Butner discusses first published book

By KAITLYNN LITTLE, reporter
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018

Photo by Kaitlynn Little

At 5 p.m. today in Heritage Hall the Theology Department hosted a community event for assistant professor Glenn Butner’s recently published book, “The Son who Learned Obedience: A Theological Case Against the Eternal Submission of the Son.”

The event provided time for the college and local community to be the first to hear about and buy his book.  

Butner said he got his inspiration for the book first from hearing a theologian talk about the relationships between the trinity in 2014. Afterwards, Butner wrote an article furthering its discussion. In 2016, an online debate on that same topic led many people to read Butner’s article for information.  

Because of that attention, people started asking Butner to write more and come speak at conferences on the subject. His original article evolved and was later published in the Journal of Theological Society.   

He wrote blog posts, spoke at conferences, and published papers on the subject of the Son’s free will. He ended up writing the book by putting together these various pieces.  

“It isn’t really that clear in the Bible where there is a theology and philosophy that unpacks really how ‘will’ works,” Butner said. “Jesus having a human will is pretty important. Because he offers human obedience on our behalf, so we don’t have to. Our connection to Christ is our shared humanity.”  

He said he sent the rough draft to multiple people and book companies.  

“For this book, I got a lot of help from other people at this college,” Butner said. “The library staff and faculty. Professor Bronlewee, Dr. Gabrielson, Dr. Millhouse, all helped me edit and proof some stuff. And Lydia, she supported me through when I spent a lot of time writing this book two years ago, and listening as I discussed the trinity a lot. She has been advocating the book maybe more than I have.” 

Butner thinks the content of the book will help people because many people are wrestling with those questions.  

“The book is for basically, pastors, professors, theology graduate students, and smart Christians,” he said. “I didn’t write it at a level where everyone will easily be able to read it. I hope it will start a new conversation on this subject, that is more charitable, and that better identifies the issues at stake.”  

Attendees were allowed time to ask questions of Butner following his presentation. Refreshments of lemonade, chips, and Rice Krispies with the Keltic trinitarian knot decorated on top with frosting were provided by Lydia Butner.