The Gospel reading given for the First Sunday of Advent (RCL, Year A) was Matthew 24:36-44. Jesus gives apocalyptic teaching regarding the last day, the Day of the Lord. He opens with the statement, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” Similar sentiment is given in Acts 1:6 among other places.
This verse can give the confusion that Jesus is not God. The argument usually goes that
- If Jesus is God, then he is all-knowing.
- Jesus admits he does not know “that day and hour.”
and, therefore, Jesus cannot be God.
The perspective of multithreaded processing can be a useful model for the Trinity. For a multithreaded process, several threads acts together within a process. The threads share state information and other resources while also having their own local data. Each thread has its own identity and integrity while at the same time being bound up into a single process.
Considering the Trinity, we might liken the God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as threads. Classically, they are called persons, but understanding them as threads preserves the notion that they have identity and integrity apart from each other.
Simply affirming their independence isn’t enough (it’s tritheism). Classically understood the Trinity is three persons with one substance or being. Holding that the three threads are bound together in one process helps fill out the analogy. One process, three threads. No thread can stand alone without the perichoretic process.
So, Jesus, as God the Son, is kept as of the same being/process with God the Father. They share state, resource, and other context. However, being distinct persons/threads, God the Father can have information that God the Son does not. In this case, “that day and hour” is data local to one thread, hidden from another.
Perhaps the incarnation could be likened to a kernel thread entering userspace? Can this analogy address the filioque question? That’s for future posts.