IRP: Part 6 “On the Trinity” by Augustine of Hippo
As I come towards the end, Augustine attempts to settle the confusion between the Greek and Latin wording for the trinity where the latins called the three persons while the Greek called the three substances, where substance in Latin stands for essence as well — I believe that’s what he said. He uses a gold statue argument where he’s say just because a statue is made of gold, does not mean it’s a species of gold.
Augustine also says that no matter how the Trinity is compounded, they are all indivisible to each other. This includes that the son and the Holy Spirit compounded together still aren’t greater or less than the father, same goes with any combination such as the Holy Spirit and the father aren’t greater than the son. They will always equal each other in quality.
Augustine says there’s no way to really understand the Trinity completely but it can be known through likenesses, so he uses the mind, knowledge, and love as the three images to understand the Trinity where the mind is the father, the knowledge the son, and love Holy Spirit.
The reason why the mind represents the father is because the mind both naturally wants and wills for knowledge and love. A mind can not only love another but itself, so it can be reciprocal. Same with knowledge — there can be a want of knowledge for something but also to know oneself. I don’t know if the image arguments helps me understand the Trinity has it truly is or it helps me understand how Augustine understands the Trinity. Tangibly, the image argument for the Trinity makes me feel like I can explain it better but like before, the indivisiblity aspect where the father and the son is indivisible so would the father be indivisible to the son with the Holy Spirit, doesn’t quite work and Augustine uses a weak argument saying humans can’t understand this aspect because we only understand things in greatness and smallness. So how does Augustine know this? Is he not human.