We Do Not Begin with God’s Essence

It is common in philosophy to discuss God in terms of being and essence. One starts with what God is to discover, if one discovers it at all, who God is. Unfortunately, Christian theology in the modern era has attempted to map her own doctrines about God onto the “god of the philosophers” schema and so resorts to explicating God’s essence in order to talk about his person. (Of course, many would argue that this has been done in the Christian west for centuries, but I’ll leave that to others to discuss.)

As the gentlemen at Energies of the Trinity help us to learn, Christians from the earliest times rejected this God-as-essence-precedes-God-as-person schema. Take a look at their citation of St. Basil: Theology does not begin with “being”

2 thoughts on “We Do Not Begin with God’s Essence

  1. This is great! So true. This is the trouble of making Jesus a follower of God or simply a prophet. If Jesus was “only human” then God is “only essence.” It falls apart there and all we are left with is some teachings and random spiritualism.

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