Further, it is written 1 Corinthians : "And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then the Son also Himself shall be subject unto Him that put all things under Him. Therefore in the form of a servant Christ is subject to the Father.
I answer that, Whoever has a nature is competent to have what is proper to that nature. Now human nature from its beginning has a threefold subjection to God. The first regards the degree of goodness , inasmuch as the Divine Nature is the very essence of goodness as is clear from Dionysius Div. Secondly, human nature is subject to God , as regards God's power, inasmuch as human nature , even as every creature, is subject to the operation of the Divine ordinance.
Thirdly, human nature is especially subject to God through its proper act, inasmuch as by its own will it obeys His command. This triple subjection to God Christ professes of Himself. The first Matthew : "Why askest thou Me concerning good? One is good , God. And because "in such things as are great, but not in bulk, to be great is the same as to be good ," as Augustine says De Trin. The second subjection is attributed to Christ , inasmuch as all that befell Christ is believed to have happened by Divine appointment; hence Dionysius says Coel.
Hence it is written Philippians that he became "obedient" to the Father "unto death. As we are not to understand that Christ is a creature simply, but only in His human nature , whether this qualification be added or not, as stated above III , so also we are to understand that Christ is subject to the Father not simply but in His human nature , even if this qualification be not added; and yet it is better to add this qualification in order to avoid the error of Arius , who held the Son to be less than the Father.
Reply to Objection 2.
The Trinity is a definition of the deity
The relation of subservience and dominion is based upon action and passion, inasmuch as it belongs to a servant to be moved by the will of his master. Now to act is not attributed to the nature as agent, but to the person , since "acts belong to supposita and to singulars," according to the Philosopher Metaph.
Nevertheless action is attributed to the nature as to that whereby the person or hypostasis acts. Hence, although the nature is not properly said to rule or serve, yet every hypostasis or person may be properly said to be ruling or serving in this or that nature. And in this way nothing prevents Christ being subject or servant to the Father in human nature.
The Son Will Be Subjected to the Father? Thomas and Calvin Weigh In | Biblical Reasoning
Reply to Objection 3. As Augustine says De Trin. And then all things will be fully subject to Him by the final accomplishment of His will concerning them; although even now all things are subject to Him as regards His power, according to Matthew : "All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth. Whether Christ is subject to Himself? It would seem that Christ is not subject to Himself. It is foolish, or rather impious, to think or say this. Hence Christ is not subject to Himself.
Further, servant has reference to master. Now nothing has a relation to itself, hence Hilary says De Trin. Hence Christ cannot be said to be the servant of Himself, and consequently to be subject to Himself. Further, "as the rational soul and flesh are one man ; so God and man are one Christ ," as Athanasius says Symb. And the Spirit is sent from the throne into all of creation through the Lamb in order to reveal God and the Lamb. There is no hint here that the subordination of the Lamb and the Spirit is merely historical or merely functional.
This is an eternal setting There is eternal equality in John's portrayal of the three, too. Mike Ovey There is historical precedent for asserting the eternal subordination of the Son. The texts of scripture require us to recognise at the level of the persons distinguishable wills of Father and Son. The Son tells us in scripture that he reveals his eternal love for his Father by his obedience on earth, and this love at the level of persons includes on the Son's part eternal obedience.
The eternal subordination of the Son does not divide the will of God at the level of nature, because the issue here is one of relations between the persons. The eternal subordination of the Son does not entail Arianism, because the Son's obedience arises from his relation as son and not because he is a creature. John Frame Professor of theology and philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary-Orlando : "There is no subordination within the divine nature that is shared among the persons: the three are equally God.
However, there is a subordination of role among the persons , which constitutes part of the distinctiveness of each. But how can one person be subordinate to another in his eternal role while being equal to the other in his divine nature? Or, to put it differently, how can subordination of role b e compatible with divinity? Does not the very idea of divinity exclude this sort of subordination? The biblical answer, I think, is no. Louis Berkhof Professor at Calvin Seminary ; his Systematic Theology was perhaps the most widely-used text for Reformed theology through much of the 20th century : "The only subordination of which we can speak, is a subordination in respect to order and relationship Generation and procession take place within the Divine Being, and imply a certain subordination as to the manner of personal subsistence , but not subordination as far as the possession of the divine essence is concerned.
This ontological Trinity and its inherent order is the metaphysical basis of the economical Trinity. Strong President of Rochester Theological Seminary; his Systematic Theology was for many decades perhaps the most widely-used text for evangelical Baptists : " Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, while equal in essence and dignity, stand to each other in an order of personality, office, and operation The subordination of the person of the Son to the person of the Father to be officially first, the Son second, and the Spirit third, is perfectly consistent with equality.
Priority is not necessarily superiority. The possibility of an order, which yet involves no inequality, may be illustrated by the relation between man and woman. In office man is first and woman is second, but woman's soul is worth as much as man's; see 1 Cor Charles Hodge But this subordination does not imply inferiority The subordination intended is only that which concerns the mode of subsistence and operation The creeds are nothing more than a well-ordered arrangement of the facts of Scripture which concern the doctrine of the Trinity.
They assert the distinct personality of the Father, Son, and Spirit These are scriptural facts, to which the creeds in question add nothing; and it is in this sense they have been accepted by the Church universal. In one sense he is subject, in another sense he is equal.
Husband, father, parishioner. Also a carpenter. (r3FORMed)
The son of a king may be the equal of his father in every attribute of his nature, though officially inferior. So the eternal Son of God may be coequal with the Father, though officially subordinate. What difficulty is there in this? What shade does it cast over the full Godhead of our adorable Redeemer?
The subjection itself is official and therefore perfectly consistent with equality of nature" Hodge, 1 and 2 Corinthians Wilmington, Del. Muller, in his massive Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics writes that "Calvin certainly allowed some subordination in the order of the persons. But he adamantly denied any subordination of divinity or essence" Vol.
The Eternal Subordination of the Son to the Father: Orthodoxy or Heresy?
Here are Calvin's own words: "It is not fitting to suppress the distinction that we observe to be expressed in Scripture. It is this: to the Father is attributed the beginning of activity , and the fountain and wellspring of all things; to the Son , wisdom, counsel, and the ordered disposition of all things ; but to the Spirit is assigned the power and efficacy of that activity The observance of an order is not meaningless or superfluous, when the Father is thought of first, then from him the Son, and finally from both the Spirit.
John T. McNeill, 2 vols. Ford Lewis Battles Philadelphia: Westminster, , Now the Son has no other design than to fulfill the commands of his Father. Interpretations of the Nicene Fathers 4th century AD : Historian Philip Schaff , author of the eight-volume History of the Christian Church , editor of the standard reference work Creeds of Christendom 3 vols. But we must distinguish between a subordinationism of essence ousia and a subordinationism of hypostasis, of order and dignity.
The former was denied, the latter affirmed. Philip Schaff is not alone in his assessment of historic Christian orthodoxy and the Nicene Creed. Historian Geoffrey W. John ; 1 John , that there is thus a distinction of persons within the one Godhead John , and that between these persons there is a superiority and subordination of order cf.
John ; Luke , but essential, and that as such it cannot be construed in the categories of natural or human generation.
Thus it does not imply a time when the Son was not, as Arianism argued Nor does his subordination imply inferiority It finds creedal expression in the phrases 'begotten of his Father before all worlds'" Nicene and "begotten before the worlds" Athanasian.