An unhappy book by Bruno Forte: “Trinity as History”

Father Giovanni

– Theologica –



Bruno Forte, in his imprudent admiration for Hegel, does not realize that Hegel, interpreting the mystery of the Trinity, It follows the same rationalistic method of Proclus, for which the Greek gods did not exist as real people, but it was only imaginary symbolic representations […]



Author John Cavalcoli OP

John Cavalcoli OP



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6 replies
  1. Mattia says:

    Very beautifull! This knowledge of His Trinitarian essence is definitely one of the greatest gifts that the Lord has given us!
    Some time ago I was thinking about this then raised a question that has remained unanswered because of my inability… Namely: a creator God could be one and not triune?
    I ask this because I felt that there was almost a paradox to think of a uni-personal God and Creator, a One who conceives another. She would know give me some explanation about it?
    Thank you and congratulations for the beautiful display!

    • father ariel
      Giovanni Cavalcoli, ON says:

      Dear Mattia,

      The Christian faith teaches us that we can not imagine a God who is not Trino. God can not be triune. But we do not know based on reason, but only by faith. The reason leads us to admit the existence of God, but it does not know that God is Triune. This we have learned by the revelation that Jesus Christ has offered us.
      God is indeed a "One who sees another", where this "other" is the world, He created. However, God is not needed to conceive of this "other", but he also could not conceive, because he was not needed to create the world, but it created freely. He could have, If she wanted to, Also do not create it.

      The reason, in proving the existence of God, It is brought to conceive it as a Person, Persons wishing a bone and wants, as we have in Judaism and in Islam. But Christ, while confirming what reason alone knows God, He explains to us or let us know - how to further clarify the Council of Chalcedon 451 - that God is not a single person, as though I imagine the reason, but it is a single substance or Nature in Three Persons, Dad, Son and Holy Spirit. He presented the story as Son, sent by the Father and that sends us the Spirit of the Father and of the Son.

      God remains One, so, with a intellect and only one will, but at the same time is three Persons, but not in such a way, that each has his intellect and his will. But these two powers remain the same for all three Persons, because they belong to Nature, which is only one.

      So, clearly, They are not "persons", in the sense in which we mean commonly the "person", but in a new way, different, very special, ie in the sense that every person is spiritual, subsistent and relates to other, similar to what happens in human persons commonly understood by us.

      So, the Triune God, as such, is not "One who sees more" da Sé, but one God, What it is Father and Who conceives a child in her womb, ie in its Nature One, Son which certainly is other than the Father, but nothing from God, for it is God as the Father.

      • Mattia says:

        Thanks father Cavalcoli! Of course, when I spoke, explaining evil, of a god “One” that conceives something else, I did not speak of God, but an idea of ​​God that rejects the Trinitarian reality that, as she put it, it is proper to Christianity. So I was wondering if a god who is not a substance, but three people and, just as in Judaism or in Islam, just one person, It could be thought of as creator. Why do I say this? Because very fascinated me the explanation of St. Thomas, and it seemed absurd to immediately conceive of a God who was not (forgive me if I explain evil) Also the concept of self, and should, for this concept, use external tools to him, the manner of creatures we. A god like,but eternally obligated within this limit, it would seem to me an a-personal god, more like being severiniano, and then not to force creator, because even a stone is, but he does not know. A god who could not admire the self-image itself could not create anything in his own image, let alone give us that love of His own nature and make us partakers of His joy. there, I wanted to say this. If you can just tell me if I'm wrong, thank you…

  2. Zamax says:

    Trying to summarize the question I would say this acrobatically:
    1) As I wrote in a comment a few weeks ago Article Severino, forms of immanentism, of pantheism, Complete absorption of God in History, Eternal in the Temporal, Being in the Becoming etc.. etc. They can be endless. Even if they are at war with each other, all those who dedicate themselves to this sleight of hand for a common purpose: the denial, express or implied, Transcendence; and everything that goes behind necessarily from a Christian point of view: the divinity of Christ at the Resurrection (even though in words they say otherwise, and with a large following of exclamation points, how does the ineffable Enzo Bianchi, but do not specify what he means exactly Resurrection, even if you understand very well: a plaintive "spiritual rebirth" in this life).

    2) On the Trinity.
    Not yet being "put eternity", not yet having a "spiritual body", ie not having a divine body, that is, the divine senses, we can not grasp, as it were, at a glance the richness of God, we can not see "face to face" the perfect unity of the Trinity, that is, we can not share in this Eternal Life. Being still slaves of space and time, still having human senses, we can only use the intellect to try and explore the richness of God discursively. The reasoning of Forte, in essence, I think, tries to seize this wealth unfolding story on the Trinity, that world characterized the past, by this, from the future. But in that case the richness of God would become complex, while God is perfect "simple". The speech itself is not wrong to completion, Why, come dice S. Augustine somewhere, Trinity has left its mark on things. But as for us this impression leads us to the perfection of God and Eternal, for Forte it reduces the footprint of Divine Immanence.

    • father ariel
      Giovanni Cavalcoli, ON says:

      On the first point, I'm perfectly agree.
      Regarding the second, I would like to note that it is true that St. Augustine tries to find in the human mind acts or images that correspond to the three Divine Persons, such as being (this), knowing (to know) and the will (wish), or memory, intellect and love, or, taking up the images of St. Hilary, Eternity, the father; Shape, son; Gaudio, the Holy Spirit (Trin., l.VI, c.10). But that does not attempting to prove the existence of the Trinity starting from creatures, as you can and must do for the existence of God.

      Augustine is far from contaminating the divine eternity with the corruptibility of the world, divine purity with the miseries of the world, the firmness of the divine with the instability of the world, the divine absolute reliability with the unreliability of the world,the divine immutability with the fickleness of the world. While, however, he knows how closely unite the world to God, the unity of the Person of Christ.

      In discussing the Holy Trinity, just note the possibility and expediency of the Incarnation. There is no need to treat the Incarnation, which it is a separate treaty. To use the language rahneriano, but denying his thesis, "economic" Trinity supposes that "immanent", but not vice versa.

      The essential and most important thing is to highlight the transcendence e independence Holy Trinity to the world. This depends on God, but not vice versa. There is no reciprocity between God and the world, as Hegel believed. Man can not live without God, but God can exist without man.

      Forte had a good idea to put the Holy Trinity in relation to the history of salvation, then with the incarnation, Redemption and the Church. From here he builds for an interesting proposal, moreover be in line with Scripture and Tradition, Trinity-Christian foundation of ethics in relation to the history of salvation.
      It should, however, ensure that the work of salvation, and therefore the relationship with becoming and history not enter into the essence of the Trinity, because the work of salvation is act perfectly free of the Holy Trinity, as well as the creation is a free act, utmost freedom, says the Vatican Council. That is to say that the Trinity would be complete and perfect, even without his intervention the world through the Incarnation of the Word. On the contrary, Trinity could exist even without the world.

      The Immutable and the changing should not be confused. It is absurd to imagine a God who simultaneously both immutable and mutable. God can not have a way of being old. God is Eternal. The unchanging God joins some the changing creature; but the two natures are distinct. The story concerns the creature, concerns the world, concerns man.

      Scripture never speaks of a "becoming" of God, if we intend to become the change, the changing, the alteration, the increase, the decrease, the corruption. On the contrary, this denies expressly the change in God (Ml 3,6), and instead says the images of stability and solidity (the rock"), the permanence ("You are always"), the active power (fire"). If anything, the idols that change as a silent man who makes them.

      This is not the rigidity of the corpse, but the effervescence of life. Only those who are strapping, It has a large driving force. Otherwise it is he who makes drag. God is immobile because It moves everything and nothing is moved. It is immutable in the sense that, as he recognized the same strong, it is faithful, It keeps his promises. But to be faithful, must not change ontologicamente. That 's what escapes Forte.

      How could mutate, What could become the one who is already Everything? How could increase, What could be added to Who is the Infinite and the Almighty? What might lose or leave him who has everything and everyone gives? What might miss Him Who is perfect and infinite Goodness? How could corrupt the One who is life and gives life?

      Therefore, Christologies explaining the Incarnation with a "become" of God, I'm heretics. It is pointless to them on the pretext of the famous The Logos sarx eghèneto of John's memory, when the Church infallibly He explained once and for all that there is intended to refer to the Apostle 'assumption of human nature by the Word.

      It gave, Certain, with the Incarnation, He has taken the story; but it remains distinct from God; It does not mix with the divine nature. History can not be part of the divine nature, neither it needs the story to be herself, nor the world needs to be part of God to be the world. And 'the story that needs God, not vice versa.

      The need to unite man to God is right and praiseworthy. Christianity, at the bottom of, He responds to this need, and indeed beyond all expectations and belief; ma, these are very delicate operation, We must faithfully follow the instructions provided to us by divine revelation and dogma.

      Here the risks of failure or to create illusions are manifold. It's okay to point out the similarity between man and God, ma It is necessary to maintain the distances, because man is over, while God is infinite. In approaching the two terms imprudently, there is the risk of exaggerating the greatness of man, as does Rahner, or shrink the size of the mystery of the Trinity, how do Forte. Or it falls into a false mysticism, like that of Meister Eckhart, in which the Christian is confused with Christ or a false philosophy, like that of Hegel, in which the two terms are necessarily attract one another, at par, dialectically.
      Who wants to take too much confidence with God, as did Luther, It ends up despising, loses healthy fear of God, minimizes the sins, become too sure of his own salvation, and will not submit more to the law under the pretext of divine mercy.

      It 'true that between the human and divine person passes the flow of grace, which puts them in a mutual communion and communication. But you have this relationship which links man to God is conceived in such a way, that the flow of grace, the switch between the two people, is set, as God wants, from the different mode of the two natures, human and divine, otherwise, as it occurs in short circuits, the human conductor burns out and you get the opposite of what is wanted.
      In Christ himself the two natures remain distinct, so we can not get more of what happens in him. If I am granted a line in a subject as serious: "You are too kind, Sant'Antonio!”.

      • Zamax says:

        Let me say, dad, that she spends generosissimamente in responses! Do not make me feel guilty! Seriously, I believe that his diligence results from an inner need to clarify everything there is to clarify when confronted with statements that leave ambiguity margins. But I had given that mine were “acrobatic synthesis”. Thank you for your well-articulated response, that does not find in me any opposition, Having clear that the plans must be distinct, and indeed that was the reason that had prompted me to comment.

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