For a while there has been a tendency amongst some to accuse those of us who understand that the Bible affirms complementarianism and also the Eternal (Functional) Subordination of the Son of being little better than Arians. The claim is that
If in the Trinity all have the same authority, “none are before or after,” all are “co-equal” (the Athanasian Creed), then the doctrine of the Trinity calls into question all forms of human domination.
Which is, of course, begging the question since it implies that to be subordinate must be to be dominated – as though there is no other option. Thus we are accused of Arianism since we “subordinate” the Son to the Father and make Him less than He is.
- The great mistake of Arianism was to be unable to reconcile how one divine person might be functionally subordinate to another while remaining ontologically equal, just as the Father and Son actually are and as Nicaea affirmed.
- Critics of complementarianism similarly refuse to reconcile how one gender may be (in certain circumstances) functionally subordinate to another while remaining ontologically equal. They cannot conceive of a functional subordination that does not also imply an ontological subordination – just as Arius their methodological forefather could not.