Perusing the 2nd edition of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Zondervan Academic, 2020), I was struck by his complaint that his (and Bruce Ware’s) position on the Eternal Submission of the Son has been ‘seriously misrepresented’ by Aimee Byrd (in her book, Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, published earlier in 2020 by Zondervan).
Byrd, writes Grudem,
‘falsely claims that Bruce Ware and I, in advocating the doctrine of “eternal relations of authority and submission,” are making a serious doctrinal error because “this doctrine teaches that the Son, the second person of the Trinity, is subordinate to the Father, not only in the economy of salvation but in his essence,” and we are therefore “unorthodox teachers that are not in line with Nicene Trinitarian doctrine.”’
there are no differences in deity, attributes, or essential nature between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each person is fully God and has all the attributes of God. The only distinctions between the members of the Trinity are in the ways they relate to each other and to the creation. In those relationships they carry out roles that are appropriate to each person.
Egalitarian writers often claim that male headship did not come about until after the Fall, and is, accordingly, a consequence of the Fall.
This view goes back at least as far as Chrysostom, who represents God as addressing the woman thus:
‘In the beginning I created you equal in esteem to your husband, and my intention was that in everything you would share with him as an equal, and as I entrusted control of everything to your husband, so did I to you; but you abused your equality of status.
Wayne Grudem (Systematic Theology, p1150) notes the following arguments that are advanced in favour of annihilationalism:-
the biblical references to the destruction of the wicked, which, some say, implies that they will no longer exist after they are destroyed (Phil. 3:19; 1 Thess. 5:3; 2 Thess. 1:9; 2 Peter 3:7; et al.);
the apparent inconsistency of eternal conscious punishment with the love of God;
the apparent injustice involved in the disproportion between sins committed in time and punishment that is eternal;
the fact that the continuing presence of evil creatures in God’s universe will eternally mar the perfection of a universe that God created to reflect his glory.
The biblical doctrine of final judgement has several important consequence for our lives here and now.
It satisfies our sense of a need for justice in the world. There is so much in the present world which is not fair. Good people suffer, while evil people get off scot free. Even the judicial system itself is susceptible to bias and bribery. The Bible tells us that there will be a final reckoning, when the ‘books’ (Rev 20:12 – symbolising God’s record of what everyone has done in this life) will be opened.
Grudem (Systematic Theology, p541f) outlines a number of reasons. What follows is based on his discussion.
To be our representative. Jesus obeyed where Adam had failed to obey. This is seen in the parallels between the time of testing in the garden, Gen 2:15-3:7, and Jesus’ time of temptation in the wilderness. It is seen also in Paul’s comparison of Adam and Christ in Rom 5:18f; cf. 1 Cor 15:45,47.
‘Original sin’, like some other terms (‘total depravity’, ‘unconditional election’, ‘limited atonement’, irresistible grace’ come immediately to mind) requires careful definition if it is to provide useful service in theological discussion.
For Calvin, original sin is
‘a hereditary depravity and corruption of our nature, diffused into all parts of the soul, which first makes us liable to God’s wrath, then also brings forth in us those works which Scripture calls “works of the flesh” (Gal 5:19).’ …
Election is ‘God’s decision to choose us to be saved before the foundation of the world.’ Or, more fully, ‘election is an act of God before creation in which he chooses some people to be saved, not on account of any foreseen merit in them, but only because of his sovereign good pleasure.’
The term ‘predestination’ is a broader term, including as it does God’s leaving of the non-elect to the consequences of their own sins. …