Johannine Trinitarianism


Paul Rainbow on the eternal generation of the Son:

“To be θεός, to have life in oneself, belongs to God alone. It belongs to both the Father and the Son, but it belongs to the Father intrinsically and to the Son by gift. Aseity is of the Father, and he communicates it to the Son. The Father initiated the infinite gift, and the Son received it. What is given does not come into being, change or pass out of existence, for it is the plenitude of life; but an Uncreate whose property it is can donate it to another Uncreate whose property it becomes. Becoming is not found in the divine essence itself; it describes the eternally existing Son’s way of coming into possession of it. Were the having of life in oneself the original, independent property of both, there would be not only two eternals, but also two principles, fathers, powers in heaven – two gods. The unidirectional, nonreciprocal communication of the Father’s essential being to the Son establishes the Father as the radical unit within the Godhead. It is in this sense . . . that the Father is greater than the Son.”

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