Bruce Ware supports his thesis that the Father and Son are in an eternal authority and submission relationship in Father, Son and Holy Spirit (page 80), by citing Augustine,
Augustine affirmed, the distinction of Persons is constituted precisely by the differing relations among them, in part manifested by the inherent authority of the Father and inherent submission of the Son.And this is the citation from Augustine,
“In the light of this we can now perceive that the Son is not just said to have been sent because the Word became flesh, but that he was sent in order for the Word to become flesh, and by his bodily presence to do all that was written. That is, we should understand that it was not just the man who the Word became that was sent, but that the Word was sent to become man. For he was not sent in virtue of some disparity of power or substance or anything in him that was not equal to the Father, but in virtue of the Son being from the Father, not the Father being from the Son.”*Ware then comments on this quote,
If the "Son" is sent by the "Father," and if the "Son" comes to do the will of the "Father," does it not stand to reason that God wishes by this language to indicate something of the authority and submission that exists within the relationships of the members of the immanent trinity?And this is how Ware claims that Christ is equal to the Father in "power" but less than the Father in "authority." I am sure that anyone who knows Latin will be aware that "power" and "authority" were, in fact, the same word in Latin - potestas.
Therefore, what Augustine said was,
For he was not sent in virtue of some disparity of power (authority) or substance or anything in him that was not equal to the Father, but in virtue of the Son being from the Father, not the Father being from the Son.”Bruce Ware, as president of ETS, must believe that Christ is equal in power to God, but denies that Christ is equal in authority to God. From Jerome until the RSV, "power" and "authority," or their Latin equivalent, were considered either the same word or synonyms. It is, then, impossible for Ware to claim continuity with traditional theology. It appears that Augustine believed that the Son was from the Father, but equal in authority to God.
This citation from Augustine is also found here as,
He was not sent in respect to any inequality of power, or substance, or anything that in Him was not equal to the Father; but in respect to this, that the Son is from the Father, not the Father from the Son; for the Son is the Word of the Father, which is also called His wisdom.Clearly, Augustine is saying that the Son has no inequality with the Father, not in power nor in authority, nor in substance, nor in anything in him. And so it should be between the sexes, that women are not unequal to men in substance or in authority.
Here is the citation in Latin,
Secundum hoc iam potest intellegi non tantum ideo dici missus filius quia uerbum caro factum est, sed ideo missus ut uerbum caro fieret et per praesentiam corporalem illa quae scripta sunt operaretur, id est ut non tantum homo missus intellegatur quod uerbum factum est, sed et uerbum missum ut homo fieret quia non secundum imparem potestatem uel substantiam uel aliquid quod in eo patri non sit aequale missus est, sed secundum id quod filius a patre est, non pater a filio. Verbum enim patris est filius, quod est sapientia eius dicitur.I can't link to Lewis and Short directly, but this is the meaning of potestas.
- Political power, dominion, rule, empire, sovereignty
- Magisterial power, authority, office, magistracy
- have lawful authority and jurisdiction
*St. Augustine, The Trinity, trans. Edmund Hill, vol. 5 of The Works of St. Augustine (Brooklyn, NY: New City Press, 1991) IV. 27 (italics added).
Tampering with the Trinity: Does the Son submit to His Father