In her newly released book, A Development, Not a Departure: The Lacunae in the Debate of the Trinity and Gender Roles, Southwestern Seminary professor Hongyi Yang examines the debate surrounding the doctrine of the Trinity as it relates to gender roles. Formerly Yang’s dissertation, the book addresses the gaps in the debate while offering further exploration of existing arguments.

Yang is an assistant professor of systematic theology at Southwestern Seminary and serves as the director of the Mandarin Translation Project for the seminary’s MTS program. As a student in pursuit of her Master of Arts in theology and Ph.D. from Southwestern, Yang says her own questions regarding the doctrine of the Trinity drew her to the topic. She says she wanted to research areas of academic scholarship she believed were lacking.

Research Professor of Systematic Theology Malcolm Yarnell, who served as Yang’s Ph.D. supervisor, commended Yang for the way in which she treated a multi-faceted debate and recommends the title as a necessary work for theologians who wish to wade into the discussion with credibility.

“The theologian who simultaneously navigates the demanding disciplines of Scriptural exegesis, historical theology, and contemporary systematics is rare,” Yarnell says. “That a rising scholar does so, especially when many of contemporary evangelicalism’s finest find it difficult, challenges the imagination. 

“Add to this complex scenario the further difficulty of a contemporary debate filled with rancor, and you will quickly realize that this present book represents a human impossibility. Yet Hongyi Yang has successfully authored a monograph that will demand appreciative responses from across the spectrum.”

Thomas Schreiner, professor and associate dean at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, applauded Yang for her contribution to a complex subject with clarity and diligent research.

“Hongyi Yang has written a thoughtful and wide-ranging study defending the idea that the submission of the Son to the Father is a legitimate development of and not a departure from the doctrine of the Trinity,” Schreiner says. “Yang integrates church history, theological reflection, and biblical exegesis into this fascinating study. […] I am grateful for this fine study and expect that it will be often cited in future discussions.”

Finally, Research Professor at Phoenix Seminary Wayne Grudem praises Yang for her extensive work on the subject, particularly her writing on more recent developments in the debate. In her book, Yang cites and examines Grudem’s writings on the discussion, including his recently revised position.

“Hongyi Yang’s dissertation is a truly impressive analysis of recent debates about the eternal submission of the Son to the Father in the Trinity,” Grudem says. “Her work is carefully reasoned, remarkably insightful, and comprehensive in scope. Where she pointed out shortcomings in my own writings on this topic, I found her evaluations to be thoughtful and useful. I am happy to give this book a strong commendation.” 

A Development, Not a Departure was published with P&R Publishing and is available for purchase here.