Thanks so much for raising this! I have used Grudem (and seen him used by many sound teachers whom I respect) and have found him very helpful but I’ve never looked into this particular teaching of his. Your link was helpful as a starting point for exploring this more. Out of interest, what other Systematic Theology would you recommend?
Yes, he’s a very popular writer. His books consistently top the bestseller lists.
From those who’ve recounted the history, it appears that Grudem’s Trinitarian mistakes are related to his desire to establish a biblical basis for complementarianism. See here:
Grudem’s point ran along these lines, ‘If the Son submits to the Father, then what’s wrong with wives submitting to their husbands?’
Thankfully, there’s been a strong movement to reclaim historic, orthodox teaching about the Trinity. This changes the shape of the discussion about gender roles to a look at other passages.
In terms of a Systematic Theology I could recommend, I point people to Dr. Michael Bird’s Evangelical Theology:
More broadly, I’ve started to move towards reading and consulting Biblical theologies.
Systematic theology is a valuable discipline. I had to take three semesters of it at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and then write my own systematic theology! That intensive process of study helps us to understand how to best organize what the Scripture teaches on various subjects - who is God, what does it mean to be human, what is salvation, and so on. I think it would be incredible if every believer attempted to write their own systematic theology.
However, this process can have some weaknesses. By organizing the entire Bible around a doctrine, sometimes it can start to squeeze and stretch the Scriptures, because the Bible is not presented topically.
That is, “what the Bible teaches” about “the person and work of Christ” can be misleading. Because different parts of the Bible teach different - though joined up - aspects of who Christ is. What we learn about Jesus in the Psalms helps us understand what we see in the Gospels, and vice versa, but these different sections do have their own voice and perspective.
So, I am finding more insight by looking at how various themes, metaphors, and imagery we find in the story of Scripture develop over time. Speaking roughly, this is the work of Biblical theology.
The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology is quite helpful in this regard:
In general, Biblical theology helps me to see how each book of the Bible, or larger sections of the Scripture, discuss a certain topic (e.g., the Holy Spirit) as the story progresses. This enables me to still make an application to the present day, but with what I sense is a greater respect for how I interact with the Scriptures in that process.
I look forward to hearing other recommendations.