Is it Okay to Teach a Complementarianism Based on Eternal Subordination?

Published on June 24, 2016 by Joshua Centanni

A guest blog by John T. “Jack” Jeffery

A bibliography of articles and posts in the current debate (began 3 June 2016) concerning the eternal subordination of God the Son to God the Father in relation to the complementarian/egalitarian controversy between (alphabetical order):

Thus far this debate has been between (alphabetical order):

Lewis Ayres, Michel R. Barnes, Michael F. Bird, Denny Burk, D. Glenn Butner Jr., Liam Goligher, Wayne Grudem, Mark Jones, Caleb Lindgren, Scot McKnight, Mike Ovey, Todd Pruitt, Michael Riccardi, Fred Sanders, John Stevens, Owen Strachan, Darren Sumner, Mark D. Thompson, Carl Trueman, Bruce Ware, Andrew Wilson, Carlton Wynne, et al. None of the interaction on Twitter is included.

Note: The first three articles listed below preceded the current debate.

Sources (chronological order):

8 May 2015

Fred Sanders, “Things Eternal: Sonship, Generation, Generatedness” (8 May 2015), on The Scriptorium Daily at http://scriptoriumdaily.com/things-eternal-sonship-generation-generatedness/ [accessed 23 June 2016].

 

22 May 2015

Stephen Holmes, “Reflections on a new defence of ‘complementariainism’” (22 May 2016), on Shored Fragments at http://steverholmes.org.uk/blog/?p=7507 [accessed 23 June 2016].

 

1 June 2015

Fred Sanders, “Generations Eternal and Current” (1 June 2015), on The Scriptorium Daily at http://scriptoriumdaily.com/generations-eternal-and-current/ [accessed 23 June 2016].

 

3 June 2016

Liam Goligher, “Is it Okay to Teach a Complementarianism Based on Eternal Subordination?” (3 June 2016), posted by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian at http://www.mortificationofspin.org/mos/housewife-theologian/is-it-okay-to-teach-a-complementarianism-based-on-eternal-subordination [accessed 11 June 2016].

 

6 June 2016

Liam Goligher, “Reinventing God” (6 June 2016), posted by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian at http://www.mortificationofspin.org/mos/housewife-theologian/reinventing-god [accessed 11 June 2016].

 

7 June 2016

Carl Trueman, “Fahrenheit 381” (7 June 2016), on Postcards From Palookaville at http://www.alliancenet.org/mos/postcards-from-palookaville/fahrenheit-381 [accessed 23 June 2016].

 

8 June 2016

Michael F. Bird, “The Coming War: Nicene Complementarians vs Homoian Complementarians” (8 June 2016), on Euangelion at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2016/06/the-coming-war-nicene-complementarians-vs-homoian-complementarians/ [accessed 18 June 2016].

Matt Emerson, “The Creator/Creature Distinction and Gender Debates” (8 June 2016), on Secundum Scripturas at https://secundumscripturas.com/2016/06/08/the-creatorcreature-distinction-and-gender-debates/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

Matt Emerson, “Heresy Hunting and Eternal Relations of Origin” (8 June 2016), on Secundum Scripturas at https://secundumscripturas.com/2016/06/08/heresy-hunting-and-eternal-relations-of-origin/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

 

9 June 2016

Wayne Grudem, “Whose Position on the Trinity is Really New?” (9 June 2016), on CBMW at http://cbmw.org/public-square/whose-position-on-the-trinity-is-really-new [accessed 11 June 2016].

Carl Truman, “A rejoinder to Wayne Grudem” (9 June 2016), on Postcards From Palookaville at http://www.mortificationofspin.org/node/40085 [accessed 11 June 2016].

Bruce Ware, “God the Son–at once eternally God with His Father, and eternally Son of the Father” (9 June 2016), on reformation 21 at http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2016/06/god-the-sonat-once-eternally-g.php [accessed 11 June 2016].

Carl Trueman, “A Surrejoinder to Bruce Ware” (9 June 2016), on Postcards From Palookaville at http://www.mortificationofspin.org/node/40084 [accessed 11 June 2016].

Michael F. Bird, “More on the Calvinist Complementarian Divide on the Trinity” (9 June 2016), on Euangelion at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2016/06/more-on-the-calvinist-complementarian-divide-on-the-trinity/ [accessed 23 June 2016].

Denny Burk, “A brief response to Trueman and Goligher” (9 JUN 2016), on Denny Burk at http://www.dennyburk.com/a-brief-response-to-trueman-and-goligher/ [accessed 18 June 2016]. Also included with this post are: “UPDATE (6/13/16) – Swain and Allen on the obedience of the eternal Son,” and “UPDATE (6/14/16) – Fred Sanders on the obedience of the Son.”

Mark D. Thompson, “ERS: Is there order in the Trinity?” (9 June 2016), on Theological Theology at http://markdthompson.blogspot.com/2016/06/ers-is-there-order-in-trinity.html [accessed 18 June 2016].

Jeff Waddington, “Some Thoughts on the Current Complementarian Trinitarian Civil War” (9 June 2016), on reformation 21 at http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2016/06/some-thoughts-on-the-current-c.php [accessed 23 June 2016].

 

10 June 2016

Scot McKnight, “The Battle Rumbles Along: The Trinity of Complementarians” (10 June 2016), on Jesus Creed at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2016/06/10/the-battle-rumbles-along/ [accessed 23 June 2016].

Carl Trueman, “A Guest Post” (10 JUN 2016), on Postcards From Palookaville at http://www.mortificationofspin.org/node/40089 [accessed 11 June 2016].

Mark Jones, “Why did the Son become incarnate? Because he submitted?” (10 June 2016), posted by Todd Pruitt on 1517 at http://www.mortificationofspin.org/mos/1517/why-did-the-son-become-incarnate-because-he-submitted [accessed 11 June 2016].

Darren Sumner, “Some Observations On The ‘Eternal Functional Subordination’ Debate” (10 June 2016), on Out of Bounds: Theology in the Far Country at https://theologyoutofbounds.wordpress.com/2016/06/10/some-observations-on-the-eternal-functional-subordination-debate/ [accessed 18 June 2016].

Mike Ovey, “Should I resign?” (10 June 2016), on Oak Hill College at http://oakhill2.ablette.net/blog/entry/should_i_resign/ [accessed 15 June 2016].

 

11 June 2016

Scot McKnight, “Rumbling On” (11 June 2016), on Jesus Creed at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2016/06/11/rumbling-on/ [accessed 18 June 2016].

Mark Jones, “God’s Will And Eternal Submission, Part One” (11 June 2016) on New City Times at http://newcitytimes.com/news/story/gods-will-and-eternal-submission-part-one [accessed 22 June 2016].

 

13 June 2016

Glenn Butner, Jr., “Eternal Submission and the Story of the Seven Ecumenical Councils” (13 June 2016), on reformation 21 at http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2016/06/eternal-submission-and-the-sto.php [accessed 15 June 2016]. The blog post was distilled from his article: D.Glenn Butner Jr., “Eternal Functional Subordination And The Problem Of The Divine Will,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 58:1 (2015), pp. 131-149; on Academia at https://www.academia.edu/11771377/Eternal_Functional_Subordination_and_the_Problem_of_the_Divine_Will [accessed 15 June 2016].

Scot McKnight, “One More Rumbling On” (13 June 2016), on Jesus Creed at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2016/06/13/one-more-rumbling-on/ [accessed 18 June 2016].

Andrew Wilson, “Eternal Submission in the Trinity? A Quick Guide to the Debate” (13 JUN 2016), on Think at http://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/submission_in_the_trinity_a_quick_guide_to_the_debate [accessed 18 June 2016].

Fred Sanders, “18 Theses on the Father and the Son” (13 June 2016), on The Scriptorium Daily at http://scriptoriumdaily.com/18-theses-on-the-father-and-the-son/ [accessed 18 June 2016].

Denny Burk, “Swain and Allen on the obedience of the eternal Son” (13 June 2016), on Denny Burk at http://www.dennyburk.com/the-obedience-of-the-eternal-son/ [accessed 18 June 2016].

Owen Strachan, “The Glorious Godhead and Proto-Arian Bulls” (13 June 2016), on thoughtlife at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2016/06/the-glorious-godhead-and-proto-arian-bulls/ [accessed 18 June 2016].

Aimee Byrd, “A Plea to CBMW” (13 June 2016), on Housewife Theologian at http://www.mortificationofspin.org/mos/housewife-theologian/a-plea-to-cbmw [accessed 15 June 2016].

Michael F. Bird, “Patristics Scholar Michel R. Barnes Weighs in on the Intra-Complementarian Debate on the Trinity” (13 June 2016), on Euangelion at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2016/06/patristics-scholar-michel-r-barnes-weighs-in-on-the-intra-complementarian-debate-on-the-trinity/ [accessed 15 June 2016].

Michael F. Bird, “Patristics Scholar Lewis Ayres Weighs in on the Intra-Complementarian Debate” (13 June 2016), on Euangelion at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2016/06/patristics-scholar-lewis-ayres-weighs-in-on-the-intra-complementarian-debate/ [accessed 15 June 2016].

Luke Stamps, “The Trinity Debate and the History of Interpretation” (13 June 2016), on Secundum Scripturas at https://secundumscripturas.com/2016/06/13/the-trinity-debate-and-the-history-of-interpretation/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

Matt Emerson, “The Trinity and Theological Method” (13 June 2016), on Secundum Scripturas at https://secundumscripturas.com/2016/06/13/the-trinity-and-theological-method/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

 

14 June 2016

Liam Goligher, “Dr. Liam Goligher Responds to Dr. Mike Ovey” (14 June 2016), posted by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian at http://www.mortificationofspin.org/mos/housewife-theologian/dr-liam-goligher-responds-to-dr-mike-ovey [accessed 15 June 2016].

Carl Trueman, “Motivated by Feminism? A Response to a Recent Criticism” (14 June 2016), on  Postcards From Palookaville at http://www.mortificationofspin.org/mos/postcards-from-palookaville/motivated-by-feminism-a-response-to-a-recent-criticism [accessed 15 June 2016].

Scot McKnight, “The Rumbling Reveals Some Stumbling” (14 June 2016), on Jesus Creed at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2016/06/14/the-rumbling-reveals-some-stumbling/ [accessed 18 June 2016].

Mark Jones, “Biblicism, Socinianism, and “Arid” Scholasticism” (14 June 2016), on New City Times at http://newcitytimes.com/news/story/biblicism-socinianism-and-arid-scholasticism [accessed 22 June 2016].

Denny Burk, “Fred Sanders on the obedience of the Son” (14 June 2016), on Denny Burk at http://www.dennyburk.com/fred-sanders-on-the-obedience-of-the-sons-will-to-the-fathers/ [accessed 18 June 2016].

Mike Ovey, “Can Michael Bird Read My Mind? Alas, It Seems Not” (14 June 2016), on Credo Magazine at http://www.credomag.com/2016/06/14/can-michael-bird-read-my-mind-alas-it-seems-not-mike-ovey/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

 

15 June 2016

Scot McKnight, “Subordinationism Stopped” (15 June 2016), on Jesus Creed at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2016/06/15/subordination-stopped/ [accessed 18 June 2016].

Michael F. Bird, “The Intra-Complementarian Trinity Battle Continues” (15 June 2016), on Euangelion at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2016/06/the-intra-complementarian-battle-continues/ [accessed 22 June 2016].

Michael F. Bird, “Fred Sanders’s 18 Theses on the Father and the Son” (15 June 2016), on Euangelion at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2016/06/fred-sanderss-18-theses-on-the-father-and-the-son/ [accessed 22 June 2016].

Matt Emerson, “Some Serious Questions About the Trinity” (15 June 2016), on Secundum Scripturas at https://secundumscripturas.com/2016/06/15/some-serious-questions-about-the-trinity/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

Luke Stamps, “Further Reflections on the Unity of the Divine Will” (15 June 2016), on Secundum Scripturas at https://secundumscripturas.com/2016/06/15/further-reflections-on-the-unity-of-the-divine-will/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

 

16 June 2016

John Stevens, “Are We All Heretics Now? Reflections On The Furore [sic] About Eternal Subordination Within The Trinity” (16 June 2016), on John Stevens at http://www.john-stevens.com/2016/06/are-we-all-heretics-now-reflections-on.html [accessed 18 June 2016].

Caleb Lindgren, “Gender and the Trinity: From Proxy War to Civil War, An explainer: the latest complementarian debate isn’t over women’s subordination—but Christ’s.”  (16 June 2016), on Christianity Today at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/june-web-only/gender-trinity-proxy-war-civil-war-eternal-subordination.html [accessed 18 June 2016].

Todd Pruitt, “Why I Am Not Mortified” (16 June 2016), on on 1517 at http://www.mortificationofspin.org/node/40131 [accessed 17 June 2016].

Carlton Wynne, “Guest post” (16 June 2016), posted by Carl Trueman on Postcards From Palookaville  at http://www.alliancenet.org/mos/postcards-from-palookaville/a-guest-post-by-carlton-wynne [accessed 17 June 2016].

Michael Riccardi, “The Recent Trinitarian Debate” (16 June 2016), on Preachers & Preaching at http://www.tms.edu/preachersandpreaching/recent-trinitarian-debate/ [accessed 20 June 2016].

Michael F. Bird, “The 2016 Evangelicals and Gender Study Group Session on the Trinity” (16 June 2016), on Euangelion at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2016/06/the-2016-evangelicals-and-gender-study-group-session-on-the-trinity/ [accessed 22 June 2016].

Michael F. Bird, “The Trinity Subordination Debate Gets Noticed by Christianity Today” (16 June 2016), on Euangelion at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2016/06/the-trinity-subordination-debate-gets-noticed-by-christianity-today/ [accessed 22 June 2016].

Matthew Barrett, “Better late than never: The Covenant of Redemption and the Trinity Debates” (16 June 2016), on Credo Magazine at http://www.credomag.com/2016/06/16/better-late-than-never-the-covenant-of-redemption-and-the-trinity-debates-matthew-barrett/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

 

17 June 2016

Mark Jones, “Subordination in the Pactum? (And the irony of ESS)” (17 June 2016), on New City Times at http://newcitytimes.com/news/story/subordination-in-the-pactum-and-the-irony-of-ess [accessed 22 June 2016].

Michael F. Bird, “Why the Intra-Complementarian Debate on the Trinity Matters: Theological Cultures and Tragic Lessons from Anglicanism” (17 June 2016), on Euangelion at

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2016/06/why-the-intra-complementarian-debate-on-the-trinity-matters-theological-cultures-and-tragic-lessons-from-anglicanism/ [accessed 22 June 2016].

Matt Emerson, “A Biblical Case for Eternal Generation” (17 June 2016), on Secundum Scripturas at https://secundumscripturas.com/2016/06/17/a-biblical-case-for-eternal-generation/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

 

20 June 2016

Wayne Grudem, “Another Thirteen Evangelical Theologians Who Affirm the Eternal Submission of the Son to the Father” (20 June 2016), on reformation 21 at http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2016/06/another-thirteen-evangelical-t.php [accessed 20 June 2016].

Owen Strachan, “Wayne Grudem Critiques Liam Goligher’s Historical Theology” (20 June 2016), on thoughtlife at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2016/06/wayne-grudem-critiques-liam-golighers-historical-theology/ [accessed 20 June 2016].

Liam Goligher, “A Letter to Professors Grudem and Ware” (20 June 2016), posted by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian at http://www.mortificationofspin.org/mos/housewife-theologian/a-letter-to-professors-grudem-and-ware [accessed 20 June 2016].

Mark Jones, “Wayne Grudem’s Historical Theology Analyzed” (20 June 2016), on New City Times at http://newcitytimes.com/news/story/wayne-grudems-historical-theology [accessed 22 June 2016].

Matt Emerson, “We Talkin’ ‘Bout Taxis: Nyssa on Order in the Trinity” (20 June 2016), on Secundum Scripturas at https://secundumscripturas.com/2016/06/20/we-talkin-bout-taxis-nyssa-on-order-in-the-trinity/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

Mark Thompson, “Is there order in the Trinity? The immanent, the economic, and asymmetrical order of relation” (20 June 2016), on Credo Magazine at http://www.credomag.com/2016/06/20/is-there-order-in-the-trinity-the-immanent-the-economic-and-asymmetrical-order-of-relation-mark-thompson/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

 

21 June 2016

Carl Trueman, “Once more unto the breach… and then no more: A final reply to Dr. Grudem” (21  June 2016), on Postcards From Palookaville at http://www.alliancenet.org/mos/postcards-from-palookaville/once-more-unto-the-breach-and-then-no-more-a-final-reply-to-dr-grude [accessed 22 June 2016].

Michael F. Bird, “Update on the Complementarian Trinity Debate” (21 June 2016), on Euangelion at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2016/06/update-on-the-complementarian-trinity-debate/ [accessed 22 June 2016].

Matthew Barrett, “Meet my good friend John Owen: one will, distinct acts, and the covenant of redemption” (21 June 2016), on Credo Magazine at http://www.credomag.com/2016/06/21/meet-my-good-friend-john-owen-one-will-distinct-acts-and-the-covenant-of-redemption-matthew-barrett/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

 

22 June 2016

Wyatt Graham, “The Complementarian Trinity Debate: A Summary Of Its Beginning” (22 June 2016), on the Cripplegate at http://thecripplegate.com/the-complementarian-trinity-debate-a-summary-of-its-beginning/ [accessed 23 June 2016].

Luke Stamps, “Does the Father Have Power over the Son?” (22 June 2016), on Secundum Scripturas at https://secundumscripturas.com/2016/06/22/does-the-father-have-power-over-the-son/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

Matt Emerson, “Pietism, Anti-Intellectualism, and Doctrinal Disputes” (22 June 2016), on Secundum Scripturas at https://secundumscripturas.com/2016/06/22/pietism-anti-intellectualism-and-doctrinal-disputes/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

Matthew Barrett, “Eternal generation, the economic Trinity, Warfield, Calvin and much, much more – Lecture by Scott R. Swain” (22 June 2016), on Credo Magazine at http://www.credomag.com/2016/06/22/eternal-generation-the-economic-trinity-warfield-calvin-and-much-much-more-lecture-by-scott-r-swain/ [accessed 24 June 2016].

 

John T. “Jack” Jeffery is pastor of Wayside Gospel Chapel in Greentown, PA.

Editor’s note: Original bibliography has been expanded.