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The Generation Of The Son

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author looks first at how Hilary defends his emphasis on nativitas and introduces the concept of infinity. The focus then shifts to how he uses that concept to interpret Proverbs 8:22 and then defends the eternal generation of the Son in a new way. Hilary's defense of eternal generation is consistent with the general trend of his theology after his exile. Hilary's point is that, by analogy to what obtains between human Fathers and Sons, if the Son is truly "born" of the Father, then the Son has by nature everything the Father has, including eternity. The exigencies of the Homoian/Eunomian controversy forced Pro-Nicene theology to reconsider the fundamental character of God and to explore categories not addressed by their predecessors. Hilary's genius is not that he provided the solution, but that he anticipated the way that Pro-Nicene theology would have to go.

Keywords: De Trinitate; eternal generation; Father; God; Hilary; Homoians; Son; theology



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