Irenaeus’s claim that the Son and Spirit are the “hands” of God can sound subordinationist, but with due qualification it contains an important insight. A monadic god can only stand over-against the world as a ruling and commanding power. Anything that goes out from such a god is necessarily lesser than the god. Such a god could not surround the world in loving embrace, because he has no arms — no Son and Spirit — with which to embrace. Because the Triune God has “hands,” He holds the world, not in something less than Himself as a monadic god must (if he can hold the world at all), but in hands that are identical with Himself.
This seems overly pictorial, but I think there’s a point here.