Thursday, July 10, 2014

Book Review of the Eternal Generation of the Son by Kevin Giles

The Eternal Generation of the Son: Maintaining Orthodoxy in Trinitarian Orthodoxy
by Kevin Giles
ISBN 978-0-8308-3965-0
IVP Academic
Reviewed by Clint Walker

Kevin Giles, though relatively unknown in this part of the world, is a top-notch English-speaking theologian. This is perhaps one of his most important books to date, both for its explanation and defense of historic Christian teaching, and for its contemporary relevance in debates over gender issues.

Giles' argument, rather simply, is for the Trinity as an equal partnership of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each part of the Trinity is fully God and fully human. Understanding the Trinity as the three-in-one is essential for orthodox mainstream Christian theology.

One of the early heresies that the church tried to address is that there was some sort of hierarchy in the Godhead, with God the Father being at the top of the pyramid, and the Son and Spirit somehow being lesser part of the Godhead.

This heresy, called subordinationism, has made a comeback lately, especially among Calvinist evangelicals that espouse a "complementarian theology". In other words, using a few proof texts from the epistles of Paul, the folks that espouse women's subordination to men and denying them leadership in the church say that women should take on a subordinate role to men just like Jesus takes on a lesser role in relationship to the Father. Giles argues against people like Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware, citing both biblical and historical evidence.

Whether one agrees with Giles or not, this is a landmark book in the debate between complimentarians and egalatarians regarding the Biblical witness on women's equality. And one that should certainly be read and critiqued by both sides.

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