Browse Worthy: Trinitarianism and Complementarianism (Continued)

Some other articles have appeared that I believe shed some further, needed light on the discussion of the Trinity that I chronicled here last week. As I share these links, let me add a thought or two to highlight the issue for those who may not understand its importance. The danger in trying to be simple is that I will not be able to convey all the complexities of the matter and the problems that arise from a lack of doctrinal precision. That is why you should read the links.

At the heart of this discussion are two basic matters. First is the use of the term “eternal submission.”  This phrase is being used to describe the relationship between God the Father and God the Son before the incarnation. By this phrase its proponents mean that the Son has forever been in obedience to the Father. The problem with this concept is that it begins to create a divide into the oneness of God, as by implication it would mean that the divine Father and divine Son have differing – if not different – wills. Yet as the articles below remind us, orthodox truth from confessions throughout the centuries have always upheld that God is indivisible and only has one will.  True submission did not come until the kenotic act when Christ became man, and as such he possessed a human will that he placed in obedience to the Father.

Second, the reason that this issue has arisen is that certain proponents of complementarianism desire to support the idea of proper male and female roles in the home and church based on this concept of eternal submission. However, one must be extremely careful in seeking to take the relationships that exist eternally in the Trinity and use them analogically to describe human relationships. God is not man, most particularly in his essence and persons. As some have warned, we do run the risk of idolatry if we attempt to push certain truths of the Triune God too far into such things as the roles of husband and wife. Principles from Trinitarian doctrine revealed in Christ, rather than parallels of eternal Trinitarian essence and relations, seem to be the much safer, Biblical ground for application to human relationships.
With so much ink and blood having been spilt over the centuries precisely on the Trinitarian matters under discussion, it is worth being careful and calling to correction those who appear to be diverging from confessional orthodoxy. That is why these following links are being shared here.

18 Theses on the Father and the Son | Fred Sanders (June 13, 2016)

Patristics Scholar Lewis Ayres Weighs in on the Intra-Complementarian Debate on the Trinity | Michael F. Bird (June 13, 2016)

Eternal Submission and the Story of the Seven Ecumenical Councils | D. Glenn Butner, Jr. (June 13, 2016)

What is the Immanent Trinity?A Clarification for the Eternal Subordination Debate | Darren Sumner (June 16, 2016*)

*I added this link after the date of this post because of its clarifying nature.

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