Perkins On Eternal Generation

Why is the Son so called? Answer. Because He was begotten of the Father by a perfect and eternal generation, not to be uttered of man or conceived. And we must be warned not to conceive it in any carnal or human manner. For an earthly father is in time before his son, and the son after. But God the Father and the Son are coeternal, and not one before or after the other for time. An earthly father is forth of [i.e., separate from] the son, and the son forth of the father. But God the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father. An earthly child is from his father by propagation, but the Son is from the heavenly Father not by propagation, but by communication of substance. Lastly, the heavenly Father begets the Son by communication of His whole substance, and so does no earthly father.

William Perkins | The Works of William Perkins, ed. Paul M. Smalley, Joel R. Beeke, and Derek W. H. Thomas, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2015), 246.


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  • Tony Phelps
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    Tony grew up in Rhode Island. He was educated at BA (University of Rhode Island) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He worked in the insurance industry for ten years. He planted a PCA church in Wakefield, RI where he served for eleven years. In 2015–18 he pastored Covenant Reformed Church (URCNA) in Colorado Springs. He is currently pastor of Living Hope (OPC). Tony is married to Donna and together they have three children.

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11 comments

  1. Is it proper that some refer to the Son as Yahweh, since They are co eternal? Psalm 110 as well as other texts suggest not.

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