When Cyril was asked whether the Son existed before generation, he answered: ?The generation of the Son did not precede his existence, but he always existed, and that by generation.?
(c) Not an act of the Father?s will, but an internal necessity of the divine nature ? so that the Son is no more dependent upon the Father than the Father is dependent upon the Son and so that if it be consistent with deity to be Father, it is equally consistent with deity to be Son.
The sun is as dependent upon the sunlight as the sunlight is upon the sun for without sunlight the sun is no true sun. So God the Father is as dependent upon God the Son, as God the Son is dependent upon God the Father for without Son the Father would be no true Father. To say that aseity belongs only to the Father is logically Arianism and Subordinationism proper, for it implies a subordination of the essence of the Son to the Father. Essential subordination would be inconsistent with equality. See Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk, 1:115. Palmer, Theol. Definitions, 66, 67, says that Father = independent life; Son begotten = independent life voluntarily brought under limitations; Spirit = necessary consequence of existence of the other two? the words and actions whereby we design to affect others are ?begotten.? The atmosphere of unconscious influence is not ?begotten,? but ?proceeding.?
(d) Not a relation in any way analogous to physical derivation, but a life movement of the divine nature, in virtue of which Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, while equal in essence and dignity, stand to each other in an order of personality, office, and operation, and in virtue of which the Father works through the Son, and the Father and the Son through the Spirit.
The subordination of the person of the Son to the person of the Father, or in other words an order of personality, office, and operation which permits the Father to be officially first, the Son second, and the Spirit third, is perfectly consistent with equality. Priority is not necessarily? superiority. The possibly of an order, which yet involves no inequality, may be illustrated by the relation between man and woman. In office man is first and woman second, but woman?s soul is worth as much as mans: see <461103>1 Corinthians 11:3 ? ?the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man: and the head of Christ is God.? On
<431428> John 14:28 ? ?the Father is greater than I? ? see Westcott, Bib. Com., in loco .
Edwards, Observations on the Trinity (edited by Smyth), 22 ? ?In the Son the whole deity and glory of the Father is as it were repeated or
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