Eternal Subordination of the Son

The Gender Blog (if you can call it a blog since there are no comments) is beginning a series on the Eternal Sbordination of the Son, examining why this is an important doctrine and why it is not heresy. In general, I’m uncomfortable with the eternal aspect of this doctrine. But I’m also uncomfortable with some of the wordings in their introductory post as well.

As Ware points out in his 2005 book Father, Son, & Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles & Relevance (Crossway), this doctrine is crucial because it tells us much about the nature of God, which, in turn, demonstrates how God intends that His triune nature be expressed in our human relationships. There is both unity and diversity, authority and equality in the Godhead; these transfer to our relationships within both the home and church and paint a beautiful picture of Christ’s redeeming love for His church (Eph 5).

Now if this paragraph was worded just slightly different, I’d be much more comfortable. I don’t like words like this part:

[T]his doctrine is crucial because it tells us much about the nature of God, which, in turn, demonstrates how God intends that His triune nature be expressed in our human relationships.

I’d feel better if they didn’t say “this doctrine . . . tell us much abuot the nature of God.” They’d be on less shakey ground if they had instead written, “This doctrine is derived from texts that tell us much about the nature of God.”

A doctrine only tells us as much as its texts do. I’m interested in the series. We’ll see how they do in articulating the texts from which this doctrine is derived – especially since they’ve already mentioned Ephesians 5.

By the way, note that I used a singular “they” throughout this post. And I also understand why they don’t have comments, there are a good number of angry and loud people out there.

10 thoughts on “Eternal Subordination of the Son

  1. I’m actually thinking of using functional suboridnation as my topic for my TBS post. As I see it there is an eternal subordination that derives from the taxis of the Trinity, but this doesn’t justify making the leap from the economy of God to the modern gender debate. I think both sides have erred in this move.

  2. I’ll be interested in your topic and hear/reading what you say/write.

    I don’t think its a blog, but I call it the Gender Blog because it seems to be a proper name – like Nick or Mike.

  3. I am uncomfortable with it for basically the same reasons as Nick – only I’ll state it more strongly. You cannot say that the perichoresis is a model of human relationships except only via analogia. Humans can participate in the perichoresis of the Trinity, but to say that the Trinity therefore gives instruction on proper relationships between men and women, husbands and wives is ludicrous. This is one of those spots where Barth helps correct these errors by maintaining the absolute otherness of the being of God when compared to humanity.

    But looking at the “About” portion of the site I think they are also wrong to say that our gender roles ought to function as they did during the time of Biblical Israel. So I think I know where this is go to head and it’s probably not a very happy place. You can almost smell the problems in the doctrinal principles that are going to be muddled as Scripture is going to be force-fed into the doctrinal arguments presented in order to legitimate this stance on gender roles. That’s just bad theology.

  4. well, now Nick doesn’t need to write is piece for the Trinity Summit…

    I understand where you’re coming from, but I’m not sure how literally I would take everything that is written on their blog. Every married complementarian I’ve met has had relationships very different from those of ancient Israel. And the single ones, well, there’s a reason.

  5. I don’t see comments as essential to something being a blog. The origin of the term was just someone keeping a log on the web. I don’t think that definition has changed, even though most blogs do have comments, and many people expect them or think negatively about those who won’t allow others to keep them accountable with comments.

  6. I think the definition has changed at least for some. I’ve heard multiple people compare blogs in some way to forums in relation to the comments. I don’t know how wide spread that view it, but it does exist.

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