Monday, June 15, 2009

Dialogue with John Starke 3

I have found the article by Kovach, Stephen and Peter Schemm called A Defense of the Eternal Subordination of the Son. In reading through the first part, I could not help but feel that there are some points which should be clarified.

Within the first section, subordination is defined in this way, "the subordinate, depends upon another for direction," and "Voluntary subordination is always necessary to the establishment of genuine community." There is stress on the fact that the submission is voluntary.

So my first is whether submission is voluntary if it is submission to an authority. In Ephesians 5:21,"submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ." This submission is not a submission to the authority of the other person, but it is voluntary mutual submission out of respect for Christ's authority.

I would like to refine the two positions then. I understand that the Son can voluntarily submit to the Father, but he does it freely and not because he is UNDER God's authority. One possible piece of evidence for this is that these words can be interpreted as speaking of Christ,
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
    And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Is. 6:8
I believe it is orthodox to say that the Father sent the Son, but I don't think it is orthodox to say that the Father did this because he has authoriy over the Son. The Father and the Son are considered to have one will in this matter. The Son is sent to suffer and die. He doesn't do this because this work is delegated to him as God's submissive assistant, but he does it because he is himself God. But as a human, Christ then takes on the form of a servant in relation to both God and humanity.

However, the way I interpret the teaching of the eternal subordination of the Son is that the Son is under the authority of the Father. So I will be looking for evidence in the early church fathers, that within the Godhead the Father has eternal authority over the Son.

4 comments:

Rod said...

If there is one evangelical talking point (besides their Calvinist theology) that I get annoyed with is their case for eternal subordination and then their subsequent translation of it into gender roles. I see no reason to say that the Son was eternally subordinate; maybe temporarily while here on Earth (even though that can be a stretch too).

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Hi Rod - same here.

I think Christ took on the form of a servant while on earth.

Jay Seidler said...

The view of eternal subordination of any person of the Trinity to another cannot be monotheism.

Kristen said...

To impose heierarchy on the Trinity at all is to remake God in our image. The Father "speaks" the Son and "breathes" the Spirit. Each is an individual center of consciousness-- but all are one God. There is one Will and One Purpose in the three-centered Mind of God.

The really sad thing about this imposition of heierarchy is that it's not even a legitimate, honestly made mistake about the nature of God-- it's being asserted for no other purpose than to buttress a doctrine of heierarchy in the human relation of husband/wife. Understanding of God is being co-opted for man's purposes. That's really very distressing.