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Mobile Ed: TH361 Perspectives on the Trinity: Eternal Generation and Subordination in Tension (4 hour course)

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In Perspectives on the Trinity: Eternal Generation and Subordination in Tension (TH361), Drs. Wayne Grudem, Millard Erickson, Fred Sanders, Bruce Ware, and Kevin Giles explore a major question about the Trinity: Is God the Son subordinate to God the Father in eternity, or not? While Jesus certainly seemed to be subordinate to God during His earthly ministry, was this the case before His incarnation? Afterward? Each contributor lays out his perspective on the issue that affects our understanding of who God is, what the Bible teaches, and what the historic church has taught. The activities resource for this course includes additional videos by Drs. Michael Bird and Scott Harrower, helping to frame the background and significance of this topic.

Resource Experts

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

  • Articulate the conflict behind this issue and possible solutions
  • Identify and explain the scriptural foundation for each position by examining key texts
  • Identify and explain the theological categories and terms for each position
  • Identify and explain the church’s historical foundation for each position by looking at Augustine’s writings and the Nicene Creed
  • Interact with key Greek terms like μονογενής (monogenēs) and their history of interpretation
  • Explore key theological concepts and categories within Trinitarian theology like “eternal generation” and “eternal subordination” or “submission”
  • Wrestle with biblical hermeneutical principles, such as appropriate criteria for importing a biblical characteristic of the earthly Jesus into the Godhead
  • Comment on the importance of Trinitarian theology and our understanding of the Bible informing one another
  • Identify potential errors in Trinitarian theology as it relates to Scripture

Course Outline

Unit 1: Fred Sanders

  • Introduction and Summary Statement
  • Eternal Generation and Sonship
  • Immanent Form of Economic X
  • Gender Far Away
  • Ideas That Stick
  • Other Views and Closing Remarks

Unit 2: Kevin Giles

  • Introduction
  • Summary Statement
  • History of the Doctrine of the Eternal Generation of the Son
  • The Generation of the Son in Nicene Creed
  • The Biblical Basis for the Doctrine of the Eternal Generation of the Son
  • Augustine on John 7:29

Unit 3: Millard Erickson

  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course
  • Summary Statement
  • God the Son Eternally Has Equal Authority with God the Father
  • A Challenge to This View
  • The Practical Value of This Teaching

Unit 4: Bruce Ware

  • Introduction
  • Summary Statement
  • Two Pillars of Trinitarian Theology
  • The Primacy of the Father
  • The Agency of the Son
  • The Empowering of the Spirit
  • Answering Objections and Conclusion

Unit 5: Wayne Grudem

  • Introduction
  • Summary Statement
  • Evidence for the Son’s Submission to the Father Prior to Incarnation: Part 1
  • Evidence for the Son’s Submission to the Father Prior to Incarnation: Part 2
  • Evidence for the Son’s Submission to the Father after His Ascension into Heaven
  • Other Theologians Who Hold to Eternal Submission of the Son to the Father
  • Points of Clarification
  • Opponents of Eternal Submission of the Son to the Father
  • Opponents of Eternal Submission Undermine the Authority of Scripture

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About the Instructors

Fred Sanders is professor of theology in the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University. He holds a BA in drawing and printmaking, an MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary, and a PhD in systematic theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. His research covers a wide range of the major Christian doctrines, but his consistent focus is on the doctrine of the Trinity. He is the author of The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything, The Triune God, and several other books and articles.

Kevin Giles is an ordained Anglican minister and worked in parish ministry for almost forty years before he retired from St. Michaels Church in North Carlton in 2006. He studied at Moore College in Sydney, Durham University in England, and Tübingen University in Germany. He is a widely published author and has contributed to the IVP Dictionaries of Jesus and the Gospels and The Later New Testament & Its Developments, and the Zondervan Dictionary of Christian Spirituality.

Millard Erickson (b. 1932) is Distinguished Professor of Theology at Western Seminary, Portland, and the author of the widely acclaimed systematics work Christian Theology along with more than twenty other books. He was professor of theology and academic dean at Bethel Seminary for many years. He earned a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, a B.D. from Northern Baptist Seminary, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

Bruce Ware is a highly esteemed theologian and author in the evangelical world. He came to Southern Seminary from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he served as Chairman of the Department of Biblical and Systematic Theology. Prior to this, he taught at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary and Bethel Theological Seminary.

Wayne Grudem is a New Testament scholar turned theologian, author, and research professor of Bible and theology at Phoenix Seminary, Arizona. He earned a BA from Harvard University, an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. In 2001 Grudem moved to Phoenix Seminary after having taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for more than twenty years where he was also the chairman of the Department of Biblical and Systematic Theology.

Also contributing

Michael F. Bird is lecturer in theology at Ridley Melbourne College in Melbourne, Australia. He earned his PhD at the University of Queensland. He is the author of many books, including Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction, Jesus and the Origins of the Gentiles Mission, and The Saving Righteousness of God.

Scott Harrower is a lecturer in Christian thought at Ridley College and an ordained Anglican minister. He earned a PhD in Systematic Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Scott regularly presents on topics such as early Christianity in Roman contexts, and philosophical responses to the problem(s) of evil. He is the author of Trinitarian Self and Salvation: An Evangelical Engagement with Rahner's Rule and is currently working on The Cambridge Companion to the Apostolic Fathers (with Michael F. Bird) and The Relevant Trinity (forthcoming, Lexham Press).


Getting the most out of Mobile Ed


Logos Mobile Education is a highly effective cross-platform learning environment that integrates world class teaching with the powerful study tools and theological libraries available in Logos Bible Software. Every course provides links to additional resources and suggested readings that supplement the lecture material at the end of every transcript segment.

This course was produced with screencast videos. These videos provide tutorials showing you how to use Logos Bible Software in ways that are tied directly into the content of the course. We are now producing Activities resources as a replacement for screencast videos. We plan on updating this course to include this additional Activities resource in the future for no extra charge.



2 ratings

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  1. James McAdams

    James McAdams


  2. Deepak Kumar Singh
    I have started studying this course and am enjoying learning so many facts, issues, misconceptions, controversies and truths underlying the Doctrine of Trinity. With aid from some heavy-weight & eminent scholars, the course helps you build a solid foundation on this most fundamental and primary doctrine of our faith.


Collection value: $219.99
Save $70.00 (31%)
Payment plans available in cart