Stephen Wellum has written a major review of Millard Erickson’s book Who’s Tampering with the Trinity?: An Assessment of the Subordination Debate (Kregel, 2009). In Erickson’s book, he argues against the idea of an eternal, functional subordination of the Son to the Father. In Wellum’s review, he gives a host of reasons why Erickson’s argument will not stand. The review appears in the most recent issue of JBMW, and it is a must-read for anyone who has been following the “subordination debate” among Trinitarians. Here’s a snippet from Wellum’s critique:
“Erickson’s book is certainly worthy of evaluation and reflection, even much more interaction than I can give it here. Especially given his plea and concern at the end of the book, this issue demands our attention. Anytime we wrestle with the doctrine of God we are not only thinking through the most important subject matter possible, but, given the fact that the doctrine of God is central to our entire theology, much is at stake in these discussions. So in light of this, I will give five reflections, starting with the positive and then moving to the negative.”
Here are the five topics of Wellum’s critical evaluation:
1. Erickson is to be commended for addressing such an important theological issue and for the most part presenting the debate fairly. Often in these heated discussions the tone can be shrill and Erickson avoids this.
2. Even though Erickson is to be commended for his attempt to arbitrate the debate judiciously, unfortunately, in my view, he does not always live up to his ideals.
3. Erickson’s discussion of the biblical evidence for his view is not as compelling as he thinks.
4. Erickson’s discussion of the “natureÂperson” distinction in chapter 6 is not helpful. It is here that he suggests that gradationists have opened the door to Arian and/or semi-Arian views, even though he admits that no present-day gradationist is Arian/semi-Arian.
5. Erickson’s argument from historical theology is highly debatable.
This is an excellent review, and you can read the rest of it here.