A Plea to CBMW
June 13, 2016
Is it important for a Christian parachurch organization to align with our faith’s historic, orthodox confessions on the Trinity? After reading Owen Strachan’s response to Carl Trueman and Liam Goligher, I have to ask that question. Writing on complementarianism, Strachan states that there’s “room in our movement for both those who hold to ERAS [Eternal Relations of Authority and Submission] and those who take issue with aspects of it.” This seems different from what he says in his new book with Gavin Peacock, The Grand Design:
“The Son is the Son because he submits to the Father’s will.”
“There is no Holy Trinity without the order of authority and submission.”
He makes the case in his book that there is no room for any other position on the Trinity. And yet, since we have written and shared our concerns on these teachings last week on MoS, patristic scholars of the caliber of Michel R. Barnes and Lewis Ayres weighed in, warning of the consequences of unorthodox teaching on the Trinity. And I’m going to have to once again echo Todd Pruitt by quoting Michael Bird:
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.
So, given the fact that Strachen is the President and Editor-in-Chief for CBMW, and that Wayne Grudem is a council member and board member, as well as Bruce Ware being a council member, I had to ask a question. I threw it out on Twitter. Linking to Strachan’s response, I asked if this was the official teaching of CBMW? Even after the critique from Ayres? Grant Castleberry, executive Director of CBMW.org answered:
Grant Castleberry @grcastleberry 5h
5 hours ago
@aimeebyrdhwt You don't have to affirm ERAS to be complementarian or under the CBMW umbrella. Only the Danvers Statement.
Denny Burk also directed me to the Danvers Statement. I found that peculiar. Is Danvers orthodoxy weightier than Nicene orthodoxy? Do I want to learn about a version of male authority over women from men who hold to EFS [Eternal Functional Subordination] and ERAS and are not in line with our orthodox confessions on the Trinity?
Basically, I am pleading here for CBMW to make a statement about their position on the Trinity. I believe this is a reasonable request. An important, reasonable request.
Let's not make light of our confessions. For a short discussion on the importance of the confessions for the Christian church, Jonathan Master has a great interview with Carl Trueman up today on his podcast, Theology on the Go. You can listen here.