Letters -- By: Anonymous
JBMW 13:1 (Spring 2008) p. 8
Thank you for publishing a review of my book, Jesus and the Father, by Jason Hall that I read with interest (JBMW, 12/1, 2007, 32–39). Because I am primarily interested in establishing what is the biblical and historically developed orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, I would like to make a reply to him.
I respond to his work in the order I have found comments that I cannot accept.
P. 31 col. 1. Jason says I accuse a “wide swath of evangelicals” of falling into heresy. The truth is I accuse a very small number of evangelicals for publishing in error on the Trinity. The evangelicals who have written on the eternal subordination of the Son can be counted on one hand. Not one Roman Catholic, not one mainline contemporary Protestant, and many informed evangelicals oppose this doctrine, including Millard Erickson, Roger Nicole, Cornelius Plantinga, and Philip Cary in the USA.
P. 32 col. 2. I do not speak at anytime as far as I am aware of an “egalitarian Trinity”. What I endorse, taking up exactly the words of the Athanasian Creed, is a “co-equal” Trinity, where “none is before or after greater or lesser”, and all three are “Lord” and “Almighty.” Can I be in error if I exactly quote the creeds?
P. 33 col. 1. I do not oppose the subordination of the Son in any way. I endorse wholeheartedly, following scripture and the interpretative tradition, the voluntary and temporal (and if you like “functional”) subordination of the Son for our salvation. What I oppose is the eternal subordination of the Son in being, work, or authority.
P. 33 col. 1. I do not call my debating opponents “Arians.” (This claim is made repeatedly) What I accuse my debating opponents of is embracing in ignorance key elements of the Arian heresy. If one key element of the “neo-Arian” (i.e. Eunomian) position, opposed by the Cappadocians, was the subordination of the Son in authority—and it certainly it was—then Grudem, Ware et al have embraced a key element in the neo-Arian position.
P. 33 col. 2. I do not simply equate the terms “eternal” and “ontological.” What I argue is that the minute it is claimed that the Son’s subordination is eternal then his subordination is what defines his person. He functions subordinately because he is the subordinated Son.
P. 33 col. 2 last few lines. Jason very badly misrepresents what I say on the word “inferior.” I completely agree that an inferior in role is not necessarily a personal inferior. What I argue is that someone who is permanently or eternally subordinated cannot be considered an equal in any substantive way. He or she i...
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