MODALISM??

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Sabellius is remembered as the main protagonist behind sabellian modalism. Sabellian modalism is an ancient heresy which denies the Trinity and advances the doctrine that “Father,” “Son,” and “Spirit” are three different names for the same person or three different roles for the same actor. “In modalism there is one person in the godhead. In this sense, modalism is more like the traditional monotheism of Islam, rather than trinitarian theism. In the Trinity, three distinct persons unite in one eternal nature.”[1] Modalism “denies the ‘threeness’ present in the divine being but, unlike Arianism, it now seeks to secure the oneness, not by placing the Son and the Spirit outside the divine being, but by so absorbing them into it that all distinctions among the three personselt away.”[2]

This same heresy was defended by Servetus in the 16th century. Bavinck summarized Servetus’ heresy:

Servetus could not find words cutting enough to condemn the church’s doctrine of the Trinity. To his mind it is tritheistic, atheistic, “a three-headed monster,” “a three-headed Cerberus,” “a tripartite God.” In opposing it he proceeds from the premise that the divine being is indivisible and, therefore, that in order to maintain the deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit one may not speak in terms of persons but only of dispositions, manifestations, divine modes.[3]

Because of his heresy, Servetus was marked as a heretic and suffered the consequences. He attended a sermon preached by Calvin in Geneva on August 13th and was arrested. On October 27 he was burned alive on top of his books.

PROOFS FOR THE TRIUNITY OF GOD

The Trinity is an essential doctrine for the Christian religion. Augustine described the Trinity saying:

that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit intimate a divine unity of one and the same substance in an indivisible equality; and therefore that they are not three Gods, but one God: although the Father hath begotten the Son, and so He who is the Father is not the Son; and the Son is begotten by the Father, and so He who is the Son is not the Father; and the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son, but only the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, Himself also co-equal with the Father and the Son, and pertaining to the unity of the Trinity.[4]

This is true for several reasons. First, the Trinity is essential to Christianity because the Bible presents the Trinity as fact (Jn. 1:1; Matt. 28:19-20; Eph. 4:30; Jn. 4:23-24; 2 Cor. 13:14; Jn. 16:13-14; 1 Pt. 1:2). The Trinity is essential for God’s infinite character. God must be Trinity if God is love eternally. There must be someone for him to love (Col. 1:13; Jn. 3:16).

The Trinity is also necessary because Jesus is presented as the eternal Logos or Wisdom who is always with the Father and Spirit (Prov. 8). God cannot be without Wisdom, therefore he cannot be without his Son—the Logos. The Gospel of John is filled with Trinitarian language. The Gospel begins with the teaching of Jesus’ deity—John 1:1. Augustine wrote, “They who have said that our Lord Jesus Christ is not God, or not very God, or not with the Father the One and only God, or not truly immortal because changeable, are proved wrong by the most plain and unanimous voice of divine testimonies; as, for instance, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”[5]

The Spirit, in like manner, proceeds from the Father and Son. The Spirit is the third member of the Trinity. “The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father (Jo. 15:26); and He is distinct from the Son, according to the words, I will ask My Father, and He will give you another Paraclete (Jo. 14:16). Therefore in God another procession exists besides the procession of the Word.”[6] The Spirit is listed equally with the Father and Son (Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Pet. 1:1-2). The Spirit is referred to as “the Spirit of God” (Matt. 3:16; 10:20; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor 2:12) and “the Spirit of Christ” (Acts 5:9; 16:7; 2 Cor. 3:17f; Gal. 4:6; Phil 1:19; Rom 8:9-11). The Spirit acts as only divine persons may act and in cooperation with the Father and Son (Gen.1:2; Rom. 15:16; Heb. 10:15; 1 Pet. 1:2). Therefore, the Spirit is a “person,” he is a “divine person,” and he is distinct from the Father and Son.[7]

 

PROOFS FOR THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE THREE EQUAL DIVINE PERSONS

There are three fully divine persons who are one God. In order to understand how there can be three divine persons and one God, we must understand divine simplicity. Divine simplicity is the doctrine that teaches that all that is in God is God. God is not composed of parts. God is simply God. “Divine simplicity’ is the doctrine that *God is not composite. To be composite is in some sense to be imperfect, or less than ultimate (every composite being necessarily has a prior cause that caused its parts to cohere). Thus if God is perfect and Creator of all, God must be simple.”[8] We may speak of God’s attributes, but those “attributes” are inseparable from God’s actions. He is what he does and does what he is.[9] Deuteronomy 6:1 reveals this when it says, “the LORD thy God is one.” God revealed this aspect of the divine nature when he said his name is “I AM” (Ex. 3:14).

It is necessary to have a grasp of divine simplicity because this is how we can better understand that the three persons of the Godhead are fully divine, distinct persons, and yet one God without hierarchy or ontological distinction.  The Father, Son, and Spirit are fully divine and that deity is simple—not composed. The Father, Son, and Spirit each are simple. Therefore, there is one divine essence in which the Father, Son, and Spirit subsist.[10] There are three distinct persons who possess deity individually and fully. The Father possesses all that is divine, the Son possesses all that is divine, and the Spirit possesses all that is divine.  There are not three gods. There is one God in three persons. God is not three substances, but three persons of the identical substance.[11]

God is “one.” This does not refer to the number of persons. The oneness of God refers to the oneness of substance. “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Dt. 6:4). “There is but one God” (1 Cor. 8:6). “There is one God, and one mediator” (Gal. 3:20). God said, “there is no god besides me” (Deut. 32:39; Is. 43:11). Turretin said, “Although there are more persons than one in God, yet there are not more natures. All persons partake of one and the same infinite nature, not by division, but by communication.”[12]

In our Gospels, we see the three divine persons as fully divine yet distinct from each other. Perhaps the easiest place to begin is at Jesus’ baptism when the Son is in the water, the Father speaks from Heaven, and the Spirit descends in the form of a dove. From there, we can move to Jesus’ prayer to the Father to send the Spirit (Jn. 14:15-17). Jesus then described the work of the Spirit in John 16:4-15).

CONCLUSION

The heresy of modalism robs God of his intratrinitarian relations and misrepresents the nature of God revealed in Scripture. God is not one actor with three roles. God is Father, Son, and Spirit. While the Trinitarian nature of God is difficult to grasp, we can be thankful to have several good descriptions of this truth handed down through the centuries.

CHALCEDONENSE*

The Symbol of Chalcedon

Oct. 22d, 451.

Ἑπόμενοι τοίνυν τοῖς ἁγίοις πατράσιν ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν ὁμολογεῖν υἱὸν τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν συμφώνως ἅπαννες ἐκδιδάσκομεν, τέλειον τὸν αὐτὸν ἐν θεότητι καὶ τέλειον τὸν αὐτὸν ἐν ἀνθρωπότητι, θεὸν ἀληθῶς καὶ ἄνθρωπον ἀληθῶς τὸν αὐτὸν, ἐκ ψυχῆς λογικῆς καὶ σώματος, ὁμοούσιον2 τῷ πατρὶ κατὰ τὴν θεότητα, καὶ ὁμοούσιον τὸν αὐτὸν ἡμῖν κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα, κατὰ πάντα ὅμοιον ἡμῖν χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας· πρὸ αἰώνων μὲν ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς γεννηθέντα κατὰ τὴν θεότητα, ἐπʼ ἐσχάτων δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν τὸν αὐτὸν διʼ ἡμᾶς καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν ἐκ Μαρίας τῆς παρθένου τῆς θεοτόκου κατὰ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα,3 ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν Χριστόν, υἱόν, κύριον, μονογενῆ, ἐκ δύο φύσεων [ἐν δύο φύσεσιν], ἀσυγχύτως, ἀτρέπτως,5 ἀδιαιρέτως, ἀχωρίστως γνωριζόμενον· οὐδαμοῦ τῆς τῶν φύσεων διαφορᾶς ἀνῃρημένης διὰ τὴν ἕνωσιν, σωζομένης δὲ μᾶλλον τῆς ἰδιότητος ἑκατέρας φύσεως καὶ εἰς ἓν πρόσωπον καὶ μίαν ὑπόστασιν συντρεχούσης, οὐκ εἰς δύο πρόσωπα μεριζόμενον ἢ διαιρούμενον, ἀλλʼ ἕνα καὶ τὸν αὐτὸν υἱὸν καὶ μονογενῆ, θεὸν λόγον, κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χοιστόν· καθάπερ ἄνωθεν οἱ προφῆται περὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς ἡμᾶς ὁ κύριος Ιησοῦς Χριστὸς ἐξεπαίδευσε καὶ τὸ τῶν πατέρων ἡμῖν καραδέδωκε σύμβολον.

 

We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [coessential]2 with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures,4 inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ: as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.[13]

 

  1. SYMBOLUM QUICUNQUE

The Athanasian Creed

The Latin Original

 

Old Translation Revised

 

1. Quicunque vult salvus esse: ante omnia opus est, ut teneat catholicam fidem.

 

*1. Whosoever will be saved: before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith:

 

2. Quam nisi quisque integram inviolatamque servaverit: absque dubio in æternum peribit.

 

*2. Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled: without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

 

3. Fides autem catholica hæc est: ut unum Deum in Trinitate, et Trinitatem in Unitate veneremur;

 

*3. And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

 

*4. Neque confundentes personas: neque substantiam separantes.

 

*4. Neither confounding the Persons: nor dividing the Substance [Essence].

 

5. Alia est enim persona Patris: alia Filii: alia Spiritus Sancti.

 

5. For there is one Person of the Father: another of the Son: and another of the Holy Ghost.

 

6. Sed Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti una est divinitas: æqualis gloria, coæterna majestas.

 

*6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.

 

7. Qualis Pater: talis Filius: talis [et] Spiritus Sanctus.

 

7. Such as the Father is: such is the Son: and such is the Holy Ghost.

 

8. Increatus Pater: increatus Filius: increatus [et] Spiritus Sanctus..

 

8. The Father uncreate [uncreated]: the Son uncreate [uncreated]: and the Holy Ghost uncreate [uncreated].

 

9. Immensus Pater: immensus Filius: immensus [et] Spiritus Sanctus.

 

*9. The Father incomprehensible [unlimited]: the Son incomprehensible [unlimited]: and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible [unlimited, or infinite].

 

10. Æternus Pater: æternus Filius: æternus [et] Spiritus Sanctus.

 

10. The Father eternal: the Soneternal: and the Holy Ghost eternal.

 

11. Et tamen non tres œterni: sed unus æternus.

 

11. And yet they are not three eternals: but one eternal.

 

12. Sicut non tres increati: nec tres immensi: sed unus increatus: et unus immensus.

 

12. As also there are not three uncreated: nor three incomprehensibles [infinites], but one uncreated: and one incomprehensible [infinite].

 

13. Similiter omnipotens Pater: omnipotent Filius: omnipotens [et] Spiritus Sanctus.

 

13. So likewise the Father is Almighty: the Son Almighty: and the Holy Ghost Almighty.

 

14. Et tamen non tres omnipotentes: sed unus omnipotens.

 

14. And yet they are not three Almighties: but one Almighty.

 

15. Ita deus Pater: deus Filius: deus [et] Spiritus Sanctus.

 

15. So the Father is God: the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God.

 

16. Et tamen non tres dii: sed unus est Deus.

 

16. And yet they are not three Gods: but one God.

 

17. Ita dominus Pater: dominus Filius: dominus [et] Spiritus Sanctus.

 

17. So likewise the Father is Lord: the Son Lord: and the Holy Ghost Lord.

 

18. Et tamen non tres domini: sed unus [est] Dominus.

 

18. And yet not three Lords: but one Lord.

 

19. Quia sicut singulatim unamquamque personam Deum ac Dominum confiteri, christiana veritate compellimur:

 

19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity: to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord:

 

20. Ita tres deos, aut [tres] dominos dicere, catholica religione prohibemur.

 

*20. So are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion: to say, There be [are] three Gods, or three Lords.

 

21. Pater a nullo est factus: nec creatus, nec genitus.

 

*21. The Father is made of none: neither created, nor begotten.

 

22. Filius a Patre solo est: non factus, nec creatus: sed genitus.

 

22. The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created: but begotten.

 

23. Spiritus Sanctus a Patre et Filio: non factus, nec creatus, nec genitus: sed procedens.

 

*23. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten: but proceeding.

 

24. Unus ergo Pater, non tres patres: unus Filius, non tres filii: unus Spiritus Sanctus, non tres spiritus sancti.

 

24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers: one Son, not three Sons: one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.

 

25. Et in hac Trinitate nihil prius, aut posterius: nihil majus, aut minus.

 

*25. And in this Trinity none is afore, or after another: none is greater, or less than another [there is nothing before, or after: nothing greater or less].

 

26. Sed totœ tres personœ coæternœ sibi sunt, et coæquales.

 

26. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal.

 

27. Ita, ut per omnia, sicut jam supra dictum est: et Unitas in Trinitate, et Trinitas in Unitate, venerenda sit.

 

27. So that in all things, as aforesaid: the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshiped.

 

28. Qui vult ergo salvus esse, ita de Trinitate sentiat.

 

28. He therefore that will be saved, must [let him] thus think of the Trinity.

 

29. Sed necessarium est ad æternam salutem: ut incarnationem quoque Domini nostri Jesu Christi fideliter credat.

 

*29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation: that he also believe rightly[faithfully] the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

30. Est ergo fides recta, ut credamus et confiteamur: quod Dominus noster Jesus Christus Dei Filius, Deus [pariter] et homo est;

 

*30. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess: that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man;

 

31. Deus [est] ex substantia Patris, ante secula genitus: et homo ex substantia matris, in seculo natus.

 

*31. God, of the Substance [Essence] of the Father; begotten before the worlds: and Man, of the Substance [Essence] of his Mother, born in the world.

 

32. Perfectus Deus: perfectus homo, ex anima rationali et humana carne subsistens.

 

*32. Perfect God: and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

 

33. Aequalis Patri secundum divinitatem: minor Patre secundum humanitatem.

 

33. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead: and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood.

 

34. Qui licet Deus sit et homo; non duo tamen, sed unus est Christus.

 

34. Who although he be [is] God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ.

 

35. Unus autem, non conversione divinitatis in carnem: sed assumptione humanitatis in Deum.

 

35. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh: but by taking [assumption] of the Manhood into God.

 

36. Unus omnino; non confusione substantiæ: sed unitate personœ.

 

36. One altogether; not by confusion of Substance [Essence]: but by unity of Person.

 

37. Nam sicut anima rationalis et caro unus est homo: ita Deus et homo unus est Christus.

 

37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man: so God and Man is one Christ;

 

*38.Qui passus est pro nostra salute: descendit ad inferos: tertia die resurrexit a mortuis.

 

*38. Who suffered for our salvation: descended into hell [Hades, spirit-world]: rose again the third day from the dead.

 

39. Ascendit ad [in] cœlos: sedet ad dexteram [Dei] Patris [omnipotentis].

 

39. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the Father God [God the Father] Almighty.

 

40. Inde venturus [est] judicare vivos et mortuos.

 

40. From whence [thence] he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

 

41. Ad cujus adventum omnes homines resurgere habent cum corporibus suis;

 

41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;

 

42. Et reddituri sunt de factis propriis rationem.

 

42. And shall give account for their own works.

 

43. Et qui bona egerunt, ibunt in vitam æternam: qui vero mala, in ignem æternum.

 

*43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting: and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.

 

44. Hæc est fides catholica: quam nisi quisque fideliter firmiterque crediderit, salvus esse non poterit.

 

*44. This is the Catholic Faith: which except a man believe faithfully [truly and firmly], he can not be saved.

 

 

 

 

Westminster Confession of Faith

 

Of God, and of the Holy Trinity

 

  1. There is but one only, (Deut. 6:4, 1 Cor. 8:4–6) living, and true God, (1 Thess. 1:9, Jer. 10:10) who is infinite in being and perfection, (Job 11:7–9, Job 26:14) a most pure spirit, (John 4:24) invisible, (1 Tim. 1:17) without body, parts, (Deut. 4:15–16, John 4:24, Luke 24:39) or passions; (Acts 14:11,15) immutable, (James 1:17, Mal. 3:6) immense, (1 Kings 8:27, Jer. 23:23–24) eternal, (Ps. 90:2, 1 Tim. 1:17) incomprehensible, (Ps. 145:3) almighty, (Gen. 17:1, Rev. 4:8) most wise, (Rom. 16:27) most holy, (Isa. 6:3, Rev. 4:8) most free, (Ps. 115:3) most absolute; (Exod. 3:14) working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, (Eph. 1:11) for His own glory; (Prov. 16:4, Rom. 11:36) most loving, (1 John 4:8,16) gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; (Exod. 34:6–7) the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; (Heb. 11:6) and withal, most just, and terrible in His judgments, (Neh. 9:32–33) hating all sin, (Ps. 5:5–6) and who will by no means clear the guilty. (Nah. 1:2–3, Exod. 34:7)
  2. God hath all life, (John 5:26) glory, (Acts 7:2) goodness, (Ps. 119:68) blessedness, (1 Tim. 6:15, Rom. 9:5) in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He hath made, (Acts 17:24–25) nor deriving any glory from them, (Job 22:2–3) but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things (Rom. 11:36) and hath most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever Himself pleaseth. (Rev. 4:11, 1 Tim. 6:15, Dan. 4:25, 35) In His sight all things are open and manifest, (Heb. 4:13) His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, (Rom. 11:33–34, Ps. 147:5) so as nothing is to Him contingent, or uncertain. (Acts 15:18, Ezek. 11:5) He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands. (Ps. 145:17, Rom. 7:12) To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience He is pleased to require of them. (Rev. 5:12–14)
  3. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost: (1 John 5:7. Matt 3:16–17, Matt. 28:19, 2 Cor. 13:14) the Father is of none, neither begotten, not proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; (John 1:14, 18) the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. (John 15:26, Gal. 4:6)[14]

 

              [1] Norman L. Geisler, “Modalism,” Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 492.

              [2] Herman Bavinck, John Bolt, and John Vriend, Reformed Dogmatics: God and Creation, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 292.

              [3] Herman Bavinck, John Bolt, and John Vriend, Reformed Dogmatics: God and Creation, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 294.

              [4] Augustine of Hippo, “On the Trinity,” in St. Augustin: On the Holy Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. Arthur West Haddan, vol. 3, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1887), 20.

[5] Augustine of Hippo, “On the Trinity,” in St. Augustin: On the Holy Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises, ed. Philip Schaff, trans. Arthur West Haddan, vol. 3, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, First Series (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1887), 21.

              [6] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne, n.d.).

              [7] Richard Muller Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics. Vol. 4: The Triunity of God. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003): 343.

[8] S. R. Holmes, “Simplicity, Divine,” ed. Martin Davie et al., New Dictionary of Theology: Historical and Systematic (London; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press; InterVarsity Press, 2016), 840.

              [9] “More fully stated as the Unity of Simplicity, this is the divine attribute of indivisibility. Particularly, simplicity emphasizes that the three persons of the Trinity* are not three parts of which the divine essence is composed. It also teaches that there can be no distinction between the divine essence and the divine attributes. God is not an eternal essence to which attributes have been added. He is not essence plus attributes.” Alan Cairns, Dictionary of Theological Terms (Belfast; Greenville, SC: Ambassador Emerald International, 2002), 417.

              [10] “All that exists in God is one with the divine nature. Hence the proper notion of this or that procession, by which one procession is distinguished from another, cannot be on the part of this unity: but the proper notion of this or that procession must be taken from the order of one procession to another; which order is derived from the nature of the will and intellect. Hence, each procession in God takes its name from the proper notion of will and intellect; the name being imposed to signify what its nature really is; and so it is that the Person proceeding as love receives the divine nature, but is not said to be born.” Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne, n.d.).

              [11] Shedd noted that the Triune God is “not three distinct substances, but three distinct modes of one substance.[11]William Greenough Thayer Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, ed. Alan W. Gomes, 3rd ed. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Pub., 2003), 220.

              [12] Turretin also contrasted the oneness of God with the shared humanity of men. He said, “If three persons in human things indicate three men, we ought [not] to infer that in divine things three persons are three Gods; or that the unity of the divine essence implies also a unity of person (as Socinus wishes). Of three human persons, there are three singular, numerically distinct essences, since even one subsistence exhausts and bounds their finite singular essence. But of the three divine persons, there is only one undivided and singular essence which, being infinite, is communicable to more than one.” Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, ed. James T. Dennison Jr., trans. George Musgrave Giger, vol. 1 (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1992–1997), 182.

[13] Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes: The Greek and Latin Creeds, with Translations, vol. 2 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1890), 62–63.

              [14] The Westminster Confession of Faith (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

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