Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Evangelical Change in Outlook Regarding the Trinity Doctrine?

Theologian Kevin Giles contends that Evangelicals have altered their view of the Trinity doctrine based on certain cultural presuppositions. He maintains that a Christian's reading of the Bible or his/her formulation of doctrine is always historically conditioned. Giles therefore insists orthodox Christians have traditionally believed that the three Persons of the Godhead are all ontologically and functionally equal (i.e. not subordinate with respect to the AD INTRA or AD EXTRA works of the Trinity). However, after the suffrage movement or the advent of the birth control pill (INTER ALIA), Evangelicals began to claim that the Son and Spirit are subordinate to the Father, yet equal to Him as respects the one nature that they either share with the Father or are with Him (according to the SIMPLCITAS DEI doctrine).

The analogy used to support such thinking (Giles points out) was the husband and wife relationship, which he believes is theologically innovative: it is not rooted in historical Trinitarian orthodoxy. The upshot of his analysis is that Evangelicals tend to read the Bible or formulate doctrine through particular cultural lenses. Just as they changed their views on the social, familial or ecclesiastical role of women, so many professed Christians (whether Evangelical or Catholic) have altered their beliefs on slavery and the Trinity doctrine.

See The Trinity and Subordinationism: The Doctrine of God and the Contemporary Gender Debate (Downer's Grove: IVP, 2002).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that sounds very interesting indeed ... I think, that is the case for some other doctrinces, too.