To affirm dyotheletism regarding the Person of Christ [that is,
the classic Christological view that Jesus, as the God-Man, had both a divine
and human will] is to locate the will in "nature," not
"person." This means that, though there are three co-eternal persons
in the one being who is God, since He only has one undivided nature, He only
has one will in His divine essence (though He added a human will through the
incarnation). This observation leads to a serious questioning of the idea that
‘there are eternal roles of authority and submission within the Trinity’ [an
idea currently popular in some evangelical circles]. If there is a single
divine will, then what within the Son could eternally submit to the Father?
Does an understanding that the single divine will precludes
‘eternal roles of authority and submission’ also argue against the Reformed
understanding of an eternal Covenant of Redemption? Does the revelation of the
Son as “the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8) indicate
an eternal arrangement by which the Son submits to the Father?
A series of questions I’m struggling with, in hoping to grow in
my understanding of our glorious God, involves whether–in affirming the single
divine will (an affirmation that I believe is necessary in order to properly
affirm that “YHWH is One,” Deut 6:4)–we might also need to somehow affirm (in order to
make since of other biblical texts) that the single divine will is eternally
expressed through the three subsistences [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit].
does the current notion of ‘eternal roles of authority and submission’ dovetail
with the Covenant of Redemption, or are these doctrines entirely distinct? Does
an affirmation of the Covenant of Redemption undermine any proper basis for
questioning the idea of ‘eternal roles of authority and submission’? If I
believe that the Covenant of Redemption is a valid biblical category, am I–in
fact–either affirming ‘eternal roles of authority and submission’ or at least
admitting that there is nothing in principle barring such an arrangement?