A Review And Evaluation Of Diverse Christological Opinions Among American Evangelicals: Part 1: The Eternal Generation Of The Son -- By: William Grover

Journal: Conspectus
Volume: CONSPECTUS 05:1 (Mar 2008)
Article: A Review And Evaluation Of Diverse Christological Opinions Among American Evangelicals: Part 1: The Eternal Generation Of The Son
Author: William Grover


A Review And Evaluation Of Diverse Christological Opinions Among American Evangelicals:
Part 1: The Eternal Generation Of The Son1

William Grover2

Abstract

The writer, himself an American evangelical, intends to discuss, in three articles, areas in which American evangelicals disagree about how God the Son relates to God the Father and the meaning and effects of the true humanity and the true deity in Christ. Each position will be defined and exemplified. The rationale offered by proponents of each position is provided. Evaluations are made. This first article focuses primarily on the ancient doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son as held by some American evangelicals but denied by others. The second article will be used to discuss the issue, within the perimeters of evangelicalism in America, of whether God the Son is eternally or temporally only relationally subordinate to God the Father. The final article will be used to address several different understandings within American Evangelicalism regarding incarnational Christology. That article will include meanings

given the Kenosis, views about what it means to say that Christ is true Man and true God, and how the two natures in the one Person of Christ relate to each other. Therefore, while this series is certainly connected to more general Trinitarian thought, the articles will be written especially to focus on Christ. Aside from just exposing, perhaps for the first time to some readers, a number of the considerable differences regarding the doctrines of God and Christ held by Trinitarians, it is hoped by the writer that these articles might also provide material useful to some to better understand the blessed Person of Jesus Christ our God, our Lord, and our Savior to Whom be glory forever.

1. Introduction

James R. White (1998:14) writes: “. . . the Trinity is the highest revelation God has made of Himself to His people. It is the capstone, the summit, the brightest star in the firmament of divine truths.” If this is so, and if “the things revealed belong to us” (Deut 29:29), then Christians have a mandate to understand, within our human limitations, the meaning of the Trinity including how the divine Persons relate to each other. These are Scriptural doctrines given to us and, therefore, are proper subjects of study.

Despite that mandate, the particulars of how the Trinal Persons interact is much argued in the literature of American evangelicals. By “evangelical” the writer means, as described by Pierard (1996:379-382) and McIntire (1999:...

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