Thursday, December 17, 2009

Latest Trinity Journal

The latest issue of Trinity Journal 30 NS 2 (2009) includes a number of articles celebrating the life and work of TEDS professor and missiologist Paul G. Hiebert (see his list of works here). Other articles in the issue include:

Kevin Giles
"Michael Bird and Robert Shillaker: The Son is Not Eternally Subordinated in Authority to the Father"

Michael Bird and Robert Shillaker
"The Son Really, Really is the Son: A Response to Kevin Giles"

Dane C. Ortlund
"The Insanity of Faith: Paul's Theological Use of Isaiah in Romans 9:33".


Nick Norelli said...

Mike: I jotted down some notes on Giles' response to you and Shillaker here, here, and here if you're interested at taking a look at them. I'll probably do the same for your response sometime soon.

Suzanne McCarthy said...


Okay, I'll confess that I probably won't read these areticles at the moment. I believe the answer is unattainable somehow.

But I do have a question that puzzles me and I don't have anyone to discuss it with - but you might know.

Augustine writes,

"For he was not sent in virtue of some disparity of power or substance or anything in him that was not equal to the Father, but in virtue of the Son being from the Father, not the Father being from the Son.”

Secundum hoc iam potest intellegi non tantum ideo dici missus filius quia uerbum caro factum est, sed ideo missus ut uerbum caro fieret et per praesentiam corporalem illa quae scripta sunt operaretur, id est ut non tantum homo missus intellegatur quod uerbum factum est, sed et uerbum missum ut homo fieret quia non secundum imparem potestatem uel substantiam uel aliquid quod in eo patri non sit aequale missus est, sed secundum id quod filius a patre est, non pater a filio. Verbum enim patris est filius, quod est sapientia eius dicitur. De Trinitate Book IV

This clearly says that the Son is NOT unequal to the Father in either authority (potestas) or substance.

But it uses the word "power" because this was the original way to translate potestas into English. However, potestas is the Latin for exousia - authority.

Now the ETS doctrinal statement says,

God is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in essence, equal in power and glory.

This clearly also refers to the fact that the Son is equal to the Father in authority, since this too was translated from the Latin which had potestas.

So, my question is whether the traditional orthodox belief is that the Son is equal to the Father in authority, or are both Augustine and the ETS heterodox?

I hope my question makes sense, Mike. I know it is a bit convoluted, but I have to say that I don't understand the traditional historic view.