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Von Balthasar on Kenosis and The Trinity

The immanent Trinity must be understood to be that eternal, absolute self-surrender whereby God is seen to be, in himself, absolute love; this in turn explains his free, self-giving to the world as love, without suggesting that God “needed” the world process and the Cross in order to be himself . . . The Father, in uttering and surrendering himself without reserve, does not lose himself. He does not extinguish himself by self-giving, just as he does not keep back anything of himself either. For in this self surrender he is the whole divine essence. Here we see both God’s infinite power and his powerlessness; he cannot be God in any other way but in this “kenosis” within the Godhead itself. (TD IV, 323, 325)

. . . God can simultaneously remain in himself and step forth from himself. And, in thus stepping forth from himself, he descends into the abyss of all that is anti-divine . . . This is Christ’s descent into hell, into what God has utterly cast out of the world. This descent can take place in obedience (the uttermost, absolute obedience, of which only the Son is capable) because absolute obedience can become the economic form of the Son’s absolute response to the Father . . . because he is triune, God can overcome even what is hostile to God within his eternal relations. . . However wide the dramatic acting area may become, we can have confidence that no abyss is deeper than God. He embraces everything: himself and everything else. (TD III, 530-531)


  1. Daniel wrote:

    I have only read a little bit into Mysterium Pashale and your quote reminds me how much I need to finish that book!!

    Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
  2. daniel greeson wrote:

    I didnt sign in with my blogger account, but thats me…

    Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

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