Those who oppose the Eternal Sonship of Christ have invented some very clever evasions of the biblical evidence. They have argued that the use of the term, Son, is proleptic and merely anticipates the sonship which he would take up in His incarnation. Others (admitting how unnatural such a reading is of the key passages) have opined that the term, Son, while used of the pre-existent and eternal state, only conveys His equality with the Father and nothing further.
What both of these evasions fail to account for, it seems to me, is that the very passages in question not only teach the eternal sonship of Christ, but the eternal fatherhood of the Father. Look at them again.
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
John 10:36 do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God ‘?
Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law
1 John 4:9-14 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins….We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
Hebrews 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
The order of the Trinity for which these blogs have been arguing is taught by several things in these passages. First, the primacy of the Father is taught by the way in which “the God” (The article is present in each of the above passages mention of God) and “Father” are interchanged in these passages. Second, the order of the Trinity is made clear by the explicit statement that the Father sent the Son.
Will the evasions invented by the opponents of eternal sonship also work for the eternal fatherhood of the first person of the Trinity? Does the term, Father, merely indicate His equality of nature with the Son? Since when? Is the term, Father, merely applied to the person of the Trinity who sends His Son proleptically? Was He no Father until the birth of Jesus? Then why not say that He was not “the God” until then? If Father is proleptic, why not say that identifying the Father as “the God” is also proleptic (as He is identified in John 3:16, 17; Gal. 4:4; Heb. 1:1; and 1 John 4:10). Surely the Nicene Creed with its doctrines of the monarchy of the Father, the eternal generation of the Son, the eternal procession of the Spirit is greatly to be preferred as the correct solution for reading these texts!