Tuesday, June 07, 2016

links to parts 1 and 2 at Aimee Byrd's Housewife Theologian guest writer posts on how eternal subordination of the son is a trinitarian heresy some complmentarians embrace


You've possibly seen part 1 earlier.  Part 2, very directly titled "Reinventing God" went up yesterday.


chris e said...

There is a follow-up article from Carl Trueman that is also worth reading (specifically the sections on criticism and historical precedents):


Ali said...

I can't say I'm impressed by Carl Trueman's article. It's a form of scare-mongering. Any intellectual thought causes people to peel off on either side. The threat of Arianism may arise, but that doesn't make the un-nuanced view of previous guest posts true, any more than the historical heresies of libertarianism made legalism true. Heresies arose either side of the truth when the gospel was preached in the New Testament.

The fact is, there is heresy in the form of prosperity doctrine, functionally denying the humanity of Christ, and any number of theological byways happening right now. For Carl Trueman to raise the spectre of Arianism from a theological position on the Trinity that has not been accurately described on the MOS blog (and so I venture to say he does not understand) is... disappointing. Not to mention the two guest posts themselves.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

I have come around to the assessment that both egalitarianism and complementarianism as currently framed are less sincerely and historically engaged positions as they're paranoid Anglo-American ideologies wielded in a battle over who can/does/should have access to institutional power in 501(c)3s in the United States.

They are both in some sense coming across as totalitarian ideologies within the ecclesiological systems we have available.

Invoking intra-Trinitarian dynamics to defend gender roles has never come across as doctrinally sound to me so I have no sympathy for complementarians from the CDMW side. On the other hand, egalitarians have not persuaded me, either, and they may have addressed a slippery slope concern about how quickly those churches that endorsed the egalitarian position endorsed other positions traditionalists reject.

So while I can see your point about the MOS posts being over the top, it's kind of refreshing to see people frame the issue in the explicitly paranoid dogmatics that both sides have been trying to be implicit about most of the time.

I think there are some other substantial history of interpretation problems that might need to be addressed along the way to do with how Protestants have polemically defined the office of elder. I've discussed this somewhat over at Wendy Alsup's blog--when Protestants conflated all the offices/gifts in the NT associated with leadership into just "elder" and we combine that with the prophesy of Joel and a lack of attention to role differentiation between priests and prophets contemporary complementarian Protestants seem to not realize how much ground was ceded to an egalitarian position based on that. Any appeal to ESS seems superfluous to me because it misunderstands what seems to be a more plausible historical basis for a more traditionalist approach to the topic of formal ordination.

Ali said...

I agree very much that the office of elder has become a catch-all for the varied offices and gifts without distinction and that this blinds us in our discussions and stunts christian ministry for women and men.

I don't know about formal ordination, but I have never understood the reluctance to "invoke intra-Trinitarian dynamics" around gender. Surely 1 Corinthians 11:3 opens the door to this. The use of "Christ" is no reason to deny that the verse is talking about two members of the Godhead. In fact, the humanity of Christ provides an explicit bridge from God to humanity and there is no need to reject eternal generation to benefit from including relations in discussions about the image of God in humanity. Can you explain that reluctance to me?

As for the US, I can only comment from a distance, so this time I won't comment :).

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

heh,well, being here in the US I'd say one of the core problems is how Americans insist on bending the Bible to our collective will. :)

1 Cor 11:3 is pretty well annexed as meaning "source" rather than "head" by some of the egalitarian persuasion. So precisely how the egalitarians and the complementarians in the US ideological turf wars over who has access to institutional power in 501(c)3s without deviating from traditional Trinitarian orthodoxy is sometimes a bit beyond me.

Wendy Alsup and I have been comparing notes on a few things this year and my hunch is that particularly in American contexts collapsing all offices into an "elder" or "pastor" has exacerbated the egal/comp debate. American comps seem so determined to apply things across the board, particularly on the Piper/CBMW side that there have been some mental gymnastics about whether Deborah "should" have been judge/prophet. The text isn't that explicit about the matter, and Huldah was consulted to verify the authenticity of the book of the Law, and the wise woman of Tekoa confronted David. American complementarians seem like they could do better work accounting for why one of them would suggest a woman reconsider being a police officer when Joab relented from besieging a city because a wise woman struck a deal with him.

It's mainly because I see American egalitarians and complementarians drifting toward totalizing idiocies that I personally believe these debates should shift away from Trinitarian dynamics since it's become so awkwardly apparent both sides in an American context don't mind tinkering with biblical interpretations about the Godhead to get what they want. Or that's where I'm at lately. I might feel more inspired to take both sides more seriously later on. :)