith L. Brooks described the violence that had taken place in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Essay / Theology

Gentle Correction

On at least two occasions, John Webster reviewed combative books with which he largely agreed, but slipped in some gentle reprimands along the way. I think of these reviews often, as instructive instances of how a theologian can be constructive and peaceable even while entering