Skip to content

Denny Burk on ETS Trinity Debate

November 22, 2016

I wasn’t at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society this year. By all accounts, though, the debate about the Trinity was a highlight. Defending “eternal functional subordination” were Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware. Denying it was Kevin Giles; questioning it was Millard Erickson. The most remarkable moment of the debate was the affirmation by Grudem and Ware of the eternal generation of the Son. It is difficult to see how one could affirm some version of eternal subordination while not affirming eternal generation.

As I say, I was not there. But Denny Burk was, and he provides a useful report. Central Seminary had three professors at the meeting; perhaps one of them will write a report of his own.

As an aside, it is worth noting that only two of the three positions were represented in this debate. Grudemaand Ware affirm “eternal functional subordinantion” and believe that it provides some parallels of illustrative value to a complementarian position on gender roles. Erickson and Giles question or deny eternal functional subordination and believe that the absolute equality of the Trinity parallels the absolute equality of the sexes. The third position, represented by Carl Trueman among others, denies eternal functional subordination while also denying a complete egalitarianism between the sexes. Having this position represented in the debate would have been useful.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: