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

Do you agree, Roger, that the Son is God and the Father is God but the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father? Similarly, would you agree that the Spirit is God but the Father is not the Son or the Spirit? This is orthodox trinitarianism, no?

If we affirm the above then we must affirm that there is a something about the nature of the persons that brings about this person. That they are ontologically the same in terms of their divinity, but ontologically distinct (chose your preferred adjective) to express this shared divinity as different persons. Unity of being does not necessitate that we collapse all differences of the persons back into the one.

Or as the Athanasian Creed puts it:

The catholic faith is this: 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 Spirit. ~ Athanasian Creed in Brannan, Historic Creeds and Confessions, 1997 (emphasis added)

One might also suggest that the Father being unbegotten, the Son being eternally begotten, and the Spirit’s eternal procession from the Father and the Sons a difference in the nature of the persons.

In your passion to ensure that the persons are not divided as perhaps you see it by ESS, I am concerned you are in danger of confounding the persons so that their distinctives are minimised.

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God: I AM WHO I AM. God determines God Who God is, not God’s nature or ontology. God is after all self existing, so how can God Who is Sovereign, be dependent or submitted to anyone else? It is a contradiction in terms.

Now really I hope that God Who is Almighty and All Wise, and created the universe with all its splendor without our help can figure out how to self-create Godself without we humans looking over God’s shoulder, so to speak.

The situation is usually expressed in these terms. Men and women share the same nature, the same ontology, as we are all human. That makes us all equal, but we are not all the same. Men and women are different. Humans are all unique, because our DNA.is unique and because our experience is unique, but our differences and uniqueness do not make some people superior and others subservient.

The Father and Son are both God. They are equal and independent of each other, that is distinct It is the Holy Spirit of Love that acts both aa a buffer between and unifier of that allows them to be interdependent so they can work together to do what they need to do as far as Salvation and Creation and whatever else needs to be done.
This is is the solution of the puzzle of the One And the Many. God’s Love is the Answer. It makes life and the universe livable and it is not submission.

It is the Holy Spirit of Love that enables equal and interdependent human beings to work together instead of competing in a dog eat dog Darwinian world.

There is nothing in the common God-created nature of humanity that says that the wife must submit to her husband or women are basically different from men. Marriage is a covenant relationship between two people. The marriage covenant should meet the needs of all participants and protect their God given rights. It should be based on Love.

Since you and your wife are teachers, let me highly recommend a book that is the foundation of western trinitarian thought, On the Trinity by Augustine. It is part of the Nicene and Post - Nicene Fathers, First Series Vol. III, published by T &T Clark, Phillip Shaf, ed… This series can be found in most good theological libraries.

If there is some thing that is inherent in the Person of the Son that compels Him to love, then the Son is not free to love humanity according to His own Will and the Son is not Sovereign and not God by definition.

Exactly, but what kind of a son would love his parents be3cause hw he has to and only do for them what he has to.

Jesus told another parable about a man with two sons. The man asked his sons to do him a favor in the near future. One son said Yes, but later changed his mind and did not show up. The other son said, No, but he too changed his mind and did the favor for his father. The question, Jesus posed was which son did what his father asked him to do?

This story probably illustrates the relationship between God and the Jews and the Gentiles. The Jews said Yes to God and did God’s will through the Mosaic Covenant. The Gentles at first said No to God and did not do His Will, but later said Yes to Jesus while most Jews said No. It does not matter what people say if their actions betray their words. That is an important lesson for all believers.

Yes, if we are to enjoy the Love of God in our hearts.

Of course God is Good and Loving not because of God’s nature which compels this, but because of God’s character. God is Who God Is.

The fact that the Son sits at the Father’s right hand, the side of power, means that the Father shares power with the Son, not the Son is anyway submitted to the Father.

@Relates

The Father and Son are both God. They are equal and independent of each other, that is distinct It is the Holy Spirit of Love that acts both as a buffer between and unifier of that allows them to be interdependent so they can work together to do what they need to do as far as Salvation and Creation and whatever else needs to be done.
This is is the solution of the puzzle of the One And the Many. God’s Love is the Answer. It makes life and the universe livable and it is not submission.<

I would question this as coming perilously close to potentially ‘dividing the substance’. Seemingly out of step with orthodoxy…i.e.

That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity,
neither blending their persons
nor dividing their essence.

(Athanasian Creed)

I would accept personally ‘distinct’ but independent seems a stretch too far. All three persons share in the same essence. In what way can they be ontologically independent of each other?

What do you say Roger?

BTW I have Augustine on the Trinity. Did he say this?

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Thank you for the question.

I would say that interdependence is the key to understanding the question. Augustine emphasized that the Trinity works in concert one with the others, One for Three and Three for One. The western Latin Trinity is more One God in Three Persons, as opposed to the Eastern Greek One Substance in Three Hypostases.

I would say that the exact definition is not that important, but the fact that all Three are equal and therefore not subordinate is, and that they work as One also is. They are each independent since God is Independent. They are not totally independent because they interact with each other and the world That makes them interdependent, which does not explain their existence, but describes it. I do not know how the Persons of the Trinity can be separate and yet One, excerpt through the Holy Spirit, but that is good enough for me.

@Relates

There will always be some mystery when it comes to that of understanding the Trinity. I find that understanding the Trinity in any meaningful sense takes hard work. This will involve not only trying to understanding who or what He is but also what He is not.

I think that Grudem did get it right when he said that the Trinity should not be conceived as being like a pie where the three are divided into co-equal parts. I am not suggesting that this is what you mean, but certain words can give us wrong misconceptions.

All three are ‘in’ one another. Where one person is, so there will also be the other two persons.

‘Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me…’

All three are partakers of the same essence and all three share the same attributes. This is where I would consider the word ‘separate’ to be inappropriate in this case. This is also where any analogy of the Holy Spirit being a ‘buffer’ between the person of the Son and the person of the Father breaks down.

Also to remember that Jesus’s ‘person’ is not directly equivalent to that of the eternal Son without qualification; in that He (the eternal Son) ‘took up’ humanity. He (Jesus) is therefore co-equal to the Father as touching his divinity and inferior to the Father as touching his humanity. It is in His incarnational form that he can fully take up the role of being a servant.

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I think this is a great basis to keep coming back to :slight_smile: Thanks.

@ Randy

I think this is a great basis to keep coming back to. Thanks.<

Glad you think so, Randy.

If true of our understanding of the Trinity, It is equally true of the incarnation and the person of Jesus Christ. This is the reason why there are so many ‘isms’ that the early church rejected. There are really so many definitions that fall short. This is also something which should be expected as the historically orthodox credal definitions appear to be inherently paradoxical. Something that our fallen finite human minds struggle with and find impossible to grasp.

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This sounds like a strawman that Grudem used to make his point of view sound reasonable. The should be considered as a cheap trick that must be disregarded. It has no place in this conversation.

To be sure you are aware that husband and wife are made one though human love even though they are still two. Even so divine Love, the Holy Spirit, makes the Son and the Son One, even though they are distinctly two.

Husband and wife share the same human nature, but they are not the identical. They share the same attributes, but they are not the same person.

Love enables us as people to understand and in this way be one with others even though we may be very different. Of course any human analogy has limits and must not be taken too literally, but this one is taken from the Bible and should take priority over philosophical ones.

H
Colossians 1:15 (NIV2011)
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

The fact that the Son, Jesus Christ, is the visible Image of the invisible Father means that the Incarnation in no way makes Him in any significant way inferior to the Father. The Incarnation does not make Jesus Who is God, fully God And fully Human, less than God, because God does not change, but makes humans able to become one with God the Father by being born again through the Holy Spirit of Love. It does not bring God down to our level, but lifts us up to God’s level through the Spirit.

The mystery really is how God and Human can be one in Love. Grudem is saying by implication at least that humans and God cannot be one in love, but must be one through submission. That is not the Good News of Jesus Christ, which is God is Love.

The shocking truth is that it is not only the Son Who is the servant. The Father is also.

The Father did not create the universe for God’s benefit. God has no need for it. The Father created the universe as a home for you and me. That makes the Father our Servant, working for us for free, because we cannot pay God.

Let me make something clear here. We live in a Greek dualistic Reality, which is not from God or the Bible. It assumes that the Creation is inferior to God, even though we know that it is God’s handiwork. It is Good, because God made it. Humans are not sinful because we are human, but because we have rebelled against God. We are what we are because of what we have done, not because we are inferior to God.

God does not want us to be submitted to God, but to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. People, who talk about submission to God, are usually also talking about submission to human authority. Do not be deceived.

Roger, I’m not sure that Wayne Grudem has ever said anything like this by intent or implication. As a result it appears that you are asserting a strawman, which is the very thing you just accused Grudem of doing. If you are convinced that this is Wayne Grudem’s intent, perhaps you could provide a quote or a source?

If submission to God and love for God are incompatible as you argue, I wonder, what are your thoughts on the following verses?

Psalm 81:11 (NIV): But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me.

Proverbs 3:5–6 (NIV): Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Romans 8:7 (NIV): The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

Hebrews 12:9 (NIV): Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!

James 4:7 (NIV): Submit yourselves, then, to God.

And this is before we consider synonyms for ‘submit’ like ‘obey’ and ‘be subject to’, etc.

EDIT: changed the wording of some sections to make them more gracious.

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@Relates

This sounds like a strawman that Grudem used to make his point of view sound reasonable. The should be considered as a cheap trick that must be disregarded. It has no place in this conversation.<

I don’t think so Roger. His statement, as I understand it, was not part of any ‘argument’ per se. Just a straight forward statement of the fact as part of his general theological discourse and nothing to do with the ESS debate. This statement as above is quite reasonable and fully in line with received orthodoxy. I must follow that up by saying I don’t fall in line with Grudem regarding his earlier position regarding ESS from which I gather he may be now distancing himself. Even though I believe Grudem to have been wrong in this, I don’t think of him as someone resorting to ‘cheap tricks’.

Futhermore, as this is a conversation that is taking place between many sensible Christians, I would take it that no one individual can speak as to what ‘has’ or ‘has not’ 'a place in this conversation. Unless, that is you can claim to speak for everyone. I don’t see that from what I have read so far.

The fact that the Son, Jesus Christ, is the visible Image of the invisible Father means that the Incarnation in no way makes Him in any significant way inferior to the Father. The Incarnation does not make Jesus Who is God, fully God And fully Human, less than God, because God does not change, but makes humans able to become one with God the Father by being born again through the Holy Spirit of Love. It does not bring God down to our level, but lifts us up to God’s level through the Spirit.<

You must realise that when I say that Jesus’ nature regarding His humanity as being inferior to that of the Father’s divinity is only by way of quoting the received orthodoxy of the Athanasian Creed.

This is what it states in cold clear terms. No one has said that Jesus Himself is less than God. Not that I am aware of. The incarnation should be thought of as ‘addition’ rather than ‘subtraction’. As I said earlier the Son ‘took up’ humanity.

What is in need of qualification, is that Jesus is both human and divine. One person with two distinct natures. We cannot go around purely stating that ‘Jesus is God’ and leave it at that. This is only the half truth and not the full picture.

It is very true, as you say, that God does not change and therefore the eternal Son does not change. However, it is the received view of the church that the eternal Son, who does not change, nevertheless- ‘took up’ humanity.

Humanity, as we all must know is a ‘nature’ that is ‘less’ than that of divinity. This does not prevent Jesus from being fully divine. He is both fully divine and fully human, Both needs must be held together although seemingly paradoxical. The fact that Jesus is ‘both human and divine’ is a non-equivalence to that of the eternal Son being ‘fully divine and not at all human’.

The fact that the Son, Jesus Christ, is the visible Image of the invisible Father means that the Incarnation in no way makes Him in any significant way inferior to the Father. The Incarnation does not make Jesus Who is God, fully God And fully Human, less than God, because God does not change, but makes humans able to become one with God the Father by being born again through the Holy Spirit of Love. It does not bring God down to our level, but lifts us up to God’s level through the Spirit.<

We must be very careful when it comes to any claims that humans can become as you say ‘one with God’ This could be perceived as being more closer to a New-Age or Gnostic view than that of a thoroughgoing historic Christian position where the ‘creator’ and the ‘created’ are forever distinct. Your statement could certainly be perceived of as being somewhat eastern or ‘mystical’.

The shocking truth is that it is not only the Son Who is the servant. The Father is also.

The Father did not create the universe for God’s benefit. God has no need for it. The Father created the universe as a home for you and me. That makes the Father our Servant, working for us for free, because we cannot pay God.<

Yes… God did not ‘need’ to create the universe, He does not ‘need’ anything from outside of himself. We must remember that the universe is the creation of all of the three members of the Godhead- that is Father Son and Spirit. However to say that makes the Father is our servant is a very strange conclusion indeed. Very strange!

I must say that in nearly 50 years of being a Christian believer, have not come across this anywhere.

Conversely, what it does in fact ‘make’ according to what I have read and understood, is that God is absolutely sovereign. That is the sovereign creator to whom all must give an account. There is no servant-hood in this. None that I have ever come across at least.

Let me make something clear here. We live in a Greek dualistic Reality, which is not from God or the Bible. It assumes that the Creation is inferior to God, even though we know that it is God’s handiwork. It is Good, because God made it. Humans are not sinful because we are human, but because we have rebelled against God. We are what we are because of what we have done, not because we are inferior to God.<

Well, Roger- All I can ask is that you ask yourself whether you are in fact a thoroughgoing Christian or some sort of a gnostic/New-Ager- or a mixture of both. This is how it seems to me in these brief exchanges if I read you right.

Nothing here to do with dualistic Greek concepts. We don’t ‘have to’ live in a so-called Greek dualistic ‘reality’- not if we don’t want to. That is if we read our Bibles right.

We all, as Christians, accept that the universe was created ‘ex-nihilo’. It is continually upheld by the power of His word i.e. the Logos. If you are making God equal to His creation, then this, I think, you may perhaps need to revisit; perhaps beginning with Romans Ch 1.

God does not want us to be submitted to God, but to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. People, who talk about submission to God, are usually also talking about submission to human authority. Do not be deceived.<

Er… well…thanks… I’ll try not to be deceived. However, I do wonder at this point whether we are reading the same Bible.

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All I see is that Dr. Grudem has much to say about submission and little to say about Love. If I were wrong about this, I hope someone would tell me how he puts Love in the center of his theology.

You have given 5 proof texts, 2 from the OT Prov 3:5-6 says much the same thing that the Great Commandment does, except the Great Commandment says Love which is the basis of our morality. Why go back to what is at best OT morality?

Rom 8:7 refers to God’s Law and not love.

Heb 12:9 is addressed to Jewish Christians and reflects Jewish theology to an extent.

James reflects to some extent an emphasis on works rather than faith.

None of these come from the Gospels.

In my humble opinion the argument that Grudem makes is a strawman argument and I also think that this kind of argument is a cheap trick. Christians are called to tell the truth, not to invent justification for others. He is not above criticism whether one agrees with him or not. A strawman argument is a strawman argument and it has little to do with the correctness of the argument…

I hope that Dr. Grudem has backed away from some of his previous positions and I am glad that you do not accept ESS. The one area where I have not heard of any change is his whole hearted support for our defeated president despite his treasonous coup.

First of all, thank you for saying it “as we all must know” which clearly indicates the human basis of this statement, because it has no revealed divine basis. Rule No.1 in theology, Do not base our understanding of the Trinity on a strictly human basis. As a professor of theology, Dr. Grudem should know this and so should you.

Second, humanity and divinity are different, but the Trinity says that difference does not necessarily mean more or less. None of the members of the Trinity are more or less. In what way do you claim that human is less than divine?

Third, there is no question that submission means that one person yields to a superior other. If the Father is not superior, then the Son cannot submit to Him. If the Father is superior then there is no Trinity.

The fact that Jesus Christ

“God does not want us to be submitted to God, but to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.”

If this is not the message of your Bible, then we are reading different Bibles.

@Relates

If this is not the message of your Bible, then we are reading different Bibles.<

Glad we cleared that up then.

@eyeillustration, reason I can say this with full confidence is because Jesus is the Word/ Logos and not the Word/Mythos. As I am sure you know both logos and mythos can be translated word, but there is an important difference. Logos is rational word, accepted as true because it can be verified within reason to be true. Mythos is a word which is accepted as true, because it is based on the authority of religion or tradition.

When the disciples of John the Baptizer came to Jesus to ask Him if He were the Messiah, Jesus did not say yes or no giving an authoritative answer, instead He said
Matthew 11:4-6 (NIV2011)
4 “Go back and report to John what you hear and see:
5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.
6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

Jesus did not say that He was the Messiah, but He did demonstrate that He was. He did not tell His disciples that He was the Messiah, but asked them Who they thought He was. In this way Jesus showed that He was the Logos that John said He was. If Jesus were the Mythos, then John would have used this word and He would have been a different kind of person.

@Relates:

“God does not want us to be submitted to God,<

Even in this day and age, I am often amazed at the persistence of the original temptation as found in the opening chapters of Genesis. That is the desire to be like God. The desire to acknowledge no higher authority than that of the self.

This is at the heart of all New-Age teaching. As a basic principle, it has a tendency to manifest itself in the most unexpected places.

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Didn’t God make humans in God’s Own Image? Aren’t humans supposed to be good since God is good?

@Relates

Didn’t God make humans in God’s Own Image? Aren’t humans supposed to be good since God is good?<

I think we’re done here for the time being, Roger. Don’t you?

I’m told:
" Encourage everyone to get involved in the conversation
You’ve replied 3 times to @Relates in this particular topic!
A great discussion includes many voices and perspectives. Can you get anybody else involved?"

Thanks

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