A few points on the bizarre heresy of Sydney Anglicanism regarding the alleged eternal subordination of the Son to the Father.
- They argue that the Father, Son and Spirit are ontologically equal, but functionally subordinate in their personal relations. (Their aim is to justify the claim that men and women are ontologically equal but functionally subordinate.
- Which is why they are wrong. There is no ontological ‘stuff’ apart from the relations. The being of God is not a fourth in the Trinity next to the three of Father, Son and Spirit.(This is not making being and person identical, just that without the persons there is nothing ‘to be’.)
- If there is a being of God apart from the relations this allows alien understandings to infect our theology. Orthodoxy ensures that the Son is the revelation of the Father, and cautions us against alien ideas incompatible with Jesus.
- If the Father and Son are eternally subordinate in their personal relations then the ontological consequences cannot be avoided: the Son is no longer the revelation of the Father, and God remains a shadowy figure behind the Son.
- They claim this on the basis of those passages that make Jesus subordinate in his earthly ministry.
- And also those passages that make him subordinate eternally, if you want to read them that way. (They particularly love 1Cor 15)
- It is true that the love of the Father and Son in the earthly life of Jesus is expressed in his obedience to the will of the Father. But to read this eternally, leads to the problems above, and others.
- It is possible to understand the subordination of the Son in 1Cor 15 as voluntary, the voluntary love of the Son of the Father, congruent with orthodoxy.
- This bizarre doctrine, I think, is a classic example of what happens when you separate yourself synchronically and diachronically from the rest of the church. And they have done it on the most fundamental issue of the church: the doctrine of God.
- What is ironic is that, presumably, Sydney is teaching this internationally as the bankroll for Africa and Asia. The very churches that extol themselves as holding the true faith against the’ liberalism’ of gays and women. Their heresy is much more serious than anything they accuse their opponents of.
- How bizarre. Apply caution before getting into bed with them.