If the Son is necessarily the Son and the Father is necessarily not the Son, then the Son is essentially the Son and the Father is essentially not the Son. Thus the Son is essentially different from the Father. Must you not deny homoousion on the basis of your own premises?
This parallels the central argument that Drs. Yandell and McCall were making—and shows its weakness:
If the Son is necessarily subordinate to the Father, then the Son is essentially subordinate to the Father. Thus, the Son is essentially different from the Father, which entails a denial of homoousion.
Unfortunately, Dr. Yandell didn’t understand the question. But it is one that needs to be addressed.
Neither he nor Tom shows how their position—on their own premises—can account for any necessary differences without denying homoousion, because, they argue, all necessary differences are essential differences.
They are left with three choices:
- Deny homoousion.
- Deny that there are any necessary differences among Father, Son, and Spirit.
- Withdraw their argument.
I’d suggest #3, but they must choose at least one.
Update 1: Nick understands the force of my question.
Update 2: I develop the argument more thoroughly in my next post: Does Eternal Subordination Entail a Denial of Homoousion?
Update 3: Replaced my misuse of homoousian, which typically refers to someone who believes in homoousion, with the more appropriate homoousion.
Update 4: The discussion has continued over on James Gordon’s blog, Conquering Thirst.