12.9.08

Debate in October about 'subordinationism'

Suzanne's bookshelf reveals that:

At 7 p.m., Oct. 9 in the chapel at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) in Deerfield, Illinois, USA (a bit to far for me to visit in person!), there is to be an interesting debate held.

Defending the non-subordination view

Tom McCall, Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at TEDS

Keith Yandel, Professor of Philosophy University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Representing the Complementarian position which affirms that a structure of authority and submission will exist for eternity in the Godhead.

Wayne Grudem

Bruce Ware

These two are well-known across the evangelical world on the gender issue.

Suzanne goes on to describe 5 positions on the trinity - very interesting. It makes me realise that perhaps I should not attribute the word 'subordinationist' to Grudem but the lengthier: 'someone who affirms that a structure of authority and submission will exist for eternity in the Godhead.'

I am, as yet, so new to all this, as I am, to work out exactly what the difference is between these two definitions and at the same time I wonder if it is not so much the position that concerns me as what Complementarians do with it in its application - ie they read into it the mandated submission of women to men.

I'm hoping the blogosphere will keep us up to date in Britain with what happens over there...

but now to the practical - put down the blog and pick up the Lion Bible - I need to work out what we're doing with our under 5s this afternoon. Nick's Chicks starts up again.

2 -3 pm St Nicholas Church, Allestree, Derby. Craft, songs, snacks and a story to enliven our faith. No charge. Term time only.


SOME CLARIFICATION ON FUNCTIONAL SUBORDINATIONISM

Janice said...

According to Wikipedia Arians say that the Son was created. They say there was a time when the Son did not exist. By virtue of being a created being the Son is subordinate to the Father.

Subordinationists say that the Son and Holy Spirit are heirarchically subordinate/inferior in nature and being to the Father even though they have always existed and are not created.

Relational Subordinationists (or Eternal Functional Subordinationists) say that The Son and the Holy Spirit are not inferior to the Father by nature or being but are always obedient to the Father and do His will.

But if by nature and being you only ever have someone else's will (and therefore cannot help but be obedient to it) then that makes you not a person at all (maybe you are something like a robot) and, by definition, that makes you inferior to someone who is a person. Therefore Eternal Functional Subordinationism (C) aligns so closely with straight Subordinationism (B) as to make no difference. And therefore Grudem and Ware (and their followers) are heretics despite the word games they play to try to disguise their heresy, perhaps even from themselves. It does not help you to merely assert that you don't believe that the Son and the Holy Spirit are inferior to the Father if you then follow that assertion with a form of words that shows that what you're really saying is that both are, in fact, inferior.

"You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

1 comment:

Jane Steen said...

Hi Rachel,

I work at Trinity, so thanks for the shoutout from across the pond (I'm a Brit myself; married an American, happens to the best of us.)

The debate is taking place at the Carl F.H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding on the Trinity campus. They usually show their debates via streaming video or similar, so do check out the Henry Center site and watch it from the UK!

God bless,
Jane

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