In the late 1970s, I first came across the claim that within the Trinity the Son is functionally subordinate to the Father.1 I had been taught—and still believe—that the Father and the Son are equal. Period. This counterclaim challenged that assumption and planted a question in my mind. For the most part, I put the question aside for many years. I had my hands full as a stay-at-home mom, freelance writer, and part-time student at our community college. My general attitude toward the doctrine of the Trinity during those years could be summed up in Carl Henry’s rhetorical question: “Is the doctrine of the Trinity a futile intellectual effort to resolve inherently contradictory notions of divine unity and divine plurality? Are orthodox evangelicals driven to say that anyone who rejects this doctrine may lose his soul whereas anyone who tries to explain it will lose his mind?”2 I did not get it, and I did not have time to think about it. Nevertheless, a question had been planted, and although it went underground for many years, it never quite went away. As is often true in such cases, when the question reappeared later, it was not with a vengeance exactly, but certainly with renewed urgency. It became the focus of my doctoral dissertation and the topic of my book, Women, Men, and the Trinity.
The doctrine of the Trinity is one of the core distinctives of the Christian faith—some would say the core distinction of Christianity. Although it is impossible to grasp completely, it is important and worthy of exploration. In addition, in 1 Corinthians 11:3, Paul links the relationships between God as the head of Christ, and man as the head of woman, in a way that suggests that a better understanding of the relationship within the Trinity can impact our understanding of human relations, especially the male/female relationship.
Our primary source for understanding the nature of the Trinity, and for obtaining God’s perspective on the relationship between men and women, is the Bible. Although less important than the Bible, the historical, orthodox Christian view is also important. That is what we will be exploring in this article. The orthodox Christian view is the conventional set of beliefs held by Christians down through the ages. Among today’s theologians, there is disagreement regarding the orthodox view of the Trinity. Has the Son historically been considered functionally subordinate to the Father? Did the early church fathers consider the Father and Son equal in both essence and function? Is the Son equal to the Father in who he is, but subordinate in his authority, works, and operations?
To be subordinated is to be placed below another in power or importance. Subordinationism, on the other hand, often refers to a distinct doctrine, the view that there is a hierarchy within the Trinity and that the Son is eternally and ontologically subordinate to the Father. Most evangelicals would agree that this type of subordinationism, the belief that the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father in the essence of his being, was proposed in the fourth century and condemned as heretical. At the same time, many current gender hierarchists3 claim that functional subordination is part of our orthodox evangelical heritage.4 Everyone agrees the Son submitted to the Father during his incarnation. The current debate is between those who believe the Father and the Son are eternally equal in both essence and function (egalitarian) and those who say that, although the Son is eternally equal to the Father in the essence of his being, he is eternally subordinate in function and authority (hierarchist).
Of course, in this brief article, it is not possible to present an exhaustive review of Christian theologians. Instead, I have selected a few—Augustine, Warfield, Athanasius, Basil, John of Damascus, John Calvin, Karl Rahner, and Karl Barth—to represent the orthodox view. When we explore the views of these prominent theologians in regard to sonship, authority, and function, we will see that they do not support the hierarchal claim regarding functional subordination. But, before I address those specific topics, let us observe how the doctrine of the Trinity developed.
Development of church doctrine
One of the most critical issues the early church faced was the clarification of church doctrine. The early years of the church were marked by debates, persecution, heresies, religious abuse, and the formation of various creeds. Today, we hold the doctrine of the Trinity as a basic tenet of Christianity. But one of the challenges of the early church was to formulate this doctrine in a way that upheld the deity of Christ without threatening the Old Testament belief that there is only one God. The doctrine of the Trinity is not spelled out in Scripture, and disputes in the early church abounded as theologians went from one extreme to another, sometimes defining God as three loosely connected Gods (tritheism) and at other times melding the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit into one God who manifested himself in different modes (modalism).5
Up until the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, the doctrine of the Trinity was somewhat fluid. One of the major debates at that time involved Arianism. Arianism was rooted in the belief that the Son was subordinate to the Father. This view eventually evolved into teachings that denied the deity of Christ. Moving away from the subordinationist doctrines of these early speculative theologians, the Council of Nicaea condemned Arius and his teaching.6
The creed written at Nicaea stressed the equality of the Father and the Son and the deity of Christ, stating that Christ was “the only-begotten of the Father . . . begotten, not made, of one substance [Greek homoousian] with the Father.”7 The Creed of Nicaea is widely recognized as foundational to Christian orthodoxy in regard to the Trinity. For the most part, the doctrine of the Trinity clarified during the fourth century has been defended down through the years.
At the time of the Reformation, numerous theological premises were thoroughly debated, so it should be no surprise that one of the issues that surfaced was the doctrine of the Trinity. Opponents of the doctrine considered it unscriptural and irrational.8 Although the doctrine itself came under attack, it does not appear that subordination within the Trinity was a major issue for those who supported the Trinitarian doctrine itself. It seems the Reformers considered equality among the members of the Trinity an issue settled by early church creeds and treated it as a given.9
In the current debate among theologians regarding the historical, orthodox view of the Trinity, several themes recur. The first one that I want to explore is the issue of sonship. Closely related to sonship are the issues of begottenness and being sent.
Sonship, begottenness, and being sent
Both hierarchists and egalitarians consider the Creed of Nicaea to be a critical document outlining orthodox doctrine. And, interestingly, both egalitarians and hierarchists use it to support their points of view. This is possible because they come to the creed with different assumptions. Hierarchists assume that concepts such as sonship, begottenness, and being sent indicate subordination.10 Egalitarians, on the other hand, believe that these concepts in and of themselves simply indicate aspects of Trinitarian relationship having to do with distinctions of function in human redemption, not subordination or lesser authority.11 Since hierarchists and egalitarians see this so differently, I was eager to see what early theologians actually had to say about begottenness and sonship.
Basil (330–397), a prominent early theologian, understood being sent and being begotten as matters of distinction and identification, not subordination. He took the phrase “begotten, not made” to suggest equal glory.12 Augustine (354–430), recognized widely as one of the most important Christian theologians of all time, pointed out that references to the Son being sent by the Father and begotten of the Father do not suggest subordination or inequality. He said, “His being sent was the work of both the Father and His Word; therefore the same Son was sent by the Father and the Son, because the Son Himself is the Word of the Father.”13 Augustine stressed the indivisibility of both the substance and works of the Godhead and argued that being sent or begotten did not indicate that one person of the Godhead is greater and one is lesser.14 Augustine consistently points out that sonship does not necessitate inferiority or subordination.15
We can see this illustrated even on the human level. For instance, would we say that the authority of Jesse was greater than that of his son David? That Abraham remained subordinate to his father, Terah? Although authority and submission characterize a father/child relationship for a given time or in certain circumstances, they are not the defining characteristics of earthly father/son relationships, much less relationships within the Trinity. Mark Strauss, an advocate for inclusive language, explains why it is not accurate to substitute child for son in gender-inclusive biblical translations. Although he is speaking to a different issue, the point he makes is significant: “The use of ‘Child’ could carry implications of immaturity that ‘Son’ does not. Jesus is the mighty Son of God in all the glory and magnificence of his exaltation as heir of all things (see Heb 1:3). He is not an immature child.”16
This is in contrast to those who believe that the Father and Son relationship is inherently one of submission and authority and that this submissive/authoritative aspect of their relationship primarily differentiates the persons of the Godhead from one another.17 For Augustine, the sending of the Son was a joint endeavor involving both the Father and the Son. It was about diversity, equality, and unity, not authority and submission.
As I mentioned earlier, during and following the Reformation, there was not much debate about the doctrine of the Trinity. However, Benjamin B. Warfield (1851–1921), a professor who taught at the theological seminary at Princeton, took pains to explain how he understood begottenness in relationship to equality. In addition to clarifying that begottenness did not necessitate subordination, Warfield asserted that the Son’s coming to earth in human form was voluntary and that biblical passages referring to the Son’s subordination during the incarnation did not reflect on his eternal standing within the Godhead.18
Augustine, Basil, and Warfield are three influential theologians who addressed sonship, begottenness, and being sent. Far from advocating the functional subordination of the Son to the Father, these prominent theologians argued that the Father/Son relationship within the Trinity is marked by unity and equality. But what did early theologians have to say about the Son’s authority?
Power and authority
Of particular interest is whether it has been historically understood that the Father and the Son are equal in power and authority. Although there is a slight difference in meaning, I am assuming that, unless specified otherwise, references to God’s power also reference his authority.
Athanasius (300–373), who in his time sometimes stood alone against Arianism, pointed out that, although during the incarnation Jesus submitted himself to the Father, when it came to the resurrection, the Son raised his own body19—that he was an active, rather than a passive, participant along with the Father.20 He said that no one should doubt that “He is very Son of God, having His being from God as from a Father, Whose Word and wisdom and Whose Power He is.”21 Athanasius saw the Father and the Son united in their power.
In On the Holy Spirit, Basil also affirmed the equality of Christ’s power. Writing in response to the argument that the Son received commandments from the Father in a way that would suggest his inferiority, Basil says that the Father and the Son are equal in essence, power, and works.22 Basil also argued that being seated at the right hand of the Father (Heb 1:3) is not a seat of inferiority, but a station of equality.23 It is difficult to imagine Basil supporting the idea that the Son is equal to the Father in essence, but permanently subordinate in power and authority. Both Athanasius and Basil take pains to explain that the Father and the Son are eternally united and equal in rank, power, and works.
About three hundred years after Athanasius and Basil, John of Damascus (c. 675–c. 749) wrote Fountain of Wisdom. His purpose was to collect and condense the quintessential opinions and works of the great theologians who had preceded him. His book Concerning the Orthodox Faith has been described as the most important of his writings and “one of the most notable works of Christian antiquity.”24 In a chapter on the Trinity, John of Damascus says that the unity of the persons of the Trinity in regard to authority is demonstrated by their “being identical in authority and power and goodness. . . . For there is one essence, one goodness, one power, one will, one energy, one authority, one and the same, I repeat, not three resembling each other.”25
It seems significant that, in a work written for the express purpose of epitomizing the opinions of the early theologians, John of Damascus adamantly affirms that within the essential oneness of the Trinity there is also oneness of authority. How can the Father and Son be “identical in authority” and yet be differentiated by the Father’s authority and the Son’s submission, as some claim?
John Calvin, one of the most influential Reformation theologians, acknowledged ordering within the Trinity, but in his commentary on 1 Corinthians, he noted that any implied subordination is restricted to Jesus’ incarnation. He said that Christ was “inferior to the Father, inasmuch as he assumed our nature.”26 In the Institutes, Calvin again refers to the relationship between the Father and the Son, this time in regard to the future: “God will then cease to be the head of Christ, and Christ’s own Godhead will then shine forth of itself, whereas it is now in a manner veiled.”27 Calvin understood that Jesus submitted during the incarnation and in his role as mediator, but he saw this submission as temporal, not eternal. He believed that, when we see God as he is, we will see that the Father is no longer “the head of Christ,” but that the persons of the Trinity are equal in their glory and majesty. While I do not necessarily agree with Calvin’s understanding of “headship,” it is clear that he saw Christ’s submission during the incarnation as temporal and not an indication of his eternal authority and status within the Godhead.
There is considerable agreement among theologians down through the centuries that the persons of the Trinity are equal in power and authority. In the next section, we will explore the amazing unity within the Godhead and consider what theologians have had to say about equality in regard to their functions and operations.
As has already been noted, Basil was one of the early theologians who recognized the equality of power within the Trinity and understood begottenness to indicate equal glory rather than subordination. He also defended the functional equality and unity within the Godhead. Citing John 5:19, he said that the Son does whatever he sees the Father doing and that there is no distinction between their works.28 This was Athanasius’s understanding as well: “When the Son works, the Father is the Worker. . . . when the Father gives grace and peace, the Son also gives it.”29 Athanasius saw the Father and the Son functioning together, not one in subordination to the other.
We have noted that there is no debate about the Son’s submission during the incarnation. Everyone recognizes that, during his time on earth, the Son submitted to the Father. But, in his commitment to clarify the eternal equality of the persons of the Trinity, Augustine makes a mind-bending observation: He says that the Son’s subordination during the incarnation was in part subordination to himself.30 Likewise, Augustine insisted that Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 15:27–28 about the Father subjecting all things to the Son does not have implications regarding a top-down delegation within the Godhead, but rather indicates an inseparable, reciprocal type of subjection: “Let him not think that the words ‘He has subjected all things to the Son,’ are to be understood of the Father in such a way as to think that the Son has not subjected all things to Himself . . . . For the operation of the Father and the Son is inseparable.”31 In Augustine’s view, the oneness of the Father and Son is so complete that, if the Father is subjecting all things to himself, the Son is participating in that act of subjecting. In another place, Augustine noted that the “will of the Father and the Son is one, and their operation is inseparable.”32
Prominent early theologians such as Augustine, Athanasius, and Basil described the functional equality of God the Father and God the Son and articulated that their operations could not be separated. If there is no indication of a separation between the operations of one and the operations of the other, it is difficult to see how one could be eternally functionally subordinate to the other.
Even so, there is another matter that comes up in regard to the Trinity. Many theologians make a distinction between the economic Trinity and the immanent Trinity. The immanent Trinity has to do with the intrinsic nature of the Triune God. The economic Trinity can be identified with the acts of the Trinity as revealed to us in creation and redemption.33 Kevin Giles points out that God’s revelation to us is marked by both truth and restraint: “This distinction between the immanent Trinity and the economic Trinity allows that there is more to God than what is revealed to us but that what is revealed is true and accurate. God is not other than he is in revelation.”34
Some theologians assume a hierarchy within the economic Trinity.35 The temptation is to equate the immanent Trinity with equality of essence and the economic Trinity with subordination of function. However, that is a mistake. Although the incarnation has a prominent place in God’s revelation regarding redemption, and we all understand the Son submitted to the Father during his time on earth, God’s revelation to us regarding the operations of the Son within the economic Trinity goes well beyond that. When we consider what the Bible reveals to us about the role of the Son in creation36 (Col 1:15–20), sanctification (Eph 5:26), judgment (2 Tim 4:1), and mediation (Heb 4:14–16), we can say with some assurance that the function of the Son within the economic Trinity as revealed through God’s work in creation and redemption is larger in scope than Jesus’ time on earth during his incarnation. The function of the Son is not limited to his submission as fleshed out in the incarnation, and the economic Trinity as a whole is not necessarily distinguished by a hierarchy of roles.
Karl Rahner (1904–1984) was a Catholic theologian who gave the economic Trinity careful consideration. Karl Barth (1886–1968) was another fairly recent theologian who weighed in regarding the Trinity. Both place heavy emphasis on unity within the Godhead. Karl Rahner was concerned with assuring that the doctrine of the Trinity remained relevant. One of Rahner’s primary concerns was to make a connection between the Trinity and humanity.37 To that end, he makes the statement that “the ‘economic’ Trinity is the ‘immanent’ Trinity and the ‘immanent’ Trinity is the ‘economic’ Trinity.”38 Although this statement could suggest that any subordination within the economic Trinity would mean eternal ontological subordination as well, that does not seem to be his intent. He explains, “There has occurred in salvation history something which can be predicated only of one divine person,”39 suggesting that only the Son could have participated in the incarnation. But it is not clear that he is at the same time saying that, because only the Son could have participated in the incarnation, and that during the incarnation the Son was subordinate to the Father, it means that the Son is eternally subordinated, because he clarifies, “[T]here exists in God only one power, one will, only one self-presence, a unique activity, a unique beatitude, and so forth.”40 Clearly, his primary concern has more to do with making a real connection between the Trinity and humanity, and he thus attempts to erase what may be a false and misleading distinction between the economic Trinity and the immanent Trinity.
Karl Barth maintained that the three persons of the Trinity act together: “No attribute, no act of God is not in the same way the attribute or act of the Father, the Son and the Spirit.”41 In a discussion regarding the Son’s participation in creation and redemption, Barth says, “If the Son has a share in what was called the special work of the Father, if He works with the Father in the work of creation, then this means, at least in the sense of Athanasius and the theology which finally triumphed in the fourth century, that He is of one essence with Him.”42 Far from suggesting that the Son is equal in essence but subordinate in works, Barth says that it is the Son’s very participation in God’s works that confirm his oneness with the Father: “In order that all things might be made by Him, in order that He might be the Mediator of creation, He Himself had to be God by nature.”43 If I understand Barth correctly, he is saying that the Son’s function confirms his essential equality with the Father. This is a total about-face from the hierarchal view of functional subordination. Far from understanding the works of the Son as assigned to him by his authoritative Father, Barth understands the works of the Father and the Son to be one, the works of the Son confirming his deity.
There is relationship, and an ordering of relationship, but unless one assumes that ordering implies hierarchy, or that “sonship” implies less authority, these formulations I have cited do not indicate eternal functional subordination of the Son to the Father.
The question at hand is whether there is an eternal functional subordination of the Son to the Father. Certainly, over the years, there have been theologians who have supported functional subordination or whose views are so ambiguous it is impossible to discern their perspective on this topic. However, in my reading, and especially in examining the thinking of prominent theologians such as Augustine, Athanasius, Basil, John of Damascus, Warfield, Calvin, Rahner, and Barth, I have detected far more emphasis on equality of both essence and function than on functional subordination. It is difficult for me to see how hierarchists can claim that the timeless, orthodox Christian view is that the Son is functionally subordinate to the Father. Furthermore, embedded in the debate of whether there is an eternal functional subordination of the Son to the Father is a troubling question. Is it possible for the Son to be eternally functionally subordinate without also being ontologically subordinate? Eternal ontological equality is assumed by both egalitarians and hierarchists. However, if the Father and Son are united in their attributes, works, word, will, thought, deeds, authority, operations, power, rank, glory, majesty, truth, goodness, and mercy, as these early theologians we have cited claim, then what is meant by functional subordination? Is permanent functional subordination even possible without ontological inequality (meaning that being subordinated is permanently a part of the essence of one or two of the persons of the Trinity and subordinating and ruling is a permanent part of another, so that the essences are not exactly the same)?
I believe this is a critical underlying question that is largely responsible for the current impasse between hierarchists and egalitarians regarding the Trinity. It is obvious that, in 1 Corinthians 11:3, Paul is trying to make some sort of connection between God as the head of Christ and man as the head of woman. But I do not believe we can assume he is referring to a relationship that is hierarchical or based on one person having authority over the other. Instead, I believe he is using the term head as part of a head-and-body metaphor, illustrating unity and interdependency. This is consistent with the way Paul uses this metaphor throughout the book of 1 Corinthians, and it seems consistent with the views of these earlier theologians who viewed the persons of the Trinity as united in their authority and works. Thus, although a number of prominent theologians today claim that the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father in function and authority and posit that this is the historical orthodox view of the church, I do not see this theory supported by the church fathers or by the majority of theologians throughout the history of Christianity. Therefore, church history does not support the claims of hierarchists regarding functional subordination within the Trinity, and their claims should not be used as an argument for the functional subordination of women.
We conclude with this wise summary from John of Damascus: “For there is one essence, one goodness, one power, one will, one energy, one authority, one and the same, I repeat, not three resembling each other.”44
- George Knight, The New Testament Teaching Regarding the Role Relationship of Men and Women (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1977), 55–56.
- Carl F. H. Henry, God, Revelation, and Authority, vol. 5 (Waco, TX: Word, 1982), 165.
- The terms complementarian and egalitarian are most commonly used within the gender debate. For terms specifically related to the Trinity, see Millard Erickson’s book Who’s Tampering With the Trinity? (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2009). Erickson uses the term gradational authority to describe those who believe there is an eternal hierarchy with the Father in authority over the Son. He uses the term equivalent authority for those who believe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are eternally equal and the subordination of the Son was limited to a specific time and purpose.
- Thomas R. Schreiner, “Head Coverings, Prophecies, and the Trinity,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1991), 129.
- P. P. Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology (Chicago, IL: Moody, 1997), 199.
- Enns, Moody Handbook, 199.
- Enns, Moody Handbook, 420.
- Justo L. González, A History of Christian Thought, vol. 3 (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1975), 101–02.
- Kevin Giles, The Trinity and Subordinationism (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2002), 167.
- Bruce A. Ware, “Equal in Essence, Distinct in Roles: Eternal Functional Authority and Submission among the Essentially Equal Divine Persons of the Godhead” (paper presented at the 58th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Washington, DC, November 16, 2006), 12.
- Kevin Giles, Jesus and the Father (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006), 52.
- Basil, On the Holy Spirit, (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s, 1980), 31.
- Augustine, On the Trinity, II.5.9, http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/130102.htm, cited June 27, 2007.
- Augustine, Trinity, IV.20.27.
- Augustine, Trinity, II.1.3.
- Mark L. Strauss, Distorting Scripture? (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1998), 181.
- Ware says that the distinction of persons in the Godhead is “manifest by the inherent authority of the Father and inherent submission of the Son.” Bruce Ware, “Equal in Essence,” 10. Grudem makes this same point, assuming the Father/Son relationship is necessarily one of authority/submission. Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), 251. Also, Grudem sees the authority/submission relationship within the Trinity as the “means by which Father, Son, and Holy Spirit differ from one another and can be differentiated from one another.” Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2004), 433.
- Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, The Person and Work of Christ (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1970), 39, 56.
- See, for example, John 2:19.
- See, for example, Rom 10:9.
- Athanasius, On the Incarnation (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s, 1996), 63–64.
- Basil, On the Holy Spirit, 39.
- Basil, On the Holy Spirit, 30.
- Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. “Saint John Damascene,” http://www.newadvent.org/ccathen/08459b.htm, cited December 7, 2007.
- John of Damascus, “Concerning the Holy Trinity” in An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book I, Chapter VIII, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.i.viii.html?highlight=john, 37, cited December 7, 2007.
- John Calvin, Commentary on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians, vol. 1, trans. John Pringle (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1948), 353.
- Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, II.xiii.3, trans. Henry Beveridge, esq. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997).
- Basil, On the Holy Spirit, 39.
- Athanasius, Against the Arians, Discourse III, XXV, 11, in Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, 2nd series, vol. 4, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wallace, Christian Classics Ethereal Library, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xxi.ii.iv.iii.html, cited November 10, 2007.
- Augustine, On the Trinity, II.2.
- Augustine, On the Trinity, I.15, 22.
- Augustine, On the Trinity in The Fathers of the Church, vol. 45, trans. Stephen McKenna (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1963), 61.
- Wayne Grudem says that, when speaking of the economy of the Trinity, the word economy is used in the sense of ordering of activities: “The ‘economy of the Trinity’ means the different ways the three persons act as they relate to the world and . . . to each other for all eternity.” Grudem, Systematic Theology, 248. Kevin Giles explains the economic and immanent Trinity as follows: “The former refers to the Trinity as revealed in God’s unfolding work of creation and redemption in history; the latter refers to the essential being of the triune God, which no human could ever completely comprehend.” Giles, Trinity, 28.
- Giles, Trinity, 28.
- “Within the Holy Trinity the Father leads, the Son submits to Him, and the Spirit submits to both (the Economic Trinity). But it is also true that the three Persons are fully equal in divinity, power, and glory (the Ontological Trinity).” Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr., “Male-Female Equality and Male Headship,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, ed. John Piper and Wayne Grudem (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1991), 103.
- In regard to creation, Augustine says, “For if some things were made by the Father, and some by the Son, then all things were not made by the Father, nor all things by the Son; but if all things were made by the Father, and all things by the Son, then the same things were made by the Father and by the Son. The Son, therefore, is equal with the Father, and the working of the Father and the Son is indivisible.” Augustine, On the Trinity, 1:12.
- Karl Rahner, The Trinity, trans. Joseph Donceel (New York, NY: Seabury, 1974), 73.
- Rahner, Trinity, 22.
- Rahner, Trinity, 23.
- Rahner, Trinity, 75, emphasis original.
- Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, vol. 1, ed. G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance, trans. G. W. Bromily (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1975), 375.
- Barth, Church Dogmatics, 442.
- Barth, Church Dogmatics, 442.
- John of Damascus, “Exposition of the Orthodox Faith,” in Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, 2nd series, vol. 9, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wallace (New York, NY: Cosimo, 2007), 10.