Wayne Grudem at the SBTS Theology Conference 2013 pt. 1
I just finished listening to this conference session, displayed below. It’s worth listening to the last 10 minutes at least. Grudem critiques the works of various Egalitarian theologians, most of which I have not read, so I can’t interact well with that aspect of his talk. But certainly, when Grudem claims that the work of God is not the work of the God and the Son, I feel an Augustine moment coming on me. In fact, I will try to post a series of selections from Augustine that seem to be at cross purposes with Grudem’s presentation.
What I am wondering is whether Augustine is now considered a heretic or has been down graded in importance or ignored, or what has happened here. Is Grudem’s thesis on the separate working of Father and Son in opposition to Augustine’s thesis of their indivisible working?
9. Perhaps some one may wish to drive us to say, that the Son is sent also by Himself, because the conception and childbirth of Mary is the working of the Trinity, by whose act of creating all things are created. And how, he will go on to say, has the Father sent Him, if He sent Himself?
To whom I answer first, by asking him to tell me, if he can, in what manner the Father has sanctified Him, if He has sanctified Himself? For the same Lord says both;Say of Him,He says,whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, You blaspheme, because I said, I am the Son of God;while in another place He says,And for their sake I sanctify myself.
I ask, also, in what manner the Father delivered Him, if He delivered Himself? For the Apostle Paul says both:Who,he says,spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all;while elsewhere he says of the SaviourHimself,Who loved me, and delivered Himself for me.He will reply, I suppose, if he has a right sense in these things, Because the will of the Father and the Son is one, and their working indivisible.
In like manner, then, let him understand the incarnation and nativity of the Virgin, wherein the Son is understood as sent, to have been wrought by one and the same operation of the Father and of the Son indivisibly; the Holy Spirit certainly not being thence excluded, of whom it is expressly said,She was found with child by the Holy Ghost.
For perhaps our meaning will be more plainly unfolded, if we ask in what manner God sent His Son. He commanded that He should come, and He, complying with the commandment, came. Did He then request, or did He only suggest? But whichever of these it was, certainly it was done by a word, and the Word of God is the Son of God Himself. Wherefore, since the Father sent Him by a word, 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.
For who would embrace so impious an opinion as to think the Father to have uttered a word in time, in order that the eternal Son might thereby be sent and might appear in the flesh in the fullness of time? But assuredly it was in that Word of God itself which was in the beginning with God and was God, namely, in the wisdom itself of God, apart from time, at what time that wisdom must needs appear in the flesh.
Therefore, since without any commencement of time, the Word was in the beginning, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, it was in the Word itself without any time, at what time the Word was to be made flesh and dwell among us. And when this fullness of time had come,God sent His Son, made of a woman,that is, made in time, that the Incarnate Word might appear to men; while it was in that Word Himself, apart from time, at what time this was to be done; for the order of times is in the eternal wisdom of God without time.
Since, then, that the Son should appear in the flesh was wrought by both the Father and the Son, it is fitly said that He who appeared in that flesh was sent, and that He who did not appear in it, sent Him; because those things which are transacted outwardly before the bodily eyes have their existence from the inward structure (apparatu) of the spiritual nature, and on that account are fitly said to be sent. Further, that form of man which He took is the person of the Son, not also of the Father; on which account the invisible Father, together with the Son, who with the Father is invisible, is said to have sent the same Son by making Him visible.
But if He became visible in such way as to cease to be invisible with the Father, that is, if the substance of the invisible Word were turned by a change and transition into a visible creature, then the Son would be so understood to be sent by the Father, that He would be found to be only sent; not also, with the Father, sending.
But since He so took the form of a servant, as that the unchangeable form of God remained, it is clear that that which became apparent in the Son was done by the Father and the Son not being apparent; that is, that by the invisible Father, with the invisible Son, the same Son Himself was sent so as to be visible.
Why, therefore, does He say,Neither came I of myself?This, we may now say, is said according to the form of a servant, in the same way as it is said,I judge no man.