What does it mean to proceed?

Discussion in 'Pneumatology' started by Unoriginalname, Jun 19, 2012.

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  1. Unoriginalname

    Unoriginalname Puritan Board Junior

    When the Nicene Creed says that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son what does this mean? Is it speaking in economic terms or something else? Also is there a general consciousness (well I would assume there is) on what is intended by this phrase?
  2. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Procession is the Spirit's personal property - why is he the Spirit rather than the Father or the Son? Because he proceeds (is spirated). There is an economic procession, but the Nicene creed is speaking of the Spirit's eternal procession.

    Procession is a very general term: the Son proceeds, but we can define it more narrowly in his case, and say that he proceeds by way of generation. With the Spirit, we do not have the ability to be that precise. It is possible to say that procession is a different mode of communication than generation, but it is difficult to go beyond that.
  3. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    It is very difficult to say what the difference is between the procession of the Son and the Spirit. In Thomist terms, procession is a general term that covers both the Son and the Spirit, but we are able to say more specifically that the Son has a "generation" sort of procession. The difficulty is how to explain how there can be 2 processions within the Godhead that are distinct but nevertheless result in both being homoousios with the Father. Perhaps the best crack at this question was taken by Thomas Aquinas, who compared the generation of the Son to the generation of the "word of the heart" (a concept) in the intellect and the procession of the Spirit to the movement of love in the will. It will take some hard reading and thinking, though.
  4. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I think Rijssen presents a view still more profound than that of Aquinas:

    But it is well in these matters to remember the caution of Heidegger:

    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  5. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    That might be the best succinct statement of divine voluntarism I've come across. Love it.
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