Tag Archives | Tom McCall

Does the McCall–Yandell Argument Work? Feinberg Says No

I commented briefly in the second half of this post on why I think that the McCall–Yandell argument fails. (To get up to speed on what that argument is, see my two previous posts here and here.) A couple of days ago I stumbled across a quote in John Feinberg’s No One Like Him that demonstrates nicely why that argument doesn’t succeed.

In the last section of his chapter on the Trinity, “Logic and the Doctrine of the Trinity,” Feinberg is responding to criticisms that challenge the logical coherency of the doctrine.

Timothy Bartel raises an objection that parallels the McCall–Yandell argument very closely, the only difference being which properties are in view. McCall and Yandell attacked the notions of authority and submission, but if their argument is applied consistently, it would have to encompass any properties that the three don’t share in common.

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Does Eternal Subordination Entail a Denial of Homoousion?

Shield of the TrinityIn tonight’s debate, McCall and Yandell tried to make the case that the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father entails a denial of homoousion.

The Argument

Here’s their argument:

  1. If the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father in all possible worlds, then the Son is necessarily subordinate to the Father.
  2. If the Son is necessarily subordinate to the Father, then the Son is essentially subordinate to the Father.
  3. Thus, the Son, as essentially subordinate to the Father, is of a different essence or nature than the Father, which entails a denial of homoousion.

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My Question for Dr. Yandell

My good friend Andy Naselli is sitting on the front row watching and live blogging the debate. He asked me if I wanted to ask a question, so I sent this:

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.

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Trinity Debate—Live

I mentioned the debate between Ware–Grudem and McCall–Yandell a while back. The subject of the debate is “Do relations of authority and submission exist eternally among the Persons of the Godhead?” I’m currently watching the debate live right now. You can tune in as well.

I don’t know if I’ll liveblog. We’ll see. But I probably will write a post later analyzing the debate.

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Ware–Grudem vs. McCall–Yandell on the Trinity

Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, Thomas McCall, and Keith YandellA few weeks ago, a friend informed me of this upcoming debate between Bruce Ware & Wayne Grudem and Tom McCall & Keith Yandell. It’s very relevant to my dissertation topic, so I’m looking forward to hearing the results. Hopefully audio and transcripts will be made available.

I read a paper from Tom McCall several months ago on this subject and was not very satisfied with his approach. I think he oversimplifies matters and confuses categories (especially regarding the notion of essence—much like Kevin Giles does). I have had the privilege recently of interacting with Bruce Ware a little on these matters. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything as he states it and am still in the process of working through some of these issues, I’m far more comfortable with Ware’s approach.

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