Only a Triune God Can Redeem Time and History

As Derrida shows, it is axiomatic for Plato that supplementarity is degenerative; that is, anything added to an original, anything flowing from a source, is “worse” than the source itself, precisely because it has moved away from the source. This metaphysical assumption is parallel to mythical views of history for which temporal supplementation necessarily means degeneration For Platonic and Neoplatonic metaphysics, the lower is always lesser; for Hesiod, Ovid, and other myth-historians the later is always lesser. Such a metaphysics cannot support a comic view of history, much less deep comedy.

[In response,] orthodox trinitarian theology asserts that there is always a “supplement” (Son and Spirit) with the “origin” (Father), and, second, insists that the Son and Spirit, though “supplemental” to the Father, are “equal in power and glory.” There is no degeneration or “leakage” of glory or divinity as the Father begets the Son or, together with the Son, spirates the Spirit. trinitarian theology thus provides theological ground for a view of history where the passage of time does not necessarily mean decay, where history can move from death to life rather than the (common-sensical) reverse. Thus, for a trinitarian theology, time and history can be redeemed and brought to comic conclusion. For trinitarian theology, the “Second” is fully equal to and is in fact the glory of the “First,” and therefore for the Bible, the golden age is always out before us not behind us. Here, as elsewhere, the dominical axiom about protology and eschatology subverts the common sense of antiquity and modernity: “the last first and the first last” (…Mt. 19:30).


Quoted from Leithart, P. J. (2006). Deep comedy: Trinity, tragedy, and hope in western literature. Moscow, Idaho: Canon Press, p. xiii-xiv.


About adoption through propitiation

I like theology. And I love my wife Katie. Enjoy my blog. View all posts by adoption through propitiation

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