Monday, June 5, 2017

Are David and Tim Bayly Saved?

The Issue Was Settled Long Ago



Athanasius



One of the many advantages of worship directed by the Book of Common Prayer is that it requires we Reformed Episcopalians to say the whole Athanasian Creed on Pentecost and Trinity Sundays. As we said the Creed on Pentecost, it hit me that an issue that has lately troubled the church was settled by this ecumenical (accepted by the whole of the early church) Creed.

The issue that has troubled the church is the doctrine of the Trinity, specifically whether the Son is subordinate to the Father in eternity. Tim and David Bayly assert that he is. People such as Liam Galigher, Carl Trueman say he is not. 

There is a practical importance of what Tim and David call the "eternal economic subordination of the Son to the Father." Their understanding the relations among the Persons of the Trinity and of the Father's authority undergirds their their teaching of patriarchy, the subordination of women to men in all areas of life.

David wrote, opposing Doug Wilson and Liam Galigher:

David Bayly
Two men I regard as friends recently came out against the subordination of Christ to the Father. Now, Doug Wilson and Liam Goligher say that they oppose only the eternal subordination of the Son, not the economic, yet this distinction presupposes a well-defined line between the economic and the ontological Trinity that doesn't exist. No creed of the Church or passage in Scripture spells out the boundaries of this division, nor is there general agreement on where the ontological ends and the economic begins. In fact, the distinction is fraught with challenges. At what point did the covenant of redemption leave the realm of ontology and enter the realm of economy? No one has answered this question--and no one can when the Son was slain from the foundation of the world. Yet critics of Christ's submission act as though it's a settled issue.
... They claim that those who teach the Eternal Son's submission to the Father do so only to promote what critics term a tendentious "social agenda." Liam writes, "The inner life of the Triune God does not support hierarchy, patriarchy, or egalitarianism."
Really? Fatherhood is not a social issue? Is not rooted in the Trinity? The inner life of Father and Son does not support patriarchy? ... Yet Scripture itself tells us all fatherhood derives its name and character from that of the Eternal Father...Is this not a social implication of the Trinity? ... Liam denies and flattens the ontological differences of Father and Son in favor of his own social agenda.
In fact, what these men fail to understand is that the attack today, unlike in the days of Nicea and Chalcedon, is not against the nature and person of the Son, but against the Father, against His nature as Father and His glory. These men, like failed soldiers, are re-fighting yesterday's battles. They're busy constructing a Maginot line against imaginary Christological foes, while their opponents are effecting a blitzkrieg on the Trinity by attacking the Father. 
Look, Doug and Liam, it's a new day. If you can't grasp the attack of the enemy, you can at least avoid goring those you call your friends. Egalitarians are attacking the Fatherhood of God. Straight up....whether you like it or not, there are social implications in the Trinity and foes of the Fatherhood of God are making arguments there that aren't going to go away, no matter how much you place your heads in the sand.
Also criticising Liam Galigher Tim wrote:
Tim Bayly
... my friend Liam Goligher, senior minister of Philly's Tenth Presbyterian Church, has been joining Trueman in an attack upon the historic, Biblical doctrine of our Lord's economic subordination to His Father. Liam claims those who believe and teach that Jesus submitted to His Father before His incarnation deny the orthodox Christian faith. He tells his readers that men who hold to economic subordination cannot at the same time affirm the Nicene Creed's declaration of our Lord's equality with His Father. 
Of course, Liam's declaration concerning the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity is wrong. 
In another Blog he wrote: 
 Any subordination of the Son to the Father other than a temporary one strictly limited to His time on earth is anathema to them. Which is to say of course the denial of our Lord's eternal subordination to His Father undermines the order of the sexes. 
Writing about a conversation with Roger Nicole, Tim says:
Since I was orthodox in my theology, holding to Jesus' economic subordination; and since Dr. Nicole had led the charge to remove several men from the Evangelical Theological Society in years past for their doctrinal errors; I asked Dr. Nicole if he was going to seek my removal for holding to this doctrine he now called "heresy?" 
In contrast to the statements of the Bayly brothers, yesterday we confessed:
And the catholic (not the Roman Cathlolic Church, but the lower case catholic, or universal, church) Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; 
Neither confounding the Persons : nor dividing the Substance. 
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son : and another of the Holy Ghost. 
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one : the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal. 
Such as the Father is, such is the Son : and such is the Holy Ghost. 
The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated : and the Holy Ghost uncreated. 
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible : and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. 
The Father eternal, the Son eternal and the Holy Ghost eternal. 
And yet there are not three eternals : but one eternal; 
As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated : but one Uncreated and one Incomprehensible. 
So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty : and the Holy Ghost Almighty. 
And yet there are not three Almighties : but one Almighty. 
So the Father is God, the Son is God : and the Holy Ghost is God. 
And yet there are not three Gods : but one God. 
So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord : and the Holy Ghost Lord. 
And yet not three Lords : but one Lord. 
For like as we are compelled by the Christian truth: to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; 
So are we forbidden by the catholic Faith: to say, There be three Gods or three Lords. 
The Father is made of none : neither created nor begotten. 
The Son is of the Father alone : not made nor created, but begotten. 
The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the  Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. 
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons : one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. 
And in this Trinity none is before or after other : none is greater, or less than another; 
But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together : and co-equal. 
So that in all things, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in unity is to be worshiped.
What has any of this to do with the Baylys' salvation? The authors of the Creed which reflects the theology of Athanasius have us say at the beginning of our confession of faith:
Whosoever will be saved, before all it is necessary that he hold the catholic Faith. 
Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. 
And they conclude the section of the Creed on the Trinity:
He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity. 
Whether the Son is subordinate to the Father in eternity does not need to be reexamined. It was settled for the Christian church and for all Christians long ago.



 



2 comments:

  1. And your conclusion about the Bayly boy's salvation is what?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think they are wrong about the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father. The Father and Son are of "the same substance, equal in power and glory." But I do not think that their failure to to affirm this historic Creed means they are unbelievers who are under condemnation. With this Blog I wanted to do three things: 1) to make the point that the equality of Father and Son, including co-equal authority, is the historic doctrine of the church, 2) to make the point that their failure to affirm the historic doctrine of the church is no little matter, and that, in the view of the authors of the Athanasian Creed, failure to affirm the historic doctrine, is failure to affirm the catholic faith, and (3) to call attention to the reality that the Baylys who with some frequency raise questions about the salvation of others (see Tim's warning that the translators who did not use the word man as inclusive of both sexes but rather used "gender neutral" language may be excluded from the kingdom) can, because of their departure from the historic Trinitarian faith, have their salvation questioned. They, who are ready to condemn others, are subject to having the condemnation turned on them because they do not affirm the absolute equality of Father and Son in their eternal relations.

    ReplyDelete

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