The feminists have always moved from their rebellious denial of the harmony of equality and authority and submission in their anthropology to the high rebellion of denying the harmony of equality and authority and submission in the Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Back in the early eighties, Roger Nicole, my theology professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, was an inconsistent feminist who promoted women pastors and elders while continuing to confess Adam’s headship over Eve. Thus he taught that it was rebellion for wives to refuse to submit to their husbands in marriage as well as families to refuse to submit to fathers.
Move forward a couple decades and Dr. Nicole had changed so that, by 1999, his rebellion had spread to denying God’s order of creation in the Garden of Eden required any sort of male authority. Husbands were no longer the heads of their wives and fathers no longer the heads of their families.
It became inevitable, then, that Dr. Nicole would move from denying the compatibility of equality and authority and submission between Adam and Eve in Eden to denying the compatibility of equality and authority and submission within the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Long before guys like Carl Trueman started picking away at Nicene Trinitarianism and blaming complementarians for making them do it, feminists like Dr. Nicole had blazed the path for them. Two decades ago, when Dr. Nicole turned away from orthodoxy in his anthropology, he joined Wheaton’s’ Gilbert Bilezikian in promoting their rebellion from man to the Godhead.
Here’s an excerpt from a paper Dr. Nicole gave at the November 1999 Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. It is not those who confess God’s decree of father-rule who are trying to sneak Father-authority into the Godhead. It is those who deny God’s decree of father-rule across all creation who sneak their rebellion into the Godhead.
Here’s the excerpt:
To my knowledge there are six arguments advanced to indicate that a wife’s submission was a feature of the Edenic Age. All of these, singly or in combination, appear inadequate, or even counterproductive.
Argument 1: Adam was formed first, then Eve (1 Timothy 2:13):
[But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. (1 Timothy 2:12, 13)]
…If this chronological sequence is advanced in order to prove the authority of the husband over his wife, the premise would seem to be “anteriority = authority.” But this is manifestly false.
If in a marriage a woman were older than her husband, this would confer the authority to her! This is a position that, to my knowledge, no one advocates.
If some one should think that this is the argument of Paul in 1 Timothy 2:13, I reply that I cannot entertain the idea that Paul under inspiration should advance an argument which is so manifestly flawed.
In the eschaton there will be no need for submission of the redeemed to the will of Christ, for their own will shall be identical with His. This parallels the Trinitarian relationship where there is one common will of all three Persons so that none is submissive to any other. To think otherwise represents a dangerous flirtation with Arianism.
Reading his abuse of the Apostle Paul’s statement of the meaning of Adam being created first and Eve second, it’s obvious why Dr. Nicole next turned to the Trinity and tried to strongarm his way to a redo of Nicene Trinitarianism.
Among Americans steeped in our culture of rebellion, faithful shepherds must never stop repeating the Trinitarian and Biblical truth that authority and submission and equality have never been and will never be incompatible. The Father sent forth His Son; and in being sent, His Son lost none of His divinity, and thus none of His equality.