Mike Liccione has offered some answers to some of my questions over at Sacramentum Vitae on the filioque: The filioque issue narrowed.
I think he is getting much closer in understanding Orthodox triadology and in finding ways that are harmonious, but I still have a few criticisms that I think should be addressed to avoid problems and reductios to what he is proposing.
“The generation of the Son and the spiration of the Holy Spirit by the Father, which are the primordial instances of ekporeusis…”
I recognize that the Father is the sole source and origin for both, but I’m uncertain when you say that the Son and Spirit are the primordial instances of ekporeusis. Are you suggesting that genesis is an instance of ekporeusis? In our view, genesis and ekporeusis refer to completely different relations of origin which we do not understand the content of.
“[A] necessary condition of the breathing forth of the Spirit is that there be a perichoretic, and thus “energetic,” relationship between the Father and the Son…”
I still don’t understand how you can have a perichoretic relationship between the Father and Son and not also include the Holy Spirit. Is perichoresis a property of the nature or isn’t it? If so, then there cannot be an interposition of perichoresis as a logical priority between Father – Son and Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would have to be included, as person, in that perichoretic relationship.
The purpose of the Taxis order, which I don’t think is the reason for the Person’s relation of origin to the Father, is to illustrates the Person’s “logical” priority from the Father. If this is what it means for the Spirit to be the Spirit of the Father and Spirit of the Son, in a way that the Son is not Son of the Father and Son, I have no issue, but I think you might mean more.
I think you imply the “of” equals “from” scenario. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of wisdom, of truth and so on. Does this mean that the Holy Spirit proceeds from these attributes too as a “relation of origin?” Now we can begin to see where we can plug in my criticism as a reductio: If there is a perichoretic relationship that [only] the Father and the Son share in such that it is considered a necessary condition to spirate the Spirit, could we not also consider the Holy Spirit the Spirit of perichoresis? To take this a step further, the Spirit is also called Spirit of Christ and Christ is the Annointed One. The Spirit anoints the Person of the Son according to His human nature. Here we start to see the “of” equals “from” argument break-down. If the Spirit is the Spirit of Christ and Christ is the anointed one, either the Holy Spirit proceeds from Christ according to His humanity and He is a creature, or the Holy Spirit proceeds from Christ according to His humanity and humanity is in fact “eternal” because the Holy Spirit is “eternal.”
Does the “of” equals “from” argument reproduce the Origenist dialectic at this point?
“And so He must proceed from Christ… not from Christ’s Deiety, but from that which he took from us and commingled with Himself. If therefore the Spirit, as God, proceeds from the Son, from Christ, according to the humanity which Christ commingled with us, then the human nature must be concluded as being consubstantial with the Son and indeed may be spoken of as ‘of Christ’. For you would make Him proceed both before and during His Incarnation, and not cast off His consubstantiality with either.” – Mystagogia 92
Hat tip to JPF for teaching me what this text meant.