We Are Not Merely Discussing Economic Subordination

So Burk argues that Christ’s not grasping for equality with God belongs not only to the economic but to the ontological Trinity. That is an extraordinary claim! He is asserting far more than a simple acknowledgement that the Father and Son are . . . Continue reading →

Maybe It Comes Down To Method?

We understand that some strands of Baptist and evangelical life have not typically learned the habit of creedal thinking but have tended to emphasize independent Biblicism and personal exegesis. Perhaps that lies at the root of much of this dispute. But this . . . Continue reading →

Function And Subsistence Are Distinct Categories

Both the unity of the divine essence and the distinction of the persons within that essence are matters of ontology, of the divine being. Some, like Wollebius, define the divine persons as “the essence of God, with a certain manner of subsisting” . . . Continue reading →

A Response To Grudem’s Appeal To Hodge On Eternal Subordination

Hodge actually makes this restricted application explicit, “The subordination intended is only that which concerns the mode of subsistence and operation, implied in the Scriptural facts that the Son is of the Father, and the Spirit is of the Father and Son, and that the Father operates through the Son, and the Father and the Son through the Spirit.” (Systematic Theology I:461) The point he is making is that there is subordination in “the mode of subsistence and operation” only in the sense that one cannot reverse the orders of relation. They are not said to be subordinate in any sense of eternal submission, but are subordinate relationships in the fact that one relationship leads to the next and we cannot flip those. The Son is Son of the Father and so his Sonship depends on the Father being the Father. Nothing more is entailed or permitted. According to Hodge, the Son is Son in a subordinate way only in the sense that a Son has to have a Father, and that is the mode of subsistence and operation. Continue reading →

Truly Audacious Proposals

Let us all reflect for a moment on the dramatic significance of Grudem’s claim about eternal generation. What he is saying is that the church catholic has for over 1600 years been affirming theologically and liturgically, as the key ecumenical summary of . . . Continue reading →

The Roof Was Not Strong Enough

My basic point remains: if you argue for EFS and/or reject (or even regard as negotiable) eternal generation, then you stand outside the bounds of the historic Nicene Christian faith as set forth at Constantinople in 381 and held thereafter by the . . . Continue reading →

Clarity On The Trinity

This God taught Israel to say ‘The Lord our God is One.’ There are distinctions of course. The NT writers, and Christ Himself, noted that OT prophets like David and Isaiah, when ‘in the Spirit,’ were party to conversations within the Godhead . . . Continue reading →

Berkhof On The Eternal Generation Of The Son

c. The eternal generation of the Son. The personal property of the Son is that He is eternally begotten of the Father (briefly called “filiation”), and shares with the Father in the spiration of the Spirit. The doctrine of the generation of . . . Continue reading →

In This Trinity None Is Afore

The church long ago rejected any form of primacy of the Father within the eternal Trinity, though there were some among the fathers who wanted to assert primacy to justify bishops in the church, just as there are some among evangelicals who . . . Continue reading →