To what extent does the Son submit to the Father? How does that relate to marriage roles?

  1. If we are going to talk about the story of Adam and Eve, we need to talk about the story in which Eve is much more active than Adam. She is the one who dialogues with the snake, she is the one who first eats the Fruit, and she offers the Fruit to Adam. She is not an afterthought in the story. The main thing that Adam contributes is the classic copout, "Genesis 3:12 (NIV2011) “The woman You put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

  2. Karl Barth though Eve was important. After God created both males and females in God’s Image in Gen 1, something that many evangelicals seem to forget, God creates the Woman for the Man, because “It is not good for man to be alone.” Barth said this is proof that humans are relational beings.

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Interesting, @Relates, I’d be really interested in some references to any evangelical writers who don’t think women are made in God’s image. Look forward to seeing your sources. Thanks.

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New Calvinism[edit]

While contemporary Evangelicals believe the historically agreed fundamentals of the Christian faith, including the Trinity, among the New Calvinist formula, the Trinity is one God in three equal persons, among whom there is “economic subordination” (as, for example, when the Son obeys the Father). As recently as 1977, the concept of economic subordinationism has been advanced in New Calvinist circles.[47][48][49] In The New Testament teaching on the role relationship of men and women , Presbyterian minister George W. Knight III wrote that the Son is functionally – but not ontologically – subordinate to the Father, thus positing that eternal functional subordination does not necessarily imply [ontological]

footnote 48, Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, pp. 230-57
Wikipedia

@LM77, thank you for the comment. Living in England you might not be familiar with De. Wayne Grudem, an American theologian who seems intent in leading the evangelical church into the serious heresy of subordinationism.

The way I understand it from those who have spoken out against him, and confirmed by others, is that Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity is fully God, but when He entered into His earthly ministry He voluntarily submitted Himself to the Will of Father. I would strongly disagree with this position, but I can see that it might be fusible. The more hetero-orthodox claim is that Jesus did return to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father to reign with Him forever and ever, but to remain in a subordinate position along with the Holy Spirit. thus shattering the unity of the Trinity.

Of course this does not happen in a vacuum, which is why I brought this up in the context of equality of men and women. Grudem is a primary leader among those who say that men and women are created equal by God, but functionally women are subordinate in the family and in the church. This is a fig leaf to try to cover up seriously bad theology.

God created both men and women in God’s own Image. This does not mean that we are the same. We need to use all of the many talents and abilities that everyone of us has…

@Relates Thanks for getting back to me and for sharing your thoughts/source with me. Lots to interact with in your reply - thanks.

I do know Wayne Grudem and well remember the Eternal Subordinationism debate (debacle?) from a few years ago. However, I am disturbed that you would use the word heresy in this regard. Traditionally, a heresy is a belief that either leaves a person unable to experience saving grace or if they are a believer cuts them off from it.

I would caution using the word heresy in relation to subordination though for two reasons. Firstly, nearly all orthodox Christian’s believe in some form of subordinationism where Jesus is concerned, whether that be eternal (the Son has always willing submitted himself to the Father’s will) or functional/temporary (the Son submits to the Father’s will for the period of the incarnation). Without some form of subordination, there are a lot of verses in John’s Gospel, for example, that do not make sense (Cf. John 4:34, 6:38-44, 6:57, 7:28, 10:18, 14:10, 17:2, etc.). Additionally, subordination of both kinds has a long and rich theological tradition in the church. If we are going to start calling those who hold to any form of subordination heretics, we not going to have many theologians left.

Personally, I would hold to the functional/temporary subordination model. For a range of reasons, I think Eternal Subordination goes too far. Does that make me a heretic, Roger?

Where Wayne Grudem committed his error was not so much his view on subordination, but rather using his model of the Trinity as the model for human hierarchical relationships in the family. On one level, linking the Trinty to the family is not new, Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck in his book “The Christian Family” talks about the unity in diversity of human families as a reflection of the Trinity. But what Grudem did was say (massive simplification) “Just as the Son always submits to the Father at all times and in all places, so the wife should submit to her husband”. This is not only bad theology but also toxic for marriages. And I say that as someone whose marriage operates in a, largely, complementarian manner. Although my wife and I do not like that term nor the baggage that has come to be attached with it, but, for purposes of this discussion, it will have to do.

No, he isn’t. This view has existed in various forms across church history. He and John Piper merely popularised their overly narrow legalistic, toxic version in recent years. Neither would they say subordinate which implies an inequality. They would instead use the word ‘submit’ (a la Eph 5:21ff) which implies a difference of role. We can at least agree that Grudem’s version of complementarianism is bad theology.

Also, it does not follow that two people must have exactly equal roles in human relationships to be considered made in the image of God. The Bible says that children are expected to obey their parents (Eph 6:1), to submit to them.* But It does not follow that children are therefore not full image-bearers along with their parents.

Happy to talk more about Grudem, subordinationism, and how Grudem’s use of the Trinity essentially provides toxic masculinity carte balance. However, I will push back on straw man arguments. We Reformed/Calvinist types have to put up with enough of those already. I also have little desire to talk about (or defend) the operational structure of my marriage on the internet. Sorry, not sorry.

*Assuming their parents don’t ask them to do anything sinful, illegal, shameful, etc. etc. caveat, caveat.

NB Some light edits

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Aye, heresy is heresy. I know I mustn’t post one liners; does anyone believe that Jesus is actually competent in the sublime?

Looking at American evangelicalism today, which for the most part seems to have been taken over by conspiracy theories, it seems to be in an alternative universe divorced from Jesus. I know that heresy is a very serious charge and this is a very serious situation that demands a serious faith response.

I did say that while I did not agree with the view the temporary subordination of Jesus, it was something I could live with in others. I am not aware of the eternal view in any respectable theologian. Augustine, I would say, rules it out completely and he is the source of the Western tradition. Maybe it is present in the Eastern Church or in Calvin.

John 7:28-29 (NIV2011)
28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him,
29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

The unity of the Trinity, the unity of the Church, and the unity of the family is all based on the same “thing,” Love, (or the Holy Spirit) not subordination or obedience. That is why Bavirick is correct and Grudem is dead wrong. Grudem takes the Holy Spirit out of the Trinity.

*Assuming their parents don’t ask them to do anything sinful, illegal, shameful, etc. etc. caveat, caveat!

Paul appears to be referring to the Fifth Commandment, which he quotes in the next verse, but YHWH uses the word “honor” instead of “obey” (on the NIV.) I think honor is the much better word. If obey or be subordinate is more accurate, why all the caveats?!

Ephesians 5:21-25 (NIV2011)
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Verse 21 is the topic sentence. Every thing else should flow from that. If we all submitted ourselves to one another, there would be no hierarchy, so we must take this sentence as our basic guide. I do not want to blame Paul for these problems, but he was not Jesus. He came from and lived in a very much male oriented society. On the other hand as far as I can see his actions were not misogynistic. Do as he does not as he says.

I can understand your reluctance to talk about your marriage in this forum, and that is not my intent. The issues are beyond marriage to the Church and the Kingdom of God. We live in difficult, challenging times. Before I really did not expect these serious challenges to come so boldly from within the Church, but they have and we must face and deal with them now.

Hope you don’t mind my interjection here Roger. It is not to detract from what you say here regarding the ESS debate only to add that, as I remember, the main focal point of divergence in the debate was regarding the Son’s ‘eternal’ relationship to the Father and the issue is rather more focused upon the more ontological and eternal nature of the Trinity than the economical and temporal. Both sides of the debate would admit that there is an economical subordination of the Son in the incarnation, i.e. that the Son humbled himself and took the form of a servant etc.

Those on the side of Grudem and Ware (and yes Grudem is well known in the UK) were advocating that the Pre-incarnate Son as ‘the only begotten Son’ as deriving his ‘being’ from the Father is eternally subordinate in nature. To advocate eternal subordination in this sense is obviously to negate ‘co-equality’ and obviously the co-equal natures of the Father and Son in the orthodox credal formulae (Athanasian, Chalcedon, Nicene etc.) The ESS advocates then went on to use their position as a model for the submission of women to men. In fact I think it was rather this that kicked off the whole debate in the first instance. Arguing in this way and by using the ESS trinitarian model they go on to argue for for the submission of women as an ontological category. So the ESS position on the Trinity becomes the basis of their argument

Whether ESS should be regarded as heresy would be a matter of how heresy is defined. It would appear to be a departure from received historic Christian orthodoxy. Many on the eternal co-equality side of the argument like Trueman and Goligher see it as the thin end of the wedge of Arianism (which would be generally regarded as heretical on both sides of the debate).

As I recall, the Arian controversy of the fourth century revolved around ‘substance’ or ‘essence’ i.e whether the Son was of the same substance (homoousios) of the Father or similar substance (homoiousios). After Athanasius had been exiled five times the council finally came down on the side of ‘homoousios’ (same substance) and Athanasius was vindicated.

One further point regarding the eternal generation of the Son, and this is that the doctrine might seem naturally to lead to the belief that the Son is ontologically and eternally subordinate, as the Son would be seemingly derived from an act of the Father (implying some kind of beginning). That is as conceived by our puny mortal minds. However if the generation of the Son as being of the Father is conceived of as ‘necessary’ and ‘eternal’ and as being of the very nature of the Father himself, then this would affect ESS view considerably. It would mean the Son can be no less than co-equal to the Father.

The historic orthodox credal position is that Jesus is ‘equal to the Father as touching his divinity’ and less than the Father as touching His humanity. Although both God and human he is not two but one, not by the blending of his essence, but by the unity of his person. For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh, so too the one Christ is both God and human.

Regarding the incarnation, the Son never separated from the Trinity, and to the question ‘Where was the eternal Son of God when the Son became incarnate in Jesus’? The answer would have to be ‘exactly where he always was’.

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Excellent summary, @eyeillustration. Said far better and clearer than I could. Thanks for your contribution.

Not at all. Welcome to the discussion. By the way, I take it that ESS stands for the Eternal Submission of the Son.

Assuming that what you say is accurate and I am not doubting it, but just find it shocking that a theologian in good standing would propose such an obvious heresy and it would be accepted by a significant portion of the Church, and I was unaware of what was going on until recently.

What you say is clearly the case. If the Pre-incarnate Son was subordinate to the Father from the Beginning, the members of the Trinity are not equal. However this assumes that we can read the mind of God before the Creation and out side of the Biblical revelation. It is contrary to to Philippians 2:5-11, esp. the fact that Jesus Christ is Lord (YHWH.)

The issue in the Arian controversy was, “Is Jesus Christ God or not?” The term homoousios made it clear that Jesus Christ was by nature equal to the Father God while homoiousios was offered as sort of a compromise, “almost God.”

I would say that the basic problem for the Arians was the fact that the Jews and Christians believe in One God, so how can a human, even a very good human be God. They could accept Jesus as the Messiah or Savior, but not God. Many people have the same problem today. although it does not seem to be a part of ESS.

Athanasius won his case by insisting that Jesus HAD to be fully God and fully Human to be the Savior. God cannot be subordinate, God must be independent, so the One Who died upon the Cross for our sin was not subordinate. He did not have to do it, but chose to do it for our sake. All the language on the NT that proclaims that Jesus and the Father are One is about the Incarnate Son, so it is all wrong if ESS is right.

Grudem says that the relationship between the Father and the Son us based on subordination. The Son must obey the Father because the Son is less than the Father. The is no place in the relationship for love, even for obedience out of love, because love is always a choice and the Son has no choice in this matter. is not an option.

When Jesus says, “Not My Will, but Yours,” He is saying that He does have a choice, and He is going with the Plan, (which they both agreed on) even though it was most difficult and painful. Jesus was acting out of love for us and the Father, rather than obedience or subordination.

ESS closes the door to grace and love opens the way to Legalism, as do most if not all heresies. It is shocking that Grudem uses this faux model of the Trinity to justify his understanding of the relationship between men and women, but the results are not surprising. If one takes Jesus and the Holy Spirit out of Christianity, one is left with Jewish Legalism writ large.

To be sure. This is the clear and obvious position of the Church over the years which in no way has been refuted by the arrogant musings of Grudem & Co.

@LM77 Liam, you are living in a burning house. The only reason to remain is to rescue others. You are honoring no one by staying in a very bad situation. .

Cheers LM77.

I have also replied to Roger to clarify a few points. Hoping not to repeat myself too much.

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Yes, ESS is the advocacy of the Eternal Subordination of the Son as proposed by Grudem and others.
I would concur with everything you say here. Perhaps only to pick up on a few points for further clarification from my perspective.

Athanasius won his case by insisting that Jesus HAD to be fully God and fully Human to be the Savior. God cannot be subordinate, God must be independent, so the One Who died upon the Cross for our sin was not subordinate. He did not have to do it, but chose to do it for our sake. All the language on the NT that proclaims that Jesus and the Father are One is about the Incarnate Son, so it is all wrong if ESS is right.<

I think it important to consider the the Arian controversy was a protracted debate which lasted over many years. It probably needed to take place for the church, historically, by arguing over two diametrically opposing viewpoints, as the church had not yet collectively worked through these matters in a fully meaningful way to arrive at a consensus position. In a sense, Arianism did become the default orthodox position for some time and as such Athanasius was the ‘bad boy’ in the corner for a while during this period. The overall period which may have lasted over 50 years or so. Even the decision at Nicaea did not immediately end the controversy. The church wavered internally for what may have been a hundred years overall.

From what I gather, the Council of Ariminum (359) all but reversed Nicaea (325), and the emperor in Constantinople turned the Athanasian majority into a minority.

When the church finally settled down into the position that the Eternal Son is in fact of the same substance as the Father from all eternity and therefore co-equal, certain scriptures needed to be addressed i.e. those which imply a subordination of the incarnate eternal Son in his role in redemption. i.e.-

It is the Father who sent the eternal Son (implying a subordinate role of the Son to the Father in the incarnation)

It is the Son (in Jesus) who defers to the will of the Father (implying a subordination in the role of redemption)

So it becomes of necessity to distinguish between the ontological ‘non-subordinate’ relationship of the eternal Son to the Father and the apparent ‘economical subordination’ of the Son in what has become to be known as ‘the covenant of redemption’ when, as it were, eternity breaks in to space/time, which is all part of the eternal plan.

There is a failure to make this kind of distinction within the modern day anti-Trinitarian ‘Jehovah’s Witness’ theology which indeed would appear to be a kind of latter day Arianism.
They elevate the apparent subordinate role in space/time over and above the co-equal ontological nature of the Son in eternity and in the unity of the Godhead and therefore fall into serious error. Heresy if we will.

I think RC Sproul said it right in his article ‘What’s the Difference between the Ontological and the Economic Trinity’?

‘So even though the Father and the Son are equal in power, glory, and being, and even though there is no eternal subordination within the ontological Trinity, nevertheless there is a subordination of the Son to the Father in the economy of redemption’.

The so-called ‘Economic Trinity’ of the title of the article, should not therefore be seen as disrupting or destroying the doctrine of God who is essentially One God in Three co-equal Persons. Although perhaps the term ‘Economic Trinity’ should be regarded as a misnomer and should rather be regarded an economy of roles within the historic plan of redemption to which, as you say all three persons are in full willing accord, and that within the overall unity of the Godhead.

There is only one other thing to say regarding the ‘begetting’ of the Son. It is Berkhoff who refers to this ‘begetting’ as a ‘necessary act’ of the Father and it is due to the necessity of this ‘act’ that renders the Son co-equal. There are very few things that God actually ‘needs’ to do, the creation of the universe and other ‘beings’ comprising only a few of them.

However, not so the eternally begotten Son who is the exact image or representation of the Father. The eternal Logos.

I have read others who would decline from describing the ‘Begetting’ of the Son as an ‘action’ with regard to the eternal generation of the Son by the Father as this may seem to imply a beginning and a ‘doing’ which also implies derivation and dependence of being. They therefore only speak in terms of one in ‘substance’ (monogenes) as we have covered above. I used to think of eternal generation in this sense as the sun generates light, i.e. the Father generates the Son eternally out of necessity, but I’m not sure about this now. It is beyond grasping .

In the end we are using human language and scriptural anthropomorphism which perhaps cannot get anywhere near the reality. But this is all we have at present.

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You are right in saying that the Arian conflict needed to take place until the Early Church resolved certain issues that are unique to Christianity. In reality these issues have not really been resolved in that the Trinity is both Three and One, not Three or One.

The problem was in reconciling or bringing together two every different ways of seeing Reality, .the Hebrew way of faith and the Greek way of philosophy. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Generally in the West we have a dualism of Greek science and Hebrew religion. Together they make a whole of sorts, but in my estimation the contradictions today are making it impossible to maintain the unity of two different systems.

We need a new worldview which really reconciles science and faith. The problem with this is that novelty is opposed by both science and faith.

John 3:16 "God so loved th3 word that He sent… "

Luke 9:48 “…whoever welcomes Me welcomes the One Who sent Me.,”

John says that the Father sent the Son because He loves humanity. You say that some people imply God sent Jesus to save humanity because God had the power to compel Jesus to go, because He was under the power, subordinate, to YHWH.

Do you really think that the Bible teaches that Jesus saved humanity because He had to, and not because He wanted to out of love. This is what happens when you take apart the Trinity as ESS says. And based on what a very vague implication, which is not based on any facts, but at best speculation.

Here again it is clear that Jesus is acting out of love for humanity, not compulsion from the Father. Do you really think that the Father would send the Son on this difficult mission without telling Him the probable ending of the Cross? Do you think that the Son did not agree to this ending, even though He know the price which is far beyond we can imagine? Jesus was being honest, not rebellious.

If you have a two tier universe between God and the world, you do need some sort of explanation on how the eternal God and temporal humans coexist, but Jesus is God with us. He breaks down these barriers through Love, the Holy Spirit, which is missing in ESS.

We cannot put ideas into the mind of God. God is YHWH, God is WHO GOD IS.

The problem was in reconciling or bringing together two every different ways of seeing Reality, .the Hebrew way of faith and the Greek way of philosophy. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.<

This is the case in many respects. Although in many ways the two ways of approaching reality are not that far apart. For example it was Heraclitus who first established the ‘Logos principle’ within western philosophy as meaning both the source and fundamental order of the Cosmos. Plato also reflects this in his ideas concerning ‘eternal forms’.

This coincides really well with John 1:1-3 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Which echoes Genesis chapter one.

'Generally in the West we have a dualism of Greek science and Hebrew religion. Together they make a whole of sorts, but in my estimation the contradictions today are making it impossible to maintain the unity of two different systems.<

We need a new worldview which really reconciles science and faith. The problem with this is that novelty is opposed by both science and faith.<

I think you might be interested in the work of Wolfgang Smith and the Philo-Sophia Initiative where many of these issues are worked through from a philosophical, theological and scientific perspective. Particularly with reference to the dualism of Descart i.e. res cogitans and res extensa. He proposes that this is where modern ‘science’ largely becomes unstuck, as these Cartesian ideas concerning reality and perception are adopted quite often by scientists perhaps without even thinking and thereby affect how they have a tendency to dismiss the ‘qualities’ of the corporeal world as unreal and thereby make the scientific approach to reality rest upon only that which can be measured.

https://www.facebook.com/PhilosSophiaInitiative

John says that the Father sent the Son because He loves humanity. You say that some people imply God sent Jesus to save humanity because God had the power to compel Jesus to go, because He was under the power, subordinate, to YHWH.<

Hmmm… I don’t think I meant that. I don’t think I implied that. Please give me the quote to which you are referring and I will try to clarify.

Do you really think that the Bible teaches that Jesus saved humanity because He had to, and not because He wanted to out of love. This is what happens when you take apart the Trinity as ESS says. And based on what a very vague implication, which is not based on any facts, but at best speculation.<

No, I don’t think that the Son became incarnate because he ‘had to’. I don’t take the ESS position regarding eternal subordination. I think there may be some misunderstanding here if you took it that this was my own belief. I would totally agree with you that this would be speculation based on faulty theology.

Here again it is clear that Jesus is acting out of love for humanity, not compulsion from the Father. Do you really think that the Father would send the Son on this difficult mission without telling Him the probable ending of the Cross? Do you think that the Son did not agree to this ending, even though He know the price which is far beyond we can imagine? Jesus was being honest, not rebellious.<

I would agree with the Athanasian Creed:
That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

Neither confounding the Persons: nor dividing the Substance.

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son: and another of the Holy Ghost.

But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son: and such is the Holy Ghost.

The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate: and the Holy Ghost uncreate.

The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible: and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal: and the Holy Ghost eternal.

And yet they are not three eternals: but one eternal.

As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated: but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.

So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty: and the Holy Ghost Almighty.

And yet they are not three Almighties: but one Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God.

And yet they are not three Gods: but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord: and the Holy Ghost Lord.

And yet not three Lords: but one Lord…

In a similar manner, I would believe that as the Father is omniscient, the Son is omniscient and the Holy Spirit is omniscient yet there are not three ‘Omniscients’ but one ‘Omniscient’.

We cannot put ideas into the mind of God. God is YHWH, God is WHO GOD IS.<

Yes- you said it.

Thank you for your response, although I think that we have gone off topic. Maybe the moderator will separate this into its own topic.

To be sure both theology and philosophy affirm the unity or oneness of Reality through the Logos. However, philosophy is based on “being,” which is impersonal, and Christianity bases the unity of Reality on God, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, Who is personal. This is a very important difference, that persists to this day.

You used 2 Biblical citations to explain why evangelicals use the word “subordination” to describe the relationship between the Father and the Son. I was trying to explain why this was not really appropriate, even though that maybe traditional.

A subordinate is a person who must obey the authority over her or him. Jesus was never in that position. The Father is not His superior. That is the whole meaning of the Trinity.

We do not know exactly how Jesus prepared for His ministry. If it began when He was 30, then He must have studied the scripture under the tutelage of the Father and the Spirit, but that is not subordination. That is communication.

I would say that the NT indicates that the Son and the Father were always acting as partners in the task of salvation. The Son often deferred to the Father, but not because He was subordinate, but out of Love and Respect, which is the way we are to treat everyone.
The Athanasian Creed is a good creed although I would argue with some of the wording. I do not think God needs or has a Godhead, nor a substance that might be divided. There is a problem with saying that God is omniscient, which is Greek, not Hebrew.

My approach to reconciling theology, philosophy, and science is to use the ancient One And the Many paradigm. Please see my paper on Using the One And the Many on Academia.edu. if you are interested. The material you cited looks interesting, but for me the Trinity must be the foundation for understanding reality. This is of course why I am so concerned about ESS.

There is voluntary subordination, a voluntary humbling (which is also what we are told Jesus did), where the ‘subordinate’ chooses to obey.
 
And I think this puts the question of Jesus’ motivation to rest:

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
 
Hebrews 12:2

 
That is the reason God created in the first place, to increase his joy.

The problem with this is that Jesus is and never was a “subordinate.” A subordinate by definition does NOT have the choice of choosing to obey or not. Jesus choose to agree with the Father, not to be subordinate to the Father. To be subordinate means one does not have the freedom to choose. Jesus always had the ability to choose to agree with the Father.so He was never subordinate to the Father.

That’s why I put ‘subordinate’ in scare quotes.

Yes- no real problems with that. Only that I think that we may have a different understanding of the word ‘subordinate’. I think various dictionary definitions would allow for a voluntary subordination of roles. Like yourself I don’t take it that there was something Jesus had to do and I take it this is your main concern.

However, it was the will of the Father he was obeying. As he said not my will but thy will be done.

One definition of subordinate is someone who works for someone else. Or shall we say does the will of someone else. So we are not talking about inferiority of personhood. Only the order of roles which is only a logical order.

Mirriam Webster : Subordinate: One who stands in order or rank below another : one that is subordinate.

5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Phillipians 2:5-8

To be subordinate means one does not have the freedom to choose.<

If you can give us a dictionary link with this definition saying this is the only definition then the point is yours. Game set and match. :blush:

BTW Thanks for the link. I will have a look at that.

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:slightly_smiling_face: Yes. Jesus voluntarily subordinated his will (making himself a subordinate) with his own future joy in mind, making a choice. That is not unlike laborers – they can always quit (but it may not be a good choice).

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Which raise the question- could Jesus have possibly quit?

It is rather like asking the questions-

Could Jesus have sinned?
Could Jesus have disobeyed?

Peccability vs Impeccability etc.
There’s another possible thread.

Not on this one though. :grinning:

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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