Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thomas G. Weinandy on Subordinationism in Justin Martyr

Thomas G. Weinandy on Justin Martyr and
Subordinationism (from his book _Does God Suffer?_)

"Because Justin conceives the Logos as emanating out
from the Father, he holds that the Logos is divine.
However, since he does emanate out from the Father, as
the spatial intermediary between the Father and the
created order, he is not as divine as the Father is
divine. See Dialogus, 56 and Apologia 1,63" (_Does God
Suffer_, page 86, note 20).

"It would seem, for Justin, that the Logos must be
less divine than the Father not only because he
emanates out from the Father, but also because he is
'in touch' with the created order" (Ibid., note 21).

"Edwards argues that Justin's understanding of the
Logos is primarily founded upon the scriptural
tradition and not upon Platonic thought. I believe
Edwards is correct, but this does not seem to have
mitigated his subordinationism nor his understanding
that the Logos acts as an intermediary who bridges the
gap between God and the world" (Ibid., p. 87, note

Edmund J. Fortman (_The Triune God_) defines
"subordinationism" as "a doctrine that makes the Son
and/or the Holy Spirit an inferior deity or a

Justin Martyr himself writes:

Hence are we called atheists. And we confess that we are atheists, so far as gods of this sort are concerned, but not with respect to the most true God, the Father of righteousness and temperance and the other virtues, who is free from all impurity. But both Him, and the Son (who came forth from Him and taught us these things, and the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like to Him), and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore, knowing them in reason and truth, and declaring without grudging to every one who wishes to learn, as we have been taught
(1 Apology 6.1-2)

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