Why Eternal Generation Matters

Why Eternal Generation Matters December 5, 2020

The latest issue of Credo Magazine has some terrific articles about the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son. Check it out!

Shawn Wilhite defines being pro-Nicene this way:

[W]e can safely summarize our Nicene heritage by emphasizing (1) a clear distinction of person and nature in our trinitarian language, (2) a clear expression of the eternal generation of the Son, and (3) a clear expression of the Trinity’s inseparable operations on account of a unity of Being. To be “pro-Nicene” is nothing less than to express these three characteristics.

Josh Malone concludes about eternal generation:

Pro-Nicene theology teaches the eternal generation of the Son because by it the son of Mary is revealed to be the very Son of God. God is a fountain of life, and the church confesses this mystery to entail that the Father begets, the Son is begotten, and the Spirit proceeds. These eternal acts, concomitant with God’s own willing nature, are temporally manifest in love and grace in the missions of the Son and Spirit. Before all ages the Father has life in himself, and grants to the Son to have life in himself (John 5:26), and in creaturely time the Son gives life to whom he will (John 5:21). The wonder of the gospel is that the eternal Son, for whom and through whom are all things, has in these last days come from the Father to the far country to bring many sons to glory (Heb 2:10).

Madison Pierce provides some autobiography of shifting from biblicism to catholicity in her theological journey:

I spent the earliest years of my faith holding to the mantra “no creed but the Bible.” I read books about sola Scriptura, and I trusted in my (and my pastors’) abilities to approach the Bible and walk away with the right interpretation through the illumination of the Spirit. We read earnestly, and so God would reward us… At this stage in my faith, I truly believed that my pastors were always right. Years later as I approached my undergraduate degree, I had a sneaking suspicion that my pastors might not be right about everything, but I worried this was due to my own rebellion. Suddenly, I learned that my professors had different opinions from my pastors, and even different opinions from one another. Each of these godly people also seemed to read earnestly, so who had God rewarded with the right interpretation? Who could I trust? Who was faithful? By the end of my program, I had a fuller understanding. I could distinguish between an essential component of the faith and a distinctive of my denomination. Today I define the essential components of the faith “once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3) as the teachings of the Creeds and Councils. They have been preserved for us by the grace of God, and they provide global unity for all who profess faith in Christ.

A terrific issue that is ideal for students, pastors, or anyone who wants to think about the Trinity in light of the church’s ancient Trinitarian faith according to the major creeds and confessions.

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