Barnes and Ayres Weigh In


Michel R. Barnes and Lewis Ayres have weighed in on the current debate over the eternal generation and eternal subordination of the Son. Drs. Barnes and Ayres are considered by many to be among the most significant Patristic scholars in the world today. Their verdict is quite clear and it does not speak well of those who are seeking to advance the etneral subordination of the Son and apply it to human social relationships.

You can read Dr. Barnes input HERE.

Eternal generation is indeed sine qua non of orthodoxy in 381 and thereafter.  - Michel R. Barnes

You can read Dr. Ayres intput HERE.

Along the same lines, we should not forget texts such as John 5:26 “as the father as life in himself, so he has granted the son to have life in himself.” The Son has been given an equality in power to the Father: theologians from Augustine to Aquinas have recognized that we must say both that the Son is sent, and that the Son sends himself – rather as the Spirit is sent by Father and by Son and yet blows where it pleases. It is true enough I think to say that, risking saying far too much given the state of our knowledge this side of the beatific vision, the Son’s mission is founded in his procession, but one of the fascinating things about the processions is the gift of the fullness of divinity and the eternal maintenance of the unity of God through the generation of the Son and spiration of the Spirit. This has consequences that I don’t think Bruce’s theology has even begun to tap – consequences for what our thought may accomplish and where it may be certain that it misses.  - Lewis Ayres

Carl Trueman has made a brief concession to one point HERE

Michael Bird offers the following timely counsel that I hope will be heeded:

To be honest, I mean Bruce Ware and friends no ill, I think they are sincere, they’re trying their best to be faithful theologians and readers of Scripture, and wanting to pursue practical applications. But I just don’t know if it is possible to salvage the subordinationist argument for marital submission after Lewis Ayres and Michel R. Barnes have left nothing but debris in their wake. Let me add- and this was not at my behest or invitation – that when two of the biggest names in fourth century trinitarian theology graciously dismantle your theological argument for basing human relationships on a subordinationist trinitarianism, the game is over. Time to abandon the SS Subordinationism, man the life boats, look for a nice Nicene Island for refuge to land on, and find less complicated ways of arguing for complementarianism.