According to Clarkian Scripturalist Drake Shelton,
Samuel Clarke was a semi-arian. Semi-Arians were clearly admitted into communion by Athanasius…Semi-arians are not heretics.
Drake has now added the following claim:
My friend Mark Xu and I have come to an agreement, in our readings of Clarke, that when Clarke says that the Son and Spirit are not necessities of nature, he is simply affirming that they are not auto-theos. That is his essential point, when you take his statement in context. This interpretation would then be perfectly consistent with Nicene Orthodoxy.
However, that’s not all there is to Clarke’s position. As Dale Tuggy notes, in his summary exposition of his position:
The God of Israel, the one true God, just is the Father of Jesus. Further, he is the main and the primary and ultimate object of Christian worship and prayer, and as the sole recipient of the highest kind of worship.
And that’s not an incidental or disposable feature of Clarke’s overall position. Rather, that’s a logical and practical consequence of how he understands Scriptural usage (“Certain names or titles in the Bible, including ‘God’, always or nearly always refer to the Father, giving him a kind of primacy among the three”), along with his theory of divine derivation.
Do Clarkian Scripturalists like Drake Shelton, Mark Xu, and Ryan Hedrich, agree with Clarke’s conclusion? Is the Father more worshipful than the Son and Spirit? Are there different degrees of worship we should accord the different members of the Trinity? Should we accord the Father the highest degree of adoration?
If they disagree with Clarke, how do they logically distinguish their position from his?
Put another way, was Fosdick right to say worshiping Jesus is perilous? Do Christians run the risk of idolatry if we accord the Son and the Spirit the same level of adoration we accord the Father?
If Jesus is less worshipful than the Father, should Christians practice mental reservations when worshipping Jesus? Should we reserve the highest adoration for the Father alone?
Is worshipping Jesus secondary to worshiping the Father? Is worshiping Jesus just a means to an end? Is the Father the ultimate and true object of adoration and devotion?
Are Calvinists like B. B. Warfield, John Murray, John Frame, Paul Helm, and Calvin himself, idolaters for worshiping Jesus too much? Must we guard our hearts against the grave danger of esteeming Jesus too highly?
What do other Clarkian Scripturalists like Vincent Cheung, Daniel Chew, Gary Crampton et al. think of these developments?