A Note on the Trinity Debate at ETS

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TylerR's picture

Editor

From Burk's article:

I cannot overstate the importance of Lee’s article. In my view, its publication will force a revision of BDAG and a raft of modern English translations of scripture, nearly all of which mistranslate MONOGENES as “unique” or “only.” It turns out that the King James translators had this right. MONOGENES means “only-begotten,” and those who miss that are missing something crucial about the Trinity.

I must find this paper.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

AndyE's picture

When I taught on the Trinity at my church a year or so ago, I really struggled with John 5:26, “just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.”  I couldn’t come up with a good explanation of this verse that protected the aseity of the Son. None of my resources addressed the problem I had with this verse, or if they did, they treated it too superficially to be of any help. This paper, and Turretin’s proposal regarding eternal generation, gives me a viable solution to consider.

If anyone disagrees with Irons/Turretin, I would be curious to hear their solution as to how the Son can be said to have life in himself as granted by the Father, while maintaining the Son’s aseity.

Mark Snoeberger's picture

John Feinberg has a good discussion of John 5:26 from a POV that denies eternal generation.

 

MAS

AndyE's picture

Mark Snoeberger wrote:

John Feinberg has a good discussion of John 5:26 from a POV that denies eternal generation.

 

Mark,

Do you have any info on how to find said discussion?

Mark Snoeberger's picture

It's in his book No One Like Him (Crossway, 2001). Unfortunately my copy is 25 miles away from me right now so I can't access the page numbers. As I recall, Feinberg sees John 5 in a context of the Father sharing with the Son his unique authority to grant life; thus rendering verse 26 a statement of economic subordination, not eternal begetting. Feinberg also puzzles over the paradox of one person granting independence to another, reasoning that if it is granted by another, then it isn't independent. He makes some very good points.

 

MAS

MAS

Jay's picture

This is a fascinating discussion, and Lee Irons' paper is giving me a lot to think about. Thanks for bringing it up, everyone!

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

AndyE's picture

Mark Snoeberger wrote:
As I recall, Feinberg sees John 5 in a context of the Father sharing with the Son his unique authority to grant life;

Thanks, Mark, I will have to see if I can find that book.  I think I also considered something along those same lines when I was studying that passage.  The thing that made it less than completely satisfying is that having life in oneself seems to be saying much more than just the authority to grant life. It seems pretty close to self-existence itself. At any rate, I definitely want to see what Feinberg had to say.

TylerR's picture

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