Does the Son submit to the Father? Some further thoughts

I recently shared some thoughts about the relationship of the Son to the Father in the light of Aimee Byrd’s book “Recovering From Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.  My position is that it is correct to say that the Son does submit to the Father but unhelpful to describe this as Eternal Subordination. 

Here are some further reflections. First of all, I think it is important to emphasise that the Son’s submission or obedience is specifically within regards to his incarnation and atoning sacrifice.  This means that we are not talking about a general subordination. In fact, it is important to remember that there is much more to the relationship between The Father and the Son than their shared work in redemption.  If we assume that all they talk about is our salvation then that makes our view of The Trinity very anthropocentric!

Secondly, although the focus of his submission and obedience is on the incarnation, it is important to remember that this itself was something willed in eternity. So simply saying that it is about the incarnation does not take away from the eternal nature of the act.

Thirdly, it is important to consider that there is an element of mutuality within the relationship. The Son says “Not my will but yours” in relation to Calvary. He gives everything over to the Father at the completion of time. He does what his father shows him. However, remember as well that the Father acts towards the son in love. He gives us to the Son.  He also responds willingly to the Son’s request that he should send the Spirit.

Therefore, I remain convinced that it is important to talk about the Son submitting to the Father and recognising that this is eternal. However, we need to keep that element of the relationship in perspective.

For further reading on The Trinity see “Who is God”

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