In recent weeks we have seen so called Reformed apologists deny the eternal generation of the Son, deny the subordination of the Son to the Father and belligerently affirm that John 14:28 merely asserts a functional subordination to the Father in the economia. This interpretation is a complete innovation and has no historical credibility, except for an ambiguity in Basil the Great. Here then I catalog a series of Early Fathers on the interpretation of John 14:28 affirming an ontological subordination that pertains not to a denial of homoousios but an affirmation of the Father’s hypostatic Monarchy and the Son’s subordination to the Father as his source and origin.
i) Quoting some church fathers, even if they happen to agree with him, is a fallacious argument from authority. The church fathers were just some Christian writers who lived a long time ago. Their opinions merit no special deference. The fact that they believe something doesn’t make it true or probably true. Their opinions are only as good as their supporting arguments.
Drake is play-acting. This is the behavior of someone who’s so consumed by the role he’s playing that he resorts to patently fallacious arguments
It’s also amusing to see a defender of Samuel Clarke feign to be the champion of historical orthodoxy.
ii) Did I “belligerently affirm” a particular interpretation of Jn 14:28. No, I merely posted, without comment, some exegesis of that verse by Herman Ridderbos. Notice that Drake does nothing to disprove the interpretation.
iii) Finally, Drake is no expert on historical theology. For instance, William Cunningham, even though he himself defends the eternal generation of the Son, goes on to say:
The use of the word subordination, however, even when thus explained and limited, has been generally avoided by orthodox writers, as fitted to suggest ideas inconsistent with true and proper divinity, and to give a handle to the Arians. Historical Theology 1:296.