Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Norman Geisler on Subordinationism

Systematic Theology, Volume Two

p. 297


    "This heresy held by Justin Martyr (c. 100-c. 165) and Origen (c. 185-c. 254) and condemned at the Council of Constantinople (381). It asserts that the Son is subordinate in nature to the Father. Subordinationism is not to be confused with the orthodox belief that the Son (Christ) is functionally subordinate to (i.e., subject to) the Father, though essentially equal with him."


Now this might be authentic and accord with history. One of my major contentions against trinitarianism is that trinitarians have forgot the aspect of functional subordination. They claim, ignorantly, that the Son is equal in authority to the Father, e.g. that He is not functionally subordinate but rather on an equal level in all respects.

Not all believers are called to be prophets and theologians. Nevertheless, many step into the foray of theology and assert essentially orthodox principles but do so imprecisely and without regard to the subtle distinctions that truly make theology a science. The absolute effect of this is that people like me are singled out and selected for abusive treatment by the 'orthodox'. They will bully and kick you out of their synagogues if you do not believe exactly what they say.

As we are on the topic of distinctions, let me add my own distinction: What Geisler records under this subheading may be the actual effect of the Council of Constantinople. However, its practical effect has been to confuse believers even more than they might have been otherwise. They are deeply afraid to assert the functional subordination that is a basic aspect of classical trinitarianism and are suspicious of the salvation of those who do. And even more so, they are openly hostile toward them.

"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." [Matthew 11:30]

Jesus didn't create a faith for intellectuals to lord over the more humble in intellect. He didn't create a faith for theologians to endlessly speculate on and rewrite, so we could have the pleasure of deciding who is and who is not saved and making life unbearable for those we think are not. Christianity should be and still is an accessible faith, as long as the Pharisees get out of the way, and many Christians simply are Pharisees.

"And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." [Matthew 23:12,13]

1 comment:

  1. I had a comment that did not get published; now, I will summarize it:
    When Jesus said in John 10:30 that He and His FATHER are one, He was simply saying that He and GOD were in total agreement.
    Jesus made a more clarification at John 14:28 when He said that My FATHER is greater than I.