Letters -- By: Anonymous
To the Editor of JBMW:
I read with keen interest the letter written by Dr. Kevin Giles and published in your Spring 2008 issue responding to a review that I penned in Spring 2007 of his Jesus and the Father. I appreciate Dr. Giles’s continuing interest in the subject of Trinitarian relations. While I still reject his conclusions—both in his book and his response to my review—I have no reason to doubt his sincerity. However, there is one point in his response that particularly caught my attention and gave me pause.
Dr. Giles claims that in my review of his work I made “the suggestion that [he is] a modalist.” That is a very serious charge, since modalism is a heresy that has been condemned by orthodox Christians for thousands of years. However, I would like to set the record straight that I never suggested in my review that Dr. Giles, or anyone who agrees with his position on Trinitarian relations, is a modalist. In fact, I blatantly denied that such is the case. I wrote, “when read out of context and stretched to their extreme conclusions, Giles’s views could be considered modalistic, as he grounds distinctions only in the fact that one divine Person is not the other without adequately discussing any distinction in role or function.” Then I explicitly stated, “But this in and of itself does not make Giles a modalist” (“Review of Jesus and the Father, JBMW 12, no. 1 : 38).
The point that I was making, and continue to make, is that nearly any theological view can be distorted to its illogical extreme and made to resemble heresy. I used Dr. Giles’s own work to illustrate my point. Perhaps he disagrees, but that does not mean I suggested that he is a modalist.
I join him in praying for further debate and reflection on the doctrine of God, and I continue to hope that discussions about Trinitarian relations can be had without charges of heresy being thrown about.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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