Recently, an “Evangelical” theologian William David Spencer has come up with a supposed “Evangelical Statement on the Trinity”, which can be found here. When the Statement is analyzed however, it can be seen that the Statement actually compromises the historic Christian doctrine of the Trinity as codified in the Athanasian Creed.
Historically, the two extremes in thinking about God has been either to collapse the three into one, or to deny the one in favor of three. The former is seen in Modalism or Sabellianism, the error of the heretic T.D. Jakes. The latter is seen in the error of Arianism and Subordinationism, where the distinction between the persons of the Trinity are so accentuated that they the three persons are not considered as three coequal and coeternal persons. The Athanasius Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Definition of Chalcedon forge a path through these twin peaks of error, and so they give the Church a firm foundation of the Doctrine of the Trinity.
As we shall see however, this supposed “Evangelical Statement on the Trinity” in its promotion of egalitarianism compromises the historic orthodoxy doctrine of God. Without further to do, here is the full response. An excerpt:
Recently, William David Spencer, in consultation with many theologians, has drafted a document which he has called “An Evangelical Statement on the Trinity.” Is this document however what it proclaims to be? Is this statement truly Evangelical, in the historic sense of the term? More importantly, is it biblical?
In this article, I would like to analyze this statement as it is made available online. Is this a statement that Christians and especially Evangelicals should embrace, or should it be rejected?
The theological commentary of the Statement is arranged according to a few themes, and we will therefore in part one first address these themes in the order they are written, then give an apologetic for a more biblical view of the Trinity in part two.