Eternal Subordination of the Son- Podcast with Theology Gals

Last week, I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Coleen and Ashley at Theology Gals for their podcast. We talked about the Eternal Subordination of the Son controversy. If you’re curious about what ESS is, why it matters, what impact it has practically in our churches, etc, you can listen to the interview here. My hope is that more people become aware of the continuing danger that ESS is for men, women, families, churches, and communities.

Link for podcast:

3 thoughts on “Eternal Subordination of the Son- Podcast with Theology Gals

  1. Alexandra says:

    Listened today! Thanks for your careful study and explanations of the ESS concerns and controversies.
    Even though I feel like I have a basic grasp of the concerns, I do have a question. . .
    I must have “absorbed” ESS to some degree in my upbringing, because when I read some of the things written — unless they are blatantly pointing to inequality between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, they sound okay(ish?)
    For example, as we teach our Sunday school class — The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Spirit is God — the Father is not the Son is not the Spirit is not the Father. There is a something we can’t fully understand, a paradox, that God is One, and God is Three Persons in One.
    So. . . related to that. . . It isn’t hard for me to hear the ESS people and then think that there can be a paradox in the concept that the Son is fully God eternally and fully equal to God eternally — and still eternally submissive to the Father.
    Anyway. . . I don’t want to appear foolish. *blush* And I definitely don’t want to defend heresy!
    But I would like to hear more about why ESS is actually advocating a difference in substance between God the Father and God the Son, and not just a paradox of the Trinity?


    • Rachel Miller says:

      Not a bad question. There is always a paradox in understanding the Trinity. And many proponents of ESS would say they aren’t making a difference in the substance of God. But here’s how they do it.

      Nicene orthodoxy teaches that the Son is everything the Father is, except being the Father. There is no difference in essence. As God they have the same attributes. One of those attributes is power.

      ESS says that the Father has authority that the Son and Spirit don’t have. Grudem says that Father and Son are equal in power but unequal in authority. However, power and authority are the same thing in Scripture. So if there is a difference in authority, there’s a difference in power, which is a difference in essence.

      There are other examples, but that’s a good one to start. Does that help?


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