B.B. Warfield on begottenness and subordination in the Trinity
Given recent discussions regarding the relationship between the Father and the Son in the Trinity and whether this relationship should be understood as one of “eternal functional subordination,” this quote from B. B. Warfield seemed appropriate. In this section, Warfield is arguing that sonship is about likeness rather than subordination.
‘To be the Son of God is any sense was to be like God in that sense; to be God’s own Son was to be exactly like God’, and ‘Here [I Cor. II. 10-11] the Spirit appears as the substrate of Divine self-consciousness, the principle of God’s knowledge of Himself: He is, in a word, just God Himself in the innermost essence of his being….How can He be supposed then, to be subordinate to God, or to derive His Being from God? If however, the subordination of the Son and Spirit to the Father in modes of subsistence and their derivation from the Father are not implicates of their designation as Son and Spirit, it will be hard to find in the New Testament compelling evidence of their subordination and derivation.
“The Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity” in Biblical Doctrines (New York: Oxford University Press, 1929), 164-5.