Another Complementarian Caricature

Egalitarians sometimes promote their point of view by equating complementarianism with oppressive forms of patriarchy. Often this is done through caricature rather than through engaging with mainstream complementarians and their stated beliefs. Unfortunately, another instance of this has happened in a recent article by Jana Chapman Gates.

In an opinion piece for Christianity Today, Gates writes about her recent move from Manhattan to an undisclosed location in the Midwest. She joined a church and enlisted in a small group Bible Study that was going through a series on marriage. She was shocked to discover that her new friends held some fairly disturbing views on gender relations. In short, she learned that they believed that “Christianity subjugates women” because women in general are more prone to sin than men are. Her friends established the point by appealing to 2 Timothy 2:12-15. Gates is concerned that her friends might not realize the implications of their view. She notes that “arguments about the foolishness of women have been historically used to deny women civil rights.”

There really isn’t any new ground covered in this article. Gates touches upon some of the well-worn issues that evangelical feminists and complementarians have debated ad infinitum for decades. Unfortunately, the friends in her Bible study did not present her with a mainstream complementarian interpretation of the text that she stumbles over, so her analysis of the issue is fairly skewed. Although there are some exceptions, complementarians by and large do not believe that women are more gullible or prone to sin than men are—much less do they hold that as a basis for the biblical doctrine of male headship (1 Corinthians 11:3).

For complementarians, headship is rooted neither in woman’s sin nor in man’s. Rather, headship is rooted in the order of creation that God established in the Garden of Eden before there was any sin in the world (Genesis 2; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9; 1 Timothy 2:13). It’s a misinterpretation of 1 Timothy 2:12-15 to say that women are more prone to sin than men are. The classic exposition of this point comes from Douglas Moo (Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, pp. 189-190), and I direct readers there for more on this topic.

Beyond the caricatures, however, there was another important item in Gates’s piece that deserves comment. She not only takes umbrage with the idea that women are more prone to sin; she also disagrees with the notion of headship at all. She does not want to believe—to use her words—that “Christianity subjugates women.” She confesses that if that is what Christianity truly teaches, then she doesn’t want to have anything to do with the God of that version of Christianity. That was her response to being “confronted with a notion of God that didn’t match my own.”

I understand why the idea of headship is difficult to accept. It is positively counter-cultural, and no one is going to be able to make nice with mainstream culture if they adopt this view. It’s just too offensive to the spirit of the age. Nevertheless, in approaching an issue like this one, it is dangerous to assume a posture of instant recalcitrance when “confronted with a notion of God that didn’t match my own.” Sometimes such resistance is good. There are many unorthodox “notions of God” that we would do well to resist. But we have to admit that sometimes our own notions of God need to be corrected or refined. When I find in the Bible a notion of God that doesn’t match my own, I shouldn’t go instantly looking for hermeneutical strategies to support my current view. I have to press in to the scripture, find out what it teaches, and then conform my beliefs to that teaching whether I am comfortable with it or not. That’s how the authority of scripture works in the Christian life. It changes us. We don’t change it.

Gates’s article is interesting, but it is ultimately not that helpful. Mainstream complementarians are not making the case that women are more prone to sin than men. They are, however, making the case that we need to submit ourselves to the authority of scripture—even when it confronts long-cherished beliefs.

697 Responses to Another Complementarian Caricature

  1. Frank Gantz August 3, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    Denny, I think you missed on this one. At least in regard to the CT article. After reading Gates, I did not get the sense that she was creating a caricature, but telling of her experience.

    She really doesn’t even deal with headship. In fact, I thought she wrapped her article up well with advice to dig deeper into the Bible rather than run from God when faced with something that might not match one’s own thoughts.

  2. Charlton Connett August 3, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    I too believe that Dr. Burk misread this article. However, Dr. Burk’s contention that the class taught that women are “more prone to sin” is correct. For the very reason that Sue disagreed with him: the class taught that women are more foolish than men. If women are more foolish, then they are prone to make foolish choices, and in so doing they are more prone to sin, as all sin is foolishness. But, that really is a side issue in this article, an introductory device used to demonstrate how the class taught that men and women are “unequal” in all the wrong ways.

    This brings us to the idea that men and women are “equal,” as mentioned in the article. The equality that Gates seems to want to establish is not that of egalitarianism necessarily. Gates’ references seem much more in line with those with which complementarians would agree.

    Her initial complaint is that the positions taken in the class seemed to indicate that women and men were in a different position before God. That women were perhaps more responsible for the fall, or perhaps less able to enjoy salvation simply through Christ. Her response to this was a turning away from her idea of God, that he would somehow hold her to another standard, not necessarily more sinful, but less able to partake of the grace offered her through Christ. To my knowledge, no right thinking Christian would hold that view; this was not a matter of complementarianism, but just bad soteriology on the part of the teachers of her group.

    That leads me to one last critique of Dr. Burk’s reading of the article: Mrs. Gates response. She notes early in the article that she learned something about God. She says later in the article that she did not want to know God if what she was taught was true. She ends with saying that she realized she had been running from God instead of drawing close to him through Scripture. Mrs. Gates initial response was to turn away, but her point was that the correct response should have been, and ultimately was, turning to God and finding peace in him. Mrs. Gates is entirely correct in saying that instead of running from Scripture she should have instead dug in deeper and sought to better understand what Scripture teaches.

    Over all, I find Denny’s reading of this particular article to miss the mark. I think his analysis is uncharitable to the author and misconstrues the purpose of the article. However, I recognize I could be wrong, and perhaps Gates intended her article to be a reflection upon the comp. vs. egal. debate, but I did not read it in that light. I found the article to be interesting and informative, if for no other purpose than to remind me of the importance of being critical of what I accept as Christian teaching, and what I teach others. More than that though, I found Gates response to the situation to be encouraging: do not run from God, but instead run to him when challenged by things we do not understand in Scripture.

  3. Tom1st August 3, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    I’ve seen caricatures made on this very page about Egalitarians not believing in the authority of scripture. So, whether the article does what Dr. Burk says it does or not, this is much like the pot calling the kettle black.

    I wish we could all move past such caricatures of each other and actually get on with the discussion as brothers and sisters of the same, Triune, self-giving God.

  4. Sue August 3, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Charlton,

    Thank you for interacting with my earlier, but now deleted comment.

    You write,

    “For the very reason that Sue disagreed with him: the class taught that women are more foolish than men.If women are more foolish, then they are prone to make foolish choices, and in so doing they are more prone to sin, as all sin is foolishness.”

    This is not biblical morality. There is no connection with analytic ability and morality – in scriptural terms. In sociaological terms, I think we can agree that more convicted criminals have a lower education, in fact, many are dyslexic. However, more convicted criminals are male also. Males are more aggressive, possibly more prone to dyslexia, I really don’t want to get into this, but having males make decisions over females is highly problematic any way you look at it.

    Gates was clear that the class taught that women should desire men’s ability to analyze and provide counsel. The class seemed to be teaching that male decision-making was a natural good for women. I believe that many complementarians do think that it is better for women if men have final decision-making role over women.

    Unfortunately history teaches us otherwise. It is not to women’s benefit to have a lesser role in decision-making. There is no natural good in this.

  5. Charlton Connett August 3, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Sue,

    Please do not misunderstand me, I do not think that women are more foolish than men. However, I would argue that anyone who is foolish is prone to make more mistakes. A person who makes more mistakes will sin more often. Consider the Psalms: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” and, “The stupid cannot know, the fool cannot understand this.” Proverbs 10:8 says, “The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.” In Proverbs 10:23 we read, “Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom pleasure to a man of understanding.”

    My point with all of this is simply to point out that foolishness, in Scripture, leads to, derives from, or is equated with sin and doing wrong. Even in Proverbs 1:7 we see this, as Solomon writes, “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” To act foolishly will necessarily lead one into sin, just as being sinful can cause one to be given over to foolishness. (Cf. Romans 1) Sin is foolishness, thus anyone, male or female, who is prone to foolishness is prone to sin.

    I will agree with you that analytic ability is not the defining factor of sinfulness. But, analytic ability alone is not wisdom. Lacking the ability to analyze a situation may lead to foolishness, but a lack of analytic ability is not foolishness. Ultimately I think you may be interpreting “foolishness” too narrowly, or I am being too broad in my reading. However, I am trying to use the word in the way that Scripture uses it, which was what I assumed the original author meant in how she used it.

    Yes, if what Gates records of the class is true, and I have no reason to assume otherwise, then the teacher said that women should welcome men making decisions for them because they are naturally more foolish. Yes, some complementarians may hold that position (apparently so, based on Gates’ article). However, I think you would find that most complementarians would agree with you, there is no natural good in saying that women should have a “lesser” role in decision-making. Most complementarians I know, and I am one, would argue that a man does well to listen to his wife, and a wife does well to listen to her husband. “The two shall become one flesh” does not mean either of them got all the brains.

  6. Derek August 3, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    As a matter of biology, it seems quite clear to me that God made men and women distinct in many ways. My children (2 boys, 1 girl) remind me of this every day. Men do tend to see things in analytical, black and white terms. Women tend towards the other end of the spectrum, seeing things in shades of gray and in more emotional terms.

    Ok, now pause and breathe.

    We can stop right there and get defensive – from either perspective – and protest that men have emotions and women can do math. All of this is true! But it need not take away from biological realities. We also need to realize that we live in a peculiar culture, one that wishes to eliminate all mention and consideration of gender differences. God did not create the sexes merely for reproduction. We simply have different strengths and weaknesses. Understanding and embracing these differences does not necessarily lead to “subjugation”.

    I don’t agree with everything that these fellow Bible study members said (and I do think it is important to realize these were laypersons, not pastors that Gates was interacting with), but I think Gates is engaging in a non-sequitur when she leaps all the way from an embrace of biological differences to subjugation. Even the fact that God has delegated leadership in the home and church does not necessarily imply subjugation of women. If we accept this idea that none of us should submit to anyone (because that implies subjugation), what do we do with I Peter 2? This line of objection from Gates simply “does not follow”.

  7. Sue August 3, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Charlton,

    I was thinking of foolishness in different terms. I sometimes work with the mentally handicapped, and I can honestly say that intelligence of any kind is not related to morality. I cringe at this suggestion.

    But this does raise many issues. First, although women are different from men, it has now come out in studies that women are better at investing money and are better at risk assessment. Regardless of how you cut this cookie, it disables a family for decision-making to be assigned primarily to the man.

    It is my observation that men often wish to suggest that men are better at making decisions, in order to escape the moral dilemma that men are actually worse at decisions relating to the family, and assigning them the task of making the final decisions is not a good thing.

    I think men who believe they have to make the decisions WANT to believe that this is a good thing, so they want to believe that men are better at making decisions.

    Unfortunately, when men go on about how gender differences means that men are better at making decisions, sometimes very bad things happen because male selfish desire is given free rein.

    All in all, to assign decision-making between two people to the male, works against basing decisions on a moral foundation. Men are simply not moral all the time, and in fact, participate in criminal activity at a much higher rate than women.

  8. Sue August 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Men do tend to see things in analytical, black and white terms. Women tend towards the other end of the spectrum, seeing things in shades of gray and in more emotional terms.,/i>

    I think Derek’s example is typical. He has created a dichotomy of “analytic/emotional.” Since men are clearly more agressive and more impulsive than women, women think that men are less rational than women.

    In fact, men may be more isolating, and women more connecting, but when it comes to facts, connecting is a productive way to operate.

  9. Sue August 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Oops. The first paragraph was Derek’s and the last two are mine.

  10. Derek August 3, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    Sue,
    If I said that your arguments are “typical egalitarian thought”, would that be patronizing? Yes, I think it would be. Would that be a failure to dialogue on the substance of this discussion and more specifically, Gates’ article? Yes, it would.

  11. Donald Johnson August 3, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    Headship is a human invented term not used in the Bible.

    One should talk about what the metaphor of kephale/head means when Paul uses it and also read the text in cultural context, which assumed the husband ruled his wife, but which Paul never says.

  12. Sue August 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    “typical egalitarian thought”

    I am fine with that.

    Clearly some complementarians believe that women need to be subjugated. Here is what I read on the CBMW site,

    “Most complementarians hold, then, that sin produced a disruption in God’s order of male headship and female submission, in which a) the woman would be inclined now to usurp the man’s rightful place of authority over her, and man may be required, in response, to reestablish his God-given rulership over the woman, and b) the man would be inclined to misuse his rights of rulership, either by sinful abdication of his God-given authority, acquiescing to the woman’s desire to rule over him (and so fail to lead as he should), or by abusing his rights to rule through harsh, cruel and exploitative domination of the woman.” (Bruce Ware)

    So, clearly there is no other option for “most” complementarians than a woman willing subjugating herself, or her being actively subjugated by her husband.

    And then if the man is to “rule” over his wife, what is the wife to do? From the same author,

    “The level of Jesus’ submission to the Father, then, is complete, comprehensive, all-inclusive an absolute. There are no exceptions to his submission and obedience, for he never once sins at any point throughout all his life.”

    “The wife is called to imitate the submission of Jesus Christ to the Father.” Dave Kotter.

    If you have ever traveled the path of total submission, – no ability to make the tiniest decision for yourself, no exceptions, absolutely and in a completely comprehensive way, and at the same time try to raise children and care for a household – then you know that this system leads to madness.

  13. Derek August 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Sue,
    I Peter 2 makes it clear that all believers are placed under various degrees of authority. Interestingly, Peter even tells his readers that they should submit to the authority of Nero and Rome, even though he was a type of anti-Christ. God established a hierarchy of leadership in the world, the Church and home for our protection and for His own purposes. When we submit to the various authority figures in our lives, we place ourselves under God’s protection. When we step outside of it, we ironically harm ourselves, because we are rejecting His own delegated authority.

    Are there instances where we are to disobey human authority? Yes, but that is not the default position – topic for another day.

    Our problem is that we view authority and leadership as a) fundamentally abusive b) outside of God’s established order. Generally speaking, we hate the very notion of being under authority and this stems from an un-biblical and worldly perspective, one that equates independence with freedom.

    The Biblical model is service, self-sacrifice and of honoring others above self. This is the Scriptural requirement for husbands as well. Wise women will look for a mate who genuinely puts the interests of others before his own. If she does marry such a man, she won’t be under the manipulative exploitation you describe. If she is exploited in such a fashion, she should submit her situation to trustworthy leadership in her church, who have also been placed over us for our protection.

    Unfortunately, your arguments rest on scenarios that are far outside the Biblical standard, Sue. Pointing to examples of abuse is a non-sequitur as well – it simply “does not follow” that abused standards force us to abandon standards in the first place.

  14. Sue August 3, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    Derek,

    Do you agree then with Ware that submission of a wife must be comprehensive, all inclusive and absolute, with no exceptions to obedience?

    My point is then that, in contrast to your early suggestion, complementarians do in fact, teach subjugation.

    I am simply disagreeing with your comment here,

    “but I think Gates is engaging in a non-sequitur when she leaps all the way from an embrace of biological differences to subjugation. Even the fact that God has delegated leadership in the home and church does not necessarily imply subjugation of women.”

    All I am pointing out is that yes, complementarians are teaching subjugation. There is really no reason for you to deny this, that I can see. You may then proceed to argue that subjugation is good for women, as the teachers that Gates encountered seem to be doing. But you can hardly deny that it is subjugation.

  15. Derek August 3, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    Donald Johnson,
    The term “kephale”, which you refer to, was a Greek term that was used in reference to authority figures.

    This is an important question for you and others to answer if you’re going to posit what you did in post #11 and here is why. Wayne Grudem researched many ancient Greek documents and found over 2,300 uses of the word “kephalÄ“” and has not found a reference that did not reference authority.

    I’ll ask you the same question that Grudem asks other egal. scholars, in reference to this line of argument: You claim that the Greek word for “head” means “source without the idea of authority.” Will you please show me one example in all of ancient Greek where this word (kephalÄ“) is used to refer to a person and means what you claim, namely, “non-authoritative source”?

  16. Derek August 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    Sue,
    No, I do not accept the premise that Scripture urges “subjugation”. The dictionary defines subjugation as:
    1. To bring under control; conquer. See Synonyms at defeat.
    2. To make subservient; enslave.

    This is not the Biblical model of how authority is to be exercised by husbands or by any person in leadership. As I said before, pointing to examples of abuse is a non-sequitur – it simply “does not follow” that abused standards force us to abandon standards in the first place.

  17. Charlton Connett August 3, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Sue,

    I think you are presenting a bit of a caricature of what mainstream complementarians teach.

    Do they teach submission? Yes. Do they teach subjugation? No. There is a difference between the two.

    When I was an insurance agent I submitted to my boss. I came in when he asked me to, I completed the tasks he asked of me. But I was never “subjugated” as that term implies, to my ear, a certain level of violence of force used to keep me “in my place.”

    I am submitted to Christ, but I would say that Christ freed me from my subjugation to sin. Whereas Christ has called me to be his servant, his authority over me is kind and loving. Sin, on the other hand, cruelly and violently killed me and oppressed me. Thus I gladly submit to Christ, but God does not need to subjugate me as he has long since won my heart.

    So with my wife. I love her and I ask for her opinion in almost everything we do. I expect that when we have children (as we are currently praying God will bless us soon) that she will make perfectly fine decisions for them in day-to-day life. But, if I do not like some toy, such that I cannot feel comfortable allowing our children to play with it, she would be willing to do away with that toy.

    Submission for my wife has meant being willing to leave her job and travel with me to seminary as I fulfilled what I believe to be the call of God on my life. Even now she is willing to move again as we are looking for a church I can serve at. In this I am not subjugating her, but she is submitting to following me as I follow Christ. In her “submission” she did not give up her ability to make “the tiniest decision” but she decided to follow me.

    My wife gives me the example that if I were called to a church in northern Alaska, she would be willing to go, even though she gets cold in the fall in Georgia. She does not want to go to Alaska, and she prays that God does not call us to Alaska, but wherever the Lord calls me to pastor, she is willing to go with me. So, also, in a simple matter such as going out for dinner or staying home, she would be willing to do what I wanted, even if it was not what she wanted.

    For my part, leading means that I hear her advice, I consider the situation, and then I tell her what my decision is. If she really wanted to go out to eat, but I looked forward in the budget and saw that we simply could not afford to go out, or I saw that by eating at home we could spare 10 extra dollars to give to some particular need in our church, I would bring this to her attention, and ask her to make that sacrifice. Thus I ought not ever act in such a way that makes my wife miserable, but sometimes I must ask her to trust me and do what she would otherwise not want to do. But, in no way should this ever lead to conflict (or hard feelings); otherwise, one, if not both, of us is handling the situation poorly.

    If you wanted to reverse the situation and ask if I would be willing to move for the sake of my wife’s career, I would tell you it is not very likely. It is not likely only because my wife wants to be a stay at home mom, she does not want to have a “career” in the workforce. But, my wife is spiritually mature enough that when she says she wants to do something I listen closely, and I rarely refuse her. (I can’t think of a time I have.)

    While you are correct that, uncontrolled, the sinful passions of anyone, male or female, can lead to subjugation when someone else willingly submits to them, that is not what should be sought, or taught. In fact, if a man were to be subjugating his wife, using violence and force to make her obedient to him, I am willing to bet that these men (here I am thinking of the Southern professors I have gotten to know) would rebuke that man and do what they could to get the church to intervene to protect the woman. Your description assumes the worst of each case scenario, as though the man would necessarily be violent and command things of his wife that she would not willingly agree to do. Your description basically sounds like a violent marriage between two unbelievers, where each is trying to force themselves on the other and fight for dominance, with no regard for the love and compassion of Christ.

  18. Derek August 3, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    Sue,
    In regards to what you said in post #12 about Bruce Ware’s statement: So, clearly there is no other option for “most” complementarians than a woman willing subjugating herself, or her being actively subjugated by her husband.

    Actually, I think you’ve misunderstood Ware’s statement here. He is describing two ditches, one on either side of the road. He is essentially saying, stay on the road, don’t fall into either of these ditches.

  19. Charlton Connett August 3, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    Derek,

    I think Sue may be overreacting to what Dr. Ware does say. He notes that due to the possibility of a) that a man may have to “reestablish his God-given rulership over the woman.” Of course, judging by the use of “the woman” instead of “a woman” my assumption would be that this quote more references Adam and Eve’s immediate result from the fall. However, I do think he is saying that sometimes a husband may have to reestablish his authority. The question becomes in what manner is that done?

    If men are to imitate Christ then we are to reestablish our authority over our wives (when and if necessary) in the same way Christ establishes his authority over us: by gently correcting and bringing them back. In this case there is no exact parallel because there is only one Christ. Do we do this perfectly? No, but we try to do our best and pray for God to have mercy upon our failures.

    In no situation do we ever see a biblical command to use violence against our wives. In no situation do we ever see a husband commanded to use “discipline” on his wife (as we are commanded with our children). Instead we see God woo Israel back to himself, declare his love for Israel, and have compassion on the unfaithful wife he chose. This is how men are commanded to react, even to an unfaithful wife. And if I am to be gentle even if my wife is caught in adultery (as God was) then how much more gentle should I be if my wife sins against me in any other way?

    Are we not informed here by the concept of “irresistable grace” as it is best understood? That God draws us to himself in such a way that we desire to come to him? God does not flip a switch so that we, against our will, fighting and screaming, come to Christ. Yes, there may be some fighting and screaming, but by the time we come to Christ it is usually because he has broken our hearts, and we desire his love and grace in our own lives. It is this method of “reestablishing” authority that I think Dr. Ware has in mind, such that a man would win back his wife so that she would want to submit to him in love.

    Likewise to the second comment by Dr. Ware. Christ submitted to the father completely, so that his submission was absolute. It would be foolish for a woman to have such submission to her husband because no man is God, or is perfect like God. Dr. Ware never even said that women should submit in such a fashion, the discussion that quote was taken from was purely about the relationship of the Father and the Son.

    The Father-Son relationship of God is perfect, our Father-Son, or Husband-Wife relationships are not perfect. We aim for perfection, but we live in reality. That means that a wife should submit in every way possible, such that she does not sin against God. That also means a husband should be gentle and caring and put his wife first in every situation, so that he does not sin against God. This is my understanding of what Dr. Ware and other egalitarians are teaching, though I admittedly can only speak of Dr. Ware 2nd hand, having never taken a class from him or read his works on complementarianism, and have only heard of them from others (I am more familiar with Dr. Akin and Dr. Moore from Southern, along with a few others).

  20. Derek August 3, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    Charlton, I agree with your overall comments here and I think you’ve described a very solid Biblical argument that repudiates anyone who justifies the subjugation of wives or of anyone, for that matter.

    By the way, I think you meant that Bruce Ware is a complementarian, not an egalitarian.

  21. Charlton Connett August 3, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

    Yes sir, yes I did. Thank you for that correction. I have much appreciated your posts, btw.

  22. Sue August 3, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    Ware said that a man may have to “reestablish rulership.” I don’t think that this differs in any way at all from making someone subject to you. What I see in the comments above an inability to accept that Ware says that a man must “exert leadership” and “establish rulership.” But this is clearly what he says.

    I think Gates is correct in saying that the Christianity she was exposed to in that context “subjugates women.” How can you deny this?

    (One of the things that I don’t want to do is imply that anyone one of you, here in the comments, actually does what Ware says to do, that is go home and “establish rulership.”)

    But I am saying that this is taught and some men do it, and it is evil.

    You say,

    “Your description basically sounds like a violent marriage between two unbelievers, where each is trying to force themselves on the other and fight …”

    Actually, the unbelievers that I happen to know have exceptionally peaceful marriages. I don’t think that there is much difference one way or another.

    Finally, you really have not considered taht the wife might be a better money manager and she may not like the toys that her husband buys for the children. Your comments were centred on the notion that the man is simply better able to make wise decisions that a woman. I would have to say that maybe this is unconscious but it is the presupposition in all of the above comments, that the man is wiser.

  23. Sue August 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    “So, also, in a simple matter such as going out for dinner or staying home, she would be willing to do what I wanted, even if it was not what she wanted.”

    Can you honestly imagine living like that until you die.

    Suppose that instead of getting to retire, you had to move in with your boss, share a bedroom, and 24/7, from the age of 21 until death, you had to do only what your boss wanted – no holidays, no retirement, no reprieve.

  24. Sue August 3, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    Derek,

    You wrote,

    The term “kephale”, which you refer to, was a Greek term that was used in reference to authority figures.

    There is, in fact, only one named man who was called the kephale of his people in all of Greek literature. That was Jephthah.

    This is an important question for you and others to answer if you’re going to posit what you did in post #11 and here is why. Wayne Grudem researched many ancient Greek documents and found over 2,300 uses of the word “kephalē” and has not found a reference that did not reference authority.

    That is not what he said. In fact, the vast majority of times the word kehpale referred to the object sitting on your neck which you are supposed to use when you are reading and writing, eating, and talking.

    I’ll ask you the same question that Grudem asks other egal. scholars, in reference to this line of argument: You claim that the Greek word for “head” means “source without the idea of authority.” Will you please show me one example in all of ancient Greek where this word (kephalē) is used to refer to a person and means what you claim, namely, “non-authoritative source”?

    I will give you the answer I gave Grudem. Philadelphus was called the “head of kings.”

    “being, as the head is the leading part in a living body, in some sense the head of kings [of the Ptolemaic dynasty]. (De Vita Mosis 2.5.30)”

    However, Philadelphus was not the authority figure of over his own dynasty. The Ptolemaic dynasty was founded by the father of Philadelpus. Philadelphus was not the authority figure over his father or his descendents when they were kings. Authority had nothing to do with this passage.

    Philadelphus was well-known and prominent especially for the Jews because he had the Hebrew Bible translated into Greek.

    In fact, kephale did not mean authority at all in Greek and Grudem is just having people on.

  25. Donald Johnson August 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    The Biblical model for the family is the spouses are co-leaders. To teach otherwise is a powergrab by the males and is a result of sin.

    There are LOTS of metaphors for kephale/head and body, you do not just get to pick the one that selfishness might pick.

  26. Ryan K. August 3, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    Charlton you should just quit now in having this back and forth with Sue.

    There have been 300 plus comment threads on this blog about complementarianism in which Sue has shown this far from being just an earnest debate and conversation for her. She only shows up on this blog anyway when this topic comes up, and never is willing to concede a point or stop with the “abuse” language as her frame of seeing complementarianism, regardless of the arguments presented to her.

  27. Sue August 3, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    “never is willing to concede a point or stop with the “abuse” language as her frame of seeing complementarianism, regardless of the arguments presented to her.”

    Geesh – I didn’t even mention abuse. I just cited Ware. It is up to you if that is how you read Ware. Why are you putting words in my mouth.

    Either “establish rulership over” means to “subjugate” or it doesn’t. It is a semanitic argument in defense of Jana Gates article.

  28. Sue August 3, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    Clearly we also don’t want people thinking that the Greeks did not have a word for the thing that sits on your neck. Grudem is like a magic amulet when it comes to some arguments. This was the last discussion I had with my pastor. %0 years of this crap and I walked out forever with these words ringing in my head “Grudem said … “

  29. Charlton Connett August 3, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Sue,

    You are misreading the comments that I made. As to your first quotation, I was not saying unbelievers have violent marriages, many do not. I was saying the marriage you were describing sounds like a violent marriage, where both members of the marriage are unbelievers and trying to exert authority over one another. I simply cannot see a marriage between true devout and committed Christians leading to either of them trying to “force” their views on the other.

    As to your point that a woman may be wiser in some area than a husband, I am fully aware of that point. The fact is that my wife tends to be more frugal than I am. On the other hand, I tend to be a little more giving. Over the last few years we have learned from one another, me to be frugal, her to be giving. In this way we have influenced each other.

    Your assumption is that a man exercising authority means telling his wife what they will spend money on, or what they will do, with no questions asked. That is exactly opposite of what I have conveyed, wherein a man should be informed by his wife on the decisions he makes.

    Thus a woman who has a great deal of spiritual wisdom in dealing with money (let’s say she has been a Christian for 10 years) who has a husband who is very immature (let’s say he’s been a Christian for 6 months) may have great advice to give her husband. But, at the end of the day, she should also support his decision because that decision should be one they have mutually agreed on.

    You cannot take the teaching on authority out of the rest of Scripture. For instance, we are commanded to be angry and not sin. Likewise we are commanded not to let the sun go down on our anger. Why then would any husband or wife go out and do something intentionally that they know will cause strife in their home? To do such would be sin. Therefore, the correct method of authority for a husband is one that makes peace with his wife, so that when he acts the two are in agreement. Contention should be rare, chaos should be seen as sin, not “exercising authority.”

    As to your second point, “Can you imagine living like that until you die?” The answer is: Yes! That is how I live. My wife said she would be “willing” to do things for me, she would be willing to sacrifice in being obedient to me. Guess what? I’m willing to do the same thing for her! I do things with my wife that I do not particularly like doing, but I sacrifice for her, and in doing so I find that I often do not mind doing what I otherwise would not do.

    An example: I am very hot blooded. Georgia summers make me sweat like a pig. However, my wife loves to take walks and take pictures of the flowers and animals we see. I go for walks with her multiple times each week, because it gives me time to be alone with her, it helps me be involved with something she likes, and she likes me being there with her. Sacrificing for one another is one of the major principles of marriage, anyone who cannot imagine living that way, making sacrifices for the one you love, really does not understand marriage, or, for that matter, missions.

    Consider the life of Paul, if you will. He suffered regularly for Christ, such that he was able to say, “henceforth, let no man bother me, for I bear in my body the marks of Christ.” Do you think Paul “liked” such sacrifice? Yet could Paul have imagined living without his savior if it meant no more sacrifice? If marriage is meant to reflect Christ and the church, allow me to phrase that question in the same way: do I look forward to every sacrifice I must make for my wife? No, I’m still wrestling with selfishness. Could I imagine life without my wife if it meant no more sacrifices for her? Yes, but I would miss out on so much joy, friendship, and love in doing so.

    Can you imagine loving someone but not being willing to live your whole life making sacrifices for them? I could go on for hours, because sacrificial love has been a major part of my life. I noted before how my mother is a quadriplegic, so I grew up with a father who constantly sacrificed for his wife, because of his love for her, and a mother who willingly submitted to her husband because of his love for her, and her need for him (in each case, it was far more the love than the need). I don’t know any other way to love, and I’m pretty sure that this love is the only kind that is held up as our model in Christ.

  30. Derek August 3, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    Donald,
    @25, you didn’t answer Grudem’s question and your evasive answer demonstrates that you actually prefer to insist upon your own meaning, when it contradicts the rest of Scripture.

  31. Sue August 3, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Charlton,

    You sound like the kind of person that would be decent no matter what you believed. Unfortunately many men who sit in church and hear that the wife is supposed to totally submit, and he is supposed to totally rule, actually think that is what they are supposed to do. It is simply irresponsible to teach this.

    Thus a woman who has a great deal of spiritual wisdom in dealing with money (let’s say she has been a Christian for 10 years) who has a husband who is very immature (let’s say he’s been a Christian for 6 months) may have great advice to give her husband. But, at the end of the day, she should also support his decision because that decision should be one they have mutually agreed on.

    This makes no sense! What if he said to her, “I know you have studied accounting, dear, so let’s give that ten dollars away, if you say we can.” They would still be in agreement.

    THe fact is that Christian marriages are just as violent as any other kind. Why is there a coalition called Freedom for Women who have asked CBMW for an apology? Because there are so many women who are finally finding the ability to say “Yes, this teaching of male rulership is damaging, very damaging.”

    Derek,

    I think Don may feel that I already responded to Grudem’s question. It has such a simple answer.

    The first answer is “Jephthah was the only male in all Greek literature who was called the kephale of his people” And that is translation Greek.

    The second answer is “Philadelphus was called the kephale of kings, the head of his dynasty, but he was not in authority over the kings in his dynasty who went before him or after him.” It simply meant that he was the most famous.

  32. Derek August 3, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    Sue,
    Ryan K. seems to be correct, in my view.
    If you can’t acknowledge that there is a difference between the way Scripture portrays the ideal of leadership and subjugation, then I submit we cannot have a coherent or meaningful dialogue. The difference is not a matter of semantics. Plus, if we endorse such a view, it makes authority of all types mere shades of coercion and tyranny. How can that be squared with Scripture?

    As to the example you cite regarding Philadelphus, I’m not familiar with it, but it sounds like you’re splitting hairs here. Sounds to me like the text you’re referring to was saying he was simply more powerful than his father and others of his clan. Plus, it makes even less sense to make Philadelphus the “source” of his father or of his kingdom.

    Here are some other examples Grudem cites to demonstrate the pattern that we see in ancient Greek – I don’t see how the Philadelphus example contradicts these others:

    * the king of Egypt is called “head” of the nation
    * the general of an army is called the “head” of the army
    * the Roman emperor is called the “head” of the people
    * the god Zeus is called the “head” of all things
    * David as king of Israel is called the “head” of the people
    * the leaders of the tribes of Israel are called “heads” of the tribes
    * the husband is the “head” of the wife
    * Christ is the “head” of the church
    * God the Father is the “head” of Christ

  33. Charlton Connett August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    Sue,

    Your statement that my example made no sense honestly makes no sense to me. If the wife had studied accounting (or had 10 younger siblings she helped raise, so she would have far more experience than her husband, who was an only child, or the youngest of 6 lets say) such that she had more wisdom on a subject than he did, of course it would be wise for him to listen to her. But, ultimately, even in your example, where he says, “You’re right, let’s do that” he is still making a decision. Most decisions do not involve one partner telling the other, “I know you disagree, but I think this is what God would have us do. Therefore, I am asking you to trust me and follow me.”

    On the other hand, if the husband said, “I know you’ve studied this for 10 years, but I honestly do not see how we can spend that 10 dollars and be okay financially. We should not do that.” Should the wife still spend the money?

    You state that Christian marriages are just as violent as any other kind. I have not seen studies that prove that point, but I would submit to you that whether or not that is true has nothing to do with what we are discussing. That there are abusive parents who torture their children does not change the teaching of Scripture on proper discipline. That the majority of homeless people in modern America are poor because of addictions, not institutional poverty such as existed in ancient societies, (I submit this after years of dealing with homeless people in three cities) does not affect what Scripture teaches us on how we are to treat the poor. That people act immorally does not change the moral standard God has called us to live by.

    Why is there a coalition asking CBMW for an apology? Why is there a segment of Christianity that holds that theistic evolution is totally compatible with the Bible, while others do not? Because Christians can hold varying and strong beliefs on certain topics and still be Christians.

  34. Sue August 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    Derek,

    If you can’t acknowledge that there is a difference between the way Scripture portrays the ideal of leadership and subjugation,

    That does not relate to what I said. Let me be clear, given that Ware says a husband is to establish rulership, and exert leadership, Gates is correct in her assessment of this kind of Christianity. That is what I said. Thanks for reading my comment!

    Philadelphus was not more powerful than his dad. The citation says that he was more “illustrious.” The passage did not relate to power.

    Let’s look at the list!

    1. * the king of Egypt is called “head” of the nation

    – this is Philadelphus. Nowhere does anyone call him the “head of the nation.” Grudem made that one up.

    2. * the general of an army is called the “head” of the army

    This relates to a discussion about the Roman general, not a Greek general so comes later. It is a comparison, and the author says that the general is “like” the head. In Greek a general cannot be called the kephale of the army because the kephale is a technical term for the right hand phalanx, or a small raiding party.

    2. the Roman emperor is called the “head” of the people

    Again, the emperor is not called “head” of anything, but the author says that the people need a leader, just as the body needs a head. This is a live metaphor. It demonstrates that normally there was no expression, “head of the people” as there is in English, but you can make the comparison and explain the comparison.

    * the god Zeus is called the “head” of all things

    Zeus is also called the “arche” or beginning and end of all things, and the middle. So take your pick, beginning, middle or end of all things, that is kephale.

    * David as king of Israel is called the “head” of the people

    In fact, David was called the “kephale” of the Gentiles, in a particularly difficult translation section from Hebrew to Greek. It is a translation of rosh. Perhaps in the same way that David was a light to the nations. I am not sure what the prophecy meant. But David was never the called kephale of his own people.

    * the leaders of the tribes of Israel are called “heads” of the tribes

    The expression is “heads of rods.” It appears to mean the leaders of the tribes, but in Greek it means “the top end of the rod.”

    * the husband is the “head” of the wife

    and the saviour of the body … not the ruler of the body ….

    * Christ is the “head” of the church

    which he feeds and holds together

    * God the Father is the “head” of Christ

    Hmmm.

  35. Sue August 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    In English, there are expressions like

    – head of house
    – head of state
    – head of tribe
    – head of family
    – etc.

    There is no such expression using kephale in Greek. But there is a way to say “head of the house.” It is a common word in the NT and applies equally to men or women.

    It is found in 1 Tim. 5:14,

    “So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.”

    οἰκοδεσποτέω,v \{oy-kod-es-pot-eh’-o}
    1) to be master (or head) of a house 2) to rule a household, manage family affairs

    Funny, that the Bible does not actually say that the man is the head of the house, but that the woman is.

  36. Sue August 3, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    You can think whatever you like, but I really dislike when people actually give phrases that they pretend are citations and they are not.

    There are two times in Greek literature when the expression “head of …” is used, for being a leader of one’s own people. The first is Jephthah and the second comes after the NT in the Shepherd of Hermas, which was written in Rome, and in Latin around the same time, so may have borrowed the expression from Latin.

  37. Derek August 3, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    Sue,
    You have consistently portrayed complementarians in the harshest light possible, insisting that they can only be coercive/subjugators. You insist on rejecting complementarian principles upon the basis of instances of abuse – again, a non-sequitur. Now you employ hair splitting technicalities with these 8 examples. You’re obstinately missing the forest for the trees by failing to observe the pattern of usage of kephale, used in reference to kings, tribal heads, gods, emperors, patriarchs and generals. If you don’t see how these terms group together, then frankly, I think my 6 year old son has more common sense than you do. If I show him these terms on a sheet of paper, she will understand that there is a pattern and that they all relate to authority figures.

    I’m calling it a night on this discussion. I think objective readers will look at this dialogue and most likely come to the same conclusion as I, that you are determined to accept baseless and evidence-free interpretations even while you reject straightforward reading of both Greek usage of this word and Scriptural teaching on the various differences and roles God established for the genders.

  38. Sue August 4, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    You insist on rejecting complementarian principles upon the basis of instances of abuse – again, a non-sequitur.

    ALl I have done is cite what CBMW actually teaches – that’s it.

    Now you employ hair splitting technicalities with these 8 examples. You’re obstinately missing the forest for the trees by failing to observe the pattern of usage of kephale, used in reference to kings, tribal heads, gods, emperors, patriarchs and generals.

    You wrote,

    This is an important question for you and others to answer if you’re going to posit what you did in post #11 and here is why. Wayne Grudem researched many ancient Greek documents and found over 2,300 uses of the word “kephalē” and has not found a reference that did not reference authority.

    In fact, most of the time, out of 2,300 times, it means the object which sits on your neck.

    There are a handful of times that it refers to a person. There is only one time kehpale is used of “head of a tribe” out of all Greek literature, and one time for a Roman general in an oblique reference, once for a Roman emperor, in a translation from Latin, and never for “head of a nation” not even once.

    But in plain Greek that even a 6 year old native Greek speaker could understand, the wife is called the “head of the house.”

    I would be interested in some acknowledgement of what is actually in the Bible.

  39. Sue August 4, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    The fact is that these expressions do not occur in Greek, not even once.

    – head of a nation
    – head of a family
    – head of an army
    – head of a people

    These do not exist as cited by Grudem.

  40. Donald Johnson August 4, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    Grudem and wrong and is no Greek scholar. Nyland explains why in her book, if you want to read it.

    Sue also explains Grudem’s Greek errors if you wish to read her blog.

  41. Charlton Connett August 4, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Sue,

    What you pointed out, and what Derek and I both agreed was correct, was that Dr. Ware said that a man may have to establish his God-given leadership over their wives. But you have equated “establish… leadership” with “subjugate”. The biblical understanding of “leadership” as laid out by Christ (cf. Matthew 20:25-28) on the other hand is quite opposed to what you characterize Dr. Ware as saying. Assuming then that Dr. Ware draws his definition from Scripture, which seems likely based on the fact that he is discussing a biblical principle, you have, in fact, not cited what CBMW teaches, but you have distorted what is taught by semantic games to make Dr. Ware say quite the opposite of what he intended. Thus you misstate your case when you say to Derek, “All I have done is cite what CBMW actually teahces.” You cannot divorce the idea of male “leadership” in the household from the rest of Scripture’s teachings, as though the CBMW only teaches men to have authority, but throws out the rest of the Bible.

    Moreover, I have gone to great lengths to illustrate to you what biblical authority and submission have looked like in my own life, and you have not interacted with those examples at all. You continue to assume that when a husband “exerts authority” that means that he is punitively controlling his wife, or subjecting her to some cruelty. Your responses have been based on examples where clear scriptural violations have occurred, or are assumed to have occurred (such as a husband ignoring or dismissing wise counsel from his wife). You have assumed things that have not been stated (such as, if a man takes responsibility for a decision that must assume he has more wisdom) nor have been intended.

    In all, you have shown a marked inability to directly engage in the actual arguments that Derek and I have laid out as we have laid them out. I can only assume that your inability to interact with our arguments is wanton. (I am dismissing here your interaction with Derek over the definition of “kephale” as I can see how you could come to your conclusion based on a specific reading of the text.)

    As to your point, yes, women are told to be heads of household in the section of 1 Timothy that you quoted. But, please note that Paul is talking there to widows, not just any woman and not necessarily to married women. Lest you say that his previous injunction “get married” means that the section “have authority over their households” would apply to them as wives, note that he does not say that. What his command makes explicit is that everything he is saying is being said there to widows.

    Contextually it seems that Paul is giving two commands. Note that in 1 Timothy 5:11 he says that younger widows passions draw them away from purely serving Christ and to marriage. He then notes in 1 Timothy 5:13 that these women learn to be idlers, gossips, and busybodies. From that it would seem that 5:14 is a double command to these young widows: “Go ahead and get married, don’t act like you are going to devote yourself to never having a husband and serving the church when you are young enough to still marry and have children. Also, do not be idlers, but manage your household, give the adversary no occasion for slander.” Paul is not saying to all women, “Women, you are to be the rulers and authority in your house, do not let a man have authority!” Far from that, he is telling Timothy to tell widows to live like Christians, not being wasteful of the time.

    If you can illustrate a better understanding of the text, based on the full context of what is going on in 1 Timothy, I would be glad to hear it. But, let us examine what Scripture says, not just set up straw man “abusive relationship” arguments that have no bearing on what the Scriptures teach.

    But in doing so, let us also take account of what Paul says specifically to wives in Ephesians 5:22-24, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”

    Because we seek to establish the truth based on Scripture, what does Peter say? “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any [of them] are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives.” (1 Peter 3:1) What “way” is Peter referring to here? Either it is like Christ, as his immediate context coming from verses 21-24 of chapter 2, or it is like a slave, or like one who submits to the authority of the government, as is laid out in verses 13-20 of chapter 2.

    So, from Scripture, we have two examples of commands of wives to be submissive to their husbands.

    Four questions: Will you admit that wives are taught, in Scripture, to submit to their husbands? What does this submission look like? What does submission imply about authority? What does the biblical model of leadership look like in a relationship?

  42. Derek August 4, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Sue,
    With regard to women as head of household, Scripture clearly assumes that a wife and mother not only can, but should be a wise and skillful manager of her household. This is clearly conveyed in Proverbs 31. It does not conflict in any way with a reasonable person’s understanding of passages like Ephesians 5:22.

    It is you and not complementarians who consistently assert this cartoonish view of women in utter and complete subjugation (under the complementarian model), where a woman has no responsibilities and is treated worse than the family dog. This is why your entire argumentation is spurious and ultimately, a textbook example of a strawman argument.

  43. Derek August 4, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    With regard to the term “kephalÄ“”, Sue and Donald Johnson have employed diversionary tactics and hair splitting technicalities. But at the end of the day, when this term is being used in references similar to how it is used in Ephesians 5:23, it is used (in the Greek) in conjunction with terms like “god”, “emperor”, “king” and “general”. That’s the bottom line. Not only do they reject a common sense perspective of how these terms were used in the ancient Greek and in Scripture, they fail to show any meaningful or compelling alternatives for how this word might be used. Why? Because they are heavily invested in their own very dogmatic viewpoint. That’s the bottom line.

  44. Donald Johnson August 4, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    It is NOT a question that kephale MIGHT mean some kinds of authority, the question is what Paul intended in Eph 5:23. And he leaves no doubt, he tells us EXACTLY what a kephale/head does and that is serve the body.

    To go beyond that is a choice of the interpreter and I do not suggest doing it. It leads to distortions.

  45. Darius August 4, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    The idea of male headship in the home isn’t just founded on the question of what kephale means… thankfully. It’s throughout the Old Testament as well.

  46. Derek August 4, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    Donald,
    It is not unreasonable or arbitrary simply because other Scriptures like I Peter 3:1 and I Timothy 2 make this interpretation not only possible, but the most reasonable rendering. Additionally, the reading you’re suggesting we adopt flies in the face of the usage of this term. This is really ironic coming from you, since you constantly insist that we read the text through the perspective of the intended audience.

    The distortions are coming from your own pettifoggery and dodginess, Donald.

  47. John August 4, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Sue, I can understand your concerns, and I share some of them. However, here are a few other concerns. First, are we ordering things in the proper way? If the Bible says that men are to lead their families and churches, then our first concern should be with obedience – even as we verify that our understanding of the Bible is correct. Second, we live in one of the most egalitarian societies in history – and yet there is more violence and subservience of women than ever before. The sex trade alone is mind boggling. I do not see forensic evidence indicating that changing one’s mind on this has had any positive effect on culture, which leads to a third concern. Complementarianism in the Biblical sense, or even male headship in a worldly sense, is not the source of evil. Our hearts are. We will always pervert the truth with our actions. I am thankful for people like you who balance the conversation out a bit and bring important things to light. However, I do think this conversation is first and foremost about Biblical authority. If it wasn’t in the Bible, it probably wouldn’t be in Burk’s blog.

  48. Sue August 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    First, Ware does say that men are to establish “rulership.” To rule, is what Adam was going to do to Eve as a result of the fall. There is no positive use of the concept of rule of one person over another among Christians in the NT, (I don’t know about the OT.) In the NT leaders are taught to lead by example, not by ruling.

    “not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:3

    This is the word “rule.”

    This is found in Matt. 20:25,

    But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    Note that it says “it shall not be so among you.”

    Does Christ mean that the leader is not to rule in the Christian community? It seems to say this. It seems to say that the leader is to lead by sacrifice and example, but NOT by ruling. Why should a wife be ruled by a husband?

    This is something that no one has responded to. Is a wife the subject of the husband? I think it is entirely fair that Jana Gates and myself have understood that this is what complementarians are saying.

    (Please do not drag abuse in. I have not. However, I think now it is instructive that many egalitarian organizations should have this as a concern. But why not? I attended a variety of complementarian congregatrions, with stellar leadership. But there were absolutely no resources for women who were violently abused. It was all denial. In one case, an elder who was also a civil court judge, knew of a case of violence and did not deal with it except to tell the woman to be more loving. Her doctor testified in court as to the injury she suffered. Women who have been damaged do need attention and it is to your discredit to deny this. But I did not open this discussion here – it was another commenter. Once again, do not put words in my mouth.)

    I believe that in the case of “rule” we have a funcamental difference in exegesis. This needs to be discussed. Where does it say in the Bible that it is right for a husband to rule a wife? It is clear that in Gen. 3:16, this is a consequence of the fall.

  49. Sue August 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    Sorry for the typos – lots of activity going on in the background!

  50. Sue August 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    Charlton,

    Moreover, I have gone to great lengths to illustrate to you what biblical authority and submission have looked like in my own life, and you have not interacted with those examples at all.

    I graciously acknowledged your examples, and I am sorry that you did not read this.

    I am concerned with the teaching which men use to justify “ruling” their wives. Thank you for your examples, in any case.

  51. Ryan K. August 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    For those still going round and round with Sue, know this path is well worn along with all the arguments given to her and her ignoring them one after another.

    http://www.dennyburk.com/scot-mcknight%E2%80%99s-question-about-headship/#comments-section

  52. Charlton Connett August 4, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Ryan,

    At this point I must concur with you.

    Sue,

    I stand by the questions and the texts raised. The four questions from my last post and the quotations from Scripture showing what the role of both men and women should be have yet to be addressed. At this point it seems you are beating a dead horse by trying to maintain, “Dr. Ware teaches that men should subjugate their wives!” When that is not at all what he said, as anyone who will give his words even the least benefit of the doubt will see.

    I leave you with one last thing, a quote from the CBMW’s own website as to what their goal is to teach: In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands’ leadership. (Under point 6 of the Danver’s statement, held as the core beliefs of the CBMW) and: In all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission-domestic, religious, or civil-ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin. (Under point 7)

    If you can demonstrate why this statement is wrong, speaking from a biblical perspective and accepting biblical definitions for the terms used in the statement, then I will gladly agree with you that this group should renounce their ways. All of us should always be willing to continue to conform our doctrines to Christ, but those who seek change (in people or groups) are the ones who have a burden of proof to show how their positions are more biblical than the ones already established. Unless you are able to either demonstrate the statement above to be wrong, or you are willing to answer the questions asked, I must assume we have reached the end of any reasonable debate on the subject of husband-wife interactions as we would both be re-treading the same ground continuously.

  53. Brian Krieger August 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    Another fun one was the Bruce Ware page:
    http://www.dennyburk.com/bruce-ware%E2%80%99s-complementarian-reading-of-genesis/

    but I think the # of comments (or Dr. Burk) killed the comments section.

    BTW, does it seem odd that the piece cited as a caricature is addressed with a caricature (again)?

  54. Sue August 4, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Charlton (cont.)

    Regarding 1 Tim 5:14.

    As to your point, yes, women are told to be heads of household in the section of 1 Timothy that you quoted. But, please note that Paul is talking there to widows, not just any woman and not necessarily to married women. Lest you say that his previous injunction “get married” means that the section “have authority over their households” would apply to them as wives, note that he does not say that. What his command makes explicit is that everything he is saying is being said there to widows.

    I congratulate you on your innovative exegesis. The sequence is clear

    βούλομαι οὖν νεωτέρας

    γαμεῖν, – marry
    τεκνογονεῖν, – bear children
    οἰκοδεσποτεῖν, – be head of the house
    μηδεμίαν ἀφορμὴν διδόναι Ï„á¿· ἀντικειμένῳ λοιδορίας χάριν: – give the adversary no occasion for slander

    If you split up “marry” from “be head of the house,” are you also going to split up “marry” from “bearing children?” I regret that I cannot agree with your interpretation.

    Many women were specifically “head of the house” in the Bible, although in context, they may have been single at the time, we don’t know –

    1. Rahab, who rescued and protected her siblings and her parents as long as they came to her house.

    2. Lydia who had her whole household baptized

    3. Chloe who was a church leader

    4. Nympha, who had a church meet in her house

    5. Phoebe, who was able to offer succour to Paul

    6. The elect lady who was the recipient of the epistle of John

    7. Joanna who supported the disciples from her own finances.

    On the Greek word οἰκοδεσποτ-έω ,
    A. to be master of a house or head of a family, 1 Ep.Ti.5.14. (Liddell, Scott, Jones)

    The related word οἰκοδεσπότης
    means master, steward or owner of the house.

    There is also the phrase οἰκίας δεσπότης, even more common.

    οἰκοδεσπότης is used 12 times in the gospels and is translated as “master of the house.”

    And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ Matt. 13:27

    This is a common expression recognized by all and occurs hundreds of times in Greek liteture.

    Now, let’s return to kephale.

    The word kephale is never used of leader of anything in native Greek literature, and so “leader” or “authority” are not in the lexicon entry in the Liddell, Scott, Jones lexicon for kephale.

    (This lexicon is acknowledge by Grudem to be the most comprehensive lexicon of Greek.)

    Why is kephale NEVER given the meaning of “leader” in the lexicon?

    Because in native Greek literature that is never the meaning of the word.

    Out of 2,300 times the word occurs, it possibly has the meaning of leader in the following cases

    1. Jephthah, which is a translation of the Hebrew “rosh” and a handful of other places in the LXX prophetic and poetic passages, but never to name a person as leader of a family, tribe or nation.

    In fact, all the times that rosh is used in Hebrew for a leader, about 180 times, this is translated with the normal Greek word for leader “archegos” and other such words, but not as kephale.

    2. Literature after the writing of the NT, in which kephale takes on the meaning of caput in Latin and reflects the Latin use of the word.

    3. The only case in native Hellenistic Greek is Philadelphus, more illustrious than his father, (but not the authority over his father) (NOT leader, but better example, an exemplary king)

    Kephale is not normally used for leader, and let me emphasize again, “leader” or even “ruler” is NOT a meaning of kephale in the lexicons, it does NOT reflect Greek usage of the word, at the time of the NT.

    In summary,

    For kephale out of 2,300 occurences, we have a handful of references to Jephthah in the LXX.

    For oikodespoteo, there are 12 distinct places in the gospels alone where it refers to “master of the house” and hundreds of other times in Greek literature.

  55. Sue August 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    John,

    Second, we live in one of the most egalitarian societies in history – and yet there is more violence and subservience of women than ever before. The sex trade alone is mind boggling. I do not see forensic evidence indicating that changing one’s mind on this has had any positive effect on culture …

    In fact, prostitution and rape of young girls was at such a height in the 19th century that Catherine Booth addressed the members of Parliament in England on the topic of child prostitution. Girls as young as 12 were being handled as prostitutes, visited even by members of Parliament, according to Booth, and were at the time considered at the “age of consent” so it was not possible to convict a “john” of this crime.

    In a touching sermon on this topic, Booth shares her thinking on this. She was an early feminist and preacher whose main focus was the prostitution and rape of children and women. The main focus of early feminism was to get women off the streets and into employment.

    Even in this century it was not possible to charge a husband with rape until a few years ago.

    Naturally statistics will show that crimes against women are on the rise, because in the past, the physical use of a woman was not considered a crime.

    It is to the shame of the church, that they are not aware of this as the main focus of femninism in the 19th and 20th century!!!

    Complementarianism in the Biblical sense, or even male headship in a worldly sense, is not the source of evil. Our hearts are. We will always pervert the truth with our actions. I am thankful for people like you who balance the conversation out a bit and bring important things to light. However, I do think this conversation is first and foremost about Biblical authority. If it wasn’t in the Bible, it probably wouldn’t be in Burk’s blog.

  56. Sue August 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    I accidentally picked up a paragraph of another comment in the last paragraph above, and intended to respond to it.

    Here goes,

    I appreciate your civil consideration of the topic. I do note however, that Burk is selective in his topics, and I do not remember Burk ever writing even once about the central teaching of scripture from beginning to end, “love your neighbour as yourself.”

    This is the question – is woman the neighbour of man, or not?

    I understand from CBMW that she is to be ruled by man.

    Which one is taught in the Bible?

  57. Charlton Connett August 4, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    Sue,

    Bravo. You have completely ignored my whole comments on the context of the section, wherein I address the fact that “bear children” must necessarily go with “marry”. Moreover, your exegesis implies that women are to exercise an authority that places all things in the house under them. (Such as the examples from the gospels indicate.) If that is the case then you are left with a need to explain how “submit to your husband” can mean anything other than, “submit to your husband.”

    I don’t disagree that Paul has said that widows (and yes, even wives) are to exercise authority in their house and order things in that regard. As Derek demonstrated that is perfectly in line with other sections of Scripture. (I do maintain that the command given is to widows, and is a two part command, but my distinction is not necessary for the point.) But, does that mean that a woman is not to submit to her husband, even as she is ruler of her house? If so, then what does Paul mean by, “Submit in all things” when he commands women to submit to their husbands?

    My understanding is that what Scripture teaches is: A woman exercises authority at home over the things that go on in her home (raising children, caring for family, even doing financial activities, whatever may go on in her household) while at the same time submitting to her husband. (If she has no husband then she submits to Christ, as all other Christians do.) In the same way a husband exercises authority over his wife and his children (in a biblical manner) and submits to Christ. To exercise authority, in a biblical understanding, does not mean that one cannot also be in submission to a greater authority. (When Paul says in Ephesians 1:22, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church” does that mean that God has also placed himself under Christ?)

    You have to explain how your understanding of a woman having authority can also stand with Paul’s and Peter’s commands to Christian women to submit to their husbands, based not on social standards, but on Christ’s example. You still have not answered that question.

  58. Sue August 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    Regarding 1 Tim. 5:14,

    (I do maintain that the command given is to widows, and is a two part command, but my distinction is not necessary for the point.)

    I did not ignore your suggestion that it is a two part command, but I can only remark that the Greek does not provide a two part command, but a clear sequence, get married, bear children and rule/manage the household. That is the only possible way to read the Greek.

    There are a few things here that go outside of what the Greek actually says. First, this one. The Greek provides no separation or possibiligy of separating “marry” “bear children” and “rule/manage the house.”

    Second thing, the Liddell Scott Lexicon does not provide the meaning of “keader” or “authority” for the word kephale because it did not have this meaning in Greek. So when Derek cites Grudem as saying that in 2,300 times it is used, it always has this meaning, there is a significant variance of opinion with recorded facts.

  59. Charlton Connett August 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    Sue,

    If the command is a sequence, does that mean that widows are not to rule over their household until after they get married? Does it mean that it is okay for them to give reason to those who would slander the faith, as long as they are not married, do not have children, and are not ruling their household?

  60. Sue August 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    I do, however, believe that the instruction for a woman to manage her house, means what you say, that she runs the household, makes decisons for it, and manages the children and servants. A widow manages everything herself, and managing a household and making all decisions for a household, for servants, for a business, and for a family are in fact, in line with the design of a woman every bit as much as with the design of a man.

    The scriptures reflect in 1 Tim. 5 and in Proverbs, and in all the examples of women in the Bible, that women have the rational ability and gift to make decisions every bit as much as men do, and that women do not NEED the analytic ability of a man, or his counsel, except in that all household decisions by the wife, who is in charge of the house, MUST be made in cooperation with her husband.

    Gates is correct in saying that many complementarians teach that women are different in their decision-making ability and should be subject to or “ruled by” a husband. This is false teaching.

    I would like to note that many theologians writing for CBMW say that a woman should not “manage/run” the household. Here is an example,

    “Do you know that more marriages fail in this country because men and women reject what the Bible says about gender roles than they fail for other reasons. If you examine marriages, the reasons people don’t get along is they are living like Gen 3:16. The woman is seeking to run the household. And then the man is either responding with excessive
    harshness, or he’s not responding in the way that Christ would. So what Paul says here is very significant for us. It’s significant for us in the church.”

    Jim Hamilton wrote this in the last issue of JBMW. This is not taught in the Bible. The scriptures explicitly say that the wife is to run the household, and she is responsible to do so. It says that the husband will rule the wife as a result of the fall. This is distinctly and clearly what the scriptures teach.

  61. Sue August 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    It seems to clear that the scriptures teach that the wife runs the household in mutual submission with the husband. He submits to her being head of the house, and she submits to him being head of wife. She bears children and is responsible for the house, and he sacrifices out of his position of greater legal and financial power, (in NT times) and they both mutually submit. This is what the Bible teaches.

    The Bible also teaches that the husband rules the wife as a result of the fall.

    Why does CBMW teach that the wife is not to run the household, and in addition say that this is the greatest cause of divorce in this country? Is anyone here aware of these statistics?

    Single women, divorced or widows run their own house withour relationship to a man.

    Single women are leaders in the church, and married women are coleaders with their husband. This is the model in scripture.

  62. Charlton Connett August 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    Sue,

    You state that the bible teaches mutual submission, I submit that the bible teaches mutual love, honor, and sacrifice. Christ does not submit to me, I submit to him. Likewise I see no where that a husband is called to submit to his wife. Love, honor, care for, provide for, encourage, and in all things try and be an exemplar of Christ to her? Yes, all these things, and more, but submission and authority have meaning, and I will not concede their meanings and say I am called upon to “submit” to my wife, because Scripture simply does not teach that.

    You are an expert on selective reading, it appears. In that same essay Dr. Hamilton expressly notes that Paul tells women to “manage” their households. Apparently Dr. Hamilton intends some difference between “managing” and “running” a household. Your statement that anyone from CBMW has said that women should not “manage/run” a house is only applicable in that Dr. Hamilton thinks of “manage” and “run” in different terms than you. He says women should “manage” the house. You still have not shown that the CBMW teaches anything contrary to what is in Scripture.

    Thus far, all of your arguments against CBMW have been straw men and false dichotomies. (Love your neighbor means you cannot have authority? Wow, I’m sure that would have amazed Paul as he exercised authority over churches.) Until, and unless, you can admit that CBMW does not teach what you claim, you are not demonstrating a rational grasp of reality. At this point I am concluding that there is no reason for further conversation with you. Your points have been addressed, your arguments shown to be specious, or logically incorrect, and you refuse to address the biblical material in front of you.

    I am sorry for the harshness of my words, but I am honestly dumbfounded at your claims against both CBMW and what complementarians are really teaching.

  63. Brian Krieger August 4, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    I added a comment, but it’s likely on hold. I mentioned that this blog is only one aspect of Dr. Burk’s thinking. I also mentioned his book but meant to also include the Boyce College Blog and his sermons as well (I think there’s a link to his podcasts up at the top). I’m sure that there is a wide cross section of topics there.

  64. Donald Johnson August 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Eph 5:21 teaches mutual submission among all believers and in the superordinate clause for Eph 5:22, which inherits its verb from 5:21.
    All the 6 examples following Eph 5:21 are subordinate clauses and examples of the mutual submission principle.

    Jesus does submit to me, he does for me what I could not do for myself. He submitted to the apostles when he washed their feet, this was done by the lowest slave in the household..

  65. Donald Johnson August 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    1 Pet 3:1 is talking about pagan or disobedient husbands and what one might do if they are not listening to God. In any case, 1 Pet 3:7 uses “Likewise” and makes the counsel symmetrical, which the situation is reversed and the wife is not listening to God.

  66. Brian Krieger August 4, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    Don’s right that the commands are subordinate (to verse 21), but I don’t think parents are called to submit to their children (not offspring, mind you, children) or masters to slaves. It’s submitting one to another, not submitting to each other. You are right that Christ is our example, that we should serve (to quote from that portion of scripture, He came to serve, not be served), but I would stay far away from saying Christ submits to me.

    Also, 1 Peter 3 does not direct the text to be about non-believing husbands, but is saying that wives should submit. Believers or not. Actually, I believe the “so that” text points more towards being disobedient to the word in all manners (believers or not, and perhaps this is what you meant also). Even taking that narrow of a view, it does not merely mean to be submissive to an unbelieving husband. Verse 7 wouldn’t go back to the beginning of 3 but goes back to the start of the “reasoning” which is stated at the end of chapter 2, which is about being called for a purpose. So, just as Christ may have (in flesh) wanted to revile or call out, He didn’t. I see that as following Christ’s example of not wanting to do what the flesh wants to do, but to be sinless (obedience to the Father). That’s not a great explanation, but I am more interested in brevity here.

  67. Charlton Connett August 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    Donald,

    Christ acted as a slave to the apostles, absolutely. But Christ also rebuked Peter and did not submit to the authority of him or any of the Apostles. Even the text of John says Jesus did this to demonstrate his love for the apostles (John 13:1) and that when he did this, all things had been put under his power. (John 13:3) The whole point of this section of Scripture requires that Jesus rightfully has authority over the apostles, as he says to them, “”You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.'” (John 13:13-14) He has not submitted himself to them, but as one having authority over them has illustrated how they should serve one another. Service and submission are not the same thing. Even Paul calls himself a servant (1 Corinthians 9:19) but also says he has authority over the churches. (2 Corinthians 13:10) Thus, service is part of leadership in Christianity, it is not the same as submission.

    All of this stated I will agree with you if you say that men are to serve their wives. I think, but without reading all of my comments I cannot be sure, I have already said as much.

    I will grant you though that you are correct in pointing out that I skipped over Ephesians 5:21. Yes, that Scripture teaches us to be in mutual submission to one another out of reverence for Christ. But, being that immediately after that he gives a particular command to wives to submit, and husbands to love, I think it is better read as 5:21 speaking to the whole community (such that we submit to another as a church) and from 5:22 he is giving a specific command in regards to submission within a marriage.

    Paul’s command of submission in 5:21, to submit to one another, seems to be a call for the church to recognize the roles and authorities that each person has in the church. I may be reaching too far back for context, but it seems the whole discussion for chapter 4 and into chapter 5:20 stems from acknowledging what Christ has done for the church. Since earlier, in chapter 4, Paul notes that Christ has given different roles to different people, his “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” seems to be pointing to the fact that we recognize Christ’s authority in setting up the church and practice a right submission in that regard.

    Even going forward and accepting your point though, that each example Paul gives are just that, examples, I will note for you that he gives three examples of submission in the following verses. The three examples are Wive -> Husbands; Children -> Parents; Slaves -> Masters. Taking your argument, would it make any sense to say that what Paul is saying is that masters should submit to their slaves? Or is he saying that parents should submit to their children? Then, is Paul saying that husbands should submit to their wives?

  68. Derek August 4, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    The most generous thing we can say about Don’s position of “mutual submission” is that it is problematic. Why?

    1. It requires that we extract Ephesians 5:21 out of the text. Mutual submission simply doesn’t fit into the text it is surrounded with.

    2. Let’s suppose for one minute that the text is suggesting that we submit to all believers. To do so would be problematic for other texts that use this same terminology (e.g. Luke 2:15 and Galatians 6).

    3. It ignores the fact that distinct commands are given to each gender.

    4. The submission command is echoed again later in chapter six and addresses children to submit to parents and slaves to obey their masters. Mutual submission requires us to break up the pattern.

    5. The word used for “submit” is used elsewhere in Scripture and in the culture. For instance, Josephus used the word to describe the relationship between soldiers and their commanders. Elsewhere in Scripture the context also consistently relates to an authority figure and a subordinate.

    These five problems are enough for any reasonable person to say that the case for mutual submission is NOT an open and shut case. Yet Donald Johnson dogmatically asserts it as if it is airtight. My own opinion? This is really sloppy exegesis, Donald – particularly coming from a person who constantly lectures and warns others about going too far with a speculative interpretation.

    Don, I realize you aren’t inclined to take my advice, but I reluctantly offer the following: If you could say, “I realize that this theory has some problems, but here is what I believe“, it would be a lot easier to dialogue with you. You’d also convince more people, because most people are rightly suspicious when someone advances a relatively new theory (e.g. mutual submission) in such dogmatic terms.

    Also:
    The idea that Christ washing His disciple’s feet would be used as an instance of submitting is frankly bizarre to me. That’s a new one for me, I must say. I’d like to see the best evidence you have to support this, Don. And while you’re at it, please tell us if there is a meaningful difference between “serving” and “submitting”. I can easily accept that Christ was serving his disciples, but I have a hard time accepting that this is identical to submission.

  69. KR Wordgazer August 4, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    Charlton:

    Christ did submit to the church when He let her crucify him. Or do you deny that many of those who said to Peter in Acts 2, “What shall we do?” had earlier cried, “Crucify!”?

    “Submit” means “voluntarily yield to” when used in the middle voice (submit yourself to). It does not mean the one you submit to necessarily is in authority over you. Yes, those who had earthly authorities over them were told to submit by Paul. No, he was not endorsing Roman forms of earthly authority as God’s will for all time. And yes, masters were told in Ephesians 5 to do the same to their slaves as Paul had just told the slaves to do to them. Read it again. Look at what husbands are told to imitate in Christ– not His rulership, but His sacrifice, His submission to his enemies even to the point of death.

    As for love and authority– yes, they can co-exist, when authority is according to character, calling and competence. But would you like it if a nobleman told you he had a right to rule you because he was born to it, and you were born to be ruled? Love is defined as “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you wouldn’t like it, don’t do it to someone else! The New Covenant makes all believers kings and priests. Nothing is said about kings and priests and their women. If you think privilege to rule is granted according to accident of birth as a standard of the New Covenant, look again.

    As for the way you just treated Sue– you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You have disrespected her and summarily dismissed her. So much for “love one another.”

  70. KR Wordgazer August 4, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    Derek,

    Please look at 1 Peter 5:5 in an interlinear. Most modern translations leave out the word “submit” there, but it’s in the original text. It says “ALL of you be submissive to one another with the apron of servility.” ALL still means “all,” doesn’t it? And “one another” means “one another.” It doesn’t mean “some to others.” It has a clear meaning of mutuality in the Greek just as it does in English.

    “Submit” does not always mean “submit to the authority of.” In the middle voice it means, “yield to, give in to.” It is something that all Christians are to do to one another. And yes, as parents we are sometimes to yield to and give in to our children, when it’s appropriate to do so. Even so, the husband-wife relationship is clearly being set out by Paul as different from the master-slave and parent-child one. There IS authority in the parent-child relationship and in the master-slave one, as indicated in Eph. 5 by the word “obey.” This word is NOT used to wives in Eph. 5, and is never used for wives-to-husbands anywhere in the New Testament.

    Yes, Christ is not just head of the church, but lord, ruler and savior. “Head” is not synonymous with any of those other functions, however, and the only one Paul used for husbands was “head.” Ephesians 4 shows the function of “head” to “body” in verses 15-16– nothing about ruling is there, but only provision of growth and sustenance.

    Men want to take on more of the role of Christ to their wives than the Bible sanctions. Men need to understand that they are only men, not demi-christs.

  71. Charlton Connett August 4, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    KR,

    You seem to also engage in selective reading. I have not dismissed Sue. I have stated that these is no point in talking to her because she won’t address the points already brought to her attention, or admit that she has falsely ascribed teaching to CBMW that they do not teach. Implicit in that statement is that if she was willing to do those things then there would be continued value in talking to her. Your claims are baseless and where you state I have an obligation of shame, I respond you have an obligation to retract your statement to my actions. (Your statement borders on libel on as the implication “you ought to be ashamed” is “your actions are shameful” which is defamatory unless true. I point this out not out of anger, but because, if you are a Christian, I am assuming you would not want to engage in slanderous or libelous behavior toward other Christians.)

    To your statement that Christ did “submit” himself to the church (or any other human authority) when he was crucified, I argue that you have misread the scriptures. What does Peter say in Acts 2? “This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge…” (Acts 2:23) Christ submitted himself to the Father, and the Father handed him over to be crucified according to his plan. (Or if you want, he submitted himself to the Father’s will, and it was “God’s set purpose” to hand him over to be crucified.)

    Christ was not submitted to men, because he did not yield to men for even one second. Instead, Christ submitted himself to God. Even when Jesus spoke to Pilate he said, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” (John 19:11) Whereas Jesus recognizes that Pilate has been given power, he does not say that Pilate has authority over him. Christ seems to recognize that Pilate’s power comes according to God’s authority, and that allowing Pilate to crucify him is proper submission to the Father. As far as Scripture uses the terms I can see no instance where Christ submits to anyone other than the Father. (I recommend you read the many statements of “authority” that are attributed to Christ and then look for corresponding statements of submission or obedience to authorities.)

    As to your third paragraph, as to whether I would “like” it if a noble man claimed authority to rule over me, that is irrelevant. Did Peter tell the church to like the emperor? Whether we like it does not matter, if I lived in a country with a king I would be bound by Scripture to submit myself to that king’s authority.

    If you would take it upon yourself to demonstrate Sue’s point, then please address the many Scriptural points that have been brought up already. A good exegesis of Ephesians 5, and 1 Peter 3 that makes it clear that husbands owe a duty of submission to their wives would be one place to start. Or perhaps you could show any one verse of Scripture that says that husbands should submit to wives.

  72. Charlton Connett August 4, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    Kr,

    The audience in 1 Peter 5 is not “all” as in all the church. Peter makes clear in that section that he is addressing the leadership of the church, and then young men. Thus, at the most, you can argue is that within the leadership (assuming the “young men” here are young leaders, which seems to be his context) there is to mutual submission. However, I think Derek already addressed this when he pointed out that “submit yourselves one to another” is not the same thing as “submit yourselves to each other.”

  73. KR Wordgazer August 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    Charlton,

    Peter wrote his letter to “God’s elect.” “All of you be submissive to one another” is a transition between his remarks to elders and young men, and his concluding remarks to the church. I stand by what I say, “submit” means “yield to” and does not always mean “to authority.” I also fail to see the difference between “one another” and “each other”– they are synonymous both in English and in the Greek.

    Christ submitted to/obeyed his parents while on earth. Luke 2:51. Also, I fail to see how his act as a “sheep” who “before the shearers is dumb” is not an act of submission.

    When Paul says “wives to your husbands as to the Lord,” there is an implication that the wife is actually submitting to the Lord. Does this mean she is not submitting to her husband? You can’t have it both ways.

    As for “shame,” this is what I object to:

    “Until, and unless, you can admit that CBMW does not teach what you claim, you are not demonstrating a rational grasp of reality.”

    You and Sue are in disagreement about what CBMW actually teaches. You have issued her an ultimatum that she “submit” to your understanding of CBMW’s teachings– and then told her that if she does not give in to you, she is being irrational. In other words, your words are overbearing, brow-beating– and shaming to her. It is in the sense that you have shamed her, that I said you should be ashamed. The other things you said do not excuse this.

    I am not libeling you. I am directly quoting something you said and giving my response to it. If I had said those words, I would be ashamed. That, and only that, is what I meant.

  74. Sue August 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    I have not dismissed Sue. I have stated that these is no point in talking to her because she won’t address the points already brought to her attention, or admit that she has falsely ascribed teaching to CBMW that they do not teach.

    Every time that someone cites something, the Bible or any article, they are citing something selectively. When I do this I am dismissed, but when you do it then it is alright.

    I will leave it at that, and not continue this discussion. We have here a group of commenters who seem to think that the word kephale meant authority every single time out of the 2,300 times it occured in Greek literature, and we have a respected lexicon that says it never means “authority” not even once. I am not going to bang mny head against that wall again.

    We are not dealing with commenters who are open to academic discussion and I accept that.

    On submission, there are two views, one is that there is mutual submission and the other is that some Christians are to submit to other Christians.

    Clearly Christians from these two different groups belong to two different worlds. I know which one of these two I believe that Christ was teaching.

    I am content with the my understanding of these issues – I do not want to sacrifice my ability to read Greek in order to shift positions.

    Its time to say goodbye, and wish you well. Thanks for the chat and I am not going to read the last few comments very carefully because I do not want to spoil my day.

    Cheers.

  75. Sue August 4, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    Since I did not read the comments, and I don’t want to, because I do not want to be insulted, I just want to say that some commenters have provided honest and touching testimony to kindliness in the home. I did not miss that and I wish you well.

    I do not think that any of you are engaged in some wrong doing, but that the teaching is wrong.

  76. Derek August 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    Sue,
    Yes, kephale is usually used to connote head and many of the 2,300 instances Grudem has found are speaking to the literal head on a shoulder. But all of the uses of this term that are used in a similar context relate to “gods”, “generals”, “kings”, “emperors”, etc. Again, we can go back and forth on this, but when the smoke clears, there is a pattern here that you are simply unwilling to acknowledge. If the closest example you can come up with, that potentially breaks the pattern of usage is Philadelphus, that is pretty thin gruel. Not the stuff that buttresses a variant reading of the text.

  77. Sue August 4, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Philadelphus was the king of Egypt and this passage was picked by Grudem to go first because it was his best example. The others occur in Greek that was a translation of Hebrew or Latin. For some very good reason the Liddell Scott Lexicon, the best there is, did not think that “authority” was a meaning of kephale.

    Dr. Grudem wrote a letter to the editor asking to have “authority” included. Grudem observed to the editor that kephale was a commlon way to translate rosh when it measn leader in Hebrew. Unfortunately this is not a fact.

    Out of all of Greek literature, the handful of oblique phrases gathered by Grudem have not been accepted as a “pattern” by lexicons up until now. The LSJ has not been edited to include “authority” or “leader” at this time.

    This is simply background information.

  78. Sue August 4, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    Here you are, Derek.

  79. KR Wordgazer August 4, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    Charlton said:

    “As to your third paragraph, as to whether I would “like” it if a noble man claimed authority to rule over me, that is irrelevant. Did Peter tell the church to like the emperor? Whether we like it does not matter, if I lived in a country with a king I would be bound by Scripture to submit myself to that king’s authority.”

    It is hardly irrelevant to the point I was making, and that is that whether or not you are bound to submit to that authority, there is no way you can say that such a system — rule by privilege of birth and not by calling, character or competence– is based on “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

  80. Sue August 4, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    if I lived in a country with a king I would be bound by Scripture to submit myself to that king’s authority.

    And aren’t Americans lucky that not everyone believed that!!!! I have not yet have one person offer to resubmit themeselves to her majesty, who ought, by Bruce Ware’s terms, reestablish rulership.

  81. Charlton Connett August 4, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    KR,

    Sue said that Dr. Ware was teaching subjugation of women in saying that men may have to exert their God-given rulership. A clear examination of what he said demonstrated that in fact Dr. Ware does not teach subjugation. (Words have meaning, subjugation is not the same as “rulership” or “authority” from a connotative standpoint. Both Derek and I confronted her on this point.) Sue also claimed that Dr. Hamilton said that women should not “manage/run” their homes, when he explicitly acknowledged that Paul told women to “manage” their homes. (Yes he said problems arise when women try to “run” the home, but he also put blame on how men reacted to that.)

    She made uncharitable claims regarding what others taught, in clear contradiction of what they said. Added to that she continued to say that “many in CBMW” teach these things, when the statements on CBMW’s own website makes clear that her claims are simply not true.

    Finally, I am not saying Sue must agree with me as to what CBMW teaches, only that she must admit that what she has claimed of their teachings so far is false if she wants me to take her seriously. She can continue to claim that they are wrong. She can even say that what they teach can lead to subjugation, or any other number of things she wants to say about them. But, what she cannot do is act like she is being intellectually honest in claiming that Dr. Ware or Dr. Hamilton teach what she has claimed of them so far.

    Your characterization of my discussion with her is, I think, rather wanting. However, admittedly each writer often reads his own thoughts in the best light. I will remain open to those who can show me I have been harsh to Sue or unkind. To simply say her reading of Dr. Hamilton or Dr Ware is “her opinion” insults her (as a rational being) and is unjust to them.

    Back to the main topic we were discussing, you are right. Jesus submitted to his parents. I’ll agree also that I over spoke when I said Christ did not submit to anyone but the father. Of course during his human life Christ would have been submitted to the proper ruling authorities that were in place in the world. I will stand by my understanding of John 19:11 though.

    Christ says in John 10:18 that he has authority to lay down his life and take it up again. He even says that no one takes his life from him. When Christ submitted to the crucifixion, in some way he is exercising his authority to lay down his life. Pilate’s only authority was to carry out what God had determined. Christ, in going to the crucifixion, exercised his authority to lay down his life, in submission to the will of the father (hence his prayer that God’s will be done in the garden).

    All of this seems to be getting away from the point though, which is whether husbands are commanded to submit to their wives. Unless you can somehow demonstrate that Pilate having authority to crucify Christ is the same as Christ “submitting to the church” in his crucifixion, I do not see where you can make an argument that Christ was submitted to the church in dying for her.

    Paul does not tell husbands, “have authority over your wife” but such a command really would have been pointless at that time. Wasn’t the normal assumed relationship between man and wife in that time (and, admittedly, in most of history) one where a man would rule over his wife?

    When you say that “submit” can mean “yield to” and does not always mean “to authority” I see your logic, but do not find it convincing in the verses under discussion, KR. In Ephesians 5:22 Paul says to submit as to the Lord. And “as the church submits to Christ…wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” How that can be something other than acknowledging authority is beyond me.

    Perhaps this is why you see Christ as “yielding” to those who crucified him, (unless you mean something different when you say, “His submission to his enemies even to the point of death.”) where I see Christ as “submitting” to the Father. I think your definition presents problems in reconciling the three examples of Paul and the three examples of Peter.

    I’m doing more reading on 1 Peter 5, but for now I think you and I will have to disagree on it. I do not want to go into it here because this post is already quite long.

  82. Charlton Connett August 4, 2010 at 11:16 pm #

    KR,

    I believe I understand what you are getting at in your question of calling-character-competence. The question is best asked, (if I see where you are going) who is called, who has the character, and who is competent to lead in a husband-wife (or any other) relationship according to Scripture. In order to thus move forward in that discussion we have to resolve the previous discussion we were engaged in: what does the Bible teach about submission and authority in a husband-wife relationship.

    If I have misunderstood where you were going, you have my apologies.

  83. Sue August 4, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    Sue said that Dr. Ware was teaching subjugation of women in saying that men may have to exert their God-given rulership. A clear examination of what he said demonstrated that in fact Dr. Ware does not teach subjugation. (Words have meaning, subjugation is not the same as “rulership” or “authority” from a connotative standpoint.

    What does the OED say?

    subjugate – bring into subjection

    establish rulership – establish sovereign control over

    It is important to realize that the word “submit” in Greek means the same as “be subject.” It is the same word. If a husband establishes that he is the ruler and his wife is the subject, by whatever means he uses, this is subjugation, by definition. I defend the right of Jana Gates to use this word in the context that she does.

    Both Derek and I confronted her on this point.)

    Thank you kindly. It was duly noted.

    Sue also claimed that Dr. Hamilton said that women should not “manage/run” their homes, when he explicitly acknowledged that Paul told women to “manage” their homes. (Yes he said problems arise when women try to “run” the home, but he also put blame on how men reacted to that.)

    Hamilton did not discuss the fact that women should manage the home. He did cite the verse but did not mention the detail that women should manage the house, although I may have missed it.

    My serious quibble with Hamilton is that he appears to have no evidence that the primary cause of divorce in the USA today is that women seek to run the household. Does anyone have a comment to support this as a cause of divorce or as something that the Bible says that women should not seek to do?

    She made uncharitable claims regarding what others taught, in clear contradiction of what they said.

    Please cite something here – anything at all!

    Added to that she continued to say that “many in CBMW” teach these things, when the statements on CBMW’s own website makes clear that her claims are simply not true.

    The summary statements of the two positions on the CBMW site speak for themselves. And Ware actually came to my hometown and his sermon was on a website here, but since removed, but he preached to the ministers in this city, and one of those ministers preached his sermon in our former church, and I am proud to say that my daughter stood up and walked out, buty she came home balling and gagging, (not for herself, mind you.)

    Finally, I am not saying Sue must agree with me as to what CBMW teaches, only that she must admit that what she has claimed of their teachings so far is false if she wants me to take her seriously. She can continue to claim that they are wrong. She can even say that what they teach can lead to subjugation, or any other number of things she wants to say about them. But, what she cannot do is act like she is being intellectually honest in claiming that Dr. Ware or Dr. Hamilton teach what she has claimed of them so far.

    Okay, I cited them but I did not actually paste the entire article into the comment zone. I would assume that you can all access these articles.

    Your characterization of my discussion with her is, I think, rather wanting.

    I skipped reading a few comments so I can’t comment on this.

    However, admittedly each writer often reads his own thoughts in the best light. I will remain open to those who can show me I have been harsh to Sue or unkind.

    As I said, I skipped that.

    To simply say her reading of Dr. Hamilton or Dr Ware is “her opinion” insults her (as a rational being) and is unjust to them.

    I have listened to his sermnons in their entirety. Yes, that is my opinion of the teaching of women in the image of God as long as she is in a male headship relationship. Excuse me if I refrain from saying what I actually think in plain terms!

    As you know, there is an organization of women demanding an apology. They all come from different situations. But this fact is absolutely essential to the safety of women everywere. If a woman submits to any kind of abuse at all, she invites more abuse and worse abuse. It is very dangerous.

    Paul does not tell husbands, “have authority over your wife” but such a command really would have been pointless at that time. Wasn’t the normal assumed relationship between man and wife in that time (and, admittedly, in most of history) one where a man would rule over his wife?

    I am always suprised that Denny goes on all the time about how Paul is telling people to be “counter cultural.” Evidently you disagree with that point. Perhaps you uphold the morality of those days vs today.

    When you say that “submit” can mean “yield to” and does not always mean “to authority” I see your logic, but do not find it convincing in the verses under discussion, KR. In Ephesians 5:22 Paul says to submit as to the Lord. And “as the church submits to Christ…wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” How that can be something other than acknowledging authority is beyond me.

    The word submit does not entail authority. It can be used in an expression like “submit each one to his neighbour.” It does not imply authority in an d of itself. Another of Grudem’s little bloopers.

  84. Derek August 5, 2010 at 1:13 am #

    Sue,

    Your characterization of Grudem as some kind of lone crusader trying to change the lexicon is specious. In point of fact, other lexicons agree with his view and do not endorse the “source” interpretation. P.G.W. Glare, a Liddell-Scott editor has publicly stated his disapproval of the LSJ entry and has also indicated that it needs to be revised in due course (he also cited budgetary problems have played a role in this and other entries not being corrected). Furthermore, he says: “kephale is the word normally used to translate the Hebrew r’osh, and this does seem frequently to denote leader or chief without much reference to its original anatomical sense, and here it seems perverse to deny authority”.

    In any event, a lexicon is not the only tool used for interpretation, nor is it ever going to be able to capture every literary usage of a term. In fact, over-reliance upon lexicons can often lead to bad and/or wooden translations. I’m not an interpreter, but I do understand that diligent interpreters are aware of this trap and this is why they look very carefully at context. In this case, the usual egalitarian argument, favoring a rendering that translates to “source” is a half court shot with your blindfold on. Inserting “source” for “head” in passages like Ephesians 5:23 or I Cor 11:3 causes both comprehension and theological problems. If you’re going to choose a variant translation for a word, it better fit real good… in this case “source” isn’t plausible in light of other possibilities and literary usage.

  85. KR Wordgazer August 5, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    Charlton said,

    “Paul does not tell husbands, “have authority over your wife” but such a command really would have been pointless at that time. Wasn’t the normal assumed relationship between man and wife in that time (and, admittedly, in most of history) one where a man would rule over his wife?”

    Yes– and this is what makes the New Testament epistles so surprising in their historical context. Wives are supposed to “obey” their husbands in that culture, but Paul tells them only to “submit themselves.” Peter goes on at length in Chapter 5 of his first epistle (as we were discussing) to give church leaders advice on how to lead the church (not lording it over them, etc.). The household codes of Aristotle, with which the readers of the Epistles would have been quite familiar, is all about how the patriarch should rule his wife, children and slaves. And yet, there is nothing about how husbands are to lead their wives. Nothing about “leading her gently, not lording it over her” as you might expect if complementarianism were true. No– it’s “husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church when He gave Himself for her” and “husbands treat your wives with respect as a fellow-heir.” Nothing about leading there at all. (Derek, please look at Ephesians 4:15-17 as far as the head-body metaphor in the book of Ephesians. Do you see anything about Christ ruling the body there? All I see is the head as the “source” (grin) of growth and nourishment for the body. Why not let Paul’s own words in chapter 4 help us understand what he means in chapter 5?)

    As for whether Christ was also submitting to humans in letting them crucify Him– I’m not sure why this isn’t obvious. You say wives are to submit to their husbands “as to the Lord,” and there is no doubt in your mind that in submitting to the Lord in this, she is not just submitting to the Lord, but to her husband. But when Christ submits to Pilate (who was himself submitting to those who yelled “Crucify!”), this is not submission to Pilate or to the crowd, but is only submission to God. This really seems contradictory to me. Submission is submission.

  86. KR Wordgazer August 5, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    Sorry– I had to break off in the middle there because a kid got out of bed.

    But here’s the thing– husband-rule was an assumption in that culture. And yet Paul and Peter’s words do not come across at all as an endorsement of that culture’s authority structures as God’s ultimate plan and will. Instead, given the assumption by that audience that husbands were supposed to rule their wives, Paul and Peter’s words sound remarkably like advice to husbands to transcend that cultural norm, to lay down their privilege even as Christ laid down His, and to raise their wives up as Christ raises up the church to be “glorious.” Their advice to wives, in light of this, sounds remarkably like advice to not buck the current authority structure, because this will not help the spread of the gospel (“submit” that “the word of God be not blasphemed” according to Titus 2). The wives are not in a position to transcend the cultural norm (based on the Fall and “he shall rule over you). The husbands, from their position of privilege, are the ones who can. “Not so among you,” Christ said. He meant His Kingdom to be characterized by service, not by hierarchy.

    In asserting husband-rule, are you sure you are not conflating biblical cultures with biblical teachings? It was just such a conflation that led to the defense of slavery as something sanctioned by God.

  87. Sue August 5, 2010 at 2:30 am #

    Hi Derek,

    Your characterization of Grudem as some kind of lone crusader trying to change the lexicon is specious. In point of fact, other lexicons agree with his view and do not endorse the “source” interpretation.

    Putting words in my mouth, Derek. Please try to be more careful!

    P.G.W. Glare, a Liddell-Scott editor has publicly stated his disapproval of the LSJ entry and has also indicated that it needs to be revised in due course (he also cited budgetary problems have played a role in this and other entries not being corrected). Furthermore, he says: “kephale is the word normally used to translate the Hebrew r’osh, and this does seem frequently to denote leader or chief without much reference to its original anatomical sense, and here it seems perverse to deny authority”.

    And here is where we find out that neither Grudem nor Glare have ever read the Septuagint. It is surprising that they would want to announce this to the world, but so be it.

    In any event, a lexicon is not the only tool used for interpretation, nor is it ever going to be able to capture every literary usage of a term. In fact, over-reliance upon lexicons can often lead to bad and/or wooden translations.

    Over reliance on the lexicons would deconstruct most CBMW exegesis, so naturally they downplay it.

    I’m not an interpreter,

    No, I think we can see this. I studied translation in three venues,

    – French to English
    – SIL
    – Near Eastern Studies under the editor of the New English Translation of the Septuagint

    but I do understand that diligent interpreters are aware of this trap and this is why they look very carefully at context.

    The context is used for whatever one wants to use it for. It is manipulated many ways. Shall I give you some examples. Perhaps tomorrow.

    In this case, the usual egalitarian argument, favoring a rendering that translates to “source”

    We could discuss this if you like, but I have not raised this issue.

    is a half court shot with your blindfold on. Inserting “source” for “head” in passages like Ephesians 5:23 or I Cor 11:3 causes both comprehension and theological problems.

    Perhaps for you, with your knowledge of Greek.

    If you’re going to choose a variant translation for a word, it better fit real good…
    hmmmm

    in this case “source” isn’t plausible in light of other possibilities and literary usage.

    A long discussion.

  88. Sue August 5, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    Derek,

    Glare wrote,

    “kephale is the word normally used to translate the Hebrew r’osh”

    Now let’s test this out. The following is a list of how r’osh is translated into Greek.

    Septuagint translators used fourteen different Greek words to translate ro’sh:

    1. archon (meaning ‘ruler,’ ‘commander,’ ‘leader’), 109 times

    2. archegos (‘captain,’ ‘leader,’ ‘chief,’ ‘prince’), 10 times

    3. arche (‘authority,’ ‘magistrate,’ ‘officer’), 9 times

    4. hegeomai (‘to be a leader,’ ‘to rule/have dominion’), 9 times

    5. protos (‘first,’ ‘foremost’), 6 times

    6. patriarches (‘father/chief of a race,’ ‘patriarch’), 3 times

    7. chiliarches (‘commander’), 3 times

    8. archiphules (‘chief of a tribe’), 2 times

    9. archipatriotes (‘head of a family’), 1 time

    10. archo (verb; ‘ruler,’ ‘to be ruler of’), 1 time

    11. megas, megale, mega (‘great,’ ‘mighty,’ ‘important’), 1 time

    12. proegeomail (‘take the lead,’ ‘go first,’ ‘lead the way’), 1 time

    13. prototokos (‘firstborn,’ ‘first in rank’), 1 time

    14. kephale (where head can mean ‘top’ or ‘crown’), 8 times; kephale (in ‘head-tail’ metaphor), 4 times; kephale (where manuscripts have variant readings), 6 times

    ro’sh (not translated), 6 times

    That leaves only eight instances (out of 180) where the Septuagint translators clearly chose to use kephale as a translation for ro’sh, when ro’sh meant ‘chief’ or ‘leader.’

    8 put of 180 – that makes 5 per cent. Do you really think that 5% represents what is meant by “normally?”

    I really feel sorry for people like Glare who listen to what Grudem says, and think that it is actually true.

  89. Sue August 5, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    PS Those 8 times were Jephthah, of course!

  90. Charlton Connett August 5, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    KR,

    I see where your arguments are coming from, but I have to admit that they simply are not convincing to me. Your statement that Christ “submitted to humans” makes an assumption that Christ was submitting to the crowd, when at best the text indicates that Christ was submitting to Pilate’s authority, but in nothing does Christ attribute any authority to the crowds. You still have to show how Christ, in submitting to Pilate, was submitting to the church, an argument you have not yet established. And you have to explain how “submit as to the Lord” does not entail authority.

    Your statement that Paul does not tell husbands to “lead” only to “love” etc. is not convincing to me either. It fails to address the fact that the command was simply unnecessary. Paul was commanding husbands to be quite counter cultural in the way they lead, but he does not tell them “stop leading” and “stop having authority” he tells them what leadership and authority look like as he points them to Christ. I will stand by the examples given already of the text as I think the point has been well established.

    Your statement that Christ submitted to Pilate and Pilate submitted to the crowds means that Christ submitted to the crowds simply does not follow. When Pilate tells Jesus that he has the authority to crucify him or to free him, what does Jesus say? To what authority is Christ submitting? Who is that authority from? Did Christ recognize any authority in the crowd?

    If a neighbor tells you that your child left his toys on the neighbor’s lawn, and you send your child to pick up those toys, is your child submitting to the neighbor? If I hire a worker, and I tell that worker to submit to another worker, and the first worker does what I tell him, then who has he submitted to? Do you not see a difference in these situations?

    Sue,

    Your statement was the Dr. Hamilton teaches women should not “run/manage” their households. If you want to continue to hold to that statement then I will continue to hold to the fact that you are misrepresenting what he taught as anyone who reads the article can see. You also claimed that Dr. Ware taught “subjugation” which is a word Gates uses with a specific connotation. You cannot now claim that you are divorcing that word from the context of the discussion and saying that all you mean by it is that Dr. Ware teaches that men should “rule over” in a totally innocuous sense. In the case of CBMW you still claim that “many” of them teach such things as you have claimed of Dr. Ware and Dr. Hamilton, yet you have not even illustrated that what you have claimed about either of these men is true. This is intellectual dishonesty, I stand by my statement.

  91. Derek August 5, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    Sue said: I really feel sorry for people like Glare who listen to what Grudem says, and think that it is actually true.
    Glare can obviously think for himself and in his own words, your refusal to even consider the possibility of authority here is perverse. Sue, I feel sorry for you too – you are so filled with anger and personal animus towards Grudem and others that you repeatedly insist upon using the pejorative term subjugation to characterize complementarians. This is unfair, unreasonable, uncharitable and mean-spirited. Particularly when you are debating people on translation of Scripture, you really shouldn’t slander people’s character and jump to the worst assumptions about them and their motivations. Furthermore, it demonstrates a lack of objectivity and clouded judgment on your part. Very unprofessional for a trained interpreter and unbecoming of a follower of Christ.

    Now, relating to why Paul might have used the specific term “kephale” here. Plato describes the “head” as the “… divinest part of us which controls all the rest …”. This is very important here, because it reflects a Greek understanding or belief that the head is a controlling agent and that there is also a spiritual/divine symbolism to the head. It makes little sense for Paul to use a purely military or governmental term here because he is speaking in spiritual terms and because he does not endorse the notion of leaders using coercion or brute force in their demonstration of leadership. In other words, “head” is a really meaningful term here, when trying to communicate the concept of a spiritual directing authority.

    Finally, no argument that context can be abused just as a lexicon can be abused. The problem is that inserting a term like “source” for “head” is a wooden translation – doesn’t fit with the context of the passage, nor with the usage of the term. It also creates an even bigger theological problem in I Cor 11:3, where we would have to accept the Father as the source of Jesus. Not only are wooden translations problematic from the standpoint of comprehension/readability, it also invites abuse of the passage, which is exactly what we have here (from the egalitarian re-rendering).

  92. Derek August 5, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Sue said: Putting words in my mouth, Derek. Please try to be more careful!
    Your characterization in #77 does in fact portray Grudem as a man on a crusade and conveniently leaves out “the rest of the story”. One more demonstration of your lack of objectivity and personal animus towards Grudem.

    I’m glad I could inform Denny’s readers that there is in fact more to the story (#84) than you let on.

  93. Derek August 5, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Charlton, great points in #90. Well done.

  94. Derek August 5, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    I said: in this case “source” isn’t plausible in light of other possibilities and literary usage.

    Sue said:
    A long discussion.

    Yes, it is a long discussion, because you have to go through a wide array of smoke screens and exegetical gymnastics to ram that ill fitting piece into the puzzle.

  95. Sue August 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Your statement was the Dr. Hamilton teaches women should not “run/manage” their households.

    I take it back completely. Hamilton said that it was the primary cause of divorce in the USA today is that women seek to run the house. I am curious to know if there are any statistics to back this up.

    You also claimed that Dr. Ware taught “subjugation” which is a word Gates uses with a specific connotation. You cannot now claim that you are divorcing that word from the context of the discussion and saying that all you mean by it is that Dr. Ware teaches that men should “rule over” in a totally innocuous sense.

    Its an honest disagreement. I believe that bringing a wife under rule is “subjugation” and you don’t. We have to disagree on this.

    In the case of CBMW you still claim that “many” of them teach such things as you have claimed of Dr. Ware and Dr. Hamilton, yet you have not even illustrated that what you have claimed about either of these men is true.

    I cited them.

    This is intellectual dishonesty, I stand by my statement.

    Be ny guest.

  96. Sue August 5, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    Your statement was the Dr. Hamilton teaches women should not “run/manage” their households.

    I take it back completely. Hamilton said that the primary cause of divorce in the USA today is that women seek to “run” the household. Is this accurate?

    You also claimed that Dr. Ware taught “subjugation” which is a word Gates uses with a specific connotation. You cannot now claim that you are divorcing that word from the context of the discussion and saying that all you mean by it is that Dr. Ware teaches that men should “rule over” in a totally innocuous sense.

    Its an honest disagreement. I believe that bringing a wife under rule is “subjugation” and you don’t. We have to disagree on this.

    In the case of CBMW you still claim that “many” of them teach such things as you have claimed of Dr. Ware and Dr. Hamilton, yet you have not even illustrated that what you have claimed about either of these men is true.

    I cited them.

    This is intellectual dishonesty, I stand by my statement.

    Be ny guest.

  97. Sue August 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    Now, relating to why Paul might have used the specific term “kephale” here. Plato describes the “head” as the “… divinest part of us which controls all the rest …”. This is very important here, because it reflects a Greek understanding or belief that the head is a controlling agent and that there is also a spiritual/divine symbolism to the head. It makes little sense for Paul to use a purely military or governmental term here because he is speaking in spiritual terms and because he does not endorse the notion of leaders using coercion or brute force in their demonstration of leadership. In other words, “head” is a really meaningful term here, when trying to communicate the concept of a spiritual directing authority.

    Can you defend your notion that the husband is more divine than the wife?

    Finally, no argument that context can be abused just as a lexicon can be abused. The problem is that inserting a term like “source” for “head” is a wooden translation – doesn’t fit with the context of the passage, nor with the usage of the term. It also creates an even bigger theological problem in I Cor 11:3, where we would have to accept the Father as the source of Jesus. Not only are wooden translations problematic from the standpoint of comprehension/readability, it also invites abuse of the passage, which is exactly what we have here (from the egalitarian re-rendering).

    Derek,

    You have this backwards. “Head” is the literal translation of kephale. A “wooden” translation is a synonym for a literal translation. Using “source” would be a more dynamic equivalent translation, the opposite of “wooden.” “Head” IS the wooden translation.

  98. Sue August 5, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Can you defend your notion that the husband is more divine than the wife?

    I take it back. You did not say this. You just said that this thought is meaningful to you. So be it.

  99. Derek August 5, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Sue says: Its an honest disagreement. [referring to her repeated usage of the term subjugation]

    No, it isn’t honest – it is dishonest and here’s why. Grudem and CBMW have consistently repudiated abuse of authority; the dictionary definition for subjugation that I posted on #16 is directly at odds with the complementarian model. You deliberately extract sections of text and commentary from CBMW even while you ignore CBMW’s careful explanations of what is explicitly now allowed by Scripture. Subjugation is an inflammatory and inaccurate term and that makes your repeated insistence on this terminology a classic strawman argument.

  100. Derek August 5, 2010 at 12:32 pm #

    I meant to write: “explicitly NOT allowed by Scripture” in the last post.

  101. Sue August 5, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    It also creates an even bigger theological problem in I Cor 11:3, where we would have to accept the Father as the source of Jesus.

    It’s in the Nicene creed,

    “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, Light from Light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father.”

  102. Derek August 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Can you defend your notion that the husband is more divine than the wife?

    I didn’t suggest or imply that. Paul is discussing a spiritual concept, that’s all I meant.

    You have this backwards…

    That is one way of looking at it. As I understand it, there is more than one way to create a wooden rendering, which would be to insert a definition for a word that doesn’t fit the context and that is what I meant here.

  103. Sue August 5, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Charlton and Derek,

    Here are my questions. Yes or no?

    1. Is it true that women seeking to run the household is the primary cause of divorce in the USA today?

    2. Is it true that when kephale refers to a person, it always means that he is the authority over the person he is kephale of?

    3. Is it true that submit always means submitting to an authority?

    4. Is it true that kephale is normally used to translate the Hebrew word r’osh?

  104. Derek August 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    1. Is it true that women seeking to run the household is the primary cause of divorce in the USA today?
    That is Jim Hamilton’s theory. There isn’t a yes or no answer because it cannot be empirically validated. Next subject.

    2. Is it true that when kephale refers to a person, it always means that he is the authority over the person he is kephale of?
    No. The concept of authority is implied in other cases, including the example I gave from Plato. And again, you are ignoring similar references include “gods”, “kings”, “generals” and “emperors”, so you can “do the math”.

    3. Is it true that submit always means submitting to an authority?
    Not always. Case in point, Ephesians 5:21, where the surrounding text demonstrates so. Your point is?

    4. Is it true that kephale is normally used to translate the Hebrew word r’osh?
    Seems possible to me. You’re pressing this narrow point and ignoring other evidence though.

  105. Sue August 5, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Paul is discussing a spiritual concept, that’s all I meant.

    Yes, Paul is discussing a spiritual concept, but the question remains “what spiritual concept is Paul discussing.”

    As I understand it, there is more than one way to create a wooden rendering, which would be to insert a definition for a word that doesn’t fit the context and that is what I meant here.

    Here is how the expression wooden is used in context,

    “The English Revised Version, [1881, and very literal] and the American Standard Version had gained a reputation for being accurate study texts but very “wooden” in their construction,”

    The Origin of the Bible. Bruce, Comfort and Packer page 289

    “I also appreciate the comments about the NASB, even though somewhat more “wooden” in reading due to its literalness, still being readable.” Anonymous comment

    “I discovered the NASB is the Mother-off-all-literal translations. I was toying with the idea to make the switch (since my use of the Bible is serious study and I research the text rather than let the translators paraphrase it to me) – but somehow the NASB was so wooden and not enjoyable to read.”

    Anoymous blogger

  106. Sue August 5, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    1. That is Jim Hamilton’s theory.

    Thank you. I wish that Hamilton has said this in his paper, “This is my theory.” It would have been so much clearer.

    2. No. The concept of authority is implied in other cases, including the example I gave from Plato. And again, you are ignoring similar references include “gods”, “kings”, “generals” and “emperors”, so you can “do the math”.

    9 times over 2,300 the expression “kephale of ….” is used to mean a person is the authority over his own people.

    The math says .39 percent.

    3 Not always. Case in point, Ephesians 5:21, where the surrounding text demonstrates so. Your point is?

    Thank you. We are not yet sure if the surrounding text says that the husband is the authority over the wife. This is what we are trying to see if the passage says.

    4. Seems possible to me. You’re pressing this narrow point and ignoring other evidence though.

    Let’s do the math again. Actually it was 4.4 percent. Is that what you would call “normally?”

  107. Sue August 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    In case you think that I am ignoring this,

    you are ignoring similar references include “gods”, “kings”, “generals” and “emperors”,

    a) Zeus is kephale – beginning, middle and end

    b) kings – not used of kings as an authority over their own people

    c) general – the Roman general is “like” the head. Grudem admits that this is a “live” metaphor. It is also after the NT.

    d) emperor – a translation from the Latin

  108. KR Wordgazer August 5, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    This:

    “It also creates an even bigger theological problem in I Cor 11:3, where we would have to accept the Father as the source of Jesus” —

    is a very odd thing to say, in my opinion. First of all, the passage there says “God” is the head of “Christ.” Certainly Jesus, in His role as Christ, was sent by God the Father. Furthermore, He is also called the “Word” of God. The Nicene Creed says that the Son is “eternally begotten of the Father,God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God. . .”

    In what sense is the Father NOT both the “source” of the Christ Whom He sent, AND the eternal “source” of the Son? This is simple orthodoxy.

    Charlton, here’s the thing. It seems to me that you see the Kingdom of God as being all about authority and subordination. Every time we talk about submission, you want to talk about authority. When I talk about leadership by privilege of birth not being according to the law of love (and thus not of God’s eternal plan), you go back to talking about authority and subordination. I don’t see the Kingdom of God as being all about heirarchy, authority, and who is in charge of whom. I think Christ came to change that. I think Paul’s writings about social relationships were about changing that. I do not see any place in the Scriptures where husband-rule is set forth as a timeless command of God. I see a Kingdom of “kings and priests” where all get those titles.

    Reading the Scriptures as a whole, what I see is a Story of how God created beings to be in unity, co-leading the Creation together. The fall brought disunity, including male rule over the female. Christ came to redeem, and His redemption includes restoration of unity. Rule by privilege of birth is not part of this Kingdom. There is no place in the New Covenant where God establishes any Kingdom authority except by His calling and gifting, as acknowledged by the church. No one gets to say, “I get to be church leader because I’m Peter’s son.” 1 Corinthians 5 says “we regard no one any longer according to the flesh.”

    I maintain that husband-rule is part of the fall, perpetuated in human culture; that the Apostles’ focus was not on human cultures but on the Kingdom, and therefore their lack of instructions to husbands to stop having authority is beside the point. “In Christ” husbands were to give themselves and serve their wives, not be in authority over them.

    I, too, see no real point in continuing this. We are approaching the Bible from entirely different prior assumptions. I maintain that rule by privilege of birth is fundamentally unjust and is not of God. I can’t convince you of this, and you can’t convince me otherwise. So at this impasse, I will withdraw.

  109. Sue August 5, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    Derek,

    I want to show you how Dr. Grudem does his research. Here is a statement that he wrote about himself in The TNIV and Gender Neutral Bible Controversy. 2004, p. 425 – 426,

    “in fact, the major Greek lexicons for over 100 years have said that adelphoi, which is the plural of the word adelphos, ‘brother” sometimes means “brothers and sisters” (see BAGD, 1957 and 1979, Liddell-Scott-Jones, 1940 and even 1869).

    This material was new evidence to those of us who wrote the May 27 guidlines – we weren’t previously aware of this pattern of Greek usage outside the Bible. Once we saw these examples and others like them, we felt we had to make some change in the guidelines.”

    Here is my question. How could the basic entry for adelphos in the Liddell Scott Jones Lexicon be new evidence to Wayne Grudem when he drafted the Colorado Springs Guidelines in 1997? How is this possible?

    In order to interact with this, I found a series of citations which use the Greek word aner (man) in a gender neutral way and I emailed them to Dr. Grudem. He said that this information had previously “not been available” to him. But my citations were from Plato, not from some new source.

    How is this possible?

  110. Derek August 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    Sue said: 9 times over 2,300 the expression “kephale of…” is used to mean a person is the authority over his own people.

    The math says .39 percent.

    When I say “do the math”, I mean use common sense. The glaring problem with your reasoning is that we have to first exclude the instances where a literal head on someone’s shoulders is being referenced. Why? Because as you pointed out earlier, clearly Paul isn’t referring to an actual head, he is speaking symbolically. That is skewing your math and causing you to deal with the wrong sample size.

    Even supposing there are a mere handful of references that infer and connote the idea of authority, you are naked and bereft of references that do relate to persons of “non-authoritative source”. The best example you can come up with is a king, Philadelphus, who you seek to dismiss on a piffling technicality. That puts the math in your corner at zero or close to it. It defies common sense and intellectual honesty.

  111. Sue August 5, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    When I say “do the math”, I mean use common sense. The glaring problem with your reasoning is that we have to first exclude the instances where a literal head on someone’s shoulders is being referenced. Why? Because as you pointed out earlier, clearly Paul isn’t referring to an actual head, he is speaking symbolically. That is skewing your math and causing you to deal with the wrong sample size.

    Thank you, Derek. I followed your lead on this. Forgive me.

    Do we have an alternate sample size? Has Grudem provided us with useful data?

    I don’t intend to prove any meaning at all. I just want to demonstrate that the existing data has not been properly analysed.

    So far, I cannot find any useful data to support the complementarian position. It comes across as a theory.

    I conclude that Hamilton was not accurate in citing “women seeking to run the household” as the primary cause of divorce in the USA today.

    I conclude that Grudem is not accurate in saying that submitting is always submitting to an authority.

    I conclude that Grudem did not refer to a lexicon when he drafted the Colorado Springs gender translation guidelines.

    I conclude that Glare is not accurate in saying that kephale is how r’osh is normally translated.

    I conclude that Grudem is not accurate in saying that kephale, when used of a person, means that person A is an authority over person B.

    My common sense tells me to treat complementarianism as an unproven theory.

  112. Sue August 5, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    The best example you can come up with is a king, Philadelphus, who you seek to dismiss on a piffling technicality.

    THe fact that Philadelphus was the kephale of his father, but not the authority over his father is a “piffling technicality.”

    Can you menton anyone other than Jephthah who was called the “head of” his own people?

  113. Derek August 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    KR and Sue-
    Here’s how I Corinthians 11:3 would read if we insert “source” for “head”:
    Now I want you to realize that the source of every man is Christ, and the source of the woman is man, and the source of Christ is God.

    Now, are there ways that this can be understood in the same way the Nicene Creed is written? Yes! But I didn’t say that this would make the passage outright heretical. It introduces a new problem and here is why: It would have reinforced a well-known [to Paul’s audience] arian heresy, that Christ was born of God in a more literal sense and this theory rejected the eternality of Christ. This makes the “source” explanation difficult, particularly considering Paul’s sensitivity to this idea/heresy.

  114. Sue August 5, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Now, are there ways that this can be understood in the same way the Nicene Creed is written? Yes! But I didn’t say that this would make the passage outright heretical.

    Thank you.

    It would have reinforced a well-known [to Paul’s audience] arian heresy, that Christ was born of God in a more literal sense and this theory rejected the eternality of Christ.

    But saying that Christ is subordinate to God’s authority supports the heresy of subordinationism. Either way, he is supporting heresy?

  115. Derek August 5, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    Sue,
    Once again, w/r/t Philadelphus, you miss the forest for the trees. Plus, it makes even less sense to make Philadelphus the “source” of his father or of his kingdom.

    Can you menton anyone other than Jephthah who was called the “head of” his own people?

    Not in the very narrow manner you repeatedly insist upon. When the context of this word occurs in conjunction with references to kings, emperors, generals and gods, this is not accidental. Are you incapable of seeing the forest for the trees, Sue? Plus, you aren’t dealing with Plato’s symbolic usage of head, which further buttresses the case for authority.
    In any event, the burden is not on complementarians, but on YOU, because you are naked and bereft of references that do relate to persons of “non-authoritative source”. The best you can do is introduce technicalities and skewed math to tear down the complementarian rendering and yet you’re dogmatic at the same time. Nice combination.

  116. Sue August 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    What we can see now is that kephale was used in a wide variety of ways.

    – the object on your neck
    – more noble
    – the extremity, ie the beginning or the end of something
    – as a synonym of arche (source, origin, beginning)

    In any event, the burden is not on complementarians, but on YOU, because you are naked and bereft of references that do relate to persons of “non-authoritative source”.

    I am putting Philadelphus up against Jephthah. Do you have anything to add to this?

    I am an agnostic egalitarian. I admit that I don’t understand all the passages about gender.

    But I know clearly that theologians who support complementarianism are not providing an accurate assessment of the data to the public.

  117. Sue August 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Not in the very narrow manner you repeatedly insist upon.

    When I insist on a “narrow” sense, let me be clear, I am playing by Grudem’s rules.

    Kephale is not supposed to just mean “conqueror” or “ruler” (which it doesn’t mean anyway) But it should mean to be in a position in relation to someone else who is of the same family or nature as yourself. To be in relation to someone who belongs with you in some way. It should refer to the organic unity of the head and body of a human being. The head cannot live without the body.

    But if it means that the body does all the thinking and all the talking, that does not relate to a marriage, if one person does all that.

    If we talk about making decisions, the Greeks were clear that the body was appetite, the head was rationality, and the decisions were made in the thumos or the lungs.

    Do we really think of women as appetite, and men as rationality. Are men not equally governed by appetite? And who would be the lungs?

    In sum, one way that man is head and woman is body, is that man was the legal representative of the family in antiquity.

    THe other way is that the head is organically connected to the body.

    SO we can think of organic unity – this was Chrysostom’s theory, or third, we can also talk about origin, that Adam was the origin of the human race.

    There are many ways to think about this, and learn from it without saying that the husband is supposed to impose his rulership over the wife.

  118. Derek August 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    I am putting Philadelphus up against Jephthah. Do you have anything to add to this?

    Yes – “non-authoritative source” makes a lot less sense than simply acknowledging that Philadelphus was a strong and commanding king. It isn’t hard to see or recognize that his father wasn’t as gifted or powerful as him. Plus, by your own admission, we have more to go on with the Jephthah example. Both of these cases reinforce the complementarian position, particularly in light of the example I cited from Plato.

  119. Derek August 5, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Philadelphus was clearly an authority figure in the general sense. The very fact that he is mentioned and not his father tells us something important. If “source” was implied, then Philadelphus’ father would have much more likely been mentioned.
    Plus, this would not be the first instance in history in which a son consolidated a loose kingdom, or a smaller one. I’m sure we could find many examples of the sort.

  120. Charlton Connett August 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    Derek,

    In comment 104 you say that it is Dr. Hamilton’s theory that women trying to run a household is the primary reason for divorce. I think here you have capitulated to Sue too much. Dr. Hamilton says, “The woman is seeking to run the household. And
    then the man is either responding with excessive
    harshness, or he’s not responding in the way that
    Christ would.” Does he end a sentence? Yes, but notice the immediate conjunction “and” after that. Dr. Hamilton directly says that women trying to run the household, and then the way men respond to that, is the cause of divorce. To say anything less than this is to falsely state what Dr. Hamilton taught. He puts fault on both parties, he does not single out women as Sue claims. While she may have quoted his words she failed, again, to quote the context or to note that there is more to it than just “women ought not try to run the household.” Thus the answer to her question should be: No. Now, please show me where Dr. Hamilton has taught this, and only this, as the primary cause for divorce in the country.

    KR,

    I think you are right that we will not convince one another of either of our points, but I do want to address one last thing to you, and that is how I see the kingdom of God in Scripture. (For that matter it is how I see all of Scripture.) My father pointed out to me a long time ago that he thinks the primary theme of Scripture is divine order. After a long while of reflecting on this, I have come to the conclusion that I think he is right.

    God creates, and he separates and names things. God brings order from chaos, such that all elements are no longer mixed up, but each in its place. Man is given authority over the earth (generic use of “man” here) so that it can be brought into proper order before God. In all the creation story, order is constantly present, even more than the fact of God’s love in creating man, we see his divine order in making all things just as he wanted.

    When Adam sinned it upset the natural order. Now, instead of being submitted to God and his law (recognizing his ordering of things moral and natural), man wants to make his own law. Each man being his own God leads to chaos, not loving order and peace. Thus all sin somehow violates the natural order of God.

    Notice that even in the curse the natural order of things is upset: the serpent is now in animosity to man when there was supposed to be peace for all things. The woman would have great pain and discord would be part of marriage. Man would only eat from hard labor, and would get thorns and thistles from the ground instead of the good produce he was supposed to have in the garden.

    Order is the great theme of the Bible. Yes, love. Yes, mercy. Yes to all things great and wonderful. But, all these things are encapsulated or overlap with order. Authority and submission are only part of the theme of order because they are inherently necessary to order. (1 Corinthians 15:20-28)

    All of Scripture points to Christ and Christ is the one who sums up the perfect order of God. He did all things well. He completely obeyed the Law. He fulfilled the purpose of God in his life. He alone is the perfect example, and he is the blueprint for the order of all things. (Hebrews 8:5-6, cf. Revelation 21:22)

    That is how I read Scripture.

  121. Derek August 5, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Charlton,
    You have a point.
    As I mentioned in #99, Sue has demonstrated a pattern of twisting words and ignoring qualifying statements, because that is what you do when you create a strawman. Thank you for pointing this out and I accept your correction.

  122. Sue August 5, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    Philadelphus was clearly an authority figure in the general sense. The very fact that he is mentioned and not his father tells us something important. If “source” was implied, then Philadelphus’ father would have much more likely been mentioned.

    Guess what, Derek. I give up. Philo mentioned Philadelphus (Ptolemy II) and not Ptolemy I, who founded the dynasty, because Philadelphus was the one who had the LXX translated into Greek. Naturally, the writer wanted to be accurate. The passage was not about Philadelphus authority over his father.

  123. Brian Krieger August 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    I tried reposting a comment, but I think it’s still trapped in never-never land. Just wanted to point out an interesting read about the 2000 Κεφαλή(s) by (have a seat, Sue ;-)) Dr. Grudem:
    http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/tj/kephale_grudem.pdf

  124. Derek August 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Sue,
    You are operating from an assumption that the son MUST have authority over the father in order for the term to indicate authority.

    I think that reasonable people will not make this assumption! Reasonable people can understand that a dynastic family will often recognize the person who demonstrated the greatest authority or power or notoriety.

    You STILL have not demonstrated how it makes more sense for the son to be the “source” of the father! This can hardly be a useful example to buttress the egal position.

  125. Sue August 5, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    “Do you know that more marriages fail in this country because men and women reject what the Bible says about gender roles than they fail for other reasons. If you examine marriages, the reasons people don’t get along is they are living like Gen 3:16.
    The woman is seeking to run the household. And then the man is either responding with excessive harshness, or he’s not responding in the way that Christ would.”

    Is a woman “seeking to run the household” living like Gen. 3:16?

  126. Sue August 5, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    Aren’t women explicitly told in 1 Tim 5:14 that they are supposed to “run the household?”

  127. Sue August 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    You are operating from an assumption that the son MUST have authority over the father in order for the term to indicate authority.

    That is what Grudem says, explicitly. “Specifically, we cannot find any text where person A is called the “head” of person or persons B, and is not in a position of authority over that person or persons.”

    That is what Grudem said.

    You STILL have not demonstrated how it makes more sense for the son to be the “source” of the father! This can hardly be a useful example to buttress the egal position.

    I am not using to buttress the egal position. The best buttress of the egal position is that Grudem and Glare managed to make so many false statements about any one topic.

  128. Derek August 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Aren’t women explicitly told in 1 Tim 5:14 that they are supposed to “run the household?”
    Sigh… Once again, failure to see the forest for the trees, Sue. This has already been answered in #42 and #57, probably elsewhere also.

  129. Sue August 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    All I am demonstrating is that the complementarian position does not have any facts to support the position. Perhaps egals don’t either. So, starting from scratch, how are we supposed to treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves? Which framework is better

    A some Christians submit to other Christians

    or

    B submit to one another in the Lord

  130. Sue August 5, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Sigh… Once again, failure to see the forest for the trees, Sue. This has already been answered in #42 and #57, probably elsewhere also.

    If women are told to run the household, how does this cause divorce in America today? I just don’t get the connection.

  131. Sue August 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    In summary, I think we now can agree that Hamilton was too vague to pin down, his language is ambiguous and nobody knows any data to support it.

    Glare and Grudem have not produced any useful data set on the suhject of kephale yet, and probably will never do so.

    Grudem regularly presents data without using any lexicon at all.

    This is enough for me.

  132. Ryan K. August 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    See ya Sue! I am sure when Denny posts again on anything about complementarianism we will see you again posting the same comments that have been answered endlessly.

  133. Sue August 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    I certainly cannot recommend that any woman at all submit herself to this kind of teaching, on the simple basis of it being completely unfounded and unsupported.

  134. Sue August 5, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    Hi Ryan,

    It is nice to see that people persistently ignore the facts.

    Actually Derek helped me to see Grudem (and Glare) believes that 4.4 percent counts as “normally.” That is particularly helpful in assessing any of his arguments.

  135. Sue August 5, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    So I think that this has helped me to understand that when Grudem says he “normally” uses a lexicon, he actually means that he uses a lexicon about 4.4 percent of the time. And that seems about right, from what I have read of his works.

  136. Derek August 5, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    It is easy to explain or believe that the son exerted greater authority than the father. If that is the case, then it can be said, in a manner of speaking, that his authority was greater than anyone in his family’s.

    I asked:
    You STILL have not demonstrated how it makes more sense for the son to be the “source” of the father! This can hardly be a useful example to buttress the egal position.

    You said:
    I am not using to buttress the egal position. The best buttress of the egal position is that Grudem and Glare managed to make so many false statements about any one topic.

    I’m waiting for an answer, Sue. Show me how “source” makes more sense than what I have provided here. Show me something that is plausible.

  137. KR Wordgazer August 5, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Charlton– ok, one last thing here. You quoted Hamilton as saying divorce is partly the man’s fault for the way he responds to the woman. But guess what? According to that quote, it all starts with the woman. She’s the instigator, he’s only the responder. Sorry, but men instigate problems in marriage just as much as women do. I can very much see Sue’s point.

    Funny, I don’t see anything in that passage you cited, about authority. Nor is there anything in the Genesis account about male authority over the female being part of God’s plan at creation– His initial establishment of order in Gen. 1 had male and female ruling together. Nor is there any male authority shown before the Fall, unless you read it into the passage.

    I submit to you that part of God’s original order was male-female equality, and male rule is part of the disorder that came with the Fall. But I think that too great an emphasis on the role of authority in the theme of order, is also part of our fallen nature.

    That’s all I have to say.

  138. Derek August 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    Sue,
    I explained how your math is skewed by an incorrect sample size in #110. But even I were to accept a number like 4.4%, it would be higher than the number that supports the “non-authoritarian source” position, which is 0.0%.

  139. KR Wordgazer August 5, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    Clarification:

    “Funny, I don’t see anything in that passage you cited, about authority” was about the 1 Cor. 15 section Charlton cited.

  140. Sue August 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Grudem says,

    “Specifically, we cannot find any text where person A is called the “head” of person or persons B, and is not in a position of authority over that person or persons.”

    Grudem did not even read the context of the first example which he cited for his own data. Grudem said that the king of Egypt was the kephale of his nation. Nothing at all supports this claim. Nothing. I cannot discuss nothing any further,

    I’m waiting for an answer, Sue. Show me how “source” makes more sense than what I have provided here. Show me something that is plausible.

    I answered this and it is somewhere up there, missed in the general morass. It doesn’t really matter. It is not enough to think that you have invented some sort of “plausible” interpretation to justify bringing the female half of the human race under the rulership of the male half.

    I explained how your math is skewed by an incorrect sample size in #110. But even I were to accept a number like 4.4%, it would be higher than the number that supports the “non-authoritarian source” position, which is 0.0%.

    There are two different data sets. In one we have o.39 percent, and that data set needs to be redone, presumably by Grudem because he is the one to make the most use of this date set.

    In the other data set, it was 4.4 percent, and Grudem cites with favourability, that Glare said that 4.4 percent was the same as “normally.”

    This is not worth discussing. There is no case at all, from any of the research which you have introduced to make a case that the Bible says that a husband is to establish his rulership over his wife.

    The reason I cannot see the “forest” is because there is no forest. There are a few scraggly trees here and there.

    I personally don’t think the scriptures were commenting on anything relating to the modern comp egal debate. It is pretty clear that throughout the Bible there was a teaching to love your neighbour as yourself. I do not think that this means that a wife treats her husband as ruler, and the husband treats his wife as his subject. I do not think there is any chance at all that this is true.

  141. Charlton Connett August 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    Brian,

    Thank you so much for the link to the Grudem article. I had avoided the conversation because I had not read the article and was thus not familiar with Grudem’s position. I appreciate that you linked to it as I found it both thorough and informative.

    KR,

    “Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.” Now, unless I’m mistaken it says “authority” right there. And, “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.” What does “reign” mean if Christ is not taking authority unto himself here? What does it even mean that he will hand over the kingdom to the Father? Finally, “When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.” What does it mean that the Son “will be made subject” if there is no authority?

    You may submit anything you want, but I think you really have to strain to avoid finding “authority” in the passages above noted. And you still haven’t addressed any of the Scriptural quotations noted throughout these arguments.

  142. Derek August 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Sue said: In the other data set, it was 4.4 percent, and Grudem cites with favourability, that Glare said that 4.4 percent was the same as “normally.”…
    You haven’t engaged at all with the point I made in #110 nor with the reality that you have to separate the obvious instances that deal with the symbolic head and the literal head. That is skewing your sample sizes. 0.39 and 4.4 are made up numbers. Our real sample is what we’d find when we look at the references that speak to the “head” in symbolic terms. This is important.

  143. Charlton Connett August 5, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Sorry, KR, I had to run. My wife cooked an early dinner. My last paragraph is not what I intended to say.

    What I meant to say is that you have not interacted with Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3 to show how both of those instances demonstrate a submission that is just “yield to”. Particularly when Scripture says, “submit as to the Lord” and “As the church submits to Christ”.

    I know you mentioned I seem to think too highly of “authority” and “submission” but the only reason I am harping on them here is because the very crux is whether they are commanded. You mention that I go back to the question of authority and submission when you ask if it would be loving to set up a system of governance defined purely by birth right. That is because my point is this: Whatever system God establishes is the most loving system we can have.

    Your question is answered by asking, “Is this the system God set up?”

    If the answer is, “no.” (for any system) then it is not the most loving system possible (even if it possible that it could be loving). If the answer is “yes” then it is in fact the most loving system possible, and the one we should embrace. If you preclude the answer by saying, “love would never allow that someone has authority over someone else just because of birth” then you must show that position to be correct. Thus you must show that such a system is inherently unloving according to a scriptural definition of love. (You may have a problem with that since God did set up a monarchy in the Old Testament, and it is on the basis of that monarchy that Christ was recognized as having authority. That is: Christ has authority particularly because of his parentage.)

    To do that though seems to me to be going about things backwards. It seems that instead of your question we are better served by asking, “What is the system God set up?” We must conform our definition of “love” to what God’s Word says, not begin with a definition and seek to find it.

    Apologies for the mischaracterization of your interaction with Scripture in my last post.

  144. Derek August 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    But saying that Christ is subordinate to God’s authority supports the heresy of subordinationism. Either way, he is supporting heresy?
    Subordinationism is only heresy in the most extreme forms… ironically enough, it becomes heresy when you jump to the conclusion that subordination equals inferiority… sound familiar to anyone?

  145. SM August 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    The comp/egal debate is a relatively new concept for me.

    1. What in the constitution of a woman necessitates she be under the authority of her husband?

  146. Charlton Connett August 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    KR,

    One thing on Dr. Hamilton’s statement. You state, “Sorry, but men instigate problems in marriage just as much as women do. I can very much see Sue’s point.”

    I’ll grant you that is one reading of Dr. Hamilton’s statement, that women are the source of most of the problems leading to divorce, and men are only responding to it. However, being that the context is Genesis 3:16, is it possible that all Dr. Hamilton is doing is following the order as outlined in the text of Genesis? What is the most gracious reading of Dr. Hamilton’s statement that still holds true to his point? Do we owe authors, particularly those who share our faith in Christ a gracious reading, or a negatively prejudiced reading? (Which is the best way to read a text? One in which we say, “It could, reasonably, mean this, and that would be true.” Or, “I can see how I could read it this way, therefore it is wrong.”)

  147. Derek August 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Sue said:
    Grudem said that the king of Egypt was the kephale of his nation.

    He was.

    The passage in question says this:

    …he was, in all virtues which can be displayed in government, the most excellent sovereign, not only of all those of his time, but of all that ever lived; so that even now, after the lapse of so many generations, his fame is still celebrated…in a word, the whole family of the Ptolemies was exceedingly eminent and conspicuous above all other royal families, and among the Ptolemies, Philadelphus was the most illustrious; for all the rest put together scarcely did as many glorious and praiseworthy actions as this one king did by himself, being, as it were, the leader of the herd, and in a manner the head of all the kings.

    The passage makes it clear that this guy was “in a manner”, a king among kings “not only of all those of his time, but of all that ever lived”. If that doesn’t imply authority and even the concept of a pecking order, I frankly don’t know what does. The closer we look at this, the stronger Grudem’s position becomes.

  148. Thomas Newell August 5, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    I think that Derek just put the nail in the coffin of how Sue skews facts when you actually look at the primary sources. It is clear from what Derek cited that head is used as above and in authority over. In order to force “source” into this context you really have to do extreme violence to the plain reading of the passage.

  149. Sue August 5, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    You haven’t engaged at all with the point I made in #110 nor with the reality that you have to separate the obvious instances that deal with the symbolic head and the literal head. That is skewing your sample sizes. 0.39 and 4.4 are made up numbers.

    Let me be very clear. 4.4 percent of the time that r’osh, when it means leader, is translated into Greek, it is translated using the word kephale. Glare said that when r’osh means leader, it is NORMALLY translated into Greek as kephale.

    How do you explain this?

    I can’t interact with you further on this, because you are not dealing with the data. Until you admit that 4.4 percent of the time is not “normally” we are at an impasse.

    Subordinationism is only heresy in the most extreme forms

    Now we are into rating our heresies. Funny how you keep qualifying and shifting your position.

    The passage makes it clear that this guy was “in a manner”, a king among kings “not only of all those of his time, but of all that ever lived”. If that doesn’t imply authority and even the concept of a pecking order, I frankly don’t know what does.

    So now you do admit that he was not the kephale of the nation. You recognize that this is not what the Greek said. Thank you.

    But you are saying that your main concern is that the husband be higher up in the pecking order.

    Now, perhaps you can explain why Grudem does not bother to use lexicons when he drafted the Colorado Springs guidelines on translating gender terms. From that we get to the TNIV.

    Are you aware that most of the statements in the statement against the TNIV are not researched in the lexicons? Just as Grudem explained, he did not look up anything at all.

  150. KR Wordgazer August 5, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    Ok, Charlton, but I really do have to wind up this discussion.

    Ephesians and 1 Peter are both talking about Christian submission to cultural authority structures– especially 1 Peter, which is written to Christians who are “scattered” through pagan societies and is specifically about how to interact with pagan cultures. Ephesians is more of an inside look at how Christians are to relate to one another “in Christ,” yet still within cultural authority structures. Nothing in either epistle endorses those authority structures as being God’s ultimate design, God’s plan or God’s best.

    As for God giving Israel a king– the Scriptures make it quite clear that God did not want to do so, that God considered having a human king an inferior system to living with Him as King. He told Israel that their king would oppress them. See 1 Samuel 8. God was accommodating Israel in giving them a king, and He was accommodating Israel in sending the Christ within the structure Israel had insisted on having. It was not God’s perfect will or plan that kings reign by birthright. When God chooses leaders directly, He does so by calling– and it has nothing to do with their birthright, physical appearance, or anything else that humanity regards. All this is quite clear in the O.T.

    God did choose the O.T. priesthood according to birthright– but the Book of Hebrews makes it clear that that was not God’s perfect plan either. The New Covenant is a kingdom and priesthood without these fleshly structures.

    So no– rule by birthright is not a system God set up. This includes husband-rule, which came about because of the Fall. The reason these flesh-based authority systems are unloving is that there is no stretch of the imagination by which they can be construed as “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “I was born to be in authority over you, whether I have any skill or character or not– so submit!” This is why God told Israel that their king would oppress them. This is why spousal abuse is such a problem among those who believe they have this entitlement.

    Paul’s letters caution that new believers should not be given authority roles for the same reason. 1 Tim. 3:6.

    Christ showed us what His idea of human authority looks like– it is about servanthood and is based on God’s calling, not on the flesh.

    As for Hamilton, perhaps he didn’t intend to blame women for marital problems as he does. But I reject his reading of “creation order” as a reason why men get to rule women even after Christ’s Redemption. There are too many women out there who have suffered under husbands who took words like these exactly the way they seem to read. “You provoked me to act the way I did. It’s really your fault.” It is to these women, not to me, that writers who write such things must answer.

    I have no issue with God’s authority, or Christ’s authority, as set forth in Scripture. But apparently, according to the Scripture you cited, Christ will eventually do away with all authority save God’s alone. This means that human authority is ultimately of this world and is temporary. Thank God for that.

  151. Charlton Connett August 6, 2010 at 8:28 am #

    KR,

    I see where you’re coming from in your interpretation. However, it is simply not compelling to me. God’s people, under the Abrahamic covenant, were primarily determined by birthright. That is: any Israelite male was to be circumcised, and, in so doing, was automatically a part of the covenant of God. Gentiles never had that right. Birthright relationship with God was established by him covenantly, not according to the will or desire of Abraham.

    Even if you argue that this arrangement did not set up a birthright system, which I could see someone arguing based off the words of Paul, there is yet another birthright covenant set up by God. God said to Abraham, long before Christ was born, “through your seed.” Paul makes clear that this seed relates to Christ, such that only Abraham’s seed could be the one chosen to redeem mankind. Thus Christ’s birthright of redemptive purpose is seen, in Scripture, as related to his direct familial connection to Abraham.

    Note also in Genesis 17:6 and in Genesis 17:16 that God says to Abraham, “kings will come to you” as part of the blessing God would put upon him. (I note it as a blessing because in 17:16 God explicitly calls it a blessing upon Sarah.) God does not seem to consider kingship automatically bad. That Abraham would be the father of those to whom God would give authority as a birthright was a blessing, not God’s accommodation to human concepts of authority.

    Also, in the condemnation of Israel for asking for a king in 1 Samuel 8:6-9 you will notice that Samuel was the one displeased with the people asking for a king. Why was Samuel displeased? Well, we read in 1 Samuel 7:15 that Samuel was the judge over Israel, and in 1 Samuel 8:1 that he had appointed his sons as judges after him. In asking for a king the people were rejecting him as their judge. Hence we see God’s response to Samuel, “And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.” Notice that God does not say the people have rejected him as king by asking for a human king, but they have rejected him as king by forsaking him. It is not a new thing that the people have rejected God as their king, it is what they have always done, from the days of the wilderness even to Samuel’s day. Now they are doing the same to Samuel.

    Deuteronomy 17:14-20 tells the people how they are to select a king. God does not condemn the idea of having a king or say, “on that day you will have rejected me.” There is nothing at all saying that, for Israel, having a king is a bad thing. In fact, God tells the king what he should do in order to be blessed. Far from saying that God was accommodating to Israel, it seems more reasonable to me to say that God was setting the stage for the birthright promise that he would grant to Christ when he came into the world. God’s making Christ born as a king was not an accommodation to sinful human activity, it was the plan from the start of creation, so that Christ’s authority would be according to calling and birth. (Cf. the idea of a promised child as given to Eve after the fall.)

    You said that when God chooses leaders he does so by calling. I do not disagree. What I disagree with is saying that “calling” and “birthright” cannot be compatible. If God is sovereign over all things, even life itself, why can he not cause a man to be born in such a way that he will give a calling to the one to whom he has given birthright? Can you show, from Scripture that God condemns the idea of birthright?

  152. Derek August 6, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Sue said: Let me be very clear. 4.4 percent of the time that r’osh, when it means leader, is translated into Greek, it is translated using the word kephale. Glare said that when r’osh means leader, it is NORMALLY translated into Greek as kephale.

    How do you explain this?

    Obviously, he can answer this better than anyone else. Stands to reason that he isn’t aggregating every metaphorical usage of “r’osh” into the same category, the way you seem to be.

    Now we are into rating our heresies. Funny how you keep qualifying and shifting your position.
    You’re the one that brought up Subordinationism in #114. I’m explaining that Subordinationism is not usually heretical, so your bringing it up was a canard.

    … So now you do admit that he was not the kephale of the nation.
    He was the kephale of the nation and much more. This guy was highest up the chain in his family, just like Zeus was among gods. There’s no way for you to get around this (though I give you an “A” for effort).

  153. SM August 6, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Denny’s post: “the friends in her Bible study did not present her with a mainstream complementarian interpretation of the text… Although there are some exceptions, complementarians by and large do not believe that women are more gullible or prone to sin than men are…”

    Given his popularity, the scale of his influence and audience, his networking with other well-known comp proponents, the rise of his own network, the proliferation of his comp message via the internet, etc., I would hardly characterize Driscoll as peripheral.

  154. Donald Johnson August 6, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Let CBMW repudiate those that fall outside it’s self-defined boundaries. CBMW wants to be a “big tent” and encompass a range of non-egal thinking, this is again their choice. As far as I can see, the only ones who leave CBMW are the most extreme patris who claim CBMW does not go far enough.

  155. Sue August 6, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    Derek,

    You have parted ways with CBMW and I suspect most of evangelical Christianity. Here is the CBMW view of subordinationism,

    “Subordinationism, however, describes a heretical formulation of the doctrine of God, usually referred to as ontological subordinationism. Ontological subordinationism is recognized as heresy because it says the Son and Spirit do not share directly in the very being or essence of God the Father. The term subordinationism, then, is not used functionally (eternal or temporal) but rather ontologically (regarding being and essence only). This usage is well attested.”

    As to Glare’s quote on r’osh and Grudem’s agreement, I provided the complete list in this comment thread. There is no other explanation, but that Glare does not know Hebrew, I think this is factual, but in any case his comment was completely in error.

    Grudem has perpetuated this error of Glare’s by publishing it without comment on the error.

    How many examples of Grudem’s technical and lexical errors would you like examples of?

    I have shown you that he did not refer to a lexicon in deciding, in May of 1997, that adelphoi should be translated as “brothers” only. But he also is unfamiliar with the gender inclusive use of anthropos, and aner.

    This shows that he does not use a lexicon in his research, and he also is not familiar with Greek as a language, except for the NT.

    Basically, if something was not in the RSV translation of the NT, then Grudem is not familiar with it.

    I know this is harsh, but I would not be saying these things if I could not back it up with facts.

    I am not just trying to spread bad feeling, although it might seem like that. But I am searching for the reason that Grudem can approve of Glare’s remark about r’osh.

    There are two explanations. First, Grudem really does not know Greek and Hebrew well enough to understand the translation patterns of the Septuagint. This is a distinct possibility.

    Second, he willfully is leading others to believe certain things that he knows are wrong.

    In case you think that I am just full of it, please consider that I was trained under the person who is the editor of the New English Translation of the Septuagint. I am not a fly by night non-expert.

    Complementarian scholarship in the last 20 – 30 years has serious lapses of academic honesty. I used to email CBMW regularly to inform them of errors on their website and at first they responded positively, but in the end they would not take down their statement against the TNIV.

  156. Sue August 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    He was the kephale of the nation and much more.

    Derek,

    If you can provide a citation which demonstrates that the Greek says that Philadelphus was the “kephale of the nation” please provide that as a citation. Otherwise you will have to drop it. I am not sure that you understand what it means to have an example of something in a language. But the Greek distinctly says “kephale of kings.”

    This is quite different because it refers to fame and not to group structure. Philadelphus did NOT have authority over the kings that he was more famous than. This example does not fit Grudem’s rule. You may find Grudem’s rule to narrow, but then I encourage you to publish yourself with a new rule and find examples to match.

  157. Derek August 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Sue,
    You read the passage I quoted in #147 and then say the reference is only dealing with his fame? My six year old knows that if you are a king that exerts greater authority than other kings did before or after your time, you were a man of great authority over your dominion and people. Sue, I’ve come to the conclusion that you are stiff necked and stubborn, like religious leaders of another day who strain on a gnat and swallow a camel.

  158. Sue August 6, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    My six year old knows that if you are a king that exerts greater authority than other kings did before or after your time, you were a man of great authority over your dominion and people.

    “Authority over” is not mentioned.

    I am a Canadian. I willingly acknowledge that the USA has greater power and authority than Canada. The USA does not have sovereign authority over Canada. It would be nice of that concept could be appreciated.

  159. Sue August 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    I also would appreciate if you would note that the Glare/Grudem citation is an error which discredits the entire study. It throws all conclusions in the kephale study off course.

    If Grudem wishes to republish using fact instead of gross error, then we can talk. But by that time, we will be aware that accepting authority because it is male, is about the worst strategy anyone can undertake in life. Even if he republished and corrected his many misunderstandings of the lexicons, then I would still say
    “what about the intervening 30 years?” What is the value of accepting something that is false?

  160. Ryan K. August 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Okay lets recap.

    Sue continues to try and explain away the obvious and ignore the mountain of evidence for Kephale meaning authority, in favor of it meaning “source” which the evidence never shows.

    And everyone else tries to point out logic and truth to her.

    Yup, this is how all gender threads go on Denny’s blog.

  161. Derek August 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    Sue,
    I don’t accept the Canada example because you are refusing us the right to use Philadelpus as an example unless the ancient text provides us with unnecessary clauses like “and as head, Philadelphus had authority over his domain and people, but not the people who did not live in his lifetime”. People have a set of expectations that do not need to be explicitly explained: no one expects one nation to have authority over another sovereign state; likewise, it isn’t necessary to say that a king has authority over his subjects! This is a red herring, plain and simple.

    Now, if I had time to carefully sift through everything Grudem has said and to understand what Glare meant, I would do it. But the fact of the matter is, you have consistently withheld critical facts (see #77 and #84), engaged in strawman arguments (see #95 and #99), taken words out of context (to imply malicious motives, see #12 and #60) and have dodged over into left field topics whenever you’ve been pinned down on your sleight-of-hand tactics. I’ll let other people weigh in now. Personally, I’d like to have a dialogue with egals and complementarians who don’t engage in the tactics I just outlined and can be witnessed by all right here on this thread.

  162. Derek August 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Ryan K.,
    Good recap. Although I have to say, we asked her to provide her best case for “source” and she declined. She claimed that she is an agnostic egalitarian, though I’m going to have to take that on faith, considering the personal animus she displays towards complementarians and considering that this topic is a matter of obsession on her own weblog.

  163. Sue August 6, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    Ryan,

    Sue continues to try and explain away the obvious and ignore the mountain of evidence for Kephale meaning authority, in favor of it meaning “source” which the evidence never shows.

    Thank you very much for not reading the comment thread. I don’t blame you but that disqualifies you from making informed comments.

  164. Sue August 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    I don’t accept the Canada example because you are refusing us the right to use Philadelpus as an example unless the ancient text provides us with unnecessary clauses like “and as head, Philadelphus had authority over his domain and people, but not the people who did not live in his lifetime”. People have a set of expectations that do not need to be explicitly explained: no one expects one nation to have authority over another sovereign state; likewise, it isn’t necessary to say that a king has authority over his subjects! This is a red herring, plain and simple.

    And that would be my precise point! Thank you. The text does not say that he had authority over his subjects.

    It said that he was the “kephale of other kings.” The Liddell Scott Jones lexicon says that kephale means “most noble” and the text itself says that he was the most illustrious.

    Kephale has nothing whatsoever to do with the relationship that Philadelphus has with his subjects. There is NO connection whatsoever. There is no way that you can connect these dots. None whatsoever.

    I have not withheld any facts, and have provided complete data sets when asked.

    The fact that I have made collecting complementarian bloopers on my weblog is my own business. I was in explicitly complementarian congregations for about 30 years and was weekly pummeled by statements that made no sense.

    But to tell the truth I was too busy to realize what was happening.

    Finally, I realized that an influential signer of the statement against the TNIV was in our congregation. I investigated, and then I interviewed him. I was so shocked that I went to our pastor. I thought that this person should be under church discipline for having done something so wrong. But I finally realized that this would never happen.

    I started checking out background articles and really I could not believe my eyes. I was profoundly shocked. I am still processing what has happened.

    I emailed and interacted with many theologians and websites as I am sure you know.

    I talked to egal theologians. I found that they agreed with me, but as public figures, they would not engage with the negative aspects of complementariarism.

    It has blown me away, but I have found out some of the following facts.

    1. The KJV, Coverdale, Geneva Bible, and the Luther Bible would not pass the gender guidelines for Bible translation on which the ESV and the HSCB are based.

    2. Anthropos can refer to a group of all women, and without any question means “human” and not “man.”

    3. Aner also refers explicitly to groups of men and women in Greek.

    4. Pater, vios, and adelphos in the plural all refer to gender inclusive groups in Greek.

    5. Junia was never a man’s name and there is no evidence to suggest that she was only well-known to the apostles.

    6. There is no evidence that authentein means “to have pastoral leadership.”

    I have engaged with Köstenberger, Wallace, Grudem, Wolters, and others, and none of them have given me any additional evidence.

    If I was not ‘obsessed’ as you say, then I would not have pursued this to the point that I know for sure that there is no evidence for these things. At some point someone would have found it and provided it.

    For me, this has been profoundly upsetting because I lived by complemnetarianism up until it was no longer possible and I regret it deeply. I cannot relive my life, but I am doing all that I can to turn my life around and get as far away as possible in my thinking from this teaching. I am actually making much progress and it has lead to a lot of family stability and much deep spiritual happiness.

  165. Sue August 6, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    I do however, keep reviewing in my mind “how did this thing happen to me?” My personal life is going forward, but the hold that this teaching had on my mind haunts me.

  166. Sue August 6, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Regarding “agnostic egalitarianism” I mean that I cannot prove egalitarianism from the texts relating to gender in the Bible, and I do not try to do so.

    As with slavery, one cannot take a verse in the Bible which refers to slavery and prove that slavery is morally wrong.

    However, one can refer to the law of Christ and to his redemption and believe in one’s heart that the sovereign rule of master of slave, and husband over wife is wrong. This is my belief.

  167. Derek August 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    Sue said: The text does not say that he had authority over his subjects
    Again, you’re expecting it to be spelled out, with a totally unnecessary clause that reads something like “and as head, Philadelphus had authority over his domain and people, but not the people who did not live in his lifetime”.
    His authority is implied and not just once but throughout the passage that I quoted and also in the longer passage I didn’t cite. Enough said.

  168. Ryan K. August 6, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    Sue I have a question for you. If the Bible said “Women should not be pastors, not now, not ever, even if there are really clever interpretive methods thousands of years from now to try and teach otherwise.” And then it had a lexicon in the back that was also divinely inspired and it said, “Kephale clearly is used as authority and not source, just like in all other ancient writings.” Would you embrace complementarianism? Or would you still find a way to parse out the plain meaning of the text?

  169. Sue August 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    Derek,

    Let’s line up the statements. Grudem said,

    “Specifically, we cannot find any text where person A is called the “head” of person or persons B, and is not in a position of authority over that person or persons.”

    Philadelphus was called kephale of the kings, but he had no sovereign authority over these other kings.

    Ask Grudem to produce another draft of his statement if you like. I await that day.

    So far, you have actually conceded in so many words each and every detail of the discussion.

    But you still feel that the overall message of the sovereign rulership of the husband over the wife is valid. At least now you know that egalitarians are as committed to the scripture as complementarians, but they do not acknowledge the exegesis of complementarians for a very good reason.

  170. Sue August 6, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    Ryan,

    I have no interest in being a pastor. I don’t feel that I have to defend this.

    Suppose I said that the text and the lexicon gave me, as a slave, the very clear meessage that I should not seek freedom and I should not kidnap my children from a cruel master, would I stay and watch my children grow up in slavery.

    NO, I would not feel morally bound to stay in slavery. Many Christians did help slaves escape (from other Christians even.) And then they helped the parents to rescue their children when possible.

    I do not feel that a woman being a pastor is on the same level morally, but I do feel that the treatment if wives is in this order. Since the CBMW teaches that a husband should exert leadership and establish rulership, I have no other way of saying it, except that they teach that wives should be made subject to their husbands. What shall we call this, if not subjugation?

  171. Sue August 6, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    “Kephale clearly is used as authority and not source, just like in all other ancient writings.”

    PS This of course is nonsense. It does not mean “authority” so it is rather a waste of time to think about what one would do in that case. But you asked ….

  172. Ryan K. August 6, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Thanks for dodging the question Sue. A simple yes or no will suffice. And I find it telling of just had ideological you are on this matter in that you would draw parallels to slavery.

  173. Sue August 6, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    Yes, it is ideological. A wrong is a wrong. There were kind and good slave masters, but that does not change morality. I believe that God has provided moral guidance in the Bible.

  174. Ryan K. August 6, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    Bible?! What does that have to do with anything Sue! Its absurd to use the Bible as “moral guidance” when you will not answer a simple yes or no, as to if the Bible unequivocally taught complementarianism you would abide by it.

    Let’s drop all the Bible talk unless it is the final authority in our lives and not just a Tony Robbins “guidance” book.

  175. Donald Johnson August 6, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    Ryan K. posits a hypothetical. I will ask an actual.

    WHY would anyone be non-egal when there is no requirement to exegete the text that way?

    Once someone knows that egal interpretations exist, why not go with them as they align with other Scriptural principles better?

  176. Ryan K. August 6, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    My question is more than a hypothetical Don, it is meant to establish if the Bible is absolutely authoritative in our lives.

    If the Bible beyond a shadow of a doubt taught egalitarianism then I would not hesitate to hold that position. Sue on the other hand seems to more deeply cherish her egalitarian ideology than the authority of the Bible. I could be wrong though and would love for her to simply answer yes or no to the question I put forward.

  177. KR Wordgazer August 6, 2010 at 8:52 pm #

    So let’s recap. Sue makes a statement that a particular example of “kephale” — “kephale of [other] kings” — cannot mean “authority over [other] kings” because the man called “kephale” did NOT have authority over the kings he is said to be “kephale” of. The complementarians then proceed to rake her over the coals because she doesn’t think “kephale of [other] kings” means “authority over [his own] subjects.” (Gentlemen, Sue was talking about this particular phrase. However much the rest of this passage talks about authority, “kephale over other kings” cannot mean “authority over other kings.”)

    Having vilified her for not agreeing with the illogic that the phrase “kephale of kings” means “authority over his own subjects,” the complementarians now tell her that “kephale” has to mean “authority” because it cannot mean “source” — even though Sue never said a word about “kephale” meaning “source” here.

    Said complementarians then enjoy the cameraderie that ganging up on Sue has made them feel.

    Very nice, boys. Reminds me why I usually don’t come here.

    Sue, I congratulate you on the way you responded with evidence and example, rather than defensiveness, to their attacks.

    Charleton– sorry. I was going to go into more of a discussion about birthright, and about how the New Covenant clearly has no relationship to calling-by-birthright such as the nation of Israel and its kings and priests had in the Old Covenant– but I can’t play in this sandbox. There’s just too much sand being thrown to make it tolerable.

  178. KR Wordgazer August 6, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    Oh, and Ryan– would you obey the Bible if it told you to kill your wife? What about if it told you to assassinate your President?

    Who is your God? The Bible? Or the living God Whom it testifies of? Is the living God a capricious tyrant? Is God an arbitrary dictator who doesn’t care about right or wrong so long as he is obeyed?

    I will worship the true God as revealed in the Bible– and any twisting of Scripture that turns Him into such a characature, I utterly reject. Your interpretation is not my God. Male supremacy is a morally abhorent doctrine that it is high time Christians opened their eyes to the evils of, as they finally opened their eyes to the moral abhorence of white supremacy 40 years ago. There are women who have flat had enough of it and aren’t going to take it any more. I’m one of them. So shoot me if you like– I’ll take my stand with Sue.

  179. Ryan K. August 6, 2010 at 9:17 pm #

    Your smarter than that KR. To draw comparisons about submitting to the authority of the Bible with killing my wife is idiotic.

    It is manipulative to try and juxtapose Creator God with the way he has specially chosen to reveal himself to us in his Word. Outside of God’s word we are only left with speculation and to conjure up our own images and ideas of who God is. This inevitably leads to idoltary in which we begin to make God in our own image rather than worshiping him as he is (Rom. 1).

  180. Ryan K. August 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    BTW KR, would you abide by complementarianism if the Bible unequivocally taught it? I have answered this question in the reverse but have yet to get someone from the egalitarian side to give a straight answer yet. I find this telling in regards to the esteem and authority that the two sides place in the Bible…

  181. KR Wordgazer August 6, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    Ryan, what is immoral is what is immoral. God doesn’t countenance it, no matter how His word has been twisted through the generations to support things that are wrong in their very essence. Complementarian arguments are indistinguishable from arguments that used to be used to support black slavery. It didn’t make it right– or biblical– then, and it doesn’t now.

    I’ve been trying to leave this conversation for a long time. Now I’m really going. Bye.

  182. KR Wordgazer August 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    And egals don’t answer you because they don’t like loaded, manipulative questions.

    So long.

  183. Ryan K. August 6, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

    KR, your last comment was nonsensical and to define immoral by immoral is circular and just does not compute.

    I earnestly hope you doing some actual studying on the topic because by comparing complementarian arguments to slavery tells me you have yet to do so.

    And I would be slower to speak for Sue and Don, who I suspect would reject the Bible if it unequivocally taught complementarianism. This is anything but a manipulative or loaded question, if it was I would not have been willing to answer it myself.

    And that probably wraps this up until Denny posts on gender again, but I think my question still stands as it is revealing as to the authority that is given to the Bible and not someone’s prior commitments.

  184. Sue August 6, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    Ryan,

    I certainly hope that you consider some parts of the Bible more authoritative than other parts.

    Would you stone a disobedient son, a homosexual and make a girl marry her aggressor?

    I hope not.

    However, I am absolutely certain that nothing in the Bible says that a husband ought to have sovereign authority over his wife. I am just a certain of that as you are that nothing in the Bible says that you should sacrifice your first born son.

  185. Sue August 6, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    I am aware that many egals do not have this rock solid certainty because they do not read Greek and Hebrew well enough to refure the many complementarian arguments. But I actually know the evidence and I know that it is all conjecture and misunderstanding.

  186. Derek August 6, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    Here’s my closing argument on the Philadelphus example.

    Before I do, we need to recognize that the actual meaning of kephale is incredibly important to this whole debate. The PDF Brian posted in #123 explains why this is so. Egalitarians have been trying to cast doubt on the traditional understanding of this word for many decades now.

    Two phrases are keys that unlock the meaning of kephale in the “Philadelphus” passage that Sue is hinging much of her argument on. Let’s look at it again.

    this one king did by himself, being, as it were, the leader of the herd, and in a manner the head of all the kings.

    1. as it were, the leader of the herd Figuratively speaking, this guy was “top dog”.
    2. and in a manner the head of all the kings – same concept, but now the author is saying, “he was more than a leader of men; he was a leader of leaders”.

    “Leader of the herd” clues us in and sets up phrase two. It is important to recognize that it is connected and is trying to generate a picture in our mind. Phrase one is preceded by “as it were” and phrase two by “in a manner”. What does that tell us? The author is saying, not in the literal sense, but figuratively speaking, this guy was alpha male, top dog, use whatever metaphor you want.

    Now lets go back to Grudem’s question: Show us one example in all of ancient Greek where this word for “head” (kaphale) is used to say that person A is the “head” of person or persons B, and means what you claim, namely, “non-authoritative source”?

    Who is A and B in “leader of the herd”?
    A – the herd leader
    B – the herd

    Who is A and B in “head of all the kings”?
    A – the head (Philadelphus)
    B – the kings

    Sue says that we can’t consider this example because A couldn’t possibly have given orders and directives to B (the kings). Sue insists that we can only accept this example if we can prove that Philadelphus gave orders to his father and so forth. But the author has preceded both phrases by telling us that he is speaking metaphorically, not literally.

    If kaphale doesn’t infer something about pecking order, I don’t know what does. If kaphale doesn’t mean leader, I don’t know what does. If A isn’t the authority and B the subordinate, I don’t know what is.

    I leave it to you to decide, hopefully this is helpful to people who are looking at this objectively.

  187. Ryan K. August 6, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Sue please consult a basic hermeneutics book to see why your question is misleading. For as much Greek and Hebrew as you know, I am sure you already are aware of this and are just continuing to dodge the question. In fact I think Darius already addressed this line of argument earlier in the thread.

    I don’t know why Sue it is such a hard question to answer; if the Bible unequivocally taught complementarianism would you accept it?

  188. Sue August 6, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    If Obama has sovereign authority over the rest of the world, I concede.

    If he does not, then you concede.

    Put any president in there.Did Reagan have sovereign authority over Thatcher. Answer me this with a simple yes or no. Just one word will suffice.

  189. Sue August 6, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    Was Margaret Thatcher a subordinate of Reagan? Somebody, pulease correct me if I am wrong.

  190. Sue August 6, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    Ryan,

    You did not answer my question. Will you? If the Bible asked you to sacrifice your first born son, would you?

  191. Sue August 6, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    Ryan,

    Too many intervening comments so I don’t know what your question refers to exactly. I am not avoiding but awaiting your response.

    Derek,

    I can imagine you sitting now looking throughout the Bible for verses to support pecking orders.

  192. Ryan K. August 6, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    Sue I have a question for you. If the Bible said This question Sue

    “Women should not be pastors, not now, not ever, even if there are really clever interpretive methods thousands of years from now to try and teach otherwise.” And then it had a lexicon in the back that was also divinely inspired and it said, “Kephale clearly is used as authority and not source, just like in all other ancient writings.” Would you embrace complementarianism? Or would you still find a way to parse out the plain meaning of the text?

    Sue I asked you a straight forward question that was just meant to advance the conversation and make sure everyone accepted the authority of the Bible. In turn you ask me a question that college freshmen like to ask as a “gotcha” question after their first semester of philosophy.

    The answer is no I would not kill my kid, because God would not ask that. How do I know that? Because his word says so. In fact it made that top ten list of commands. Your question is really just a hybrid of Euthyphro’s Dilemma.

  193. Ryan K. August 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    Sorry for the jumbled first line, just thought I would re-post the whole comment/question since you lost track of it above.

  194. Sue August 7, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    Ryan,

    The answer is no I would not kill my kid, because God would not ask that. How do I know that? Because his word says so. In fact it made that top ten list of commands. Your question is really just a hybrid of Euthyphro’s Dilemma.

    And no, I would never consider a husband to be my sovereign authority, because God would not ask that. It makes the top ten list, “love your neighbour as yourself.”

  195. Sue August 7, 2010 at 12:06 am #

    And the Bible never says that a woman cannot be pastor. It is simply not in the Bible.

  196. Charlton Connett August 7, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    KR,

    Thank you for the discussion we had. I am sorry that the “sand” has made you need to retreat but I can fully understand and appreciate it. I pray that the Spirit would continue to bring each of us into all truth, in this and in all things.

  197. Derek August 7, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    I understand why Sue and many others react violently to the phrase “pecking order”. I realize it is a clumsy term and creates bad connotations, but allow me to explain why it doesn’t have to be negative.
    I admit, last year when I did a months long study of I Peter, I also had a violent reaction every time I read Peter tell his readers that they should obey and honor Nero, one of the most wicked kings this world has ever known. I shuddered when he told slaves to obey masters. Then I got curious. I really wanted to understand what was going on – what was behind this command and behind Peter’s theology that would cause him to make the idea of submission a major point throughout I Peter, not just with regard to Nero. As I read and studied it more, it sort of crystalized and made more sense. God established an order and hierarchy for a) the heavenlies b) the world c) the church d) the home. But I also saw that structure and order are part of God’s way of doing things. The good news is that God protects people who operate within the order he established. When we honor “Nero”, we are actually obeying God. When we rebel against those God has placed us under, we take ourselves outside of God’s order and protection. Fact of the matter is, none of us are off the hook. We’re all under various authorities – but not for our harm. This is all in I Peter, laid out systematically. I share this because I know many people think first of Paul on this subject, but I personally have been more impacted by Peter’s writings.

  198. Sue August 7, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    Do you think it was wrong to abolish slavery and revolt against the crown of England?

  199. Sue August 7, 2010 at 1:27 am #

    The good news is that God protects people who operate within the order he established.

    How many slaves were protected from being flogged by praying?

  200. Donald Johnson August 7, 2010 at 7:54 am #

    Ryan,

    The Bible does not “uniquivocally” teach non-egalism in the new covenant. So you again are asking a hypothetical.

    However, I am asking an actual. Since there are many respected egal scholars, why would anyone choose non-egalism?

  201. Derek August 7, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    How many slaves were protected from being flogged by praying?

    Worse was done to Christians under Nero. Worse was done to Peter.

    …if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
    “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
    I Peter 2:20-23

    It comes down to a matter of trust. Do we trust God (path of faith) or do we trust ourselves (path of independence)?

    As to the question of slavery, Martin Luther King, Harriet Beecher Stowe and William Wilberforce are good models for us, I think. Civil disobedience is a Biblical concept, though not the default position.

  202. Ryan K. August 7, 2010 at 10:21 am #

    Sue it was a hypothetical and your failure to answer it shows you might have a higher devotion than the authority of the scriptures… I will bow out here with you though because I think this has run its course when one starts comparing killing of children with the beautiful images God has shown us of himself through gender roles.

    Don your question is actual and valid. Yet I think it has been repeatedly answered in this thread and others that there is a much more compelling case for complementarianism than an egalitarian understanding of the scriptures. Including actual verses such as 1 Timothy 2 which egalitarians can never treat at face value but have to do all sorts of exegetical gymnastics to get by. This is very un-satisfying for me.

  203. Sue August 7, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Sue it was a hypothetical and your failure to answer it shows you might have a higher devotion than the authority of the scriptures… I will bow out here with you though because I think this has run its course when one starts comparing killing of children with the beautiful images God has shown us of himself through gender roles.

    I answered, some people don’t read.

    You are talking about beautiful images and Derek is talking about Christians suffering under Nero.

    This is going from bad to worse. At the end of the day there is no scriptural support for saying that the husband should establish his sovereign rulership over his wife. I have not read one cogent argument in favour yet in this thread. Time for coffee!

  204. Derek August 7, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    There are a lot of reasons to reject the egalitarian view. One is that it creates an atmosphere where men don’t live up to their responsibilities. Women accept burdens they were never intended to receive and vice versa. It creates sexual confusion on the physical, spiritual and emotional level. It fosters anger, rebellion and resentment against authority, which God instituted for our good, not harm. There are many reasons to reject egalitarianism, many unintended consequences occur when we reject God’s established order for the world, Church and home.

  205. Thomas Newell August 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    No offense Sue but you did not answer. And accusing someone of not reading carefully is foolish given all that you have skipped over.

    I think the question is simple and I noticed that Ryan answered it from his view. If the Bible beyond a shadow of a doubt taught complementarianism would you accept it?

    Pretty simple.

  206. Sue August 7, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    This is what I wrote,

    And no, I would never consider a husband to be my sovereign authority, because God would not ask that. It makes the top ten list, “love your neighbour as yourself.”

    The question has varied. In my view, Gates article was about marriage, but the original question which I probably did not answer to your liking was about women pastors. That somehow seemed to be dragged in from left field.

    I phrase it this way, so there is no misunderstanding. I really dislike labels because they include a wide spectrum of belief.

    NO, I would not accept a husband as a sovereign authority over a subject wife.

    I will qualify this just as much as Derek has qualified his reponses. I would not accept it any more than slavery, any more than Hitler or any totalitarian govenment. The answer is NO.

    But I did not, in fact, reject a husband as sovereign over the wife until I found out that all biblical support for this idea was completely and totally fake.

    IN practice I accepted this until I found out that the reasoning for it was completely manufactured. I can only express my deepest regret that I ever did accept it. I did accept it because I thought it was in the Bible, and it has been to my lifelong regret.

    I wish I had had the moral fortitude to reject it from the beginning, without needing to undestand the empty exegesis. I wish that long ago I had simply said, “this is wrong” no matter what people are telling me the Bible says.

    I hope that answers your question.

  207. Sue August 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    There are a lot of reasons to reject the egalitarian view. One is that it creates an atmosphere where men don’t live up to their responsibilities. Women accept burdens they were never intended to receive and vice versa. It creates sexual confusion on the physical, spiritual and emotional level. It fosters anger, rebellion and resentment against authority, which God instituted for our good, not harm.

    I read this kind of thing all the time. I think Grudem has a special chart where he describes how egalitarianism renders women unattractive to men, and vice versa. You must be copying from Grudem’s chart!

    I always like to put Fee and Grudem up against each other. Okay, they may seem a little old to you, but a few years ago, it was a good comparison. Hmm. Definitely, I know which one comes across as the confident masculine figure. No contest!

    I have actually taken courses from both egalitarian theologians and complementarian theologians. It is completely like night and day. The ones where their wives were involved and supportive and caring were egalitarian.

    Actually, think of Fee, Witherington, Wright, Metzger, McKnight, Grentz, Nicole, and so on,

    Do you really want to label them sexually confused and not living up to their responsibilities. I love the way Grudem lists all the nasty things that he can think of and then smacks the label “egalitarian” onto it. Perhaps, this is a reflection of what is going on in his own mind – conflict, rebellion, and sexual confusion.

    Clearly Grudem thinks that egalitarianism renders women unattractive so let me publicly return the compliment.

  208. Sue August 7, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Sue it was a hypothetical and your failure to answer it shows you might have a higher devotion than the authority of the scriptures …

    Perhaps I am not answering because I have not the foggiest idea what this kind of sentence is referring to. Someone has to make a teeny weeny little effort to make themselves understood.

  209. Derek August 7, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    I really dislike labels because they include a wide spectrum of belief

    You mean like “subjugators”?

    I get it… you can refer to complementarians in the pejorative and we can’t label you at all.

    ROFL!

  210. Sue August 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    No, that is not what I meant. I meant that I prefer to say that I do not believe that “a husband is the sovereign ruler of the wife” rather than say that I do not believe in complementarianism. That is what I meant. I meant that I don’t want to label you. I only want to explain the exact practice that I think is wrong.

  211. Sue August 7, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    However, if you want to put “ugly” up against “subjugators” that is your choice. I know what I would pick.

  212. Sue August 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Derek,

    I am sorry for being so silly. Frankly, I was trying to avoid using labels for complemnetarians, and that is why I was spelling out what I believe and what I don’t believe. This “you are ugly” “No, you are the one that is ugly” is all Grudem’s style and I am only using it as a joke.

  213. Thomas Newell August 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    Sue it might not be an issue of someone making them more clear but rather comprehension by the reader. The point was that you have a higher aligence to egalitarianism than the authority of the Scriptures.

    Your trying to link complementarianism as a failure of loving your neighbor as yourself only further highlights this. Not killing your child is a clear edict of the 10 commandments in which no scholar debates. Yet gender roles is a widely debated matter in which many theologians devote their entire lives to studying and come to different conclusions. To act as if they are equally clear and cut and dry just further exposes your unwillingness to listen to others.

    So the question still stands, if the Bible absolutely taught self-sacrificing complementarianism would you accept it? The fact that comps. joyfully acknowledge that if the Bible clearly taught egalitarianism they would accept it, and you cannot do the same shows your more committed to ideology than the authority of the Bible.

  214. Sue August 7, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    I meant that the comment began with “it” but no reference to what the “it” was. I am not a mind reader. So give me a break. You rake me up and down for some imaginary crime because it distracts from the fact that Grudem’s nonsense is utterly indefensible. You simply playing as pulling the conversation off course, to cloud the issue, that there is no support for complementarianism.

    Not killing your child is a clear edict of the 10 commandments in which no scholar debates.

    Abraham was told to sacrifice his child, so this came to mind. I was not simply trying to be obnoxious, but actually wanted to provide the test that was in the Bible.

    So the question still stands, if the Bible absolutely taught self-sacrificing complementarianism would you accept it? The fact that comps. joyfully acknowledge that if the Bible clearly taught egalitarianism they would accept it, and you cannot do the same shows your more committed to ideology than the authority of the Bible.

    When you mention “self-sacrificing” complementarianism, this is where I have to say that I cannot comment on a label one way or another. I know that some complementarians do not practice a hierarchical marriage. So I have no problem with their form of complementarianism.

    I can’t say more than this. I would not accept an authority and submission relationship, or a sovereign ruler husband and a subject wife. This is clear enough.

  215. Donald Johnson August 7, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    The question is hypothetical as the Bible DOES NOT teach non-egalism in the new covenant in an undisputed way. But human interpreters are flawed and can deceive even themselves.

    Now if I am wrong, then I submit to my wife too much and not much harm is done. But if you are wrong, then you are oppressing your wife with your rulership.

  216. Thomas Newell August 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    Really Don? I oppress my wife but leading in service and putting her needs and growth in Godliness first at all times? Instead of us being 50/50 in sacrifice and servanthood I do so always, so I am not sure where the oppression is here.

    This comes back to the constant core issue of egals on here painting complementarianism that is modeled after Jesus leading the church by serving her (Eph. 5), with chauvinism and domination of men over women which the Bible never teaches. This is where it would be helpful Don for you and Sue to better study and actually understand what the other side actually believes.

  217. Sue August 7, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    I have cited the teaching that the husband should establish his rulership over his wife. I expect complementarians to either express agreement with that belief, or disagreement.

    Do you, Thomas, believe that the scriptures instruct you to establish rulership over your wife?

  218. Sue August 7, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    I just went and checked something and I have discovered that the ESV teaching about complementarianism is much different from what I had previously thought.

    I always assumed, but wrongly so, that complementarians did not think that we should live with the conesquences of sin in Gen. 3:16. I always assumed that we were not supposed to live like this. But now I realize that I was quite wrong.

    When Bruce Ware on the CBMW website says that a husband is to reestablish rulership over his wife, he is recommending what is taught in Gen. 3:16.

    To the woman he said,

    “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    (A) in pain you shall bring forth children.
    (B) Your desire shall be for[a] your husband,
    and he shall(C) rule over you.”

    When I click on the (C) this links directly to 1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Corinthians 14:34; Ephesians 5:22-24; Colossians 3:18; 1 Timothy 2:11; 1 Timothy 2:12; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1; 1 Peter 3:5; 1 Peter 3:6 (English Standard Version)

    This means that the ESV is equating the rulership of the husband with the headship passages.

    But clearly the rulership of the husband is one of the consequences of sin.

    I can not see any hermeneutical support for the rulership of the husband as a good thing. Why don’t complementarians repudiate this teaching?

    Charlton, Derek, Thomas, before we go any further do you all support the rulership of the husband over the wife? Yes or no?

  219. Derek August 7, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

    I propose that we take up an offering so that Sue can go on vacation. She really needs it. We all need it….

  220. Sue August 7, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    Derek,

    Delightful!!! Now you back out. I think this closes it. The rulership of the wife by the husband is a crock and you have helped us all to focus on that simple fact.

    Actually, I am planning a good vacation – but thanks for that thought.

  221. Charlton Connett August 8, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    Derek,

    Proverbs 13:16 says, “In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.” Do not now begin to fling snide comments, but recognize whether wisdom calls for a time to end this discussion with Sue. You have gone to great lengths to demonstrate that the traditional reading of kephale is correct for the passages in question. Sue has rejected those arguments her own various reasons. Your own posts have demonstrated that Sue has not acted with integrity in regards to her quotations, definitions, and arguments.

    I have already stated that I have no intent of further interaction with her because I believe she is being intellectually dishonest about the whole debate (I do not mean to be harsh, but I have no better way to describe my conclusions.) I think the previous 220 posts are sufficient that any reader can come to an informed decision of their own as to whether there is a logical answer to Sue’s question. Do you think that further conversation will serve for the edification of her, yourself, or others? I know this is Dr. Burk’s blog, and I certainly do not mean to act like I have any authority in this sphere, but I would encourage you to determine what the wisest course of action in this situation would be.

  222. Thomas Newell August 8, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    Rulership? Really Sue you do need to do some more reading as to what complementarians actually believe, I would recommend reading Dr. Blomberg on the subject.

    Complementarians believe that men are to love their wives as Christ loved his bride, the church. And just as Jesus gave himself up in a sacrificial manner for his bride, in loving servant leadership, Christian men are to do the same for their wives and families.

    Now here is where you will cite some fringe chauvinist and bring this full circle by making a caricature the norm of what complementarians actually believe.

    I am done here, and hope no one else engages your yes or no question since you would not answer the one posed to you a long time ago. Instead you responded by comparing child killing with complementarianism.

  223. Sue August 8, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    Your own posts have demonstrated that Sue has not acted with integrity in regards to her quotations, definitions, and arguments.

    You have not provided a single piece of evidence to back this up, so I have to say that it is without any validity. You are simply making personal slurs because you have no other amunition.

    The fact is that when I listed a series of questions, Derek was free to answer as he wished and he voluntarily conceded many points and avoided the rest.

    Here is comment #104,

    Is it true that women seeking to run the household is the primary cause of divorce in the USA today?
    That is Jim Hamilton’s theory. There isn’t a yes or no answer because it cannot be empirically validated. Next subject.

    2. Is it true that when kephale refers to a person, it always means that he is the authority over the person he is kephale of?
    No. The concept of authority is implied in other cases, including the example I gave from Plato. And again, you are ignoring similar references include “gods”, “kings”, “generals” and “emperors”, so you can “do the math”.

    3. Is it true that submit always means submitting to an authority?
    Not always. Case in point, Ephesians 5:21, where the surrounding text demonstrates so. Your point is?

    4. Is it true that kephale is normally used to translate the Hebrew word r’osh?
    Seems possible to me. You’re pressing this narrow point and ignoring other evidence though.

    Now let’s look at this.

    Its a theory. No. Not always. Seems possible.

    Other direct questions were simply and completely ignored although I was raked over the coals for my many many attempts to answer you.

    If you want to say that I have not acted with integrity then you must cite something or apologize for slandering me in public.

  224. Sue August 8, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    And the seems possible was in reference to Glare calling 4.4 percent “normally.” Not possible to me.

    I can see, however, when all arguments are lost, that there is a strong liklihood that things will get nasty.

    Thomas,

    You wrote,

    Now here is where you will cite some fringe chauvinist and bring this full circle by making a caricature the norm of what complementarians actually believe.

    I don’t think you realize that for several years women have been trying to get complementarians to repudiate what Bruce Ware teaches. He came to my home town, he preached to the assembled ministers, they passed his preaching on to the congregation and this is what he says,

    “Most complementarians understand the curse of the woman in 3:16 to mean that sin would bring about in Eve a wrongful desire to rule over her husband (contrary to God’s created design), and that in response, Adam would have to assert his rule over her. This understanding comes from comparing the sentence structure and terms of Gen. 3:16 with Gen. 4:7. In 4:7, God tells Cain that sin is seeking to destroy him, and so He says “its [sin’s] desire is for you, but you must master it.”

    This means, in light of 4:7, Eve’s desire will be to rule illegitimately over Adam (note: certainly sin could not be credited with giving Eve a loving or caring desire for Adam, could it?), and in response Adam will have to assert his rightful rulership over her. Most complementarians hold, then, that sin produced a disruption in God’s order of male headship and female submission, in which a) the woman would be inclined now to usurp the man’s rightful place of authority over her, and man may be required, in response, to reestablish his God-given rulership over the woman, and b) the man would be inclined to misuse his rights of rulership, either by sinful abdication of his God-given authority, acquiescing to the woman’s desire to rule over him (and so fail to lead as he should), or by abusing his rights to rule through harsh, cruel and exploitative domination of the woman.”

    This is in the summary of beliefs on the CBMW website and women have been asking CBMW to repudiate this teaching for some time now.

    Do you think that this teaching is just “fringe chauvinism?” Or were you refering to something else? ]

    Do you believe that a husband ought to assert his rulership over his wife or not? What would you do if that was taught in your church?

  225. Sue August 8, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    If this question goes unanswered I will assume that you were calling either Grudem or Ware a “fringe chauvinist” because the probability of my citing anyone else is extremely small, as you know.

  226. Sue August 8, 2010 at 1:41 am #

    Instead you responded by comparing child killing with complementarianism.

    Yes, I compared your attempt to test my faith, with this event in the Bible.

    And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt
    2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

  227. Donald Johnson August 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Thomas,

    I agree wholeheartedly about serving one’s wife. I see God’s ideal for marriage in the new covenant as a partnership among equals in power.

    My concern is where some non-egals teach (and act) that a husband has an overall trump card (or other similar wording) in making decisions for the family, including his wife. If you do not teach or do that, then my concern is allayed, so please inform me where you stand on this aspect.

    In my marriage, my wife might defer to my expertise sometimes, as I defer to hers sometimes. I see this as working out the Biblical model of mutual submission in love, which is to be a characteristic of all believers.

    So I guess I do not see a special case exception for husbands in NOT being called to mutual submission in love with my wife.

  228. Derek August 8, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    Re: #186 and #188 – Sue, you keep forcing this point, but it is a red herring. I answered it in the 3rd to last point in #186. As I demonstrated, the author is speaking in metaphorical terms and yet you keep demanding a literal relationship between A and B.

  229. Derek August 8, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    Charlton,
    I appreciate your comments. I hope my comment about the vacation wasn’t taken as snide – I almost laughed out loud when I saw that Sue had spent much of her Saturday night looking up all these ESV references and starting up with another line of attack on comment #218! It felt like the compassionate thing to do was humorously encourage her to give it a rest for at least a little while. 🙂

    At this point, I agree that enough has been said and objective readers will be able to formulate their own opinions. As I said in #91 and #99, I also think her insistence upon using the word subjugator is specious and makes healthy and respectful dialogue almost impossible. I was also very disappointed that, having shared what I did about I Peter and of my reasons for not being an egalitarian (my response to Donald Johnson’s question), I was met with only sarcasm and vitriol. She showed not even an ounce of willingness to understand that something other than malicious motives might actually motivate me or someone else to be a complementarian. I’d love to dialogue and debate with egals in the future, but I much prefer to do it with people who won’t impugn my motivations and character.

  230. Donald Johnson August 8, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    If it is not obvious, Sue has been greatly hurt by people who at least claim to follow comp teaching. She also shows tremendous courage in following the trail of breadcrumbs back to the sources and trying to confront them in their mistakes as she sees them.

  231. Sue August 8, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    As I demonstrated, the author is speaking in metaphorical terms and yet you keep demanding a literal relationship between A and B.

    Derek,

    Was Reagan the authority/sovereign ruler over Thatcher in either literal or metaphorical terms? Are you willing to answer any questions at all?

    I hope my comment about the vacation wasn’t taken as snide – I almost laughed out loud when I saw that Sue had spent much of her Saturday night looking up all these ESV references and starting up with another line of attack on comment #218! It felt like the compassionate thing to do was humorously encourage her to give it a rest for at least a little while. 🙂

    It is not snide but it is pathetic. Clearly you don’t know how software works. You click once and cut and paste – 3-5 seconds. The ESV translation has linked up all the references in one handy dandy list. Just in case we didn’t know that headship was a consequence of the fall – now we do. The ESV says so.

    As I said in #91 and #99, I also think her insistence upon using the word subjugator is specious and makes healthy and respectful dialogue almost impossible.

    I did not use the word “subjugator.” You introduced it. I defended Gates use of the word “subjugate.” In this thread we are supposed to be discussing what Gates wrote in her article. If you don’t want to discuss Gates’ point about subjugation, you could always talk about something else, about how the president of the USA has sovereign authority over the queen of England. Is that your point? Perhaps you could explain how all egalitarian theologians are in a state of sexual confusion. Perhaps you could tell me why the complementarians that I have cited here – Grudem, Ware, Hamilton, etc. are “fringe chavinsists?” as you or another commenter suggested.

  232. Thomas Newell August 8, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Sue I do not think any of this is good for your soul and is consuming you. You have exhibited zero willingness to every listen to anyone else and just think anyone who is a complementarian is the bad guy.

    I am not going to speak for Derek but as someone with an extensive background in foreign policy, there are actually very real levels of authority between world leaders, even if they are not explicit and formal. During the Cold War Thatcher and many other sovereign leaders followed the lead and submitted to the authority of the USA, along with the decisions that Reagan made.

    In global politics that remains the same today. Obviously the leaders of Iraq, Pakistan, Israel are deeply impacted and often willing to submit the the authority of the USA and President Obama. And yes even your home country of Canada, while it’s own nation, finds itself in which it has to defer to its more powerful neighbor down south…

  233. Sue August 8, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    Thomas,

    I think you will find that less powerful nations have to defer to more powerful nations. Typically, whoever brings the most money or influence into the marriage is deferred to on some level. I understand that.

    There is a certain level on which “might is right.” However, I am not sure that a Christian marriage is supposed to work that way. He is stronger, he makes more money so he is the ruler of the wife, who is his subject.

    But at least, here we have some domestic issues that we can organize for ourselves. IN the case of a wife, I am not sure that she has any domain of influence where she does not have to defer to the husband. Once again, this is Bruce Ware, who was an influence on my former church.

    “The level of Jesus’ submission to the Father, then, is complete, comprehensive, all-inclusive an absolute. There are no exceptions to his submission and obedience, for he never once sins at any point throughout all his life.”

    This is taught. Now my question is who is going to deal with the trauma caused to women who are deprived on this level. Women who experience life according to the CBMW website.

    Do you have any idea what it would be like to live like that in your own home, without even having a bed to sleep in that was your own, not even a few feet of floor space to call your own. Who is going to mop up from the trauma caused by setting up men as rulers of subject wives and teaching this as the will of God?

    Would you like to go about your day job explaining that this is how women are suppposed to live?

    Do you endorse gutting women of free will or not?

  234. Sue August 9, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    I would also like to point out, since you appear to be open to historical analysis, that Philadelpus was not the leader of the other kings alive at his time.

    He was Ptolemy II and when it says “kephale” of kings, it is refering to the fact that he was more illustrious than his father, and his descendents. Derek introduced his conviction that this was about “pecking order.” I don’t think it was in any way related to that at all. (I am disturbed because living with a male who has no other thought than “pecking order” can be a little stressful.)

    Perhaps you are aware that there is a group calling for an apology from CBMW. The fact is that I am by no means the only woman in this situation. I do know that many women have suffered much more than I have, not only violence, but also depression. Typically, it is possible to cover up, unless some kind of crisis adds to the stress load. But there is a serious problem here. It is possible for a woman to be beaten and go her whole life without revealing this, because of the persistent preaching that violence in the home is triggered by women resisting male authority and thus rejecting the Bible and being on the road to hell.

    I am not in any way exaggerating but I am playing down the real crimes. I often refer to an incident that has been published by John Piper. There was a couple who came to him for counselling. The wife explained that she had to ask her husband for permission to move from room to room. Piper asked the wife how the husband had got that idea and she said that Piper had taught her husband to treat her this way.

    This sounds ridiculous, but studies on coercive control (Evan Stark) indicate that a great many women, and fewer men, suffer under this kind of abuse. Studies compare this kind of treatment to what happened to prisoners of war in Viet Nam. But women get to think that God wants this to happen to them.

  235. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 12:09 am #

    I don’t know what it like to endure the horrible things you talk about Sue and hate that they happened. My heart really does ache about this kind of treatment, and for that matter any abuse against women.

    Maybe we can just end it here in agreeing that in this fallen world we followers of Christ can all take a stand against any man who would be violent or abuse a woman. I long for the day when Jesus returns and things like this never occur again.

  236. Sue August 9, 2010 at 12:37 am #

    No, that is not enough. As long as CBMW continues to inform men that they are to exert their rulership over their wives, they are participants in the continuation of the acute psychological and spiritual suffering of women.

    I am actually a little shocked at your attitude on this. It is true that for a long time, I thought that it was okay to live like that because I would probably die soon anyway. I thought that perhaps I would get cancer at 50 and then it would not really matter. For a few brief weeks, I would be in hospital and I would tell the nurses to shut out certain people and then I could die in peace.

    But I am outrageously healthy and not ready to die yet. It is not enough to look forward to death. That is NOT good enough. How could someone honestly suggest that it is okay because Jesus will return some day.

    Why will CBMW not repudiate the teaching that the husband is the ruler of the wife? You tell me why or you are going away and leaving this raw pain in the condition you found it.

  237. Lydia August 9, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    “I can honestly say that intelligence of any kind is not related to morality. I cringe at this suggestion.”

    Exactly. This is what Hegal taught and what the Nazi’s took from Hegal early on as truth: Intelligence equals morality.

    Hegal believed morality would be acheived through increased intelligence.

    By the way, I have to wonder if these men think women are more foolish why they would want them teaching their children?

    “During the Cold War Thatcher and many other sovereign leaders followed the lead and submitted to the authority of the USA, along with the decisions that Reagan made. ”

    Ah, But then Maggie had to buck up George Bush and admonish him not to go ‘wobbly’ on her. She ended up being the real leader after Reagan left.

  238. Derek August 9, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Thomas, I think you make a legitimate point, re: levels of authority. However, I think we get off track with this example and here’s why: The author is saying, by way of analogy, that SUPPOSING the kings of this dynasty were a herd of some sort, one figure would be the king of the jungle. We don’t need to go any further with the analogy. There aren’t other herds or leaders of herds in this analogy. The dynamics of how he interacted with the other kings is irrelevant because we’re “inside an analogy” now, and a simple one at that.

  239. Derek August 9, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Sue, the question of why God allows us – and I mean “us” in terms of “ALL of us” – to be ruled in any fashion is the question I asked myself and wrestled with when I read 1 Peter. This is an important question. The point I was making earlier with regard to Nero is not peripheral to this question. The fact that God has established structure and has delegated dimensions of authority in our world does not in any way, shape or form sanction abuse of that authority. If fact, the Bible makes it clear that the greater the position of trust, the greater the accountability. If we do not understand this or God’s purposes in it, we will be in raw pain and at war with Him and the universe. It is not enough to say that we accept God’s authority over our lives, only to reject the authority of those He has delegated dimensions of that authority to. It doesn’t work that way and it can’t work that way.

    I agree with Thomas and am sorry for abuse that has occurred in your marriage and life. I would never minimize it. It truly pains my heart when men or anyone for that matter, abuse their position of trust, especially because we see this all around us in our broken, sin-sick world. If I believed that an egalitarian position was backed up by Scripture or was God’s way of structuring things and if I thought it would eliminate or reduce abuse, I would run, not walk, to sign up to be an egalitarian.

  240. Donald Johnson August 9, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    If you want to, you too can become egal by reading egal scholars. It is a choice whether to do so or not.

  241. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    It is not a choice Donald. As Christians we are bound to joyfully accept that which Scripture clearly teaches.

    For close to 2,000 years the church has almost uniformily held to a complementary understanding of what the Bible teaches. Then, confidently or not, with the rise of feminism, passages that speak to gender roles were re-interpreted. As someone who has spean many years studying these things I have come to the conclusion that the exegetical support for egal is flimsy at best. That is why even Webb has to say that the Bible does teach complementarianism but we need to evolve beyond that.

    I think Derek brings up a great point in that this is really about believing that not all authority is wrong or bad. I would be curious Don to hear from you what relationships of authority, from an egal perspective, you think are valid.

  242. Derek August 9, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    God even uses wicked authorities to accomplish His purposes in us in the world. God said in Isaiah 54:11 that “it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc”.

    Many of us have an incorrect framework, one that views good leadership as possibly God-sent and wicked leadership as devil or sin-sent. The Israelites and early church also deeply struggled with this very question/issue as well, which demonstrates how important it is for us to wrestle with this and understand what God’s perspective is. Peter got the ephiphany, which is why I find I Peter so helpful here.

    When we get our framework lined up with God’s Word and ways, it frees us from the impulse to constantly demand our “rights” and view God ordained authorities as though they were sent by evil forces to harrass us and make our lives miserable. There is no abuse that will go unnoticed by God, no evil that will not be one day corrected. When we honor God and those placed in authority over us, we will be rewarded both here and in eternity. Where we have been wronged, we will be vindicated in a manner and to a degree that will amaze us as well as our enemies.

  243. Donald Johnson August 9, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    It is simply not true that the church/Church has taught complementarianism. Comp. teaching is new thing invented late last century. In any case, the Church has taught many things shown to be incorrect interpretations, prots believe the institutional Church was wrong on quite a few things in the 1600s and they even agreed on some of them after reflection.

    What was undisputed by most everyone before the 19th century was that women WERE inferior beings. With that as a worldview, it simply made no sense to think that a woman could rise above.

    On authority, I acccept that there is God given authority, I just deny its exists between a husband and wife and deny that only men can have some ministries in a new covenant church that women cannot have.

    I do agree that in the Mosaic covenants only men could be priests, but they also had to be Levites of Aaronic descent without blemishes but in the new covenant all believers are priests, including gentiles, women and people with acne.

  244. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    It simply is true Don. Where in church history are the large egal movements? To deny that the egal interpretation and movement gained ground in unison with Feminism is just factually incorrect.

    And no where did I say that just because comp was taught throughout the majority of church history that it was correct. This was not my point and you reading into my comment. I was simply noting that on the passages that are now in debate, egals have to admit they are saying that the church has gotten those verses wrong for thousands of years.

    Once again, I think Webb is at least most honest when ey admits the text does teach comp, but we need to evolve past that. This is a dangerous practice and precedent with Scripture.

    In all honesty Don I think you and are have a lot in common. We both love Jesus, the church, and our families. Day to day about most of our family dynamics are mostly identical. I am only saying that I have a responsibility to take the initiative in serving and sacrificing for my wife so that she may be holy.

  245. Donald Johnson August 9, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    If you deny having a trump card and want to be first in serving and sacrificing for your wife, then I agree with you.

    Jesus and Paul, Peter, etc. were egals in their culture (which I admit can be obcured in some translations and by lack of knowledge of 1st century context), but once the church became gentilized in the 2nd century some verses were misunderstood.

  246. Derek August 9, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Webb is at least most honest when he admits the text does teach comp, but we need to evolve past that.
    Thanks for making this point, Thomas. I didn’t want to open the trajectory hermeneutic can of worms since Sue didn’t go there, but my answer to Don’s question in #240 is that I am not unfamiliar with egalitarian scholarship. I am also not unaware that many in the egal camp favor this model and it seems like the trend is even more in that direction.

  247. Donald Johnson August 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    I disagree with Webb that the NT text teaches non-egalism.

    I find he asks many questions that others decline to even ask, so I respect him a lot for that. And he proposes some ways to answer them. He does say that homosexuality is prohibited in both Mosaic and new covenants, but one might not know that if one does not read his book.

    The challenge is that ALMOST everyone does what Webb suggests in more limited ways, they just do not do it as systematically and as far as he proposes.

  248. Sue August 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    I think we can see that Ptolemy II Philadelphus was never called kephale of the nation, and if Grudem wants to republish his study he is welcome to do so, but he would be better off with some convoluted but slightly more accurate explanation such as – if P I has been a live at the time that P II was at the height of his power, then P II may have been considered more powerful than P I.

    I also wonder if Derek would reject three things that provide men with liberty today.

    The first is the dissolution of the “one visible church.” From the early centuries until the Reformation there was more or less constraint to be a member of one church, and not have freedom of religion. But Christians changed that.

    Second, there was absolute monarchy, but Christians changed that too.

    Then there was the subjection of the colonies to the crown, but American patriots changed that.

    Finally, slavery, and Christians changed that.

    So, until Derek rejects these freedoms he cannot demonstrate his belief in his own words.

    Will Derek surrender his freedoms? Why does he ask of women that they live under the sovereign rulership of the husband and then balk at the fact that Jana Gates says that Christianity subjugates women. Clearly, women are sugjugated by Christianity. Talking about how Christians were tortured by Nero does not alleviate that fact.

    What I understand is that you are still in agreement with the husband being ruler over the wife. However, we have not established that there is any scripture which supports this.

    We have established these truths in this thread.

    1. Kephale does not usually refer to sovereign rulership of king over subject.

    2. Submitting to someone, does not prove that the other person is in a position of authority over you.

    3. Women are told to be the householder, the manager/master of the house.

    4. Christians are told to submit to one another, and to treat others as you would be treated.

    5. Church hierarchy, monarchies, the British Empire and slave ownership have all been overturned or revolted against by Christians in the past.

    So what is the support for maintaining the rulership of the husband. Are we now, all of a sudden to be counter cultural? This is odd because Paul specifically says to order your conduct not to bring Christianity into disrepute.

    Doesn’t anyone think that the women creeping out of rulership marriages with bruises all over their bodies is somehow going to bring glory to God, as if they were Christians suffering under Nero.

    What could possibly more twisted, more callous, more disrespectful of women than to put women in the position of suffering and men getting free from suffering under tyranny.

    Do you really want to transfer all the suffering of the early Christians onto women? Is that your tactic? Are you going to ask the world to admire the martyrdom of Christian wives?

    I am amazed that any of you reading this thread can consider yourselves Christians of any kind at all. But I lived with this for most of my life so far.

  249. Sue August 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    There is no abuse that will go unnoticed by God, no evil that will not be one day corrected. When we honor God and those placed in authority over us, we will be rewarded both here and in eternity. Where we have been wronged, we will be vindicated in a manner and to a degree that will amaze us as well as our enemies.

    Derek,

    It is an absolute evil to remain in an abusive situation, if there is a way out, hoping and praying that God will vindicate you and amaze you, in heaven if not on earth.

    Perhaps you got this message from sermons to slaves to get them to remain in slavery. Would you preach this to slaves and make no attempt to free them?

  250. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Sue I think you are a little arrogant and premature in assuming what you have proved. It is almost like you say something to be true, and then argue that since you said it you have proven your case.

    You continue to bounce around and ignore what does not suit you. You asked earlier to show in some way that modern world leaders might have authority over others thinking this was your way of trapping Derek into seeing Kephale as something other than authority. Then when I show how in international politics world leaders are often under the implicit authority of others you gloss right over because it does not suit your point.

    Once again I hate the abuse that you and any woman has suffered, but you are barking up the wrong tree here. As I have stated before I do not know any comps that advocate anything other than loving sacrificial, servant leadership of their wives and famlies (Mk. 10:45 Eph. 5). If your experience as something different than that was not what the Bible teaches and was therefore sinful.

  251. Derek August 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    Sue,
    I already answered this in #201. The only thing I would add is that there is a difference in the way MLK and Malcolm X fought oppression. MLK’s approach is a solid and Biblical approach, IMHO. We should be action minded when we see abuse, just as Abraham was in Genesis 14. This too is consistent with the framework I articulated. That said, our first impulse should be to appeal to other authorities God has given us for our protection; if a wife is being abused in some way, he should be handed over to church authorities for church discipline (if he is a Christian) and to governmental authorities.

    Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
    Romans 13:1-4

  252. Lydia August 9, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    “For close to 2,000 years the church has almost uniformily held to a complementary understanding of what the Bible teaches.”

    For most of those years they taught wrongly that male authority was a result of the fall. They changed that teaching to authority in chain of being as in creation order…because too many were becoming more educated and that would not fly anymore. Teaching the consequences of the fall as virtue.

    In effect, comps have been more “culturally” tuned than egals who believe that Jesus Christ is the authority of believers in the Body and marriage. And believers are to be led by the Holy Spirit. Not other depraved humans saved by the same grace simply because they have specific anatomy.

    (yes, we have civil authority as in boss at work and government and parental authority. But adult women are not children)

  253. Donald Johnson August 9, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    If Thomas would drop the “leadership” aspect, I think he would be Biblical. A husband is to be a loving sacrificial servant to his wife, per Eph 5, which uses a head/body metaphor to show unity.

  254. Lydia August 9, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    “Sue I think you are a little arrogant and premature in assuming what you have proved. It is almost like you say something to be true, and then argue that since you said it you have proven your case.”

    Tom, it is arrogant to think you have preeminance over another believer in the Body or marriage because of your anatomy.

    Why is there NO prohibition in the OC on women teaching or leading men? Yet, you believe the interpretation of the texts in the New Covenant call for more legalism for women believers…AFTER the Cross, temple veil torn in two and resurrection. We have this earthly “layer” between us and Christ? You cannot be the Holy Spirit for someone else which is exactly what comp teaches women. It is sad that so many will never grow past their earthly authorities, spiritually.

    Do you map the Levite Priesthood to the NC “pastor” in what is supposed to be the Body of Christ. Not an institution or organization but a living organism.

  255. Sue August 9, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    For close to 2,000 years the church has almost uniformily held to a complementary understanding of what the Bible teaches. Then, confidently or not, with the rise of feminism, passages that speak to gender roles were re-interpreted.

    And what is funny is that it is the complementarians who have changed scripture far far more than the egals.

    Here is an example,

    Douay Rheims 1610 (represents Jerome’s Vulgate)

    Gen. 3:16

    To the woman also he said, I will multiply thy travailes, and thy child bearinges: in travail shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husbands power, and he shal have dominion over thee. D-R 1610

    Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. KJV

    To the woman he said,”I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for [Or against] your husband, and he shall rule over you. ESV

    Romans 16:7

    Greet Andronicus and Julia my cosins and fellow captives: who are noble among the Apostles, who also before me were in Christ. D-R 1610

    Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. KJV

    Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. ESV

    1 Tim. 2:12

    But to teach, I permit not a woman, nor to have dominion over the man: but to be in silence. D-R 1610

    But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. KJV

    I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. ESV

    Why does the ESV introduce “against.” In fact, since the 1970’s this verse has been completely reinterpreted. (But the fact remains, if the husband rules the wife, this is a consequence of is, and is not the doctrine of Christ.)

    1 Tim. 2:12 has also been retranslated. Christian leaders are not supposed to have dominion over their flock. They are to be examples.

    Then we have Junia. The very best complementarian exegetes dreamt this one up, that Junia was only well-known to the apostles. This is completely unsupported.

    Complementarian exegetes have been busy trying to prove that Phoebe was not a deacon, Junia not an apostle, Rahab not the protector of her parents and brothers and sisters, Lydia not the head of her house, Chloe not a leader, turning Nympha into Nymphas, and so on.

    It is complemnetarians who alter scripture, who have changed 2 Tim 2:2 from “faithful people” (Greek anthropoi) to “faithful men” because as Dr. Packer said, “We THINK it means “men.” He should THINK again. No wonder he has to admit that his wife does not agree with his views on women.

    Complemnetarianism was so in need of bolstering that ten men got together and concocted the gender translation guidelines for the ESV and the HSCB. Did they use a lexicon? Oh, oops, no they did not think of that. They thought only of how to erase the normal inclusive use of the word “men” and sequester the Bible for males. They systematically erased the expression “children of God” in the KJV and created only “sons of God.”

    Interesting that Luther’s Bible would not meet the gender guildelines either. Because in his day, women did not need to be controlled by the scripture in the same way because they did not have civil rights in any case, and so were not a threat. But today, the Bible has been deconstructed by Grudem et al, and reconstructed to prove that men have more “priority, leadership, prominence” and so on than women.

    Would you like me to cite where Grudem says this?

  256. Sue August 9, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Thomas,

    Clearly you still think that I only should answer questions and you should ask them.

    Do you, or do you not, think that the husband should establish rulership over the wife?

  257. Sue August 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    Derek,

    Do you deny that Christians rebelled against Rome?

    Do you deny that Christians rebelled agains the crown?

    Do you deny that slaves rebelled against slave owners?

    Are you erasing history? Or does justice stop before women are freed?

    If the monopoly of the RC church, the monopoly of the crown and the rights of slave owners have all be overturned because of abuse, why will women not be freed because of abuse?

    Is it the opinion of Derek and Thomas that women have not suffered enough abuse at the hands of their husbands to warrant changing the institution of marriage and providing reciprocity as clearly outlined in the scripture. How much longer and how much more to wives need to be abused before thinbgs will change?

    How many women need to be beaten, for God’s sake?

    I understand that domestic violence will remain to a certain extent as long as people cohabit, but at least the women does not need to be told that living with this suffering is an example of God’s love for her and his best will for her life.

    No one has given any verse in the Bible which says that the husband ought to be ruler over the wife. This is imposed from the mind of men.

  258. Lydia August 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    “Because in his day, women did not need to be controlled by the scripture in the same way because they did not have civil rights in any case, and so were not a threat. But today, the Bible has been deconstructed by Grudem et al, and reconstructed to prove that men have more “priority, leadership, prominence” and so on than women.”

    This was my earlier point about comps being culturally tuned in. No need to worry when women had no civil rights and Patriarchy was the law of the land for 1900 years. But when that changed, interpretations changed to fit the cultural trend.

    What I see are a bunch of guys trying very hard to maintain their preeminance. Very sad. (They redefine authority to try and make it mean responsibility where scripture teaches SERVANT…if we are really saved.)

  259. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Once again Sue your use of the world “rulership” is out of place, therefore your question is irrelevant.

    Don I use the word leadership for intentionally. Mark 10:45 tells us that Jesus practiced servant leadership toward his bride the Church, so much so that he was willing to lay down his life for her. Couple that with Eph. 5 in which husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church, we get a picture of husband’s leading in sacrifice as Jesus did for his bride.

    So Don do you not believe that Jesus demonstrated servant leadership toward his bride (Mk. 10:45)? Was Jesus just in a mutual 50/50 partnership with his bride? I don’t think this is what the Bible teaches. Rather looking at Jesus’ example toward his bride, Eph. 5 is best understood as husband’s emulating that same servant leadership toward their brides.

  260. Lydia August 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Bruce Ware taught that unsubmissive wives trigger abuse. He did not say abuse was right but he sure found a way to blame women when they were abused.

  261. Lydia August 9, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Tom,

    Jesus IS God. You are not.

    If I take your meaning that you are to be a “Christ” to your wife then it would mean I could not be Christlike because Jesus was male in His incarnation and I am a female. And we know that cannot be right. And you are only human as in depraved human saved by the same grace. No special anointing. God is not a respector of persons.

    Thinking you are a “Savior” to your wife is taking on the function of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in her life. Not good. Very bad.

    Forget “leader” and think of yourself as a servant only. You are taking a metaphor way too far and mapping yourself as a Savior.

  262. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    Wow Lydia, not even going to engage with you here. Please re-read what I wrote muccccch more slowly, for comprehension sake. Also this is where it might be helpful for you to learn some basic functions of language such as metaphors, analogies, similes, stuff like that.

  263. Donald Johnson August 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    Thomas,

    Eph 5 has a metaphoric mapping, the question is what it is. The mapping is husband/head/Christ to wife/body/church. If you study Eph 5, all the examples given for what Christ as head does are strictly serving examples, there are zilch leading examples to be found.

    Yes, Christ is a servant leader of the church. A husband is called to be a servant to his wife, in a culture that told him he was on top. However, this cultural expectation is NEVER validated as the norm in Scripture for new covenant believers. Peter says it might happen when a husband is disobedient to God, but that certainly does not say it is the norm for believers.

  264. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    So wait Don. Jesus leads his bride the Church through loving service and Eph. 5 tells husbands to do the same for their brides that Jesus does for his, and yet there is no correlation in servant leadership? I think you may be straining to hard to avoid the idea of servant leadership. Even though Eph. 5 tells husbands to do exactly for their bride’s as he does for his.

    At this point you almost have to be willing to deny that Jesus in anyway leads his bride the Church to miss the implication. Are you willing to go that far in order to stick to egal views?

  265. Sue August 9, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Hey Tom,

    You are not engaging much with me either. You regret, you feel sorry for women who suffer. But do you repudiate the teaching of male sovereign rulership?

    Nope, perhaps because it is useful in its little way. I know what it is like to live with someone who felt that a wife was 49.99999 percent equal. She could run the house, do whatever she wanted EXCEPT when he wanted something else. Whenever, however, wherever, he could pull out the trump card. I went from being a normal adult with iniative to the point where I saw little point in getting out of bed unless it was to leave the house for my job.

    Now I know other women at 50 who either take care of a disabled husband, OR do not leave their bedroom. This pathology, the wife who replaces the husband as head of the house, OR who simply falls into depression, is all too common. And then we have women who are known as “busybodies” (Driscoll really loves women like this, he gets to base his theology on this) because, God knows, they have not been allowed to “take iniative” because ONLY men can “initiate.”

    Owen Strachan, Ware’s son-in-law, has an interesting teaching on how our bodies illustrate this deep spiritual truth for us. He writes,

    “These different roles depend, we should note, both on divine fiat and on the different constitutional and physiological realities which this creative force brought into being.[8] Generally speaking, God made men physically stronger, analytically inclined, and the initiator of the childbearing process. Women are often physically weaker and more emotionally and linguistically attuned than men, and they require physical initiation to bear children. The very bodies of women show that they are designed to nurture children, even if our culture wants to overlook these basic bodily realities. The wisdom of God’s will is embodied by the men and women who bear his image. What God has called women to be in spirit he has made them to be in body.”

    In fact, in the Bible, women initiated the childbearing process. Men did their thing by invitation and the express initation of women, except David and Bathsheba, of course.

    Perhaps we should go back to men initiating women into childbearing. I wonder how single women ever became missionaries because they had never been “initiated?”

    Now we see that complementarians do believe that men are more analytic than men. There is another man valiantly trying to prove this on my blog at this very moment. Good luck to him!

    No one has made a cogent argument that complementarianism does not teach that the husband is to establish rulership over the wife, or that men are more analytic than women.

    It is absolutely clear that Jana Gates did not paint a caricature of complementarians but a true picture. Why deny it?

  266. Sue August 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    Thomas,

    Was Gates accurate or not in her article? Given the teaching of husband rulership and the superior analytic capabilities of the male, was she accurate or not?

  267. Donald Johnson August 9, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Thomas,

    Paul is giving essential info to each of the 6 parties in the Eph 5 household codes. This maps to the 6 in Aristotle’s household codes, so it is no coincidence. But Paul does NOT endorse all of what Aristotle taught, which was that the paterfamilias ruled his wife, kids and slaves. Nowhere does Paul say that a husband rules his wife.

    The husband does not map to Christ in all of Christ’s aspects, that is taking the metaphor too far. I am sure you do not see yourself as the savior of your wife as Christ is. The question is how far does Paul take the metaphor?

    He takes it as far as showing that a husband serving his wife is not dishonoring, since Christ, whose name is above all other names, serves the church.

  268. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    Considering it says for husbands to love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, I do not think I am pushing the metaphor to far at all. In fact it leads to asking the logical question how did Christ love his bride and give himself up for her? Well this is where Mark 10:45 clarifies everything for us.

    I have not mentioned one thing about husbands being the savior of their wives. That is stretching the metaphor to far. But I do not think the metaphor is stretched to far at all when the text explicitly says for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved his bride. The correlation is direct and not to much of a stretch, in fact it requires no stretching at all.

  269. Sue August 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    Thomas,

    By ignoring me, are you saying that you will not be discussing the topic of this thread, that complementarians teach that the husband is to exert rulership, and the male is more analytic. Please let me know if you do not intend to address either issue.

    I will understand that you do not actually intend to address the concerns of women, or the concerns Gates has expressed.

  270. Sue August 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    It is very odd Thomas that you say that “saviour” is stretching the metahpor too far, but “ruler” is not. In fact, you deny scripture with this statement. Odd.

  271. Derek August 9, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    Thomas said: I do not think I am pushing the metaphor to far at all.
    No, you’re not pushing it too far, Thomas. Especially not considering that in verse 24 even the TNIV says “wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”. The term used for “submit” (Hupotasso) is used in other Scripture passages that relate to authority figures and subordinates. What is said here in this section and then also in Ephesians 6 makes Donald’s “pushing the metaphor too far” charge very near to absurd. Context here also makes the “source” interpretation of kephale an unreasonable and implausible interpretation as well.

  272. Sue August 9, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    The term used for “submit” (Hupotasso) is used in other Scripture passages that relate to authority figures and subordinates.

    But when the word is used for one person to his neighbour, then it means mutual submission. So, if it says “to each other” that is mutual and does NOT entail authority. A wife or a slave may submit but NOT because God has given authority to the male or to the slave owner. This piece is missing.

    That parents have authority over children is because children clearly are not equal in decision-making ability. When they become so, and become capable, they do not submit as long as they are able to care for themselves.

  273. Sue August 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Derek,

    Do I have to assume that you also will not interact with the article.

    These are my questions.

    Is the husband to exert rulership over the wife?

    Are men more capable of using analysis than women?

    Or is Gates justified in writing what she did?

  274. Derek August 9, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Sue,
    I wish to dialogue with you at a later date when you engage with people in a reasonable manner, abiding by basic rules of etiquette rather than this relentless haranguing. You routinely demand that people answer loaded questions and this isn’t respectful or helpful either.

    I don’t mind a vigorous debate, but it is my own opinion that you are truly out of order and could use a few days away from the keyboard.

  275. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    “That parents have authority over children is because children clearly are not equal in decision-making ability. When they become so, and become capable, they do not submit as long as they are able to care for themselves.”

    I must have missed this footnote in my Bible, on how sometimes authority is meant in the passage and not in other places. I will have to go back and check.

    Bottom line is that husbands are to love their brides as Jesus loved his. This is EXACTLY what the text says, with no dispute. So if Don and Sue want to deny that Jesus has no leadership, albiet servant leadership over the church than go ahead. But I would caution you have given up way to much just to maintain your egal alligences.

  276. Sue August 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    NO authority is NOT meant in this passage. Parents have authority for natural reasons. Men are not given authority over women and slaves by God. There is nothing at all that says that a man is the head of his slave. That would be perverse. Nor is a man the kephale of his child, even more serious a misuderstanding.

    In fact, kephale does not refer to authority at all, but perhaps to organic unity.

  277. Sue August 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Although I have been harangued by commenters here for not answering questions which I answered several times, no complementarian commenter will respond to very simple questions.

    I have to assume that the commenters here, and MOST complementarians, will not repudiate the teaching that the husband is to assert his rulership over his wife, and that Jana Gates was quite accurate.

    I think that this is a satisfying conclusion for me. Thank you.

  278. Sue August 9, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    But I would caution you have given up way to much just to maintain your egal alligences.

    Ridiculous. I have no egal allegiances but I do wish to remain alive and provide for my children. It was a pretty simple decision.

  279. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    Just Stating something does not make it true Sue. See my previous comment, as I am still searching for that footnote in the text. Thanks!

  280. Sue August 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    What I meant was that I have not given up anything of value at all. I don’t know about egal allegiances, I don’t have any connections, and I don’t agree with some egal exegesis. I am still pondering the fact that Grudem does not use a lexicon for his.

  281. Sue August 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Thomas,

    Find me one exegete or theologian anywhere at all who thinks that the husband is the head of his slave, or the head of his child. If this does not exist then you cannot include the fact that a child is under parentsl authority in your consideration of kephale.

  282. Sue August 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Kephale is not included in the parent child relationship, so how could their be a footnote on this?

  283. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    This is all I am arguing Sue

    Considering it says for husbands to love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, I do not think I am pushing the metaphor to far at all. In fact it leads to asking the logical question how did Christ love his bride and give himself up for her? Well this is where Mark 10:45 clarifies everything for us.

    “I have not mentioned one thing about husbands being the savior of their wives. That is stretching the metaphor to far. But I do not think the metaphor is stretched to far at all when the text explicitly says for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved his bride. The correlation is direct and not to much of a stretch, in fact it requires no stretching at all.

    Bottom line is that husbands are to love their brides as Jesus loved his. This is EXACTLY what the text says, with no dispute. So if Don and Sue want to deny that Jesus has no leadership, albiet servant leadership over the church than go ahead. But I would caution you have given up way to much just to maintain your egal alligences.”

    Blessings!

  284. Lydia August 9, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    “Wow Lydia, not even going to engage with you here. Please re-read what I wrote muccccch more slowly, for comprehension sake. Also this is where it might be helpful for you to learn some basic functions of language such as metaphors, analogies, similes, stuff like that.”

    It is the only logical conclusion for your interpretation. You are a servant if you are a believer. Not a “Christ” figure to your wife.

    You can try to insult my comprehension but where else can it go?

    So, you think you are a leader to your wife for what? Spiritual things? Physical things?

    Spiritual: She is given the same indwelling Holy Spirit you are given.

    Physical: Some husbands die young, get in accidents or go off to war. Surely these women are not in sin for providing for their families?

    I am at a loss where you find leader or authority in a ONE FLESH UNION. The only place I can find “authority” in marriage is in 1 Corin 7.

  285. Sue August 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    Thomas,

    Thank you very kindly for not assenting to the rulership of the husband. Since CBMW does teach this, and Strachan teaches that men are more analytical than women, we can all safely conclude that Jana Gates is not caricaturing complementarianism and Denny Burk has said something not strictly accurate about Gates.

    It took us a long time to reach this point, but I think this conclusion is clear. CBMW is teaching things that are not defensible from scripture. Women are demanding an apology. Some women are suffering terribly and no one is repudiating CBMW from within.

    It is really too bad.

    I have to assume that you are i

  286. Sue August 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    The last line was an accidental trailer.

  287. Lydia August 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    “Bottom line is that husbands are to love their brides as Jesus loved his”

    Are you trying to imply that because Jesus is God and our authority, then you map this ‘love’ spoken of in this passage as the same authority over your wife?

    BTW: You are not exempt from Eph 5:21 no matter how much Grudem tries to make you think you are. Best to listen to the Holy Spirit. He IS the Best Teacher.

  288. Brian Krieger August 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    Thomas:

    When Dr. Grudem visited our church, I had the (very short) opportunity to interact with him. I commented on his book Evangelical Feminism and the resistance to the meaning of “head” by many. He nodded and quickly said how daunting the command to love our wives as Christ loved the church was and that considering that passage is such a heavy passage for him. Am I loving my wife as Christ loved His bride?

  289. Sue August 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Brian,

    There are multiple problems. Why did Grudem say that the king of Egypt was the kephale of the nation, when the text says “kephale of kings.” refering to his own family line?

    Why would kephale mean authority when a man is never kephale of his slaves or of his children?

    Why does Ware teach that a man has to assert his rulership?

    Why did Grudem say that he did not use a lexicon to draft the gender translation guidelines?

    Why are monarchies and slave owners done away with because of abuse, but husbands are simply given more power over their wives, even though lots of men abuse their wives?

    Is the suffering of men worth more to God than the suffering of women?

    If Grudem were honest and cared about women, he would tell men to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and not mention male rulership at all. Male rulership is of zero benefit to women. It has no earthly or heavenly good.

  290. Sue August 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    Christ’s leadership may do us good, because he is good and he is an example of good. No man can claim that they have this advantage over women.

  291. Donald Johnson August 9, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    ESV Mar 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    I simply do not see where leadership or ruling is any part of this verse that Thomas keeps referring to. Is it a typo?

    In Eph 5, Christ as savior is at least mentioned, but no one I know thinks a husband is supposed to be the savior of his wife. But there is nary a mention of leadership.

    Yes, Christ is Lord and many other things, teacher, Jew, etc. but these are not a part of the mapping in Eph 5 UNLESS one inserts them into it. The mapping is Jesus serves his body, the church, therefore a husband is to serve his wife; not serve-lead, or serve-teach, etc. just serve.

  292. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    Don who do you think Jesus is giving his life for in Mark 10:45. He is giving his life for his bride, the church.

    Don it has already been commented on how no one is pushing the metaphor to husbands being the savior of the wife, so please lets drop that as if it is the real point here.

    Eph. 5 tells us that husbands are to love their brides in the same manner that Jesus loved his. So the question is obvious, how does Jesus love his bride the church? By servant leadership, that sacrifices everything for her well being.

    Eph. 5 talks so much more than just Jesus serving his body, rather he loving his BRIDE by giving his love up for her. In order to have it be “just serve” then you have to be willing to say that in Jesus’ loving of his Bride the church their is no leadership at all. Also, why if it was “just serve” would Jesus single out only the husbands to give themselves up in the same manner that he did for his Bride? It makes no sense.

    I wish Don you would see this passage with the same weight that Brian talked about Dr. Grudem seeing it in. If anything it is a more difficult and heavier load upon the husband to always initiate and lead in sacrifice and serving. That’s why Sue’s language of “rulership” is just so far off the mark and seems to have more to do with personal wounds than what the Bible is getting at.

  293. Sue August 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    That’s why Sue’s language of “rulership” is just so far off the mark and seems to have more to do with personal wounds than what the Bible is getting at.

    If you think that the language of rulership is so far off the mark, then why do you not repudiate Ware’s teaching of the rulership of the husband?

    If real women are being hurt by men who are taught that their role in the home is to establish their rulership, why don’t you speak out?

  294. Charlton Connett August 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Thomas,

    You are entering into a logical trap if you go engage the question of “rulership” with your terms undefined. Biblically speaking rulership can be good, bad, or neutral: Genesis 45:8, Genesis 49:10, Exodus 22:28, 1 Kings 1:35, Nehemiah 3, (at least 8 instances of a purely neutral use of “ruler”) Proverbs 8:15-16, Acts 18:8, Romans 13:3, Revelation 1:5 and others like these. Now, I admittedly cherry picked my references, intentionally not listing many negative references to “ruler” or “rule” as found in Scripture. My point was not to establish that a ruler is always a good thing, just to establish that saying that someone should be a ruler is not necessarily a negative thing from a scriptural perspective.

    I bring this up only to point out to you that the problem is not that Dr. Ware uses the term “rulership.” Do not be dragged into vilifying a term that has a perfectly acceptable biblical pedigree. Context is king for definition when dealing with words that could have potentially negative or potentially positive connotations.

  295. Lydia August 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    Eph. 5 tells us that husbands are to love their brides in the same manner that Jesus loved his. So the question is obvious, how does Jesus love his bride the church? By servant leadership, that sacrifices everything for her well being.”

    Why do you have to focus on “leadership”? You cannot let go of a “position” of preeminance. You are not Christ. You are just another depraved sinner saved by the same grace.

    Eph 5:21 applies to YOU, too.

  296. Lydia August 9, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    I bring this up only to point out to you that the problem is not that Dr. Ware uses the term “rulership.” Do not be dragged into vilifying a term that has a perfectly acceptable biblical pedigree. Context is king for definition when dealing with words that could have potentially negative or potentially positive connotations.”

    So where does Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit fit in when an adult believing women has an earthly ruler in the Body and marriage?

  297. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    Lydia where did I claim to be Christ? Shame on you for such a charge without any merit. Lord knows I am a sinner who needs the Gospel daily.

    Nor do I “focus” on leadership, I simply am pointing out what the text says. Deal with the argument and stay on course here.

    Jesus practiced sacrifical servant leader for his Bride, and Eph. 5 admonishes Christian husbands to do the same for their brides. Yes Eph. 5:21 applies to me, but so does the rest of the passage. Stop prooftexting please Lydia.

  298. Donald Johnson August 9, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    ESV with my bolding to show what applies to the husband.

    Eph 5:21 SUBMITTING to one another out of reverence for Christ.
    Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
    Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
    Eph 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
    Eph 5:25 Husbands, LOVE your wives, as Christ loved the church and GAVE HIMSELF UP for her,
    Eph 5:26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
    Eph 5:27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
    Eph 5:28 In the same way husbands should LOVE their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
    Eph 5:29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but NOURISHES and CHERISHES it, just as Christ does the church,
    Eph 5:30 because we are members of his body.
    Eph 5:31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and HOLD FAST to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
    Eph 5:32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
    Eph 5:33 However, let each one of you LOVE his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

    To recapitulate, a husband is to submit to, love, give himself up for, love, nourish, cherish, hold fast to, become one flesh with, and love his wife. Nary a word about lead or rule, such additions are man invented and violate the rule about adding to Scripture.

  299. Donald Johnson August 9, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    … about NOT adding to Scripture.

  300. Donald Johnson August 9, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    Do not be like Diotrephes, who loves to be first.

  301. Sue August 9, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    Let’s look at rulership in the context of marriage in the Bible. Only two times is this menationed.

    First, Gen. 3:16,

    To the woman he said,
    “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
    with pain you will give birth to children.
    Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.”

    And in Esther 1:21-22

    The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memucan proposed. 22 He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, proclaiming in each people’s tongue that every man should be ruler over his own household.

    Does this somewho justify the teaching that a man has to assert/ exert/ establish his rulership over his wife?

    I have demonstrated that CBMW teaches that the wife should imitate Christ and display comprehensive and absolute obedience. I think he matches the law of the Medes and Persians. This is a specifically pagan teaching and I am appalled that a Christian organization has thrown in with paganism so easily.

  302. Sue August 9, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    When I say “he” I refer to Ware, but David Kotter cited Ware with approval.

    What is total and absolute and comprehensive submission and obedience? Is a dog capable of that? How is a man supposed to establish this in his household? Perhaps a man will be tempted to do something not so terribly smart if he is not able to effect total obedience right off the bat.

    Who is going to pick up those pieces? Who is establishing a safe house and rehab centre for women creeping out of this? Are you? Is CBMW? Not my church!

  303. Sue August 9, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    Maybe you are not aware that Bruce Ware compares marriage to relations in the trinity. According to Ware, the Father NEVER submits and the Son ALWAYS submits, and this is the model for human relations especially marriage.

    What do you think a woman would be like if she could never make a decision in her life, from the age of 20 to death? Can you imagine thinking that a mental hospital would be a step up in your life? How would you like that kind of life? But you offer this to women???

    Those men who make these claims on behalf of themselves and all men, ought to be ashamed of themslelves. It is a pathology which brings dishonour to Christianity, to the Bible and to God.

  304. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    That’s EXACTLY the point Don! Complementarians believe the husband is not first. If only egals could get past the idea of this being about power, and position. Jesus also said the first shall be last. The husband in his role of servant leadership is not putting himself first but sacrificing as Jesus did for his bride in servant leadership.

    Look I cannot make this anymore clear and I can tell Don that you are unwilling to really consider what I am saying, only accuse me of adding things to the Bible.

    You even quoted Eph. 5:25 in which husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the Church, his bride. Couple this with Mark 10:45 in which Jesus models servant leadership toward his Bride and I am not saying any authoritarian or dominating. Rather I am getting at the heart of leadership that leads in giving and sacrificing.

    So once again Don let me repeat:

    Eph. 5 tells us that husbands are to love their brides in the same manner that Jesus loved his. So the question is obvious, how does Jesus love his bride the church? By servant leadership, that sacrifices everything for her well being.

    Eph. 5 talks so much more than just Jesus serving his body, rather he loving his BRIDE by giving his love up for her. In order to have it be “just serve” then you have to be willing to say that in Jesus’ loving of his Bride the church their is no leadership at all. Also, why if it was “just serve” would Jesus single out only the husbands to give themselves up in the same manner that he did for his Bride? It makes no sense.

    For sake of honesty, please do not accuse me of adding things to scripture without first addressing all the points I have made here.

  305. Sue August 9, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    I guess I would like to know if Queen Elizabeth I was the ruler over her father. She did consolidate his power? Does that make her his ruler?

    I am dismayed at the lack of response. This is what I got when I asked the minister’s wife for resources for abused wives. “We don’t have any.” Period.

  306. Thomas Newell August 9, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    People are tired of interacting with you Sue. Might be a good time to evaluate how you engage with others.

  307. Denny Burk August 9, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    I can’t believe there are 306 comments.

  308. Sue August 9, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    Thomas,

    I think this response of yours comes very close on my very simple question “Does the Bible teach that the husband ought to be the ruler of the wife?” That is the only reason that I can perceive that you are “tired” of engaging with me. You do not want to answer my question.

    Let’s evaluate how Derek engaged with me.

    – put words in my mouth that I did not use

    – snickered at me for commenting on Saturday night

    – says egalitarianism creates sexual confusion

    – cites Grudem who says that egalitarianism makes women unattractive to men

    In the end, I have to conclude that Gates is quite accurate in that this kind of Christianity subjugates women, (puts them under their husband’s rulership)

    And she is accurate in noting that some complemnentarians believe men are more analytic than women, and perhaps it is a good thing for women if men make decisions for them.

    Since no one can demonstrate how this is wrong, I assume that Denny is wrong in saying that Gates caricatures complementarians. It appears that Gates was pretty accurate after all.

  309. Derek August 10, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Donald said:
    …a husband is to submit to, love, give himself up for, love, nourish, cherish, hold fast to, become one flesh with, and love his wife.
    Have we gotten you to acknowledge gender specific directives and roles, Donald? 🙂

    The dictatorial approach to leadership is explicitly ruled out right here in this passage. Yet, it seems as though most strident egalitarians operate from the assumption that a dictatorship is in fact advocated by complementarians.

    This is the very basis of my objection to Gates’ “subjugation” terminology. It is unfair and it is not an accurate portrayal of the complementarian framework.

  310. Donald Johnson August 10, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Thomas,

    It is exactly the “leadership” part that is not found in Eph 5, as I keep pointing out. It is not the case that Jesus is not a leader, he is. But that is NOT the mapping in Eph 5. That is exactly the addition that I see you making.

    I believe Paul was very careful in his metaphor of a head/body relationship and inspired by God to write the words he wrote and it is dangerous to go beyond the written text, esp. when they given someone power over another. A husband is to be a servant-lover, not a servant-leader to his wife.

  311. Donald Johnson August 10, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    No, the directives are not gender specific, they are stated to one party or the other for emphasis.

    Both are to submit to each other, in mutual submission.

    Both are to love each other, in mutual love.

    Both are to respect each other, in mutual respect.

    Etc.

    It is exactly this mutuality that non-egal teaching breaks and so makes a marriage less than God intends.

  312. Donald Johnson August 10, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    P.S. There are some cases where the law of love demands a non-equal marriage, when one spouse has diminished capacity, for example. It is not the case that the equal principle of the Kingdom overrides the law of love, the latter is supreme.

  313. Derek August 10, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    I outlined just a few of the problems with “mutual submission” back in post #68.

    Don, you’re often the first guy to criticize people for ignoring context and I feel that you are doing this here, particularly when you look at the words Paul chose here, words that are conceptually speaking to the idea of authority and subordinate relationships. Obviously, the egal argument often hangs on verse 21, but either side of this debate should be extremely cautious of making broad or dogmatic conclusions on what that verse meant. I personally agree with reading v 21 as an bridge between sections and as a “call to harmony”, along the same lines as Romans 12:18: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

    I also described why I think Paul used kephale in this specific passage and context in post #91. The Platonic reference really is an important cue as to how this word would have been understood to his Ephesian readers/audience, if we’re going to pay close attention to context.

  314. Thomas Newell August 10, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Don it is in Eph. 5. Otherwise you have to be willing to say that Jesus’ love for his bride the church involved no leadership. If your willing to say that Jesus does not exercise any leadership in washing her in the word, humbly caring for her, and sacrificially giving his life for her than you can keep arguing that leadership is not there.

    But I do not know of anyone who would say that Jesus does not have leadership over his bride the church. Once again this is not dominance, or power leadership, but servant leadership in which Jesus sacrificially does all for his church.

    And your still left to account for Eph. 5 talks so much more than just Jesus serving his body, rather he loving his BRIDE by giving his love up for her. In order to have it be “just serve” then you have to be willing to say that in Jesus’ loving of his Bride the church their is no leadership at all. Also, why if it was “just serve” would Jesus single out only the husbands to give themselves up in the same manner that he did for his Bride? It makes no sense.

    Your list all these “Both’s” Don that are valid but you seem to skip right over the one command that his directed toward husbands only, which is for husband to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

  315. Derek August 10, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    Thomas makes some important points as well.

    As a matter of orthopraxy, mutual submission sounds great in theory, but can’t work. A church needs elders and leaders and a family needs one as well. Otherwise, you have general chaos where the group as a whole is very passive and vision-less or on the opposite end, where too many people are “submitting to one another” and you have chaos and no effective manner in which to mediate differences, honest or otherwise.

    Spiritual leadership looks like the leading in a dance, where one person is doing the leading, always in harmony (this is why I prefer this rendering for v. 21) with his partner, but leading nonetheless.

  316. Donald Johnson August 10, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    Thomas,

    No, you are wrong. I accept that Jesus has many spiritual aspects: savior, servant, lover, Lord, teacher, friend, first fruits, Passover lamb, etc. Each of these is true. Jesus is the leader of the church, no one is saying anything different.

    However, the mapping in Eph 5 is where Jesus as head is acting as a servant lover and friend. He is not acting as a teacher, Lord, Passover lamb, etc. One can see this by the examples given as inspired by Paul.

    It is very dangerous to map a human (husband in this case) to Jesus as Lord, God is jealous and does not tolerate idolatry.

    For the sake of argument, even IF one thinks that the husband maps to Jesus as Lord in some way, Jesus NEVER overrides my will. So no husband has the authority to override his wife’s will.

    A parent DOES have the authority to override his/her child’s will, it is not the case that I object to authority. An employer has the ability to give lawful commands to an employee, as long as the employee works for the employer. I object to a husband treating his wife like a child or an employee in this way.

  317. Donald Johnson August 10, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    The point is Eph 5 uses a head/body metaphor and one should not take a metaphor too far.

  318. Charlton Connett August 10, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Donald,

    I have yet to see a convincing manner of separating out the husband-wife “mutual submission” relationship from the other two relationships mentioned directly after that relationship in chapter 6, which are definitely not mutual submission (remembering that the versification and chapter headings were only added much later). It seems that Paul is making one continuous argument and is giving one constant model of relationships, especially when you consider that in each of the next two relationship conversations he starts out with the one who is to submit (children and slaves) and then addresses the one who would have authority (parents and masters) afterward. This seems to reflect the manner of address in the wife-husband section, where he initially addresses wives (with a calling to submit) and then calls on husbands (with a calling to love, just as Christ, but not a command to not lead). Further, if Paul intended egalitarianism from this passage, why did he not say to husbands, “love your wives as Christ loved the church, and no longer seek to have authority over them.” A husband’s authority was assumed in the culture, so why did he not make clear that such ruling should come to an end?

    I think you are also minimizing the “head” issue with Christ. When Paul sets up the example he first says that Christ was put high above all things, and that he has all things under his feet, and that he was given as head over the church to all things. Thus the authority inherent in the head metaphor derives directly from the fact that it extends from the language Paul uses in chapter one. (Paul uses it again in Chapter 4 to illustrate how the head organizes, controls, and governs the body as well. This seems to reinforce the authority concept, not diminish it.)

    In all the different contexts each overlay one to another and give “head” a very much authority laden connotation in Paul’s use of the metaphor. I would be interested to see how you would interpret it in chapters 1 and 4 so as to remove authority as a concept.

    BTW, anyone know who that Denny guy was who commented in 307?

  319. Charlton Connett August 10, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Your statement, “I object to a husband treating his wife like a child or an employee in this way.” Is really well established as being agreed upon by all involved in the argument, Donald. So, let’s not say that complementarians are saying women should be treated like Children, because Christ does not treat the church like a child. Christ treats the church like a bride, and husbands are called to love their wives like Christ loves the church, that precludes treating them like children. Let us deal with what is being argued, not make straw men for what the other side is saying.

  320. Thomas Newell August 10, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Donald I see you are just going to avoid any carryover that would involve leadership, even if its servant leadership that Jesus modeled.

    I have ran out of words to counter the silly claims that the servant leadership I am describing is anything like “employer,” or ruler for that matter.

    You can avoid it all you want Don but the text gives a command beyond mutual submission, and tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church as he gave himself up for her. For the last time, notice this same command is not given to the wives but the husbands only. The text is imploring husbands to love their brides in the same manner that he loved his. So why Don, Why, is the command not mutual but exclusive to husbands? This does not seem to get a reply from you.

    And please stop with the “savior” “idolatry” mumbo jumbo, this is only at this point a distractiont tactic that I have repeatedly said I am not endorsing. The truth is that if you have a problem with the metaphor of husbands loving and leading (in giving themselves up for their brides) like Jesus, than take it up with the text, since this is EXACTLY what it says.

  321. Derek August 10, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    Amen, Charlton!

  322. Sue August 10, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    you have chaos and no effective manner in which to mediate differences, honest or otherwise.

    There are many different ways to have chaos in a marriage. Do the egalitarian theologians and other Christians that you know have chaos in their marriage?

    Is there any greater chaos than when one person sets himself up as ruler of the other? No.

    Do democratic countries have more chaos that dictatorships? Is a democracy inherently unstable?

    Are you promoting government by divine right rather than government responsible to the people?

    I can see that Derek is not going to apologize for his rudeness or for dishonestly putting words in my mouth and quite clearly this is a ploy in order to not acknowledge the obvious.

    Gates’ article was correct, CBMW does promote the notion that the husband is ruler over the wife, and the Bible only records that the husband’s rulership is a consequence of sin, and is dictated by the Persian law.

    I can see that you have all withdrawn from interacting with Gares article and with myself because you will not acknowledge this truth.

    I’ll bow out simply observing that most comps here do believe that the husband has been told by the Bible that the husband is ruler over the wife, even though they are aware that the Bible does not say that.

  323. Sue August 10, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    I have ran out of words to counter the silly claims that the servant leadership I am describing is anything like “employer,” or ruler for that matter.

    Sadly when you see that this teaching of rulership is the teaching of CBMW you do not repudiate it. You know to do right, but you do not do it.

    You can avoid it all you want Don but the text gives a command beyond mutual submission, and tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church as he gave himself up for her. For the last time, notice this same command is not given to the wives but the husbands only. The text is imploring husbands to love their brides in the same manner that he loved his. So why Don, Why, is the command not mutual but exclusive to husbands? This does not seem to get a reply from you.

    Are you implying that women do not sacrifice? Women sacrificed body and the breath of life itself every single time they took the risk of impregnation.

    This entire line of thinking is disrespectful of women. I am distressed at the attitudes towards women in general expressed here. This is a very disrespectful atmosphere, and not glorifying to God or Christianity.

  324. Sue August 10, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Sadly when you see that this teaching of rulership is the teaching of CBMW you do not repudiate it. You know to do right, but you do not do it.

    (Wrongly in italics above.)

  325. Donald Johnson August 10, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    The teaching unit/pericope is Eph 5:15-6:9. Paul’s 6 examples here exactly match Aristotle’s 6 in his household codes, so it is no coincidence. Aristotle provides the 1st century cultural context for which to contrast Paul’s teaching.

    Aristotle taught that the paterfamilias ruled his wife, kids and slaves in his household; and the wife, kids, and slaves were to obey the paterfamilias.

    Paul qualifies ALL 6 relationships and declines to endorse the “rule/obey” one between husband and wife. In this case, Paul’s silence SHOUTS. That is, given the cultural expectation that Paul would write obey, when he does not, it is important and this omission is to be noted by exegetes.

    Magill’s Transline shows that the Greek implies all 6 examples after Eph 5:21 are subordinate clauses to Eph 5:21. That is, they are all examples of the working out in those 1st century relationships of the principle of mutual submission established in Eph 5:21. In some cases it means obey, but NOT in the case of husband and wife.

  326. Donald Johnson August 10, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    Both spouses are to sacrificially love the other. In the 1st century context, this was EXPECTED of the wife, what is novel about Paul is that he puts the same requirement on the husband.

    Paul is an egal, as he follows Jesus who was also egal.

  327. Derek August 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Both spouses are to sacrificially love the other. In the 1st century context, this was EXPECTED of the wife, what is novel about Paul is that he puts the same requirement on the husband.

    I agree with you here; we do miss the weight of Paul’s letter here because we read this passage from the perspective of an egalitarian culture. Paul was saying some very counter-cultural things to men about servant leadership. They are still revolutionary ideas because egalitarian practices have not fostered high standards for men, nor has it translated into anything remotely resembling servant leadership (particularly in men).

    If the question is, “was Paul condemning patriarchal practices and tradition?”, the “surprising” answer (I say it is surprising because so many people accept the egal strawman), from a complementarian perspective is YES. Thomas explained this very well in post #304.

  328. Donald Johnson August 10, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    The way to read Paul and other NT books is from a 1st century perspective. That culture was very different from today. The paterfamilias could order his wife to abandon a baby to death and other horrible things we do not tolerate today in the West.

    When Paul is telling a husband to love his wife, this was for many a counter-cultural thing to here. One had a wife to have legitimate children and a male had sex with prostitutes in pagan society.

    ====
    Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

    This is the example of the love of Christ that ALL believers are to follow. There is nothing about leading in it, just loving sacrifice.

  329. SM August 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    Thomas: “The truth is that if you have a problem with the metaphor of husbands loving and leading (in giving themselves up for their brides…”

    Since I came upon this comp/egal issue, it appears that terms are redefined from their traditional dictionary meanings. For instance, leading is defined above as “giving themselves up for their brides”. When wives sacrifice and give up themselves (and they do) for their husbands are they leading as well?

    Eph 5 does not say “leading by giving themselves up for their brides” but actually says LOVE as CHRIST loves who sacrificed and gave Himself up for her, nourishing, cherishing, etc…

  330. Derek August 10, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    RD,
    The commands given to the husband is more explicit and detailed. The nurturing aspect of the husband’s role is clearly spelled out, especially down in vv. 28 and 29. We don’t have the same thing, either implied or explicitly given to the wives, vis-a-vis “leading” (your terminology).

  331. Derek August 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Sorry, I meant SM, not RD.

  332. Derek August 10, 2010 at 12:43 pm #

    Don,
    As I pointed out in #91 and #313, you’re terribly selective and dogmatic about how you look at things through the lens of the 1st century. And this seems to be a recurring issue – you often use this reasoning and it always seems to be used to justify an unusual or esoteric or liberal interpretation.

  333. Donald Johnson August 10, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    I study 1st century context in order to help me understand the NT better. In many cases, it is invaluable to provide insight.

    Nourish in its most basic meaning is to provide food. In the 1st century, most food was prepared by wives/women. Paul is being counter-cultural in pointing out that a husband is to nourish his wife. This is a form of service that he is empowered by Christ thru Paul to give his wife.

    Nourish in the extended meaning is to help your spouse be all she/he can be, helping her/him grow to be all God wants for them.

  334. Donald Johnson August 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Unusual, esoteric or liberal is in the eyes of the beholder. What I wish is that the non-egals take off their blue lenses when reading Scripture so they could see more clearly where there are adding a “blue” tint to the text.

    There ARE a few, very few, verses that teach different things for the 2 genders, but the vast majority are for humans.

  335. SM August 10, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    “Leading” was not my word, and I used it as defined by Thomas (giving up of oneself [husband] for his bride).

    Derek: “The nurturing aspect of the husband’s role is clearly spelled out, especially down in vv. 28 and 29. We don’t have the same thing, either implied or explicitly given to the wives, vis-a-vis “leading” (your terminology).”

    The absent in Eph 5 of an explicit instruction to wives to love their husbands as Christ loves by sacrificing and giving up of themselves does not mean that wives motivated by the HS and living by a Christian ethic of love do not “lead” by giving up of themselves for their husbands. (Again, Thomas word and definition not mine.) I am quite certain, wives, do in fact, sacrifice, nourish, cherish, and give up of themselves in their love for their husbands. If nourishing, cherishing, sacrificing of oneself is leading, then wives lead as well do they not?

  336. Derek August 10, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    I study 1st century context in order to help me understand the NT better. In many cases, it is invaluable to provide insight.

    I have no problem with this, we should all do this (although I would argue that you must also recognize there are very real limits to our ability to do this in many circumstances).

    What I DO object to is your unwillingness to allow the Ephesian understanding of submission and headship to influence your perspective, or at the very LEAST, to allow other evidence that supports the complementarian position to soften your dogmatism. Instead, we get statements like this from you, Don: Paul is an egal, as he follows Jesus who was also egal. You’re not always the smartest guy in the room; and I’m sure that I’m not the only person who finds this attitude very off-putting.

  337. Derek August 10, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    Unusual, esoteric or liberal is in the eyes of the beholder.
    Of course it is. But it is a trend and I’m sure I’m not the only person who notices it.

  338. Charlton Connett August 10, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Donald,

    To strip Ephesians 5 from Ephesians 4, or to strip Ephesians 4 from Ephesians 1, but then to compare Ephesians 5 to Aristotle, literature that is necessarily more distant to Paul’s readers than the previous sections of the book they are reading now, seems tortuous to me. In Ephesians 1 Paul clearly establishes that Christ is head over all things, he has all things under his feet, and the church is his body. That Christ is head of the church is clearly given in context of him being the authority over all things. In Ephesians 4 Christ is the head that gives the church her different roles, he is the one who we aim to grow up into, but he is the one who orders all things as well. In Ephesians 5 are we to see that head means to nourish, means to provide for, but somehow loses all of the authority implicit from the other two situations where Paul thoroughly developed the metaphor to which he is appealing? I’m just not convinced by this exegesis.

  339. Sue August 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    I am quite certain, wives, do in fact, sacrifice, nourish, cherish, and give up of themselves in their love for their husbands.

    Thank you, SM, for pointing out the obvious. This is where the conversation is quite inimical to women and simply excludes women from the discourse.

    If nourishing, cherishing, sacrificing of oneself is leading, then wives lead as well do they not?

  340. Thomas Newell August 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    “There ARE a few, very few, verses that teach different things for the 2 genders, but the vast majority are for humans.”

    Really Don?

    This might be where the fundamental disconnect is as egals are dogmatic is seeing different as unequal or inferior for some odd reason. Ironically this minimizing of gender differences was the centeral thesis for Judge Walker in recently siding against traditional marriage.

    Problem is Don that the Bible begins with describing us being made male and female, in other words different. From the very outset the Scriptures teaches that we are much more distinctly designed to reflect God’s image than just being “humans.” We are given genders that are different but both equally glorify God in their own particular ways. Notice not a hint of inferiority, but the distinction is ontological and at the core of who we are as men and women. To minimize this is to lessen the Imago Dei.

    I would implore you Don to re-think the Scripture are not concerned with our gender and just speaks to us as humans, this is a grave error in reading and correctly understanding the Bible.

    If this really is your understanding Don, that the Bible has “very few verses that teach different things for the 2 genders,” please share what those very few things are. How has God made men and women different? If at all in your view.

  341. Sue August 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Thomas,

    How has God made men and women different? Denny’s thesis is that complemnetarians do not regard women as less capable in decision-making, but this is the key functional difference presented by complementarians.

  342. Derek August 10, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    SM,
    The answer is probably simpler than you think it is. Leaders always have more responsibilities. People expect leaders to perform a lot of functions and so does God. That is another possible reason that God puts so much responsibility and accountability on the husband’s shoulders. Are you sure you want all this?

  343. Sue August 10, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    Leaders always have more responsibilities.

    One of the most distressing things that I have ever read is a frequent comment on the blogs of comp women, that they consider that the man has more responsibility before God for what happens in the family because of his leadership position.

    But the mother cannot tell this to the judge or the doctor, when the child does something against the law, when her husband does something against the law, when the child is in critical condition in the hospital, when the family cannot pay their debts, when the taxes are not paid, when they retire and live off investment income.

    The reality is that in civil law, criminal law, in moral law, women have every bit as much responsibility as men. Anything else is a lie.

  344. Sue August 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    Women also bear the consequences of male decision-making. Anything short of equal participation in important decisions is tragic.

    Everything describesd here completely ignores women’s reality.

  345. Darius August 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    “The reality is that in civil law, criminal law, in moral law, women have every bit as much responsibility as men. Anything else is a lie.”

    True, but that doesn’t change the fact that before God, the man is ultimately responsible for the household. Like Derek said, be careful what you wish for. Strain at the gnat of equality and swallow the camel of responsibility.

  346. Thomas Newell August 10, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    SM I think the leading ascpect that men are called to that slightly varies from the sacrifices, and nutruing that women are also called to is in the initiation.

    Jesus took the initiation in sacrificing for his bride, likewise husbands should do the same.

    So when it comes time to sacrifice and serve, men are to be willing to go first and sacrifice greater if need be for the sake of their bride.

  347. Darius August 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    “Everything described here completely ignores women’s reality.

    I don’t know any women who have an issue with this. And stop being so terribly dishonest in your arguments… no one is saying that women don’t get to participate in important decisions. Ultimately, however, if a decision has to be made and the husband and wife can’t agree, then the husband has to make the call. Do you seriously think that God would have set up a system where no one had the ultimate responsibility? To use your analogy of civil systems, it don’t work that way. Every business, no matter how “equal” everyone is, has someone who has to make the decisions, even if he tries to get everyone’s input first.

  348. SM August 10, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Derek,

    If leading is defined as sacrificing oneself, nourishing, cherishing, the simple answer is wives do in fact lead.

    “Leaders always have more responsibilities. People expect leaders to perform a lot of functions and so does God. That is another possible reason that God puts so much responsibility and accountability on the husband’s shoulders.”

    A husband does have a great responsibility to love his wife sacrificially. But, I do not see where he has a greater responsibility or accountability or held to a higher standard for love than a Christian wife who is to love sacrificially as well.

    As to your question: “Are you sure you want all this?”

    If “all this” means, loving sacrificially as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, nourishing and cherishing her and setting her apart for Himself, by God’s grace, I strive daily, sometimes moment by moment, to love like Christ. I find many occasions to sacrifice in order to nourish and cherish.

  349. Derek August 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Leadership is not usually demonstrated by its function. If a boss delegates a specific task to an employee, the employee does not become a leader because he is suddenly doing a task his boss used to perform.

  350. Thomas Newell August 10, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    Darius is right, the overwhelming number of women embrace men leading in initiation. The caricatures that are drawn otherwise are horribly out of step with reality.

    Even the sappy romantic comedies my wife makes me watch with her always follow a plot line of a man having to pursue and lead in iniation of the woman. And all of these are done by secluar Hollywood! Yet I have never come across the romantic movie that moves women that follows an egalitarian plot line, of both of them initiating and pursuing 50/50.

    So while all these arguments may help Sue vent, even non-Christian women have it wired into their hearts for a man that will initiate love and pursue them. Sounds like some major role distinctions to me…

  351. Sue August 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    “The reality is that in civil law, criminal law, in moral law, women have every bit as much responsibility as men. Anything else is a lie.”

    True, but that doesn’t change the fact that before God, the man is ultimately responsible for the household. Like Derek said, be careful what you wish for. Strain at the gnat of equality and swallow the camel of responsibility.

    Darius,

    I can honestly tell you that it makes absolutely no difference what anyone says, women DO end up with equal responsibility, equal suffering of consequences, NO MATTER WHAT. This simply cannot be helped in any way whatsoever. There is no difference between the “moral” law and “what God said.”

    All through the Bible women initiate, take responsibilty, rescue, care for, provide and protect. Look at Rahab, Deborah, Jael, Judith, Proverbs 31, Lydia, Phoebe, Joanna, and others. These women protected and provided. Women are equipped to do so, and are morally compelled to care for the family in the same way that men are.

    See 21 Tim. 5:8.

    “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

    This is wrongfully attributed to “he” in English, but there is no “he” in Greek. It applies equally to men and women – we are worse than infidels if we do not provide for our family. Please acknowledge the scripture. Nothing you say can change that.

    A woman who believes she has less responsibility will be shocked in a crisis, when she realizes the truth.

    I find your suggestion that women are less responsible to be morally reprehensible.

  352. Derek August 10, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    Good point, Thomas-
    this was along the same lines as an earlier point I made about dancing. Go ahead and tell your dance instructor that you do it “egalitarian style”. Again, egal principles sound great in principle, but don’t work as advertised.

  353. Darius August 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Bingo, Thomas, but don’t let reality get in your way. 🙂

  354. Darius August 10, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    “I can honestly tell you that it makes absolutely no difference what anyone says, women DO end up with equal responsibility, equal suffering of consequences, NO MATTER WHAT.”

    Hmm, I must have missed the part where the final White Throne judgment already took place.

  355. Darius August 10, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    “I find your suggestion that women are less responsible to be morally reprehensible.”

    Oooh, ouch. Thankfully, I have the apostle Paul to back me up… who do you have, besides your own opinion? 1 Timothy 2 lays out the hierarchy of responsibility (and the reasons why, no less) pretty clearly.

  356. Sue August 10, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    Darius,

    You belittle a mother’s love and care. You deny what God has said in 1 Tim. 5:8, you deny the examples of women in the Bible.

    It is not an opinion, but a fact of life, that women bear the consequences of decisions made for their children, for finances, for land and property, for all aspects of life, equally with men.

    If a child is hurt, can a mother simply shrug her shoulders and invoke reduced responsibility? A thousand times no. I cannot believe what I am reading here.

  357. Sue August 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    Again, egal principles sound great in principle, but don’t work as advertised.

    What do you have to back this up?

  358. Darius August 10, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    “I cannot believe what I am reading here.”

    If you think this is counter-cultural, you should try reading the Bible.

  359. Derek August 10, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Darius, FYI, check out #274 and #306.

  360. SM August 10, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    Thomas: “SM I think the leading ascpect that men are called to that slightly varies from the sacrifices, and nutruing that women are also called to is in the initiation.”

    I do not see scripture teaching that males/husbands have a greater responsibility than wives/women to be the first (initiator) to love, sacrifice, nurture, cherish. I do see that BOTH husbands and wives have a grave responsibility to love, respect, sacrifice, serve, etc. each other.

    Thomas: “Jesus took the initiation in sacrificing for his bride,”

    Jesus as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world was the Savior of His body the church and ushered in a New Covenant. Like the unconditional covenant God made with Abraham, the conditions of the New Covenant were not riding on what the church did but solely on what Christ did. That’s how I understand it.

    Thomas: “…likewise husbands should do the same.”

    Paul in Eph 5 tells the Ephesian husbands they do well to love like Christ by sacrificing, nourishing, cherishing. As I understand the historical context, Paul was giving a Christian ethic to the social structure not endorsing it.

    In a marriage covenant it is incumbent upon the wife to love, sacrifice, nourish, cherish, serve or lead as you have define it.

    “Initiation” or being the first to do so is read into it as far as I can tell.

    Thomas: “So when it comes time to sacrifice and serve, men are to be willing to go first and sacrifice greater if need be for the sake of their bride.”

    This is noble and biblical. Wives, too, are to sacrifice and serve and be willing to go first and sacrifice greater if need be for the sake of their husbands.

    That is the HS at work in each of their lives.

  361. Darius August 10, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Yes, I’ve been trying to engage with her (and some other eGals) on her blog… no can do, they are completely unhinged. Ironically, her post is about how women are just as rational as men… 🙂

  362. Charlton Connett August 10, 2010 at 2:12 pm #

    Thomas,

    Your comment made me remember a line from some new movie that is either coming out or came out. (I don’t recall, I really don’t pay much attention to movies.) I saw a commercial while I was watching some T.V. with my wife and the man in the movie (I’ll assume he is the love interest) says to the woman: “You don’t need a man, you need a champion.” I told my wife I find it interesting that even the most secular sources in Hollywood understand that that’s what a woman should want: a man who will be her champion. (Granted that is only really fulfilled in Christ, who is our perfect savior, but doesn’t it say something that men are supposed to represent that Christlike champion role for their wives?)

  363. Darius August 10, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Charlton, I thought you were going to give us a different quote from an upcoming movie: “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.” 🙂

  364. Donald Johnson August 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Non-egals tell a wife that she must obey her husband when he makes a “final decision” and that the supposed benefit of this is that she has less responsibility for the family.

    However, this ignores 1 Cor 7 which states explicitly that sex is to be mutual. Paul goes out of his way in this chapter to make symmetric mappings for the husband and wife in many areas. It is a fun exercise to count them.

    The Biblical truth is that both parents are each fully responsible for their family and each is a leader in the family, the spouses are to be co-leaders.

    On Christ having all things under his feet, notice where the body of Christ is, namely above the things that are under his feet. Believers will rule and reign WITH Christ, according to the NT.

    P.S. In my egal marriage, either of us can initiate and either of us can say No or Yes. I like it when she initiates sometimes and she likes it when I do sometimes.

  365. Darius August 10, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    “On Christ having all things under his feet, notice where the body of Christ is, namely above the things that are under his feet. Believers will rule and reign WITH Christ, according to the NT.”

    Oh my. Yes Don, but I don’t think Christ is going to be bowing at our feet and singing our praises. Angels currently rule with Christ, but under Him. There is an obvious hierarchy that to miss is to fall into huge error.

  366. SM August 10, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    Derek: “Leadership is not usually demonstrated by its function. If a boss delegates a specific task to an employee, the employee does not become a leader because he is suddenly doing a task his boss used to perform.”

    I’ll use biblical terms: husband and wife as it relates to the marriage relationship which is quite different than a employer/employee relationship (at least as I see it).

    When the husband is “leading” by loving, sacrificing, nourishing, and cherishing he is still a husband. When a wife is “leading” by loving, sacrificing, nourishing, and cherishing she is still a wife. Both are functioning (leading)–exercising biblical virtues–one as the husband, the other as the wife.

  367. Derek August 10, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    SM,
    You’re forcing this and it doesn’t work. Perhaps someone else will find your logic compelling, but I doubt it.

  368. Sue August 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    Darius,

    Thomas is arguing that “culture.” Hollywood, that is (a stretch for me but …. ), is naturally complementarian.

    You write,

    “If you think this is counter-cultural, you should try reading the Bible.”

    If Thomas is arguing compism is cultural, and you are arguing that the Bible is “counter-cultural” this explains my difficulty in interacting with your comment.

    You misread who was on the side of culture, that is Thomas, the complementarian.

    If you wish to read the preceding comments, and interact with them, I am willing to interact with you. As it stands there is nothing for me to interact with.

  369. Sue August 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    I told my wife I find it interesting that even the most secular sources in Hollywood understand that that’s what a woman should want: a man who will be her champion.

    It is fascintation that Hollywood actually loves the opposite as well. As in Blindside. A woman who is the champion of a man is also very romantic and popular. We can think of Rahab. Lydia, and Phoebe also.

  370. Darius August 10, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Sue, Hollywood would argue what you are arguing. What Thomas is pointing out is that simple fact that no matter what even the secular media would have you believe, what they do and say in practice shows that there is a basic instinct built into us toward the comp position. Granted, by itself this isn’t a particularly helpful insight, since it could be chalked up to our fallen nature. However, combined with an honest and thorough reading of the Scriptures, this serves to affirm what we see around us in society, even in a society that tries to deny it.

  371. SM August 10, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    Thomas: “…the overwhelming number of women embrace men leading in initiation.”

    From what facts/statistics do you draw this conclusion?

    Also, it is important that we define terms: Is “leading” in “leading in initiation” still “loving, sacrificing, nourishing and cherishing in initiation” or does “leading in initiation” mean “being the first to be the first”?

    I am new to this conversation and am learning terms are often used in novel ways. I just want to be clear.

    Thomas: “Yet I have never come across the romantic movie that moves women that follows an egalitarian plot line, of both of them initiating and pursuing 50/50…. Sounds like some major role distinctions to me…”

    Naomi and Ruth unapologetically take initiative and pursue, I would venture to say greater than 50% if it were calculable in that way. Also, the Beloved in the SOS is unashamedly an initiator and pursuer. I would guess that the plot line in the Book of Ruth moves both men and women. Likewise, the Beloved in the SOS has no doubt inspired women.

  372. Sue August 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    but doesn’t it say something that men are supposed to represent that Christlike champion role for their wives?)

    I don’t know if any of you here are interested in the Biblical languages.

    However, there was an ancient prayer in the church, recorded in 1 Clement, that addressed Christ as our boethos, and prostates. This was translated as “champion and defender.” The prayer, then as addressed to Christ our champion and defender.

    What is interesting, however, is that beothos is the Greek for ezer, and Eve is called ezer. Prostates is the masculine form of prostatis, which is what Phoebe was to Paul.

    We can then think of how the woman is the champion of the man, his ally, and help or succour.

    Phoebe also was a defender of Paul, his succour.

    Succour is another word for help, but it means to help someone else from a position of strength. These are the words of scripture and give us something to meditate on. Why is it women who are attributed these characteristics of Christ, champion and defender?

  373. SM August 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Derek,

    How am I “forcing this”? Can you tell me what conditions were incumbent upon the church in the New Covenant?

  374. Sue August 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    What Thomas is pointing out is that simple fact that no matter what even the secular media would have you believe, what they do and say in practice shows that there is a basic instinct built into us toward the comp position. Granted, by itself this isn’t a particularly helpful insight, since it could be chalked up to our fallen nature.

    That would be my point. I don’t find Hollywood to be a valid measure of what is counter cultural, or of what is morally correct. I don’t see any point in going to Hollywood for marriage advice and examples of how to build a lasting marriage.

    However, combined with an honest and thorough reading of the Scriptures, this serves to affirm what we see around us in society, even in a society that tries to deny it.

    I don’t actually see the scriptures as affirming the Hollywood plotline myself.

  375. Darius August 10, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    “That would be my point. I don’t find Hollywood to be a valid measure of what is counter cultural, or of what is morally correct.”

    You’re missing my point, Sue. I am saying that Hollywood TRIES to teach what you’re teaching. It is run by feminists who want everyone to believe that there is no real difference between the sexes. But what Thomas is pointing out that no matter how much they protest against it, their plotlines keep contradicting their own ideology.

  376. Sue August 10, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    Darius,

    I will tell you why I did not interact with you on your blog. You simply stated that men are more rational than women because you think of yourself as more rational than your wife.

    I am slightly embarassed about how to respond to this outburst of ratiohnality.

  377. Derek August 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    SM,
    I demonstrated in very clear terms how you are forcing this back in post #349. This is a non-sequitur – it simply “does not follow” that tasks that a leader performs are inherently functions of leadership and yet this is what you insist upon.

    I note that “SM” are the initials of “Suzanne McCarthy”, aka “Sue”. As such, I will not be responding to posts from SM at this time (see post #274 if you have further questions).

  378. Darius August 10, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    Sue, I am still perplexed that you would deny one of the most obvious traits within the sexes. You are honestly the first person I’ve ever known who would not agree that, by and large, women are more emotional while men are more rational. Exceptions exist, but that’s the basic rule.

    Nice catch, Derek. Figures…

  379. Sue August 10, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    You’re missing my point, Sue. I am saying that Hollywood TRIES to teach what you’re teaching. It is run by feminists who want everyone to believe that there is no real difference between the sexes. But what Thomas is pointing out that no matter how much they protest against it, their plotlines keep contradicting their own ideology.

    So, how do we know that Hollywood plot lines are what God intended? I still understand that you are making Hollywood plot lines a good thing, a measure of what is right in the heart of humans.

    Whereas, I personally don’t think much of Hollywood plot lines, and would a thousand times rather watch a movie made in England or Europe. I always assumed that everyone knew that Hollywood plot lines do not reflect real life.

    It is interesting that the recent remake of Pride and Prejudice had to have two endings. The one ending was from the book and was shown in England. But the version of the movie shown in North America had to be altered from the original and a Hollywood ending had to be added on.

    Is this what you are talking about. Inserting a Hollywood ending into real life?

    This is the trouble, real life does not have a Hollywood ending. Real life does not even end as happily as Pride and Prejudice.

  380. SM August 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    Derek @377
    “I demonstrated in very clear terms how you are forcing this back in post #349. This is a non-sequitur – it simply “does not follow” that tasks that a leader performs are inherently functions of leadership and yet this is what you insist upon.”

    I think I have been misunderstood.

    I am only insisting that if leading is sacrificing, loving, nourishing, cherishing then wives lead as well when they are sacrificing, loving, nourishing, cherishing their husbands. I also contend each is responsible for responding to the HS. Depending on many factors, the husband may be the first in a given situation but the wife may be the first in another.

    As far as “Su

  381. SM August 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    As far as our claim I am “Suzanne McCarthy” aka “Sue”, I don’t even know how to respond other than….

    It is likely that my posts have not been read carefully, as I stated a couple of times beginning with my first comment at 145, I am new to the comp/egal issue.