Friday, November 12, 2021

Owen Strachan and the Trinity on the Antithesis podcast

Dr. Owen Strachan has just released an episode on his podcast The Antithesis (available on Spotify and iTunes and RedCircle which you can access through the tweet above or through searching on those platforms) on the topic of the Trinity, specifically on the issue of EFS (Eternal Functional Submission), or, as he prefers, ERAS (Eternal Relations of Authority and Submission).

I find the podcast informative, even though I do not agree with Strachan on everything. First, I am a confessionalist so I do treat the Creeds and Confessions as a secondary authority. Second, I hold to the Pactum Salutis, not just a plan of salvation.

Thirdly, I do not think we have the same definition of "economic." "Economic" has to do with what God does, so for me it encompasses more than just the Incarnation, but all extra-Trinitarian works in eternity as well. Strachan says that it is more than just economic, but his view of "economic" seems to be related to God in relation and act to creation. Strachan obviously does not mean God in his being, because he denies ontological inequality, and therefore he does not believe in subordination in the imminant (ontological) Trinity. If we are dealing with something that cannot be well fitted as God's works but neither is it of God's being, may I suggest exploring the categories of "energies," and the Eastern view of the Monarchy of the Father?

That said, I have been much edified, and reminded, of the Reformation doctrine of Sola Scripture. It is very easy even for us who believe in the doctrine to not practice it when we deal with such high and lofty philosophical and theological concepts. There is a tendency for us, for me, to drift away from Sola Scriptura as we explore and think through different philosophies and different conceptual lenses to deal with objections on a topic where the use of philosophy is necessary. This is not to reject the use of those different philosophies and conceptual lenses, but rather, it is easy for us to not practice Sola Scriptura and become proud in our philosophical knowledge in service of theology and God—the bane of all theologians everywhere.

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