The Son of God and Trinitarian Identity Statements

TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology 3 (1):33-59 (2019)
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Abstract

Classical Trinitarians claim that Jesus—the Son of God—is truly God and that there is only one God and the Father is God, the Spirit is God, and the Father, Son, and Spirit are distinct. However, if the identity statement that ‘the Son is God’ is understood in the sense of numerical identity, logical incoherence seems immanent. Yet, if the identity statement is understood according to an ‘is’ of predication then it lacks accuracy and permits polytheism. Therefore, we argue that there is another sense of ‘is’ needed in trinitarian discourse that will allow the Christian to avoid logical incoherence while still fully affirming all that is meant to be affirmed in the confession ‘Jesus is God.’ We suggest a sense of ‘is’ that meets this need.

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Matthew Owen
Yakima Valley College

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