Discover more from Джон’s Theologoumena: Another Minority Report
How & Why Jenson’s Right About What God Feels
Below, in his chapter of _Trinity, Time, and Church: A Response to the Theology of Robert W. Jenson, W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 2000_ , Colin Gunton probes & challenges Jenson’s conceptions of withinness: “Creation takes place within Christ, rather than within God simpliciter.”
That conceptual tweaking by Gunton fits my own reformulation: I like to read Jenson as doing – not theogony, but- theophany (re the meta-noetic, grammar of identity, etc), when he’s talking about the Trinity vis a vis Creation. When he does speak narratively & dramatically in terms of be-coming, I interpret that, more specifically, as a defensible Christogony, amenable (meta-ontically per a tapeinoticon of the communio naturarum vis a vis a real human to divine directionality ) to Bracken’s Divine Matrix.
While some have argued against & summarily dismissed the coherence of such as Jenson’s notion of divine withinness & Clarke’s esse intentionale distinction, I’ve found it profitable to explore how & why their intuitions might indeed be correct. As discussed in my Christogonal heuristic, above, and as with others like Bulgakov & Hegel, I find both Jenson & Clarke’s intuitions eminently defensible when situated within Joe Bracken’s Divine Matrix.
To wit, consider Bracken’s account of intersubjectivity:
Through intersubjective relations, a person can know & understand others’ subjective experiences by prehending the structural objectifications of those experiences, objectively knowing & identifying with them but not subjectively identifying with them. Infinite persons objectively know & identify with each other in every way. The different subjective realities of each person precludes ontological identity (as in the logical principle of identity). Knowing & willing, then, pertain to both the divine nature AND to each person.
The rubrics & heuristics above introduce some indispensable distinctions, such as between subjective & objective ways of knowing & identifying, such as between infinite & finite persons, such as between creation within Christ vs God simpliciter. These best guide our intuitions regarding divine im/mutability & im/passibility, in general.
Questions that might still beg, especially for Neo-Chalcedonians perhaps, would involve the precise nature of Jesus’ passibility, in particular. That would in turn have immense normative significance for exactly how we, as created co-creators, should aspire toward & within our own affective conversions, which are integral to each of our own Spirit-filled theotic transformations.
Robert Jenson proffers the correct answer, I believe: A person is a moral subjectivity with a sense of humor. If God, therefore, is personal, He is not only the moral intention at the ground of things. He is also the laughter at the ground of things, the sense of humor at the ground of things.
In that Jensonian vein, I cannot more highly commend Chris Green’s God is a Giddy Thing – The doctrine of the Trinity teaches us what it means to be happy and it’s follow God Makes Me Laugh – theology, at its best, is funny ha-ha and funny peculiar .