Monday, September 21, 2015

WL Craig on the Trinity

"The ontological Trinity concerns God as He is in Himself, unrelated to the world, while the economic Trinity concerns God as He stands in relation to creatures. Ontologically, the three persons, being underived and perfectly equal, do not stand in any relations of subordination. But in relation to creatures, for the sake of our salvation the second person of the Trinity submits to the first, taking on a human nature, and the third person acts in the place of the second, continuing the ministry of the Son between his ascension and return. So in the economic Trinity there are relations of subordination among the persons of the Trinity.

What's important to understand is that subordination does not imply inferiority. The Son and the Father are in every respect co-equal, but out of love for us and for the sake of our salvation, the Son submits to the Father. The Trinity thus provides a beautiful model of the family, in which the wife, though co-equal with her husband, willingly submits to him. Feminists who denounce such submission on grounds of inequality have failed to understand that functional submission need not spring from inferiority but can be undertaken among equals for the sake of some overriding aim."



JimSpace said...

WLC: "The Son and the Father are in every respect co-equal."

Inquiry: If the Father is equal to the Son, then why employ the analogy of Father and Son, which naturally communicates ontological subordination? Would not the Master Teacher have thought of words to more accurately describe his relationship to the First Person of the Trinitarian Godhead?

Modern Trinitarian apologists certainly have. They have a much better description than Jesus', that of three whos in a what. God is not a person but a what containing three persons, or whos. How glad we should be that these Trinitarian apologists like WLC are so much better at teaching theology than Jesus Christ was. (Sorry for my sarcasm.)

guitarsatele said...

"Brother" would have implied true equality. However one can only imagine the reaction to Jesus saying he was A brother of God. So one could say that if Jesus was God, as the Trinity implies he is, then can't we determine that the expression Son of God is not an altogether honest term. (Ones head can ache)

dokimazo said...

Of course ultimately speaking these different nuances of the trinity have to fit what the scriptures teach. I have read a lot of William Lane Craig mostly on Gods existence. And I appreciate some of his insights. Yet, as a theologian he comes up lacking. Before I was a witness I attended a college and listened to some lectures on the Trinity. None of them really exegeted any Biblical text or came up with a hermeneutically sound argument. Mostly approached the doctrine from an Historical perspective.

Sean Killackey said...

Craig, and Edmund Hill, who translated my copy of The Trinity, both use the “predicate solution” for statements such as: Jesus is God. Which I assume is related to, or really is the same solution as the “abstract noun solution” (from a different angle); if so, then James Holding also is in their camp.
What I wonder, though, about this is why do they rely on this argument? Predicate statements do not merely describe referents, do they? The fact that – according to Craig – “the Trinity is God” is an identity statement seems to me as proof that predicate statements also identify.
Further the heart of the matter can be whether or not God – or rather theos (and possible Elohim) can be abstract. To my knowledge, in English, it cannot be. But can it be in Greek or Hebrew?

Actually I spoke to soon, for even if God (theos) can be abstract, I don’t see how that can save the Trinity. Take the example of Hebrews 1:8 (I think you have a post about this). They translate it as ‘God says to the Son: “Your throne, O God, is . . .” here God can hardly be abstract. It is not the property of the Son that is being addressed, but it is the Son by his (supposed) title “God.”

Either (Latin – and perhaps some others) Trinitarians have to some how argue that Jesus can be called God without being God or a representative of God (we argue the latter in some cases – the angel of Jehovah), or say that Jesus is not God, but that would seem to deny the Deity of Christ as held by early Trinitarians.

guitarsatele said...

My above comment should have read ''altogether dishonest term'
sorry, must have been fat fingers or spellcheck.

Jules said...

In Matthew 25:40 for example, Jesus refers to anointed Christians as 'brothers'. Elsewhere, such as in Romans 8:19-21, Christians are called 'sons of God'. Apparently, Christians are 'brothers' of the almighty(!) and if that weren't shocking enough, to add to the confusion, they are sons of the almighty at the same time.