OK, Here’s The Point

My debate with Nass about subordinationism — a doctrine that says Jesus, while ontologically of the same nature as the Father, is eternally subject to him (functionally) in the hierarchy of the Trinity — has indeed been darned close to fascinating, since he preaches a Trinitarian hierarchy I don’t believe Scripture demonstrates. I’m sure it’s kept all of us on the edge of our seats . . .

Nonetheless, subordinationism itself isn’t my focus. It’s when subordinationism is used, regardless of its doctrinal correctness, to perpetuate gender inequality. The doctrine purportedly is evidence that men and women, ontologically equal, nonetheless exist in a perpetual, God-ordained hierarchy involving the functional subjection of wife to husband. This is the error I believe Nass, like others, wrongly uses to justify the functional, eternal subjugation of wives to husbands. I think he’s wrong.

So while I reject that — which you may have picked up on — I only want to say that, like Anglican Vicar Kevin Giles, I believe it’s frighteningly close to arguing that women and men are ontologically not equal, not equally created in the image of God, when women’s permanent, unequivocal subjection to men in marriage is asserted. If women are always “functionally” subject to men in marriage, then there is something about women ONTOLOGICALLY that must demand that. It’s a damaging application stemming from a doctrine that’s shaky at best. I don’t intend, however, to devote this blog or my time to exhaustive debate about doctrine; I intend to keep my focus on whatever things interest me and edify others, denouncing what requires denouncing and defending what needs defending. It’s a big world out there, and there’s lots to talk about.

So we’re going to move on here. Stay tuned for a free, one-time offer from Prevailing Winds, and, until then, I hope all of you have a lovely Sunday in the Lord.

3 Responses to “OK, Here’s The Point”

  1. Dontbia Nass says:

    It’s when subordinationism is used, regardless of its doctrinal correctness, to perpetuate gender inequality.

    In other words, anthropology (the doctrine of man and the functioning of human society) should be divorced from theology (the doctrine of God and the functioning of divine society.)

    If women are always “functionally” subject to men in marriage, then there is something about women ONTOLOGICALLY that must demand that.

    Yes, it’s called “gender difference.” Nothing beyond that is implied regarding inherent ability or superiority-inferiority. A child doesn’t obey the parent because the parent is ontologically superior tothe child. Rather, the child obeys the parent because of the authority delegated to the parent by God. I think both men and women would be in a real pickle without the opposite sex. I know I would be. I only have about 3,000 opportunities each day to reconfirm all the ways that my wife is superior to me.

    1 Tim. 3:2 and Titus 1:6.

  2. Dontbia Nass says:

    Why do we pray, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” if the way the Persons of the Trinity relate to one another is irrelevant to how we relate to one another? Why do Christians speak of the imitation of Christ? Doesn’t that include a desire to imitate His perfect obedience to the Father’s will? If the way the Persons of the Trinity relate to one another is irrelevant to how we relate to one another, why is the Spirit sent to indwell us?

    The claims the Giles has advanced regarding the Trinity cannot be ignored. They must either be embraced if true or rejected if false, because the implications for interpersonal relations in this world are immense. If his claims are false, then no Christian has any right to live his or her life in this world as if those claims were actually true. And vice-versa.

    My own position is clear: to put it rather harshly (perhaps too harshly) I think the bottom line is that Giles might be (after a manner of speaking) creating an idol of sorts to justify his pet beliefs about human beings and the way we are to relate to one another.

  3. Dontbia Nass says:

    In this context, an examination of all the places that the Bible tells wives to submit to their husbands (as to the Lord, etc.) alongside all the places that the Bible tells husbands to submit to their wives, would be both useful and easy to do. Give it a try!

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