2 Thessalonians 2:15-17 "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word".
How do we rightly interpret Scripture? It is by the Scripture being compared with Scripture, tradition and also reason. We do not conduct our search for the understanding of the Bible text in a vacuum and yet that is how many Christians view things. We bring ourselves under the authority of the written Word of God, but a sound interpretation is also needed. Sadly, many Christians view all tradition with suspicion and this is an error. The upholding and teaching of historic creeds, such as the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed (381), Athanasian Creed, Creed of Chalcedon and Confessions such as the Westminster Standards are essential to sound doctrinal principles for the church. It is never me and my Bible alone.
There has arisen a minority, but vocal group who have begun to challenge the church's doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son as outlined in The Nicene Creed. This Creed is upheld by the whole church and it is a non-negotiable in terms of orthodoxy. Some men come along to deny this doctrine. Sometimes younger men training for the ministry may have two very different attitudes; One says "I will accept the Nicene Creed (church tradition), only when I am personally convinced"; another says "I receive the church's teaching on this agreed statement and I desire to understand how the church reached this position". Can you see the radical difference in these two approaches? The former is flawed the latter is healthy.
The Nicene Creed on the Eternal Generation of the Son
We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made:
Despite this clear doctrinal standard, there are some men, and theologians, who have arisen to suggest that we delete this doctrine from our church's Creeds and Confessions. This list of men includes, according to Kevin Giles who has written an excellent book "The Eternal Generation of the Son: Maintaining Orthodoxy in Trinitarian Tradition":
Wiliam Lane Craig
John S Feinberg
John Frame is skeptical of this doctrine
What do we make of the teaching of such people on this matter? Well we uphold the church's orthodox position, we uphold the biblical tradition of the church on the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son, instead of the assertions of biblicists who seek to introduce a novel hermeneutic; this is one which mainly seeks to interpret the Bible though a lens that either minimises or dismisses historic confessions and creeds on key points.
We must remember Paul's healthy exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 "But test everything; hold fast what is good".