Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
July 11th, 2014 by Joel Watts

St. Ambrose of Milan on the Trinity

And that you may understand it to be said as a mystery and not in reference to the bare number that two are better than one, he adds a mystical saying, A threefold cord is not quickly broken*. For that which is threefold and uncompounded cannot be broken. Thus the Trinity, being of an uncompounded nature, cannot be dissolved; for God is, whatever He is, one and simple and uncompounded; and what He is that He continues to be, and is not brought into subjection.

Ambrose of Milan, The Letters of S. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (trans. H. Walford; A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church; London; Oxford; Cambridge: Oxford; James Parker and Co.; Rivingtons, 1881), 464.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).


One Response to “St. Ambrose of Milan on the Trinity”
  1. Bart D. Ehrman of Chapel Hill on the Trinity “The Theological Ortho-Paradox.”
    “First, some passages of scripture appear to affirm completely different views. Orthodox thinkers realized that it was necessary to affirm all of these passages, even though they appear to be at odds with one another. But affirming these different passages, at one and the same time, necessarily led to paradoxical affirmations. Second, different groups of heretics stated views in direct opposition to one another, and the orthodox thinkers knew that they had to reject each of these views…if Christ is God, and God the Father is God, in what sense is there only one God? And if one adds the Holy Spirit into the mix, how does one escape the conclusion either that Christ and the Spirit are not God, or that there are three Gods? In the end, the orthodox settled for the paradox of theTrinity:..”

    Nicene Creed,
    “…or who assert that the Son of God is of a different hypostasis or substance or is subject to alteration and change — these the Catholic and Apostolic church anathematizes.”

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