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CBMW Trinity Panel – Live Tweets

September 10, 2009

Yesterday, September 9th, was the CBMW Trinity Panel Discussion with Bruce Ware and Gregg Allison.  Audio will be made available, which I will link to when I can finish editing the content.  Both Allison and Ware made bold and substantial comments about the nature of the current debate.   I was really pleased with the contribution Allison made to the topic.  He was emphatic throughout the discussion that the submission/authority structure within the Persons of the Trinity has been the historic orthodox position throughout Church history.  There was some response to Millard Erickson’s new book “Who’s Tampering with the Trinity,” yet the nature of the discussion was not meant to further develop the position, but rather clarify what has been said and answer a few of the questions that Erickson posed in his book.

Below is a live-tweet (think live-blog, but updates can only be 140 characters or less) of the event.  The moderator was CBMW’s president Dr. Randy Stinson.  The updates are obviously not word-for-word, but is an attempt to be faithful to the content and flow of the discussion – think dynamic or functional equivalent translation.

Note – The beginning of the discussion starts at the bottom and goes up.  So start from the bottom, then read up:

Trinity Tweets

  • And we’re done! #cbmw
  • Ware – you don’t press analogies too far towards equality #cbmw
  • Allison – there are no marital relationship in new Creation #cbmw
  • Ware – no, because we have not always been created, but there will be authority and submission in heaven #cbmw
  • Question: are gender roles eternal in new creation #cbmw
  • Ware – I think Erickson and others can avoid that problem #cbmw
  • question: can you accuse the other side of open theism (process)? #cbmw
  • Ware – love doesn’t cancel out authority and submissio #cbmw
  • Ware – John 15:10 – love, obedience, abiding, etc #cbmw
  • Ware – love relationships don’t necessarily negate authority and submission #cbmw
  • what are other relationships that should model this relationship? #cbmw
  • floor open to questions #cbmw
  • Allison – the Trinity has implications not only in the church but also in the family #cbmw
  • Allison – teach and preach the Trinity! #cbmw
  • Stinson – how should students think about this issue? #cbmw
  • Ware – It is godlike to rightly submit and have authority #cbmw
  • Ware – The equal in worth and distinct in function of God is a reflection of human relationships like marriage #cbmw
  • Stinson – what do you mean, Ware, a wife’s submission is Christ-like? #cbmw
  • Stinson – how does this affect the home and family relationships? #cbmw
  • Ware – Jesus can’t obey like us “as God” but needs the servanthood of the incarnation #cbmw
  • Ware – Paul is not referring to a new servanthood, but servanthood as incarnation, by taking our humanity #cbmw
  • Ware – Erickson argues Phil 2 that Christ “puts on obedience” #cbmw
  • Allison – Erickson puts forward odd interpretations from others, not a good idea for your own argument #cbmw
  • Allison – another passage is I Cor 15:24-28, Erickson puts forward another interpretation than ours #cbmw
  • Ware: the order, this taxis is clear #cbmw
  • Ware: “I do nothing on my own initiative” Jesus #cbmw
  • Ware: Erickson argues that there is no significance to the Father’s or Son’s choosing, sort of ad hoc #cbmw
  • Ware: if God presents himself that in Scripture, but not really that way in reality, then Scripture is a mask! #cbmw
  • Ware: is the revelation of God the revelation of God! #cbmw
  • Ware – we must know God “by” his revelation #cbmw
  • Ware – there is never an instance in Scripture that the Son commands and the Father carries out #cbmw
  • Ware: the pattern is seen is throughout Scripture #cbmw
  • Ware – I Cor 8:6 From Father, by the Son #cbmw
  • Ware – creation is done from eternity past, John 1, God created by the agency of his Word #cbmw
  • Ware – romans 8:29 – the Father predestines us to conform to the image of the Son #cbmw
  • Ware – for our side from eternity past – Eph 1:9 – this is the Father’s will not the entire Trinity’s will #cbmw
  • Stinson – what are the passages that both sides appeal to? #cbmw
  • Allison – I agree! #cbmw
  • Ware – sebalianism as well #cbmw
  • Ware – there must be a distinguishable property between the two #cbmw
  • Ware – if no distinct properties between the two, then you have unitarianism or modalism #cbmw
  • Ware – there must be at least one property that Father has that the Son has, lest he not be the Father #cbmw
  • Ware – Erickson says if you can distinguish a property of the Son from the Father, which is essential, then essence is different #cbmw
  • stinson – what is the implicit charge of heresy on the other side? #cbmw
  • Ware – the patristics portray a univocal role and not reciprocal of Father to the Son #cbmw
  • long quotes are good to include context, just not good for tweeting #cbmw
  • Ware – reading long quotes from patristics – sorry can’t tweet 🙂 #cbmw
  • Ware – if the Father is the eternal Father of the Son, then the SOS is assumed in the patristics #cbmw
  • allison – many lift quotes out of context of history and Scriptures #cbmw
  • stinson – how are sides appealing to Scripture and History and still find discrepancy? #cbmw
  • Allison – Cap. Father, distinctions among the 3 are the attributes distinct to each Person #cbmw
  • Allison – Cappad. Fathers support order and mutuality in the Trinity #cbmw
  • allison – from the beginning, the Church has affirmed Ware, Grudem, and others #cbmw
  • allison – Polycarp’s prayer as an example of an early prayer that includes a taxis within Trinity #cbmw
  • allison -if you paint Ware with the broad paintbrush of heresy, then you paint almost everyone in church history with that paintbrush #cbmw
  • Allison – the Church have always held to an eternal procession – an order or taxis #cbmw
  • Allison – the church has historically hold that the three persons of the Trinity are equal in essence #cbmw
  • Allison – overwhelmingly, the church has historically held what Ware and Grudem and myself holds to #cbmw
  • Stinson – is the submission of the son (SOS from now on) historical? #cbmw
  • Ware: but I (and others) hold to a historical christology of equal in essence #cbmw
  • ware: if that is true of me, that I hold to arianism, then you can fire me #cbmw
  • Ware: Erickson says that those who hold to submission of the Son must hold that Son is lesser in essense #cbmw
  • ware: the accusations are enormously serious! #cbmw
  • stinson: what are the different parts of the debate? accusation of arianism, etc #cbmw
  • ware: human relationships of authority/submission are based on the eternal relationship of father and son (1 Cor 11.3) #cbmw
  • ware: most who don’t are usually egalitarian #cbmw
  • ware: “most” who hold to eternal submission of son are usually complementarian #cbmw
  • stinson: how does this affect the gender debate? #cbmw
  • Ware: opposing side includes, Giles, Erickson, and Tom McCall, Bilzekian (sp) #cbmw
  • Ware: our position is that the Son’s submission to the Father is from eternally past and eternally future #cbmw
  • Ware: was the Son’s submission to the Father only incarnational or an instance of what is true eternally? that is the issue #cbmw
  • question for Ware – what is the lay of the land on this debate? #cbmw
  • note: check out Ware’s book , “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” #cbmw
  • Stinson – this is a theological, historical, and practical issue #cbmw
  • stinson – we are talking about weighty subjects – who God is and who we are #cbmw
  • packed house @ the panel discussion #cbmw
4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2009 5:51 am


    Can I ask you or Andy Naselli to respond to my post here.

    BTW, thanks for the tweeted dialogue, quite readable actually. I guess there were no quotes in Latin or Greek though, so I won’t have my questions answered.

    • jbstarke permalink*
      September 11, 2009 1:42 pm

      Unfortunately, the debate was more introductory. But, I am setting up a little interview with Dr. Michael Haykin on Augustine and this issue or at least that is the plan. He is brilliant on the patristics, Augustine, and Latin translation, so I promise to bring this question for you.

      Andy going to be a better answer to this than me. The guy is actually working on his 2nd doctorate, rather than just his first. But I will try to work think through a good response.

      I think I am a little confused as to the question. The problem I have had with Bellevile was that she translated it adjectively, rather than keeping the verbal aspect of the infinitive. Which is what Kostenberger and other argues for. Are you simply asking why authentein is not translated negatively? Because I think your version of “recognized lexical meaning” would only be “recognized” among those who hold your argument.

      Your question regarding Ryken’s commentary interpretation is a good one and, I think, has a good answer.

      Thanks for complimenting my tweets – I think it was the most difficult thing I have done, trying to put trinitarian theology in 140 character or less.

  2. September 11, 2009 2:18 pm

    I think your tweets are brilliant and to return a compliment you once made me, you should be an egalitarian! 😉

    I look forward to your interview with Michael Haykin.

    I do want to clarify a couple of things about Belleville. The notion that the verb authenteo should be translated adjectively is shared by many complementarians, who teach that this verse says that a woman should not have “teaching authority” or should not “teach authoritatively.” I think the PCA supports this view.

    Don Carson also seems to use the phrase “teach authoritatively.” Most complementarians allow that a woman can teach men something like English grammar, but they cannot teach “authoritatively” so they cannot teach Greek or Hebrew grammar in a seminary. This is what I have heard argued.

    However, that is a secondary point to me. What Belleville makes clear, and Andy Naselli’s review seems to affirm is that the word authentein has a recognized lexical meaning of,

    (1) to control, to dominate; (2) to compel, to influence; (3) to assume authority over; and (4) to flout the authority of.

    But then K. says that because of the syntax, this word,

    must mean “to have or exercise authority” and not “to flout the authority of ” or “to domineer.”

    Now if I am reading Ryken accurately, he seems to be saying that a word should be translated using its lexical meaning and not according to exegesis or commentary.


    Andy recommends that I read the book. So I assume that he will not respond to my post.

    Why is it that no complementarian can explain the basis of their own belief?

  3. September 11, 2009 10:52 pm

    So, meither you nor Andy have any explanation for why the ESV has gone with a dynamic equivalent for 1 Tim. 2:12 rather than using a verbal equivalent. Surely this reduces the suitaiblity of this verse for any kind of normative preaching. It is an interpretive translation.

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