Are there any Trinitarian Protestant denominations that deny the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son from the Father? By "denomination" in this context I am excluding any sects, Unitarians, or Oneness groups.

"Eternal generation of the Son" excludes any form of Arianism based on this usage, and is the historical view expressed in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed. As I am anticipating the answer "no," an example of a good answer would be, "This group is an example and their position is this."

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    There are many individuals in conservative reformed Protestant circles that reject this idea. But I'd be surprised if there's a denomination that explicitly rejects it in its statement of faith. Nov 11, 2015 at 16:11
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    There are definitely large numbers who reject any kind of subordinationism, but they're unlikely to constitute whole denominations.
    – curiousdannii
    Nov 11, 2015 at 16:22
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    Are you asking only for modern-day denominations, or would historical groups make for a valid answer?
    – Flimzy
    Nov 12, 2015 at 10:44
  • Sometimes people (e.g., Origen) used the terms Eternal Generion to say that God generated His Son in eternity past. In other times, people use the term to say the God has always been and will always be generating the Son. I assume you mean the second?
    – Andries
    Dec 11, 2022 at 8:02
  • I have just been listening to an SDA scholar (Steve Bauer - Why the Trinity Matters). In his view, the SDA accepts the Trinity but not the credal formulation of the Trinity. He says they do not accept the idea of one substance because that is not Bible-based but a remnant of Greek philosophy. This implies that they also do not accept the second meaning of Eternal Generation as per my previous comment.
    – Andries
    Dec 11, 2022 at 8:06

1 Answer 1


The Churches of Christ appear to not espouse the doctrine of eternal Sonship; however neither do the deny Christ's eternity or His divinity.

See "Eternal Sonship" on this Church of Christ's web page, and their about page identifying them as Church of Christ.

See "Jesus the Son of God Eternally?" Bullet "2. The Denial of Eternal Sonship" in a magazine published by Church of Christ, and their about page identifying them as Church of Christ

Adam Clark, a Methodist theologian, not representing the beliefs of His denomination, did not espouse the doctrine of eternal Sonship.

John MacArthur for a long time did not espouse the doctrine of eternal Sonship, but recanted his stance.

I found some others listed who do not espouse the doctrine of eternal Sonship.

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    Your "Jesus the Son of God Eternally" link doesn't work for me. And your first link is to a particular congregation's website, which for the Church of Christ doesn't mean much: the denomination doesn't impose much on its churches. Nov 11, 2015 at 23:58
  • Thank you. I fixed the link. Yes, I provided the links to show that the belief is there; but, you are correct, they are a non creedal, so in fact, they would not be considered a "Trinitarian" denomination either."
    – user4109
    Nov 12, 2015 at 0:39
  • @Sarah That's going too far. They may not like to pin themselves to specific doctrines but there's no doubt they're both trinitarian and protestant.
    – curiousdannii
    Nov 12, 2015 at 9:14
  • I did not mean it the way you took it. We have several Christian Churches in our area, and they are viewed as a mainstream denomination. Thus, I thought I had provided an appropriate example. But, Nathaniel is correct in that they do allow for the autonomy of the local church, they are non-creedal, and a search for Trinity on their web site shows demonstrates they do not use the term "Trinity" nor "Trinitarian" to describe themselves: church-of-christ.org/…
    – user4109
    Nov 12, 2015 at 13:05

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