Wednesday 16 November 2016

Current Trinitarian Discussion and Debate

I was reminded in recent days of the current storm around the doctrine of the Trinity. This has emerged in certain circles in the USA with Liam Goligher and Carl Trueman on one side as it were, with Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware on another. Perhaps of all things that has emerged, it is the overall weakness of Christians and churches in the West on the doctrine of the Trinity.

Grudem and others insist on a notion of the eternal subordination of the Son. This apparently supports their view of marriage and male headship, but does it? In my PhD, I observed that people quickly project on to the inner-relations of the Triune God what they would like those relations to be. In effect, to buttress their own views. Most commonly to support the ordination of women in ministry by asserting that the Triune God is eternally orderless. This is also wrong.

The language of subordination in relation to the Persons of the Trinity, is a term fraught with danger. It is not biblical, it is not confessional and it does not fit within the bounds of Nicene Creed Orthodoxy. For those who want to know more about the doctrine of the Trinity, without attempting to follow lots of online debates, then here is my suggestion for reading and in this order.

1. The Nicene Creed
2. The Westminster Confession, chapter 2 "Of God and of the Holy Trinity".
3. John Calvin, The Institutes, Book 1:13. This is a masterpiece of writing on the Trinity.

For a biblical study, work through Ephesians and Revelation 1:1-5 and chapters 4-5.

Sometimes we need a safe refuge to run to in order to acquire restored spiritual peace.

"Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth" Rev 1:4-5.

1 comment:

Andrew Graham said...

This is a very helpful insight Keving. Thanks for this and thanks for the recommended reading.