Athanasius and Ad Intra and Ad Extra Distinctions

...to finally exclude completely the idea that the Son is a creature, a work of God, Athanasius argues that the Son's eternal begetting takes place within the life of God. Nothing is produced or created outside of God. "A work," he says, "is external to the [divine] nature, but the Son is a proper offspring of the essence."103 Athanasius did not contrast internal and external divine acts using the later Latin terms ad intra and ad extra, but he certainly made this very important distinction before anyone else had even thought of the idea. The Son's begetting was for him a divine work ad intra to be contrasted with the divine works of creation and salvation ad extra.

 


Arianism subordinated the Son is being and authority

Many think that Arianism involved solely the eternal subordination of the Son in being/nature/essence. This is not so. All the Arians subordinated the Son in being and authority. The two were correlated by the Arians, who advocated both, and by the Nicene theologians, who rejected both. Both sides agreed they were two sides of one coin. If the Son is subordinate in being, he is subordinate in authority; if he is one in being with the Father, then he is one in authority.

 


The Terms "The Father" and "The Son"

...in giving the names "the Father" and "the Son" to the first and second persons of the Trinity, eternally differentiates and relates them analogically in terms of a human father-son relation. These names supplied by divine revelation strongly suggest that no better human word can be found to speak of the eternal self-differentiation of the Father and the Son than the words "generation" or "begetting."

 


The Dominion of Guilt Has Been Broken

By raising Christ from death, God as the supreme Judge set his seal to the absolute perfection and completeness of his atoning work. The resurrection is a public announcement to the world that the penalty of death has been borne by Christ to its bitter end and that in consequence the dominion of guilt has been broken, the curse annihilated forevermore.

 

Geerhardus Vos, The Joy of Resurrection Life, Grace and Glory