I know I still have a couple of posts on the Piper quote to write. I'll get to that...
Have you noticed the recent addition to my sidebar? You can read some recommended posts I've found helpful or at least provocative.
They all seem to be by Peter Leithart. How did that happen? Simple. He writes far and away the most interesting stuff. And it makes me wonder what the rest of us are playing at...
Anyway - of particular interest to me recently has been his blogging on Athanasius and especially how we must conceive of the divine attributes in thoroughly Trinitarian ways. (e.g. here or here on 'the dependent God')
Athanasius argued that the Son was and is the Wisdom of the Father eternally so, such that the Father without the Son would not be wise. Athanasius is so sure of this logic that he uses it as an argument against the Arians. The argument goes like this - The Son is the Wisdom of the Father, the Father has never been without wisdom, therefore the Son is eternal. Good argument huh?
But do you see the assumptions? It does not assume that each Person has each attribute 'in Himself' considered apart from the Others. Rather they possess each attribute because they possess each other.
Leithart puts it like this:
Does the Father have wisdom “in Himself”? Yes, because the Wisdom that is the Son dwells in Him by the Spirit. Does the Father possess His being “in Himself”? Yes, because the Son is the fullness of His deity, and the Son indwells Him through the Spirit. Vice versa: Does the Son have wisdom considered in Himself? Yes, because what is “in Himself” is the fact that the Father dwells in Him in the Spirit, so that His existence “in Himself” is His existence as the Son indwelt by the Father.
And so on.
This allows us to speak of Father and Son distinctly; it also makes it clear that the Father is not Himself except as He has and is indwelt by His Son, nor is the Son Himself except as He has and is indwelt the Father.
Halden picks up on these thoughts in this stimulating post on Trinity and attributes.
It's stuff I tried to argue a while back in these two diagrams
Another brilliant Leithart post is here on Gethsemane - Christ crushed that the oil of His anointing Spirit might spread to the world.
And you can't beat the Old Adam doing what he does best here - offering the gospel in all its beautiful and stark freedom.