"I and the Father are One": John Chapters 10 and 17
- Legitimising a change in where we lay down our limits of divine and christological comprehensibility.
- Proceed in a more cautious way in response to what I am defining as “canonical pressure”, in opposition to Stephen Holmes’ and others' “exegetical pressure”.
NB: I also wonder if the "being one...so that they may be brought to complete unity", could be an indication of how Jesus seeks that those who believe in him take their momentary or partial oneness to a total and permanent state of unity. Note that the pressure of this conclusion is toward beautiful harmony of persons who do not lose their separate states of consciousness, being, etc. To resume the marriage example, therefore, we could see the oneness cemented in "wedlock", a state of permanent and desired unity.
UPDATE (MARCH 2015)
- I see I mentioned Tertullian there, and another quote I have found of his demonstrates his interpretation of this passage, which I sense is already in discord with John's meanings, or at least seems to require John to apply his language of unity inconsistently. Here's the interpretation he gives:
... Qui tres unum sunt, non unus, quomodo dictum est, Ego et Pater unum sumus, .... ("Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent Persons, who are yet distinct One from Another. These three are one [thing], not one [Person], as it is said, 'I and my Father are One,' in respect of unity of substance not singularity of number.")
Tertullian seems so caught up in a debate over "unity of substance" and "singularity of number", and there is true occasion to his writings, notably the patristic passion heresy. This means that he might not see other options. For instance, as described above, a unity of purpose and vision. There is no need for "substance" here, at least in my view, and this seems to be backed by a lot of modern social Trinitarian writers.