A Review of Jesus and the Father: Modern Evangelicals Reinvent the Doctrine of the Trinity By Kevin Giles -- By: Jason Hall

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 12:1 (Spring 2007)
Article: A Review of Jesus and the Father: Modern Evangelicals Reinvent the Doctrine of the Trinity By Kevin Giles
Author: Jason Hall


A Review of Jesus and the Father: Modern Evangelicals Reinvent the Doctrine of the Trinity By Kevin Giles

Jason Hall

Introduction

In Jesus and the Father: Modern Evangelicals Reinvent the Doctrine of the Trinity, Kevin Giles makes some bold accusations. This is his second book dealing with issues of subordination and ordering in the Godhead, and this book expands on the arguments he advanced in his first, The Trinity and Subordinationism: The Doctrine of God and the Contemporary Gender Debate (InterVarsity Press, 2002). In the most recent volume, Giles goes further than ever before, accusing a wide swath of evangelicals of being heretics along the lines of the notorious fourth century Alexandrian presbyter, Arius, and of being tritheists as well. Audacious claims, to be sure, but does Giles make his case? The present review intends to explore and answer that question.

Until his recent retirement Giles was the vicar of St. Michael’s Church, an Anglican congregation in North Carlton, Australia. His writing has primarily focused on the issue of women’s roles in the church. In The Trinity and Subordinationism he specifically charged that complementarians were using a faulty understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity to substantiate and undergird their views on male-female role relationships in the home and the church. He also contributed a chapter on the same subject to Discovering Biblical Equality (InterVarsity Press, 2004). Jesus and the Father is an expansion of parts of those works; specifically, Giles’s desire is to examine the issue of subordination in regard to the doctrine of the Trinity. His arguments have not changed substantially from the earlier works. He claims that his even more intense study of the doctrine in the intervening years have reinforced his view of an egalitarian Trinity.

This review will proceed by, first, examining Giles’s thesis and his stated intentions in Jesus and the Father; second, by providing a brief overview of the book’s contents; and third, by providing an evaluation of the book in regard to

philosophical and theological strengths and weaknesses.

Contents

Thesis and Purpose

The book may best be seen as a polemic against those who assert that, within the bounds of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, there exists room for the view that there is an asymmetry of relationships among the members of the Godhead, and the Father has relational primacy such that the Son and the Spirit, while remaining in their very nature God, eternally submit to the Father. In contrast, Giles claims that there is no place for subordination in any kind or in any way...

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